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Buddhism

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

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

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...

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, see...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated land for the seed of ...

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

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

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

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

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

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

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

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

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

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

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

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...




Life And Change








A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form of
growth and decay. Nobody can deny the transitoriness of life. One
of our friends humorously observed: "Everything in the world may be
doubtful to you, but it can never be doubted that you will die."
Life is like a burning lamp. Every minute its flame dies out and is
renewed. Life is like a running stream. Every moment it pushes
onward. If there be anything constant in this world of change, it
should be change itself. Is it not just one step from rosy childhood
to snowy age? Is it not just one moment from the nuptial song to the
funeral-dirge? Who can live the same moment twice?
In comparison with an organism, inorganic matter appears to be
constant and changeless; but, in fact, it is equally subjected to
ceaseless alteration. Every morning, looking into the mirror, you
will find your visage reflected in it just as it was on the preceding
day; so also every morning, looking at the sun and the earth, you
will find them reflected in your retina just as they were on the
previous morning; but the sun and the earth are no less changeless
than you. Why do the sun and the earth seem changeless and constant
to you? Only because you yourself undergo change more quickly than
they. When you look at the clouds sweeping across the face of the
moon, they seem to be at rest, and the moon in rapid motion; but, in
fact, the clouds, as well as the moon, incessantly move on.

Science might maintain the quantitative constancy of matter, but the
so-called matter is mere abstraction. To say matter is changeless is
as much as to say 2 is always 2, changeless and constant, because the
arithmetical number is not more abstract than the physiological
matter. The moon appears standing still when you look at her only a
few moments. In like manner she seems to be free from change when
you look at her in your short span of life. Astronomers,
nevertheless, can tell you how she saw her better days, and is now in
her wrinkles and white hair.






Next: Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus

Previous: Buddha The Universal Life



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