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This religion is most varied, and this is natural to one so depleted of necessary resources, relative to reality.
We shall therefore look at the basic stimulus in Buddha, in some elements of certain contradiction and inadequacy, relating these a little to Hinduism from which some appear an extreme form of reaction. Such a reaction, in turn, is scarcely surprising, from such a varied series of divergent concepts, gods and principles as we have seen. To Buddha came the passion to unify; and this too attests the God who made man one, in one universe; but it is a passion assured of frustration without God, as we shall further and abundantly see.
Buddha, born in India some years after the fall of Jerusalem around 586 B.C., revolted from the multiple gods and views of Hinduism to a form of systematically ignorant assertiveness, extremely similar to that propounded, in non-religious terms, by David Hume in the West, over 2 millenia later. This religion is not only a failure in not meeting the criteria shown to be required in Chapter 1 supra, but in its own self-contradictions, being indeed liable to the general theme and thrust of the criticisms levelled against the drably humorous definition by omission, which we studied and rejected in Chapter 3 supra, in assessing the philosophy of David Hume.
Indeed, there is a similar confusion of human nature with Humian nature, though this dispersed cloud of componential 'atoms' or elements of business, has its own labels, with, alas, nothing to which to tie them, nought real by which to affix them, or rightly to define them. Striding undeterred into the philosophic void which he has created, Buddha does it - wholly oblivious of his system, grotesquely inconsistent - anyway. In a significant sense, this is simply an application of those Ch. 3 criticisms, so that the theme is touched on less extensively, with this background.
Buddhism fulfils the specifications of 'a form of godliness' par excellence (II Timothy 3), and its current popularity contributes to the abundant fulfilment of that prediction for this time, made by Paul. It is such a form in that, for all its talk of reincarnation and blessed states, of nirvana, it is merely a parody of power, a sort of death-mask for a god who isn't there, left out in a series of asseverations, assumptions and declarations which exclude Him. From the God who made the mind of man, who alone does or could give it the validity with which to make non-self-contradictory assertions about ultimate reality, transcending its alleged incapabilities to a height which, on this basis, is not there: from Him, it is a religion of escape (cf. Chapter 3 supra).
We shall look at some of the elements of this contradiction by way of verification, for what is not true always fails; as also in order to see here also verification (in particular in this Alice in Wonderland religion of verbal marvel and logical loss), of Christ's prediction of antichrists. In some of its later forms in the Christian era, Buddhism indeed qualifies as authentic antichrist material: in fact this false prophet is made the base for worship, in contradiction of Buddha's atheism, as well as a name for receiving former elements of Hinduism, in a delirious seeming combination of atheism and theological concepts.
Each approach however, is not merely gross over-simplification and crass reductionism, but irrational ignoring of the requirements both of order and of reason, as we have shown and will now consider on site with these religions.
Neither is one all, nor is all one. There is process and power to process, principle and eventuation, law and conformity, design and its outworking, pattern and relationship, quality and defilement of quality, purity and spoliation, gravity and humour, language structure and use, logic and breach of it, rationality and irrationality, rationalism and empiricism, spirit and surrender, overview and interview, participation and explanation, guilt and expiation
There is also, indeed, theory and practice, true theory and false theory ... the 'one' is cleaved, broken, divided! If there were not, this Buddhistic concept of one as all could not even be maintained, for it would then be simultaneously true and false, sound and unsound, in principle, and hence constitute a divorce from thought, defilement of language, an entire absurdity, conceptually incoherent, equal in value to the ramblings of a drunkard, though more systematically absurd than that.
Inconsistent collations of qualities and contents, explosive diversities, by no means solve the problem: they simply ignore it. There is no solution in that way.
Further, what-it-is, this demands both cause and inter-relation, and cause of the inter-relation.
Small wonder Buddha was so reticent about what it is, what may be said of the ultimate, per se! What comprehends and spans all, even in thought, is such a mixture of opposites, a maze of sanity and madness, good and evil, truth and lie, that any composition as one in any qualitative sense is mere verbal mesmerism. Best to say nothing, if interested in irrational monism, which gives no ground for what it asserts, or what it sees, or what it finds, and composes the uncomposable. Say nothing ? rather than to deny anything sayable, even anything conceivable. Then the inanity ? of trying to make the whole diversity of creation in some sense one (other than in this, that it was created), might be hidden, and the illusion prolonged. Reticence here, therefore, may have its reasons; though there is no reason for the irrationality which reticence obscures.
The CAUSE of the system, however, is the REMEDY of its non-unifiability, in the face of an underlying quality of integrity. Just as this cause is demanded by logic, so it rescues it, and makes speech coherent, thought functional, non-self-contradictory. The CREATOR, everlasting, self-sufficient, made man, for example, but man has made many and diverse devices. The oneness here, then, is that of design-origin; the One is the originator. This One, unlike the Buddhist blindness, is not contradictory but Creator, and of Him, as we have seen in detail (Chapter 1 supra), this must be said:
i) He is not less than what His works attest, as their minimal causal requirement; and
ii) He is what He declares, often verifying it, frequently attesting it, the sole logical answer to the created universe, as has been displayed in detail. Of this, we are now reminded by these religious failures in logical demise.
Not able to indicate the power to create itself, but crafted by a self-sufficient hand, where the temporal and temporary are not criteria, the universe is causally demanding and finds no coherent, consistent or adequate cause but in God, the everlastingly self-sufficient God. Monism however is both self-contradictory and causally stranded, making its gods as surely as the Hindus ever did, but with this difference: Buddha failed to name them. They are smuggled in systematically, and added at later phases of the religion, in various leading 'beings'... If moreover these bodhisattvas are symptomatic of the contradictory principles, filling a logical void from inconsistent sources, so the elevation of the Buddha to various divine phases, as it were, attests the same.
Nor is this all. Buddhism, in evacuative mode, wants man out too. Von Hugel citing Lehmann, states:
An Ego exists only apparently for the Buddhist; there exists for him, a series of concepts and of other forms of consciousness, but a self-subsisting subject of all these conditions can neither be traced nor thought...in this system.
