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Buddhism

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

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

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung Yo-yu
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

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

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

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

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

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

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...




An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality








To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting
appearance and reality. According. to certain religionists, all the
phenomena of the universe are to succumb to change. Worldly things
one and all are evanescent. They are nought in the long run.
Snowcapped mountains may sink into the bottom of the deep, while the
sands in the fathomless ocean may soar into the azure sky at some
time or other. Blooming flowers are destined to fade and to bloom
again in the next year. So destined are growing trees, rising
generations, prospering nations, glowing suns, moons, and stars.
This, they would say, is only the case with phenomena or appearances,
but not with reality. Growth and decay, birth and death, rise and
fall, all these are the ebb and flow of appearances in the ocean of
reality, which is always the same. Flowers may fade and be reduced
to dust, yet out of that dust come flowers. Trees may die out, yet
they are reproduced somewhere else. The time may come when the earth
will become a dead sphere quite unsuitable for human habitation, and
the whole of mankind will perish; yet who knows that whether another
earth may not be produced as man's home? The sun might have its
beginning and end, stars, moons, theirs as well; yet an infinite
universe would have no beginning nor end.

Again, they say, mutation is of the world of sense or phenomenal
appearances, but not of reality. The former are the phases of the
latter shown to our senses. Accordingly they are always limited and
modified by our senses, just as images are always limited and
modified by the mirror in which they are reflected. On this account
appearances are subject to limitations, while reality is limitless.
And it follows that the former are imperfect, while the latter is
perfect; that the former is transient, while the latter is eternal;
that the former is relative, while the latter is absolute; that the
former is worldly, while the latter is holy; that the former is
knowable, while the latter is unknowable.

These considerations naturally lead us to an assertion that the world
of appearances is valueless, as it is limited, short-lived,
imperfect, painful, sinful, hopeless, and miserable; while the realm
of reality is to be aspired for, as it is eternal, perfect,
comfortable, full of hope, joy, and peace-hence the eternal divorce
of appearance and reality. Such a view of life tends to make one
minimize the value of man, to neglect the present existence, and to
yearn after the future.

Some religionists tell us that we men are helpless, sinful, hopeless,
and miserable creatures. Worldly riches, temporal honours, and
social positions-nay, even sublimities and beauties of the present
existence, are to be ignored and despised. We have no need of caring
for those things that pass away in a twinkling moment. We must
prepare for the future life which is eternal. We must accumulate
wealth for that existence. We must endeavour to hold rank in it. We
must aspire for the sublimity and beauty and glory of that realm.






Next: Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?

Previous: Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality



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