Epiphany and Theophany Revelation in Buddhism and other religions.

These are my views regarding religions – theology, theosophy and philosophy – after reading and studying whatever available to me (collected knowledge - sutamaya) – and contemplating on these facts (processed knowledge – seintamaya). The last level of knowledge, according to Buddha, is insight knowledge (vipassana) – which can be expressed in various ways as intuition, transcendental knowledge or, even, epiphany (revelation) – and it’s not relevant here since it’s more of mundane affair, and I don’t have it yet also. The many books are - of Buddha’s teachings written by various knowledgeable monks in Burmese, majority, and in English; by scholars in English such as “A History of God,” “Ideas, A History,” “Pagans and Christians” and “Chambers Dictionary of Beliefs and Religions.” Last but not the least will be “God Delusion.” Although my opinion is “Buddhism is not a religion” in its many aspects such as the lack of rites, rituals, ceremonies, mysticism or miracles, myths and dogmatism, for discussion it has to be included here as a religion. If not for Buddhism, religion will be still defined as belief in some form of god. “In the beginning, human beings created a God who was the First Cause --“ an opening sentence from “A History of God” by Karen Armstrong. It’s a good book although at the end I’m still confused who created who; god created human or the other way round. Anyway once we accepted the idea of god, it has to be a credible one and one way of attaining that credibility is through revelation. Throughout our human history many gods were recorded to have revealed to many people at various times and Book 1 of “Pagans and Christians” by Robin Lane Fox (Folio Society) is a book, from a well-studied effort, although not well presented because of its academic style of presentation, for the history of revelations – epiphanies - by various gods during that transitional time of Pagans and Christians. From various criminals, serial killers and rapists, to saints and sages, there were accounts of epiphanies and it’s difficult to discriminate whose is correct if one takes a deeper look; superficially of course criminals are liars. One notable fact that I notice is the form and content of revelation was always in accordance with the knowledge of that time, never futuristic despite the God being postulated as Omni-everything. For example, he appeared in a chariot in those days not in any futuristic vehicle like Virgin Galactic; and he promised the Jew a very arid land despite there being a very fertile and wide America. It just reflects the knowledge of the story teller rather than that of the main actor. But Gotama Buddha never revealed himself to be a god though he never denied the existence of gods, if we consider those staying above, figuratively, our human plane can be called as gods. What he revealed is the Dhamma which is all-encompassing in both its contents and coverage. It can be interpreted as laws of the Nature including Physics, Chemistry, Psychology; guides to liberation (not salvation) through learning and practice, not blind or unreserved faith; revelation of the Truth and simply answers to our problems in life - all of which will always be correct (paramatta cica – permanent truth) independent of time, place and person.

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