Denying himself, he can in principle affirm nothing; but in practice, he affirms much. Exploding the microphone, he is determined to speak, removing the larynx, he assured he will be heard; destroying the speaker, he speaks as illusion, with illusory results. To these antinomies, we shall return shortly. Meanwhile, let us consider the other reductionistic approach, that of Hinduism: the One is all.
If we turn to the form of Brahmanism developed by Ramanuya, more articulate on Brahman than many, and basically following with the Vedanta, idealistic monism, we find then by contrast ( von Hugel, p. 11, op.cit.) that for these Brahmins, one spirit holds all. What here is what is called Brahman ? Such a connotation ...
is here conceived as an all-penetrating, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-merciful Being. He is not an undifferentiated unity, for the manifold world of reality exists in Him; souls and the material elements form His body but not His nature; they are subordinate to Him as our body to our spirit, and exist in Him with a relative independence.This unity on the basis of a diversified oneness lacks any actual coherence or feasibility as good and evil, right and wrong, folly and wisdom, brilliance and stupor, rigidity and flexibility, beauty and ugliness, sensitivity and unresponsiveness, all are composed, even while they contradict. Unity that involves flat contradiction is a name, and not a fact or a reality.
All is not One. The endeavour to distance slightly the less noble or frankly, the horrendous, does not remove the declared unity of all as this being, who thus is an explosive mix of contradiction, not only explaining nothing, but unable to exist in itself. The phenomena of polytheism, earlier noted, illustrates well, as does the variability of the concepts in the Hindu literature, in their various musings, the inadequacy felt so keenly, and in one sense only, rightly, by Buddha.
His radical re-exegesis by removing all gods, Brahman with them, and any substantial or real self, for man or god - there being none that his generalisations would tolerate, or his words permit - his making one all: this is indeed a volte-face, a turn-around as illogical as its source, base or original for reflection, in Hinduism itself. With the intensity of Heraclitus, he wants process as the real, all else distant and unformulated, unfurnished and without home. His statements on what-is, are sufficient to leave no room for God or man, and thus serve merely as the illusion he so detests.
Thus his 'moments' of life, each micro-moment the 'real', all are a series, and the time it takes is a continuity both in thought and in observable reality, so that his tableaux, his delightfully free little times, so satisfying to the guilty conscience and to the floating spirit, are not related to reality. Rather are they mere pictures, Haikus in advance, mental techniques for viewing episodes, ever so quickly ... for time has continuity and so does the thought of the thinker. The latter has the overview with which to describe the 'moments' and so does the logic and the language (by which to reason for these would-be eternal truths...) that overarch process, and by which it gets its very name. As usual in such philosophies, reality is denied with words, but smuggled in by implication, to be used in absentia. This is one more god - newly arising (cf. pp. 305 ff.; Ch. 9, pp. 918-923 supra), which comes out of the ground, this time dead on arrival. The god is process, and as with all Heraclitean-type thought, it simply ignores what it is that is processive. If all were process, then the datum in process could not exist in order to be processed. Process is action, but action occurs in what is there to act; without it, it is mere analytical thought. This, necessarily valid and enduring and actual, and not subject to meaningless change or transmutative alteration, for any such theory to live, denies it at the outset. So do men smuggle their gods into their systems, supposedly free of them.
All the folly of David Hume essentially attaches to this system. Thus it affects to describe only, in its addiction to the swirling components, rather like reactionaries to heavy German metaphysics, avoiding thought and its fixtures, in looking at 'things'. However in declaring that this, this little swirling set of interchanges, that this is all, it prescribes what it deems important as process, and proscribes what it rejects, omitting the nexus of design and the basis for action, both in law and in design. It legislates its own reductionist brand of metaphysics, without having the grace to notice it!
A descriptive metaphysics is thereby contradicted. Description dies into prescription, which demands purpose as well as process, direction as well as existence, and standards as well as observations. Moreover, validity precedes propositions about process, which rest on it, where it stops. A destructive vision wants to stand static, as it looks unperturbed and immobile, at the world, hoping that nobody will see, denying itself, while it asserts itself. Further, it legislates in the absence of law, in a daring charade of unreason.
And this ? It omits not only the identity that changes, the laws that govern it, giving thought scope to generalise, but the significance of the synthetic, so readily visible in the unitary language of life and its integrated laws and programs, codified and directive of process. This regulation of thought, by courtesy of Buddha, this de-registering of aspects of integral function and ignoring of law, constitutes a division of the observable world by rule, by law, by prescription, and no description has the power to do this. People ought not to look beyond this, says the director of thought. To impose values however is no part of realism for a processive philosopher like Buddha, and here at once his system dissipates.
Just as the concept of flux is not flux, invalidating at once any reductionism into flux, so the rejection of law, design, principle and stability is not description, but a division of the operative world not merely gratuitous, but self-contradictory of the presuppositions, that process is all! Any process will do, so long as it is a process. This however is principle, regulative principle, abiding principle, divisive principle, selective principle, and as such it contradicts the philosophy of process, in order itself to exist. Its statement is its farewell.
But how does this smuggle in gods, as we have noted it does ? First, it brings in values, then principles, then things enduring, then 'stable philosophy', past all process, by which to tell us about it, then a non-soul that can transmigrate, reincarnate though it (allegedly) isn't there. (How could you incarnate, put in bodily form, what is not there on this theory, even in the first place, in order to be set in a body!) For that, then, if it were possible, add an enduring FORMER, formulator, maker ... to re-manufacture the soul to all the new operative capacities which its new life on reincarnation will require (an immense undertaking, the ludicrous character of which was examined earlier). Next pour in the Buddha-special rules of life by which to live (which no mere process can erect to 'authority', disclaiming other options), then the knowledge, itself too endlessly processive, by which to see things 'as they really are'...
