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Dialogue with a Friendly Christian 3.3 q8


A fundamental term in Jain theology is ANEKANTAVADA, which loosly translated means "NO ONE SINGLE VIEWPOINT".

What Anekantavada means, in a nutshell, is that every attempt at verbalization of the Truth is inadequate, falls short, and is only a partial verbalization of the truth.

In the ninth century C.E., a Hindu named Shankaracharya wrote a prayer which begins "Oh Thou, from Whom all words recoil... " .

This is related to Apophatic or Negative Theology, with its origins in the writings of St. Dionysius the Areopagite.

Namely, that we cannot say what God IS, but only say what He is NOT.

In Hinduism, an important term is Maya or Illusion. It is considered as a protection from God. It is because of the protection of Maya that we do not perceive the true reality of ourselves and the world, for we would not be spiritually prepared or "strong" enough to endure such a vision. It is similar to God and Moses, when God says "I shall pass by you, but you shall not see my Face. I will cover you with My hand, and you shall see My Back as I depart."

Isaiah says, "As high as the heavens are from the earth, so high are My ways from your ways, My thoughts from your thoughts."

In the New Testament Epistles, "That which has been secret from the ages is now made known..... " in a sense this constitutes what is called a "lie of omission". In light of the passage from Isaiah, since God is Infinite, and Omniscient, and Omnipresent, therefore the finite mind of man cannot possibly understand anything from God EXCEPT FALSEHOODS, i.e. approximations of the Divine Reality.

It is not a wicked, malevolent lie, but much like the Parent who tells the very small child, "Dont cross the street or the boogie man will get you", but to an older child, "The policeman will arrest you!", but to an Adolsecent, "You will be struck by a car and injured."


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