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

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

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

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

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...

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

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

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

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

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

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

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

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.

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