All this is smuggled in, and it involves, again and again, specifically divine powers. See and know things as they are ? How, since on this analysis, all is relative, gain such absolute ? Ah but yes, it is easy, if you overthrow the presuppositions, and have a god on hand, competent for the purpose of proclamation of what is indeed the case, with the eye of knowledge which no process produces, beyond all process, seeing process for what it is: if you discard the philosophy of process, why then you can, indeed, have absolute perspective without the limits of mere process, buffeting meaninglessly in its interstices.
Without this, then nothing is absolute, including the power to declare that all is relative. That too would be relative and conditioned and contained in a series that has not even a basis or reality of its own, to confer, or to admit, even for man, even when he thinks, since that is all there allegedly is. Thus all must be done without objective knowledge, being dispossessed of any nature at all; and a fortiori, of one that could correctly communicate; and much more again, of one that overviews things as they are. There is no overview when the status of a self which could do it, is excluded in disembodied process. Views ... happen.
Again, the view that process is all, abides unprocessed.
Accordingly, further imports include the capacity for what has mere operational facility, and no intrinsic reality, you - the self being denied in principle - for this so to act as to know. Will objects communicate objectively ? With what language ? By what power ? So far from transcending its own processes far enough to see them as they are, the self does not even have Buddha's permission to exist, except as a reactor of no substantial reality whatever. From this, reality is doubly unattainable. Self-contradiction here is not merely present, but it is the essence of what is present. What is not real, indeed, cannot talk the language of reality, which is a function of it. All this we have seen often enough, in earlier analysis of kinds of philosophic error: this merely 'sanctifies' them into religion.
In brief, a stable, secure, ultra-mundane perspective and overview of reality is simply assumed in the flattest possible contradiction to the flux presupposition: and on this basis, all basis is declared invalid. Such a basis however is not merely contrary to these presuppositions: it enables them, is necessary for them and transcends this world as only the Creator can.
It enables them, however, in order that it should disenable them, being itself dismissed: it becomes their basis in order to nullify all basis, and therefore theirs, by its demise, its denial. These illicit premises, this smuggled perspective shouts, 'You have no soul!' while that non-existent soul through them is functioning, not only as man, but as if God. This is not mere illusion, but delusion.
Here we have all the advantages of deity, while denying even the actuality of man, His product, imagining him a mere assemblage of whatever, whenever, of no being, not an entity: and this is intellectual ruin. It builds its absolutely true perspective by first destroying the one who has it, who must formulate it, and on the correctness and validity of whose formulation alone could it stand; for there is nothing else... and even this, is not!
and validity of whose formulation alone could it stand; for there is nothing else... and even this, is not!
Those who first make man to be god are more consistent, or would be, if they were able, rather than merely making idols, according to custom; but the power to declare reality is not obtained by NAMING derivative man, a 'god'; any more than, as here, by accounting of him per se as essentially nothing. Nothing doesn't know; just as a 'god' reactor does not receive divine status by a policy speech, powers of survey by immersion in process, or power to interview reality when the interviewer doesn't have the privilege of existing; nor - even if it did exist - is there anything to identify itself to it. Such are the premises and such is the result.
Alas, when nothing of substance is your reality, nothing of substance is its product. A self-inflicted wound of Buddha this may be; but it is quite deadly. Man becomes in this way a mere empty or self-contradictory concept. It is quite literally: God or nothing. And nothing does nothing, which is not what we have ....
Man's meaning is indeed intense when he can know things as they are, relate to reality as kith and kin, summarise the system in truth, survey, artist of all that is, divorced from mere sequence, at the level of scenario. That however is the antithesis of the post Buddha accords him, while acting as if he had really dowered man with this felicity and facility... he himself being man! Such are the world's great illusionists.
Thus the necessities of God, as traced at the first (Chapter 1 supra) continue at the last to lead men, however unwillingly, to the shape or power or realities of God, even as they deny them; and the efforts to import more of 'god' in bhodisattvas, in all their splendid imagined helpfulness, based on nothing, merely attest as simply as did the polytheism of Hinduism, in uneasy alliance with Brahman, the thrust for more honesty with the realities ignored. Such moves, however, with these religions simply split the seams of their inadequacy, both in thought and perception, promoting instability. Buddhism in its narrowness promotes addition - All is not one, but created by One who is glorious in holiness indeed; while in Hinduism the delusive 'unity' promotes diversity and increments of varied gods: 'One' is not all, but the diverse product of Him who created all. As to the radically contradictory additions in Buddhism, we will return to these when seeing the coping stone of antichrist added to the newer formats of the religion.
Looking at the diversity of what is observable, we note that Creation is by One, diversity is its PRODUCT, SIN is its POTENTIAL, JUDGMENT is its DESTINY, or mercy on the terms of THAT ONE who created. What proceeds does not exhibit the power to make itself, and what it does is not coherent as one.
Summarising, it is noted that 'The conditions that make an individual are precisely those that give rise to suffering. Individuality implies limitation; limitation gives rise to desire; and inevitably, desire causes suffering, since what is desired its transitory, changing and perishing. It is the impermanence of the object of our craving that causes disappointment and sorrow.'
At once, in review, we note the pessimism, partiality and imprecision of this view. Factually, limitation can, on the contrary, cause delight in being privileged to be that specialist that one is, however limited; and desire can be so devoted to the Creator of one's limits that it is translucent to His direction, and so in its essence fulfilled; and joy can be the note of what is individual and so able to be lovable and loving. These are matters of observation.
However, let us go further. This pessimism ignores God as the base to originate, consummate, retain experience, and the soul that has it; the qualitative renewal and restoration of the soul - and thus the value of continuity, the rewards of permanence in God, and the lessons of design. It would be just as readily declared that individuality is precisely the quality which gives the potential, often actualised, for joy unspeakable.
This approach of Buddha prefers to reflect on the components - to take an illustration - of a car, because of rust, rather than on its purpose, its program or its principles of progress and powers of attainment. It ignores the lustre of association, whether of personality or of thoughts, and the strict necessity that any continuity of reasoning is impossible when what reasons has no continuity, meaning or validity, but is itself illusion.
