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Samurai

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

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

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

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

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

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

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

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

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

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

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

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

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...




Life Consists In Conflict








Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social animal he
cannot live in isolation. All individual hopes and aspirations
depend on society. Society is reflected in the individual, and the
individual in society. In spite of this, his inborn free will and
love of liberty seek to break away from social ties. He is also a
moral animal, and endowed with love and sympathy. He loves his
fellow-beings, and would fain promote their welfare; but he must be
engaged in constant struggle against them for existence. He
sympathizes even with animals inferior to him, and heartily wishes to
protect them; yet he is doomed to destroy their lives day and night.
He has many a noble aspiration, and often soars aloft by the wings of
imagination into the realm of the ideal; still his material desires
drag him down to the earth. He lives on day by day to continue his
life, but he is unfailingly approaching death at every moment.

The more he secures new pleasure, spiritual or material, the more he
incurs pain not yet experienced. One evil removed only gives place
to another; one advantage gained soon proves itself a disadvantage.
His very reason is the cause of his doubt and suspicion; his
intellect, with which he wants to know everything, declares itself to
be incapable of knowing anything in its real state; his finer
sensibility, which is the sole source of finer pleasure, has to
experience finer suffering. The more he asserts himself, the more he
has to sacrifice himself. These conflictions probably led Kant to
call life a trial time, wherein most succumb, and in which even the
best does not rejoice in his life. Men betake themselves, says
Fichte, to the chase after felicity. . . . But as soon as they
withdraw into themselves and ask themselves, 'Am I now happy?' the
reply comes distinctly from the depth of their soul, 'Oh no; thou art
still just as empty and destitute as before!' . . . They will in the
future life just as vainly seek blessedness as they have sought it in
the present life.

It is not without reason that the pessimistic minds came to conclude
that 'the unrest of unceasing willing and desiring by which every
creature is goaded is in itself unblessedness,' and that 'each
creature is in constant danger, constant agitation, and the whole,
with its restless, meaningless motion, is a tragedy of the most
piteous kind.' 'A creature like the carnivorous animal, who cannot
exist at all without continually destroying and tearing others, may
not feel its brutality, but man, who has to prey on other sentient
beings like the carnivorous, is intelligent enough, as hard fate
would have it, to know and feel his own brutal living.' He must be
the most miserable of all creatures, for he is most conscious of his
own misery. Furthermore, 'he experiences not only the misfortunes
which actually befall him, but in imagination he goes through every
possibility of evil.' Therefore none, from great kings and emperors
down to nameless beggars, can be free from cares and anxieties, which
'ever flit around them like ghosts.'






Next: The Mystery Of Life

Previous: The Law Of Balance



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