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Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga[FN#250] claims that various supernatural powers can be a...

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

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

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...

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

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

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

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

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

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

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

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen)...

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anot...

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

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...




Life In The Concrete








Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs from life
in the abstract, which exists only in the class-room. It is not
eternal; it is fleeting; it is full of anxieties, pains, struggles,
brutalities, disappointments, and calamities. We love life, however,
-not only for its smoothness, but for its roughness; not only for its
pleasure, but for its pain; not only for its hope, but for its fear;
not only for its flowers, but for its frost and snow. As
Issai[FN#224] (Sato) has aptly put it: Prosperity is like spring, in
which we have green leaves and flowers wherever we go; while
adversity is like winter, in which we have snow and ice. Spring, of
course, pleases us; winter, too, displeases us not. Adversity is
salt to our lives, as it keeps them from corruption, no matter how
bitter to taste it way be. It is the best stimulus to body and mind,
since it brings forth latent energy that may remain dormant but for
it. Most people hunt after pleasure, look for good luck, hunger
after success, and complain of pain, ill-luck, and failure. It does
not occur to them that 'they who make good luck a god are all unlucky
men,' as George Eliot has wisely observed. Pleasure ceases to be
pleasure when we attain to it; another sort of pleasure displays
itself to tempt us. It is a mirage, it beckons to us to lead us
astray. When an overwhelming misfortune looks us in the face, our
latent power is sure to be aroused to grapple with it. Even delicate
girls exert the power of giants at the time of emergency; even
robbers or murderers are found to be kind and generous when we are
thrown into a common disaster. Troubles and difficulties call forth
our divine force, which lies deeper than the ordinary faculties, and
which we never before dreamed we possessed.


[FN#224] A noted scholar (1772-1859) and author, who belonged to the
Wang School of Confucianism. See Gen-shi-roku.






Next: Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist

Previous: The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg



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