Friday, 9 June 2017
(i) The individual realizes the truth of a proposition for himself.
(ii) The individual projects a deity who tells him the proposition.
(A Zen Master dreamed of a Bodhisattva who uttered a single sentence. On waking, the Master remembered the sentence and wrote it down. Therefore, that single sentence counts as Buddhist scripture. I read the sentence in Sangharakshita's book on the Buddhist scriptural canons and can probably look it up.)
If a writer of fiction presents a dialogue between a human being and a superior being, then both sides of the dialogue are written by a human being, who therefore must exercise his imagination, but does the author intend us to accept that the superior being (fictitiously) "exists" or instead to regard that being as projected by the mind of the human character? We can compare a scene in Poul Anderson's The Shield Of Time with a scene in SM Stirling's The Scourge Of God - kind of complementary titles?
In The Shield Of Time
Manse Everard and Wanda Tamberly of the Time Patrol walk on a beach. Suddenly, there is a stranger before them although there had been no one else on the beach. He, or she, is robed partly like a Christian monk but partly like a Buddhist monk. S/he seems to blend black, white and Oriental, has overheard their conversation and explains the meaning of the Patrol. Everard says, "'Rabbi...'" Wanda says, "'Sensei...'" The stranger heartens and blesses them and is no longer there. A Danellian.
In The Scourge Of God
Father Ignatius climbs a hill to pray alone. He is addressed by a woman's voice. There is a robed, blue-mantled woman of indeterminate age with Jewish features. Her feet press the snow. She introduces herself as Miriam and speaks of her Son. Ignatius says, "'Lady -'" Miriam addresses Ignatius by his baptismal name and says that he will be her knight... A projection?