Bombu Nature and Absolute Faith

According to Shin Buddhism, we humans have the capacity for Buddha Nature, but typically express Bombu Nature. The usual translation for Bombu is “a foolish being of wayward passion”. Human beings, in their unregenerate state, are foolish beings of wayward passion.

What is “wayward passion”? Anger, hatred, jealousy, fear, lust, greed. In the Wheel of Babylon, derived from the Tibetan Wheel of Life, these emotional states are personified in three archetypal figures, namely, the Demon, the Victim and the Addict.

What is “foolish being”? Willful ignorance, self-righteous delusion and conceited arrogance. These states are personified in the upper three archetypes of the Wheel of Babylon, that is, the Muggle, the Muppet and the Diva.

According to Shin Buddhism, the only way to overcome our ingrained Bombu Nature is by throwing ourselves on the mercy of the Cosmic Buddha, Amida Butsu, since nothing within the closed system of the Wheel of Life can liberate us from it. We cannot pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Thus Shin is known as the Buddhism of Faith.

The Way of the Holy Mushroom is also a Way of Faith, and for exactly the same reason, which is simply that There Is No Other Way. Either you give up tying yourself up in knots with the endless twists and turns of the ego, or you don’t. Either you “die before you die” (which is to say, die to your self), or you don’t. Either you have faith and surrender to life unmediated by foolishness and wayward passion, or you don’t.

Paul Tillich writes of the need for the existential courage to despair and the need for absolute faith in the face of meaninglessness beyond the dishonest but comforting half-measures and cop-outs of the ego. The courage to be holy is the courage to despair of Babylon and put all your trust in the power of Being-itself. Whether you call it “the love of Amida” or “the love of God” doesn’t really matter. Just have faith, absolute faith.

“Love breaks down the barrier that shuts most of us from Heaven. That thought is too much for us really, yet it is the central truth of the spiritual life. And that loving, self-yielding to the Eternal Love – that willingness that God shall possess, indwell, fertilize, bring forth the fruit of His Spirit in us, instead of the fruits of our spirit – is the secret of all Christian power and Christian peace.”

Evelyn Underhill