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Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...

True Dhyana
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...

Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...

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

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

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

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

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

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

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

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

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

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

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...




There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral








By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be good as
well as bad; or he should be neither good nor bad. There can be no
alternative possible besides these four propositions, none of which
can be accepted as true. Then there must be some misconception in
the terms of which they consist. It would seem to some that the
error can be avoided by limiting the sense of the term 'man,' saying
some persons are good-natured, some persons are bad-natured, some
persons are good-natured and bad-natured as well, and some persons
are neither good-natured nor bad-natured. There is no contradiction
in these modified propositions, but still they fail to explain the
ethical state of man. Supposing them all to be true, let us assume
that there are the four classes of people: (1) Those who are purely
moral and have no immoral disposition; (2) those who are half moral
and half immoral; (3) those who are neither moral nor immoral; (4)
those who are purely immoral and have no moral disposition. Orthodox
Christians, believing in the sinlessness of Jesus, would say he
belongs to the first class, while Mohammedans and Buddhists, who
deify the founder of their respective faith, would in such case
regard their founder as the purely moral personage. But are your
beliefs, we should ask, based on historical fact? Can you say that
such traditional and self-contradictory records as the four gospels
are history in the strict sense of the term? Can you assert that
those traditions which deify Mohammed and Shakya are the statements
of bare facts? Is not Jesus an abstraction and an ideal, entirely
different from a concrete carpenter's son, who fed on the same kind
of food, sheltered himself in the same kind of building, suffered
from the same kind of pain, was fired by the same kind of anger,
stung by the same kind of lust as our own? Can you say the person
who fought many a sanguinary battle, who got through many cunning
negotiations with enemies and friends, who personally experienced the
troubles of polygamy, was a person sinless and divine? We might
allow that these ancient sages are superhuman and divine, then our
classification has no business with them, because they do not
properly belong to mankind. Now, then, who can point out any sinless
person in the present world? Is it not a fact that the more virtuous
one grows the more sinful he feels himself? If there be any mortal,
in the past, the present, and the future, who declares himself to be
pure and sinless, his very declaration proves that he is not highly
moral. Therefore the existence of the first class of people is open
to question.






Next: There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral

Previous: Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih



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