Li Yehang reads the Bible: Can Christians also be Buddhists? – 野航读圣经:基督徒可以信佛教吗?

除了我以外,你不可有别的神。《出埃及记》20:3

基督徒可以信佛教吗?对于基督徒而言,无疑是不可以的,就如近来党员被指示不可以信宗教一样。理由很明确:天无二日,人无二主。你只可以认一个“爹”,不可以认两个“爹”。

不过,虽然天无二日,但天上还有一个月亮;虽然人只能认一个爹,但似乎还应该认一个妈;虽然“终极之实在”(上帝)是不二的,但“终极的实在”终需要有一个载体在现象的世界中象征性地展现自己,这个载体,就是无意识以及意识材料的投射形式。

在 宗教信仰的问题上,一个顶顶首要的问题是必需要搞清楚的,就是一定要把宗教与信仰的关系搞清楚。人类感受到了有一种超越自身经验性处境的、彼岸的东西(不 妨把它叫做“超验者”)、并认为这个东西对自己的生命有着重大意义,这是宗教的起点与目的所在。人类需要在自己的历史处境中编织语言去言说那个超验者,并 因此形成一整套叙事及仪轨系统,这就是宗教。人可以借助宗教达到超验者,但超验者并不受宗教的束缚与界定。

基 督信仰高举了一位“真神”,“真神”并非可以为宗教所界定(这是基督教“否定神学”的根本观点)。不过我们却可以在我们自己的精神世界中发现“真神”的 “代理”,这“代理”就是不为外物所夺的“主体性”。由于这个“主体性”,仁爱与公义的美德才有了依傍的基础。智慧才有了源头活水。这个主体性我们可以用 一个佛教观念来表述,也就是所谓“心王”。一个人可以不相信“上帝”存在,但“主体性”对他而言是再真实不过的了。主体性强,人就会获得更大程度的自由, 反之,不是被人奴役,就是被物奴役。无神论的本质就是极端地强调这个主体性却否认主体性的超验性来源(这就好比相信电脑里的软件却不相信这些软件下载自某 个终端一样)。因此无神论者是走不到头的。缺失了源头的主体性会枯竭(正如不更新下载的软件或崩溃一样),到头来,主体性的枯竭就会让人重新沦为他人或物 的奴隶。所以,无神论者最终会沦为偶像崇拜者。

对人性的深入观察让我们发现人的精神世界中不仅有“主体 性”,还有众多的无意识以及意识材料(用佛教的话说,叫做“心所”。如果我们把人的主体性比喻为“光”的话,无意识以及意识材料就是那些被光所照的东西。 正如《约翰福音》所说:“光照在黑暗里,黑暗却不接受光。”无意识以及意识材料是我们每天都在与之打交道的东西,而主体性却不会被经常地意识到。基督信仰 高举上帝的意义就在于借着对主的信靠而在自己的精神世界中时常让主体性之“光”去照亮那些个无意识以及意识材料。从某种意义上说,“光”就是我们的 “父”,被“光”照亮的东西就是我们的“母”。

人精神世界中的所有存在的东西都必然会投射到外部世界并找到 其象征性的表达形式。当我们来到天主教教堂里看到琳琅满目的耶稣、圣母、圣人塑像或到佛教或印度教寺庙看到无数的菩萨神灵的时候,我们或许会想:“这些诸 神是真是假,到底存不存在”?其实这些“诸神”其实太真实不过了,它们本质上就是那被“光”照亮了的无意识以及意识材料的象征性表现形式。

基 督新教在他们的教堂里废除了一切的“偶像”而唯独保留了十字架与《圣经》的图形。这对于人类的精神世界之运作图景意味着什么呢?恐怕是绝大多数新教徒都未 加深入思考的。新教的“扫像”与佛教禅宗的“扫像”有着某种共同的内在动机,这动机就是:被照亮的无意识以及意识材料所投射到外部世界中去的象征性形式有 时会异化、会被当做“光”本身来膜拜(这就好像认“母”作“父”一般)。扫除偶像是为了还原“光”的本来面目。被照亮的无意识以及意识材料的象征性表达形 式就好比《金刚经》所说的“筏喻”,“法尚应舍,何况非法”。 无意识以及意识材料的象征性表达是为了“见证那光”,而它并不是“光”。当“见证”遮蔽了光,“见证”也就不需要了。

