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The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

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

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

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

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

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

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

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

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

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

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

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

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




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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