If illusion it is, how much more so are its products, its 'thoughts' and its 'ideas', ridiculously dependent on what is wholly illusory, while telling us how woefully relative and unreal it ... really is. Unreality however is not a sound or effective basis for reality; and the appeal to reason is meaningless from or in a subject which is itself meaningless, possessed of no intrinsic significance. A relative self has no basis for achieving absolute truth such as is (implicitly) claimed when yet it has
1) no intrinsic substance with which to act
2) no intrinsic individuality in which to act
3) no intrinsic reality by which to act
4) no access to what is intrinsically real, except through its own unreality.
The religion, like the later philosophies related to David Hume, can dismantle nothing else when it first dismantles itself; it can destroy no reasoning when the very base for reasoning is first destroyed, and it can argue with nothing when, denied reality; it can neither manufacture a basis nor speak to a basis, since on this view, whatever IT is, doesn't speak.
Continuing the exposition of this negative religion, we find more of the summary of the sutras, in confirmatory style. Let us review it. 'According to Buddha, reality, whether of external things or the psychophysical totality of human individuals, consists in a succession and concatenation of microseconds called dhamma [Sanskrit Dharma - these 'components' of reality are not to be confused with 'law', dharma, the 'doctrine' of Bhudda... We may refer in the plural, for example, to dhammas.] 'The Buddha departed from the main lines of traditional Indian thought in not asserting an essential or ultimate reality in things.' This means he has no base to evaluate each dhamma as real, or anything else, since this does not on his view, so much as exist.
The negative features continue in the summary: 'The concept of the individual ego is important', we find, and what man identifies with, things like family 'body, and even mind - are not his true self.' Impermanence becomes dominant and the concept of dissolution, a passing away, is set counter to individuality and reality.
This of course is fallacious. Forms of a substance, even in chemistry, are not interchangeable in an element, for example, except it does not pass away! Conservation here permits change, and is its basis.
With a kind of non-ego in view, Buddha set forth five 'aggregates or constituents' of human existence: corporeality or physical forms; feeling or sensations; ideations; mental formation or dispositions; consciousness. The summary from the source noted continues: 'Human existence is only a composite of the five aggregates, none of which is the self or soul. A person is a process of continuous change, with no fixed underlying entity.' This too we must review.
The failure to distinguish growth of any kind, from cessation or non-existence of what grows is here a major error. If you define identity (total sameness) as the only form of continuity, then this is mere prescription, play on words, writing a new dictionary, as a style of thought. It does not change anything but the words. Development however is not the same as dispersal; and changes in understanding are not equivalent to nothing there, with which to do any understanding; which, by the way, is always awkward: to have nothing available with which to survey the scene of flux, and to say without flux, what it is! Contradictions in terms are always singularly unpleasant, if you want to avoid the painful necessity of needing no one to contradict you, in this case having first done it to yourself.
In dealing with the 'problem' of reincarnation of what has no existence for the purpose of being 'anything-ed', no identity to hand for reconstruction, reference in the noted encyclopedic article is made to fire. This, it is there suggested, though 'different in every moment' has 'what may be called the continuity of an ever changing reality.' However, fire has an identity of actuality of which changing form is merely an expression. We can define it with its features, one of which is that its nature intact, it expresses itself in superficially diverse forms. Buddha however denied such an identity of any kind, speaking of assemblages. The relevance of the fire analogy has to depend on the dismissal of his thought; so that it cannot apply. The irrelevance of the analogy leaves his thought in contradiction, as shown from the first. An assemblage of no substance cannot be re-formed. It is gone and lost, and indeed, never was, being merely an operation with no street address. You could not re-incarnate it, even if the technical biotechnological engineers were available for the operation.
If something is to be reborn, it must be there: if it is, Buddhism is wrong; if it is not, 'it' cannot be reborn. Buddhism is wrong again. Small wonder it is so unstable, with so many claimants to its name, which so little cohere.
Now that, so far from being Buddhist teaching, is a flat contradiction of it. Further, Buddha in his concept of assemblages, is nevertheless back of assemblages; an assessor of assemblages, not dependent on assemblages, settled and secure as a surveyor of flux. He would be cohesive and coherent past assemblages, a being beyond, over assemblages, their mentor, secure in his site for survey, sovereign over the dissolving powers of flux, in a world reputedly containing nothing else.
Buddha ? He denies there is any such thing as this. To do this, however, he himself has to be just such a thing. Forgetting oneself, normally such a pleasant grace, is death to a philosophy where what one is, is crucial.
Let us revert to his concept of micro-seconds, snapshot moments, as ALL. This forgets and ignores the matrix in which these moments cohere, through which they arrive, by means of which they are specifiable, of time itself. It is BECAUSE of the continuing passage of this time that they are determinable as moments (of what ? of time). Similarly forgotten are the interactive causalities to which he verbally refers, but which in fact operate, in terms of laws and reasons, the very sequences to which he refers. Such unchanging laws and principles, while directing change, are by no means to be dubbed its victim or its butt, while this world endures.
In fact, the underlying causes, by which PAST and PRESENT may be considered, in forming the theory of Buddhism, are themselves antecedent as realities, to the theories, a stable margin of principle provided for them and the FUTURE, to which causality points, similarly depends on it.
Throughout all these points, Buddha can only propound his views on a basis incorporating their contradiction.
Further, since he reasons, and excludes or includes thoughts on a permanent basis, whereas this latter allegedly does not even exist, his pretensions are refuted by himself before he begins. If reason is valid, so is substance, continuity, the reasoner; if all or any of these are not, then neither is reason. If therefore he is right, he is wrong: his is a classic case of self-contradiction. To secure validity of thought, he must first abandon what he thinks. Indeed, any attribution of a theoretical, imagined, or reasoned reality to what is, renders impossible its prior dismissal. You cannot proceed to reality via nullity and hope to get away with it.
