Christianity and Buddhism

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If you are like me, then you were born and raised and given Jesus Christ as your ‘guru/deity’.  In truth, this is at least as fortunate as getting schools and toothbrushes. 

When this is the case, Buddhism is something mysterious and Asiatic and perhaps covered in incense.  Here and there we hear of a charismatic cleric.  In Christianity it seems the original figure and many of the teachings have appeal but many of find the main proponents to be…well, a lot of people in Christian nations felt forced to go to church – I got lucky in that I really liked church [I went to a Unitarian/Universalist church] but a lot of us have felt that bored aggravated older women with silver hair and the left over taste in their mouths of the prune juice they served their grandchildren – sometimes by ungrateful adult children…but usually at least some one appreciates it and in many cases all involved appreciate it. 

Anyways, having lived through so much, as a 10 year old she seems well dressed but sort of fuddy duddy yet strangely powerful.

When we come across Buddha from this perspective, I don’t think it is the same experience as it is for all the people born in Buddhist nations where it is as commonplace as Jesus Christ is in Christian nations.  Closer to unavoidable than anything else. 

Culture and religion do have their ‘divides’ luckily Alan Watts, a 20th century Englishman worked with both of these.  It is possible that a Buddhist would not ‘get’ why he presents the material the way he does, but for a normal person from a Christian country he is able to introduce a couple of Buddhist concepts without making people like they’ve lost their balance as completely as can happen after say, Aristotle or Nietzsche.

2 Comments
  1. Andrew J. Sacks says

    Miriam, thank you. We like the wide and inclusive view. I vote for global understanding and acceptance.

    1. MiriamSPia says

      What is challenging is how to really do it, without just getting sucker punched or overrun or unecessarily brutalizing other people’s societies. It seems easy enough as individuals but once it is about making public policies, or thoroughly practicing a spiritual path or religion then there are times when it becomes impossible to not have conflict or power struggles, sad as that may be.

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