The Relation Between Religion and Social Organization

The Relation Between Religion and Social Organization

[Second part of the sixth chapter of the book A Roda e a Cruz: Uma Introdução ao Cristianismo Budista (The Wheel and the Cross: An Introduction to Buddhist Christianity). Except for this chapter, the complete work is still in the Portuguese language.]

VIVIANE: What is the link between religion and the organization of society?

ARNALDO: Although today there is a tendency to consider religion and sociopolitical organization as relatively separate things, for a long time they were almost one and the same, walking together. This is because one decisively influences the other throughout history.

What we have today as the so-called Christianity, as I said, is this materialized and idolatrous interpretation of the teachings of Jesus. That interpretation is what is at the base of our cruel civilization model. Of course, we are not ignoring the Greco-Roman or Jewish tradition. However, these traditions were modified by a given dominant interpretation of Jesus’ teachings. This is what constitutes what the world calls Christianity. And it is this set that is at the base of Western civilization and its main institutions of sociopolitical organization.

With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, throughout the Middle Ages, it was monasteries and then the first universities that exerted this basic civilizing influence. Throughout this period, religion had an evidently dominant cultural role. Then, little by little, this domain was weakened, with all the transformations that marked the advent of the so-called Modern Age, until the Protestant Reforms took place, and what we call Modern Science began to develop. But the basis of thought still has its origins in this twisted religious tradition. In the Modern and Contemporary Age, the religious tradition was changing; now it is merged and, to a great extent, is in conflict and being overwhelmed by so-called scientific thinking.

In fact, it was precisely the materialization, the religious idolatry – be it so-called Catholic or so-called Protestant – that generated this type of science that is dominant today. One thing is the daughter of another. The basis, the matrix of this whole civilization remains that main religion of the West, which is what the world calls Christianity.

Only in the Modern and Contemporary Ages, this influence became less explicit and more indirect, with the intermediation of secular thought. But still the dominant religion in the West is Christianity, what is called Christianity. Many call this the Judeo-Christian tradition – and in fact it is, both Jewish and Greco-Latin and Christian. And, if we are also talking about Jewish tradition and Greco-Latin tradition, we are talking about those traditions that influenced Judaism and Greco-Roman culture. We arrived then in the cultures of Mesopotamia and Old Egypt.

All of this is at the foundation of Western civilization, which is largely dominating the world, as it is so clear.

“THE Christian Faith is the direct heir of the old Roman faith. Rome was the heir of Greece, and Greece of Egypt, whence the Mosaic dispensation and Hebrew ritual sprang.
Egypt was but the focus of a light whose true fountain and centre was the Orient in general – Ex Oriente Lux. For the East, in every sense, geographically, astronomically, and spiritually, is ever the source of light.
But although originally derived from the East, the Church of our day and country is modelled immediately upon the Greco-Roman mythology, and draws thence all its rites, doctrines, ceremonies, sacraments, and festivals. (…)
Drawing its life-blood directly from the pagan faith of the old Occidental world, Christianity more nearly resembles its immediate father and mother than its remote ancestors, and will, therefore, be better expounded by reference to Greek and Roman sources than to their Brahminical and Vedic parallels.” (Anna Kingsford. The Credo of Christendom, pp. 94-95; emphasis added)

It was this Western civilization – with all these influences, plus modern secular scientific thought – that resulted in Liberalism and Marxism, which to this day are the main and dominant social philosophies and which, therefore, are the main matrices of models of sociopolitical organization.

These philosophies, materialistic and materialized, created a new “Ecclesiasticism”, which to some extent combats and dominates, as I said, religious Ecclesiasticism.

We know, unequivocally, that they are dominant because they are the ones who are shaping the institutions, the main institutions that organize the sociopolitical life of the main countries, that is, the countries that dominate most of the world. All of this, as I said, is based on this degeneration of the true Christian religion, which is fundamentally linked to Buddhism, as well as the teachings of Pythagoras.

