Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Discrimination or not? That is the question.


On the outside looking in.

To discriminate means what it says: to divide one thing from another. It begins with perception. We can see one thing only against a backdrop of difference. Orange and blue appear to the eyeball as two different things. What’s the opposite? No discrimination, where everything is the same.

The fundamental teaching of the entire New Testament can be summed up in one statement: non-discrimination, otherwise known as agape love (unconditional love). And the same thing is true for Buddhism. The names are different but the principle is the same. Here the term used is compassion (ancient Indians didn’t know Greek), which actually means merging with another to the point where there is no longer you and me. There is just us.

Sadly there are many who regard themselves as solid Judeo-Christians who have deluded themselves with the notion that they can practice hatred, discrimination and bigotry as substitutes for love. But in fairness there are many, in every religion who forget about the essence of their faith expressions yet can quote chapter and verse to justify their disdain for their fellow humans.

Think about how truly wonderful life would be if we actually practiced love instead of hate. Then instead of attacking each other we would exist in harmony. Now that would be revolutionary. Shantideva said this:


That is only possible when there is no difference between oneself and others, which is of course what Jesus meant when he said,


Easy to say and oh so hard to do.
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