2019-10-25 ◆Review：The baptism of the Holy Spirit (He who has ears to hear， let him hear!)
Jesus said, "There was a rich person who had a great deal of money. He said, 'I shall invest my money so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouses with produce, that I may lack nothing.' These were the things he was thinking in his heart, but that very night he died. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" (Thomas 63)
A rich man who held a lot of property planned to reinvest that property to fill his storehouse, but that night he died. It's a common story. Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas does not give any interpretation but concludes the story just saying, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
The phrase "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." was a cliche used by Jesus in his preaches, and is used six times in the Gospel of Thomas, three times in each of the Gospels of Mark and Matthew and twice in the Gospel of Luke. This phrase reflects Jesus' missionary attitude. Jesus preached equally to everyone, but whether one could understand the teaching depends on whether he had ears to hear it. Like 'Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed (Mr 4:3-8/ Mt 13:3-8/ Lu 8:5-8/ Thomas 9),' seeds that fall on well-cultivated soil, come up, grow and produce a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times, but seeds that fall into roadside, rocks, and thorns may be eaten by birds, lit up by sun or covered with thorns and withered.
○The Buddha Dharma is only entrusted from Buddha to Buddha
According to John the Baptist's testimony, "Jesus testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit, (John 3:32-34)" as it means that the one who comes from the earth cannot accept the testimony by one from heaven. Only a man, like Jesus, who certify that God is truthful, can understand the testimony. In other words, the teaching of Jesus is so-called 'the Buddha Dharma which is only entrusted from Buddha to Buddha. (Lotus Sutra Chapter 2: Expedient Means)' Because each man inherently has the Holy Spirit in abundance, Jesus does not need to give anything but the man just has to aware of it himself. This is the essence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Dogen Zenji (道元禅師1200-1253), the founder of the Japanese Soto Zen School (曹洞宗), in his book 'Shobogenzo Bendowa (正法眼蔵弁道話)' says, "Though each man has Buddha-nature in abundance, he cannot make it appear without practice or live it without enlightenment."
Kodo Sawaki (澤木興道), who was a Japanese Soto Zen teacher being active in the Showa era throughout the pre-inter-post-war (WW2) period, also is said to have taught as follows: Zen can change the transmigration, the endless circle of birth and death, into Buddhahood, It is the way for a single leap's entry to Buddhahood. Zen is not Dharma (law and order) of the three realms of existence (past, present and future existences = this world) but of Buddhahood. The Buddha Dharma is only entrusted from Buddha to Buddha, but not to ordinary man. Because it was realized by Shakyamuni all by Himself, He said that each Buddha on His own, together with all Buddhas, has been directly able to fully realize It. Therefore when Buddha and Buddha sit straight and interact each other, then it is realized.
○Parallel articles of Gospel of Luke
If I try to solve the riddle hidden in the Gospel of Thomas Saying 63 on behalf of Jesus, it may tell us that a man of true wisdom, who can enjoy the joy of the goal at the starting point, will not regret even if he falls down before reaching the goal, even one second after he stands at the starting point. The Gospel of Luke has a parallel article of the Gospel of Thomas Saying 63. It would be good if you also refer to Luke's puzzle-solving (Lu 12:16-21). However, the answer can only be found by the person himself who is baptized with the Holy Spirit by Jesus.
Even in Zen Buddhism, if a scholar enters the Zen Master's room (入室参禅) and imitates the opinions of others, he will end up with enjoying the master's stick or shout (棒喝). Although Zen Buddhists advocate "freedom of scriptures (教外別伝)" and "no establishment of words and letters (不立文字)," they still have not only 《The Gateless Barrier (無門関)》 and 《The Blue Cliff Record (碧巌録)》which are listed 48 and 100 Koans respectively but also many other analects of Koan. Besides Rinzai Zen Buddhism (臨済宗 LinJi Zong), which is called 'Kanwa-Zen/Kanhua Chan (看話禅:meditation of word),' even Soto Zen Buddhism (曹洞宗 CaoDong Zong). which advocates 'silent illumination (黙照),' is also studying these analects of Koan. There are many cases where Zen Master's 'stick or shout' is a cause of enlightenment, so it may be good to try enjoying them.