If, however, reality is to be accepted, assumed, God is the necessary minimal cause of its discovery, as we have reasoned so often. On the other side, the observable actualities of law operation, in all its multiplicity of kind, REQUIRE THE LEGISLATOR OF THE CAUSAL SYSTEM, which does not escape accounting because it is large; and the language of life - this does not speak itself, as if in abstraction and forgetful of incapacity. Neither mind nor spirit lounge into existence, in flat contradiction of material characteristics, by oversight.
Thus this 'other world' of Buddha, the reality-teller, the like-it-is portrayer, the arbiter Buddha, over all, beyond all, that other world and other speaker who, which... probed process and pronounced on probes: This world for him arose, manifested itself, took the glory and then cancelled its registration. There is, therefore, an antichrist in principle.
Put differently: This presumption sticks like a universal dagger into his reductionist, fantasy system. His reason, realisation, concepts, conceptual integration, co-ordination of considerations, cohesion of quality, stratification of components, overall vision, sequence of thought, priorities of pieces, language-concept synthesis, ideational control, all this, forged to form, fitted to order, tailored to mould, put on canvas, portraited into still life production - use what illustration of the principle you will: This abides steadfast, but not sure. This eluded his one. Here was its seat - the forgotten chair, the lost 'civilisation', that of Buddha himself, like the mountain-girt Aztecs, hidden away.
Buddha was its pointer, the forgotten artist. It was he who figured in many functions. Stable, non-processive framework was erected, and stayed put. It was not evanescent; its components did not pass into fluid dissipation. He is his own contradiction, his own betrayer, playing god incognito, heavily disguised. Framework ? framework plus creator was he, steadfastly pondering his picture: both. Buddha used what he deleted, and lived by what he forgot.
Moreover, he forgot not only himself, the derivative creator, the philosophic pro-creator, and derivative cause of his own products, but God also. He forgot the Creator and cause of Buddha's own derivative powers, cause and cohesion of the creation, including the aspects of its unity, and its susceptibility to unified and immobilised thought, by which its unity (as creation) could with unity be understood, rather than hidden from, as with Buddha, in obsessive obscuration and irrational reductionism, prescribing what he will tolerate, proscribing what he will not, and using it as he does so.
Prescription, such as Buddha so loves, has no place in mere occurrence; but it indeed, is given one when the idea is subordinate to the ideal, which Buddha prescribes as he will, both morally and intellectually. Thus in principle God is imported, used, dismissed, in these proceedings. It is rather like a Punch and Judy show.
For such actions however as this, the mind which thinks logically takes its source and achieves its validity, not in the contradiction of having UNCAUSED AND NON-SELF-SUFFICIENT clouds of drifting thought, but in the self-sufficient and eternal God, ideal intrinsically and as resource of our designs. It also, unlike Buddha, acknowledges it.
When this is seen and realised, then self of man is a design and significance is achievable by self-revelation of the Designer. Similarly non-frustration outside the realm of Buddha's concepts, is found by the individual in the fulfilment of the design in collaboration with the Designer.
Christianity does not stop here; for when God makes man able to discuss with Him, forms man as a derivative design able to receive divine, analytical declaration, then man achieves a transcendental significance, and this not merely aborts frustration.
It also explains the frustration that personally so distressed Buddha, by showing such a sense of abortion, blocking or belittling, as could induce the self-consciousness of the failure of the man whose 'thoughts' are its pall-bearers. Refusing God, Buddha then refuses and misnames desire, as if volition were evil because it lived; and this? why, because bereft of God, monistically misled, he has desires which he would prefer aborted and condemned, rather than sanctified from a new heart ... Void and avoid appears as the spiritually suicidal option here preferred. From where, indeed can he find a new heart, who will not come to his Maker!
This form of Buddhism proved extremely popular in much of the East, making 'Buddha' serve or act in the effectual format of an antichrist, a substitute Christ, as it swept over much of the teeming populace of the earth, in fulfilment of Christ's warning (Mark 13:22). It is indeed easier to be god in absentia, than on earth, where Jesus manifested His verifiable power, fulfilled and made verifiable prophecies, failing in nothing and displaying His glory. One prophecy touches us immediately:
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take heed: behold I have foretold you all things.As for Buddha, the prince turned preacher and the potentate become beggar, with all his psychic paraphernalia, this was sign and wonder enough for multiplied millions.
Nor is this all. There is in wide acceptance in Buddhism, the concept of one Maitreya (see glossary), who as a sort of imitation Christ, is to return, arise or arrive on earth, having a reincarnation status, rather less remarkable to consider or difficult to achieve, than a resurrection status, the unique prerogative of the challenge of Jesus Christ. Wholly irrationally (cf. pp. 1008-1009 in NOTE ON FOLLIES supra), this being, conceived of as 'friendliness', is to sally forth from what, after all, is not there on this basis, the de-conceptualised not-ness, the area where thought ceases and silence roars (more a not-what than a what-not, in such realms of negativity). Further, in doing so, he is to portray this moral compassion and friendliness which again is irrational; for what qualities can 'arise' with moral force, from what is mere process, and how can a series of series transcend series and have quality, preserved intact meanwhile, where series have no being, moreover, ready for later re-deployment on earth where they are, allegedly, all!
Much more readily answered is the relatively late nature of this atheist's nightmare, this divinity, this piece of characterisable beyond, which thus is not un-characterisable at all, but merely something living where there is no life! for life is characterisable.
Since 1400 B.C. or so, the work of Moses has revealed the coming descendant of the human race who would bring deliverance, work with compassion, overthrow evil. This being of the Buddhists, however, reaches (the 1986 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica tells us - Vol. 7, pp. 714 ff.), the Buddhist 'scriptures' around the THIRD CENTURY A.D., and proved very popular for something to worship from the 4th to the 7th century A.D..
Further, around 1000 B.C., King David wrote many psalms on Messiah to come, the God-man to come, the Redeemer, his descendant who should bring compassion and deliverance to captives, spiritually, and who in time would rule the earth in righteousness, with concern for equity, the poor and the heart of His people (cf. Chapters 8-9, supra, and esp. Psalms 45, 40, 16, 2, 72, 110). The advantage here is that in the Hebrew scriptures, there IS somewhere for Him to be, there are qualities which may meaningfully be ascribed to God, there is quality on earth, there are grounds for moral distinctives and distinctions and so on. It is consistent, non-self-contradictory and sound. Further, the Messiah meticulously performed the prophecies, and God, we recall challenged us to find for ourselves whether any other 'god' could do such things. Of course, there are no data that any ever did! ...
