Saturday, January 14, 2023

Peter Matthiessen

 "To the repentant thief upon the cross, the soft Jesus of the modern Bible holds out hope of Heaven: “Today thou art with me in Paradise.” But in older translations, as Soen Roshi points out, there is no “today,” no suggestion of the future. In the Russian translation, for example, the meaning is “right here now.” Thus, Jesus declares, “You are in Paradise right now”—how much more vital! There is no hope anywhere but in this moment, in the karmic terms laid down by one’s own life. This very day is an aspect of nirvana, which is not different from samsara but, rather, a subtle alchemy, the transformation of dark mud into the pure, white blossom of the lotus. “Of course I enjoy this life!"

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