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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Redemption

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.

11 comments:

Lydia said...

Yes, Buddha! There's nothing here I disagree with (including that you are an asshole because I like you so much that I will take you at your word). About an hour ago I sent a long email to a friend in Europe, in which I ranted and raved in similar fashion about the Evangelical movement here.
When I first got out of the treatment center in 1985 I went to our local library and checked out as many books on Zen as they would allow me to at one time. It wasn't something I thought about or planned, it just was clear to me that I must study Zen. I absolutely credit it with making my first year of sobriety not only relatively easy, but full of joy and humor also.

Kevin John said...

".. has taken America on the path of moral decay and bankruptcy."

What? Where? Ophra says we're still cool, and so does Robertson!
Or is Pat just speaking about the ones that are 'saved' and give monthly tithes to CBN?

i always get it confused.

Buddha said...

@ Lydia - I love U 2 - the band I mean. He, he ,he don't forget the little devil is not dead - yet!

@ Kevin - According to Bush everybody in the world loves US, McCain believes we have a sound economy, and probably it is cool to be Ophra, but what I see is greed and corruption running rampant, drugs, poverty, violence and moral decay. Yes we still have a lot to offer and a lot to be thankful for. America is still the greatest place to be, I just don't like the direction we have taken.

This Brazen Teacher said...

What if Satan were created by God also?

You know- so we could like, experience true love if there was true evil? Otherwise it's like seeing a "candle in the sun..."

At least that's what your dog would say. ;-)

Your last few posts have helped me in the life place that I currently find myself. Thank you :-)

Buddha said...

Satan was Gods right hand, Lucifer - before the fall out.
This dichotomy is actually part of the yin - yang philosophy that is the base of Zen Buddhism.
As it turns out, the people that we hate the most are usually the people that we used to love.
Telling me that I helped you - even in the smallest amount - is the greatest reward ever.
Thank you for being my friend.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

"So Mother Theresa is a Christian not the Pope" - an interesting point and one of the things that tends to put me off Organised Religion: IE that many of the people who call themselves Christian are not what i would constitute as Christian. I hope you weren't offended by my question? Another problem i have with religion is that one has to have a blind belief - and i just keep asking questions.

I take your point about the difference between nature and behaviour - an interesting debate, but one that will never be solved methinks (unless God smites someone very publicly)

Buddha said...

@ Pixie - Don't be silly. You couldn't offend me even if you try.
These debates are a mental exercise, a way to explore new points of view, new ideas, to wonder and ask questions.
I know better than anybody else that I am full of shit, I just hope it is original and exciting not boring, righteous shit.
It is a pleasure having your comments anytime!
Be Loved!

The_Light's_Herald said...

@this brazen teacher: satan was made by God, only he chose his own path than obeying God

@buddha: satan wasn't God's right hand, he was one of the fiery ones that guards the throne. Much more like a top-general of heaven.

I am a christian but I do agree in buddha's point in just getting Jesus as a pass to heaven some sort of a hell-fire insurance. Even jesus talks about them.

Matthew 7:21-23 says
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'


In the Bible, it teaches that a person must follow God with his all or not at all. 1 Peter3:8-22 tells the creed of real christians.

"Be holy as He is holy".

Braja said...

I loved this post. Loved it. Because, you see, I'm an asshole. I'm a spiritualist, a self-realization seeker (finder, actually :), and an eastern philosopher. I live in India, it's my life, it's what I do. But yeah, I'm an asshole. It's my nature. I loved this post. Did I say that? :)

The Clandestine Samurai said...

Lol, I'm not really sure where the assault on right-wing perception of Christianity came from, in relation to the beginning of the post. But yes, I agree with you for the most part.

But as for whether people can or can't change their habits, yes they can. It's not an easy process, but it can be done. As I see it, nature is just a being's collection of habits. These can very well be changed, whether it be from training the body or through trauma, they change. Michael Jackson's skin color is the product of his parent's biological nature, but I don't think it can be considered his nature.

The Clandestine Samurai said...

Or I should say, his skin color is his biological nature, not his willful one.