Mudcat Café message #1713399 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90369   Message #1713399
Posted By: Little Hawk
08-Apr-06 - 07:01 PM
Thread Name: BS: Book of Judas
Subject: RE: BS: Book of Judas
"There is clearly a hierarchy of suffering." (in Christianity)

Yes, there is for a lot of people, but I don't see it that way at all. Nor do a fair number of others. The "hierarchy of suffering" you refer to is, as far as I'm concerned, a woefull and unfortunate misinterpretation of the life of Jesus, and it's led to a lot of trouble all through the development of Christian civilization.

I don't buy it. He was not about suffering to me. He was no sacrificial lamb to me. What's important to me about his teachings is the ideals of human nature and consciousness that are embodied in them. That has very little to do with suffering, although in life we all do suffer. No question about that. And we need to learn how to best deal with it when it comes.

The Buddha said: "Life is suffering." He had a rather ascetic outlook, didn't he? ;-)

Well, that's one way of looking at it. ;-) Vedantic scholars from the Indian tradition mostly assert that the world is an illusionary experience in which the average person oscillates between pleasure and pain (suffering), but fails to rise above both of them into what is termed enlightenment. Enlightenment is said to be a state of joy and expanded awareness that is way beyond pleasure or pain, and it encounters them both with equanimity.

That equanimity has been spectacularly displayed by some of the greatest saints in history, even when they were subjected to extreme suffering.

This discussion, ultimately, is not just about Jesus and Judas. It's about all saints, prophets, and enlightened people. There have been many of them, and they weren't all in the Christian pantheon.

To be a spiritual teacher anyway supercedes religious denominations, in my opinion (if one really IS a spiritual teacher). It's the followers who usually go about later setting up the denominations after the fact, and in so doing they often screw up the message which is a universal one.