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

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

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung Tai-so
The Third Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin), who ...

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

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

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

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

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

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...

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

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...




Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz Jun-shi








The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by another
diametrically opposed theory propounded by Siun Tsz (Jun-shi) and his
followers. 'Man is bad-natured,' says Siun Tsz, 'since he has inborn
lust, appetite, and desire for wealth. As he has inborn lust and
appetite, he is naturally given to intemperance and wantonness. As
he has inborn desire for wealth, he is naturally inclined to quarrel
and fight with others for the sake of gain.' Leave him without
discipline or culture, he would not be a whit better than the beast.
His virtuous acts, such as charity, honesty, propriety, chastity,
truthfulness, are conduct forced by the teachings of ancient sages
against his natural inclination. Therefore vices are congenial and
true to his nature, while virtues alien and untrue to his fundamental
nature.


Siun Tsz's date is later by some fifty years than Mencius.
Siun Tsz gives the reason why man seeks after morality, saying that
man seeks what he has not, and that he seeks after morality simply
because he has not morality, just as the poor seek riches. See 'A
History of Chinese Philosophy' (pp. 51-60), by G. Nakauchi, and 'A
History of Development of Chinese Thought,' by R. Endo.


These two theories are not only far from throwing light on the moral
state of man, but wrap it in deeper gloom. Let us raise a few
questions by way of refutation. If man's fundamental nature be good,
as Mencius maintains, why is it easy for him to be vicious without
instruction, while he finds it hard to be virtuous even with
instruction. If you contend that good is man's primary nature and
evil the secondary one, why is be so often overpowered by the
secondary nature? If you answer saying that man is good-natured
originally, but he acquires the secondary nature through the struggle
for existence, and it gradually gains power over the primary nature
by means of the same cause, then the primitive tribes should be more
virtuous than the highly civilized nations, and children than grownup
people. Is this not contrary to fact?

If, again, man's nature is essentially bad, as Siun Tsz holds, how
can he cultivate virtue? If you contend that ancient sages invented
so-called cardinal virtues and inculcated them against his natural
inclination, why does he not give them up? If vices be congenial and
true to man's nature, but virtues be alien and untrue to him, why are
virtues honoured by him? If vices be genuine and virtue a deception,
as you think, why do you call the inventors of that deceiving art
sages? How was it possible for man to do good before these sages'
appearance on earth?






Next: Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung Yo-yu

Previous: Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius



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