The tragedy of Buddhism and of Christianity is that we have turned their founders into Gods.
Despite the Buddha’s warnings against dogma, rites and rituals and despite his teaching that the Source of all life, energy and consciousness is beyond form and concept, the Buddhists light incense, bow before his statue and pray for his intercession in their affairs.
Christians claim that Yeshua bar Yosef (Jesus) is God and that Miriam (Mary) is the mother of God. On the one hand we are told that Jesus is the only Son of God, yet we are told that God, speaking to Job, said that when He made the stars to dance "ALL the children of God shouted with joy." All of them.
Jesus of Nazareth made a very clear distinction between himself and God. "Not my will, but Thine" and "Heavenly Father, glorify me with thine own Self, with the glory that I had with Thee, before the world was." Nevertheless, he knew that there is no separation when he tried to explain "I am in the Father, you are in me and I am in thee". He also taught that at the day of at-one-ment we would know this for ourselves. Nevertheless, he did not mistake the part for the whole. Of components, God is the co-ordination.
When we metamorphosis God; that is, when we reduce God to a single, male-form we are really creating God in OUR OWN IMAGE. The path of Man’s spiritual journey is littered with the discarded images of our gods. Some Christians have virtually turned Mary into a goddess. They light candles, kneel before her statue and pray for her intercession in their affairs.
It is well known to theologists that Mary had other children besides Jesus, but in the 4th Century the Patriarch of Constantinople, John Chrysostom, tried to proclaim Mary to be ‘perpetually virgin’. He was not helped by his friend Syrus suggesting that she was impregnated auricularly – via the ear – into the womb. This gives us some understanding of the ignorance of the church at that time. Happily, the proposal was rejected. Amazingly, the proposal was accepted some three hundred years later; which gives us further insight into the establishment’s mind at that time. In 431 AD the Council of Ephesus declared her ‘deipara’ mother of God. In 1546 the Council of Trent declared her ‘Free of all sin’ making way for Pius XI in the 19th Century to promote the ‘Immaculate Conception’ as an article of faith.
In 1958 the Mariological Congress in Lourdes tried, unsuccessfully, to promote Mary as the ‘Causa Efficiens’, the agent of redemption; which rather usurps Jesus or, at least, places her on equal footing with him. However, despite the opposition of the 2nd Vatican Council in 1964, Pope Paul VI declared Mary ‘Mater Ecclesia’, Mother of the Church which put her back up there with Jesus. Well, seeing that the Popes become infallible in 1970, it is foolish to argue. So much for ecumenism. One does wonder though, what all this has to do with loving God and loving your brothers and sisters as yourself.
Krishnamurti was right. Disciples do indeed kill their own masters.
David Hurst writes for www.spirit-web.org