不 过,“扫像”也会面临一个问题,就是当无意识以及意识材料因“扫像”而失去了其象征性表达,则主体性之光的照耀会日益陷于疲软和贫乏。这种现象在近现代欧 洲的许多新教牧师和一些受过高等教育的、聪明的新教徒身上表现得特别明显(请参看伯格曼执导的电影《冬之光》以及荣格著作中对其牧师父亲的描述)。新教在 其崇拜的“菜单”里剔除了圣母、圣人。在教义的层面看似合理,但在心理学的层面,被牺牲了表达权的无意识因素因为缺乏良性的投射形式必然会转向某种恶性的 投射方式,不被崇拜的“圣母”将会变成“魔鬼”。这就是为什么新教徒制造的大屠杀(两次世界大战)比必天主教徒制造大屠杀要多得多。

宗教究其本质不过是人内在精神过程的的反映,基督教和佛教在不同的文化背景中用不同的言说体系为各自文化环境中的灵魂们提供了投射模式。因此上,基督徒可不可以信佛教的问题本质上是这样一个问题:人可不可以为自己的精神寻求两种以上的投射模式?显然,这是一个伪命题。

首先,对于人的精神世界而言,并不存在一个可以叫做“基督教”的统一的投射模式(佛教亦然)。一个大城市的新教徒和一个沙漠里的修道士所理解的基督教是非常不一样的,一个陷于现实苦难中的基督徒和一个沉迷于参透神的奥秘的基督徒对“基督”的理解是很不一样的。

其次,人不可避免要遭遇主体性之光是否照亮无意识以及意识材料、以及无意识以及意识材料是否为自己找到合适的象征性投射模式的问题,基督教如此,佛教同样如此。

其 三,对于大多数人而言,无意识以及意识材料只能被放进一套固定的言说体系中(这必将导致偶像崇拜的问题)而成为“肯定神学”意义上的基督教徒(或净土宗佛 教徒),对于他们而言,基督徒信佛教无疑是发疯(反之亦然)。但对于洞悉宗教信仰之本质的人而言,是不会把自己对终极实在的信仰绑定在某种固定的宗教形式 中的。他们不会把自己叫做“基督徒”或“佛教徒”,他们只知道要有“光”、“光”要照亮“黑暗”、被照亮的“黑暗”要显露出来、以见证“光”。而这“见 证”就是被照亮的无意识以及意识材料的合适的投射形式。

其四,任何无意识以及意识材料的投射形式必然会异 化,这就是偶像崇拜的本质。基督教与佛教的崇拜形式皆不能免。不过,异化在今天人类身上的表现主要不在于宗教崇拜的异化,乃在于资本主义商品拜物教的异 化。所以,一个基督徒如果认了“两个爹”的话,另外一个“爹”不是佛教,而是“玛门”(也就是资本主义),而《圣经》教导我们:“不可以既服侍神,又服侍 玛门”。有基督徒说,基督徒信佛教的属灵的“淫乱”,这话实在是空洞之极,普通教徒是不可能为自己选择两种以上的无意识投射模式的,普通教徒倒很可能迷失 在属世的好处(也就是拜物教带来的甜头)中不能自拔。

《圣经》教导我们:“除了我以外,你不可有别的神。” “光”是不二的,“光”在个体生命中的“代理”———主体性是不二的。这“光”照着“圣母”也照着“圣婴”;照着基督教,也照着佛教。任何把被照亮的基督 教或佛教这些个无意识以及意识材料的投射形式等同于那“光”的,都是偶像崇拜。

所以,从某种意义上说,所有的真正基督徒,本来就是佛教徒,所有的真正的佛教徒,本来就是基督徒,因为他们的精神世界的工作方式,本来就是一样的。

You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3)

Can Christians believe in Buddhism? For Christians, it is undoubtedly not possible. As Communist Party members were instructed that they couldn’t have a religion. The reason is clear: there is only one Sun in the sky, and men cannot have two masters. So you can only have one “father”, and cannot look for two.

However, although there aren’t two suns in the sky, there is also the moon; although people can only have one father, it seems that people should have a mother; even though the “Ultimate reality” (God) is the only one, the “Ultimate reality” needs a vehicle to show itself symbolically in the phenomenal world, and this vehicle is the projective form of unconscious and conscious materials.

In religious questions, a very primary problem must be clarified: we need to clarify the relationship between religion and faith. Humans feel that there is one thing that exceeds our own empirical situation (Let’s call it “the Transcendent”), and consider that its existence has a significant meaning for their own lives. This is the starting point and purpose of religion. Humans need to compose words to describe that Transcendent within their historical environments, and therefore form a set of narrative and ritual systems, which is religion. Humans can reach the Transcendent by making use of religion, but the Transcendent is not bounded or defined by religion.

Christianity exalted one “true God”, and the “true God” cannot be defined by religion (This is the fundamental belief of Christians to “deny theology”). But we can discover the “representation” of the “true God” in our own mental world, and this “representation” is the “subjectivity” that cannot be taken by others. Because of this “subjectivity”, the virtues of love and righteousness have a foundation to rely on, and it is the source of the living waters of wisdom. We can describe this subjectivity in Buddhism through the concept of “King of the heart”. Buddhists may not believe in the existence of “God”, but “subjectivity” for them is real. If subjectivity is stronger, people will obtain a higher degree of freedom, if the opposite, they will be enslaved either by humans, or by material objects. The nature of atheism is to put an extreme emphasis on subjectivity but deny the transcendental origin of subjectivity (Just like people who believe in software in computers, but do not believe that software is downloaded from a terminal). Therefore atheists are not able to get to the end. Subjectivity without headstream will run out (just like the downloaded software will collapse without updates), in the end, the depletion of subjectivity will make people become slaves of men or objects again. So atheists will finally become idolaters.

By observing human nature in-depth, we find out that there is not only “subjectivity”, but also unconscious and conscious materials (To use the Buddhist term it is “the place of the heart”.) If we imagine subjectivity as “Light”, then the unconscious and conscious materials are those lightened by light. Just like it was mentioned in the “Book of John”: “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not comprehend it.” Unconscious and conscious material are those we deal with everyday, but subjectivity is not always noticed. For Christians, “to hold God up high” means to always let the “light” of subjectivity shed light on those unconscious and conscious materials in the spiritual world by trusting God. In a sense, “Light” is our “Father”, and things that are lightened by “Light” are our “Mothers”.

All things that exist in the spiritual world are inevitably projected onto the outside world and we can find a symbolic form of expression for them. When we come to the Catholic Church and see all kinds of statues, such as Jesus, the Virgin Mary and other Saints, or when we see countless Buddha gods in Hindu temples, we might think: “Are these Gods real or not, do they really exit?” Actually these “Gods” are all in fact too true. Essentially they are the symbolic forms of expression of the unconscious and conscious materials which are lightened by the “light”.

Protestants abolished all “Statues” and only retained the Cross and the picture of the “Bible”. What does this mean for the representation of the operation of human spiritual world? I am afraid that the majority of Protestants never thought about this in-depth. “Remove statues” in Protestantism and “Remove images” in Zen Buddhism are somewhat similar in their intrinsic motivation. This motivation is: the unconscious and conscious materials which receive light will be projected to the outside world, and their symbolic forms of expression will alienate or be worshiped as the “light” itself (This is as if we recognized “mother” as “father”.) To remove idols is to restore the true face of the “Light”. The symbolic expression form of the unconscious and conscious materials is just like the “Parable of the Raft” in “King Kong Gene”, “the Law should be shed, and illegal”. The symbolic expression of the unconscious and conscious material is “giving witness about the light”, but it is not “light”. When the “witness” covers the light, the “witness” is no longer needed.

However, the injunction to “remove statues” will also face a problem: when the unconscious and conscious materials lose their symbolic expression, the shining of the light of subjectivity will increasingly become poor and weak. This phenomenon is particularly evident among many modern European Protestant pastors and well-educated, smart Protestants. (Refer to the movie “Winter Light” directed by Bergman and the description of Jung’s father who is a pastor in his literature). Protestants removed the Virgin Mary and Saints from their worship “list”. It seems reasonable at a doctrinal level, but at the psychological level, the unconscious facts that were refused the right to be expressed will inevitably turn into vicious reflections form rather through the lack of benign reflection form. The “Virgin Mary” that is not worshiped will become “Devil”. This is why the Protestants made more massacres (in the Two world wars) than the Catholics.

In essence, religion is nothing but a reflection of inner spiritual processes; Christianism and Buddhism provide different forms of projections against different cultural backgrounds and in different linguistic systems for souls in their respective cultural environment. Therefore, the question ‘can Christians also be Buddhists’ essentially comes down to the following: can people seek two or more different modes of project for their own spiritual life? Obviously, this is a false proposition.

First of all, as far as the spiritual world is concerned, there is no unified mode of projection which we can call “Christian” (and the same is true of “Buddhism”). The way protestants in a big city and monks in a desert understand Christianity is not identical; a Christian addicted with the reality of suffering and a Christian obsessed with fathoming the mystery of God have a very different understanding of Christ.

Secondly, people inevitably come across the question of whether the light of subjectivity can illuminate unconscious and conscious materials, and whether these unconscious and conscious materials will find a mode of projection suitable to them – this is the case for Christianism, as well as for Buddhism.

Third, for most people, unconscious and conscious materials can only be expressed in a set linguistic system (which will inevtably lead to idolatry), and they become ‘orthodox theology’ Christians (or Buddhists of ‘Pure Land Buddhism): for them, Christians believe that Buddhists are undoubtedly crazy (and vice-versa). But for people who have an insight into the true nature of religious belief, the ultimate reality of their faith cannot be bound in some fixed form of religion. They will not call themselves ‘Christians’ or ‘Buddhists’, They only know that there must be a “light”, that the “light” must illuminate “the darkness”, that the illuminated “darkness” will “be revealed”, and “witness the light”. And this “witnessing the light” is just the appropriate for of projection for the unconscious and conscious materials which are illuminated.

Fourth, any form of projection of unconscious and conscious material will inevitably lead to alienation,and this is the essence of idoloatry. Christian and Buddhist forms of worship are not free from this risk. However, the main form of alienation for people today is not that of religious worship, it is the alienation that results from the fetishism of capitalist commodities. Therefore, if a Christian recognizes “two fathers”, their second father will not be “Buddha”, but “Mammon (i.e. capitalism),and the Bible teaches us: “you cannot serve both God and Mammon”. Some Christians say that Christians following Buddhism are “promiscuous”, but this is a totally empty word. It is impossible for ordinary believers to select two or more unconscious modes of projection for themselves, and so it is very likely that ordinary believers will lose themselves in worldly benefits (i.e. the sweetness brought by fetishism) , and unable to extricate themselves

The Bible teaches us: “You shall have no other God before me”, “the light has no second”. The “agency” of “light” in individual lives – subjectivity has no second. This “light” takes the form of “the Virgin” and of “the Holy Child”; it takes the form of Christianism and that of Buddhism. And any time you mistake the projection of unconscious material for the light, whether in Christian or Buddhist forms, that is idolatry.

Therefore, in a sense, all true Christians are originally Buddhists, and all true Buddhists are originally Christian, because their spiritual worlds have always operated in similar ways.

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