The missionary... suddenly found it was getting too late
Dec 24, 2008 01:44 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen
My views are:
Hallo, what a happy morning. The sun is shining. But, the climate is changing.
The news this morning in Denmark - Scandinavia was exciting.
They said that the number of ordinary Christian Churches-goers during the past 10 years have fallen with as much as 20 percent! From 48 percent down to 28 percent.
Something is happening in the world!
I feel like saying with King:
"The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee -- the cry is always the same -- "We want to be free."
>From the Key to Theosophy:
"ENQUIRER. But how can you explain those cases which are followed by full success? Where does a Theosophist look to for power to subdue his passions and selfishness?
THEOSOPHIST. To his Higher Self, the divine spirit, or the God in him, and to his Karma. How long shall we have to repeat over and over again that the tree is known by its fruit, the nature of the cause by its effects? You speak of subduing passions, and becoming good through and with the help of God or Christ. We ask, where do you find more virtuous, guiltless people, abstaining from sin and crime, in Christendom or Buddhismâin Christian countries or in heathen lands? Statistics are there to give the answer and corroborate our claims. According to the last census in Ceylon and India, in the comparative table of crimes committed by Christians, Mussulmen, Hindoos, Eurasians, Buddhists, etc., etc., on two millions of population taken at random from each, and covering the misdemeanours of several years, the proportion of crimes committed by the Christian stands as 15 to 4 as against those committed by the Buddhist population. (Vide Lucifer for April, 1888, p. 147, Art. Christian lecturers on Buddhism.) No Orientalist, no historian of any note, or traveller in Buddhist lands, from Bishop Bigandet and Abbe Huc, to Sir William Hunter and every fair-minded official, will fail to give the palm of virtue to Buddhists before Christians. Yet the former (not the true Buddhist Siamese sect, at all events) do not believe in either God or a future reward, outside of this earth. They do not pray, neither priests nor laymen. "Pray!" they would exclaim in wonder, "to whom, or what?"
ENQUIRER. Then they are truly Atheists.
THEOSOPHIST. Most undeniably, but they are also the most virtue-loving and virtue-keeping men in the whole world. Buddhism says: Respect the religions of other men and remain true to your own; but Church Christianity, denouncing all the gods of other nations as devils, would doom every non-Christian to eternal perdition.
ENQUIRER. Does not the Buddhist priesthood do the same?
THEOSOPHIST. Never. They hold too much to the wise precept found in the DAMMAPADA to do so, for they know that, "If any man, whether he be learned or not, consider himself so great as to despise other men, he is like a blind man holding a candle â blind himself, he illumines others.""
ON THE SOURCE OF THE HUMAN SOUL
ENQUIRER. How, then, do you account for man being endowed with a Spirit and Soul? Whence these?
THEOSOPHIST. From the Universal Soul. Certainly not bestowed by a personal God. Whence the moist element in the jelly-fish? From the Ocean which surrounds it, in which it lives and breathes and has its being, and whither it returns when dissolved.
ENQUIRER. So you reject the teaching that Soul is given, or breathed into man, by God?
THEOSOPHIST. We are obliged to. The "Soul" spoken of in ch. ii. of Genesis (v. 7) is, as therein stated, the "living Soul" or Nephesh (the vital, animal soul) with which God (we say "nature" and immutable law) endows man like every animal. Is not at all the thinking soul or mind; least of all is it the immortal Spirit.
ENQUIRER. Well, let us put it otherwise: is it God who endows man with a human rational Soul and immortal Spirit?
THEOSOPHIST. Again, in the way you put the question, we must object to it. Since we believe in no personal God, how can we believe that he endows man with anything? But granting, for the sake of argument, a God who takes upon himself the risk of creating a new Soul for every new-born baby, all that can be said is that such a God can hardly be regarded as himself endowed with any wisdom or prevision. Certain other difficulties and the impossibility of reconciling this with the claims made for the mercy, justice, equity and omniscience of that God, are so many deadly reefs on which this theological dogma is daily and hourly broken.
ENQUIRER. What do you mean? What difficulties?
THEOSOPHIST. I am thinking of an unanswerable argument offered once in my presence by a Cingalese Buddhist priest, a famous preacher, to a Christian missionary â one in no way ignorant or unprepared for the public discussion during which it was advanced. It was near Colombo, and the Missionary had challenged the priest Megattivati to give his reasons why the Christian God should not be accepted by the "heathen." Well, the Missionary came out of that for ever memorable discussion second best, as usual.
ENQUIRER. I should be glad to learn in what way.
THEOSOPHIST. Simply this: the Buddhist priest premised by asking the padri whether his God had given commandments to Moses only for men to keep, but to be broken by God himself. The missionary denied the supposition indignantly. Well, said his opponent, "you tell us that God makes no exceptions to this rule, and that no Soul can be born without his will. Now God forbids adultery, among other things, and yet you say in the same breath that it is he who creates every baby born, and he who endows it with a Soul. Are we then to understand that the millions of children born in crime and adultery are your God's work? That your God forbids and punishes the breaking of his laws; and that, nevertheless, he creates daily and hourly souls for just such children? According to the simplest logic, your God is an accomplice in the crime; since, but for his help and interference, no such children of lust could be born. Where is the justice of punishing not only the guilty parents but even the innocent babe for that which is done by that very God, whom yet you exonerate from any guilt himself?" The missionary looked at his watch and suddenly found it was getting too late for further discussion.
ENQUIRER. You forget that all such inexplicable cases are mysteries, and that we are forbidden by our religion to pry into the mysteries of God.
THEOSOPHIST. No, we do not forget, but simply reject such impossibilities. Nor do we want you to believe as we do. We only answer the questions you ask. We have, however, another name for your "mysteries." "
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So Merry Christmas....?
And keep breathing the blown breath...?
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