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

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

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

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

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

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...

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

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

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

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

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

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...

Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

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

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...

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




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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