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The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

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

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

Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

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

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

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

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

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

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

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

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

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...

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

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

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

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

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...




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

nature.





[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



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