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February 19, 2014

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Methexis: your pride prevents you from seaking help. Go talk to a competent priest or monk. Your idea of God needs to be challenged.

Methexis, all I can say is I hope and pray most fervently for your spiritual wellbeing, whatever path that may take. I have often enjoyed our dialogues and I hope that whatever crisis you are going through diminishes, and that you find in whatever path you choose the strength and inspiration that only a contemplative and spiritual life offers.

My hope also is that you will remember the teachings of Christ, as those of the Buddha, cohere toward kindness, tolerance, and gentleness, and that you do not spare these virtues especially in regard to how you view yourself. You have what you need to overcome these troubles, so be gentle with yourself, take your time, think it through. And especially go easy on yourself, my friend.

Whatever it is that led to so much distress, this too shall pass. My thoughts are with you.

That quotation, as you have referenced it, is found on the internet only in Pali. Here it is in English, identified under a different system of identification of the verses:
http://www.buddhismtoday.com/english/texts/khuddaka/udana/ud8-3.html

N. Yeti: Pusan (AKA Marty AKA Vajragoni) banned me so I can't reply to you there on UBM. I hope Zennist will forgive me and allow me to reply here, since I don't have your E-mail.

God is punishing me and making me suffer and I understand this suffering not as something that has to be transcended through meditation, but as his righteous work on me. He will torture me until he hopefully kills me, and through faith in Christ may I be resurrected, this is my prayer to Him.

While reading German philosophers I suddenly realized that all the gems I discovered in Buddhism, Nichiren's "bodily reading", Shinran's "faith alone / grace alone", Lotus Sutra's "Eternal Buddha" were already present in Christ, but not as a myth (like Amida is) but as a real, historical person.

So in restrospective I see I went to Buddhism because my Roman Catholic upbringing didn't teach me about salvation through faith alone, by grace. So I had to explore that foreign tradition until I finally found the Pure Land teachings of faith and grace.

However something was lacking, still. Namely, Christ. The real historical living God who died on the cross.

Now I am not a better person, in fact I am worse ... God caused my sin to multiply. He's exposing me for the wretched being I really am. But this process is necessary ... and I thank Him for it.

I think we all have this intuition of the absolute, which is itself (by this I mean our corporeal awareness, our "aliveness" so to speak) a phenomenon of physical existence. And from this phenomenal occurance of perception, which is mystical, arises the epiphenomenon of belief. It is almost as though belief were a sea bird, hovering just over the waves (our lives), which themselves are manifestations of the absolute (ocean). The reason I mention this is because one of the great difficulties I perceive in addressing this problem of the absolute is reliance upon the sea-bird to point the way to the ocean. In truth, belief can be a distraction from awareness of the absolute, even though belief too has no separate existence from that which is absolute.

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