Much can be lost in translation. Perceptions and pieces of truth does not a reality make. Take for example this picture above. A common misconception is that monks leave behind wordily possessions upon entering the temple and have no need for modern technology. Perception but not truth. Even a monk can enjoy the lols and omgs of texting.
Interfaith dialogue enables a critical analysis of each religion being examined and an investigation into the truth of what each philosophy is about. Without it, religious worshippers of different religions would continue to have certain beliefs about each other that are simply inaccurate. It’s like the childhood game of telephone, at first Buddha may be explained to the first person as an enlightened teacher. By the end, the last person may think he is a deadbeat father who committed suicide. Not good.
In the readings, the author mentioned how a common misconception by some Buddhists is that Christians believe that Jesus is the way, instead of a way as described by Bokin Kim. In actuality, many Christians simply prefer Jesus for more personal reasons.
Bonnie Thurston says the reason that she prefers Jesus has nothing to do with her believing Jesus is superior- it’s simply a matter of her own spiritual capabilities. “The Buddha directs me away from himself. Christ invites me to himself,” she said. For her to achieve a successful spiritual jurney, she needs to rely on the teachings of Jesus as a guide. She is not as confident in her abilities to merely look within herself for enlightenment based on a heightened awareness and mindfulness.
A Buddhist philosopher would tell her that believing Buddhists must rely solely on self for transcendance is incorrect. Bonnie’s fear is she can not trust herself to follow the right path simply by meditation and contemplation of self. What if her real self wants to get wasted and steal everyday? Buddhists believe that enlightenment comes with gaining insight from your non-egoic self, not the temperamental ego who’s shady, has ADD, and loves novelty.
photo credit: travelpod.com
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