“The preachers traditionally warn that death is lurking just around the corner, and could strike us down at any time, so we must put on our serious costumes and get straight with God, Tao, the Universe, Shiva, Dharma, or whatever programmed concept we employ to insure we stay clean and sober in the face of our inevitable death and potential afterlife destination….” Bob OHearn https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/2015/12/25/gratitude/
‘… Even the lamas and zen masters who one day proclaim that everything is perfect, just as it is, will turn around the next day and warn of dire consequences unless we keep our nose to the Dharmic grindstone and practice their prescribed method to achieve liberation from all this supposed perfection…’
All this is fine, and well expressed, for anyone who follows the religion of Christianity and considers it as above all the others. But I find it unfair and unbalanced, undermining as it does – subtly and indirectly – some of the tenets and pratices of other religions (which otherwise include in their core what he is saying about fear and gratitude, etc.). The writer constantly carps on fear and, rightly, opposes gratitude to it, which is good for a sermon, but there is not only fear and gratitude (he could also have said courage) but also their complement – desire – , and opposite – egoism/ attachment) respectively.
‘Even our greatest joys are tinged with the intuition of inherent evanescence’ — Well, isn’t that so?
‘There is really nothing to fear’. Agreed on by any spiritual person in all traditions.
‘It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.’ (this seems to be a quote of David Steindl-Rast, at the end of the article). Clever rhetorical devise looking for effect… but I would see it (its truth) as the other way around: It is because our inherent nature is joy and beauty, and love, that we see these reflected as gratitude (for life), and in everything else –- once there is real understanding. Christianity does not hold this view on account of the ‘fallen’ nature of man with its attendant suffering, need for atonement, and punishment.