Chapter 9: The Need for Authenticity
Whatever Buddha or Jesus have said is not what they mean. To know the inner is one thing, but to put it into words changes it completely. Jesus uses a different language from Buddha; it is bound to be so. Buddha uses a different language because he is living in a different culture, a different world. But whatsoever they know is the same. You can compare Buddha’s words with Jesus’. They are different; the language is absolutely different. Jesus uses Jewish symbolism, Buddha uses Hindu symbolism. They are different.
But if you have the same experience, then you can look beyond symbols and see that the experiences of Buddha and Jesus are the same. If you don’t have that inner experience, then the languages will look different, contradictory.
A Christian scholar and a Buddhist scholar will never agree that the experiences of Jesus and Buddha are the same. But the problem is semantic, one of language. Eckhart will agree that the inner experience of the two is the same, Jakob Bohme will agree - because they themselves have achieved the same thing. Because they have achieved it, they can see beyond language. Language communicates, but it also becomes a barrier.