More Berzinarchives on Islam and Buddhism
Berzinarchives.com on Islamic - Buddhist Dialogue wrote:Indonesia
The primarily Muslim state of Indonesia officially permits six religions – Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism – on the grounds that they all accept a creator God. In order to fulfill this requirement, Indonesian Buddhists posit Adibuddha, the primordial Buddha of The Kalachakra Tantra, as the creator. The Kalachakra teachings had flourished in Indonesia, especially during the late tenth century, as reported by Atisha during his visit. Nowadays, there is very little knowledge of those teachings there.
During a lecture tour of Indonesia in 1988, I had many discussions with Buddhist monks about the issue of God in Buddhism. Since Adibuddha can be interpreted as the clear light primordial consciousness, and since all appearances of samsara and nirvana are the play or “creation” of that mind, we concluded that there is no reason to feel uncomfortable in saying that Buddhism accepts a creator God. The fact that Buddhism asserts Adibuddha not to be an individual separate being, but something present in each sentient being, is just a matter of theological differences concerning the nature of God. Many Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Hindu thinkers assert that God is abstract and present in all beings. As the Muslims say, “Allah has many names.”
Therefore, from my experience in Indonesia, I agreed, on the basis of Adibuddha, that Buddhism does accept a creator God, but with its own unique interpretation. Once this common ground was established, I was easily able to begin a comfortable dialogue with the Islamic theologians in Turkey. They invited me to return to their university later that year to lecture to the student body and faculty on Buddhism and the relation between Islam and Buddhism.
Dialogue between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and a West African Sufi Master
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has had contact with Islamic leaders around the world for many years. After my return to India from Turkey, I accompanied Dr. Tirmiziou Diallo, the hereditary Sufi religious leader of Guinea, West Africa, to Dharamsala to meet with His Holiness. In the days prior to the audience, he and I discussed further the meaning of “people of the Book.” Dr. Diallo felt it refers to people who follow the “Primordial Tradition.” This can be called the wisdom of Allah or God, or as I suggested to him in Buddhist terms, primordial deep awareness. Thus, he readily accepted that the primordial tradition of wisdom was revealed not only by Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, but also by Buddha. If people follow this innate primordial tradition and wisdom, they are “people of the Book.” But, if they go against this basic good and wise nature of humankind and the universe, they are not of the “Book.”
In this sense, then, it is acceptable to say that Buddha was a prophet of God and this fits in well with the interpretation of the Turkish professors that “people of the Book” refer to those who accept the creator God. Adibuddha, as the clear light mind, is not only primordial deep awareness, but the creator of all appearances. Dr. Diallo was very happy with this discussion and cited a hadith (personal saying of Muhammad) enjoining his followers to seek wisdom all the way up to China.
Dr. Diallo himself followed the principles of this hadith. He attended the last day of His Holiness’s discourse on Shantideva’s Bodhicharyavatara (Engaging in Bodhisattva Behavior), including the Avalokiteshvara empowerment His Holiness conferred. He was especially moved by the bodhisattva vows. In the Sufi traditions of West Africa, there is also a total commitment to seeking the perfection that is beyond words and serving all creation.
On the last day of his visit, Dr. Diallo had his private audience with His Holiness. Dressed in elegant white robes, the majestic African spiritual leader was so moved upon first being in His Holiness’s presence, he began to weep. Without asking his attendant as he normally would, His Holiness personally went to his anteroom and brought back a tissue, which he offered the Sufi master to wipe his tears. Dr. Diallo presented His Holiness with a traditional Muslim headdress, which His Holiness put on without hesitation and wore for the remainder of the audience.
His Holiness opened the dialogue by explaining that if both Buddhists and Muslims remain flexible in their thinking, fruitful and open dialogue is possible. The encounter was extremely warm and emotionally touching. His Holiness asked numerous questions about the Sufi meditation tradition, specifically concerning the West African lineages that emphasize the practice of love, compassion, and service. Dr. Diallo had been living in exile for many years in Germany after a communist takeover of his country. There were many things in common that the two men shared. Both His Holiness and Dr. Diallo pledged to continue the Islamic-Buddhist dialogue in the future....
Albert Pike wrote:
XVIII. KNIGHT ROSE CROIX
[Prince Rose Croix.]
"The first Masonic Legislator whose memory is preserved to us by history, was Buddha, who, about a thousand years before the Christian era, reformed the religion of Manous. He called to the Priesthood all men, without distinction of caste, who felt themselves inspired by God to instruct men. Those who so associated themselves formed a Society of Prophets under the name of Samaneans. They recognized the existence of a single uncreated God, in whose bosom everything grows, is developed and transformed." — Morals and Dogma
Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins - by Manly P. Hall 1901-1990 From Lectures on Ancient Philosophy—An Introduction to the Study and Application of Rational Procedure: The Hall Publishing Company, Los Angeles, First Edition 1929, pp 397-417 wrote:
Father C. R. C., the Master of the Rose Cross, was initiated into the Great Work at Damcar. Later at Fez, further information was given him relating to the sorcery of the Arabians. From these wizards of the desert C. R. C. also secured the sacred book M, which is declared to have contained the accumulated knowledge of the world. This volume was translated into Latin by C. R. C. for the edification of his order, but only the initiates know the present hidden repository of the Rosicrucian manuscripts, charters, and manifestos. From the Arabians C. R. C. also learned of the elemental peoples and how, with their aid, it was possible to gain admission to the ethereal world where dwelt the genii and Nature spirits. C.R.C. thus discovered that the magical creatures of the Arabian Nights Entertainment actually existed, though invisible to the ordinary mortal. From astrologers living in the desert far from the concourse of the market-place he was further instructed concerning the mysteries of the stars, the virtues resident in the astral light, the rituals of magic and invocation, the preparation of therapeutic talismans, and the binding of the genii. C. R. C. became an adept n the gathering of medicinal herbs, the transmutation of metals, and the manufacture of precious gems by artificial means. Even the secret of the Elixir of Life and the Universal Panacea were communicated to him. Enriched thus beyond the dreams of Croesus, the Holy Master returned to Europe and there established a House of Wisdom which he called Domus Sancti Spiritus. This house he enveloped in clouds, it is said, so that men could not discover it. What are these "clouds," however, but the rituals and symbols under which is concealed the Great Arcanum-that unspeakable mystery which every true Mason must seek if he would become in reality a "Prince of the Royal Secret"?
