Review：The baptism of the Holy Spirit (By pointing to one's mind, let him see into his true nature and attain Buddhahood)
The one who sent me to baptize with water told me, "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit." (John 1:33)
John the Baptist said to priests and Levites who had been sent by the Jews of Jerusalem, "Among you stands one, who will baptize with the Holy Spirit, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie." (John 1:26-27)
John's testimony at Bethany
This all happened at Bethany, according to the Gospel of John. Bethany is located a few kilometers from the center of Jerusalem. In other words, it might take less than an hour to walk to Bethany from the house of Caiaphas, the High Priest and Mark's mother's house, where the Last Supper was held, and which was originally the meeting place of the Essenes, a fundamentalist group, to which John the Baptist is said to have belonged. Jesus traveled back and forth between the valley (possibly Aenon) where the late John the Baptist had been based for his mission and the home of Mary and her sister Martha at Bethany about one month before his crucifixion in order to prepare for his plan and resurrected Lazarus in front of a large number of mourners at Bethany. Moreover, Bethany was also the starting point of the parade when Jesus marched into Jerusalem as King of Israel leading the masses who were each holding palm branches.(John 12:13) Peter, Andrew, Philip and Nathanael, who became disciples of Jesus immediate after the above John's testimony, also seem to have had gathered in Bethany.
However, Bethany is about 24-25 km away from the Jordan River in a straight line. Aenon near Salim where John the Baptist was based for his mission (John 3:23), Cana where Jesus turned the water into wine during the wedding reception and Bethsaida, the hometown of Peter, Andrew and Philip are about 60 km, 123 km and 125 km away from Bethany respectively.
Based on the description of the Gospel of John (John 1:40), though Peter and Andrew seem to have been disciples of John the Baptist, Philip and Nathanael do not seem to have been his disciples. Philip seems to have had connections with a group of Gnostics led by Simon Magus, based on the description of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 8:13) and considering that the Gospel of Philip is the scripture of Gnostics.
Therefore the testimony of John the Baptist appears to have had been prepared among religious leaders of Jerusalem, the Essenes including John himself, the Gnostics and the Nazarite (an ultra-fundamentalist group said to be led by Jesus' brother James), etc. and John the Baptist himself went all the way to Bethany from his activity base which is much more than 60 km away from it. The sisters, Mary and Martha, and St. Mark's mother too, likely to have had played some important roles. Interestingly Jesus was found standing among the priests who had been sent by the Jews of Jerusalem.
The Wedding at Cana
A few days after the testimony of John the Baptist, a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine." Then Jesus replied, "Dear woman, why do you involve me?"(John 2:1-4) This depiction seems to indicate that the demonstration of the miracle at the wedding reception had been prepared by the mother of Jesus and others.
After this he went down to Capernaum and stayed for a few days. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem and drove all merchants from the temple area.(John 2:12-17)Immediately after this, a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." (John 3:2) From this we can see that there were more than a few Pharisees and members of the Jewish ruling council who were supporting Jesus.
Then Jesus went out into the Judean countryside and started to baptize with The Holy Spirit after expounding Nicodemus that so-called 'Spiritual rebirth' being realized through the baptism of the Holy Spirit is none other than realization of oneness with God, saying, "Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."(John 3:22)
Comments of John the Baptist
When John the Baptist learned of what Jesus had embarked on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, he made a profound comment, saying, "He 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."(John 3:32-33) It means that only one who can set his seal that God is true to God, in other words, who can realize oneness with God, can be baptized with the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ.
This is reminiscent of the teaching of Bodhidharma who is said to have transmited the Mind Seal, which can be placed without dependence on words and letters through just pointing to the mind of man directly and let him realize his true nature and attain Buddhahood, to China at the end of the Northern and Southern Dynasties. The barbarian monk with blue eyes, said to have been descended from Persian royal lineage, might have been a descendant of Thomas who had evangelized in India after Jesus' crucifixion.
The Blue Cliff Record Case 1 Commentary
From afar Bodhidharma saw that this country (China) had people capable of the Great Vehicle, so he came by sea, intent on his mission, purely to transmit the Mind Seal, to arouse and instruct those mired in delusion. Without establishing written words, he pointed directly to the human mind (for them) to see nature and fulfill Buddhahood. If you can see this way, then you will have your share of freedom.
The movement of baptism of the Holy Spirit, which had started at the Judean countryside by Jesus and had been conveyed to India by Thomas, appears to have blossomed as the cultures of Cha-no-yu (tea ceremony) of Sen no Rikyu(1522-1591) and 'Kenzen ichimi' (The Sword and Zen are One)of Miyamoto Musashi(1584-1645) and Yamaoka Tesshu(1836-1888) in Japan after Dharma's mission to China.
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)
Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591)
He was a trading merchant and is considered the historical figure with the most profound influence on chanoyu, the Japanese "Way of Tea". He also underwent Zen training in Kyoto. In 1579, at the age of 58, he became a tea master for Oda Nobunaga and, following Nobunaga's death, he was a tea master for Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Although he had been one of Hideyoshi's closest confidants, Hideyoshi ordered him to commit ritual suicide.
70 years life, power and spirit Hoo-ah
I have a sword of eternity!
Driving it through both Buddha
and Daruma alike
The time has now come, to throw it into Heaven
Miyamoto Musashi (1584 – 1645)
He was a Japanese swordsman (a person versed in the art of the sword), the founder of the Niten-ryu ("two heavens as one" or "two swords as one")style of swordsmanship and the author of Go Rin No Sho (The Book of Five Rings: a text on Swordsmanship and the martial arts in general).
Kobokumeigekizu (Shrike Perched on a Withered Branch)
Source: Kuboso Memorial Museum of Arts, Izumi
He was a famous samurai of the Bakumatsu (Late Tokugawa Shogunate) period. Though he was a direct vassal of the Tokugawa Shogun, he played an important role in the bloodless surrender of Edo Castle. He served as the chamberlain of Emperor Meiji. He is also noted as the founder of the Itto Shoden Muto-ryu school of swordsmanship.
◆Recruitment of Ad-SEAnews Canvassers
Your Comments / Unsubscribe
SEAnews world circulation