Wednesday, July 9, 2008

May we "get over" ourselves

May Buddhists "get over" Buddhism. May Christians "get over" Christianity. May Hindus "get over" Hinduism, Taoists over Taoism, Jains over Jainism, Jews over Judaism, Muslims over Islam, Pagans over Paganism, Wiccans over Wicca, Mormons over Mormonism, and Humanists over Humanism. May theists "get over" theism, may agnostics "get over" agnosticism, and may atheists "get over" atheism. One cannot fully appreciate what wisdom, in truth and in folly, is to be found in Buddhism until you are "over" Buddhism, what wisdom there is in Christianity until you are "over" Christianity, and the same for all the rest. How much is missed by such nonsense. Anything one can call "God" that one can choose to "accept" or "reject" cannot be "God". So why impose that limited dichotomy on the Divine? Why impose similarly absurd limits on anything else such as charity or compassion? Just because one uses images or language from one tradition to express an experience or insight in another doesn't automatically mean the other is being watered down. Just because someone else doesn't seek purity of the heart the same way another does isn't cause for despair or disgust. That way of thinking betrays a view of spiritual traditions as cold and dead, wrapped in the burial linens of traditional teachings and liturgies. Such a corpse is either propped up and dissected as an intellectual philosophy for reducing conflict and existential anxiety or dressed up as a magical friend from the land of make-believe.

Gate! Gate! Paragate! Parasamgate! Bodhi, Svaha!

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