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Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

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

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The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
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The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
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The Beatitude Of Zen
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The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
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Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

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

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

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

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 ...

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

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

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

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...




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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