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RE: Signal To Noise Ratio

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Posted by on March 28, 2000 14:27:40 UTC

Just a side note: I thought the cursing of the fig tree was an object lesson for the disciples signifying our fate if we are not spiritually "fruitful." As to the nature of the "curse," being spiritually barren removes us from the presence of God. This is in essence a "curse" of the sort first experienced by Adam and Eve after their transgression. God respects our freedom; he does not force himself on the unwilling. I think most religious people see the absence of God as a curse, even when His absence is actually desired. The opposite also is true; turning away from evil and seeking the things of God allows God to bless and change us without violating our free will. In Christianity, those who repent and seek to follow God receive remission of their sins (through the atonement of Jesus) and rebirth. But those who do not try to follow God cannot receive these things. To turn a familiar New Testament scripture around, Ask not and ye shall not receive. For Buddhists, life itself is a sort of a curse. How is one to break out of the endless cycle of reincarnation and suffering without following the precepts of Buddha? Zen Buddhists feel the presence of this curse and devote themselves to meditation (zazen) so as to separate themselves from the illusory nature of worldly desires and receive enlightenment. Having acheived enlightenment, they will become one with the Buddha. In principle, the goal of the Buddhist is not so different from that of the Christian, that is, oneness with God.

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