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Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

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

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

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

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

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

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

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

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

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

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

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

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

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...

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

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anot...




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

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