same as it ever was

January 31, 2010

At the heart of Christianity, which defines much of Western civilization, and Buddhism, a driving force in Eastern culture, lies the same basic wisdom.  Both Jesus and Buddha focused on the individual, emphasizing that the inner person is more vital than the outer image, and that each of us needs to look at our own life rather than criticizing others.  They use the same imagery of light and darkness, sun and rain, the fruitful and the barren in describing their moral world.

Contemporary scholars searching for the historical Jesus are placing increasing emphasis on his role as a first-century sage.  Many of the aphorisms they cite in portraying him as a wisdom sayer embody the same advice that Buddha provided to his followers five hundred years earlier.

– Marcus Borg, from “Jesus & Buddha – The Parallel Sayings”

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