Originally posted by LittleByLittle
reply to post by Celt1
I would gladly call both Buddha and Jesus my soul brothers and all the other messengers that have been sent. I do not have the same feelings for Paul
because I do not like his views and understanding. If he has evolved further and lost his dualistic ideas that he preaches then fine.
Paul had issues, but he did take on the mission to share the gospel with the non-Jewish world. Whether you believe the Bible or not, a close study
will reveal that the "chosen people" were given a purpose, namely to open the way for the Messiah to come into the world... not for the exclusive
benefit of Israel (or a select few), but to be a blessing to the whole world. Paul seem to understand this and he never even walked with Jesus in the
flash. Oddly, those disciples who had spent three years with their Lord were uncertain how to proceed, indeed they slipped back into this idea that
God is our Father, but only if you are chosen... Paul made the argument that one could be adopted... and thus the debate began on how to bring the
Gentiles into the church.
Were it not for Paul what would have become of this Jewish cult? One wonders if it would have ever made it beyond the city limits of Jerusalem...
according to the Bible, the church leaders (James, Peter, the rest of them) held to the view that a disciple of Jesus must become a Jew before they
could be "saved" (i.e, a Christian). Paul may have been dualistic and dogmatic, but were it not for his fire and passion, the believers in this Jewish
Messiah would have been confined to obscurity. Having said that, I don't care what Paul's teaching may have been, it hold no authority for me. Like
Thomas Jefferson, my New Testament contains only the red letters.
Like you, I only pay attention the actual teaching of Jesus and Buddha (and not to the religious structures that have been built around those
teachings). Most people NEED to believe what they believe...they are deeply invested... they work very hard to believe what they believe. Why?
Because they need STRUCTURE to stay out of CHAOS... they think obedience and loyalty to 'the system' will keep them safe (because that is what they
have been taught to believe.... so they work very hard to uphold that idea). Moreover, they BELIEVE it will grant them the rewards that they have been
promised, and so they express fear by attacking those who don't share their view point.
What we often call "religion" is really ecclesiastical control over our faith and our beliefs... religion can be empowering, but when it isn't, we'd
do well to understand why... look at the controlling "leaders" and you will see the core issues which every human being deals with... there you will
see the so-called "sinful nature" (to use the Christian term) which was broken down by the Buddha into three component parts: 1) greed, 2) hatred, and
3) delusion - drop these and you drop suffering.
In Buddhist teachings, these are called the three poisons, the three unwholesome roots, or the three fires. These metaphors suggest how dangerous
these thoughts and emotions can be if they are not understood and transformed. 1) Greed refers to our selfishness, misplaced desire, attachment, and
grasping for happiness and satisfaction outside of ourselves. 2) Hatred refers to our anger, our aversion and repulsion toward unpleasant people,
circumstances, and even toward our own uncomfortable feelings. 3) Delusion refers to our dullness, bewilderment, and misperception; our wrong views of
reality. Arising out of our ignorance, these poisonous states of mind then motivate non-virtuous and unskillful thoughts, speech, and actions, which
cause all manner of suffering and unhappiness for ourselves and others.
Greed, hatred, and delusion are deeply embedded in the conditioning of our personalities. Our behavior is habitually influenced and tainted by these
three poisons. There can be no doubt, these unwholesome roots are buried deep into our mind. Burning within us as lust, craving, anger, resentment,
and misunderstanding, these poisons lay to waste hearts, lives, hopes, and civilizations. The Buddha describes these defilements as bonds, fetters,
hindrances, and knots; the actual root cause of and the entire spectrum of human suffering.
The structure of religion does not free us from this suffering, it only seem to do so for a time. It provides a pseudo-faith which is more akin to
fanaticism... this is not Christ making all things new, this is just greed, hatred, and delusion putting on a mask of self-righteousness. Real faith
is beyond any structured religion, indeed real faith starts with doubt and skepticism... and it leads to mysticism. A Christian mystic is one who is
willing to drop all falsehood and all false authority... they practice letting go of greed, hatred and delusion... in so doing they also let go of
fear and suffering.
edit on 2-5-2013 by wasaka because: (no reason given)