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Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on e...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...

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

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Surp...

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...




Everything Is Living According To Zen








Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve itself, to
assert itself, to push itself forward, and to act on its environment,
consciously or unconsciously. The innate, strong tendency of the
living is an undeveloped, but fundamental, nature of Spirit or Mind.
It shows itself first in inert matter as impenetrability, or
affinity, or mechanical force. Rock has a powerful tendency to
preserve itself. And it is hard to crush it. Diamond has a robust
tendency to assert itself. And it permits nothing to destroy it.
Salt has the same strong tendency, for its particles act and react by
themselves, and never cease till its crystals are formed. Steam,
too, should have the same, because it pushes aside everything in its
way and goes where it will.

In the eye of simple folks of old, mountains, rivers, trees,
serpents, oxen, and eagles were equally full of life; hence the
deification of them. No doubt it is irrational to believe in nymphs,
fairies, elves, and the like, yet still we may say that mountains
stand of their own accord, rivers run as they will, just as we say
that trees and grass turn their leaves towards the sun of their own
accord. Neither is it a mere figure of speech to say that thunder
speaks and hills respond, nor to describe birds as singing and
flowers as smiling, nor to narrate winds as moaning and rain as
weeping, nor to state lovers as looking at the moon, the moon as
looking at them, when we observe spiritual element in activities of
all this. Haeckel says, not without reason: I cannot imagine the
simple chemical and physical forces without attributing the movement
of material particles to conscious sensation. The same author says
again: We may ascribe the feeling of pleasure and pain to all atoms,
and so explain the electric affinity in chemistry.






Next: The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity

Previous: Life Change And Hope



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