January 19, 2024
Although I am a non-theistic Buddhist, I have become quite an expert on Christian Universalism (technical word apokatastasis) this being the teaching that eventually all will be saved and all things will be reconciled “in Christ”. Beware of experts? Yes, well, as I say, I’m a bit of an expert…….
My expertise (!) has developed in part from my interest in Interfaith dialogue, an interest now on the wane as most Christians I tend to engage with on various forums have just one starting point i.e. There can be no dialogue between truth (theirs) and error (i.e. anything else) So debate and discussion tends to stall at the first hurdle.
Anyway, I tend to ramble and waffle, finding that expressing myself therapeutic. I’m not really seeking to advance the Universalist cause, more at the moment to say what I find problematic about it. This derives from the old comedy show of the late great Spike Milligan, Q6. Many of his sketches ended with some sort of punch line and then dear old Spike would stand ramrod stiff in the middle of the room and start muttering “What do we do now, what do we do now?”
So Universalism. All are saved, all things are reconciled. But what do we do then? It’s a very good question, and our questions can hold greater gold than many an “answer”, at least I think so.
In my own rather stumbling Pure Land Buddhist way of “no-calculation” the “journey itself is home”, as the Japanese poet Basho has said. There is no final destination. The road goes on forever. And one of my mentors in zen, Dogen, speaks of the present moment being the only moment, “yet there is a movement toward Buddha”, an ever opening intimacy with Reality.
Another aspect is the guy (I can’t remember who) who said that he would rather constantly pursue Truth rather than actually find it or have it “revealed” to him. What do you do with it when you have found it? Could any final “truth” even be of words?
Well, that’s it. A bit on name dropping. But I’m basically harmless.
Thank you if you have read this far.