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Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

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

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

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

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

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

True Dhyana
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

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

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

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

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

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...




Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih








The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih and other
scholars influenced by Buddhism, which maintains that man is neither
good-natured nor bad-natured. According to this opinion man is not
moral nor immoral by nature, but unmoral. He is morally a blank. He
is at a crossroad, so to speak, of morality when he is first born.
As he if; blank, he can be dyed black or red. As he is at the
cross-road, he can turn to the right or to the left. He is like
fresh water, which has no flavour, and can be made sweet or bitter by
circumstances. If we are not mistaken, this theory, too, has to
encounter insurmountable difficulties. How could it be possible to
make the unmoral being moral or immoral? We might as well try to get
honey out of sand as to get good or evil out of the blank nature.
There can be no fruit of good or evil where there is no seed of good
or bad nature. Thus we find no satisfactory solution of the problem
at issue in these four theories proposed by the Chinese scholars--the
first theory being incompetent to explain the problem of human
depravity; the second breaking down at the origin of morality; the
third failing to explain the possibility of moral culture; the fourth
being logically self-contradictory.

[FN#164] Su Shih (1042-1101), a great man of letters, practiser of
Zen, noted for his poetical works.






Next: There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral

Previous: Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung



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