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Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...

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

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
[FN#275] The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a...

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...

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

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

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...




Universal Life Is Universal Spirit








These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal Life is
not a blind vital force, but Creative Spirit, or Mind, or
Consciousness, which unfolds itself in myriads of ways. Everything
in the universe, according to Zen, lives and acts, and at the same
time discloses its spirit. To be alive is identically the same as to
be spiritual. As the poet has his song, so does the nightingale, so
does the cricket, so does the rivulet. As we are pleased or
offended, so are horses, so are dogs, so are sparrows, ants,
earthworms, and mushrooms. Simpler the body, simpler its spirit;
more complicated the body, more complicated its spirit. 'Mind
slumbers in the pebble, dreams in the plant, gathers energy in the
animal, and awakens to self-conscious discovery in the soul of man.'

It is this Creative, Universal Spirit that sends forth Aurora to
illuminate the sky, that makes Diana shed her benign rays and Ĉolus
play on his harp, wreathes spring with flowers, that clothes autumn
with gold, that induces plants to put forth blossoms, that incites
animals to be energetic, and that awakens consciousness in man. The
author of Mahavaipulya-purnabuddha-sutra expressly states our idea
when he says: Mountains, rivers, skies, the earth: all these are
embraced in the True Spirit, enlightened and mysterious. Rin-zai
also says: Spirit is formless, but it penetrates through the world
in the ten directions.[FN#149] The Sixth Patriarch expresses the
same idea more explicitly: What creates the phenomena is Mind; what
transcends all the phenomena is Buddha.[FN#150]


[FN#149] Rin-zai-roku.

[FN#150] Roku-so-dan-kyo.






Next: Poetical Intuition And Zen

Previous: The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity



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