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There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

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

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

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

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

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

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

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

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

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

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

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.

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