|In Loving Memory of Anthony Collarile
Home with the Lord - April 8, 2006
When surrounded by the blackness of the darkest night
Oh how lonely death can be
At the end of this long tunnel is a shining light
For death is swallowed up in Victory
But just think of stepping on shore
and finding it Heaven
Of touching a hand and finding it God's
Of breathing new air and finding it Celestial
Of waking up in Glory and finding it Home.
Anthony Israeli Collarile was born on September 24, 1924 in Yonkers, New York. He was the ninth child and the eighth son of Italian immigrants, Assunta and Ralph Collarile. He graduated from Yonkers High Scholl in 1942, spent two years in the United States Army and in 1952 graduated from Shelton Bible College with a degree in Biblical Languages and Literature. He then became an ordained Assemblies of God Minister. Tony was also a professional violinist with the West Chester Symphony Orchestra.
Anthony's close friend and co-worker, Walter Martin, founded the Christian Research Institute in Wayne, New Jersey and later Irvine, California. As part of this work Tony was pleased to do the extensive research for the popular textbook, "Kingdom of the Cults,"
In 1974 Tony's career took a change and he became Chaplain at Dover Christian Nursing Home (established by CR1). In 1985-1986 He was President of the Morris County Minister's Association. After retirement in 1988 from the Dover Christian Nursing Home Tony spent much time enjoying the violin and doing bible studies at various homes and churches. Frequent visits for teaching and fellowship were made to Higher Ground Christian Center in Greenville, NY.
Religious Readers Digest - October 1961
Zen Buddhism . . . what is it?
by Anthony I. Collarile
Publicized in a very general way and having fraternity-like appeal, a "new" religion has arisen on the order of the ever-multiplying "Eureka" Pschyiana's. Its name is Zen-Buddhism. Many Americans have taken to this "Oriental Religion" and literally turned it into a new Fad. The nihilistic attitudes which prevail today, provide Zen-Buddhism with a fertile soil in which to encourage the exodus away from the boredoms our lethargic minds have created. Among the Greeks the Bible tells us it was the practice for men to come together "either to tell, or to hear some new thing." (Acts 17:21B). That was true in the first century, today the new thing is Zen.
Escapism, now fast becoming a national fancy, has exploited these exotic brews and provided the basic ingredient needed to "get away from it all" as reflected in the popular "I couldn't care less" point of view. Egolessness then is the new fashion and one must learn to wear it well. The culprit is Ego and the re-birth is "Self." This is the goal. Just how one tells the difference between "ego" and "self" we are not told, however, this is the point of merger into "unconsciousness" by way of Wu-chu (non-abiding) and (Wu-nieng) (no thought) and is highly recommended by Zenists. This specially prepared formula (which ought to do the trick) is the way of initiation into Zen. The Ego then is fulfilled as "Satori" (enlightenment) moves in to complete the formula.
Like many other religions Zen-Buddhism offers a way of salvation based upon introspection and the analysis of one's own mind. Zen confuses God with Nature, preys upon the uninformed by offering a "solution" for many who do not grasp the full import of its teachings. While it condemns man's way, Zen exalts a false "new" way and Satanic promises follow in its train. Zen is a religious narcotic and spiritually deceptive. Our own mind should never become the infallible guide by which we formulate authoritative guideposts to lead us through the "Many voices and many gods" that prevail in the world of thought. Only as we turn to Holy Scripture are we assured of finding the proper understanding of the world in which we live. For the Christian, "God has spoken." Setting up our own radical intuition as Enlightenment (satori) as Zen does is a false guide. Apart from God, man cannot find the answer within himself. In vain he peers within. He must turn to the Living God to gain the solution of the problem. Understanding one's self may provide a great deal of mental gymnastics but it is totally unprofitable in finding "peace with God."
Zen-Buddhism seems to be devoid of any consistent historical background but it has only recently within the last decade, made any noticeable impact upon the American religious scene. Many keen observers note that in the last three generations many inroads have been made in the American way of life which are definitely of exotic import and have nothing in common with the American heritage.
