The Terrible Texts: The Attitude of the Bible Toward Women Part VI

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 4 February 2004 0 Comments
Please login with your account to read this essay.


Would you comment from your Christian perspective on the Buddhist assertion that we have no separate self or separate existence because we cannot understand who we are without understanding who we aren't, and our separate existence is known only because of everything we are? Is the sense of self an illusion?


Buddhism is a long and holy religious tradition that has been a pathway to God for millions. It teaches people to detach themselves from things including their own sense of self in order to escape the anxieties of life.

I think there are two ways to achieve wholeness. One is the pathway of withdrawal; the other is the pathway of fulfillment. To deny yourself you must have a self to deny. To fulfill yourself you must transcend your limits. Given the varieties of the personality types of human beings and the varieties of life experience that human beings have in various parts of the world, I am not surprised that we have religious differences.

I must journey into God through the faith tradition that has nurtured me. Others must follow their own path. The end of the journey for us all is God and God belongs neither to an individual nor to any religious system.

-- John Shelby Spong




Leave a Reply