Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Jesus the Buddha

I haven't blogged for a while. I haven't been sure where this blog was going, who I'm writing for. Maybe just for myself? 

Visiting My Parents, My Earthly Roots I just returned to Moab from a bicycle trip to Fruita, Colorado to see my parents & brother. It was nice seeing them and my brother's 2 boys also. The bike trip was splendid, too. I did part of it on Kokopelli's trail, which kinda follows the Colorado river. I saw 3 different herds of pronghorns, and the weather was perfect for riding. My parents and I talked a lot about the Christian walk and the Bible. I'm often astounded at how accepting they are of my chosen lifestyle. It is about getting us to face the teachings of Jesus, after all. Growing up, Christianity was the center of our home-life, so was always the center of conversation - and still is. When I went through years of clinical depression, with bitterness about the hypocrisy of Christianity, there was a lot of silence when I visited my parents. Then I realized there can be no Divine Peace until we find reconciliation with our roots, and, in fact, find reconciliation with every particle of the universe. This time, looking beyond the political & religious disagreements, I learned profound things from my parents, could see their spiritual authenticity shining through. 

The Middle Path Between the Two Extremes The path of Truth is a razor's edge, the Upanishads say. It's the narrow way, so Jesus and the Tao Te Ching tell us. It's the Middle Way, the Buddha declares. Yes, the Middle Way, between the Two Extremes, the Buddha says. YHWH between the Two Cherubim, the Torah states. Truth does not, cannot, take sides. On the one side I have Christianity and my conservative upbringing - my family and conservative friends. On the other side I have Secularism, other religions, and my liberal ("progressive") friends. It's like I'm a child of divorced parents, searching for reconciliation between the two. Both try to manipulate me to take their side. When I see the profound truths of secularism and non-Christian Religion and do not speak it for fear of what Christians might think, I am not a servant of Truth. When I see profound truths in Christian thought and I do not speak it for fear of offending non-Christians, I am not a servant of truth. Find the truth in EVERYTHING, and leave the rest. ALL truth is One Truth. When we know truth and don't speak it for fear of what somebody thinks, are we worthy of having a spine and walking upright? For years I have basked in the light of secularism and the non-Christian world and Eastern Religion, because I saw that it had more integrity and honesty in it. But all this time I have seen layers upon layers of profound truth in Christianity, and profound wisdom in Christians, including my parents. But I have been afraid to speak it for fear of being categorized with the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons and the Crusades and the we're-right-and-everybody-else-is-wrong mentality. 

Jack Kerouac and Dharma Bums Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums is so popular you can rarely find a copy in the library that's not checked-out or stolen. I've found that when I just talk about wandering moneyless and my ponderings in Eastern religious thought, people out there lap it up. But as soon as I relate it to the teachings of Jesus, I lose one audience and gain another - the Christian audience. Seems to be an either or. Then I get attached to my new audience and find myself in fear of losing this Christian audience, so I keep the profound truths of Eastern Religion under my hat. Yet I know in my deepest heart that Enlightenment or Salvation or whatever you want to call it is exactly the same thing in Hinduism as it is in Christianity. Exactly. Now a funny thing I've discovered is if you really want to turn off everybody, talk about Mormonism's deep truth. I have been astounded to find the most profound truth in the Book of Mormon. When I speak it, it goes over like a lead balloon. The rarest gems of all are the most hidden, least recognized - and most lost in hypocrisy. Back to Dharma Bums. A couple years ago I read some published pages from Jack Kerouac's personal journal while he was on the road. They were all musings over New Testament passages, mainly Jesus' teachings. These were his main preoccupation! Yet we hear nothing of this in his books for the public. In his books for the public, it seems his main preoccupation is Zen Buddhism. He was divided, and I totally get why. Both Eastern and Western Religion are my constant preoccupation, because both are One. But to the public I become divided. But I am fairly certain that Jack Kerouac would not have died a lost alcoholic if he could have found the courage to state ALL of his mind, to not waste energy in trying to please one side. We must find reconciliation with every particle of the universe, leaving nothing out, if we are to find Divine Peace. It comes down to this: do we prefer popularity or Divine Peace? 

Omnipresent Means Omnipresent To Christians I will keep repeating: if you truly believe your own Christ, you will believe the Buddha, you will believe Krishna, you will believe Lao Tzu. If you do not keep Jesus' teachings, then you do not believe Jesus, and your "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" business is meaningless hot air. To Buddhists I will keep repeating, if you truly believe your own Buddha, you will believe the Christ. "Here, O Israel, YHWH your Elohim is One YHWH." Every Hebrew student knows that Elohim is plural, meaning Gods. Literally, Gods is One. Evangelicals want to evangelize, proselytize. Really, that means all Christianity is evangelical - because that's its nature. But I have learned that to evangelize means Jesus' Golden Rule: "Do unto others what you would have them to do unto you," which more often than not means keeping your mouth shut and learning from others, not teaching. How do you feel when a Muslim tells you your religion is bullshit and his is the only right way? Don't you think he feels exactly the same when you tell him his religion is bullshit and yours the only right way? If you don't think Islam has something profound to teach you, you are not worthy to talk to a Muslim. It is Spirit we are spreading, not words. Spirit is Love. Buddhists and Hindus have taught me the depths of my own Christianity. If God (Truth) is limited to one religion, then God is not, cannot be, Omnipresent. This is the common sense of all common sense. Whoever you are - conservative, liberal, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Animist, Atheist, Agnostic - my only challenge to you is to speak and act the truth that you know. Are you afraid to speak and act what you know because of what people might think? Are you afraid it will get you crucified? An atheist who speaks the truth as he knows it and gets nailed to a cross for it knows the Divine, though he thinks he doesn't. In Jesus' parable of the 2 sons, one son has the actions and not the words and the other has the words and not the actions. Which do you think is a child of the Kingdom of God? (Matthew 21:28-31). The goats think they are righteous and are not, while the sheep think they are not righteous and are (Matthew 25:31-45). Here is the Gift of the universe: when you speak and act what you know, what you do not know becomes revealed to you. Buddha means Awakened Jesus the Buddha Awakened from Sleep Resurrected from Death When one is Awakened All are Awakened Simultaneously Beyond Time