Samurai The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...
Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...
The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...
All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...
Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...
Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...
Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...
Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...
Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...
The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...
The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on e...
Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...
Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...
Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...
Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...
A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...
The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...
Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...
The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of
The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...
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.
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