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

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

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

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

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

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

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

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

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

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
[FN#275] The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a...

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

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

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...

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

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

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

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