Samurai Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...
Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...
The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...
Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...
The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...
The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...
The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...
The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...
Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...
The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...
The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...
Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...
Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...
All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...
The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...
Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga[FN#250] claims that various supernatural powers can be a...
Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...
The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...
No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...
The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...
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
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