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Jesus & Buddha Essay, Research Paper

Jesus & Buddha

Brett Schopen

Western Traditions 201


Disciple?: I have heard that you are two of the wisest men in the land and so I

have come to you in hopes of advise. I am scared for my future and for the

future of my newborn daughter. Can you tell me what is in store for us or

give me an assurance me that we will be all right? Jesus: Do not worry

about your life. Do not worry about food, drink, the body. Life is more than

these things. Believe in your heavenly Father. He knows what you need and will

provide you with it if you practice and have faith in his teachings. Strive for

the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to

you as well. Buddha: No. Comfort in the present and future must come from

inside the self , not from a God. In meditation you will find the truth of

life that will set you free from worry.

Don’t chase after the past,

Don’t seek the future;

The past is gone

The future hasn’t come

But see clearly on the spot

That object which is now,

While finding and living in

A still, unmoving state of mind.

This focus on the present is the beginning of the path to enlightenment

which is comfort through understanding. When you are able to keep your

mind focused on the present in a ?still, unmoving state of mind’ you have

reached enlightenment, where you will be beyond all emotion including

suffering and worry.

Jesus: That is not so. A search for the entire true of life can never make you

content in your life because you can never know everything there is. That

is for God alone to know. To enter the kingdom of heaven you must have

faith in our Father. You must trust in His wisdom even in hard times.

For to know all and understand all you would be a god. And putting

yourself on a platform with God is disrespectful and blasphemous. But if you

follow His laws your suffering will end in the hereafter.

Buddha: Truth is available to all people not just gods. For truth is in all

things in the universe. We only have to learn not to react with emotion to

see it. If you can master not reacting through meditation you will see the

true nature of the universe that lies behind the illusion of emotion. In this

truth you will see the cause and effect relationship of all things and

in that an order which will bring you understanding and comfort.

Disciple?: What are the truths and teachings you speak of?

Jesus: In everything do to others as you would have them do to you. Always

live by this rule and respect your Father and you will one day be

allowed to walk beside Him in the kingdom of heaven.

Buddha: In this we do not much differ. The most fundamental truth is to have

compassion for all creatures. Without this you can never end suffering .

“If a man foolishly does me wrong, I will return to him the protection of

my ungrudging love. In trying to cause another anguish you only hurt

yourself. A wicked man who spits at heaven spoils not the heaven, but

defiles himself when the spittle comes back on him.”

Disciple?: But how can I know who is right?

Jesus: You can know I speak the truth because I am our Father’s Son and I carry

his word. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of

heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed

are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be

filled. Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.”

Disciple?: That seems fair. But if I believe in God I cannot be saved because I

have already gone against these without even knowing it.

Jesus: You can still be saved my son. For I am the Son of God and I am here to

heal you and absolve your sins.

Disciple?: You even have the power to cleanse my rotted leg?

Jesus: Yes I do. Be made clean!

Disciple?: OH MY?! My eyes deceive my mind! How can this be?!?

Jesus: The power of God my son.

Buddha: My dear boy do you not see that no matter what power he might have he

cannot truly free you from suffering? In your reaction to his healing

you started again the cycle that leads to suffering but he leaves you no way

to end it. Suffering is “any craving that is unsatisfied.” If you are never

allowed to find out how this can be, because you can’t question, you will

always suffer from your desire. To destroy this suffering you must free

the self from the thirst of desire. But you can never do that if you’re

eyes are fighting with your mind, if you are fighting with yourself. There is

an eight fold path which leads to the destruction of sorrow. Right

understanding1 and thought2, that lead to wisdom. Right speech3, action4,

and livelihood5, that lead to morality. Right effort6, minfulness7, and

concentration8, that lead to concentration. But accepting his power on faith

as unexplainable keeps you from the first step on the path, understanding. As

d oes reacting favorably to the laws he states because they “seem” fair. If

you react to them as fair and take them as true because “He” says so, you give

up your power to be enlightened in your search for the truth. Without that to

end your suffering you will go to his heaven with your desires numbed or

constantly filled, but never quenched, and you will never truly be happy

Disciple?: I am still thoroughly confused. Is there no definite answer!?

Buddha: Not that we can give you. It is a question of faith in what could be

or proof in what is.

Jesus: Whether you trust in yourself or in the Almighty.

Buddha: Whether you think comfort comes from the process of learning or simply

having the answer.

Jesus: It is a question of right and wrong.

Buddha: It is a question of what you know in your heart of hearts.

Disciple?: Thank you Jesus and Buddha. Although I am still deeply confused I

know that only I have the answer. So I will be off to find out who and

what, I believe.

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