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

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period, and after the downfall o...

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

Wang Yang Ming O-yo-mei And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

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

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a Chinese...

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz Jun-shi
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anoth...

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

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 ...

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that sur...

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

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

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shi
(So-shoku). The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given ...

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law
For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, by Kei Z...

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

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




Change As Seen By Zen








Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transience, but
it has come to a view diametrically opposite to that of the Hindus.
Transience for Zen simply means change. It is a form in which life
manifests itself. Where there is life there is change or Transience.
Where there is more change there is more vital activity. Suppose an
absolutely changeless body: it must be absolutely lifeless. An
eternally changeless life is equivalent to an eternally changeless
death. Why do we value the morning glory, which fades in a few
hours, more than an artificial glass flower, which endures hundreds
of years? Why do we prefer an animal life, which passes away in a
few scores of years, to a vegetable life, which can exist thousands
of years? Why do we prize changing organism more than inorganic
matter, unchanging and constant? If there be no change in the bright
hues of a flower, it is as worthless as a stone. If there be no
change in the song of a bird, it is as valueless as a whistling wind.
If there be no change in trees and grass, they are utterly
unsuitable to be planted in a garden. Now, then, what is the use of
our life, if it stand still? As the water of a running stream is
always fresh and wholesome because it does not stop for a moment, so
life is ever fresh and new because it does not stand still, but
rapidly moves on from parents to children, from children to
grandchildren, from grandchildren to great-grandchildren, and flows
on through generation after generation, renewing itself ceaselessly.

We can never deny the existence of old age and death--nay, death is
of capital importance for a continuation of life, because death
carries away all the decaying organism in the way of life. But for
it life would be choked up with organic rubbish. The only way of
life's pushing itself onward or its renewing itself is its producing
of the young and getting rid of the old. If there be no old age nor
death, life is not life, but death.






Next: Life And Change

Previous: Hinayanism And Its Doctrine



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