Christianity as it stands today – dominated by the literalist idolatry of Ecclesiasticism – with the civilization model influenced by it, with the growing violence between humans and animals, with the destruction of important elements of the natural environment, is taking the world straight to the collision with the iceberg of environmental and social catastrophes, which may start with pandemics that, even according to scientific reports, may occur in the not-too-distant future.

We have come to this point because this false Christianity, with its Ecclesiasticism, literalism, superficiality and idolatry of the Holy Scriptures directly or indirectly generated, and continues to support, institutions unable to organize the world in a satisfactory, balanced and fair way.

So, there is an urgent need for a re-interpretation, a rescue of true Christianity, which, according to Dr. Anna Kingsford, is a continuation and makes up a unity, a harmonious whole, based on the sacred teachings that preceded it, especially, I repeat, with the genuine and correctly interpreted teachings of Gautama Buddha and Pythagoras.

Admitting this last statement as true, we will necessarily have to rescue, to restore the true religiosity of this united tradition, as all the possibilities of new institutions, of new instruments of sociopolitical organization that would allow us to avoid and overcome the approaching iceberg would depend on this restoration, if this is still possible; if it is possible, after so much cruelty, to avoid that collision.

But, even if this is no longer possible, we still have the duty and the need to prepare for the day after, the next day. Because everything will continue after the iceberg, and we have to work for much awaited better days, with or without collision with the iceberg. We have to, whether we like it or not, sow the good seeds for before, during and after, it doesn’t matter, the catastrophes, which today seem almost inevitable, sooner or later. But when prophets speak these things, who listens to them? And it is precisely this deafness that makes catastrophes so inevitable. Patience and prayer…

Again, and trying to summarize, to improve the foundations of Western civilization we need to improve the Christianity that is there. We need to rescue, we need to restore, as Kingsford and Maitland did, the true Christianity, which, according to these prophets, composes a totality with Buddhism and with the teachings of Pythagoras.

With this rescue we will be able to have a true vision of God, a true metaphical vision of the human being, of the spiritual path and of ethical values. And as we externalize this vision in our way of living, individually and collectively, it will become new social institutions: legal, political, educational, economic, and so on. From this, according to the prophets Kingsford and Maitland, “of the spiritual union in the one faith of Buddha and Christ, will be born the world’s coming redemption.” (Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland. The Perfect Way, p. 252; emphasis added)

VIVIANE: The East seems to have a tradition more linked to symbols than the West. We see, for example, Indian dance, which is all symbolic. Orientals apparently have this greater connection with religious symbolism. Does this greater contact with symbols make their understanding easier?

ARNALDO: I believe that most Eastern people, when they interpret symbols, do not do it well, including their own symbols. That’s why Eastern religion is as we see it. What happens is that they accept more – not that they understand more – because that’s part of their rigidly stratified culture.

I would like to point out that rigid stratification is different from simple, natural scaling. In human society, this rigid stratification is not beneficial, in the sense of imposing that the person who is here cannot reach any further, as occurs in the degenerated Indian castes. In this culture, whoever is of a caste must live and die in that caste.

This is a degeneration of a sacred principle, of a true law, and a law of the greatest importance, which is the teaching that gave rise to the castes, but which have been degenerated for so long. This social scaling is no longer understood as a reflection of the character, the evolutionary levels of the Souls, but, in the current degeneration, it is determined by the caste in which the person was born. In fact, the inner value, the character, must determine the scaling; it is from the inside out and ideally depends on the Soul’s maturity level. And not rigidly determined by the social grouping in which the human being was born.

I Ching: 10 – Lu (Conduct and the Level’s Differences)

Heaven above, the lake below:

The image of CONDUCT.

Thus the superior man discriminates between high and low,

And thus strengthens the minds of the people.

The sky and the lake show a difference in altitude inherent to the essence of the two, which, therefore, does not arouse envy.

So, among men, there are necessarily differences in level. It is impossible to achieve universal equality. However, what matters is that the differences in level in society are not arbitrary and unfair, because in that case envy and class struggle would inevitably follow.

