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

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

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

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

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...

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

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

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

Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...

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

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

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

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

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

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

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

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