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The Bad Are The Good In The Egg








This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but also with
ordinary people. There are many who are honest and good in their
homesteads, but turn out to be base and dishonest folk outside them.
Similarly, there are those who, having an enthusiastic love of their
local district, act unlawfully against the interests of other
districts. They are upright and honourable gentlemen within the
boundary of their own district, but a gang of rascals without it. So
also there are many who are Washingtons and William Tells in their
own, but at the same time pirates and cannibals in the other
countries. Again, there are not a few persons who, having racial
prejudices, would not allow the rays of their Buddha-nature to pass
through a coloured skin. There are civilized persons who are humane
enough to love and esteem any human being as their brother, but so
unfeeling that they think lower creatures as their proper food. The
highly enlightened person, however, cannot but sympathize with human
beings and lower creatures as well, as Shakya Muni felt all sentient
beings to be his children.

These people are exactly the same in their Buddha-nature, but a wide
difference obtains among them in the extent of their expressing that
nature in deeds. If thieves and murderers be called bad-natured,
reformers and revolutionists should be called so. If, on the other
hand, patriotism and loyalty be said to be good, treason and
insurrection should likewise be so. Therefore it is evident that a
so-called good person is none but one who acts to promote wider
interests of life, and a so-called bad person is none but one who
acts to advance narrower ones. In other words, the bad are the good
in the egg, so to speak, and the good are the bad on the wing. As
the bird in the egg is one and the same as the bird on the wing, so
the good in the egg is entirely of the same nature as the bad on the
wing. To show that human nature transcends the duality of good and
evil, the author of Avatamsaka-sutra declares that 'all beings are
endowed with the wisdom and virtue of Tathagata.' Kwei Fung (Kei-ho)
also says: All sentient beings have the Real Spirit of Original
Enlightenment (within themselves). It is unchanging and pure. It is
eternally bright and clear, and conscious. It is also named
Buddha-nature, or Tathagata-garbha.






Next: The Great Person And Small Person

Previous: Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief



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