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

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

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

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

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

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

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

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

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

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

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

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

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

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

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




Great Men And Nature








All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religious men
or philosophers, are not mere readers of books, but the perusers of
Nature. Men of erudition are often lexicons in flesh and blood, but
men of genius read between the lines in the pages of life. Kant, a
man of no great erudition, could accomplish in the theory of
knowledge what Copernicus did in astronomy. Newton found the law of
gravitation not in a written page, but in a falling apple.
Unlettered Jesus realized truth beyond the comprehension of many
learned doctors. Charles Darwin, whose theory changed the whole
current of the world's thought, was not a great reader of books, but
a careful observer of facts. Shakespeare, the greatest of poets, was
the greatest reader of Nature and life. He could hear the music even
of heavenly bodies, and said:

There's not the smallest orb which thou beholdest,
But in his motion like an angel sings.

Chwang Tsz (So-shi), the greatest of Chinese philosophers, says:
Thou knowest the music of men, but not the music of the earth. Thou
knowest the music of the earth, but not the music of the
heaven.[FN#132] Goethe, perceiving a profound meaning in Nature,
says: Flowers are the beautiful hieroglyphics of Nature with which
she indicates how much she loves us.


[FN#132] Chwang Tsz, vol. i., p. 10.


Son-toku[FN#133] (Ninomiya), a great economist, who, overcoming all
difficulties and hardships by which he was beset from his childhood,
educated himself, says: The earth and the heaven utter no word, but
they ceaselessly repeat the holy book unwritten.

[FN#133] One of the greatest self-made men in Japan, who lived
1787-1856.






Next: The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction

Previous: A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World



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