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Who is the arbiter

Reader comment on item: Ban Islam?
in response to reader comment: still not a flier

Submitted by Concerned European (Lithuania), Sep 14, 2007 at 02:11

[Who is the arbiter? To my mind, God as portrayed in the Bible. To yours, yourself, I presume.]

It cannot be answered simply by yes or no. As Buddha has told the ordinary human self is illusionary, ever changing, torn apart by numerous desires, wishes, errors and passions. However under this illusionary self there is hidden our True Self - the Buddha nature. There relation between the two can be compared to waves and water. When the waves are calmed down, appears the vast extense of water. When the passions of our selfish and ignorant ego are calmed, then appears the Nature of Buddha - the substratum of all existense. It is the real arbiter. Since I am not enlightened myself, I have to read books writen by those who have achieved enlightment during their lives and try to comprehend what they have taught. But I will really have my own arbiter only when I will become enlightened myself. Maybe it will happen in this life, more probably it will happen only in one of subsequent lives.

You say your arbiter is "God as potrayed in the Bible". However "God of the Bible" is silent. It only exists in the form of text. In order to extract the meaning of the text you must interpret it. But who are those who interpret? Simple humans with minds which are by no means divine - placed in limited context, riddled with passions, bound by ignorance. So how you expect humans could discover the real meaning of the Bible? And how you yourself? Do you rely on yourself? Do you consider your authority to be Luther, Calvin, Roman Pope or Church Fathers? Or do you interpret the Bible by reason? In this case you should maybe come to understand that God who threatens to throw his enemies in the lake of brimstone is only marginally better than God who commands his Prophet and believers to raid caravans and slay disbelievers.

And who is the arbiter for Muslims? For Sufis, the arbiter is al-Haqq - the same enlightened mind or substratum of all existence(wujud). A really enlightened Sufi, can say following the shaheed Mansoor al-Hallaj - ana l-Haqq (I am God or I am Real or I am Existence). It is surprising to see how the enlightened mind of Sufis is able to extract deep spiritual meanings from some verses of Quran which do not appear very enlightened from the first sight. The enlightened mind possess the miraculous power to melt away even the trenchant sword of Qur'an.

While for islamists the "arbiter" is their illusionary false selves shrouded in the most thick cover of hate and ignorance. Which such minds, they probably would make into the cookbook of terrorism not only Quran, but the sonets of Shakespeare and the love poetry of Petrarca as well :((

Having said all that I personally still prefer Lotus sutra or Dhammapada to Quran. Because some medicine is useful only while in the hands of a skilled doctor, it is not wise to give it into the hands of "ignorant children". On the other hand, there are substances which can be inbibed by everyone without any harm and with much profit.

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