"Salvation" and "Enlightenment"

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by CobblersApprentice, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. There is an exchange of letters between Thomas Merton and D T Suzuki as recorded in "The Hidden Ground of Love" in which Merton compares the experience of grace with zen.

    In this comparison Merton speaks of "the free gift of God"......"the indeterminateness"....... "Completely spontaneous"......."outside of every law, every right and wrong, everything high or low, everything spiritual or material"...... "this breakthrough of God's freedom"......."so that, contrary to all expectation (things turn out) right side up."

    Merton ends: - "This is grace, this is salvation, this is Christianity. And, so far as I can see, it is also very much like Zen."

    Looking back on my own life, I cannot but agree. This contrasts with a Being only seeking the "proper" devotees, those of the "correct grade", while leaving the rest "free to roam".

    And we shall "be like Him" (or Her)?

    So I shall now wait for the proper "grade of person" to come along prior to offering a helping hand?
     
  2. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    I can understand how acting for the future could be corrupt .. it all depends on our intention, no?
    Yet I find it too simplistic to suggest that following 'Zen' is not an act of calculation :)
     
  3. I did not mention "acting". We were speaking of "concern"?

    I actually "follow" the Pure Land way, not zen, though I indeed draw inspiration from it - if inspiration is the right word.

    I have spoken here of grace, and on the Buddhist section on the Pure Land way of "no calculation". No point in repetition.

    Thank you
     
  4. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Society also prepares us to listen to the man with the tie and the suit. The blessings of sartorial craftsmanship.
     
  5. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    There are scores of "flavours" of Buddhism, that have evolved from a man who originated in Nepal.
    Can we really be elightened or saved by following a person of our choosing?
    Isn't that a contradiction? i.e. following our desires
     
  6. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    That would be a very broad definition of 'desire', no?
    Through a broad enough definition of the word, any action could be considered an act towards a desire.
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Desire = G!D's will
     
  8. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Is Salvation tied to the notion of a Fall from Grace, or Sin?

    Is Enlightenment tied to the notion of Ignorance?

    Is Desire a sin or a form of ignorance?
     
  9. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    I know what you mean .. but why should we follow another person's ideas?
    Is it a matter of looking at "enlightened people", and choosing which one seems good to us?

    I remember Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh "enlightend" westerners some years ago..
    As I recall, he promoted "free love", giving people what they wanted, so he got what he wanted :(
     
  10. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    G-d gave us our nature, yes .. yet he has also guided us and raised us above our base desires.
     
  11. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    Too many sins leads to our demise, if not balanced with positive actions..
    Ignorance is a form of blindness. Desire is not a sin, but greed IS
     
  12. Arif Ghamiq

    Arif Ghamiq Active Member

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    I don't think Desire itself is a sin or ignorance, but I do think unchecked Desire does come forth from both the ignorant & un-enlightened.

    Can an ignorant person be "Saved" - can an "Enlightened" person be damned or "Un-saved" ?
     
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  13. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Are there unforgivable sins? Is there a positive act that balances all sins?

    Is there a blindness so dark it cannot be illumined? Is there a light so stark it will not cast shadows?
     
  14. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    To answer that, we need to understand what forgiveness means..
     
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  15. Arif Ghamiq

    Arif Ghamiq Active Member

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    These verses speak about the sin of Shirk, meaning "to associate", "to have a partner or ascribe partnership" - it is often translated "polytheism" .
    It certainly means that a person will be held accountable for Shirk, but what that means exactly is not so definite. It is understood by most Scholars that there are different degrees of Shirk and the results in the Afterlife are truly known only to Allah.

    "Indeed Allah does not forgive that any partner should be ascribed to Him, but He forgives anything besides that to whomever He wishes. And whoever ascribes partners to Allah has certainly strayed into far error."


    (Quran 4:116)
    ____________________________________

    "Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin."
    (Quran 4:48)

     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  16. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Desire

    From or of the father...
     
  17. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Hmm, are titans and angels enlightened? Prometheus, the Devil, and company were "damned" or punished in a sense.

    The story of how Adam&Eve got evicted from Garden Eden for their enlightenment (tasting the fruit of knowledge) comes to mind, too.
     
  18. Yes, many "flavours". Virtually all see "Buddha" as a "type" that is not believed to have "originated" in Nepal. Anymore, for instance, than most "flavours" of Christianity do not believe Jesus/Christ SIMPLY/ONLY originated in 1st century Palestine, or any "flavour" of Islam believe that the Koran SIMPLY/ONLY "originated" in 7th century Arabia. Time and eternity.

    The relationship between being chosen and choosing is relevant to this thread. Buddhism in general does recognise this relationship, originating in the fundamental recognition that "desire" is at the heart of dukkha (suffering)

    My eyes being hindered by blind passions
    I cannot see the light that grasps me.
    Yet the great compassion, without tiring
    Illumines me always.

    EDIT. The words "simply/only" added above to clarify. My apologies for any confusion.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2019
  19. @Bhaktajan II I'm a bit slow at times. I do see where you are coming from now. Hopefully you have offered greater clarity of mind. Thank you.
     
  20. Relevant for me is did the fall "shock" God or was it all a cunning plan.

    :)
     

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