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Buddhism

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

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

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

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists maintain that there are on earth ma...

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

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

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

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

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

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

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

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

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

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...




Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease








In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, in so
far as it does not assume that to to be known is identical with to
be, in so far as it does not assert that the phenomenal universe is a
dream and a vision, we may admit it as true. On the one hand, it
serves us as a purifier of our hearts polluted with materialistic
desires, and uplifts us above the plain of sensualism; on the other
hand, it destroys superstitions which as a rule arise from ignorance
and want of the idealistic conception of things.
It is a lamentable fact that every country is full of such
superstitions people as described by one of the New Thought writers:
'Tens of thousands of women in this country believe that if two
people look in a mirror at the same time, or if one thanks the other
for a pin, or if one gives a knife or a sharp instrument to a friend,
it will break up friendship. If a young lady is presented with a
thimble, she will be an old maid. Some people think that after
leaving a house it is unlucky to go back after any article which has
been forgotten, and, if one is obliged to do so, one should sit down
in a chair before going out again; that if a broom touches a person
while someone is sweeping, bad luck will follow; and that it is
unlucky to change one's place at a table. A man took an opal to a
New York jeweller and asked him to buy it. He said that it had
brought him nothing but bad luck, that since it had come into his
possession he had failed in business, that there bad been much
sickness in his family, and all sorts of misfortune had befallen him.
He refused to keep the cursed thing any longer. The jeweller
examined the stone, and found that it was not an opal after all, but
an imitation.'


Idealism is a most potent medicine for these self-created mental
diseases. It will successfully drive away devils and spirits that
frequent ignorant minds, just as Jesus did in the old days. Zen
makes use of moral idealism to extirpate, root and branch, all such
idle dreams and phantasmagoria of illusion and opens the way to
Enlightenment.






Next: Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality

Previous: Zen And Idealism



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