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

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

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

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

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

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

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

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

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

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

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

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

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

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

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

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

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

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...




Real Self








If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where does
personality lie? What is Real Self? How does it differ from soul?
Self is living entity, not immutable like soul, but mutable and
ever-changing life, which is body when observed by senses, and which
is mind when experienced by introspection. It is not an entity lying
behind mind and body, but life existent as the union of body and
mind. It existed in our forefathers in the past, is existing in the
present, and will exist in the future generations. It also discloses
itself to some measure in vegetables and animals, and shadows itself
forth in inorganic nature. It is Cosmic life and Cosmic spirit, and
at the same time individual life and individual spirit. It is one
and the same life which embraces men and nature. It is the
self-existent, creative, universal principle that moves on from
eternity to eternity. As such it is called Mind or Self by Zenists.
Pan Shan (Ban-zan) says: The moon of mind comprehends all the
universe in its light. A man asked Chang Sha (Cho-sha): How can
you turn the phenomenal universe into Self ? How can you turn Self
into the phenomenal universe? returned the master.

When we get the insight into this Self, we are able to have the open
sesame to the mysteries of the universe, because to know the nature
of a drop of water is to know the nature of the river, the lake, and
the ocean--nay, even of vapour, mist, and cloud; in other words, to
get an insight into individual life is the key to the secret of
Universal Life. We must not confine Self within the poor little
person called body. That is the root of the poorest and most
miserable egoism. We should expand that egoism into family-egoism,
then into nation-egoism, then into race-egoism, then into
human-egoism, then into living-being-egoism, and lastly into
universe-egoism, which is not egoism at all. Thus we deny the
immortality of soul as conceived by common sense, but assume
immortality of the Great Soul, which animates, vitalizes, and
spiritualizes all sentient beings. It is Hinayana Buddhism that
first denied the existence of atman or Self so emphatically
inculcated in the Upanisads, and paved the way for the general
conception of Universal Self, with the eulogies of which almost every
page of Mahayana books is filled.






Next: The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom

Previous: Nature Is The Mother Of All Things



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