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Buddhism

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

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...

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

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

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

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of Mahaya...

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followin...

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

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

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

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...




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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