Samurai The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...
Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches
The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...
Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...
The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...
Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...
The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...
The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...
The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...
The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...
The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...
The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...
Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...
Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...
Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...
Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...
Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...
Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...
The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...
Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...
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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