If, on the contrary, the differences in external level correspond to differences in internal capacity, and the internal value is the criterion for determining the external hierarchy, tranquility will reign between men and society will find order.” (Richard Wilheim. I Ching: Book of Changes, p. 56; emphasis added)

This view is present in virtually all major religious traditions, although even within those traditions it has been corrupted in countless ways, such as the caste system of Hinduism, or the stratified order of Christianity-related feudalism, among so many other examples.

VIVIANE: It seems difficult for human beings, with the knowledge they have, in the way they see the world, to make this distinction, to determine the external, social level, starting from the internal, of the character of individuals.

ARNALDO: It is really difficult, but its importance is decisive if we want a just social order with chances of overcoming the immense problems that are there, as the possibility of a good choice of leaders depends on that, without which there is no possibility of a harmonious social order.

In Humanitarianism, the system we have proposed, called Participatory Democracy of the Future, is logically derived from a reasonable Buddhist-Christian philosophical and religious basis, that is, catholic (in the sense of universal), we solve this problem of excessive stratification, or excessive egalitarianism, by accepting a scale without rigidity, showing that they can be freely defined levels, through elections, as, to some extent, the Russian soviets did – only in a more satisfactory, more dignified way, more coherent with human dignity, because there was no freedom there and our proposal is based on freedom. Not in a false absolute freedom, not in the freedom of the “fox in the chicken coop” type, but in the freedom associated with fraternity, which implies a harmonious scaling of freedom and responsibility, in a proportional and pertinent way.

How is this possible, that is, to create a harmonic order, without ignoring the existence of staggering and without excessive egalitarianism? Giving people freedom to choose their representatives, only in small social groups, from small populations, or from a micro-district basis. In this way, people can get to know each other in person and a first college of representatives is created with freedom, equality of opportunity and adequacy between capacities and levels of responsibility.

In this way, these first micro-district representatives will choose their municipal representatives (small municipalities); these representatives from the small municipalities will choose the representatives from the micro-regions; from there, those from regions (or states) are similarly chosen, thus arriving at the National Assemblies and, in the future, even a World Government.

In such a system, you first adjust to the Soul maturity framework, building a tier, but not despotically. People choose freely, within different staggered levels. Among other crucial factors, this is the only way to preserve equality of opportunity, as much as possible, in our world of so many limitations.

VIVIANE: Who determines who is at what level?

ARNALDO: The population itself, the individuals themselves, by freely choosing their representatives, at each level of social scale, as we briefly describe.

VIVIANE: Do people themselves qualify?

ARNALDO: Of course, there will be electoral rules relevant to this new model for choosing representatives. What is decisive is to understand the fundamental importance of small human groups and the absurdity of the choices of large human masses.

When a small social group freely chooses its representatives – for example, representatives of a small micro-district, where individuals can get to know each other in person without much difficulty – it chooses the people it considers most capable of representing it, to represent their needs, and to select higher representatives, etc.

When working with a large electoral population, with many thousands or even millions, it becomes immoral, it is unfair and incompetent, because equality of opportunity disappears, among other problems. Injustice is installed within the social order. Harmony is no longer achieved between the internal level of maturity and the external level in social ladder. From there it’s just conflict, corruption, violence, bad examples, bad decisions. There is no longer a possible solution, the conflict inevitably ensues, as in the quoted passage from the ancient I Ching. Just look at our society, at our country. Or to the world.

VIVIANE: To elect this type of representative, the group chooses between “x” people who declared themselves capable of such a role. But this individual declaration does not prevent someone not able to be a candidate and elected, even without being able. Do you think that the human being has the capacity to make this scale?

ARNALDO: It certainly has this capacity, as long as there is justice, that is, freedom and equality of opportunity in the process of choice. That’s why it’s human, that’s why freedom of choice is a fundamental value. Humanitarianism, as the root of the word itself indicates, is an affirmation of trust in the human. True humanity is divinely inspired, for it was made in the image and likeness of God.

