24 July 2015

A Chasm Of Difference

I remember writing a paper on the likeness and difference between Buddha's sermon on the mount and Yeshua's sermon on the mount. The likenesses outweigh the difference, despite the wording being different, for a message can be forwarded using different words.

The difference, however, was night and day when closely considered.

Buddha's aim was to work on oneself, looking internally; serving your own needs. The by-product being that others might be impacted by your example, and/or your deeds. Pouring into oneself what one learns. Basically self-centered and self-focused.

Yeshua's message is to serve others, looking externally at the people around you; serving the needs of others. The by-product being that you are internally impacted because one is not focused on oneself, but on others. Pouring out of oneself what one learns. Basically self-less and self-denial.

Focus is key.

Focus determines the process and reveals the truth. Some argue that both 'philosophies' arrive at the same product/goal/destination.

Buddhist philosophy speaks of reincarnation; a recycling of man's spirit.

The message of Christ speaks of each man's responsibility for his soul's destination; a once in a lifetime life experience.

The philosophy may justify class/caste systems, placing hope in another flesh life experience at a 'higher' class/caste.

The message speaks purpose in your current position in this life, placing hope in a fleshless eternal life.

Buddhist philosophy says the notion of 'god' is within, and there is nothing without other than universal consciousness. This seems close to the truth. It is a bit contradictory not acknowledging an entity greater than self while acknowledging a collective consciousness ( which is an entity greater than self).

The message speaks God is in all and through all, God is without for those who are separated. They're spiritually separated due to disobedience to the message: Yeshua is Lord.


Dave Smith said...

I think this may be in part why Christians get such a bad rap. They focus on helping others without first understanding themselves or how to really help others.

A man had a duck in his yard and it had laid eggs. To “help” the duck they put food out for it. This ended up drawing in other animals and predators. The duck eventually had to abandon the nest. Wanting to help is great. Not knowing how to help is often worse than doing nothing. I have never heard of a Buddhist suffering from depression or committing suicide, apart from protest. Yet these things are rampant among the Christian faith.

Yes it is “A Chasm of Difference” but I feel your perspective is in error. I mean no disrespect but I want to be honest with my thoughts and you. Whenever I am dealing with someone from a branded religion I often feel like I am dealing with a 3 year old. They comprehend a few rudimentary concepts and then set out to conquer the world believing they have enlightenment. (I do not fully categorize you into that statement)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. One only has to look around and see the current state of the planet to see what happens when we try to help others without first having understanding.

Jesus said seek first the kingdom of God not first help others. Before a teacher can teach she must first understand the math. Before a psychologist can council he must first understand motivations. Before a preacher can preach he should first enter the kingdom. 99% of preachers will tell you not to practice the third eye, meditation, or leaving the body. Yet these are the very things Jesus told us to do “first”.

Edmundo Santiago said...

Hello David,

I appreciate that you don't fully categorize me ;) Peace be with you!

That duck analogy is nice, it makes sense. I also acknowledge your point that not knowing how to help people is one major issue that quite a few people have, seemingly stepping on toes while trying to help someone put on their shoes. But even a dull effort can be appreciated over no effort at all.

Regardless of identities ( Christian, Buddhist, Good Person, etc. ), we can tell what someone really is about by simply looking at their actions, besides their words. And yes, many who claim to follow and know Christ embarrass Christ and misrepresent the very essence of His message. We all have a share in humanity's fallibility.

As to mention of the kingdom of God, this is a great place to start! -

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Yeshua said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the Way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him."

- Matthew 21: 28-32

This parable speaks to the points I raised in the blog. It is those who actually obey the calling, not those who simply give lip service. We are to be vessels of utility, not simply a still idol.