WELCOME TO PANHANDLE

A SITE ABOUT LIFE
A SITE ABOUT SPIRITUALITY
A SITE ABOUT BUDDHA
A SITE ABOUT JESUS
 

Buddha

 
Can you be a Christian AND a Buddhist?  My friends, it is easier to be a Christian and a Buddhist than it is to be a Christian and a Republican...or a Democrat.  There is Buddhism written all over the life and teachings of Jesus.  Yes, you CAN be both a Buddhist and a follower of Jesus Christ.

 
There is strong that Jesus visited the regions of modern day Tibet and India to study before his ministry began.  Remember that Buddhism pre dates Christianity by about 500 years.  The Gospels are silent for the most part about Christ's years prior to the age of 30.  Why?  The greatest man in the history of the world and a man many say is God...and no one knows the events and stories of his youth?  Please respect us more than that.  It is obvious that the stories were probably there but were removed because they would lead to teachings early church leaders did not want to include in the religion they wished to promote.  Karma and reincarnation come to mind!  They are alluded to in the surviving scriptures.  Christianity has become a nationalistic religion for every nation practicing the various official versions.  Jesus never intended that to happen.  If ever there was a true citizen of the world it would be Jesus.  You are only kidding yourself if you think Jesus wants George Bush (Or Bill Clinton or anyone else...) to be a political leader.  Jesus was dead set against mixing politics with religion.  Can you even imagine Jesus being a patriotic follower of any world leader you have ever studied?  Can you imagine Jesus supporting a war or an army? 

 
Can you be a Christian or Buddhist and love America?  Yes, of course.  Love whom you choose.  Better yet, love everyone.  I love America but my love is not limited to one country.  Jesus and Buddha are the models...and they loved everyone!

 
Did Jesus really teach reincarnation?  For the sake of at least considering this possibility, please examine this scripture that slipped through the scrutiny and doctrinal convocations of so called church fathers: Mt 16:13-15

"13   When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14   And they said, some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15   He saith unto them, but whom say ye that I am?
16   And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God..."

It is obvious that the "men" Jesus referred to were some of his followers and listeners...why else would they have an opinion?  Jesus did not condemn their belief in reincarnation although this would have been the perfect time to do so...instead, he inquired as to from whom his immediate followers believed him to be reincarnated.

 
Matthew and Mark both record that Jesus taught John The Baptist was the incarnation of Elias.  Mark (10:29-30) speaks of reincarnation and eventual eternal life.  Matthew quotes Jesus as saying all who use the sword shall perish by the sword...we  know  all murderers are not killed in this life...many escape punishment IN THIS LIFE...so they must face their penalty in future lives or the scripture lies.

 
Paul in Ephesians writes in effect that God has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.  In Galatians he states the Law Of Karma:  "You will reap what you sow."

 
Consider: Jn 9:1-3:

"1   And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2   And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3   Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him..."

Again this would have been the time to speak against reincarnation but Jesus accepts the doctrine and uses the concept to teach his lesson.  The disciples asked him literally if this man had sinned in a previous life and Jesus said he did not.  He went on to explain that he was born blind to show the greatness of God.  Jesus did not reject the truth of reincarnation.

 
Biblical verses such as MT 26: 52 and Mt 7:2 only make sense if seen within the context of karma and reincarnation.  Even the so called Golden Rule of Mt 7:12 is a wonderful prescription for establishing good karma. 

 
So why the rejection of the concepts of karma and reincarnation?  Knowing what we know about some of the early leaders of what is called the church, we can see intrigue, power struggles and fear.  Let's face it, we common folk are much easier controlled by doctrines of heaven and hell meted out by an angry God and his representatives on earth.  The idea of universal salvation as the final reward for finally getting this "life thing" correct after multiple tries and incarnations is more in keeping with the heart of a loving God.  It will weaken the control religious and political leaders (The line between these two is usually blurred by both power structures) will have over the accumulation of wealth and power.  If the perfectibility of the human spirit (or soul if you choose)  is the measure of God's approval instead of the accumulation of power, wealth and status, civilization will be shaken to its foundation.  This is why Jesus Christ was persecuted...his so called crimes were minor...his greatest threat was that he presented a way of thinking and believing that threatened the powers of those days.

