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

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

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

Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...

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

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

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

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

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...

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

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

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

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

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

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

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

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

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

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




Life In The Concrete








Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs from life
in the abstract, which exists only in the class-room. It is not
eternal; it is fleeting; it is full of anxieties, pains, struggles,
brutalities, disappointments, and calamities. We love life, however,
-not only for its smoothness, but for its roughness; not only for its
pleasure, but for its pain; not only for its hope, but for its fear;
not only for its flowers, but for its frost and snow. As
Issai (Sato) has aptly put it: "Prosperity is like spring, in
which we have green leaves and flowers wherever we go; while
adversity is like winter, in which we have snow and ice. Spring, of
course, pleases us; winter, too, displeases us not." Adversity is
salt to our lives, as it keeps them from corruption, no matter how
bitter to taste it way be. It is the best stimulus to body and mind,
since it brings forth latent energy that may remain dormant but for
it. Most people hunt after pleasure, look for good luck, hunger
after success, and complain of pain, ill-luck, and failure. It does
not occur to them that 'they who make good luck a god are all unlucky
men,' as George Eliot has wisely observed. Pleasure ceases to be
pleasure when we attain to it; another sort of pleasure displays
itself to tempt us. It is a mirage, it beckons to us to lead us
astray. When an overwhelming misfortune looks us in the face, our
latent power is sure to be aroused to grapple with it. Even delicate
girls exert the power of giants at the time of emergency; even
robbers or murderers are found to be kind and generous when we are
thrown into a common disaster. Troubles and difficulties call forth
our divine force, which lies deeper than the ordinary faculties, and
which we never before dreamed we possessed.


A noted scholar (1772-1859) and author, who belonged to the
Wang School of Confucianism. See Gen-shi-roku.






Next: Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist

Previous: The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg



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