|Siddhartha? An earlier incarnation of Jesus? Saint Josaphat?|
If you're not wondering what this has to do with Saint Josaphat, you are either:
- not paying attention to what you are reading;
- not a naturally curious person;
- exceptionally well informed about Christian syncretism. Okay, plagiarism.
|A Buddha of Bamiyan, destroyed by the Taliban|
Lest we think this is a one-way street to shanghai(ed deity), some Mahayana Buddhists accept Jesus as one of the Bodhisattvas (enlightened souls that voluntarily reincarnate to show others the path to salavation).
I was driving on Route 1 in May of 1988, giving someone a ride north, and he told me that we should embrace -- enjoy, even -- shameless rip-offs. They are troubling in big ways, not least of which is that they erode the credibility of the propagators. And yet, syncretism is one path toward peace, toward a universal tolerance in which everyone can find a spot. Given the choice between hijacking the Buddha story or blowing up ancient sculptures in an iconoclastic pique (a false choice, I know), I'll take the shameless rip-off. Hell, I'll even enjoy it.