○Greco-Roman origin of the New Testament
If the Hebrew version of the Old Testament was established through the nation-building myth, in which the 12 or 14 tribes of nomads, who had frequently went back and forth in the region from Mesopotamia to Egypt, had formed a union of independent tribes and had merged religion and politics based on the covenant of the single founder Abraham and God and then had overthrown the countries and city states of indigenous agricultural people in Palestine, was grafted with Sumerian mythology, typified by the legends of the paradise of Timrun and Babylonian flood, which are reminiscent of the Garden of Eden and Noah's flood, it seems that Greco-Roman culture greatly influenced the formation of the New Testament written in Greek language, which is considered a new salvation contract for Gentiles, who recognize themselves as grafted into Abraham's family tree under the New Covenant.
○Strong influence of Greek philosophy on The Baptism with the Holy Spirit
John the Baptist said, "I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8)" and "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Luke 3:16/ Mat 3:11)" And Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. (John 3:5)" and "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)" Therefore, the concept of so-called 'Baptism with the Holy Spirit' reflects the thoughts of the Greek philosophers Thales, Heraclitus and Empedocles, who argued that 'the source of all things' is 'Water,' 'Fire' and 'Fire, Air, Water and Earth' respectively.
More over, Jesus says, "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. (John 6:63)" and "Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there. (Thomas 77)" in the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Thomas respectively and Paul says, "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." in the Romans. (Ro 8:9)
These teachings can be said to have inherited Plato's dualism and Aristotle's Hylomorphism. Plato divided this world into a 'material world' captured by the five human senses and an 'idea world' captured by reason and argued that the material world, that changes from moment to moment, is just a shadow or an imitation of the idea. Aristotle argued that essence (eidos) is inherent in each thing (hyle).
And with that, the Gnostic Gospels, including the Gospel of Thomas, are generally spelled out in the question-answer format between Jesus and his disciples. This also follows the teachings of Socrates, who said, "This is the greatest good for a human being — to have discussions every day about virtue and the unexamined life is not worth living for a human being. (Apology, 38a 1-6)"
○Rome: The epicenter of The Church Movement
On the other hand, there seems to have been a robust community of gentile believers when Paul arrived in Rome around AD 59 and to have had an environment easy to accept "the way of Jesus, which makes one right with God through faith but not by Mosaic law (Roma 3:28)" taught by Paul.
The emperor Claudius ordered all Jews to leave Rome in AD 49. There were at least two expulsions of Jews from Rome before this event. In 139 BC the Jews were expelled after being accused of aggressive missionary efforts. Then in AD 19 Tiberius once again expelled Jews from the city for similar reasons. However, there seems to still have been a robust community of Jewish believers when Paul arrived in Rome. Perhaps, they were Judaists of gentiles, that is, non-circumcised Judaists. It seems that habitat segregations for Hellenists and Hebraists were taken place in Rome, too, at least three times for past 188 years. However, They were the exact opposite to what Paul had done in Jerusalem. And a pure Jewish community of Hellenists appeared in Rome just as a pure Christian church of Hebraists was born in Jerusalem. In other words, the foundation for the church movement was nurtured in Rome long before the birth of Jesus and Paul as well as Macedonian Luke and Barnabas from Cyprus. Thus, soon after Paul and Peter died, or even before their death, the center of the church movement moved to neither Greece, where St. Luke and other Hellenist believers had been active, nor Alexandria, where the Greek version of the Bible had been compiled, but to Rome from Jerusalem. As the result, in the second half of the first century, shortly after Jesus' death, Roman Bishops, such as Clemens, seem to have played a mediating role in disputes that occurred in churches such as one at Corinth.
○Linji's cause of enlightenment
Master Linji Yixuan (臨済義玄？-867), the founder of Linji School (臨済宗) of Zen Buddhism, who had had an aspiration for priesthood from childhood and had taken the tonsure and been ordained as Zen priest at Huangbo Temple (黄檗寺: Huanggangxiang, Yifeng County, Jiangxi Province), asked Master Huangbo Xiyun (黄檗希運？-855), "What was the founder (Dharma)'s intention to come from India to China?" when he first entered Master's room and see Huangbo.
The master beat him with a stick before he had finished asking. Similarly he asked three times and was beaten three times. Yixuan, who had been completely mad and consulted with the head monk, "I will give up on Huangbo Temple and visit other temples to find another teacher."
