Saturday, April 4, 2009

"Christ the Eternal Tao"

"In Christ is the fulfillment of the expectation of the ancients. Christ does not abolish what came before Him; instead, He brings it to fulfillment by disintegrating the false and upholding the true in the Light of His ultimate revelation. The truths in all ancient religions and philosophies shine forth in this Light, but they are not this Light, nor are they equal to it. If seen with the eyes of faith, they can bear witness to the Light of revelation, just as can the souls of today's seekers when, through the eyes of Lao Tzu, they find and behold the Undistorted Image of Christ, shining with all His brilliance in the ancient Christian East."
-Hieromonk Damascene

Since finishing a paper that compared Augustine's "original sin" with Andrew Park's "original han," i have been fascinated with Eastern religions and their profound impact on culture, specifically within Korea. Through my research I stumbled upon the reflection of a living "theology":

"In the beginning was the Tao, and the Tao was with God, and the Tao was God."
John 1:1

Just as the author John affirmed and unveiled the fullness of Heraclitus' "Logos" so does Lao Tzu with his introduction of a glimmering philosophy, the Tao Te Ching, which is inspired and assumed by Christ. Tao describing "the Way, Path or Pattern of Heaven, the Course that all things follow. The Way is the Uncreated Cause of all things," (Christ the Eternal Tao) represents the path of creation in the universe and colors the eternal active presence of the Trinity throughout the world. Instead of marginalizing the contributed glimpses that peer into the eternal presence of God, depth and solidarity grow throughout the beautiful shimmers of truth as humanity opens up its heart to divine actions in different contexts which desire to connect all of creation with the eternal reality.

"There exists a Being undifferentiated and complete,
Born before heaven and earth.
Tranquil, boundless,
Abiding alone and changing not,
Encircling everything without exhaustion.
Fathomless, it seems to be the Source of all things.
I do not know its name,
But characterize it as the Tao.
Arbitrarily forcing a name upon it,
I call it Great..."
-Tao Te Ching (ca. 1500bc)

"I am the way and the truth and the light." John 14:6

"About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way." Acts 19:23

"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands...For in him we live and move and have our being." Acts 17:24ff.

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