Not to go out to receive and to send visitors
When Su Dongpo (1037-1101), a famous Chinese literary and political figure in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), was relegated to Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, as a viceroy, he visited the Chan Master Biancai, who was living in the Longjing Temple. Biancai apologized for his rudeness in not visiting the newly appointed viceroy earlier in order to greet him. He said, "There is a rule, 'neither to go out to receive nor to send visitors' in this temple. I have not changed it and just followed it. Please understand."
One who sinks into the sea of bitterness knows mercy
Dongpo roared with laughter and said, "I visit you not to be received and sent by you, but I would like to witness your practice and enlightenment. By the way, I heard that you diligently practice rules and laws. Which rules and laws do you practice?"
Biancai frowned and said, "What should be ruled is the self and what should be governed is also the self. Is there anything else?"
Dongpo immediately said, "The nature of one's heart is vivid. How do you rule and govern it? If you dare to rule and govern it with a rope which transcends space and time, you will only strangle it."
Biancai bowed his head and said, "Only a man who has died may be resurrected and transcend falsity and attain complete nirvana and freedom."
Indeed what could be happier than keeping one's heart free and vivid? However if he does not have mercy, he may fall into self-satisfaction. Only when one sinks into the sea of bitterness of this world and manages to clamber out of the water, one may obtain enlightenment with both mercy and wisdom. Biancai may have told Dongpo this truth.
A Canaanite woman
Leaving Gennesaret, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord”, she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Mat 15:21-28)
Jesus, who transformed Jehovah, who had been a guardian of the Jews but lacked compassion for individuals and especially for non-Jews, into a God of salvation or consolation, seems to have thought that such a strong patriotic God couldn’t be an idol of worship for non-Jews. Therefore Jesus preached only to Jews while he was alive and instructed his disciples, "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matt 7:6) and “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.” (Matt 10:5)
However Jesus’ preaching was not accepted by the Jews, but was quickly spread throughout the Roman Empire boundary and periphery by his disciples. Jesus himself might not have expected this outcome.
We can almost understand why it happened by reading the Acts of the Apostles. Paul, who was proud to be a Roman citizen and a Pharisee throughout his entire life time, seems to have held the key to this mystery. We have heard of Paul’s so called conversion. However Paul himself did not state that he had ceased to be a Pharisee and converted to Christianity.
Whatever the case may be, Paul joined the evangelical movement. Christianity spread rapidly, especially among the overseas Jewish communities. However he was hated by the orthodox Jewish believers as he abolished certain laws and commandments which non-Jews were unable to accept, such as circumcision and Jewish eating habits. Paul was executed in Rome due to their allegations.
Paul, being a Roman citizen, was escorted to the governor's house by Roman soldiers after the dispute with the Pharisees and the Sadducees in Sanhedrin. He requested the proconsul Porcius Festus’ permission to appeal directly to Caesar in Rome. When King Agrippa, who was the seventh and last king of the family of Herod the Great, was consulted by Festus on this issue, he said, "This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar."
Seemingly Paul chose Rome as the location for his death himself. If only Jesus, the son of a Nazarene carpenter, had been executed in Israel by a proconsul in a remote outpost of the Roman Empire, Christianity would have lapsed in a few years, or a few decades. However Christianity, which had been considered as only a Jewish sect, was transformed into a world religion when Paul, a leader of the Pharisees, was martyred in Rome after pleading before Caesar.
The ideological meltdown is pains of child-birth for the resurrection
There occurred an ideological meltdown in Israel under Roman occupation, just as in Japan under American occupation following the end of the Second World War. However the great religious leaders, such as Jesus and Paul, were born in such chaos. The meltdown may be likened to the pains of childbirth for spiritual rebirth.
A religion may evolve and also degenerate. Whether it evolves or degenerates, it rests with its believers themselves. Moses made the rescue of the Jews from Egypt his supreme mission; John the Baptist placed individual faith at the center of religion through preaching baptism and repentance as the first step to heaven even for the selected Jewish people; Jesus fulfilled John's prophecy and was crucified as a messiah in order to atone for the sins of the world; and Paul transformed Christianity from a Jewish sect into a world religion; they were all witnesses to testify this point of view. Just as Buddhism had evolved during its propagation from India through China, Korea and other countries to Japan, likewise Christianity has been evolving since the time of Moses, through to John the Baptist, Jesus and Paul and to all the present Christians in the world.
Jesus said to the Jews, "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me." (John 5:39) He may have told them, “The Scriptures testify yourself (your intrinsic nature) and tell you what you must do now (Divine Mandate from Heaven). You should read the Scriptures in this way so that you may have eternal life.” (Eko-an Hensho-koji 2008/04/27)
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)
Not to go out to receive and to send visitors
Don't be the corpse of fames; don't be the shed of plans; don't be the servant of tasks; don't be the lord of wisdom. The self flies and flows wherever it pleases, but there is nowhere any trace of its presence. It fulfils all that it has received from Heaven, but there is no evidence that it has done anything. It is empty. A perfect man uses his mind just as a mirror. He doesn't send and receive by himself. He just responds to what is before him but does not retain it. Thus he is able to deal with all things, and injures none.” (Zhuangzi, Book VII: Part I, Section VII Ying Diwang)
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