A Closer Look
Considering my short interaction with the Buddhists, I’ve thought about what other questions I should have asked. I might have gotten a clearer answer regarding good and evil if I had started by asking how one knows what is good or evil. (That question seems a little unfair, however; I’d be hard-pressed to give a great answer to such a question outside of saying man just knows, albeit imperfectly, what is good and bad ). It was, in all honesty, an unsatisfactory visit: I had some ideal that we would engage in a dialogue, but I was really expecting to interview; the Master wanted to lecture, to speak with authority. We were both playing different games, I think.
One point he harped on, which I never touched upon in my paper, was the difference between our viewpoints of earning grace. His whole theology seemed wrapped up in forcing the universe. These rituals or this diet, worked to earn; the universe owed him for his chants and lifestyle. I, and most Christians, believe you cannot force God into giving you what you want. As C. S. Lewis so powerfully describes Aslan, “He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”