Spelare wrote: ↑
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
So, in a way, this answers the question of what ChNN was doing talking about God and Jesus. He's in good company when we look at what Buddhist tantrikas did from early on. In that sense, what he said is not innovative, but in keeping with tradition. It just looks innovative to us because we're used to a contemporary Western way of holding religions as closed canons that are unalterable, and where borrowing automatically entails a lamentable syncretism. These things were certainly regarded differently in Asia, and still are to a degree.
It's like we're unwilling to be mentally supple in this particular regard, in spite of all that our tradition has taught us about such suppleness being worth cultivating. Masters like ChNN have no problem reading the Bible and its major figures from a Dzogchen perspective. They can view God as a conceptual stand-in for our real nature. And why not?
Why not allow the scriptures, legends, and luminaries of other traditions to be encoded for you as reminders of the Dzogchen view? Surely seeing them in that way is more in line with pure vision than feeling some need to avoid them. They are going to be encountered, so let them be seen as ornaments rather than as defilements.
And you can do this knowing full well that the overwhelming majority of those around you in a given church, mosque, or synagogue do not share your understanding. That their views are not ones with the potential to liberate. But you can, at least, have the minimal knowledge that enables you to be in relation and dialogue rather than holding yourself apart. You can enjoy the religious expressions of others while seeing clearly and not falling into confusion!
I can't concur. Yes, centuries ago there were Buddhist practitioners who engaged in syncretism and re-purposing of figures from other religious traditions. You ask why we shouldn't do that today. There are at least two reasons.
(1) We don't need to. We already have an absurd wealth of teachings available to us. No person could in their lifetime practice more than the smallest fraction of the teachings available.
(2) It might not work. We may take the view that the practices associated with Sri Heruka, or at least elements thereof, were appropriated from non-Buddhist sources. But we have centuries of evidence that what has been handed down does seem to work, in the form of practitioners demonstrating achievements with these practices. This evidence is not definitive, but it's worth something. However if we decide we're going to invent some kind of Jesus sadhana, for instance, we have zero evidence that it will work. People would have to practice it, we would have to wait and see what their legacy was, etc.
Hence it's difficult to see the value in this experiment.
Moreover you do not see serious teachers of the Dharma doing it, apart from the occasional nod toward ecumenicalism in consideration of Western students that you see in the quote that started this thread. Yes, HHDL turns up at interfaith conferences and offers comforting platitudes like "all religions have the same basic goal", because that's what people do at these conferences. But he doesn't think that, nor does the Imam, the Rabbi or the Bishop sat on the same panel. They're all acutely aware that their systems have completely tenet systems or articles of faith.
The problem with comments such as the one at the start of this thread is, what does one actually mean by "God", "our real nature", "the base" and so on. Is ChNN using the word "God" to mean the same thing as a Christian would? Of course not. (And you'd also have to ask, which Christian.) The amount of technical vocabulary in Dzogchen - and the inconsistencies in translations - makes reading texts difficult enough anyway, without having to try to reconcile that to concepts alien to the system.