Review：The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Circular Figure)
【Review】Jesus, who had driven all merchants from the temple area on the day of the Passover feast and had gone out to the Judean countryside and started to baptize with the Holy Spirit, decided to go through Samaria and return to Galilee (John 4:3) after an argument had developed between Jesus' disciples and John's followers.(John 3:25)
When Jesus rested by Jacob's well at a town called Sychar in Samaria (John 4:5-6), his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something." But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about." (John 4:31-32) "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. (Jhon 4:34-36)
Simultaneous pecking eggshell by a chick and the mother hen in hatching
The sower means one who testifies the Word and the reaper means one who baptizes a man who accepts the testimony.
Jesus testified the Word which had been with God and been God in the beginning (John 1:1-2) and baptized ones who accepted his testimony. However 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. (John 3:33)
Like a chick pecking the eggshell from its inside and simultaneously the mother hen pecking the eggshell from out side while an egg in hatching, if both, one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and another who is baptized with the Holy Spirit, response each other perfectly, the kingdom of God will become manifest in this world.
I am the Alpha and the Omega
In fact when Jesus went out into Judean countryside and started to testify to the Word in order to baptize with the Holy Spirit, even the disciples of John the Baptist did not accept his testimony and an argument developed between Jesus' and John's disciples over the matter of ceremonial washing. Thus Jesus had to decide withdrawing to Galilee. Therefore his disciples got depressed and might have thought that it was not yet ripe and needed four months more for harvest. However Jesus encouraged them, saying, "Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together."
Although it is more than two thousand years after the Buddha testified under the Bodhi tree, saying, "Holy am I alone throughout heaven and earth. Grass, trees and the domains of all living things, all attain buddhahood." and also after Jesus started the movement of baptizing with the Holy Spirit in the Judean countryside, myriad conflicts have still occurred in many parts of the world. Yet, one, who sows in order to harvest the crop for eternal life, can draw his wages and get eternal life at once. Because for the one, who returns to the Word which was with God and was God in the beginning, and testifies, saying, "Holy am I alone throughout heaven and earth", grass, trees and the domains of all living things essentially all attain buddhahood. The saying, "The kingdom of God becomes manifest in this world", is none other than letting one's inner eye open and letting him know that heaven and earth are one and grass, trees and the domains of all living things essentially all attain buddhahood.
There was a man called ChenCao ShangShu during the period of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) in China. ShangShu means a chief secretary of central government ministry or local government in ancient China. One day he visited ZiFu RuBao chanshi (Zen master) at his temple Zifu-si of Jizhou town in Jiangxi province
When ZiFu saw him coming, he immediately drew a circle with a fly-whisk. ChenCao noticed the gesture by ZiFu and said, "I have just arrived here like this. But you have already drawn a circle..." ZiFu thereupon closed the door of his room. XueDou ChongXian chanshi, the commentator of "The Blue Cliff Record" in which koans including this episode are recorded, applauded and said, "ChenCao has just one eye (the inner eye)."
A circle figure is often used to symbolize the Enlightenment. Jianzhi Sengcan chanshi (?-606), who is known as the Third Chinese Patriarch of Zen Buddhism after Bodhidharma, preaches in his book "Xinxin Ming (Faith-Mind Inscription)", saying, "The best way is circular like great vacuity, with nothing lacking, nothing in excess." The one who first draw circular figures is said to be NanYang HuiZhong chanshi, a disciple of the Sixth Patriarch HuiNeng DaJian chanshi. Thereafter circular figures have been often used by Zen priests, especially GuiYang School's priests in their preaching.
ZiFu RuBao Chanshi, who appears in this koan, is a grandson-disciple (a second-generation pupil) of YangShan HuiJi canshi, the founder of GuiYang School. While ChenCao ShangShu is a Great Grhapati (layman) who was given the Dharma Mind Seal by MuZhou DaoZong chanshi, the senior stablemate of LinJi YiXuan chanshi who is the founder of Linji School. Therefore when ZiFu RuBao chanshi saw ChenCao ShangShu, he might have thought that it was a great opportunity to get credit for his GuiYang School. Thus, without delay, he drew a circle, the sole banner of its school. However he slammed the door of his room in ChenCao's presence after he seems to have had been outwitted by ChenCao.
Though XueDou chanshi looks to have applauded ChenCao, YuanWu KeQin chanshi who compiled "The Blue Cliff Record" is asking and encouraging us, saying, "Who can tell a turning word (Zen word that turns people from ambivalence to enlightenment) and not only resolve the stalemate of the two great men but also let grass, trees and the domains of all living things all attain buddhahood."
Chan's Circular Figure & Gnosticism's Uroboros
The Circular Figure is frequently used by Zen Buddhists as symbolic expressions of the universe and the Enlightenment etc.. The one who first first drew the Circular Figure is said to be NanYang HuiZhong chanshi(645-775). However, it is by no means unique to Buddhism. For example, King Asoka's Dharma-wheel, which is a model of the national flag of India, is said to be a symbol of Hindi Dharma. And another example, Uroboros, an image depicting a serpent eating its own tail, is one of the typical symbol of Gnosticism. The iconography is depicted in the Greek magical papyrus. It is written "all things are one" in Greek in a circular figure of serpent. Another commonality of Zen Buddhism's Circular Figure and Gnosticism's Uroboros might be the kind of thought seeing the beginning and the end as one.
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)
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
The type of Jesus Christ
In the Gnostic interpretation, the serpent, who seduced Adam and Eve to take and eat the fruits from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gnosis Cane) growing in the center of Eden, is described as the type of Jesus Christ, who told humankind the entity of God is The Holy Spirit (The Word).
《Bronze serpent 》
No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven?the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. (John 3:13-15)
The Blue Cliff Record 33rd case: Ministry President ChenCao Sees ZiFu
ChenCao ShangShu went to see ZiFu.
When ZiFu saw him coming, he immediately drew a circle.
ChenCao said, "My coming here like this has already missed the point; how much more so, to go on and draw a circle!"
ZiFu thereupon closed the door of his room.
XueDou ChongXian said, "ChenCao has just one eye."
NanYang HuiZhong/ ChenCao ShangShu/ ZiFu RuBao's genealogy
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