Salvation and Discrimination

While my wife and kids are in Japan (I’ll be going soon, too), I have been catching up on my dusty old Playstation. I’ve mostly playing the third and final game in the Final Fantasy XIII series: Lightning Returns.

The series as a whole deals a lot with religion but especially the third game. There’s a surprising amount of depth to the story.

Here’s an interesting cutscene I photographed from my TV where the main heroine, Lightning, reminisces about the utopia, Cocoon, she once grew up in and how it didn’t turn out like she expected:


The quote that really struck me was:

A new religion based on salvation only gives birth to new discrimination.

This is something I think some people may intuitively realize, but for most people, it feels good to be on the “winning” side of salvation. That in turn can foster an “us vs. them” attitude that can gradually poison and distort the original good intentions of that religion.

Anyhow, I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot lately, since Christianity is not the only religion with an element of salvation to it…


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

7 thoughts on “Salvation and Discrimination”

  1. Please don’t laugh but this was like a bolt out of the blue given where I am in terms of “practice shopping” and leaning towards Pure Land practice…maybe up until I read that post.


  2. Just to say something to defend the process of birth, fruition and eventual degeneration of religions. This quote is first a script, from an individual game developer, working in an organization cubicle, ….much like my nephew’s condition 30 years ago.. A single sincere voice of wishes, and probably a small heart, yearning for his then newborn daughters’ safe future into an unknown Seattle society. How many single and alone individuals are there out there, sending such sentiments into the Internet, or preserving them forever in a video game? Comparatively single, and comparatively alone, their highest expressions of hope for humanity, from what I see and read, are finding a spouse, establishing a home in a leafy neighborhood, contributing to the local charity, planning on sharing the child raising burden, noble modest sentiments all . Finding “true love” or establishing a PAC for their latest political hero consumes a lot of their time; so achievement represents a kind of mountain top…. Meanwhile,neon below their mountains religion every so often brought these solitary can-do mountain climbers (along with a few other sorts) together. A unity, if temporary, and what they achieved was much more than A video game writer, pushing a deadline.
    Thanks for the inspiration Doug, from a Starbucks in omotesando.


      1. Very nice KomaGawa! _/|_

        One way of looking at salvation in e.g. Jodo Shinshu as I understand it, or in fact of all of Mahayana Buddhism, is that salvation is the guarantee of all beings. And that it is, at worst, just a matter of time. In that regard it IS a universal thing. Is that “good enough” from a strict nondualist’s point of view? I have no idea. I know both Masters Shinran and Nichiren viewed their faiths as inclusive actually. I don’t have a lot of answers.


  3. Well said Neil, the question of time is such an interesting thing for me at this moment, in Asakadai McD’s . As a creature of this physical plane I am connected to time. I measure my position of temporary or long term accomplishment through this standRd, eithe internally according to my compensated schedule or outwardly referenced to colleagues/competitors. At this moment I am the master of my time, within the schedule dictated to/by me. I feel good, more or less. However I am aware of approaching storms of conflicting time requirements, when I will have to settle for priorities. We all become better with experience at this sort of thing, probably in general, if we have had support and advice. Slight wandering there….. The time comment made me think it a mental accomplishment to try to keep focused on the time after this physical plane. When I was writing my first comment I should have added that the accomplishment of “true love” is a temporary one


  4. It could also be understood that “discrimination” is noticing further differences, finer shades of meaning, against a general background. In the past one crude standard served a purpose to restrain and retrain the animal nature. But under new conditions behavior is further refined; a further purification of the human spirit is the new standard. Salvation is the upward progress of the whole context, or the statistical interpretation of all the individual points to a new best fit inclination. .


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