The head monk sighed, "Why do you go to search for another teacher without hesitation of your own foolishness?" However, the head monk asked Master Huangbo, "Yixuan is a young monk, but has strengths. So please advise him something when he comes to say goodbye." When Yixuan came to say farewell, Master Huangbo said, "You should go to see Master Dayu (大愚和尚), abbot of Dayu Temple in Tantou (灘頭) of Gao'ancheng (高安城:Gao'an City, Jiangxi Province)."
Thus Yixuan met Master Dayu. The master asked Yixuan, "Where are you from?" He replied, "From Huangbo monastery." The master then asked, "What did Master Huangbo teach you?" Yixuan answered honestly, "I asked three times about the reason why Darma came from the west, and I got hit three times. I don't know what my mistake was."
The master said, "Huangbo has such grandmotherly kindness! He exhausted himself teaching you, and yet you just talk about your own mistakes."
On hearing this Yixuan had a deep awakening. He exclaimed, "Buddhism is not so special after all!" The master grabbed his collar and said, "You just came to me saying you didn't understand your mistake, and now you say Buddhism is not so special. What have you seen? Say something!"
Yixuan then struck the master's chest with a fist. The master released him and said, "Your teacher is Huangbo. It's not my business."
So Yixuan returned to Huangbo monastery. Master Huangbo said, "Why did you come back so fast?" Yixuan said, "Only because grandmotherly kindness." Huangbo said, "Next time I see him I'll give him a whack." Yixuan said, "Why wait till later? Here's one now!" Then he struck the master. Huangbo laughed loudly.《Jingde Chuandeng-lu(景徳伝灯録)》＜To be continued＞
Master Linji Yixuan (臨済羲玄) was from the region of Caozhou (曹州). His surname was Xing (邢). He had an aspiration for priesthood from childhood and wanted to take the tonsure and be ordained as Zen priest by receiving the commandments of Buddhism
At first, he entered the Huangbo monastery (黄檗寺) and studied together with others. After a while the head monk urged him to go to see Master Huangbo (黄檗). So he asked the master, "What was the founder's intention to come from India to China?" The master simply struck him. Similarly he asked three times and was beaten three times. Finally he thought to leave the monastery.
The head monk sighed, "Why do you go to search for another teacher, just because you had been encouraged by others to ask questions and were beaten after asking the questions without hesitation of your own foolishness? However, the head monk asked Master Huangbo, "Yixuan is a young monk, but has strengths. So please advise him something when he comes to say goodbye." When Yixuan comes to say farewell, Master Huangbo said, "You should go to see Master Dayu (大愚)."
Thus Yixuan met Master Dayu. The master asked Yixuan, "Where are you from?" He replied, "From Huangbo monastery." The master then asked, "What did Master Huangbo teach you?" Yixuan said, "Three times I asked about the reason why Darma came from the west, and three times I got hit. I don't know what my mistake was." The master said, "Huangbo has such grandmotherly kindness (老婆心)! He exhausted himself teaching you, and yet you just talk about your own mistakes." On hearing this Yixuan had a deep awakening. He exclaimed, "Buddhism is not so special after all!" The master grabbed his collar and said, "You just came to me saying you didn't understand your mistake, and now you say Buddhism is not so special. What have you seen? Say something!" Yixuan then struck the master's chest with a fist. The master released him and said, "Your teacher is Huangbo. It's not my business."
So Yixuan returned to Huangbo monastery. Master Huangbo said, "Why did you come back so fast?" Yixuan said, "Only because grandmotherly kindness." Huangbo said, "Next time I see Dayu I'll give him a whack." Yixuan said, "Why wait till later? Here's one now!" Then he struck the master. Huangbo laughed loudly.
○What is "Baptism with The Holy Spirit"?
According to the dialectic of the Gospel of John,
【Thesis】"A man can possess eternal life through accepting testimony of the Son of man and being baptized by him." (John 5:24)
【Anti-thesis】But "The one who comes from the earth cannot accept the testimony by one from heaven." (John 3:32)
How then can a man possess eternal life?
【Synthesis】"If you want to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, you can just go back to the word which was with God in the beginning (John 1:1) and certify that God is truthful. (John 3:33)"
When he said, "You are Huichao," Zen Master Fayan thrusted vivid Self in Huichao in front of his eyes.