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Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

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

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

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

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

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

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

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

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

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

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

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...

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

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

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

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

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




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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