 
 
The "church"  has been known to persecute those they accuse of heresy.  Over the centuries they have convened councils to create orthodox belief.  Struggles and fatal conflicts have accompanied the disagreements.  In many ways current "church" doctrine may be the result of a process similar to that of the parlor game where a whispered story is started around the room and by the time it is whispered to the last person it bears little resemblance to the original phrase.  What have we "lost" in the way of scripture over the ages?  How about things like the Dead Sea Scrolls?  How many similar things have been found and destroyed...or had their truths restricted?   Think about the Inquisition and other violent actions to stamp out what were only ideas and beliefs?  For those who say the existing scriptures and core beliefs have been protected over the years by divine intervention, please consider the moral decadence of those who were the church leaders over the ages.  One shudders at the knowledge that monasteries sometimes had nearby cemeteries containing the bodies of multiple dead babies...the results of immorality hidden by infanticide.  These men and women were doing God's work?  Hardly.

 
 
Could anyone in their right mind believe that Jesus traveled to India and surrounding areas as a youth/student?  Can anyone believe that Jesus traveled to India (as it is believed by some) after he was crucified?  Weren't the distances too great for travel in ancient times?  Please look at the prehistoric times in the Americas.  In my archaeological work I have seen things such as volcanic glass from the Far West buried in Eastern mounds, foods such as corn being introduced thousands of miles from their origin, mica from the Atlantic states finding its way west.  All of these things were accomplished without the aid of the horses, donkeys and camels used in the Old World.  It may surprise some readers to hear that millions of sane, moral people believe Jesus came physically to minister in America after his death in the Middle East...this list of believers includes doctors, lawyers, teachers and congressmen.  Such concepts are not hard for these people to believe.

 
 
Why aren't there more scriptures to support reincarnation and karma?  Why are some present scriptures interpreted to be against reincarnation and karma?  First...there are many scriptures that favor reincarnation and karma.  The Gnostics left behind quite a record of teachings from the original times.  They support reincarnation and karma.  Remember that the Gnostics were persecuted and destroyed by the Roman Church which had become a political institution.  Emperors of the Roman Empire were religious leaders also.  They issued edicts to outlaw doctrines they found threatening to their power and wealth.  Constantine and Justinian are great examples of this.  There were often periods where more than one pope claimed the church leadership.  We may never know the extent of secret teachings they destroyed in their quest for power. 

The early church had men such as Origen who taught reincarnation as a truth.  Later church (government) leaders outlawed his teachings.

Other scriptures and groups acknowledged reincarnation and karma.  The Essenes believed the soul was immortal and preexistant...the very basis for reincarnation to be true.  The Catholic Bible in The Wisdom Of Solomon says: "I was given a sound body to live in because I was already good."  Some Rabbis believe the proper interpretation of the Talmud would teach reincarnation.

Interpretation is so important.  For instance, some have pointed out that the Greek words for resurrection include words which also mean "awake." 


 
 
Read all of the words of Jesus.  Do you honestly think this man would create a religion that teaches a little child would be sentenced to an eternal hell because the very morning she was to be "saved" during a missionary service, the preacher had a flat tire and didn't make it in time?  Hardly.  To test the truth of a scripture or a statement of a so called church leader, simply see if it fits within the general loving world view of Jesus' teachings.  It doesn't matter if it is Paul or some pope or some current Protestant spokesman.  If it does not fit within the spirit of Jesus' teachings it is of human and questionable origin and truth.  The abuses of church "fathers" are astounding.  Early leaders literally sold salvation.  They fought wars of conquest...they raped, stole and pillaged in the name of religion.  Read about the tortures and murders of the Inquisition!  Eventually Martin Luther rose up and led a revolt against the teachings and practices that had evolved.  He is considered the father of the Protestant movement...and his movement soon became as murderous and corrupt as the one he fought against.  Soon Christians such as the Pilgrims and Puritans were spreading their beliefs into the New World (lands they stole from the native populations).  So called Christian missionaries would help enslave peoples in Africa and Asia.  Modern religionists support political organizations and governments.  Priests, ministers and rabbis bless weapons of war, serve as soldiers/chaplains and call for the torture and death of perceived enemies. 

 
 
So how can you be saved?  It is so easy.  You are already saved!  Whether you be Christian, Buddhist or anything else...you need only be alive to be part of a most fantastic kingdom.  Jesus and Buddha will teach you what you should do.  There are Commandments and Eightfold Paths but there is nothing greater than the calling to love your fellow creatures.  Meditate...pray...do what works for you best...but love all and act on that love.  This is the whole message of Jesus and Buddha. 

 
ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED

 
 
"God is love"(John)

 
"The greatest is love"    (Paul) 
 
"Above all things, have fervent love among yourselves"    (Peter)

 
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself...A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you...By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another...Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets...But I tell you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you....But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High..."   Jesus

 
 
From Buddha,
   With Love:

Right Understanding
Right Thoughts
Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood
Right Effort
Right Mindfulness
Right Concentration

These things are the very embodiment of love