Humanitarianism is concerned, before any other question of sociopolitical organization, with offering a correct and fair process for choosing representatives. Yes, humanity has this capacity, I repeat, as long as the process is fair, that is, as long as freedom, equality of opportunity and the adequacy between levels of capacity and levels of choice or social responsibility are preserved.

The gradient of consciousness is something like a pyramid. And at the top of humanity are souls very close to divinity, truth and love. And that top is also part of the human family. Thus, as the very old I Ching already said – which is considered to be perhaps the oldest known book – the question is the harmony between external power and internal capacities.

The heart of the political problem, the first problem in order of importance, is how to choose the representatives well, and the solution of this crucial problem, as Humanitarianism explains, as the ancient I Ching also explained, among so many other divinely inspired Scriptures, it necessarily depends on the existence of a dignified step that does not offend the divine dignity of the human being. A true religion must inspire the solution of this first and most important political problem. For on that the collective well-being depends vitally.

The second main political problem is how to endow these representatives with sufficient power to make and sustain the necessary decisions. We may have a good ruler and he may not have the necessary power in his hands. Or to have someone with a lot of power who is a despot, who is not a good ruler. The main objective, the first and most important question of sociopolitical organization is, as we said, to choose our representatives well. And, after that, to endow these representatives, chosen with justice and competence, with the necessary power to support their decisions.

VIVIANE: How to do this?

ARNALDO: We have already said that the first step is to guarantee freedom. Without freedom people look and rightly question themselves: “Who chose this?” Freedom is essential. Even a child needs to be given a good deal of freedom – but it cannot be absolute freedom. This seems to be the crux of the whole question of sociopolitical organization: freedom must be adapted to one’s level of consciousness. And this is impossible without decent and fair grades, levels or echelons. Without that, everything else is corrupted, and there is no possible solution.

Secondly, as has also been said, we need to have equal opportunities. Without equal opportunities, it is as if in an exam one candidate received feedback from the answers and the others did not. If there is no equality of opportunity, the process is flawed, it is unfair, it is corrupt and corrupting, as in the case of our sociopolitical system based on the mistaken principles of Liberalism, or those systems based on Marxism.

And last but not least, there has to be a match between the level of choice and the level of understanding of that population. For example: in 1993 there was a plebiscite to choose between presidential and parliamentary systems of government. At that time, half of the Brazilian electoral population could not distinguish between one and the other. So, it makes no sense to make use of a decision process of this type, even more so with mandatory voting.

The people were not able to decide directly on that macro-social issue. But he was and is prepared to know, in his small community, who can represent him to defend his interests in his neighborhood, or micro-district. The entire life of the sociopolitical organization, necessarily, must start there, in a natural way, adapted to the levels of conscience, in a dignified, fair and competent way.

If not, you can prepare the “lifeboat”, as the collision with the “iceberg” will be inevitable. It is “simple, sweet and logical”, as in the phrase attributed to Gautama Buddha. But our elites, our brothers of greater intellectual power, seem to prefer, so to speak, injustice, cruelty and delusion. This happens, as we have seen, because their minds are dominated by Ecclesiasticisms, whether the so-called religious ecclesiasticism or the so-called scientific “ecclesiasticism”.

It is much easier, logical and fair to be able to choose in a small community who are the individuals who have the capacity to better represent the necessities of our small district. If even that is not possible, much less will it be possible to decide on much broader issues. It’s so obvious and logical. It is, of course, a much better process for choosing representatives than those which are today present in the world. And maybe it’s the best we can do in our time.

Returning to a religious image, we can read in the Book of Job that: “In the elderly is wisdom, and in the breadth of days the understanding”. In other words, wisdom is with the “older ones” – with those who have greater “age”, and thus greater capacity of the Soul. (Job, 12:12) Of course, it is an allegory to those of greater inner maturity, or of the Soul, and not to the mere chronological age of the body, as we can read in the Book of Wisdom: “Venerable old age is not longevity, nor is measured by the number of years; the gray hairs of man are intelligence, and old age an immaculate life”. (Wisdom, 4:8-9)

But this can only be judged in a dignified, fair and competent way by the community if there is the necessary freedom and the necessary equality of opportunity. Other than that, where can we find dignity and justice? And without dignity and justice, we can forget about harmony and peace. In the Bible, among other passages, this is also implicit in the teaching of the Perennial Philosophy contained in the passage that says: “Seek therefore, first, his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew, 6:33) Of course, this phrase has many levels of meaning, but it also applies to the fundamental conditions of social organization, the political organization of societies and, therefore, of a fair process of how to choose the leaders.

