Musings & Adventures

Frustration with the Sermon on the Mount

This article about De Blasio visiting the Vatican made me want to read the Sermon on the Mount, hoping I might be able to use those verses as a baseline for finding commonality with Christians. That went great until:

“anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

This is terrible, harmful, destructive, wrong-headed advice. No wonder Christians have caused so much damage to themselves and others in the 1500 years since their rise to power in Europe. Even the most gracious excerpt from their Good Book teach you to hate your mind and to harm yourself both physically and psychically when natural processes happen.

And then along came some of the language that strips women of agency in their relationships:

“anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.”

At which point I gave up, for the thousandth time, on finding ways to appreciate more than a few discrete verses from the Bible.

Meditatation, Musings & Adventures

Inconcievable Creator

Friday 25 January 2013, Pullahari

This morning I learned that Tibetan Buddhist philosophers have a term for the kind of God posited by traditions like Judaism, Christianity & Islam.  They call it sam minchi chepo (tib. བསམ་མིན་གྱི་བྱེད་པོ་) an inconcievable creator .  This is probably a translation of an older sanskrit term, but we didn’t cover that.  It refers to philosophical systems that posit a creator god without any reference to valid cognition or logic.  In other words, a sam minchi chepo is a creator whose existence can’t be established by verifiable observation nor through inferential cognition.

There’s something satisfying about seeing this oppressive topic packaged up with a simple label.  In western cultural dialogue, so much of philosophy, religion, metaphysics and discourse about spiritual paths is dominated by this single question about whether the creator God exists.  Meanwhile, the Buddhists wander through that field and say “Oh.  You believe in a བསམ་མིན་གྱི་བྱེད་པོ་.  That’s problematic.  Let’s move on – so much else to cover!”