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Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

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

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

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

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: "Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Sur...

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

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

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

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

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 ...

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

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms or illus...

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...




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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