When What Is Truth Is Within
In a way, the Christian notion of being in Christ and Buddhist notion of no self and true self have something in common. That commonality is, you are free from this binding ego. You step outside of ego and are then open to receive love of God and open to act as a good Christian disciple or a good Buddhist. So whatever needs arise around you, you respond to it freely without clinging to your old unchanging self.
My favorite words from Christian tradition actually came from the so-called Gnostic gospel, Gospel of Thomas. There Jesus talks about salvation. Jesus said, “If you bring out what is within you, what is within you will save you. But if you cannot bring out what is within you, what is within you will destroy you.” Whenever I hear that message of Jesus I feel, “Yes, what is within you is true self.” Our true self which is not bound to either our sin or this unchanging illusion of self. Then you can really bring out true self and salvation. But, if you cannot bring out the true self the true self is not born, because you didn’t bring it out. That result which is not born will destroy you. Isn’t that a great teaching?
So whenever I hear this Gnostic gospel I feel, if the so-called Gnostic gospel became a canon of Christian history we would have a very close relationship between Buddhism and Christianity.
Chung Hyun Kyung is Professor of Ecumenical Theology and Interfaith Engagement at Union Theological Seminary and a Buddhist Dharma teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen She trained with Seung Sahn Sunim and Thich Nhat Hanh. She is a peace activist and an author of many articles and books on eco-feminist theologies and peoples’ movements, all based on her extensive research in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Old Dog Documentaries: Hyun Kyung was interviewed for the new documentary Jesus and Buddha: Practicing Across Traditions by the filmmakers of Old Dog Documentaries, John Ankele and Anne Macksoud. They write: “We are two “old dogs” worried about the state of our world and saddened by the suffering we see all around us. Since 1985, we have produced and directed documentary films about the subtleties of individual human experience and the complexities of our collective challenges. Our work encourages thoughtful responses to the interconnectedness of all life. We hope it inspires viewers to become agents of change, determined to do what it takes to create a more just and peaceful world.” Learn more about ODD and Jesus and Buddha at Old Dog Documentaries website.~Asst. Editor: Edith Lazenby
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