OK, so she might not call herself a zen-master – I’ll have to ask – but Audrey Carr, editor of The Zen Game website and newsletter and co-author of The Gospel According to Zen will be on today’s radio program. Audrey and I have been having a written debate in the comments section of previous programs and I was able to persuade her to come on and discuss in person. Among other things, we will probably discuss her emails concerning whether or not there is only one path to God or Heaven (as we discussed last week) as well as the historicity of the resurrection of Christ (I pasted copies of the emails below). The resurrection discussion is interesting in light of last night’s 20/20 program which dealt with this issue. (You can get a good summary of the show at Christianity Today’s outstanding weblog.)
Here are a couple of Audrey’s emails: (the original email was a response to the February 12, 2005 program and my written responses to that email are here.) UPDATE: Also, I have since posted reasons to believe the resurrection here.
1. Dear Don,
While driving home on the Freeway last night, your radio show was being
heard. If there had been a cellphone available, you would have received a call
— responding to many of the questions that were posed.
Yes, there is only ONE TRUTH. And, there is only ONE GOD. However, if one is
still caught in the "many," it is because words, thoughts &
concepts are getting in the way. And "beliefs" are thoughts, too!
Jesus said: "You have forgotten the ONE here-present; and do not know how
to examine THIS moment."
Jesus was "one-with God," for he had discovered that ONLY GOD IS.
It is due to the false belief that we are separated from the Source of Being
that we miss seeing that. It is the "I am the body" belief, which
sustains that separation. For, "dying to Christ" means to let go of
the form as our identity and to discover and surrender to Christ-within — the
spiritual Essence which transcends all forms.
When one becomes a Christian, there is a partial surrender to God. However,
unless the surrender is TOTAL, one continues to live in a divided state of
consciousness. It is from this divided ego-consciousness that beliefs arise.
For like a baby’s pacifier (which is a substitute for the real thing) beliefs
are a substitute for God-Realization.
"Son-of God" is an ancient Hindu term which refers to one who has
realized the Divinity within. Jesus was an Enlightened Master. His term for
Enlightenment was "The Kingdom of Heaven." That is why, when he was
asked where one could find the "Kingdom" which he spoke of, he told
them: "You won’t find it here or there (in time or space), for the Kingdom of Heaven is within you."
The Bible was written not by Jesus, but by his followers, who had not
reached the same Unitary Consciousness. Therefore, when they tried to explain what
He was about, they imposed division on his Unitary Teaching. The division
between "right & wrong," "God & the Devil,"
"man & God," are conceptual divisions, only. Therefore, if one
tries to understand Jesus with the mind, they will fail. For, until the
chattering, ego-mind is totally STILL, and receptive to the ONE here-present,
one will remain in a "fallen" and divided state — separated from
God. As it says in the scriptures, "Be still and KNOW that I AM God."
It is the "I AM" within which is the Universal SELF and our Divine,
Once this is recognized, then all the misunderstanding regarding other
religions and paths to God become quite clear. For, the division between them
is imposed by man, not by God. God is not an old man in a beard, sitting in the
sky; but Formless Consciousness, and our own Innermost BEING. The differences
between the traditions are coming from getting caught in the terms. But all
terms are no more than pointers to the same Reality — which is unnameable.
When this is realized, then one sees that spiritual "arrogance"
applies to those who have only one way of defining the TRUTH. For, all
Spiritual Paths lead to God . . . since, ONLY GOD IS! Where else could they go?
And, Heaven is NOT in the future, for it is Eternally Present. Otherwise, it
would not be eternal! So, if one is still looking for Heaven in the future,
they have not yet discovered the TRUTH. For, discovering that "Heaven is
at hand" means it is already HERE-NOW in THIS moment! One who has Awakened
to this Ultimate Truth sees it everywhere he looks.
"His disciples said:Show us the place where you are,for it is necessary for us to seek it. He said to them: He who has ears, let him hear! There is light within an Enlightened man and it illuminates the whole world; if it does not illuminate it, it is darkness."
2. Your radio program is being heard every week, and it seems as though one theme arises over & over again — and that is with regard to the Truth being linked to the belief that Jesus was Resurrected. Apparently, none of your other listeners have directly challenged the statement. But, from my Understanding, it is FALSE, and a misunderstanding of the deepest Truth of all — upon which the life of Jesus was based.
Did Jesus really live? Yes. Was Jesus, God incarnate? Yes. He was an Enlightened Master, who had realized his Divine Identity and Oneness with God. Did he die on the cross? No. Was he resurrected from the dead? No, he was not. Your claims to know the historical Truth & Teaching of Jesus are based only on the Bible, and take the myths for Truth. The Resurrection story came from ancient Persian myths of the Sun-God, Mithras and are NOT the Truth about Jesus at all! The Resurrection story was meant to be a symbol of Enlightenment — never to be taken literally.
Jesus did not die on the cross. His body was taken down (because of Passover) after only a few hours. The blood stains on the Shroud, reveal beyond doubt, that he was still alive. He was nursed back to health in the tomb and escaped secretly.
Eventually, he returned to India, where he spent the rest of his life. His mother, Mary is buried in Mari (or Muree), Pakistan, a town which was named in her honor. His brother Thomas, who also accompanied him, is buried in South India. And, the tomb of Jesus, called "Rozabal," is in Srinagar, Kashmir, India, where it has been for over 2,000 years!
Isn’t it time that Christians stop being in denial, and come to terms with the REAL Jesus? Stop professing to know the Truth, when you have barely scratched the surface.