BaruchThis is a universal problem ...Mon Mar 12, 2012 18:3818.104.22.168800 years ago, the Japanese nobleman, Dogen, who was already a Buddhist monk, went to China to find someone who could teach him "real" Buddhism. He didn't think he could find it in his own country, which had already had Buddhism in the upper class for over 400 years. But Buddhism hadn't penetrated to the average person yet, and being a Buddhist himself, this aroused his compassion and patriotism. So he went all the way to China, to find real Buddhism. And he searched quite a while, visiting many temples and monasteries, and had a very hard time finding anyone to teach him. He knew what Buddhism wasn't ... but was still seeking someone who knew, and could convey, what Buddhism was. He encountered in his own country and in China, many monks and priests who only had external religion. Dogen's calling was to internal religion (and in Buddhism this meant Chan (Zen in Japan). After a few years of searching, he finally found one abbot who didn't set off his "false dharma" alarm. The true dharma was conveyed to him, and he returned to Japan, to become one of the most successful Buddhists in their history ... and his legacy continues to be relevant and supported even today. I have visited the monastery he established in western Japan. He had to get out of the capitals (Kyoto - emperor ... Kamakura - shogun) to avoid the corruption of power. Of course this was only possible by the support of lay members giving real estate and money ... and alms of rice and diakon. The role of an abbot, in Medieval Ireland (where private confession was invented), or in Medieval Japan, was precisely to provide an example (and in real spirituality, with poverty), and to provide advice when necessary. Of course, powerful lay people, can be just as corrupt as a bad priest.
There are clergy, there are laity. But what you are talking about are saints. A clergy or laity might be a saint, but that is in addition. There are very few people who volunteer to be a saint. But there are for example several Japanese who are called Buddhist saints, and Dogen is one of them. IMHO ... the situation with Christianity, as a whole, has been unsatisfactory since 325 CE ... but there have been individual Christian saints, known and unknown, who have risen above this. In Catholicism, this is called the tares and grain ... tares (cheat) being just like wheat, before the grain forms. And hence the parable, of the tares being separated at harvest, to be burnt. But then the grain gets decapitated as the heads are crushed and winnowed.
- More on Reading MN_Morgan, Mon Mar 12 13:52I read in National Geographic that some Scottish towns that solely spoke Gaelic would learn English from the Bible and from the church. This is the problem I have with crooked clergy. They take... more
- This is a universal problem ... Baruch, Mon Mar 12 18:38
- Re: More on Reading Mirage, Mon Mar 12 14:31Abraham Lincoln also taught himself to read from a Bible. I can understand that depending on the beliefs of the people at a church, there might be candidates those people tend to prefer, but yeah, I... more
- More so ... Baruch, Mon Mar 12 21:45G-d, charity and spiritual work, are what life is supposed to be about. This is why materialism and egotism will always fail, because they are what death is about. Shalom