Baptism with water and the Spirit
Turning the light inward, illuminating the Self
One, at the very sudden release from the bonds of life when he despairs of life on his deathbed, often happens to be able to see what he has never been able to see and to be able to understand what he has never been able to understand.
Chinese call such a biological phenomenon as ‘huiguang (turning the light)-fanzhao (reflection)’, a description simulating a natural phenomenon of sky returning to brighter temporarily in the evening sunset twilight.
It may be in this regard that Zen Buddhism monk masters often encourage ascetics to die once and return back to life in order to renounce worldly desires in their meditation hall.
Born of water and the Spirit
Jesus also said to a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” (John 3:3-5)
Jesus might have mentioned his spiritual experience when he had been baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. That scene is described vividly in the Gospel of Matthew, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.” (Mat 3:16) At this time, Jesus must have experienced the vision described at the beginning of the Old Testament Book of Genesis which says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." (Gen1:1-2) and found out he had been one with God from the beginning. Therefore he told Nicodemus, “You too must return to before the creation of the world and be reborn of water and the Spirit.”
Born of the Spirit is the passport for the kingdom of God
Then Jesus preached to Nicodemus further. He said "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 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 3:6-8)
Meister Eckhart's Selfless spirit
The German Christian mystic Meister Eckhart (1260-1327) also said as follows, “He who is poor in spirit is receptive of all spirit. Now God is the Spirit of spirits. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy and peace. See to it that you are stripped of all creatures, of all consolation from creatures. For certainly as long as creatures comfort and are able to comfort you, you will never find true comfort. But if nothing can comfort you save God, truly God will console you. If you wish, you will obtain everything, even God. Abandon yourself and everything, all of you that is your own. God loves the selfless pure and the unity and is attracted to the selfless soul.”
How to Settle the Disputes of Sovereignty and Economic Interests
The disputes between Japan, China and Korea concerning the issue of sovereignty over Takeshima Island and the Senkaku Islands have become more bitter and entangled because of overlapping interests regarding oil and gas reserves beneath the sea, fishing rights and economic spheres of influence. Politicians in Japan, and also in China and Korea, may lose their political lives or even actual lives, if they handle such issues badly. Therefore, not only they, but also the nations as a whole, need to learn to turn the light inwards and to illuminate the ‘Self’. It is a good sign that Japanese, Chinese and Korean scholars are coming together, to study our own collective history.” (Eko-an Hensho-koji 2005/07/02)
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. (The Origin of Christianity P.171)
In terms of Zen Buddhism “huiguang-fanzhao” means “learn to withdraw, turning the light inward, and illuminating the Self (the Spirit).” Teacher of the Law Zhao(肇法師) illustrates this belief in his couplet as follows, “the cosmos and I are fundamentally the same, The universe and I are of a single body.”
“Therefore, cease studying words and following letters. Learn to withdraw, turning the light inwards, illuminating the Self. (Doing so), your body and mind will drop off naturally, and original-Self will become manifest. If you wish to attain suchness, practice suchness immediately.” (Translated by Shohaku Okumura)
A monk asked "How is it that the grand master (Bodhidharma) came from India to China?"
Master answered, "If he had some intent, he cannot save himself."
The monk said, "If he had no intent, how could the second grand master get the mind-seal?"
Master said, "What he got was nothing."
The Monk said, "If what he got was nothing, what does 'getting nothing' mean?"
Master said, "Because you run all the way round and cannot rest, Grand master said 'you foolish man why do you shake your head and seek your head?' You should turn the light inwards, illuminate the Self immediately and do not seek anything else. If you then find yourself similar to Buddha and unharmed, you have already got it."
Die Once And Come Back to Life
Zen Buddhists often use the word ‘death’ when they encourage people ‘to renounce worldly desires and ‘death’ is one of the most important parts of life in Buddhism.
Baptism with water and the Spirit
‘Baptism with water’ is called ‘misogi’ in Japanese Shintoism, one of the most important practices and Shintoist ascetics have to wash out all impurities and sins before receiving apocalypse.
Meister Eckhart (c. 1260 - 1327/8) was one of the great Christian mystics. He became a Parisian Professor of Theology. He took a leading pastoral and organizational role in the Dominican Order. However, his doctrine was accused of resembling that of heretical sects, such as the ‘Beghards’ and ‘Brothers of the Holy Spirit’.
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