Samurai Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...
Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...
Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...
Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...
Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...
The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...
Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...
Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...
Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...
Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires,
Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...
Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...
The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...
Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...
Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...
Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...
The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...
The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...
Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...
The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...
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