Review：The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Non-attained Buddha)
The followers said to Jesus, "Tell us how our end will be." Jesus said, "Have you discovered the beginning, then, so that you are seeking the end? For where the beginning is the end will be. Blessings on one who stands at the beginning: That one will know the end and will not taste death." (Thomas 18)
Where the beginning is the end will be. One who stands at the beginning already knows how the end will be and will not taste death. One who binds start in his life with its end and makes steps forward is a man who lives in heaven while staying in this world.
The origin of the gospel
Originally the Gospel telling the arrival of the kingdom seems to have been used in different versions by each church and 'the Gospel of Thomas' might be one of them. The origin of the gospel can be traced back to the time when the Greek version of the Old Testament was used as a propaganda to spread Judaism to Hellenistic society. The power of the Greek version of the Old Testament, which is said to have been compiled under the initiative of Egyptian King Ptolemy II Philadelphs (285-246 B.C.) is amazed. After the advent of it, the gentile Jewish believers in the world increased to about 4 million by the beginning of the 1st century AD, in contrast, the Jewish population in Palestine was just about 800 thousand according to Mr. Shlomo Sand, Professor of history at Tel Aviv University,
Jerusalem Church, which had been established at the meeting place of the Essenes adjacent to the residence of the High Priest Caiaphas, seems to have entrusted compilation of the Gospel contained the propaganda of the church, which had been expected to play the role of a new umbrella organization of Orthodox Judaism supervising the church movement by overseas gentile believers and the followers of different Jewish factions in the country, to John, also called Mark, who was the son of Mary Salome, the owner of the meeting place and was the nephew of Barnabas.
The Gospel of Mark
According to Papias (60–163 AD), a Greek Apostolic Father and Bishop of Hierapolis, Mark, who is said to have served as an interpreter for St. Peter, wrote what had heard from St. Peter and compiled the Gospel of Mark. Mark accompanied St. Paul 's first missionary journey. But about half-way through the journey, he left them and returned to Jerusalem by himself (Acts 13:13). Barnabas, who had prepared the missionary journey and also served as a guide, wanted to bring his nephew Mark along again for the second missionary journey, but Paul opposed. And they had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas and Mark took a different course from Paul's, according to the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 15:39) It seems that Mark and Paul had been in really bad terms at first. But Paul says that Mark was his trusted fellow worker in his letters such as 'the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians (Colo 4:10),' 'the Epistle of Paul to Philemon (Philemon 1:24)' and 'the Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy (Timothy 2 4:11).' Therefore Mark seems to have served both Paul and Peter in their later years, who seem to have had different theological positions and to have had been even hostile each other.
Mark may have maintained close relationships with them and compiled 'the Gospel of Mark' incorporating the propaganda of the whole church movement. And its establishment is said to be around 65-70 AD.
The Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John
As Jerusalem church, which had overseen the various factions of the Gentile Jews, albeit nominally, disappeared with the Jewish war that occurred twice in the years 66 and 70 AD., the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John reflected propaganda of different groups, such as the Hebraist group that had fled the city just before siege by Roman army and withdrawn to Pella under the Herodian royal family led by Simon, the younger brother of Jesus, the group of the Gentile Church in Rome led by Paul (who had already died at that time) and Luke and the group led by John, the son of Zebedee, who is said to have been exiled to an isolated Island Patmos in the Aegean Sea and later to have worked in Ephesus of Asia Minor, seem to have been compiled by these groups, respectively.
But if Luke, according to lore, heard from Paul in his lifetime and wrote them, 'the Gospel of Luke' could have already been established in 60-63 AD and 'the Acts' in 63-64. 'The Gospel of Matthew' seems to have been completed by 85 AD at the latest, and 'the Gospel of John' may have have been compiled during 81-96 AD and 'the Apocalypse' around 96 AD. (Japanese Wiki)
Parallel verses in the Gospels with 'Q source'
The four Gospels of the New Testament, especially the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, which are called synoptic gospels, are similar in the story they tell about Jesus. Therefore a hypothesis has been made, there was a written collection of sayings of Jesus called "Q source (derived from the German word 'Quelle')" which was commonly referenced by these writers. It is believed that these authors replenished the Q source with folklore about Jesus at that time. Later, The Gospel of Thomas, the content of which is very similar to Q Source, was found in Coptic manuscripts, which had been discovered in Nag Hammadi on the Upper Nile in 1945. Therefore the hypothesis was virtually proved.
However, contrasting 'synoptic gospels' and 'the Gospel of Thomas,' we can find that quite a few parallel verses in 'the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke' are not there in 'the Gospel of Thomas.' There are 389 sets of parallel verses in 'the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke' according to the Japanese version Wikipedia. 'The Gospel of Thomas' has only 114 verses in all. Therefore, it is natural that most of them (389-114=275) are not included. In 'the Gospel of Thomas,' which denies God and eschatology of the Old Testament, there is no place for verses quoted the Old Testament as literally and the miracle traditions such as healing the sick and disabled.
Then, what is the description of parallel verses of 'the synoptic gospels' and 'the Gospel of Thomas'? It concerns the fundamentals of Christian theology, such as 'Holy Spirit,' 'Kingdom' and 'Truth.' The Gospel of Thomas has quite unique and often radical interpretation of these matters, while the synoptic gospels are keen to bring these interpretations and concepts, which probably originated from Jesus himself, back to the Old Testament tradition and harmonize each other.
Jesus' doomsday prophecy
As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!" "Do you see all these great buildings?" replied Jesus. "Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down." As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, "Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?"
Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. "You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
"When you see 'the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong? let the reader understand? then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down or enter the house to take anything out. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that this will not take place in winter, because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now? and never to be equaled again. If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'Look, there he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect? if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. "But in those days, following that distress, " 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' "At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. "Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back? whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!' " (Mark 13:1-37)
Aforementioned Jesus' prophecy of the end of days in 'the Gospel of Mark' exists in 'Gospel of Matthew (Mat 24:1-51)' and 'Gospel of Luke (Luke 21:7-38),' too. Particularly the following description of "the Gospel of Mark" and "the Gospel of Matthew" seems to be an important basis for Christian Zionism which aims to reconstruct Israel in order to gather his elect from all over the world to Jerusalem;
"But in those days, following that distress," 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' "At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. (Mark 13:24-27/Mat 24:30-31/Luke 21:27)
This passage is in keeping with the following content of the prophecy of the High Priest Caiaphas in the Gospel of John:
Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish." He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.
The Gospel of John adds, "So from that day on they plotted to take his life." (John 11:49-57)
Criticism of 'the Gospel of Thomas' on Christian eschatology
Contrary, Jesus in 'the Gospel of Thomas' says that one who stands at the beginning will know the end and will not taste death and seems to make a fool of the orthodox eschatology. The phrase of 'One who stands at the beginning' is reminiscent of the words at the beginning of 'the Gospel of John' saying "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3)" and "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. (Apocalypse 22:13)" in 'the Book of Apocalypse.'
The Parable of the Conjured City
According to the ancient legend in India, when the Buddha of All Pervading, Surpassing Wisdom (大通智勝佛), who had appeared an immense and limitless, incalculable eon ago and had preached for a period of 8,000 kalpa (1 kalpa = a period from the birth of the universe to disappearance of the universe), was seated on the Platform of the Way, after having smashed Mara's army, just as he was about to gain unsurpassable, true, complete enlightenment, still the Buddha-dharmas did not appear before him. In this way, he sat cross-legged, body and mind immobile for 10 kalpa; yet the Bodhidharmas still did not appear before him. At the end of the ten kalpas, the Buddha of Supremely pervading, Surpassing Wisdom sat on his Bodhi seat for another ten kalpas and then attained supreme perfect enlightenment. He then taught the dharma going from one level to the next until he reached the level of the dharma as expressed in the Lotus Sutra, which is considered the highest level of all. His sixteen sons then all eventually attained buddhahood. The ninth became Amitabha Buddha, and the sixteenth became Shakyamuni Buddha. Regarding the causes of his enlightenment, Sakyamuni said that he had learned secrets of Buddhism from the Buddha of All Pervading, Surpassing Wisdom, speaking in the cosmic language. (The Parable of the Conjured City in the seventh chapter of the Lotus Sutra)
Time passed to the five dynasties and ten kingdoms period in China (907-960), a monk asked Zen Master QingRang (清譲禅師) who lived in Xingyang Mountain (興陽山) of Yingzhou (郢州), Current Ezhou(鄂州) of Hubei Province (湖北省), "Universally Pervading Superlative Wisdom Buddha (大通智勝佛) sat in the meditation hall for ten kalpa, but the Dharma of the Buddha did not manifest itself and he could not attain Buddhahood. Why was this?" The master said to him, "Yes, you noticed a good point. Praise you." But the monk was not satisfied and asked further, "He had already sat in his meditation. Why the Dharma of the Buddha did not manifest?" The master answered, "Because he was a non-attained Buddha."
Wumen Huikai (無門慧開1182-1260), who wrote "Wumenguan (無門関: Gateless Barrier)," an analects of Koan during the Sung Dynasty in China, commented, "Even though I acknowledge the old barbarian's (Bodhidharma菩提達磨) enlightenment, I do not allow his wisdom. If an ordinary person is enlightened, he will become Buddha. But if Buddha is enlightened, he will become just an ordinary man." He also made following his verse. Better emancipate theheart-mind (the Self) and be at peace than emancipate the body; When theheart-mind is emancipated, the body is free, When both body and theheart-mind are completely emancipated, Why a holy hermit wish to be appointed lord?
As it means that if your body and mind drop off naturally (身心脱落), and original-Self becomes manifest, there is no Buddha or non-attained Buddha but only 'Shikandaza (只管打坐: to practice zazen wholeheartedly),' even if it is ten kalpas or one hundred kalpas. ＜To be continued＞
《The Gateless Barrier》 Case 9. QingRang's Nonattained Buddha
A monk asked Zen Master QingRang, "The Buddha of All Pervading Wisdom did zazen on the Bodhi Seat for ten kalpas, but the Dharma of the Buddha did not appear and he did not attain Buddhahood. Why?
Master said, "Great question."
The monk persisted, "But he sat cross-legged, body and mind immobile on the bodhi seat; why didn't he attain Buddhahood?"
Master said, "He is a nonattained buddha."
I approve the old barbarian's realization, but I don't approve the old barbarian's understanding. When an ordinary person has realized it, he is a saint. If a saint understands it, he is nothing but an ordinary person.
Far better than realizing the body is to realize theheart-mind and be at peace (了身何似了心休). If the heart-mind is realized, there is no anxiety about the body (了得心兮身不愁);
If both body and heart-mind are completely realized (若也身心俱了了), A holy hermit does not wish to be appointed lord (神仙何必更封侯).
(Commentary/Verse originally excerpts from: Y. KÔUN, The Gateless Gate, Boston 2004; last modification: 12 March 2013)
“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.”
The Buddhas and patriarchs, both in this world and other worlds, in India and in China, preserved the buddha-seal in the same way and expressed the way freely. They just practiced sitting and were protected by zazen. Although their characters were diverse, each of them practiced the Way of zazen wholeheartedly. (Translated by Shohaku Okumura)
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.
Your Comments / Unsubscribe
SEAnews world circulation