Kill the Buddha

98, Jesus said: The kingdom of the Father is like a man who wanted to kill a great man. He drew the sword in his house and drove it into the wall, that he might know that his hand would be strong. Then he slew the great man.

I was just looking over these passages, and this one kind of lit up for me. When I first read it, I was offended, put off by the murderous language. On this reading, however, I saw it totally differently.

I was reminded of the famous old saying in Buddhism, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”

The historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, on attaining enlightenment, is said to have realized that all beings, just as they are, are Buddhas. So in essence, Buddha is not going to be found outside of your self. The slogan suggests slaying the notion that you could ever meet the true Buddha along the road.

Similarly, in Luke 17:21 – nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.

The scripture above says the Kingdom of God is like a man who wanted to kill a great man. He drew his sword inside his house. I wonder if “inside his house” means within himself. It could be that the great man to be killed is not your true self, but the great false self. This scripture alludes to the way that this is achieved is by striking down the walls. This takes great strength, and great courage. Getting the large false ego out of the way, slaying it so to speak, makes one open to the true self, and allows the kingdom of God within you to be more fully expressed. So, this scripture seems to be saying, kill or put away what you think is so great about yourself, become humble in order to see the kingdom of God.

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3 responses

  1. I kind of like this one.Kind of like Yoda from Star Wars for me. Don’t try. Do or do not. But don’t try.This is what I think Jesus says here — if you’re going follow the spiritual path make sure you commit to it. Better you don’t try at all than you start the project and tehn turn back at the half-way point.And besides — what if Jesus wasn’t quite the Gandhian white middle class liberals want him to be?

  2. Just to be obnoxious — wasn’t it “do or do not, there is no try”? Sort of interesting to negate the concept of trying…Anyway, Meredith, I love this post, thank you.

  3. Re:”Getting the large false ego out of the way, slaying it so to speak, makes one open to the true self, and allows the kingdom of God within you to be more fully expressed.” In theological circles this is often expressed as ‘crucifixion of the ego’ to make room for the self. The Christ within is the self; the ego here is of course the ‘false ego’, the egocenticism that chains us to the ‘flesh’.I surely admire the way you find the poetic truth in these saying, which, when understood literally can only be grotesque. Understanding the use of metaphors rescues us from the idea that Jesus is being murderous here.

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