The concept is Biblical before, long before, persistently before, consistently before it is found elsewhere; and thus appears the likelihood that Buddhism has deployed this alien concept, grafting it on like so much else from synthesis with the very sort of thing Buddha was moving away from, to 'reform' things.
What does concern us however, beyond the normal religious syncretism which afflicts by nature, unstable and inadequate religion, is that this is one more magnificent fulfilment of the Biblical prediction that there would be many false Christs. Here is Buddha being elevated on the one hand to a position not desired; there are bodhisattvas1 waiting for their due contribution of compassion, worshipped this way and that; and then, as we see, there is this master-bodhisattva, the Maitreya: alone accepted by the less flexible Theravadins of Buddhism, in this category, as well as embraced by the Mahayana Buddhists. What a panoply of substitute Christs, grabbing now this, now that quality from the God who has qualities in principle, as well as in practice, and even casting nets for a sort of Messiah-hood! That is a false Christ if you will, and a fairly crudely constructed one, based on syncretism, abiding in contradiction; but in this, not of the Bible, which yet it rather dramatically fulfils.
Without the truth, man will in some way reach for what he forsakes; and so with the cast empty, he pours in now this and now that, to create religions so irrational that only his own de-stabilisation could occur as their initial ground; and as to that? what is unbased is always unstable!
Indeed, now the New Age concepts go even further, and often stimulated by this vast hinterland of human invention, now talk of ascended masters, being pleased to put Christ here or there, with their own pick, as it were to make up a spiritual team to satisfy themselves, in the most exquisite mockery of the personality of God. Would any of them care to be 'constructed' from the components of desired men or women? rather than having some little attention given, by someone, to what his or her own personality is! In this sort of frenzy of antichrists, we pass from the merely syncretistic, the mixing of concepts into a sort of theological thick-shake, to the yet more ambitious synthesising of gods. Alas, as we saw earlier, a queue does not create a bus, nor does thought make a God. Rather it is God who made the thinker; and what He thinks of this intrusive and abusive misuse of His name, we have noted earlier! What indeed would you, if it were done even to yourself! And you ? you are not God!
But all this verifies the word of God, which not merely propounds prophecy, but gives grounds for the diseases and their development, as we have seen, and these grounds are systematic, and independently verifiable.
Transcendental Meditation with its Buddhist overtones, and its hypnotic repetitions or vacuous perambulations of the mind, one of the more vain delusions of the twentieth century, allies itself with that form of Buddhism which seeks the 'Buddha' within. It is an understandable sort of mania of self-delusion in the absence of prayer to the living God, for which it serves as a synthetic substitute, a formal emptiness in the absence of actuality, moving close to Zen Buddhism and its mystic inwardness. As such movements proceed to the ultra-ultimate within, surrounded with exercises and developments of the spirit, they can readily form, in one name or another, a sort of Buddha within, in terms of SELF-development. What then is this, but an intimate antichrist of an eccentricity of egotism worthy of Satan himself! (cf. Ezekiel 28:6 ff.).
Unbelief in these newer forms bursts at its seams as it imports concepts alien to Buddha, to his established religion, adding unbelief to unbelief; and all this with no support but speech, no basis but myth and no ground but the sheer daring of saying what you presuppositionally exclude, through the very name of your religion.
As to the particular form, Nichiren Buddhism, it is interesting that in Japan, this religion has been associated with the view that it must be spread by force if necessary (McDowell and Stewart, Understanding Non-Christian Religions, p. 66). That of course is far from exceptional for what fails in self-attesting and verifiable revelation, as in REASON! Such a make-weight use of force is a topic for Section 2, infra, to this Chapter.
There is not only such a movement on this earth, but one apparently to take over celestial assets as well. Thus the endeavour in this religion to elevate process (which was Buddha's love) back to creator-destroyer type 'god' (Hindu component, or phase, a 'godlet'), mythically mixed up with matter, contrary to its observable character and impersonal procedures, in the desolate wastes of the atheistically ploughed lands of Buddha himself: this makes a mixture many a builder could covet.
What do we have here ? We find polytheism with a monistic base, yielding atheism with logically illegitimate importation of ideals; yielding to a form of religion with theological abstractions, using as base... an atheist! This point applies both to the Mahayana and the Nichiren forms of Buddhist, and makes their popularity exceptionally important in terms of the whole character of Christ's designation of the multitudinous antichrist presentations to come.
Further, this aggressively expanding Nichiren form of Buddhism, like the Zen Buddhism with its will-o'-the-wisp quasi-existentialist grasping for enlightenment without a light, and Hare Krishna, appearing as a meditationally mesmeric form of Hinduism, represent forms of godliness denying the Creator at whose word all creation came, denying therefore the power of God. As such they represent one more fulfilment of prophecy (II Timothy 3:1-5):
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves ... having a form of godliness, but denying its power: from such turn away.As such developments interlock and react with specific Western heresies, such as we trace elsewhere for this Age; and as they mix words and concepts like some theological kaleidoscope, turning men to myths (II Timothy 4:4), invading the Western worlds, attracting devotees IN THE TIME of the independently great "falling away" (II Thessalonians 2:3), they trace in a rich variety, the precise path that the Bible predicts. In advance it foretells this for history, constituting pungent verification in the face of the wafting imagination of man. How beautifully and indeed journalistically apt is the prediction of II Timothy 4:3-4 noted:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be TURNED TO FABLES. (Blocks added ... Cf. pp. 999, 202-203 supra!)The term translated here as 'fables' is the Greek muthos, meaning 'tale, fable, myth, legend'.
This is the very territory which we are exploring,
prompted jointly by our tasks
of exhibiting fulfilment of prophecy in its precise statements, and
of showing the disabled character of the
which dare touch the word of God.
