Good commenst Brother of the Falcon :) They have stirred some thoughs in me so 
if you
don't mind, allow me to add a few ideas or word-things here:
--- falconbrother <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> Wow, cant stay out of this one.  
> I must, as truly we all must, only come from my opinion, my 
> perspective, my reality.  Are there two natures to a man?  Or, is 
> this a simplistic explanation for a complex, individualized 
> reality?  The fact is, that we all come into the presence of God 
> alone.  We don't really bring our religion with it's boxes of 
> theology and concepts.  We come before the throne naked, as it were, 
> exposed in spirit and in truth.  So, to settle on a concept of 
> theology so as to lock God in, so that our comfort level increases, 
> does not really bring us closer to God, as if we could be any 
> closer.  
Two Natures of Man:
In the absolute universe, everything is one. Man is one, God is one, all things 
one. Man is one with God and man is one with man and all things. There are no
distinctions. This would be heaven, or Nirvana?

But, we live in the relative universe where all things are separate and the 
Duality is commonplace. Watching the movie Apollo 13 shows this. In several 
shots, we
can see the Earth and the Moon in space, with their shadows extending out in a 
behind them (the side away from the Sun). As far removed from the topic as this 
is, that depiction is the best example of the light/dark duality I can think of 
at this
moment. Clearly we can see that both Earth and Moon are whole and integral, but 
is a side in the light of the Sun and a side in the dark of space. The duality
continues with happy/sad, good/bad, male/female, positive/negative and so 
forth. It is
only in experiencing this duality that we can learn. I believe it is 
humankind's task
in this relative universe to learn of the absolute universe and the consensious 
and the co-creation of reality. The true reality is the absolute Oneness of all 
But we cannot just say we know this, we have to experience it. That is kensho.

Theology and the nature of God:

Theology is man's attempt to explain the true nature of God. That is the 
clearest and probably least encompassing definition I've ever heard for what 
is. On a dark night, when we have clear dark skies above us and we look up, we 
actually looking into forever, the eternity, the endlessness of all. But human 
can't see that far. In fact, they can't see very far at all. What's worse, the 
brain can't process information that vast. Our eyes were designed to see the 
in the brush or the edge of the cliff or the quicksand or some other local 
danger. They
were not designed to see beyond the next hill. Yet the Ancients around the 
world had an
understanding that the universe was endless. Some, like the Vedic Aryans in 
India (no
they never lived in Germany or any other part of Europe) had in their teachings 
philosophy that the universe was beginningless as well. But for some reason, 
could not wrap their minds around concepts that even their Celtic predecessors 
"normal". So man (and not just European-man) invented Theology as a means of 
the incomprehendable into comprehendable terms. Even Buddhists do this. But Zen,
started in India and taken first to China (Ch'an) then Korea (Soen) and finally 
Japan (Zen) came out of the realization that words did not cause the 
enlightenment of
Buddha, but sitting in meditation did. So, Zen abandoned Theology and simplified
spirituality and mysticism into koans and just sitting. 

So, Falconbrother, you are absolutely correct. When we approach God (the 
absolute) we
do not need Theology (relativistic explanations for the relative). We are 
naked because there are no clothes in the absolute universe, we are all part of 
greater whole called God and have no need of clothes. :)

> Thus, Zen practice (zazen) is simply a practice.  Zen philosophy is 
> good psychology.  There is no theological conflict between Zen and 
> Christianity unless one brings the conflict when they arrive.  In 
> the philosophy of Zen this would be a path to suffering.  That is 
> craving or aversion.
Exactly. There is the old story of the man who went in search of enlightenment 
or the
truth...So he packed all his worldly goods into suitcases and trunks and boxes. 
He put
all these into a cart and hitched up an ox, locked his house up and went off in 
of one more thing to add to his collection of things...Some thing called
"enlightenment". Well, after many days, he crossed paths with a monk and asked 
where he could go to learn and become enlightened. The monk pointed to a 
building, a
monastary on the top of a steep mountain. The monk said "you will have to go up 
but you won't make it with all that in your cart (pointing to the turnks, boxes 
suitcases)." Well, the fellow thanked the monk and stered his oxcart onto the 
going up the mountain. As he did so he thought "what does this fellow know 
about the
finer things in life?". In all those boxes and trunks were all the things that 
fellow had collected through out his long life...Books, papers, chotchkies, 
artworks, etc. Things this fellow regarded as "valuable" and "pleasing" and even
"beautiful". He absolutely had no intention of getting rid of them. 

The road was a long, twisted goat track up a steep, rocky precipice-like 
Getting to the monastary on the top was going to take several days.

