Q: Tiger, you’ve been a master of control your entire life, how did things get so out of control?
Woods: Going against your core values, losing sight of it. I quit meditating, I quit being a Buddhist, and my life changed upside down. I felt entitled, which I had never felt before. Consequently, I hurt so many people by my own reckless attitude and behavior.
from The Golf Channel
Tiger Woods has made more than a splash of late with the revelation of his multiple adulterous acts and subsequent offer of millions of dollars to his wife, Elin, to stay married instead of leave. Although many debated over whether Elin should have stayed and whether Tiger was serious, he has insistently claimed that his failure was due in part because he had left his "core values" associated with and relating to Buddhism.
Those of eclectic belief systems such as Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle which I have featured in various articles on this site, hold that all paths lead to the same God and there is really no reason to distinguish the differences between religion and religious thought. For many, all religions have valuable insights, sayings and teachings whereby humankind can be benefited and individuals seeking personal improvements can be benefited.
The More Things Change...
Unknowingly, what many espouse is a modern and revamped form of Shamanism which is having a serious awakening within the Christian church, the educational arena, personal empowerment gurus and many religious fringe groups claiming to be Christian under the guise of spiritual coaching or spiritual guidance services. I'll do an article specifically on Shamanism and how it effects the modern Christian church in the near future, but I don't believe that there is anything more dangerous than the trend that has emerged and been given endorsement and credibility among biblically illiterate and non-discerning Christians. What we face is a total redefinition of the Christian faith whereby the word is interpreted in the light of personal experience and not on the basis of it's context and command.
There is diversity in Buddhism and many varying schools of thought as it pertains to the application of Buddhism. As one should expect, Buddhism is also effected by racism, classism and a schism between Buddhist Hindus (generally whites) and Buddhist Africans (generally blacks).
Strangely this affirms the the biblical tenet that if god is in self, we find that self is also full of contradiction through dissension, racism, variance and strife and cannot in and of itself save itself. This concept of self contradiction and internal struggle reveals the nature of Yin-Yang, which is primarily the struggle of good and evil within one entity. The concept of yin-yang further states that good cannot exist without evil and neither can evil without good. the two are inextricably woven together for eternity the good (yang, male, sun) only managing the bad (yin, female, moon).
Yin-Yang is defined as follows:
"Negative (female) and positive (male) complementary forces of the universe central to Chinese thought since perhaps as early as 1,000 BCE." ~ Eastern Philosophy Dictionary On Yin,Yang
"Opposite but balancing male and female principles - yin is female (Moon) energy, negative and passive; yang is male (Sun) energy, positive and active" ~ Magic Shamanism Dictionary On Yin, Yang
"Principle of polarity in Chinese cosmology, in which the opposite poles eventually blend and become one another in a cosmic connectedness" ~ Zen and Buddhism Dictionary on Yin and Yang
"Chinese names referring to the active and passive principles of the universe. Yin refers to the female or [in-active] negative force; Yang to the male or active force. These two polar forces continually interplay with each other. The words are used to describe the constant How of motion and change in the universe (i.e., the "Tao") ~ New Age Dictionary on Yin/Yang
"Taoist terms referring to the active and passive principles of the universe.
Yin refers to the female or (in-active) negative force;
Yang to the male or active force.
These two polar forces continually interplay with each other. Both are necessary and both must be harmonized for proper function. This Yin and Yang also flow through the human body so that a balance is required to maintain health." ~ New Age Spirituality Dictionary on Yin/Yang
"Yang (Chinese) The bright aspect -- as the sunny side of a hill -- in contrast to yin, the dark side. In mystic Chinese literature and in Taoism, yang is associated with the masculine aspect, while yin refers to the feminine aspect. Thus tao is regarded as the interaction of the revolving changes produced by the yang and yin: yang referring to immaterial, celestial force and substance; yin, to material equivalents.
Popularly everything of a beneficial aspect is associated with yang, while everything of maleficent tendency is related to yin. However, this limits the original conception of yang and yin as forming the two contrasted sides of the universe, for one cannot exist without the other, and each in its own way is as important as the other." ~ Spiritual - Theosophy Dictionary on Yang
"Yin (Chinese) The dark aspect, as the shady side of a hill, while yang means the bright or sunny side. In Taoist and mystic Chinese literature, used philosophically as the opposite of the light side of nature or yang; thus yin is said to be the female aspect, often mistakenly called the weak side. Chinese scholars have described tao as the annual revolution of changes produced by the yin and yang. The yin is popularly assimilated with the earth, which is cold and dark. Yin is considered as the binary, while yang is the unitary (SD 2:554)." ~ Spiritual - Theosophy Dictionary on Yin
And the list goes on and on...