IF THEY DO SO, THEY ARE NOT MERELY REBUFFEd
BY ITS LOGICAL INTEGRITY,
ITS PROPHETIC POWER AND
ITS PHYSICIAN'S ANALYSIS,
BUT BY THEIR OWN IRRATIONALITY,
WHICH IN TURN and IN ADDITION, IS THE STATUS BIBLICALLY CONFERRED ON THEM.
The Hare Krishna emphasis, in its aggressive invasion of the West, even in places of public concourse with its suggestive sounds and solicitations, using what Jesus Christ in His Sermon on the Mount calls ''vain repetitions'' (Matthew 6:7), is further attestation of a ''form of religion without its power''. God is not to be moved by psychic extravaganzas, but by acts through faith on the basis of His promises, prophecies, commands and precepts, in terms of that name which is verified, effectual and solely acceptable, that of the performer who on earth showed what is now to be sought from heaven. Which is that ? Is it variable ? Not at all. It is written, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8); for what is right needs no change, and what is true, no alteration.
The Bible has received no variant strains; Christ has made no changes, allowing neither concessions nor violences; but the truth has proceeded with a majestic sobriety, and a fearless reality that scorns assault and directs history. The Founder of the New Covenant, being personally definitive, left no room, or need, or scope for advance! for He was in advance of all, as God for ever prior ... neither revision nor concession is found. The steadfast Bible reflects this, as it reflects Him. There is here mutual verification.
This sad, suffering song of the East, by contrast, is lacking at its core the very Creator who brought this universe to exist, the resurrection which brought eternal life to the focus of man, for faith in Jesus Christ. Instead, it sets forth religious introspection as a way, rather than The Way who came and demonstrated Himself in word and deed, love and mercy, evidentially and prophetically, systematically and objectively, eternally and internally to man. Effectively, it is substituting for God - merely man.
This precise religious configuration, in the midst of the many coordinate features of contemporary history in this late twentieth century, is as the Bible predicted, as Jesus Christ signified: His constantly verified words conducting and controlling history, just as, before He came from eternity, with the Father He constructed this place for history, this earth. From such a Being such power is to be expected; in Him, it is found, vigorously, precisely, victoriously and effectually verified. This constitutes a continuation of His evidential impact on man, as does the power of His word in the hearts and lives of those who know Him; and this too, from such a One, you would expect. From Him, we continually find, all expectation is met, the lavish provisions predicted are found; and both, with His extraordinary accomplishment, individuality and originality. God, after all, is lord over man, and maker and master even of his imagination. In surpassing it, He speaks but His own language! (Cf. Ephesians 3:20.)
Before we continue with Extension 2, On Tribal Testimony, we provide for some of greater appetite, an short essay into negativity, nescience and nullity in the religious scene, whether in that great duo, Buddhism, Hinduism, by passing the positive and demonstrable reality of the God has acted in Christ, or in the numerous sects, which bypass the Christ who as God the sent, has shown His own reality directly, inventing some other creation, an idol of the thoughts, as surely as did the idolaters of old.
EXTENSION 1A The Nescience, The Nullity and the Negativity - Applications to Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age Physics, Sects, both traditional and innovative
By now we have been able to display the grounds for seeing that the Hindu religion has a person move towards a submergence into a "One" which in the last analysis, has no qualities statable: One is all. How COULD it have any ? The discernible movement of emphasis in the sacred writings, over time, is from the concept of Creator in early hymns, to a polytheistic tribe of gods, with the absolute, the real, the final, the ultimate wholly unknowable.
This it must be, for nothing alone is left when you look within the universe, for what is beyond the universe. There is nothing to be said in such a case, and this is what they say at the final level, in the ways we have attested; and it is to this you are directed with some fervour indeed.
It is neither a coincidence nor without a certain grim humour that this is precisely what modern physicist, Paul Davies puts there too - and doubtless, through a different systemisation, for the same ultimate reason. Looking into the text for the creator of a poem is a self-defeating and myopic mistake; and find in the qualities essential where they cannot be, is to find nothing by definition, not observation.
In parallel with Hinduism, Buddhism would have a person move towards an "all" which is one. The only sign of anything ultimate is the "one", which however is not more, but if anything less, than that of Hinduism, for which this religion was intended as a reform movement!
Whereas that - Hinduism - is in the end a symbolic essay about a god who isn't there, this - Buddhism - is an essay about a place where no god is; it is a place unknown in essence, but comprehended by a sort of knowledgeable ignorance. In all this, the difference is one of emphasis, dwelling on the one who is misplaced and not found where He is not, or on the creation, where He cannot be found, since it is His mere product. Here is a lunge into negativity which is infecting much of the West, which, having absorbed irrationality as a sort of indigestion remedy, tends also to float in nebulosities, existentialisms, New Ages of thought and hope founded on what is not evidenced, sitting like a weary child on a sand castle, long since washed away by the tide. It is rock, not sand which is necessary for sounder building.
In the end, both Hinduism and Buddhism are bypassing (and the Buddhist view is doing so at the commencement as well) the absolute God who made the universe as an exploit, our minds a mirror and our souls a viewer.
The mirror, twisted by sin, produces enormous distortions, but can be corrected and restored; the viewer can be remedied, rightly to use the mirror, on the side of creation - and to know God - in the attested reality of the Creator.
It is in this context, which we have shown from the outset to be necessary, and repeatedly confirmed and verified, that we see the significance in human religion of NOT KNOWING GOD, something indeed immortalised by the apostle Paul, in Athens, when he lighted satirised but gently exhorted the people in terms of their altar to "the unknown God", their provision in the midst of ignorance for any left out: the one omitted being the One who is there, has been, and will be, for whom time is a mode and creation a performance.
