To read Emmet Fox’s treatise on The Lord’s Prayer, click the link above. You can also right-click and Save to your hard drive to read later. Acrobat Reader is required.
The reason I’m putting this up is because I was recently thinking about this prayer and what it means to me. This is after I kind of got in trouble the other day at the end of an AA meeting for requesting that we do the Lord’s Prayer instead of the Serenity Prayer. Someone was upset that I went against the group conscience and got confrontational with me about it. Then my friend the secretary said she hated the Lord’s Prayer because it’s patriarchical and guilt inducing. So it made me think about the prayer and my history with it as a spirtual device.
Since I have had this book, Power Through Constructive Thinking by Emmet Fox for many years, a scanner and Acrobat, I decided to scan it and post a blog entry on it this morning. My history with it is this: back in about 1986 I participated in a couple of 3 month long weekly discussion groups on Emmet Fox’s The Sermon on the Mount and The Lord’s Prayer with a guy who had known Emmet Fox in the 40’s. His name was Dan Crouch and at the time he had 38 years of sobriety. So he taught us how to interpret this kind of what I call metaphysical Christianity in the context of AAs 12 steps. It was a fascinating, life changing adventure to go through this with program people.
What I learned was that if you look past the historical language, the distorted interpretations of theocratic institutions, the babbling of Bible thumping idiots… you can see that there is a lot of cool shit going on in some of the Bible in general, and in everything that Jesus said. Now I’ve been practicing Buddhism for a long time, and have never, ever considered myself a ‘Christian’. As a matter of fact, I almost died at the hands of the Southern Baptist freakazoids in Texas (ok, it wasn’t all their fault). But I don’t think these people understand, in general, anything of a spiritual nature. Thier perspective is pretty sick. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing of value in things like The Lord’s Prayer.
For example, in terms of blaming or fearing God. The author says that ‘the same fountain cannot send forth both sweet and bitter water”. This view, that ‘God’ can’t send bad stuff to us, because ‘His’ nature is goodness, kind of fits in with the idea of intrinsic Buddha Nature, which purports that we are all enlightened beings. But we’re ASLEEP to that knowledge. Interesting! Also, the main Buddhist teaching on Karma works with this idea, that WE are responsible for our experiences in life. In AA we say, “we realized that we put ourselves in a position to be hurt”. I always think of it in the mirror of that, namely that we can also put ourselves in a position to be not hurt, or in the Feng Shui, the flow, the stream of life. Our friend Noah talks about going ‘against the stream’ but I think he’s just looking for an exuse to retain a punker’s rebellious attitude. It doesn’t look that good on a 35 year old, IMHO! My sponsor says that ‘rebellion is BORING’. But, I have to confess, I am a shit stirring mother-effer. I’m really working on it, but man, people need to be set straight. Wait, did I digress? Oh yeah, the Integration of Metaphysical Christianity with Intrinsic Buddha Nature of the Third Turning of the Wheel of Dharma in the context of Recovery within AA’s Twelve Steps.
So I invite you to read this .PDF with an open mind. Try to relate it to your own experiences\ religious beliefs\spiritual journey\recovery. Look past the ‘Thou Shalts’ , ‘His’es and other male, Biblical language to the deeper layer of meaning. Post up here what you think after you read it if you like. If you hate it and it makes your skin crawl with visions of nuns chasing you with rulers…feel free to expound on that. If you see parallels or contradictions with Buddhist Thought, I would welcome a comment to that effect. At least just read it and think about it. Maybe the next time you hear the Lord’s Prayer, you won’t wretch. As much. (-:
may you be free of suffering, and the root of suffering
PS, in the teachings the root of suffering is said to be ignorance.
How many Buddhas do you give this article?