In my search for God and spirituality I stopped and chose Zen Buddhism for several reasons, one very important one being the fact that Zen Buddhism emphasizes the act of human enlightenment. The practice of Zen is not a passive one of ritual observance and brown nosing to the all mighty. The practice of Zen aims at changing the individual and his life.
What about “people can’t change their nature” statement?
Nature is what we are born with. Like the color of our eyes, hair or skin. Things like personality, sexuality, talents and abilities that are given to us by God – or genetic inheritance if you are inclined to believe so.
You can’t change your nature simply means that no matter how much plastic surgery Michael Jackson will undergo, he will never turn from a black man to a white woman.
It means that no matter how hard I want, or try, I would never be a talented musician because I was born tone death.
I was also born an asshole. I don’t know why but I have done hurtful things to other people, especially to the people that loved me. I have betrayed their love and trust, I have cheated and lie to them. I have behaved like a jerk.
The practice of Zen has brought me face to face with that inner jerk. I had become aware of the evil and ignorance lurking in the recesses of my soul and I have decided to change.
Have I succeeded 100%/ Not at all. Have I changed my own nature? Not a bit.
I see myself as one of those recovering alcoholics, locked in a battle with their disease for the rest of their lives.
I am a recovering asshole and I will be all my life a recovering asshole.
Maybe I should start an asshole anonymous group. …That will be really interesting.
So I believe that one can change their behavior, one can be aware of their demons and try to keep them under control, but I believe one can’t change his nature.
Even this behavioral change is extremely hard and rare.
How many people in US have bad eating habits? - More than 50%.
If only changing ones habits would be so easy, we would all be trim, fit, healthy and successful.
So for practical purposes and to keep you out of trouble and being taken advantage of, I would say that assuming that people wouldn’t change just because you love them is a fairly accurate statement and it will serve you well in the wrong run. What if they change? I would say then, a nice surprise is better than a nasty one.
What about Jesus and believing in Jesus as a path to redemption?
If I tell you – believe in me and you will attain enlightenment, what do you think am I asking you to believe?
That believing that I physically exist will make you enlightened.
Or: That by practicing my philosophy you will attain enlightenment.
When Jesus was addressing his disciples and asking them to believe, he was not asking them to believe in his existence. He was right there in front of them. He was asking them to believe his teachings are the path to salvation.
There is no one that believes in Jesus more than Satan. After all how could he not, when he got his ass kicked by the all mighty so many times. So is Satan going to heaven? Hell no. Satan doesn’t believe in love, peace and turning the other cheek. Satan doesn’t believe in Jesus and so are 99% of the so called Christians.
To believe in Jesus and to be a Christian means to feel, and think, to talk and act like Jesus. So Mother Theresa is a Christian not the Pope. Gandhi was a Christian not Pat Robertson.
The notion that just by saying “I believe Jesus is my savior’ will give you a free pass to heaven is absolutely ridiculous. This evangelical propaganda that you can do whatever you want without any repercussions as long as you hail to their dogma, has taken America on the path of moral decay and bankruptcy. The right wing, fear mongering, war loving, hate spewing evangelism, sweeping America today, is taking us straight to hell.
I believe there is a judgment day coming for all of us and I believe there are no free passes. More of, I believe God is not a Christian, Muslim, Jew or Buddhist and on that day of judgment we all are going to have a huge surprise.