"I thought we were talking about Zen! Keep your JudeoChristian monotheism out of my Korean-filtered introspective Dharmic practice!"
In the Mirror of Seon, the Great Master of the Western Mountain, Seosan, expounds on the words of the sutras translated by Kumarajiva, which says,
The Buddha did not appear in this world to save sentient beings. Rather, the Buddha appeared in order to liberate this world from the mistaken view that there is life and death, or Nirvana and salvation.
Seosan states that we exist in stillness, abiding in nothingness, neither coming nor going, neither being born nor dying. Yet we, in our minds, decide that there is birth and death, that we suffer, and so we decide that we need to be freed from our suffering.
The Apostle John says in his Gospel,
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.
In John's theology, Christ is the agent of creation. He is the Word of God, spoken from the dawn of time. He is in us, around us, from the beginning until now. Yet we decided to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil, and we continue to, everyday, in every decision we make, in our acceptance of what we believe to be reality. We create our Original Sin, and ignore that we are originally a part of Jesus Christ, as John says,
In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
We live in the world Christ creates, but we refuse to recognize it.
Thankfully, we do not have to keep eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
To all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God - children not born of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.
Later in John's Gospel, Jesus says,
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
This Christmas, let us ask ourselves, "Why did Jesus say that?"
Just a gongan, not a sermon...
Merry Christmas from Emergent Dharma.