Today is the Spring Equinox. And the Sun came out over Los Angeles to reflect the snow on the northern foothills and sparkle over the surfers in Santa Monica Bay. And equinox is an evening of the length of night and day as Earth not only orbits and spins but also follows a procession, an off tilt wobble that gives us our seasons. It was set on its axis not by chance but by higher intelligences that terraformed the planet and made it habitable and lush, lively and home to many more creatures than we are ever aware of. Sure there are animals -- with the biggest brains on top: the dolphins and other marine mammals, the hybrids, followed by humans, and the rest of the evolving entities. It is "forbidden archeology" to question it, and Dr. Cremo is an outcast to bring it up when the knowledge filterers say, "Creation vs. Evolution, pick a side then sh*t up."
(Vedic2005, Ryuho Okawa 大川隆法, Happy Science 幸福の科学)
What Mahayana did to Buddhism: It made it a kind of Chinese imperial dogma that moved west through Central Asia and finally and most famously to the seat of Christianity. The Maitreya complex became the Messianic complex we live with, setting historical figures on pedestals and then being disappointed. This cartoon is just a cartoon?
No, it's parroting what many believe about their own tradition and making it sound as if Buddhism teaches the same thing but using different names for things. "God" is the "Eternal Buddha, grand savior, Lord El Cantare," solar deity, "parent of human souls," none other than Brahman which Great Brahma is often credited with being.
Myths surrounding Jesus -- who may well have been a Buddhist, a bodhisattva, a great rabbi, a world teacher, a messenger from some world in space -- and other great prophets (Hotei, Krishna, Zoroaster, Mohammed) were not made by Jesus or those other famous figures, but by the same old paganism, the same surviving religious institutions that devas have been feeding humanity on this planet for millenia. And anyone who teaches a different message, one capable of real and final emancipation, must be co-opted.
The historical Buddha Gautama has been co-opted.
"Souls," "saviors," and shorthand-mistranslations lead right back to the ancient Vedic-Sumerian-Egyptian-biblical thinking the historical Buddha rejected. Siddhartha went against the stream and found the ancient path to freedom that is not found by the old usual religions.
What the Buddha set out to do
Before arriving at liberating truth he developed the ten perfections (dasa-paramis) to have the capacity to teach. In this way he would be able to point the way out of this conundrum, this "thicket of views," this hopeless roundabout of faith and philosophizing.
The Vedas (Sanskrit "Knowledge Books") are wonderful. But they are not Buddhism! Much of Mahayana Buddhism is not Buddhism but distinctly opposed to the historical Buddha's message.
It is scandalous to say so, we know, but sometimes it is so obvious that we have to say, "The emperor has no clothes."
The Vedas teach an astrotheology brought by akasha devas visiting Earth, setting up empires, ruling them, inspiring humans to keep those structures and worship practices going while helping them and other types of beings spiritually evolve, then going off in their vimanas (space craft) to the other more advanced worlds they normally inhabit.
Humans and other beings can be reborn there, it is true. That is standard religious dogma. The Buddha did not find enlightenment on Earth so that he could repeat that message. That message never leaves for long.
Endless rebirth, reincarnation in better worlds, meeting with karma in dreadful lesser worlds, chasing after pleasure and ever elusive satisfaction here, there, and anywhere else it might be -- that is not the path.
The Buddha provided something unending, peaceful, beyond ordinary bliss, utterly equanimous and sublime. To call it "nirvana" is to limit it, bundle it into a concept, and seek it the way we do everything else. But nirvana is like nothing else. It is something to be experience while living in this very life. So the question to ask is, What is the way, what is the path?
Zen Mahayana, Tibetan Vajrayana, and Christian -Catholic dogma seem to be in agreement that THIS is it. Just this. The ordinary is the extraordinary. There's nothing more. "Nirvana is samsara" is the mantra. There is no duality, so nonduality must be IT...
Nonsense after nonsense, mystical mumbo jumbo, and is it any wonder no one reaches what the Buddha called enlightenment (bodhi)? It's already here, this is already it, you're a buddha. And no one can say otherwise.
Going Against the Stream
Wisdom Quarterly will say otherwise. The path is mysticism, but not mumbled, jumbled, mystical, magical gibberish. The path leads out of this. Then that will not be different from this (to those still stuck here), that is, it will not look different to us observing how the enlightened look.
But it will be a world of difference to them standing on that side. Enlightened people may indeed say, "Samsara and nirvana are not different," in a sense, now that their whole world and worldview is suffused with peace and safety.
But for us to say it as if it were true for us or for everyone is madness. Nirvana couldn't be more different than samsara. It's not its simple opposite; it's inconceivably different.
For the enlightened, the old world does not blink out of existence. They do not recline, put their feet up, and lay back on their meditation cushions sighing, "Aah, all done." Yet we, hearing that everything is okay and all of our spiritual views are fine, often do. We pray for heaven, think nirvana is either a heaven or complete nonexistence (both of which are completely wrong). Better than all the world and all the riches of the many and varied heavens is to ask, What is the path?