Raven 35: Metaphysics

One can be simultaneously both a Buddhist and a Christian. There might seem to be some, um, metaphysical differences. Are the differences in the metaphysical doctrines of Buddhists and Christians relevant to whether one can be both Buddhist and Christian? This question has far too many wheels, cogs, bells, flashing lights. A person could get lost in all that machinery. Can you not be away and at home at the same time? Is there not something to which all things relate, something that vanishes if named, and has in any case been vanished from the beginning?

That evening Owl said, "I'm still thinking about our experience at the Little Church in the Grotto. Can a Buddhist be a Christian?"
Raven said, "Love thy neighbor."
Owl asked, "Can a Christian be a Buddhist?"
Raven said, "There are lots of them."
Owl asked, "Aren't you bypassing a conflict in metaphysics?"
Raven asked, "What has metaphysics got to do with it?"
Owl asked, "What is the antecedent of 'it'?"
Raven said, "Good move, Owl.
Crane references God; Raven not so much.
Still: the mystery, humility, not knowing.
Raven mentions karma; Crane points to grace.
Still: sunshine and air are not earned,
nor our parents' love,
nor that nuthatch in the birch;
and causes have effects.
Choose a language, get a loyalty.
Choose a loyalty, get a language.
Who can name the antecedent?
Case by Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon

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