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The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga[FN#250] claims that various supernatural powers can be a...

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne[FN#204] says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms o...

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
[FN#263] A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to ha...

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...




Change As Seen By Zen








Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transience, but
it has come to a view diametrically opposite to that of the Hindus.
Transience for Zen simply means change. It is a form in which life
manifests itself. Where there is life there is change or Transience.
Where there is more change there is more vital activity. Suppose an
absolutely changeless body: it must be absolutely lifeless. An
eternally changeless life is equivalent to an eternally changeless
death. Why do we value the morning glory, which fades in a few
hours, more than an artificial glass flower, which endures hundreds
of years? Why do we prefer an animal life, which passes away in a
few scores of years, to a vegetable life, which can exist thousands
of years? Why do we prize changing organism more than inorganic
matter, unchanging and constant? If there be no change in the bright
hues of a flower, it is as worthless as a stone. If there be no
change in the song of a bird, it is as valueless as a whistling wind.
If there be no change in trees and grass, they are utterly
unsuitable to be planted in a garden. Now, then, what is the use of
our life, if it stand still? As the water of a running stream is
always fresh and wholesome because it does not stop for a moment, so
life is ever fresh and new because it does not stand still, but
rapidly moves on from parents to children, from children to
grandchildren, from grandchildren to great-grandchildren, and flows
on through generation after generation, renewing itself ceaselessly.

We can never deny the existence of old age and death--nay, death is
of capital importance for a continuation of life, because death
carries away all the decaying organism in the way of life. But for
it life would be choked up with organic rubbish. The only way of
life's pushing itself onward or its renewing itself is its producing
of the young and getting rid of the old. If there be no old age nor
death, life is not life, but death.






Next: Life And Change

Previous: Hinayanism And Its Doctrine



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