In this process, I repeat, it is important to consider that the electoral college needs to be small – if it is large, the money, goods and material power, the electoral machine, the mass communication, and their private material gains will always speak louder.

The electoral college must not harm the justice of equal opportunities and must be adapted to the level of conscience of the people, that is, the problems and issues to be examined and decided must not go beyond the scope of the level of understanding or the scope of the consciences of that electoral college. And this cannot be achieved outside of small and gradually scaled electoral colleges, where this adequacy can be maintained, along with freedom and equality of opportunity. Apart from that, that is, without justice, we can forget about social harmony.

If I may, I will repeat, because it is so important, this point that, in practice, each of the colleges of representatives will choose the representatives of the higher level – all political life starting, of course, at the most basic level, at the level of what we can call electoral micro-districts.

All the levels (grades or echelons) of the political electoral system start with a micro-district, such as a set of blocks in a city, where individuals can get to know each other in person without electoral machines and such perversions. From there, it goes to the level of a small municipality, from there it goes to the level that does not exist in our country (Brazil), but is extremely important for public administration, which is the micro-regional level. In other words, the base, the levels at the base of the pyramid of sociopolitical echelons are the micro-districts, small municipalities, and micro-regions.

In economically more advanced countries, there is this political-administrative level after the municipality, which is called, in the case of the USA, county. An intermediate political-administrative level between the municipality and the states. In France, just to cite another example, between the municipality and the country there are départements – and the size of France is not very different from the size of the brazilian state of São Paulo, for example.

This entire process naturally qualifies the representatives and creates a system that is logical, fair, that does not mortally harm equality of opportunity, and that follows the levels that are inherent to the differences in the ages of human Souls. As we have already said, it is a sine qua non condition for justice that there is equality of opportunity in the choice of representatives – equality of opportunity in electoral disputes.

There is another extremely important complementary aspect – which many do not clearly understand – which is the consideration of this system in relation to the power of the large corporations that dominate the world today, as they dominate the main countries of the world.

This power of large corporations is simply overwhelming today. If we examine, for example, the Gross Domestic Product, the GDPs of the 100 largest countries and compare it with the Product generated by the largest economic corporations, we will see that there are many corporations in the world with Products greater than many of these countries, which would appear in this list of the 100 larger. This, of course, means enormous power to influence, especially in such an unfair system that privileges money and electoral machines.

In this system, of the so-called liberal “democracies” of today, the large corporations have an enormous power, and the National State becomes an organization at the mercy of these large corporations. The countries, that is, the National State organizations, nowadays, cannot balance and regulate the power of those big corporations, which of course defend private interests, not public ones, not the well-being of all the population.

The system proposed by Humanitarianism has the property of organizing the entire population in a way that, for example, can hardly be repressed. As the system stands today, if military corporations supported by large private economic organizations want to intervene with coups d’etat, there is no defense against it, as has been seen in so many examples.

The population is poorly organized, fragmented, loose, as the distance from the electoral colleges is immense. There is a huge gap between the people and the national representatives, not to mention the quality of the leaders. In other words, in addition to choosing the representatives very poorly, which is its biggest flaw and weakness, this system, by leaving the population so distant from the representatives, generates a weakness in relation, above all, to the large corporations.

In the system proposed here, there is no such emptiness, this vacuum. The assemblies are small, they can practically meet in a room; the representatives and the represented are always close and, thus, a social cohesion is created, a sociopolitical force that is capable of confronting, balancing and regulating the power of large corporations.

