SPLIT THREAD: Zen & Catholicism
NOTE FROM JUNDO: I MOVED THIS TO ITS OWN THREAD.
I am sorry to be the party pooper here, but IMHO Zen and Catholicism are not compatible – at all!
In order to make them compatible, you’d have to modify them so much that you couldn’t call it Zen or Catholicism anymore…
I used to be a Catholic, read the Bible completely and studied Christian Theology intensively for years. I talked with priests and other people in that system.
Catholicism is based on dogmas – when you don’t believe in these dogmas then you are not a Catholic per definitionem.
Catholicism is based on some dogmas that define it, e.g.:
- The belief in a God who created the world and still actively intervenes in his creation – we are talking about a theistic belief (i.e. God who is still active) as opposed to a deistic belief (i.e. a God who does not intervene and is completely passive).
- The belief in the original sin that is inherited by every new born child. Because of Adam’s and Eve’s original sin (you have to believe in them as well as a Catholic) every new born human is automatically a sinner as well (so much for fairness).
- The belief that Jesus Christ was the actual son of God (and whose mother was a virgin) who died on the cross to reconcile God with humankind.
- The belief in a real heaven/hell (as opposed to a mere metaphoric one) and the devil
- The ethical basis of the Christian belief is completely different from Zen: as a Christian you follow the commandments because they come directly from God, the highest authority. This is a hierarchical structure – not just within the church.
- And let’s not forget those little weird things like the belief that during the Holy Mass the wafer and wine are actually turned into the real flesh and blood of Jesus Christ (for Protestants this is only symbolic, but according to the Vatican, the head of the Catholic Church, this is not just symbolic, but real!)
I could go on and on…
You might be able to combine Zen with the belief in a deistic god and maybe with some types of theistic beliefs (but this already gets quite difficult if you don’t want to believe totally contradictory things), but Catholicism? No way, sorry folks, you can’t do that without twisting the Catholic tenets – and if you do that it’s not Catholicism anymore.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to do a "Catholic bashing" here, but the differences are vast and it is always easy to find a few common denominators with any philosophy.
IMHO Zen is not something that can be combined indiscriminately with everything - there is no use to say otherwise just out of fear to get on the wrong side of somebody...