Samurai Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...
Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...
Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...
Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...
The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...
The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...
Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...
The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...
Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...
The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...
The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...
The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen)...
Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...
How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...
The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...
Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...
Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...
Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...
The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on e...
The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of
self-preservation that calls forth an insatiable longing for
longevity. It is another form of egoism, one of the relics of our
brute forefathers. We must bear in mind that this illusion of the
individual Self is the foundation on which every form of immorality
has its being. I challenge my readers to find in the whole history
of mankind any crime not based on egoism. Evil-doers have been as a
rule pleasure-hunters, money-seekers, seekers after self-interests,
characterized by lust, folly, and cruelty. Has there been anyone who
committed theft that he might further the interests of his villagers?
Has there been any paramour who disgraced himself that lie might
help his neighbours? Has there been any traitor who performed the
ignoble conduct to promote the welfare of his own country or society
To get Enlightened, therefore, we have to correct, first of all, our
notions concerning Self. Individual body and mind are not the only
important constituents of Self. There are many other indispensable
elements in the notion of Self. For instance, I have come into
existence as another form of my parents. I am theirs, and may justly
be called the reincarnation of them. And again, my father is another
form of his parents; my mother of hers; his and her parents of
theirs; and ad infinitum. In brief, all my forefathers live and have
their being in me. I cannot help, therefore, thinking that my
physical state is the result of the sum total of my good and bad
actions in the past lives I led in the persons of my forefathers, and
of the influence I received therein;[FN#186] and that my psychical
state is the result of that which I received, felt, imagined,
conceived, experienced, and thought in my past existences in the
persons of my ancestors.
[FN#186] This is the law of Karma.
Besides this, my brothers, my sisters, my neighbours--nay, all my
follow-men and fellow-women are no other than the reincarnation of
their parents and forefathers, who are also mine. The same blood
invigorated the king as well as the beggar; the same nerve energized
the white as well as the black men; the same consciousness vitalized
the wise as well as the unwise. Impossible it is to conceive myself
independent of my fellow-men and fellow-women, for they are mine and
I am theirs--that is, I live and move in them, and they live and move
It is bare nonsense to say that I go to school, not to be educated as
a member of society, but simply to gratify my individual desire for
knowledge; or that I make a fortune, not to lead the life of a
well-to-do in society, but to satisfy my individual money-loving
instinct; or that I seek after truth, neither to do good to my
contemporaries nor to the future generations, but only for my
individual curiosity or that I live neither to live with my family
nor with my friends nor with anyone else, but to live my individual
life. It is as gross absurdity to say that I am an individual
absolutely independent of society as to say I am a husband with no
wife, or I am a son to no parents. Whatever I do directly or
indirectly I contribute to the common fortune of man; whatever anyone
else does directly or indirectly determines my fate. Therefore we
must realize that our Selves necessarily include other members of the
community, while other members' Selves necessarily comprehend us.
Next: Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
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