Lightmind Extract 005


Jim 8.28.04
Hi Paul. Good topic and good post.

Wilber doesn’t say much about grace, does he? He does equate grace with agape and he says that grace is freely given and shines on all, urging eros to return to the Source.

In the context of Japanese Buddhism (Zen and Pure Land), he equates grace or agape with “other-power” (tariki in Japanese), and eros with “self-power” (jiriki). He says that the distinction between them is ultimately based on subject-object dualism, and that self and other, eros and agape, are united in nonduality.

Honen, founder of the Pure Land Sect, emphasized the idea that salvation comes through divine initiative rather than human effort. Honen is often compared to Martin Luther, who believed that Christians are saved not through their own efforts but by the gift of God’s grace. (By contrast with Pure Land Buddhism, Zen is considered a jiriki school.)

Ruben Habito is both a Zen teacher (dharma heir to Yamada Koun Roshi) and a practicing Christian who trained to be a Jesuit priest before training in Zen. He says, “Having seen through the delusive ego, the person who has awakened to the true nature of things [sees] that each and every thing in this universe is nothing but the pure grace of God…”

Habito says that he speaks out of an experience of intrareligious dialogue, a term he borrows from Raimundo Pannikar to refer to an encounter of two religious traditions within the same individual. He is thus able to speak “nondualistically” of grace and Zen within the same context.

I think we may have discussed before, that sometimes when someone throws out both the bathwater and the baby of whatever religious tradition they were raised within (however nonorthodoxly that may have been) and turns to a non-theistic “nondualistic” spiritual form and approach, the “baby” may begin to sneak back into the bathtub. One may or may not recognize the signs of this, or welcome it. I think sometimes people are wary of “backsliding” from a nondual perspective to what they think will be a lesser “dualistic” theistic perspective. I think that in such cases, the discarded and forgotten “baby” may be trying to initiate some type of “intrareligious dialogue” which may help balance out a one-sided orientation or tendency. For example, there may be too much reliance on jiriki or “self-power” (even if one thinks one is beyond all dualities), in which case a voice may arise within one’s dreams or fantasies or in myriad other ways, a voice which, if attended to, will remind one that, as you say, “grace is not impossible.”

Thank you for posting on this “squishy, simple-minded” topic!

One Response to “Lightmind Extract 005”

  1. 1 marmalade

    This is an awesome post. I love the idea of “intrareligious dialogue.” And I was amused by the image of the baby sneaking back into the bathtub.

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