Money Power and Usury are the battles on the material plane. The real issue is our enslavement to the material world, our preoccupation with self.
The Krishna and the Buddha associated self with what the Buddha called the five aggregates: awareness, mind, heart, senses and matter.
Jesus told us to crucify self. To me, this is the same as Buddha teaching to stop clinging to the five aggregates. Both Jesus and Paul tell us we must first die (to self) to be born again. Life begins when self dies.
Lao Tse also gave good advice on how to die to ego. I’m profoundly impressed with the Tao, which is very close to Christianity proper.
Here is its first chapter in a ‘literal’ translation:
1. The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
2. The name that can be named is not the eternal name
3. The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
4. The named is the mother of myriad things
5. Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence
6. Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations
7. These two emerge together but differ in name
8. The unity is said to be the mystery
9. Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders
What this says is that there is the ‘nameless’, which is the Transcendental Creator, and the ‘named’, which is God Immanent, the Creator active in His creation.
Verses 5 and 6 have the same meaning as ‘to be in this world, but not of it’.
My main inspiration is Jesus Christ. Only after getting a real grasp of Christianity proper, did I start to really admire other traditions, although I studied these first and without them I would probably never have understood Jesus.
Here’s John 1:1-4:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
These, to my mind, are the most important ontological verses of the Bible. They also make clear that God has two aspects: Transcendent and Immanent. Both beyond and in His creation.
Jesus called God Transcendent the Father and God Immanent the Son.
Just like the Tao, John here says that the Word, God Immanent, created everything. Jesus Christ is actually the name of the Word.
In John 1:10 and 1:14 John says Jesus the man was the Word incarnate and I have no doubt that he was.
That’s why Jesus was the most important of all God’s messengers. He WAS God. That’s why the Bible, ultimately, is the greatest of all books, although it is badly compromised, these days, both through translation and because important texts were left out of its final version.
When Jesus says I, He is expressing the words of the Word. This is very important to understand the Bible. Exoteric Christianity does not understand this, hence its preoccupation with a dead man.
The Word lives. He is the Savior. The Creator of Everything. He is with us now, and we are in Him. When we pray to Jesus, we pray to the Living Spirit that we can learn to see in meditation. This Spirit is not really hard to recognize. The Bible explains God is eternal, unchangeable. If you see ‘emptiness’, as the Buddhist call it, in meditation, the eternal, the unchangeable. Then you know the Word. The Name(d). Then you know Jesus Christ.
To believe in Jesus is not to say: Jesus is Lord and my Savior. To believe in Jesus is to transcend self, connect to ‘emptiness’ and to learn its will and do it. Then you are sinless and saved. Then there is no more karma.
The Bible provides so many insights into our current predicament. Jesus’ predictions of how things would get worse, and our task in living through it:
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (Matthew 24:13-15)
The Holy Place is to be selfless in ‘emptiness’. In Jesus Christ, the Word, the Living God.
There is little need for religious strife. The Word has no love for a battle of words. All we need is to see that there are many words for the One Word. Many names for the One Name.
Mystics of all ages and all persuasions have described an unspeakable mystical experience. I have not experienced it. But I do believe that when “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6), He means that when we truly die to self and come close enough to the Word, He, at the time that He chooses, will let you know the Father, God Transcendent. This is the mystical experience.