Again, it’s so simple and logical. At least we should understand that if this system proposed by Humanitarianism is not capable of selecting competent leaders, and of generating vigor, sufficient political force to regulate the power of large corporations, much less will the current unfair, incompetent and weak system be able to do that.

VIVIANE: The way you draw the picture, we see that the reigning policy is that of economic power. You believe that in the current system it is difficult for the people to defend themselves, for the rulers to defend themselves. Couldn’t I somehow adapt this situation?

ARNALDO: The way countries are organized today, the world has no possibility of avoiding great catastrophes, of overcoming the immorality and violence in which we live. The great world problems do not have consistent solutions and the rulers are servants of the great corporations. The world today is, I have said, like a Titanic, proud of its undeniable scientific and technical advances, yet heading steadily towards the iceberg of catastrophes, and we don’t even have the organizational tools to prevent it. This is the situation in the world today.

In this proposed system, which is the logical derivation of all these philosophical-religious principles, there is an outline of a social instrument, of social institutions capable of generating consistent solutions to major problems.

I don’t know if we will be able to prevent the outcome of great catastrophes, because human beings often need to hit rock bottom and then seek their regeneration. The fact, however, is that today there is no consistent solution to the big problems, and the clear trend is that these will increase, until we reach catastrophic situations.

Thus, we need to improve, rescue the true philosophical-religious basis, because this religious basis that prevails today is greatly corrupted by idolatry and the materialism of Ecclesiasticisms, whether religious properly or so-called scientific.

The current state of the religions does not allow for the advent of just institutions and consequent consistent solutions; they are idolaters and have materialized the sacred symbols. They take a phrase like that of Jesus “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John, 14:6) and personalize it, saying that that being who lived in Palestine is the only way, the only truth and the only true life. They don’t understand that these teachings are about much larger issues. They do not understand, as St. Paul said, that “the letter kills” (Corinthians, 3:6) – it kills first spiritually, then physically, because it generates institutions that lead to death like those that dominate and shape the world of our days. We are, in short, heading towards major crises, due to the fact that we are sowing pain, violence and destruction. And there is no chance, within the current framework, of avoiding these consequences.

The world is dominated today by large corporations and they fight each other for private gains. When the situation becomes difficult, they form an alliance: it is the law of profit, of the strongest, it is the law of the jungle. And who can fight it today? Nobody.

These organizations are the strongest on the planet. That is why it is essential that we create the conditions for the birth of decent, fair, dignified and competent social institutions, which can discipline the macro-agents that currently dominate, and with the dominant value of private material gains. We need new institutions that reflect and defend the values ​​of the well-being of humanity collectively considered, that is, humanitarian institutions, because that word – humanitarianism – means that, concern with the well-being of all, even in the dictionary.

VIVIANE: You talk about equal opportunities and the need to take into account the Souls’ maturity level. How is this differentiation made?

ARNALDO: The inability of the world today to do this, which is not such a complicated thing after all, rests on misinterpretations, on the misinterpretations of its symbols and religious and philosophical allegories.

The matrix, the basis of our main problems is precisely this lack of correct interpretations of these main symbols and allegories. This difficulty exists because we don’t see humanity as it really is.

We do not perceive the human family with its different levels of maturity of Souls, as in Jacob’s ladder dream allegory. We do not perceive, in short, neither the diversity of capacities nor the underlying Divine Unity. And without that there are no consistent solutions possible.

It’s so simple, but perhaps to see this simplicity clearly requires a certain depth, a certain elevation in vision. Therefore, with no such elevation of vision, as it is the case today, we have the dominance of idolatrous or materialistic ecclesiasticisms. It seems that few manage to understand the decisive importance of these simple and fundamental aspects, such as those that are represented in Jacob’s dream, that is: “Unity in Diversity”.

Jacob’s Dream

Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep.

Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it; above the ladder was the Lord.” (Genesis, 28:10-13; emphasis added)

Another example, among many others, of this fundamental decisive simplicity is in that parable, already mentioned here, of the master who was going to travel, called his servants and gave each one talents (money, resources, power etc.), to each one, says the parable, according to his abilities (capacities, maturity etc.). (Matthew, 25:14-29) When he returned, he charged each one according to his Soul conquests, according to his capacities.

We do not see clearly, in the symbols of religions, this differentiation, these differences, with the necessary underlying Unity. Ecclesiasticisms, whether religious or scientific, has so far been victorious in the struggle against the prophets, as they were at that time against Christ Jesus. They have been victorious thus far, though, it seems, their dark days are drawing to a close.

To this day, however, materialism has been dominant. And in religion the dominance has been of the literal and idolatrous misrepresentation of sacred symbols, and in its sermons it has given the same false advice to everyone as in the dominant materialist  egalitarianism.

In Greek mythology we have the story of Procrustes, which illustrates this same aspect. He received pilgrims in his inn and after feeding them, he invited them to sleep in a bed, where only those who were exactly the same length could lay down. Those smaller than the bed of Procrustes were stretched out by the legs and arms; the larger ones had the ends cut to be the same size. This is a very good representation of the dominant ideas in our current moment of civilization. We see this behavior reproduced in religions, science, politics and education, which demand the same ability from people. It’s as cruel as it is real.

The awareness of this differentiation begins with the correct interpretation of philosophical-religious symbols. For true religion is the connection with the High, with the Center, with the Buddha and the Christ in us, or, if you like, it is the connection with the High and the Deep, which is the same as God.

The basis of Buddhist teaching, at least within Buddhist Christianity – since it should clearly deal with Karma and Reincarnation, which are the two columns that explain the different levels of maturity of Souls – should fulfill this fundamental purpose, as to interpretation of sacred symbols in this tradition, which is both Buddhist and Christian. Christendom, as we have seen, needs to restore its original true form, which is of the greatest relevance, since it is the religion at the base of Western civilization, which today dominates the world, for better or for worse.

VIVIANE: Are Karma and Reincarnation the answer to this unknown, the differentiation of the levels of Souls?

ARNALDO: Exactly. This is the foundation of true Christianity, Christianity that is united in the same stream with Buddhism. That he can thus correctly interpret the Sermon on the Mount, the allegories of Genesis, the Prophets, the New Testament, the Letters and the Revelation. It takes the foundation of Buddhism to understand the language of the prophets, from Genesis to Revelation. Without the philosophical foundation of Buddhism, it is not possible to satisfactorily understand the Christian Scriptures. And without this complement of Christianity, this tradition is incomplete. It lacks, above all, the teachings about the Mysteries and Initiations, which are like bridges that unite, in a reasonable and logical way, the final stages of the evolution of Souls, until the conscious fusion with the Divine Reality, or, with the Kingdom of God. For these reasons, we begin this work with a quote from the prophets who were Dr. Kingsford and Maitland, a quote that tells us, in its simplicity, that: Of the spiritual union in the one faith of Buddha and Christ, will be born the world’s coming redemption.” (The Perfect Way, p. 252; emphasis added)

VIVIANE: Without that complement, everything is very literal.

ARNALDO: And if it stays literal, as Saint Paul teaches, “the letter kills”.

VIVIANE: Do you think globalization makes it easier for people to understand this Buddhist-Christian connection? A while ago it seems that it was more difficult.

ARNALDO: As an instrument, as a tool, globalization must make it easier. Things are not by chance – everything has its moment. But I’m not saying, like the materialists, that because of globalization understanding can happen. Globalization is generating means, instruments, tools, so to speak. And like any tool, it can either help or hinder.

The more powerful the tool, the more dangerous it is. And as globalization is a process that is generating very powerful tools – it can either help a lot or hurt a lot. Isn’t that what we can observe in our day?”
[Arnaldo Sisson Filho; with Viviane Pereira. Second part of the sixth chapter of the book A Roda e a Cruz: Uma Introdução ao Cristianismo Budista (The Wheel and the Cross: An Introduction to Buddhist Christianity), pp. 217-239]