Do we need salvation?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wil, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    20,250
    Likes Received:
    1,183
    Just a question, your answer should obviously come from your perspective...but feel free to question that...
     
  2. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    44
    I would say yes, by whatever name we wish to call it... I base this on our innate need to "seek". If our position were already optimal/perfect, there would be no need to seek for something more.
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    356
    An interesting question. I think it's going to be necessary to understand what 'salvation' implies, in the way it is used here? Salvation implies being rescued or released from undesirable circumstance? Release from prison, relief from pain, rescue from poverty, etc? No-one really wants to suffer. So the implication is release/rescue from the sufferings of life in the world?

    But it can also mean salvation mostly from suffering in the afterlife? Or from the round of birth and rebirth, etc. This is the sense in which it seems to apply here?
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
    Thomas likes this.
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,913
    Likes Received:
    1,084
    I would say a qualified 'yes', the qualification being that term comes with a whole load of baggage.
     
  5. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,145
    Likes Received:
    483
    Salvation = improvement/perfection?
    Usually this is how people write about Enlightenment, but I don't recognize it as an aspect of Salvation.
     
  6. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    44
    Hi RJM... Wil seems to be leaving the implications up to us. :)
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  7. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    44
    I guess I don't put too much difference between the two... I think after struggling for a long time, one comes to the end of effort and into what Cobbler's called the realm of Grace, where the person is almost like a spectator to the process, which continues on with or without the person's efforts. The person becomes helpless in many ways, but blessed. Being from a Christian background, I just call it falling into the everlasting arms. The action or effort, when it is there, becomes "actionless", almost like someone somewhere hit the "easy button". The need to produce through effort (through the principle of law) exerts less and less influence. I could ramble on with this but am not even sure it has anything to do with the OP.

    But how do you see it, Tea? You see enlightenment and salvation as being quite different things?
     
    CobblersApprentice likes this.
  8. I tend to favour the idea that we are already saved. Gift. Our task is to realise this - really difficult at times as we just love to take much of the credit, if not all of it.
     
    Thomas likes this.
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,913
    Likes Received:
    1,084
    Which brings us back to Genesis, and the emergence of the 'problem' in a given paradigm.
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,913
    Likes Received:
    1,084
    I agree. Different paradigms, same thing.

    This is an authentic Christian spirituality, it's the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul.
     
    stranger likes this.
  11. Such "paradigm" was the starting point of the dialogue between Thomas Merton and D T Suxuki, in "Wisdom in Emptiness" in "Zen and the Birds of Appetite". Merton, taking time off from his preoccupation with himself, is quite good here.

    :)
     
    stranger likes this.
  12. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    44
    I just got the kindle for computer edition of this the other day and am looking forward to that part you mentioned. Looks like I'm into 3 books at once now. Not really at once but just reading a little here and a little there. Helps keep me from bogging down too much in one book. I suspect the foreknowledge of God might come into play here, but not sure about that.
     
  13. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,145
    Likes Received:
    483
    Trying to wrap my head around this. Do you have a non-theological example of this?
     
  14. I love the feel of a "real" book but my Kindle is a Godsend. I can change the font size and light strength whenever, which with my eyes is a necessity.

    All the essays are good in ZBA, but the second half, the Dialogue between Merton and Suzuki, I have read and mulled over many times.
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,913
    Likes Received:
    1,084
    I would also suggest that such a paradigm was the starting point of a dialogue between Merton and Eckhart, and I wonder if you could point me in the direction of any writings on that aspect? I know Merton read Eckhart.
     
  16. Is this addressed to me?

    There are about 30 or so references by Merton to Eckhart in the various essays in ZBA, but these do not revolve around any particular paradigm.

    The book, "Mysticism, Christian and Buddhist", an early work of Suzuki, is a direct comparison of Mahayana Buddhism with various Sermons by Eckhart. Available cheap as an ebook (I paid about £2.50), you also get as a big big big bonus, Suzuki's translations of various entries from Saichi's Journals and other Pure Land info.
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,913
    Likes Received:
    1,084
    Well I've got the book and just perused it over my lunchtime sandwich...

    And I have to say, in reading Section One I, that Suzuki makes certain fundamental misconceptions regarding Christianity that, in light of the fact he does not understand Christianity, I hold little doubt of him grasping the nature and meaning of Eckhart beyond the superficial similarities to Zen.

    I think Suzuki seeks to interpret Christianity, to read it through Zen, rather than contemplate it on its own terms — that he approaches with presuppositions cannot be denied. (It's a bit like a Christian misrepresenting the Amida Buddha as a necessary figure of Christ because without it, Buddhism is left wanting.)

    I found this essay enlightening!

    +++

    Having said the above, I would further say that Eckhart speaks from the standpoint of the Gottheit, the Urgrund, of The Divine Nature as Itself, and thus he transcends the forms of Divine Manifestation in the Oikonomia ('plan') of Salvation, and furthermore the figures and tropes deployed in both cataphatic and apophatic theology — Eckhart writes of what the Fathers called the Arche Anarchos, the 'Principle without Principle' — and his writing might be referred to as a pure metaphysic, or perhaps metaontology.

    What is crucial to understand is that Eckhart's language is understood (by those with the eyes to see) on the one hand and appropriated on the other precisely because it speaks of universals and is thus common to all authentic metaphysical systems, or should we say once the metaphysic speaks beyond the bounds of its own context than the universal becomes apparent as 'co-incidence' — Eckhart is no more Zen than one's Zen master is Christian. Or Sufi or Brahmin, for that matter.

    But what should never be (but is so often and so readily) forgotten or misconstrued is that Eckhart speaks from within the Christian Tradition. The idea that he thinks 'outside the box' or has 'transcended' Biblical Revelation is a nonsense. For him, without the Incarnate Christ the Incarnate Word in the soul simply would not be. Jesus of Nazareth is, for Eckhart, the Principle without Principle made manifest as man to man is that Principle realised in the world that the word might realise the Principle (to paraphrase the fathers). The Divine Oikonomia is the expedient means (an upaya if you will) of his salvation. And without it, man would remain lost in darkness and mired in the sin of his individual self-reflective becoming.
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    20,250
    Likes Received:
    1,183
    Do we need Salvation?

    No we need Merlin, I mean more threads on Merton.

    Is salvation saving us from the known for the sake of the unknown?
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  19. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    356
    Ok, so this is moving in the direction of: Do we need to be miserable in this life, in order to be happy in the next one? Obviously not, imo.

    But in a lot of ways 'salvation' or 'enlightenment' (aka @stranger) makes the troubles of this world more endurable? It shows suffering as temporary -- this too shall pass -- and even gives pain a purpose: as a purification of the soul.

    The parable of Lazarus and the rich man.

    Life is pain, Highness.

    Or as Mother Theresa said: 'Suffering can be holy.'

    Of course that comment has been taken and twisted by people like Christopher Hitchens to mean she wanted people to suffer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  20. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    356
    But the 'narrow' way does mean forgoing -- or at least recognizing -- the maya/illusion of the world, in order to enter or perceive beyond the lesser and temporary dimensions of nature, into the higher dimensions of Spirit?
     

Share This Page