Reading Buddhist texts helps me to clarify my thinking and my doing — my being. But, I will spend the rest of my life needing Christ as well. I need Christ because I have come to realize the great value in having a faith practice that includes this uniquely human and divine person. Christ is the personification of great noble traits that can only be fully made manifest inside a deity or angel. Traits like the source of life–Life itself. The source of consciousness or the Logos, the Word. The source of eternal and perfect Love, which is God and which is Truth.
All human beings, ones with faith or not, seek a kind of deeply satisfying happiness that is based upon their own realization of being free, human entities. Ones who seek happiness in material, static and transitory things find that they seek happiness in Death. Ones who seek happiness by ignoring their intellect and unique self awareness that no other animals or plants possess are ones who seek to remain like beasts. Ones who seek Love by possessing and controlling others, or obtaining quick and fleeting moments of pleasure in their using up of others are ones who seek happiness in Death and a Truth that is very far from anything approaching Love.
Only Christ uniquely embodies the perfect human form that has realized immortality–and immortality in a deep, pure and sustaining well of Life that continually gives in its abundance. Trying to live an atheist life while dipping my toes in the waters of Buddhism inevitably sees me setting up imperfect models to emulate, and I fail to become the person I want to be and the person God made me to become.
However, seeking Christ through an authoritarian Christian system isn’t helpful to me. While I very much need to extend my personal relationship with Christ out into a community of other practitioners of my faith, I don’t find paternalistic models of Christianity that attempt to regulate my behavior and the behavior of others to be very helpful. They perhaps serve a purpose for the very young and those who are overwhelmed by the requirements and freedom that come with being an adult, but these models don’t work for me.
I also seek a Path of being that is free of confusion and mystery. I do not wish to join a club with echelons of initiation and secrets withheld from those who aren’t in the inner circle. What I learn and know to be true should be made freely available to anyone who wants to learn and know it as well. But, it never should be forced upon them. All secret societies that appear to be loosely or strongly affiliated with Christianity are not for me.
I do not wish to ever write or preach in language that is difficult for people to follow. This doesn’t mean that I want to remain caught up in a child’s understanding of faith and the Bible, but it does mean that I never want to purposefully try to throw out big words or sentences whose meaning is only clear to a specialized set of academics.
I believe that many societies across the earth have developed rich and important systems of wisdom, which is why I read Buddhist texts and books about Shamanistic practices. Wisdom is not something that God withheld for a few select Jews or Christians–He has freely given it to all people who seek it above merely having a clever intellect or encyclopedic head full of knowledge. I don’t have to ever “go native” in any sense of the term when I read about these other systems of wisdom. Christ is my cornerstone whom I have returned to even during my darkest nights of the soul and will continue to be so–becoming much more that shining light upon the hill for those who care to approach it.