Samurai Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...
Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...
There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...
Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...
The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...
Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...
Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...
Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...
Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...
The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
[FN#275] The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a...
The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on e...
Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...
The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...
The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...
The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...
Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...
Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...
The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the
Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...
Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...
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?
Next: Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
Previous: Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius