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Q307. What does the New Testament Matthew 5:29,30 mean?

Matthew 5:29,30:  29) “So if your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose a part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. 30) If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose one of your limbs than to have your whole body go off to hell.”

A. Here your whole body means your true-self or your whole life, and parts of your body such as eyes and hands means illusions. To remove your eyes and hands means to stop following illusions. Having your whole body thrown into hell refers to leaving your true-self lost and living in the world of illusions. So, ‘losing parts of your body is much better than having your whole body thrown into hell’ means that to stop following illusions, although it is not easy, is much better than to live in the world of illusions.

Senegalese lady with traditionally decorated hands.. Image shot 2004. Exact date unknown.

 

Student: “How do you prevent your eyes and hands from sinning?”

Master: “I don’t have eyes and hands to sin.”

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Bible, Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, empty, Enlightenment, final goal, God, illusion, Meditation, Practice, Prayer, Religion, root, self, student, sutras, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q245. How should I accept the part of the Bible, Matthew 10:37 that says, “Those who love their father or mother more than me are not fit to be my disciples.”?

A. Zen has a similar saying, ‘Kill Buddha and your parents if you are to see your true-self’. Even Buddha, while alive, would say to his disciples, “If you see me, kill me.” Here, killing Buddha and your parents means removing the illusions of them and not actually killing Buddha and your real parents. Logically speaking, how would it be possible to kill the historical Buddha who passed away about 2500 years ago? The reason why masters would use such a radical expression is that the illusions of Buddha and your parents are among the illusions that are the most difficult to remove.

Likewise, in order to see God, you have to remove all illusions, among which those of God and your parents die hardest. So, the above scripture can be interpreted: ‘Those who love the illusions of their parents without trying to see their true-self are not fit to be my disciples. Those who can’t remove the illusions of their parents can’t see God, the true-self.’

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Student: “When we kill our parents, we can repent of our sin of killing them before Buddha. However, where can we repent of our sin when we kill Buddha or God?”

Master: “When you come into your kingdom after a successful rebellion, there is no one who can judge you.”

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway