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Buddhism

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

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

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The Great Person And Small Person
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Zen Is Iconoclastic
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Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
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Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
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Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shi
(So-shoku). The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given ...

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

Life Change And Hope
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Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
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Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
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The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
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Zen And Nirvana
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All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
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Calmness Of Mind
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The Third Step In The Mental Training
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The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...




Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shi








(So-shoku).

The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih and other
scholars influenced by Buddhism, which maintains that man is neither
good-natured nor bad-natured. According to this opinion man is not
moral nor immoral by nature, but unmoral. He is morally a blank. He
is at a crossroad, so to speak, of morality when he is first born.
As he is blank, he can be dyed black or red. As he is at the
cross-road, he can turn to the right or to the left. He is like
fresh water, which has no flavour, and can be made sweet or bitter by
circumstances. If we are not mistaken, this theory, too, has to
encounter insurmountable difficulties. How could it be possible to
make the unmoral being moral or immoral? We might as well try to get
honey out of sand as to get good or evil out of the blank nature.
There can be no fruit of good or evil where there is no seed of good
or bad nature. Thus we find no satisfactory solution of the problem
at issue in these four theories proposed by the Chinese scholars--the
first theory being incompetent to explain the problem of human
depravity; the second breaking down at the origin of morality; the
third failing to explain the possibility of moral culture; the fourth
being logically self-contradictory.

Su Shih (1042-1101), a great man of letters, practiser of
Zen, noted for his poetical works.






Next: There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral

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



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