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Most, I imagine, who are interested in Buddhism find Gautama ("the Buddha") an estimable man, a man worth emulating, and sometimes a man worth adoring. He is seen as an example of what a Buddhist might like to become ... or become like ... or something like that. Gautama is honored, revered, esteemed.
But did anyone else ever wonder what Gautama thought of himself? Others may revere Gautama, but does it seem likely that Gautama revered himself? Or Jesus or Mohammad or any other spiritual bright light? Did such objects of reverence and esteem revere and esteem themselves?
It seems highly unlikely to me.
But if they did not revere themselves and if we revere them in an effort to emulate what we revere, how much sense does our own reverence make?
Yes, yes ... I can hear the Jesuit-Buddhists sharpening their slick wits: "We don't revere the man," they say. "We are touched and seek to emulate and actualize what he pointed to." That sounds kool but it sidesteps the question of our own reverence and whatever reverence Gautama may have had.
Just chewing my cud here. Thoughts?