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

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

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

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

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

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

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

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

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

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

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

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...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

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

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

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...




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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