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

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

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Surp...

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

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

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne[FN#204] says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms o...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

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

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

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

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

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

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

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

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

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

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

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.

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