Wednesday, December 17, 2014
What To Do Next
Jesus in the Middle East is reported to have said the whole of the Law is summed up in whole hearted love for God and for all people in specific one on one. I understand this to not mean some form of overarching love for mankind but instead for each woman as lover/mother/sister/daughter/friend and each man as lover/father/brother/son/friend. This is no less than a demand, love of God because He commands it, and of men and women because they are in some way each by each perfect images of God and so deserve it.
In Asia Buddhism became the dominant cross cultural spirituality. In Buddhism it is claimed that it is possible to become truly free of illusion and distress, only that at some point along the Way Out one reaches a viewpoint that may stop one from going the rest of the way because if we all don't go to freedom then the few who go are incomplete anyway. So some stop and turn back as Bodhisattvas to assist the rest, first to alleviate suffering so far as is possible and second to help leverage the whole world beyond suffering, which can only be done one by one just the same as Jesus would have us love one another, one by one.
To put a finer point on it, not all Buddhists agree that this is the path but all Buddhist do agree that it can be the path. Theravada adherents say that this whole process can't really be affected that much so it is better to just tend your own garden. Mahayana Buddhists believe that it gives one merit to yearn for the Bodhisattva path or to support it in some way. These Buddhists are far in the majority. Mahayana translates as the Greater Way.
So the Christians devote to loving and embracing each by each and the Buddhists hold the world each by each in a compassionate embrace. That's the start of it. There is much more in both the paths. And both paths require a radical form of discipline in the purest manifestations of this starting point.
In both cases the person who does the loving is no longer an ordinary person but is instead transformed by disciplines of love or compassion. The early Christians referred to each other by the term "Saint" referring to just this change of state. They believed (and most Christians still believe at least by church creed) that this change of state is not possible without the assistance of the Christ. And as already mentioned, the Buddhist version is the Bodhisattva. Otherwise this task of loving completely is not possible. The process by which such a transformation can occur can be called "Opening".
What To Do Next
You don't have to be
good or kind or anything
nor have to be saved
unless you want to.
You do have to breathe and bathe
and reach true accord
with all that it is
and then open - permit me
us Him Her Them in.
The good kind other
things help us open, just that,
tools for opening.
October 25, 2010 12:48 PM