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

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

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...

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

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

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

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

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...

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

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

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

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

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

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

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...




The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction








A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance than a
series of lectures by your verbal philosopher whom you respect. It
contains within itself the whole history of the earth; it tells you
what it has seen since the dawn of time; while your philosopher
simply plays on abstract terms and empty words. What does his
Absolute, or One, or Substance mean? What does his Reality or Truth
imply? Do they denote or connote anything? Mere name! mere
abstraction! One school of philosophy after another has been
established on logical subtleties; thousands of books have been
written on these grand names and fair mirages, which vanish the
moment that your hand of experience reaches after them.

Duke Hwan, says Chwang Tsz,[FN#134] seated above in his hall, was
(once) reading a book, and a wheelwright, Phien, was making a wheel
below it. Laying aside his hammer and chisel, Phien went up the
steps and said: 'I venture to ask your Grace what words you are
reading?' The duke said: 'The words of sages.' 'Are these sages
alive?' Phien continued. 'They are dead,' was the reply. 'Then,'
said the other, 'what you, my Ruler, are reading is only the dregs
and sediments of those old men.' The duke said:


[FN#134] Chwang Tsz, vol. ii., p. 24.


'How should you, a wheelwright, have anything to say about the book
which I am reading? If you can explain yourself, very well; if you
cannot, you shall die.' The wheelwright said: 'Your servant will
look at the thing from the point of view of his own art. In making a
wheel, if I proceed gently, that is pleasant enough, but the
workmanship is not strong; if I proceed violently, that is toilsome
and the joinings do not fit. If the movements of my hand are neither
(too) gentle nor (too) violent, the idea in my mind is realized. But
I cannot tell (how to do this) by word of mouth; there is a knack in
it. I cannot teach the knack to my son, nor can my son learn it from
me. Thus it is that I am in my seventieth year, and am (still)
making wheels in my old age. But these ancients, and what it was not
possible for them to convey, are dead and gone. So then what you, my
Ruler, are reading is but their dregs and sediments. Zen has no
business with the dregs and sediments of sages of yore.






Next: The Sermon Of The Inanimate

Previous: Great Men And Nature



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