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Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...

Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

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

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

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

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

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

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

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

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

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

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

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

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

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

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

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




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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