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

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

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

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

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

There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...

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

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...

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

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

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

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

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

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

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

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

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

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

True Dhyana
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...




Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease








In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, in so
far as it does not assume that to to be known is identical with to
be, in so far as it does not assert that the phenomenal universe is a
dream and a vision, we may admit it as true. On the one hand, it
serves us as a purifier of our hearts polluted with materialistic
desires, and uplifts us above the plain of sensualism; on the other
hand, it destroys superstitions which as a rule arise from ignorance
and want of the idealistic conception of things.
It is a lamentable fact that every country is full of such
superstitions people as described by one of the New Thought writers:
'Tens of thousands of women in this country believe that if two
people look in a mirror at the same time, or if one thanks the other
for a pin, or if one gives a knife or a sharp instrument to a friend,
it will break up friendship. If a young lady is presented with a
thimble, she will be an old maid. Some people think that after
leaving a house it is unlucky to go back after any article which has
been forgotten, and, if one is obliged to do so, one should sit down
in a chair before going out again; that if a broom touches a person
while someone is sweeping, bad luck will follow; and that it is
unlucky to change one's place at a table. A man took an opal to a
New York jeweller and asked him to buy it. He said that it had
brought him nothing but bad luck, that since it had come into his
possession he had failed in business, that there bad been much
sickness in his family, and all sorts of misfortune had befallen him.
He refused to keep the cursed thing any longer. The jeweller
examined the stone, and found that it was not an opal after all, but
an imitation.'


Idealism is a most potent medicine for these self-created mental
diseases. It will successfully drive away devils and spirits that
frequent ignorant minds, just as Jesus did in the old days. Zen
makes use of moral idealism to extirpate, root and branch, all such
idle dreams and phantasmagoria of illusion and opens the way to
Enlightenment.






Next: Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality

Previous: Zen And Idealism



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