Well, it was not two days into the journey that the ox refused to go on. He 
just could
not pull the heavy waggon up that steep slope. So, he stopped to rest the ox and
himself. The next day, he hitched up the ox and tried again. As before, this 
time the
ox was just not able to move that cart. So, sadly the fellow had to start 
unloading it,
becasue he was not going to stop until he aquired enlightenment. He began 
boxes and hiding them in the bushes near the road. Finally he got the cart 
light enough
for the ox to pull it, and knowing he could always pick up his boxes on the way 
proceeded on. A few days later he found the path even steeper than before, and 
again, no matter how hard he tried, the ox could not proceed. So, once again the
traveler began removing trunks and boxes and hiding them in the bushes. Finally 
the cart was light enough to be pulled up the steep path. A few days later, this
happened again and this time he had to remove all the suitcases of his fine 
from the cart, leaving only the provisions he had brought for the trip. The 
last part
of the trip was very difficult, even with the almost empty cart. Finally the 
track was
so narrow the cart itself had to be left behind. So, the fellow packed what he 
could on
the ox and proceeded. So, taking what he could and strapping it to the ox, he 
on and rode off, leaving most of his delicacies and fancy cookware and dishes 
in the

The last few days of the trip were miserable. It was cold and rainey and most 
of the
food he brought got ruined. Also the ox just could not carry him. So, taking a 
bag of rice, a pot and his bedroll, he let go the ox and proceeded on foot.

A few days later, the trail ended and yet he was still quite a distance from the
monastary gate. But our seeker was determined to make it to the end of this 
journey, so
he left all he had been carrying and began to climb the slope one handhold and 
at a time. As things got more difficult he began to doubt his resolve. All his 
life, he
had lived at ease. He was from a wealthy and well connected family and never 
had to
want for anything or even have to struggle to get what he wanted or needed. Yet 
here he
was, dirty, scratched by rocks, his clothes in tatters, striving to climb where 
even a
mountain goat would not try to get somewhere for something he did not really
understand. What was enlightenment? How much would it cost? How big was it? 
Would he be
able to carry it down this steep slope?
The more he thought of this, the harder the climb got and twice he almost fell 
when he
was not paying attention and missed a handhold. But when these accidents 
brought him
back to the reality of his situation, he put asside the thoughts on 
enlightenment, his
torn clothes, the pangs of hunger, his shabby appearance and all the dirt on 
him and
focused on the climb.

When he got to the top, to the Monastary gate, he was met by the Abbot. He 
craweld up
to the Abbot and said "venerable sir, I've come here seeking enlightenment." 
The Abbot
said, "I've watched your climb and I think now you are ready to learn."

He stayed at the monastary the rest of his life, eventually becomeing Abbot 
himself. He
never did go back down the mountain to get his once precious posessions.

What does this have to do with only taking yourself to heaven? Everything! 
Heaven is
the realization of your true nature...It is said that when you die, you leave 
all your
posessions behind...All your ideas, conceptions, thoughts and beliefs. 
people fight and die for. What is it worth?

> I come to this reality from the spring board of suffering.  In a 
> time after years of great stress, worry, in trying times involving 
> being a long term care giver and a friend to parents as their ten 
> year old daughter was dying from cancer I found Zen and the 
> philosophy of the Buddha.  I watched my family and friends increase 
> their suffering through erroneous thinking and I found myself barren 
> standing next to the little coffin.  I knew that God was a good God 
> and that the problem of suffering must lie elsewhere.  So, I prayed 
> that God would remove the chains from my mind and let me discover 
> the true nature of suffering.  That was when by freak chance I 
> discovered the four noble truths.  I found them to be reliable.  I 
> also found the noble eightfold path to be the lifestyle Christ had 
> called me to.  
The alleviation of suffering is what leads us to The Path. It is what leads us 
Christ. From what I read, Christ followed the Eightfold Path himself, and the 
difference between Christ and Buddha (Gautama Siddhrtha) is The Buddha was JUST 
a man.

> So, merely as a tool in the tool box of spirituality I began the 
> practice of Zazen in my Christian walk.  I found that this tool 
> helps me to live out the ideals we claim we believe in the faith.  I 
> also find that the philosophy of the Buddha helps me to be the light 
> that Christ called me to be.  It is a tool, albeit a big tool.  
Fr. Merton came to the same understanding, and taught Zen in the Catholic 
Church as a
way to God.

> Zen calls me to examine the motivations for my fears.  Those fears 
> include the neurosis of needing God to be an angry God looking for 
> some asses to smite.  I just don't need that anymore.  My God, the 
> God I know is the father of the prodigal son, the God of the grace 
> that Paul tells us about especially in Romans 5 - 8.  That is my 
> daily experience.  The other concepts of God have justified much 
> violence and harm that is not the nature of the Jesus that gave 
> himself fully.  The violence that is not what Christ preached on the 
> mount and the plain.  
Then it seems you have found a real Christianity. How many deaths have been and 
being justified in the name of God?

> Ultimately we will come before the throne (in fact, I think we exist 
> there) alone.  Our opinions wont matter much then.  What will matter 
> was the love in our hearts.  To love God and love people, period.  
> If that issue is not dealt with the rest is mute.    
Without that love, we will never even FIND the throne. :)

Gassho and blessings,

Ki is extending,
John Davis

"Let us have a Universal Mind
that loves and protects all creation 
and helps all things grow and develop. 
To unify mind and body and become One with the Universe 
is the ultimate purpose of our study."
                                 -- Koichi Tohei Sensei

"Masakatsu - Righteous victory, proper attitude 
Agatsu - Victory over self 
Katsuhayahi - Victory over speed of light, doing things so perfectly that time 
is no longer a factor"
                                 -- Akira Tohei Sensei, no relation to  the 
above. This from an interview in .

"Beware the Medical-Industrial Complex!"
                                -- John Davis

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