Samurai The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on e...
Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...
The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...
Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anot...
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...
A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...
Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires,
Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches
Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...
The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...
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 g...
The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
[FN#275] The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a...
Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...
Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...
The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...
Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...
The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...
Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...
The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...
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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