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

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

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

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

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

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...

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

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
[FN#263] A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to ha...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

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

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

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

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

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

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

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...




The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man








This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight into the
origin of morality. The first awakening of Buddha-nature within man
is the very beginning of morality, and man's ethical progress is the
gradually widening expression of that nature in conduct. But for it
morality is impossible for man. But for it not only moral culture or
discipline, but education and social improvement must be futile.
Again, the theory adequately explains the ethical facts that the
standard of morality undergoes change in different times and places,
that good and bad are so inseparably knit together, and that the bad
at times become good all on a sudden, and the good grow bad quite
unexpectedly. First, it goes without saying that the standard of
morality is raised just in proportion as Buddha-nature or real self
extends and amplifies itself in different times and places.
Secondly, since good is Buddha-nature actualized to a large extent,
and bad is also Buddha-nature actualized to a small extent, the
existence of the former presupposes that of the latter, and the mess
of duality can never be got rid of. Thirdly, the fact that the bad
become good under certain circumstances, and the good also become bad
often unexpectedly, can hardly be explained by the dualistic theory,
because if good nature be so arbitrarily turned into bad and bad
nature into good, the distinction of good and bad nature has no
meaning whatever. According to the theory of Buddha-nature, the fact
that the good become bad or the bad become good, does not imply in
the least a change of nature, but the widening or the narrowing of
its actualization. So that no matter how morally degenerated one may
be, he can uplift himself to a high ethical plane by the widening of
his self, and at the same time no matter how morally exalted one may
be, he can descend to the level of the brute by the narrowing of his
self. To be an angel or to be a devil rests with one's degrees of
enlightenment and free choice. This is why such infinite varieties
exist both among the good and the bad. This is why the higher the
peak of enlightenment the people climb, the more widely the vista of
moral possibilities open before them.






Next: Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals

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