Saturday, April 7, 2018

Tree of Life and Tree of Knowledge - Reflections from the Image

By Stephen T. McClard
I love the study of comparative religion. To me, all religions hold the same central message, with the message of Christ revealing the risen Son in us all. Beyond the story of the Son in the Bible, other religions hold parallel stories worth knowing. My favorite is the story of Buddha.

Most people do not realize that Buddhism is not a religion, but a philosophy. Although it can be practiced as a religion by ritual, the core of the tradition is simply a philosophical understanding from the Sanskrit language. Judaism is the same parallel to Hebrew, which is then practiced as religion across many different traditions. As the Eastern texts reveal, the Sutras (thread) are woven into the robe (tantra). Tantra is the text we wear, or Word as a robe. Eastern commentary would say that we wear the text as our garment, showing the significance of man being born into nakedness. John 1 is this same Word revealing God in the Body of Christ, or the robe a Christian wears. Father in Hebrew is the word Aleph Bet, or letters as the Sutra for the robe (Word). God is the one weaving the cloth; shaping the pot on the wheel as a potter and the thread of text weaving all of this hidden symbolism together into one simple understanding. No matter the robe you wear, God is the same.

In January of 2017, I annotated a 1000 page Sanskrt Dictionary to learn more about Eastern Religion. From this, I discovered the hidden world of this philosophical language at its core truth and message. BUDH in Sanskrit means, "Awakened Mind." Mara is Buddha's mother, or the Sanskrit word Illusion. In the Far Eastern mindset, we are born into illusion, unable to find truth outside ourselves in a state of impermanence and suffering. When looking inside, we find our true nature and identity, which is Love and Compassion for others sharing the same identity. From this understanding, my recent books were written.

Directions of Dimensional Reality

There are nine directions outside our inner nature according to various Sutras--North, South, East, West, Past, Present, Future, Above and Below. According to this tradition, only one direction contains the essence of our true identity--Inside. In Judaism, our true self is the House of God (Bethel in Hebrew). Bet is the Hebrew letter for House. EL is Aleph Lamed, or the word God in Genesis 1. EL, from the meaning of the letters, means Strong Shepherd (Aleph Lamed). Muslims call this same Abrahamic God Allah, or Aleph Lamed (AL LAH). In Hebrew, these two letters are EL, or Elohim, which is plural (God and his Spirit). Ruach is the word spirit, or feminine (Holy Spirit as Mother).

When Genesis 1 says, "Let us make Adam in our image and likeness," the designation of the plural is then understood simply. The Mother of all living beings is the Spirit (Mind) of God. It is on this point that Christians, Buddhists and Muslims all miss the final aspects of their own faith. While the Christian faith outlines the Father's work with a Son, the Buddhist faith reveals the Great Mother (Aleph Mem). Together, these two languages (Sanskrit and Hebrew) give birth to new and expanded understanding. For the Muslim, faith is the Father only. For the Christian, the Son and Father. For the Buddhist, only the Mother is understood. Imagine knowing all three.

Keep in mind that the Islamic faith is another Abrahamic religion, defining its robe by the same text as Judaism and Christianity. We identify one religion from another by the text worn. When you see a Rabbi, you know the text he venerates. When you see a Muslim, you know the two texts they claim.

Our identity as believers is revealed by the robe we wear, and is further revealed for the Christian within this passage from Colossians 1:15-17.
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
A Father's Love for His Son

All of Mankind (Manu in Sanskirt) are images of the first seed of God, or Son of God as an image of God's own essence. Finding our nature and identity as humans is the eternal pursuit of all philosophy. Philosophy is how we see the world around us according to wisdom and truth. Religion is what we do with this knowledge, which is the difficult part of a divided illusion. Religion, properly defined is a verb ((James 1).
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Perfect religion, according to James 1, is serving orphans and widows. What is an orphan and widow missing? Alpeh (Father / Strength). In Hebrew, the word Truth is Aleph (Father) Mem (Spirit / Mother) and Tav (Plowman's Mark / Cross). Aleph - Mem - Tav is the word Truth in Hebrew. Mem Tav is the word death, or missing the Aleph (Father of letters), which means strength. What does religion do for the orphan and widow? It restores the Aleph, bringing an end to death. Aleph Bet is the Hebrew word Father, or Strong House. Family is the Love of a Father and Mother for their offspring. In truth, we are all the family of God. By replacing the Father in a broken home, we restore the strength to the home. This is religion in action. By identity, we see that one God (his own identity and nature) raises all creation as his Son. We are all the Son, imaged into life to learn this fact.

The Mother's Wisdom

Buddhism calls Sanskrit the Great Mother, or the religion of the heart. Hebrew is the mirror to Sanskrit, or the Father raising a Son in the wilderness of life. What happens when the Mother (Holy Spirit of God's Love) and the Father (Strength of the House) reveal a Son to the World? We are born from above. Love is the key once the illusion is broken. While we are reborn into death (this life as impermanence) many times, we are born from above once. True life only happens above, where death cannot reach us. The gift of eternal life is the Christmas gift hidden in the Sanskrit language.

Christmas Gift (SHIN)

When the illusion of Santa was broken for you as a child, who was it giving you gifts from behind the scenes? Your Mother and Father. Santa in Sanskrit means, "Good Man." Manu (Man) means, "to think." Ho means, "to be." As we become the good person, breaking the illusion of life (Maya is Buddha's Mother), we come to find our true Father and Mother above. Life is our womb for awakening (birth from above). When the perfect higher mind awakens above, the lower mind is no longer needed. It was the raft carrying us to the other side of creation (Waters Above). Without the risen body of Christ (mankind below), we could not accomplish this path back to the Father. BUDH is the body (Assembly / Sangha). In Christian terms, this is the Church, or body of Christ.

In Buddhism, this is the removal of suffering and the liberation of the soul back into its higher nature. We are all images of the same Son, loved eternally by God the Father. An eternal love cannot be broken, or it would not be eternal. Waking up is BUDH, or finding the answer to the questions of philosophy (Love of Wisdom). 1 John 4:8 states that God is Love. Looking deeply into comparative religious studies, the answer is common to all sources of this perennial truth. The answers are simple once our identity and nature are learned. In Buddhism, these are the three jewels--BUDH (Awakened Mind), Dharma (Universal nature) and Sangha (Assembly / Church). Finding unity is finding your identity in the Father and your nature in the Mother. Once attained, unity follows.

1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Climb the tree and partake of the fruit. Ask the questions to find the answer. YOU are the answer and the fruit hanging from the branch. You become the next tree of life in the end. Death is necessary to reveal the seed on new soil. Love for all beings is love in action (religion). Judgment divides. Discernment unites. All human traditions hold value for understanding the whole tree of life. See the video below to challenge your own conception of these truths.

Remember that every branch leads to the same tree. All roots are in the same soil. All thoughts are part of the same mind. One blood, many veins. One bread, many slices.