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

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

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

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

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

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

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...

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

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

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

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...




The Mystery Of Life








Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in life in
order to prepare ourselves for an insight into the depth of life. We
are far from being pessimistic, for we believe that life consists in
confliction, but that confliction does not end in confliction, but in
a new form of harmony. Hope comes to conflict with fear, and is
often threatened with losing its hold on mind; then it renews its
life and takes root still deeper than before. Peace is often
disturbed with wars, but then it gains a still firmer ground than
ever. Happiness is driven out of mind by melancholy, then it is
re-enforced by favourable conditions and returns with double
strength. Spirit is dragged down by matter from its ideal heaven,
then, incited by shame, it tries a higher flight. Good is opposed by
evil, then it gathers more strength and vanquishes its foe. Truth is
clouded by falsehood, then it issues forth with its greater light.
Liberty is endangered by tyranny, then it overthrows it with a
splendid success.

Manifoldness stands out boldly against unity; difference against
agreement; particularity against generality; individuality against
society. Manifoldness, nevertheless, instead of annihilating,
enriches unity; difference, instead of destroying agreement, gives it
variety; particularities, instead of putting an end to generality,
increase its content; individuals, instead of breaking the harmony of
society, strengthen the power of it.

Thus 'Universal Life does not swallow up manifoldness nor extinguish
differences, but it is the only means of bringing to its full
development the detailed content of reality; in particular, it does
not abolish the great oppositions of life and world, but takes them
up into itself and brings them into fruitful relations with each
other.' Therefore 'our life is a mysterious blending of freedom and
necessity, power and limitation, caprice and law; yet these opposites
are constantly seeking and finding a mutual adjustment.'






Next: Nature Favours Nothing In Particular

Previous: Life Consists In Conflict



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