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March 7, 2006

Jesus and the Buddha

Jesus Christ and Guatama Buddha meet for a coffee in their local Starbucks ...

Jesus: What do you want buddhy?

Buddha: Get me a decaf latte with low fat soy milk. No sugar.

Jesus: Are you a health freak or what?!

Buddha: Jeez! My body's a temple. You know that.

Jesus: I'll have a double mocha with whip and a decaf latte with low fat soy milk and no sugar for my friend.

They sit at a small, round table, face to face.

Buddha: So ... how's it going guy?

Jesus: It's nuts, I keep telling people stuff and they either don't listen to me or they start telling everyone else to do what I told them to do. I told this one guy that he shouldn't fornicate so much and then he went and told everyone else not to fornicate. Everyone doesn't have the problem he's got; he's a fucking sex addict. Now everyone thinks I'm against fornication.

Buddha: So when did you last get your end away?

Jesus: Last night; me and Mary created a sacred space, lit some candles, and entered the light together. It was great.

Buddha: Oh yeah! Highest Yoga Tantra my friend.

Jesus: Fuck yeah. I love it. How's your thing anyway?

Buddha: They keep making it complex. It's starting to piss me off. They add bells and funny hats; mantras and shit. I told them to just watch and now they're watching prayer wheels.

Jesus: Jesus Christ! You can't leave them alone for a minute can you?

Buddha: Not for a couple of thousand years, at least.

A few comfortable moments pass in silence.

Buddha: Your people keep telling my people that you're the only way to heaven. What the fuck's that about anyways?

Jesus: What did they tell you?

Buddha: They keep telling my guys that John said (14:5-7) that you said that no man comes to the father except by you.

Jesus: What's the father?

Buddha: The clear light.

Jesus: Of course. And what am I?

Buddha: You're a clean channel for the clear light. There's no delusion in you, my friend; no ego, no friction. I can see that.

Jesus: It takes one to know one, pal. So what am I?

Buddha: You're a man with no ego. When you say "I", it's as good as God talking.

Jesus: Right! And it's the same with you, my bald-headed friend. When you open your mouth ...

Buddha: I speak. Holy shit, you're right. It's just an interpretation problem again. They can really twist our words to any end, can't they?

They both take a sip from their coffee.

Jesus: You know what really gets on my tits?

Buddha: What's that?

Jesus: This idea that they keep telling each other: that I saved them.

Buddha: You didn't?

Jesus: Stop fucking with me, you know I didn't. I can't. That would be messing with the rules. Do you know the whole Adam and Eve story?

Buddha: Actually, I've heard of it, but I don't really know about it. Tell me.

Jesus: So these guys were living in bliss and then a little part of them had the idea of forgetting about the bliss. It was like an experiment to see what would happen. Well it turns out that it was the first sin, as you can imagine.

Buddha: Hold on, perhaps it's because we normally only talk about getting laid, but what the fuck is sin?

Jesus: Oh, it's the same thing as karma, it's just another word for it.

Buddha: Oh yeah. The first deluded action, the first karmic action was to forget about the bliss. Well I knew that; it's kind of obvious; it's really the only way it could be. And the effect of that cause was to be lost in deluded suffering for countless lives.

Jesus: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but they're all like parables; so it's always got to be explained in this weird round-about way. And I'm not even telling you the whole of it: the bloody apple and the snake and everything. It confuses the hell out of me. I tried to make it simpler for them.

Buddha: So then there was the big cascade: each sin or karmic seed spawned another one, or several, and everyone got endlessly tangled up in confusion.

Jesus: Yeah. As you know, if someone really believes in one of us and really tries to live like one of us, they'll create less of a knock-on effect and eventually all of their causes will play out from their effects; all their seeds will sprout and blossom; all their "sin", whether good or bad, will be "punished", or of course rewarded. And then they eventually find their way back to the bliss.

Buddha: But you know that'll take more lives than there are grains of sand on a beach.

Jesus: I do know that. But it will happen; it's inevitable. Isn't patience sweet?

Buddha: It is; it is so sweet. So why do they think that you saved them?

Jesus: I don't know. I told them that heaven was inside of them and yet a lot of the people who think that I saved them don't seem to be very happy. When I lived and then died, I was just setting an example. I didn't cancel out the karma for every soul.

Buddha: You're a true teacher like me. You're not some sort of magic guy who just removes people's suffering.

Jesus: That's right; they have to do some work. They have to look at themselves. They have to stop finding their faults in everyone else and become aware of the faults in themselves, the untruths that keep them from the bliss. I can help them but I'm not going to do it for them; I can't. There are people who die, having said that they'd given their lives to me, and they just re-incarnate; they carry on suffering.

Buddha: But there are those who are freed by just believing in us, aren't there?

Jesus: I know that, and you know that, but tell a lot of people that and they'll just use it as a cop out. Because believing in me, the same me that you are too, deeply enough that someone will be freed from the cycle of re-birth at death is such a high level of realization and requires so much introspection anyway, that it's not even worth mentioning. I mentioned it to some of my advanced disciples and they told others and then everyone thought that they were being freed by me automagically. When I come, or when you come, into someone's consciousness, we free them. But that's because we're the pure bliss that is the goal anyway. Believing that some guy named Jesus died on a cross in the Middle East isn't going to help any more than believing that a guy named Ted drowned in Nebraska while trying to swim under ice to save kids in a school bus.

Buddha: I see. That really sucks. It's amazing how everything just gets so twisted. But I guess that's the beauty of the whole thing. We're only here because it's all so fucked up, and even then there's something really sweet about the way that it's fucked up, isn't there?

Jesus: It's all so sweet. I love it. I love it all.

They finish up their coffees, hug each other, and then say goodbye; Jesus Christ goes one way down the street, to purchase some new jeans, Guatama Buddha goes the other, to pick up some contact lens cleaning solution from Boots the Chemist.

All of the above could be complete bullshit. I don't know. By the same argument, the Bible could also be complete bullshit. There are some differences between the authors of the Bible and myself: I'm alive, you can talk with me, I write in English, and my words have not been edited by anyone but me.

I once asked someone why they believed in the Bible. They told me that it was because it was the word of God. I asked them how they knew that it was the word of God. They told me that it was because it was the Bible. Unlike the apostles, who we at least know the names of, I don't think that anyone knows who wrote most of the old testament: the psalms and so on.

I think it's good just to keep an open mind, and swear a lot.

"I loved this. I laughed my *ss off. Or should I say my asterisk off." — John

"Not sure who said it: 'A mind is like a parachute, it only works when it is open.'" — Jeremy

"[this is] one of my favorites that you've ever written; very engaging and entertaining and useful all at once. Thank you for your brilliant way of communicating in a manner that hits on several levels at once. I'd like to see you pursue this conversational style again." — Charley


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