Ancient and Primitive Rite Mason H.P. Blavatsky wrote:
...Though I have nothing to do with American modern Masonry, and do not expect to have, yet, feeling highly honoured by the distinction conferred upon me by Brother Yarker, I mean to stand for my chartered rights, and to recognize no other authority than that of the high Masons of England, who have been pleased to send me this unsolicited and unexpected testimonial of their approval of my humble labours.
Of a piece with the above is the ignorant rudeness of certain critics who pronounce Cagliostro an "impostor" and his desire of engrafting Eastern Philosophy upon Western Masonry "charlatanism." Without such a union Western Masonry is a corpse without a soul. As Yarker observes, in his Notes on the Mysteries of Antiquity:
"As the Masonic fraternity is now governed, the Craft is becoming a storehouse of paltry Masonic emperors and other charlatans, who swindle their brothers, and feather their nests out of the aristocratic pretensions which they have tacked on to our institutions—ad captandum vulgus."
- H.P. Blavatsky's Masonic Patent
That we may not be accused of vain boasting, we shall give the keys to several of the secret ciphers of the most exclusive and important of the so-called higher Masonic degrees. If we mistake not, these have never before been revealed to the outside world (except that of the Royal Arch Masons, in 1830), but have been most jealously guarded within the various Orders. We are under neither promise, obligation, nor oath; and therefore violate no confidence. Our purpose is not to gratify an idle curiosity; we wish merely to show Masons and the affiliates of all other Western societies — the Company of Jesus included — that it is impossible for them to be secure in the possession of any secrets that it is worth an Eastern Brotherhood's while to discover. Inferentially, it may also show them that if the latter can lift the masks of European societies, they are nevertheless successful in wearing their own visors; for, if any one thing is universally acknowledged, it is that the real secrets of not a single surviving ancient brotherhood are in possession of the profane. - Isis Unveiled
Also, it used to take much longer to receive the 32nd Degree, and I believe that one had to have at least the 32nd Degree of the Scottish Rite or at least have all of the main York Rite degrees before being able to join the Shriners:
Sayyid Fard Muhammad wrote:
"Why does Muhammad make the Devil Study from
thirty-five to fifty years before he can call himself a
Muslim son? And wear the greatest and only Flag of the
Universe? And he must add a sword on the upper part of
the Holy and Greatest Universe Flag of Islam?
Answer: So that he could clean himself up.
A Muslim does not love the Devil regardless to how
long he studies. After he has devoted thirty-five or
fifty years trying to learn and do like the Original
Man, he could come and do trading among us and
we would not kill him as quick as we would the
other Devils - that is, who have not gone under
After he goes through with this Labor from
thirty-five to fifty years, we permit him to wear our
Holy Flag, which is the Sun, Moon and Star. He
must add the sword on the upper part.
The sword is the emblem of Justice and it was
used by the original man in Muhammad's time.
Thus, it was placed on the upper part of the Flag
so that the Devil can always see it, so he will keep
in mind that any time he reveals the Secrets, his
head would be taken off by the sword.
We give him this chance so that he could clean
himself up and come among us.
The Holy Flag of Islam is the greatest and only Flag
The Universe is everything - Sun Moon and Stars.
They are planets. Planets are something grown or
made from the beginning.
And holy is something that has not been diluted,
mixed or tampered with in any form."
The older writings on Masonry are much better than pretty much any of the newer writings. Some examples of older writings:
Jorge Adoum, The Noble Drew Ali, Dante Alighieri, Johann Valentin-Andreae/Francis Bacon, Elias Ashmole, William Blake, H.P. Blavatsky, Jacob Boehme, J.D. Buck, Robert Burton, Cagliostro, Albert Churchward, Henry W. Coil, Malcolm C. Duncan, Robert Fludd, Dion Fortune, Fulcanelli, Jocelyn Godwin, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Robert Freke Gould, Manly P. Hall, Franz Hartmann, Max Heindel, Arnold Krumm-Heller (Huiracocha), Godfrey Higgins, John Heydon, Hargrave Jennings, Athanasius Kircher, Heinrich(or Henry) Khunrath, C.W. Leadbeater, Eliphas Levi, Schwaller de Lubicz, Mario Roso de Luna, David Murray-Lyon, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Robert Macoy, Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie, Albert G. Mackey, Michael Maier, Gerald Massey, S.L. MacGregor Mathers, G.R.S. Mead, Mirandola, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Isaac Myer, Isabel Cooper-Oakley, H.S. Olcott, Fabre d'Olivet, Paracelsus, Eugenius Philalethes, Albert Pike, [Proclus, Plotinus (see Thomas Taylor)], Ragon, Knorr Von Rosenroth, Ammonius Sacca, Rudolph Steiner, Thomas Vaughan, J.S.M. Ward, William Wynn Westcott, W.L. Wilmshurst, John Yarker, and a few others.
Some of the newer Moorish Science Temple, Nation of Islam, & Nation of Gods and Earths writings on Freemasonry and Masonry are interesting though.