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Buddhism

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

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

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

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

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

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

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

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period, and after the downfall o...

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

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

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

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

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

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




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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