Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 month ago

Philosophy, what is this quote saying?

“ [Buddhism and Christianity] are in one sense parallel and equal; as a mound and a hollow, as a valley and a hill. There is a sense in which that sublime despair is the only alternative to that divine audacity. It is even true that the truly spiritual and intellectual man sees it as sort of dilemma; a very hard and terrible choice. There is little else on earth that can compare with these for completeness. And he who does not climb the mountain of Christ does indeed fall into the abyss of Buddha. ”

5 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    It is complete nonsense written by a christian who has no idea about Buddhism. The first sentence is simply wrong. Then it gets worse from there. 

  • 1 month ago

    It sounds like a quote from GK Chesterton - it certainly resembles his style of thought and writing and I'm almost certain it is him - but I don't recognise the particular source. All it basically says is that Buddhism and Christianity are polar opposites in religious terms, leading in totally different directions. However, it is out of context - just the conclusion of an argument but not the argument itself.

    Assuming it is from Chesterton, here are a couple of his other sayings on the subject, which explain why he saw such an opposition between the ideas of the two religions. In the first one he is arguing that Christianity is about making people fully themselves, and Buddhism is about making them less themselves, in the second he is pointing out the two religions have different attitudes to goods and pleasures.

    " Love desires personality; therefore love desires division. It is the instinct of Christianity  to be glad that God has broken the universe into little pieces, because they are living pieces. It is her instinct to say "little children love one another" rather than to tell one large person to love himself. This is the intellectual abyss between Buddhism and Christianity; that for the Buddhist or Theosophist personality is the fall of man, for the Christian it is the purpose of God, the whole point of his cosmic idea."

    "Christ said 'Seek first the kingdom, and all these things shall be added unto you.' Buddha said 'Seek first the kingdom, and then you will need none of these things.'

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    That although the writer thinks he is being profound, he is actually very insecure in his belief and needs to minimize anything he sees as an existential threat to said belief.

    The language "climb the mountain" and "fall into the abyss" affirm this (Heaven, and Hell  for the non-believer).

  • 1 month ago

    I think it's total BS from a Christian who doesn't understand Buddhism. Read Living Buddha/Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh 

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  • j153e
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    The writer is arguing that letting this Mind abide which was also in Christ Jesus is Realizing, whereas the neti, neti of putting off the old person with its material mindedness and materialism is abysmal.  In Reality the two (idealistically overgeneralized in the question) traditions are complementary and joyful, and each show the wisdom-truth of Mohammad's (pbuh) "Die before you die."  Those who are living (incarnate) Buddha do not inordinately disclose Mindfulness to the students, even the "Anandas," as Realization is typically more than simple teacherly declaration. 

    p.s.  Imho, the quote may indicate an insufficient authorial realization of Buddhic attainment, and a correlate preferential bias toward a general Christian methodism, both conveyed in a style found in some kinds of college dormitory discussions.  Contrariwise, both traditions' (Christianity and Buddhism) love-wisdom has suffered much abuse by practitioners, even as has Islamism.


    Quietly Comes the Buddha.

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