The relationship between vision and holy place is explored in this paper with particular reference to the development of human potential through spiritual practice. Some of the obstacles that impede such development are considered, and a comparison between a Buddhist and a Christian approach is here presented. It draws on material found in the early Buddhist work by Upatissa Thera, the Vimuttimagga as it is frequently titled, and the writings of the Christian Evagrius of Pontus, one of the Desert Fathers. In both an analysis is to be found of certain characteristics, passions, or emotions, which condition human behavior, resulting in patterns of interfacing with the world that may not be conducive to receptivity to spiritual "sight." These having been "diagnosed," remedies are suggested. Practical methods are given for the cultivation of opposing traits, virtues in some Christian terminology, and for working to free the mind and heart from unhelpful conditioning. Common ground is manifest both in the recognition of certain problems encountered by those undertaking a spiritual path and in the solutions offered. The way can be opened up for the radiant light of the mind to function unobscured. The nature of this change in consciousness and its outcome as regards accessibility to holy space within the Buddhist and Christian imaginaires is also investigated. At this point there is divergence as final goals do differ in important ways. However, evidence suggests that within both the Buddhist and Christian traditions, a connection between internal and external experience of awakening to sacred space has been acknowledged. In conclusion, the potential usefulness of such perception and those who cultivate it is highlighted.


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pp. 201-216
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