Among the chief exponents of Zen in America is Alan Watts, a young ex-Anglican priest of great zeal who lectures widely throughout the United States. ( Zen-Buddhism as preached by Watts, provides a great deal of intellectual activity but it cannot answer the question "What must a man do to inherit the kingdom of God?") Irrelevancy is played up as a virtue in Zen and a nonsensical pre-occupation with nature is considered a sound and normal way of life. Such activity receives its concreteness in the form of sometimes amusing poetry called "haiku." So new is this movement in America, that it has not as yet been determined in just what manner the word Zen should appear in a new Dictionary soon to be released.
If anything is to be said conclusively for Zen-Buddhism at least, from the Christian point of view, is that it is an advanced type of mysticism which seeks to establish the mind in an entirely new relationship with the physical world. Language fails to describe this process, for the world that Zen-Buddhism accepts must be approached by an entirely different road than that which is commonly communicated to one by the symbol and meaning of words. Perceptions (if such there be) must enter IT? the door of experience, never faith. If this concession is made, our present day advocates of pragmatism should not have any difficulty in easily adopting this thought-form into their structure of thinking.
One is also suspicious that Zen-Buddhism might find Epicureanism an acceptable traveling companion since they both seek what is most frequently found by way of least resistance. If we are to strictly define Zen-Buddhism one finds before him a difficult task indeed. It is like plotting a course amid the spaces between the stars. Time would fail before one notable fact would be recorded. Such mental pre-occupations that Zen-Buddhism encourages, only leaves one stranded in intellectual "Outer Space" unable to return to normal categories of thought or reality. But then, it may be that strictly speaking, for Zen-Buddhism reality does not exist at all. Christian Science states that "all is Mind" and it may well be that in Zen-Buddhism this is true also, but in a lesser degree since Zen does not deny the existence of matter.
Non-resistance to thought-patterns that immediately enter the mind is a rule in Zen. This can prove dangerous since they presuppose that thoughts which pass through the mind are to be welcomed apart from any judgment to be passed relative to their purity. The Bible teaches that we are to guard our thoughts and to make certain that they are of a healthy variety. The mind is the gateway to the soul and the soul in turn is the prime mover of the body. Zen-Buddhism errs in that it confuses spontaneity of thought with goodness. That is, what the mind produces of itself is good. It seeks to establish the assumption that Zen contemplation grows only flowers fragrant with constructive thought and definitely without weeds! Any mental tug-of-war is useless, and therefore, for the sake of one's health ought not to be engaged in. Yielding will produce that atmosphere which leads to freedom. Such reasoning constitutes a definite Anti-Christian point of view, for in Zen sin is not a reality but a foolish desire to struggle against the inevitable operations of a person's mind.
Christianity teaches that we are to discriminate and pass judgment upon the character of our thoughts and that we must bring every thought captive to the presence of Christ. Our minds are as much a part of the soul as our brains are of the body. Each is related to the other in a way vital to its existence. As the blood entering the brain affects its physical health, in like manner the thoughts entering the mind affect the soul which in turn affect the body, for God has made man a soulish body. (Gen. 2:7 - 1 Cor. 15:44)
Every effort put forward to grasp the roots of Zen thought only lead back to a maze of oriental definitions. So unrelated to Western thought patterns are they that only a life time ( and a wasted one at that), spent in unraveling such intricacies would only begin to unearth its logical and spiritual confusion.
We would have to number this oriental import as being among the growing cults which are a menace to the Gospel in our day. It is well at this point to heed the words of the Apostle Peter "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you; the kind that will shrewdly introduce ruinous heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and bringing on themselves swift destruction. Many will follow along in their shameless ways, on whose account the way of truth will be maligned. Motivated by greed, they will exploit you with their counterfeit arguments" (Berkeley Version 2 Peter 2:1, 2).
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