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

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

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

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...

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

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

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

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

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

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

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

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

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

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

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

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




Life And Change








A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form of
growth and decay. Nobody can deny the transitoriness of life. One
of our friends humorously observed: Everything in the world may be
doubtful to you, but it can never be doubted that you will die.
Life is like a burning lamp. Every minute its flame dies out and is
renewed. Life is like a running stream. Every moment it pushes
onward. If there be anything constant in this world of change, it
should be change itself. Is it not just one step from rosy childhood
to snowy age? Is it not just one moment from the nuptial song to the
funeral-dirge? Who can live the same moment twice?
In comparison with an organism, inorganic matter appears to be
constant and changeless; but, in fact, it is equally subjected to
ceaseless alteration. Every morning, looking into the mirror, you
will find your visage reflected in it just as it was on the preceding
day; so also every morning, looking at the sun and the earth, you
will find them reflected in your retina just as they were on the
previous morning; but the sun and the earth are no less changeless
than you. Why do the sun and the earth seem changeless and constant
to you? Only because you yourself undergo change more quickly than
they. When you look at the clouds sweeping across the face of the
moon, they seem to be at rest, and the moon in rapid motion; but, in
fact, the clouds, as well as the moon, incessantly move on.

Science might maintain the quantitative constancy of matter, but the
so-called matter is mere abstraction. To say matter is changeless is
as much as to say 2 is always 2, changeless and constant, because the
arithmetical number is not more abstract than the physiological
matter. The moon appears standing still when you look at her only a
few moments. In like manner she seems to be free from change when
you look at her in your short span of life. Astronomers,
nevertheless, can tell you how she saw her better days, and is now in
her wrinkles and white hair.






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Previous: Buddha The Universal Life



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