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The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

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

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

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

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

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

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

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

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 ...

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...

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

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...

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

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

Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...




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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