I was asked recently if I was Christian and was going to celebrate Easter with my family. Well, I replied, I am more a Buddhist than a Christian. I was raised as one but later when I gained my independence I converted to Buddhism. He inquired if I was Chinese (haha), no sorry I am not, Buddhism originated within India not China.
Easter is the time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus but I do not believe he ever “rose from the dead.” I believe Christ was like the Siddhartha the Buddha, an awakened, enlightened being. However, neither were paranormal super beings, untouchable by us mere mortals. No. The divine is within you and all things. I guess you can call me a pantheist, and you’d be both right and wrong. I don’t worship the rocks on the ground, but I do see the beauty in it all. Christ and Buddha (and perhaps even Plato) were all educated, introspective people, and they all pursued truth, and tried applying this truth to their lives and actions. This is what Buddhism is, to me. It is a practical set of guidelines, lamp posts pointing the way to a better life. We all have a need to venerate our idols to godlike status, but I do not believe Christ was the son of God as Christians interpret it. We are all sons of God, we all come from the same source and we can all live a proper life with less suffering if we followed their lead.
This is what Jesus means to me. He is a role model, living and acting out his deepest beliefs. Can you imagine the courage and strength it takes for anyone to do that? Even at the cost of being ostracized by society, crucified or in Plato’s case, poisoned?
This is why I venerate these men, not because they were super natural beings with a status that the rest of us couldn’t achieve. The rest of us could be the same way if we stood up for our beliefs and tried alleviating the suffering of others, at all costs and if we started acting, like our actions and lives mattered… If we stepped up from being moral cowards to moral heroes.