How Christ and Buddha's found their "way out"
- This is a small part of an amazing interview with
Bernadette Roberts that can be found at:
Paradoxical though it may seem, the passage through
consciousness or self moves contrary to self, rubs
it the wrong way - and in the end, will even rub it
out. Because this passage goes against the grain of
self, it is, therefore, a path of suffering. Both
Christ and Buddha saw the passage as one of suffering,
and basically found identical ways out. What they
discovered and revealed to us was that each of us has
within himself or herself a "stillpoint" - comparable,
perhaps to the eye of a cyclone, a spot or center of
calm, imperturbability, and non-movement. Buddha
articulated this central eye in negative terms as
"emptiness" or "void", a refuge from the swirling
cyclone of endless suffering. Christ articulated the
eye in more positive terms as the "Kingdom of God"
or the "Spirit within", a place of refuge and
salvation from a suffering self.
For both of them, the easy out was first to find
that stillpoint and then, by attaching ourselves to
it, by becoming one with it, to find a stabilizing,
balanced anchor in our lives. After that, the cyclone
is gradually drawn into the eye, and the suffering
self comes to an end. And when there is no longer a
cyclone, there is also no longer an eye. So the storms,
crises, and sufferings of life are a way of finding
the eye. When everything is going our way, we do not
see the eye, and we feel no need to find it. But when
everything is going against us, then we find the eye.
So the avoidance of suffering and the desire to have
everything go our own way runs contrary to the whole
movement of our journey; it is all a wrong view. With
the right view, however, one should be able to come to
the state of oneness in six or seven years - years not
merely of suffering, but years of enlightenment, for
right suffering is the essence of enlightenment. Because
self is everyone's experience underlying all culture.
I do not regard cultural wrong views as an excuse for
not searching out right views. After all, each person's
passage is his or her own; there is no such thing as a
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