Samurai Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...
Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...
The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...
The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...
Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...
The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...
The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...
Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...
Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...
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...
The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...
Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...
Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...
The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...
The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen)...
Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...
The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...
Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...
The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...
The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions high or
low, occupations spiritual or temporal, work rough or gentle,
education perfect or imperfect, circumstances needy or opulent, each
has its own advantage as well as disadvantage. The higher the
position the graver the responsibilities, the lower the rank the
lighter the obligation. The director of a large bank can never be so
careless as his errand-boy who may stop on the street to throw a
stone at a sparrow; nor can the manager of a large plantation have as
good a time on a rainy day as his day-labourers who spend it in
gambling. The accumulation of wealth is always accompanied by its
evils; no Rothschild nor Rockefeller can be happier than a poor
A mother of many children may be troubled by her noisy little ones
and envy her sterile friend, who in turn may complain of her
loneliness; but if they balance what they gain with what they lose,
they will find the both sides are equal. The law of balance strictly
forbids one's monopoly of happiness. It applies its scorpion whip to
anyone who is given to pleasures. Joy in extremity lives next door
to exceeding sorrow. Where there is much light, says Goethe,
shadow is deep. Age, withered and disconsolate, lurks under the
skirts of blooming youth. The celebration of birthday is followed by
the commemoration of death. Marriage might be supposed to be the
luckiest event in one's life, but the widow's tears and the orphan's
sufferings also might be its outcome. But for the former the latter
can never be. The death of parents is indeed the unluckiest event in
the son's life, but it may result in the latter's inheritance of an
estate, which is by no means unlucky. The disease of a child may
cause its parents grief, but it is a matter of course that it lessens
the burden of their livelihood. Life has its pleasures, but also its
pains. Death has no pleasure of life, but also none of its pain. So
that if we balance their smiles and tears, life and death are equal.
It is not wise for us, therefore, to commit suicide while the terms
of our life still remain, nor to fear death when there is no way of
Again, the law of balance does not allow anyone to take the lion's
share of nature's gifts. Beauty in face is accompanied by deformity
in character. Intelligence is often uncombined with virtue. Fair
girls are destined to be unfortunate, says a Japanese proverb, and
men of ability to be sickly. He makes no friend who never makes a
foe. Honesty is next to idiocy. Men of genius, says
Longfellow, are often dull and inert in society; as the blazing
meteor when it descends to earth is only a stone. Honour and shame
go hand in hand. Knowledge and virtue live in poverty, while ill
health and disease are inmates of luxury.
Every misfortune begets some sort of fortune, while every good luck
gives birth to some sort of bad luck. Every prosperity never fails
to sow seeds of adversity, while every fall never fails to bring
about some kind of rise. We must not, then, despair in days of frost
and snow, reminding ourselves of sunshine and flowers that follow
them; nor must we be thoughtless in days of youth and health, keeping
in mind old age and ill health that are in the rear of them. In
brief, all, from crowns and coronets down to rags and begging bowls,
have their own happiness and share heavenly grace alike.
Next: The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Previous: Nature Favours Nothing In Particular