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The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

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

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

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

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

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

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

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

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

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

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

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

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

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

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
[FN#275] The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a...

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne[FN#204] says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms o...

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz

The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by another

diametrically opposed theory propounded by Siun Tsz (Jun-shi) and his

followers. 'Man is bad-natured,' says Siun Tsz, 'since he has inborn

lust, appetite, and desire for wealth. As he has inborn lust and

appetite, he is naturally given to intemperance and wantonness. As

he has inborn desire for wealth, he is naturally inclined to quarrel

and fight with others for the sake of gain.' Leave him without

discipline or culture, he would not be a whit better than the beast.

His virtuous acts, such as charity, honesty, propriety, chastity,

truthfulness, are conduct forced by the teachings of ancient sages

against his natural inclination. Therefore vices are congenial and

true to his nature, while virtues alien and untrue to his fundamental


[FN#162] Siun Tsz's date is later by some fifty years than Mencius.

Siun Tsz gives the reason why man seeks after morality, saying that

man seeks what he has not, and that he seeks after morality simply

because he has not morality, just as the poor seek riches. See 'A

History of Chinese Philosophy' (pp. 51-60), by G. Nakauchi, and 'A

History of Development of Chinese Thought,' by R. Endo.

These two theories are not only far from throwing light on the moral

state of man, but wrap it in deeper gloom. Let us raise a few

questions by way of refutation. If man's fundamental nature be good,

as Mencius maintains, why is it easy for him to be vicious without

instruction, while he finds it hard to be virtuous even with

instruction. If you contend that good is man's primary nature and

evil the secondary one, why is be so often overpowered by the

secondary nature? If you answer saying that man is good-natured

originally, but he acquires the secondary nature through the struggle

for existence, and it gradually gains power over the primary nature

by means of the same cause, then the primitive tribes should be more

virtuous than the highly civilized nations, and children than grownup

people. Is this not contrary to fact?

If, again, man's nature is essentially bad, as Siun Tsz holds, how

can he cultivate virtue? If you contend that ancient sages invented

so-called cardinal virtues and inculcated them against his natural

inclination, why does he not give them up? If vices be congenial and

true to man's nature, but virtues be alien and untrue to him, why are

virtues honoured by him? If vices be genuine and virtue a deception,

as you think, why do you call the inventors of that deceiving art

sages? How was it possible for man to do good before these sages'

appearance on earth?

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