Ways, then, of NOT KNOWING GOD are many, but mercifully there is only one meta-religion, required by reason with place for facts, room for adequate verification, adorned moreover by a Person who exhibited God as incarnate: in spirit, in works and in power, in love, in grace and in unblemished holiness. That is Christianity, which incorporates His name, and when authentic, is borne by HIM, who fills it, but never bears Him, who made it. Its Saviour Jesus Christ is the personal potentate whose presence allowed test, invited examination, presented proof and did it all with a majesty incomparable, even when acting at the level of that God who had for so long declared Himself all-knowing and almighty, to His people as He reformed the earth following the flood, and as He challenged it before hand.
Naturally, being what it is , or better, how it is, the human mind has distorted this like all other spiritual truth, so that despite and contrary to the Bible, you have a whole new field of religions distorting the faith, just as you earlier and still - have another set bypassing it. In this former set are all those who honour but misuse the Biblical testimony of Jesus Christ. These range (cf. Appendix III, The Living God, Section 5 in Biblical Blessings), from Seventh Day Adventism to Christian Science (both started by a woman in defiance extraordinary to I Timothy 2, quite apart from their negativity towards the deity of the Prince of Peace, either in His Person or His work as substitutionary atonement for His own people), spreading indeed to the Jehovah's Witness sect, which rejects Christ 's witness to Jehovah AS Jehovah! (John 8:58) and makes more than one divine god. Thus do they engage in a not so engaging pluralism, in strident separation from the Ten Commandments, as from Psalm 96:5, 97:7, Ephesians 4:4, and in segregation from God, who Himself does not know of any other God (either el or elohim - Isaiah 45, either past or to come - Isaiah 43:10-11, or of any Saviour outside Himself who sent the Saviour Jesus Christ, Luke 2:10, Acts 4:11-12).
So does the morass of negativity, like Bunyan's mire in the Slough of Despond, show by repeated endeavours, how deep is the bottomless pit of nescience which is no science, oblivion which yet cannot forget.
Though then, the Biblical limit to divine gods is one, yet these religions would stretch it, being joined in this by the Christadelphian sect, and amazing as it might seem, by the Moslem with their whole 800 or so million body adding itself to the other sects (if by a sect you mean a body honouring Christ and placing Him in the forefront of religious life, but not abiding by the Biblical account, the prophetic identikit therein and the historical testimony never overturned). Similarly, then, the Moslem religion rejects the deity of Jesus Christ - indeed specifically in the Mosque of Omar inscribing the negation, saying that God has no son! - and in this negation of Christ, as God displayed in human form, and manifest, it joins the sects, giving Him in reality small honour, since the difference between the infinite and the finite is great indeed! Rupturing deity from deity in this, this religion acts as if to segregate God from God, rejecting that face (John 14, II Corinthians 3:14-18, 4:6, Hebrews 1:1-3, John 8:58).
But what of the religion of Rome, far from Catholic - for it is in the end, the religion of the Bishop of Rome, and hence anything but Catholic: what of this? It speaks highly of Christ as divine, but
The negation of the historical Christ by these contradictory additions makes one more diversion from deity, more false construction and constriction of His ways. Ingenious in a way, it merely divests from God the uniqueness of His saving grace by its Bible-contradicting additives on Mary, His ineffable face by its papal claims, and asserting the origin of the Christ they create, yet make Him anew as their will directs (cf. II Corinthians 11:1-11). In this, they are of course no different from those cited in this text by Paul, but like the Moslems they pull into their orbit some further 800 million, according to some statistics.
So the fanfare of ubiquitous negativities proceeds for this writhing earth, foretold in profusion (cf. II Timothy 3, I Timothy 4, II Peter 2, Jude, II Thessalonians 2, Matthew 24), producing confusion, courting illusion.
Inventive is the human mind:
but as for God, He has declared Himself (John 1, Hebrews 1,
Colossians 2:9) in - and as - Jesus Christ, God-the-Sent (cf. Zechariah
2:8, 3:9, 12:10, Isaiah 48:16, I John 1:1-4, 4:14, 5:19-23, Colossians
1:19-23), that eternal life which was with the Father, as the apostle proclaims,
who is for us who believe, offered freely and sincerely to all! This He
has done without room for addition or subtraction (Galatians 1:6-9, Revelation
22:18-19), and indeed to none of these 'things' will God suffer addition,
nor has this ever been His way (Proverbs 30:6, Deuteronomy 4; 12). This
He has done in definitive manner (Hebrews 1:1-3).
He is found where He is, and
not in the constructions of men, whether in the first, or at the last,
whether in atheistic fallacy or theistic fantasy:
He is found as He declares, attested by His works, confirmed to our hearts by His words which work like battalion runners, constantly showing their power in their performance.
This alike is found in the empirical history of the individual Christian soul and in the multitudinous history of our race as news runs up on news, and all runs like oiled engines, to the dictates of God who has spoken in His word, and speaks the power to make it operate constantly (cf. Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:17).
Thus, although the creation is long past as evolution so eloquently attests in the bankruptcy of all its claims by that intractable reality, the evidence, the application of the word of God is by no means past, and it continues as the world wanders,piercing as it works itself into a veritable frenzy of killing conscience and transmuting living work-places called bodies, into corpses as if it depended on deaths for commission!
God is what He has declared Himself to be, and any 'god' who differs - whether, like Allah, in having no Son, or no deity in that Son, or in having a Son who can be constructed after the event by sinners - is no God! So did Moses warn from the first,
"They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
To gods new arrivals
That your fathers did not fear.
Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful,
And have forgotten the God who fathered you."
They provoked God by giving their worship to "what
is NOT GOD". What a testimony! Mixed up on GOD, their Creator, they bestow
their misplaced instincts, as fashioned in the image of God, on what is
not God! A man might mistake his parents, but for a person to mistake his
God! to add to or subtract from His signature! It is folly inconceivable,
and love does not trifle with what destroys the human heart, affronts the
Almighty or disregards the redemption which is vested in one only , Christ
Jesus the Lord.
Psalm 2 puts it perfectly,
and Handel in the passion of his famed Messiah
has lyrically rendered it
in MUSIC. Would you care to listen ?
1. Non-Souls in process to higher things, pausing to help - though strictly without having being to exist, or elevation to attain.
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