Miss C., a lady of excellent sense, religious but not bigoted, lived before her marriage in the house of her uncle D., a celebrated physician, and member of the Institute. Her mother at this time was seriously ill in the country. One night th... Read more of The Deathbed at Scary Stories.caInformational Site Network Informational
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Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

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

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

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

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

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

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

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on e...

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

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

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

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

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga[FN#250] claims that various supernatural powers can be a...

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

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

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




Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless








How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be unknowable
and hidden behind or beyond appearances? They investigated all the
possible presentations in different relationships, and put them all
aside as appearances, and brooded on the thing-in-itself, shut out
from all possible relationship, and declared it unknowable.
Thing-in-itself means thing cut off from all possible relationships.
To, put it in another way: thing-in-itself means thing deprived of
its relation to its knower--that is to say, thing-knower-less. So
that to declare thing-in-itself unknowable is as much as to declare
thing-unknowable unknowable; there is no doubt about it, but what
does it prove?

Deprive yourself of all the possible relationships, and see what you
are. Suppose you are not a son to your parents, nor the husband to
your wife, nor the father to your children, nor a relative to your
kindred, nor a friend to your acquaintances, nor a teacher to your
students, nor a citizen to your country, nor an individual member to
your society, nor a creature to your God, then you get
you-in-yourself. Now ask yourself what is you-in-yourself? You can
never answer the question. It is unknowable, just because it is cut
off from all knowable relations. Can you thus prove that
you-in-yourself exist beyond or behind you?

In like manner our universe appears to us human beings as the
phenomenal world or presentation. It might appear to other creatures
of a different mental constitution as something else. We cannot
ascertain how it might seem to Devas, to Asuras, to angels, and to
the Almighty, if there be such beings. However different it might
seem to these beings, it does not imply that the phenomenal world is
unreal, nor that the realm of reality is unknowable.

'Water,' the Indian tradition has it, 'seems to man as a drink, as
emerald to Devas, as bloody pus to Pretas, as houses to fishes.'
Water is not a whit less real because of its seeming as houses to
fishes, and fishes' houses are not less real because of its seeming
as emerald to Devas. There is nothing that proves the unreality of
it. It is a gross illusion to conceive reality as transcendental to
appearances. Reality exists as appearances, and appearances are
reality known to human beings. You cannot separate appearances from
reality, and hold out the latter as the object of aspiration at the
cost of the former. You must acknowledge that the so-called realm of
reality which you aspire after, and which you seek for outside or
behind the phenomenal universe, exists here on earth. Let Zen
teachers tell you that the world of birth and death is the realm of
Nirvana; the earth is the pure land of Buddha.






Next: The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories

Previous: Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?



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