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

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 ...

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

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

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

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

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

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

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

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

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga claims that various supernatural powers can be acquired ...

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

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

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

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

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




Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality








But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' and
assumes all phenomena to be ideas as illustrated in
Mahayana-vidyamatra-siddhi-tridaca-castra and
Vidyamatra-vincati-castra, by Vasubandhu. Then it
necessarily parts company with Zen, which believes in Universal Life
existing in everything instead of behind it. Idealism shows us its
dark side in three sceptic views: (1) scepticism respecting objective
reality; (2) scepticism respecting religion; (3) scepticism
respecting morality.


A philosophical work on Buddhist idealism by Vasubandhu,
translated into Chinese by Hiuen Tsang in A.D. 648. There exists a
famous commentary on it, compiled by Dharmapala, translated into
Chinese by Hiuen Tsang in A.D. 659. See Nanjo's Catalogue, Nos. 1197
and 1125.

A simpler work on Idealism, translated into Chinese by
Hiuen Tsang in A.D. 661. See Nanjo's Catalogue, Nos. 1238, 1239, and
1240.


First it assumes that things exist in so far as they are known by us.
It is as a matter of course that if a tree exists at all, it is
known as having a trunk long or short, branches large or small,
leaves green or yellow, flowers yellow or purple, etc., all of which
are ideas. But it does not imply in the least that 'to be known' is
equivalent to 'to be existent.' Rather we should say that to be
known presupposes to be existent, for we cannot know anything
non-existent, even if we admit that the axioms of logic subsist.
Again, a tree may stand as ideas to a knower, but it can stand at the
same time as a shelter in relation to some birds, as food in relation
to some insects, as a world in relation to some minute worms, as a
kindred organism to other vegetables. How could you say that its
relation to a knower is the only and fundamental relation for the
existence of the tree? The disappearance of its knower no more
affects the tree than of its feeder; nor the appearance of its knower
affects the tree any more than that of kindred vegetables.

Extreme idealism erroneously concludes that what is really existent,
or what is directly proved to be existent, is only our sensations,
ideas, thoughts; that the external world is nothing but the images
reflected on the mirror of the mind, and that therefore objective
reality of things is doubtful-nay, more, they are unreal, illusory,
and dreams. If so, we can no longer distinguish the real from the
visionary; the waking from the dreaming; the sane from the insane;
the true from the untrue. Whether life is real or an empty dream, we
are at a loss to understand.






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