I'm only saying that because each who are interpreting and translating another's 'wisdom' are doing so at a level and experience different to the one who has gained the knowledge in experience.
For me, as I don't have Jesus or the Buddha or anyone else to say ... when you said this... did you mean that... and evaluate their direct response to my question, I realise that I can only 'assume', others are only assuming, and it will be based on my own or the others' 'wisdom' borne of our own experience.
Ephinany said: Yes, there will always be a degree of separation between originator and interpretor. The descriptions of Naraka are disturbingly specific and descriptive. It makes one wonder the intention of the person who thought it up in terms of their conscious state. I find it hard to believe somebody can be supposedly enlightened and not question this.
I'd expect it of Christians and Muslims (with all due respect - they can't help how they've been brought up)... but enlightened Buddhists? Indoctrination works on so many levels.
That's just tickly Epiphany "indoctrination' does indeed work on so many levels
Of course you find it 'hard to believe' something that is not within your awareness, capacity and/or willingness to stand under, and then to say that your 'perspective' of Christians and Muslims is to expect that - painting all those individuals as if the one brush suits all. ... just tickly funny a perfect example of the sender-receiver and 'indoctrination' dichotomies.
Most of the time we just let it pass us by without awareness. Other times it stops to 'muse' us, but still we can only ever be responsible for and aware of our own awareness, capacity and willingness with any accuracy.
A 'story' (oops... 2) to illustrate if I may - I'd had different experiences with different people of different philosophical and religious beliefs and tend to 'discern' and notice rather than judge the differences. In a tenuous and yes both practical and emotive discussion in consideration of turning of life support for my infant son one of the doctors asked a religious person if he had any concerns - mostly for my 'spiritual' well being I guess, so I was more being spoken about, than being spoken to.
This person had had quite a few philosophical discussions with me, was aware of my capacity for acceptance and compassion etc and was aware that I'm not 'tied' to any particular philosophy or doctrines, so it was interesting for me to hear him say - and realised I could not within his awareness, capacity and willingness 'correct' him in any way that he would understand - so I just let it go, but it 'mused' me it provoked another layer of awareness about how we assume we know what another thinks.
What he said was that he had no concern for my 'spiritual' well being because he knew that I knew God as a god of love, of forgiveness etc not as a vengeful god ----- as if somehow that would 'protect me' from all the christianised versions of heaven and hell and eternal suffering that he subscribed to etc that I don't. (and as it was not long after the nde my perspective was kind of 'new' to me too.)
He meant no disrespect and it absolutely was in love and compassion that he said it, it just wasn't 'quite right' as a description of my take on it, or why I would be fine 'spiritually' - there was no way I could have him comprehend my actual philosophy that there is no 'loving god' or 'vengeful or punishing god' in the way he prescribes to, nor do I believe that I or my son or anyone else created any 'karma' or 'deserved', nor equally 'didn't deserve' what was for me just one moment on another unfolding as it was, with each responding according to their knowledge - their awareness, their capacity in this moment.
I guess the base of the answer was the same, I would be spiritually 'okay' and I had no protestation on spiritual grounds which they would have been duty bound to address. Same-same outcome, different reasoning as to why/how.
It was equally 'musing' for me to - absolutely humbly and gratefully - to be in the presence of the Dalai Lama as he blessed a young woman, Buddhist follower (I can only 'guess' that by her words and actions etc
) who was in the final stages of ovarian cancer.
For all the 'teaching' - and again absolutely in love and in compassion and obviously he's incredibly 'aware', he blessed her and she cried, he hugged her and he soothed her - it was sincerely breathtaking to be in their midst, then he straightened up and said to her 'I will send you something for this when I get back home, it will help you.'
... Now, he'd already addressed the audience that he's not a super-power healer or anything and to caution against such claims or building hopes on such things, and I was dying to ask him what he could send her that would 'help'... and 'help with what & how?' but it would have been ungraceful to do so ( I can behave sometimes
) but I never forgot it, nor the reaction it created in her and in her friends. She lit up, sat up straighter than she had been in her wheelchair and was beaming glowing smiles and I admit I cannot know what that meant to her either, I can only 'perceive' my experience of it.
After the DL left the media wanted to interview her and one reporter asked what did it do for her having that relatively private audience & blessing - she said among other things: "He gave me hope."
I mused what sort of hope could it give her? and whether that was his intention, was he aware of the natural consequence of it, so many questions that I accepted would never be asked or answered, just 'mused'.
When dying people have shared my space and grace, I tell them not things to give them hope, because hope can be distorted sender to receiver - maybe he was going to send her something that would give her peace in dying - that in his perspective might have been how he could 'help' her. I felt that she and her friends were still looking for hope about life - about her continued living life.
Who knows, not me - it just 'mused' me. It always muses me our various interpretations on stuff.
One thing I do love, that I learned from a few very wise Indigenous folks - one cannot EVER speak for anyone else without their full awareness and permission - and we can never have their awareness we only have our awareness of their awareness. and it works equally for speaking about any other/s with any claim of accuracy, even if the intentions are good.
That works for me
Which makes mincemeat of categorically 'judging' anything to any sense of conclusion or suffering or hoping over it.
I can't even categorically be pigeon-holed with 'spiritualists' even though I share some, probably quite a few, of their awareness, capacity & willingness views. One of the 'principles' that they say they believe in (on their material and in their churches) is 'Compensation and Retribution Hereafter for all the Good and Evil Deeds done on Earth.' It just does not compute for me. I cannot 'reconcile' it in my awareness or my capacity to do so.