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

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

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

Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

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

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

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

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

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

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

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

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

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

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

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

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

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

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

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

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...




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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