Ogami Itto… Enlightenment… and Salvation….

Been reading about Heian-era Japan (pre-Feudal) as background for maybe a new milieu for stories. Some of the Western Writers refer to Buddhist Enlightenment as “salvation”. That understanding is off compared to Christian Salvation. Enlightenment means coming to realization that we cannot change the world to our liking through struggle, but must accept and harmonize with the Universal Energy which works towards the mean. That brings something akin to Christian Joy, but still… at the end of life… the soul or real person goes to one of six realms from which they are again reincarnated and again must work towards elevating self in next life. Everything bad that happens to someone is because of evil done in past lives. Responsibility is lacking.

I have also been watching some old (as in my age) Japanese period movies. Sanjuro…. Which is the name the Ronin gives as his…. “About Thirty… but now… I am truly about Forty….” (Thus, I must be Gojuro… though I am approaching Rokujuro….)

Mostly I’ve been watching Zatoichi (blind masseuse who fights with an unusual left-handed underhand technique- all Samurai fight right-handed) and Lone Wolf and Cub. Ogami Itto is one of my favorite characters. Name means Wolf One-sword, but gami… or kami also means spirit… and the wolf in Japan is a spirit who guards humans from danger on mountains…. Powerful imagery…. The Lone Wolf was the Official Executioner… which… like butchers and tanners… should be ritually impure…. And… he becomes an assassin…. More bad karma…. And… he takes his only son with him on his path of revenge… thus damning him… karmically speaking… to Hell in the next life as well…. But… they are both calm…. Resolute…. Enlightened…. They accept their fate…. Meifumado…. The Road to Hell….

I guess the concept is similar to Purgatory….

I bring that up to discuss this…. In Buddhist thought… our state in this life is tied to our past decisions… not our current decisions… but Ogami Itto and Daigoro are not stuck in Hell…. They will be reborn…. Reincarnated…. And start again…. Even if they are ALMOST to the final heaven… they will be reborn… and have to live another life to attain perfection…. Life is lived towards what happens AFTER death….

WOW!!! That concept seems familiar!

Enlightenment is about accepting fate….

That brings Joy…. Joy… but not Salvation…. Acceptance… of something… less….

But when I ponder… Joy is a good thing….

How do I get to Enlightenment… without giving up on Eternal Salvation…?

Accept that I have no control over my life….

God is in control… not the Universe…. Not the Uncaring Cosmic Void….

God loves me…. Ultimately… everything happens for my good…. And… that’s GREAT!!!

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