Quick Note: Notice how the "yin" and female is declared as being negative. The male or "yang" is declared as being good. It is interesting that from a psychological standpoint adultery and certain forms of sexual abuse can be a reflection of how one views the opposite sex. There is evidence that sexual impropriety and abuse, such as what we see in this case, is the result of how a person devalues the opposite sex. Another aspect is the value that a person assigns to themselves. In other words a person doesn't abuse what they value even from a sexual standpoint.
Within Buddhism sheer determination and will shapes and controls circumstance and reality. Chanting and meditation is what awakens the core being to overcome fleshly struggles. This is why meditation is such an important part of Buddhism and why Tina and Tiger often refer to the practice of chanting and meditation when talking about their personal struggles and how they will overcome. Here is Tiger Woods from a 2008 interview:
Numbers 23:19 ~"God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
The God of the bible is an immaterial deity with extension in space and time and can be defined as a person based on his self-awareness and relationship to his creation. Buddhism does not know of this concept.
The God of the bible is the creator of all material and immaterial realities both known and unknown. However the God of the bible has only made evil possible not actual. Because of the creation of freewill agents he has made evil possible, but those agents by their choice made evil actual. This is vastly different from the concepts within Buddhism and the worldview that Tiger Woods espouses. Within Buddhism there seems to be a fatalistic determinism whereby evil and good are unendingly woven together each serving the purpose and convenience of the individual, taking turns and supposedly promoting the greater good, but evil, like a wild animal must remained chained. This concept is foreign to God:
James 1:13 ~"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:"
Neither sin nor evil are tools formed by God and thrust upon man and mankind. They are the unavoidable ancillary product of the impersonal force of evil who's power is obliterated through faith in the shedding of Jesus blood for remission of sins:
Ephes. 2:1-9 ~ "And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2-Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3-Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4-But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5-Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6-And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: 7-That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8-For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9-Not of works, lest any man should boast."
The God of the scriptures, though physically distinct from man, yet shares a unique relationship with man embracing man, providing for and meeting the deep emotional needs of man. These needs are only recognized by HIM because he created the individual and knows it in its full scope and being. The god, gods and or goddesses of Buddhism who are products of personal thoughts and aspirations in conflict with human desires and emotions, are impersonal, and limited in their knowledge and wisdom and have no healing power. In fact they do not attempt to display any ability or power over sickness, disease, death, the grave or any of the things that are associated with God as a creator. Within Christianity, God although separate from his creation is yet intimately involved within his creation intervening personally and physically, superseding what is known as natural law at times. This is called miracles. God's creation is not HIM but is an extension of HIS acts and will.
Romans 7:18 ~"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not."
In Christ our wrestling with evil and sin, is not like our wrestling before we met Christ. Now, we have a hope and a strength beyond ourselves. Previously we had neither. the world of positive self-talk, affirmations, meditation, alpha states and all are powerless in dealing with a stronghold. With Christ, there is relief, and freedom and a lifting of the burden of sin and shame, in addition there is a blessing and a promise of freedom. Thus the true sense of freedom is found in Christ. From the fleshly nature at it's core, a true change of heart and mind.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ~"Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
In conclusion there is no work, meditation or chant that can give us our core value. Paul in speaking to the Galatians expressed this fact indicating that circumcision, which was a work of the flesh, familiar to the Jews for acceptance, was worthless in the true presence of God. remember that Paul was a former Pharisee proud of his heritage, but more proud of what he had found within Christ Jesus.
Galatians 6:15 ~ "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."
The End Of The Interview:
I almost forgot this part, that I found unusually interesting:
Q: I noticed you’re wearing a bracelet, can we see it?The bracelet represents protection and strength. Although you will find a Buddhist bracelet on Tiger's wrist for the rest of his life as he claims, you won't find a wedding ring anytime. Up until now, he's against wearing his ring especially while he's playing golf. Aside from all that, the works of the flesh can't be wharted off with a charm. I'd advise Tiger to come to Jesus, only he can save you from what you're dealing with!
Q: When did you start wearing it?
Woods: Before I went into treatment.
Q: Will you be wearing it during the Masters?
Q: For the rest of your life?