I was reading through this article recently: https://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/mysticism-and-meditation-buddhist-and-christian
It explores the differences and similarities between mysticism in Buddhism and Christianity.
I’m curious what the main differences are and where they are located. Here are the possibilities as I see them:
One thesis is that differences are purely linguistical, but the mystical experiences are virtually the same in both Buddhism and Christianity - so the Beatific Vision would probably be equivalent to Nirvana/Enlightenment in Buddhism. I tend not to favor this version, though at one point I did.
Another possibility is that the experiences are different, hence the linguistic differences. Namely Buddhists do not actually encounter God in their mystical experiences, even when they achieve Nirvana. I tend to prefer this explanation. But if so, this brings up a conundrum… Obviously many of the monks who achieve Nirvana develop “good fruits”, such as compassion. So I can’t agree that the experience they have in Nirvana is demonic. But if it’s not of a demonic origin, and it’s not an encounter with God, then what is it? How does their experience fit in our Christian framework?
Would love to hear your thoughts, or if you have other relevant reading material that you can recommend