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The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...

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

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

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

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

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

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

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

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

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

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

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

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

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...




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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