Saturday, 5 April 2014

Religious Experiences

I was indoctrinated in Catholicism but have heard and read enough Evangelical propaganda to know the difference between these two interpretations of Christianity. I accept Evangelicals' testimony that belief in Christ can change lives. It does not follow that a man who died two thousand years ago still exists as a supernatural being. The mind is powerful enough to generate illusions and alternative perceptions of reality.

The content of visionary experiences is culturally conditioned. Mystical experience is of inner union or identity between self and other. Numinous experience is of an awesome power or presence perceived as transcendent. None of these experiences requires an object that is personal, let alone identical with a semi-historical figure.

Evangelicals must accept my testimony that practice of zazen changes understanding and perceptions. It does not entail the continued existence of the Buddha as a supernatural being.

I heard an Evangelical street preacher inform the public that, without a personal relationship to Jesus, all the cultural wealth, knowledge and experience of humanity is worthless. This is obvious nonsense.

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