Buddhists don’t believe we have individual souls that reincarnate from one existence to the next. They believe, rather, that we are not separate from the rest of the universe and (I hope I have this right) that we are reborn into a great wheel of physical existence to live lives according to our karma, the result of good or bad seeds planted in our minds in past lives, which manifest in this life or the next. Through life experience and proper living, we end our suffering by eliminating delusion (desires) and thus, attain enlightenment. There is great wisdom in the Buddhist ‘Middle Path’ of non-extremism, or moderation in all things.
Jesus Christ also taught that the world of desire, greed, false pride and death, is not the real world. Perhaps the acknowledgement of a physical world that is an illusion and the existence of a world of Spirit to which we awaken, is at the heart of every great spiritual teaching.
I aim to practice the teachings of the great Master Jesus Christ but, as we all know, loving God first and committing to be of service to Him/Her here on Earth as a non-judgmental peacemaker is not so easy to implement—and never has been if historical records are accurate.
Ten courageous men and women were murdered the first week in August by the Taliban in far-off Afghanistan. They loved the Afghan people and served God and “the least of these” by providing eye exams, glasses and dental work otherwise not available to them. It could be said they also lived the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path: Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. Perhaps the persons they were will be remembered more because of their simultaneous deaths, but it’s sad for the world that they and their immense capacity for Love are gone.