Samurai Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...
Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga[FN#250] claims that various supernatural powers can be a...
The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...
No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...
Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...
The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of
Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...
Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...
Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...
The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...
The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...
Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...
Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...
The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...
Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...
Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...
The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...
Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires,
The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch
Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...
Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' and
assumes all phenomena to be ideas as illustrated in
Vidyamatra-vincati-castra,[FN#200] by Vasubandhu. Then it
necessarily parts company with Zen, which believes in Universal Life
existing in everything instead of behind it. Idealism shows us its
dark side in three sceptic views: (1) scepticism respecting objective
reality; (2) scepticism respecting religion; (3) scepticism
[FN#199] A philosophical work on Buddhist idealism by Vasubandhu,
translated into Chinese by Hiuen Tsang in A.D. 648. There exists a
famous commentary on it, compiled by Dharmapala, translated into
Chinese by Hiuen Tsang in A.D. 659. See Nanjo's Catalogue, Nos. 1197
[FN#200] A simpler work on Idealism, translated into Chinese by
Hiuen Tsang in A.D. 661. See Nanjo's Catalogue, Nos. 1238, 1239, and
First it assumes that things exist in so far as they are known by us.
It is as a matter of course that if a tree exists at all, it is
known as having a trunk long or short, branches large or small,
leaves green or yellow, flowers yellow or purple, etc., all of which
are ideas. But it does not imply in the least that 'to be known' is
equivalent to 'to be existent.' Rather we should say that to be
known presupposes to be existent, for we cannot know anything
non-existent, even if we admit that the axioms of logic subsist.
Again, a tree may stand as ideas to a knower, but it can stand at the
same time as a shelter in relation to some birds, as food in relation
to some insects, as a world in relation to some minute worms, as a
kindred organism to other vegetables. How could you say that its
relation to a knower is the only and fundamental relation for the
existence of the tree? The disappearance of its knower no more
affects the tree than of its feeder; nor the appearance of its knower
affects the tree any more than that of kindred vegetables.
Extreme idealism erroneously concludes that what is really existent,
or what is directly proved to be existent, is only our sensations,
ideas, thoughts; that the external world is nothing but the images
reflected on the mirror of the mind, and that therefore objective
reality of things is doubtful-nay, more, they are unreal, illusory,
and dreams. If so, we can no longer distinguish the real from the
visionary; the waking from the dreaming; the sane from the insane;
the true from the untrue. Whether life is real or an empty dream, we
are at a loss to understand.
Next: Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Previous: Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease