In a recent conversation between NT Wright and Douglas Murray on the Unbelievable? Big Conversation podcast, both agreed that there was no story as powerful and serious as the Biblical story. All other attempts to construct an alternative story that people could actually “live into” had failed. No other grand narratives cut the mustard.
I disagree. There is the story of evolution for a start. And then there’s the Buddhist story of spiritual enlightenment.
These three. And the greatest is… well it’s not a competition. But allowing for slight variations, nothing compares to these three. And in a deep, mysterious sense, all three are true.
How can they be reconciled? It’s actually ridiculously simple. Forget all the Creationist vs. Evolutionist nonsense. Forget all the West vs. East nonsense. They all miss the mark. It’s like this: We are evolving. What are we evolving into? Enlightened beings. What is an “enlightened being”? Well, we have two excellent examples in Gautama Buddha and Jesus Christ.
From an evolutionary perspective, the next higher level above our own is Gaia Consciousness. I won’t go into the argument here (if you’re interested you can read my book, or even better, The Dimensions of Experience: A Natural History of Consciousness by Andrew P Smith). Christ Consciousness, Krishna Consciousness and Buddha Consciousness are all the same thing: Gaia Consciousness. In a very real sense, Christ, Krishna and Buddha are also the SAME person.
If you enter a state of higher consciousness, through meditation or a strong psychedelic trip for example, you can experience this for yourself. If you do, you will also understand it. You will know, with the deep knowledge that only comes from the depth of being, that YOU are THAT. You are “in Christ and Christ is in you”, but even more than that, you ARE Christ. And you are Buddha and you Krishna and you are Gaia.
There’s not really much point saying this in more elaborate ways, quoting from Scripture, etc. If you get it, you get it; if you don’t, you don’t. Here is a mystery. Here is an impasse. Buddha recognises Buddha. Christ recognises Christ. Unenlightened beings don’t. Unenlightened beings (ie. humans) can listen to the stories until the cows come home, but until the Second Coming (in them), they won’t understand what it’s really all about.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
1 Corinthians 13:12