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

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

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

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

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

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

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

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

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

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

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

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

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

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

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

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...




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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