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Buddhism

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

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

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

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

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

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

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

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

Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...

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

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




Real Self








If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where does
personality lie? What is Real Self? How does it differ from soul?
Self is living entity, not immutable like soul, but mutable and
ever-changing life, which is body when observed by senses, and which
is mind when experienced by introspection. It is not an entity lying
behind mind and body, but life existent as the union of body and
mind. It existed in our forefathers in the past, is existing in the
present, and will exist in the future generations. It also discloses
itself to some measure in vegetables and animals, and shadows itself
forth in inorganic nature. It is Cosmic life and Cosmic spirit, and
at the same time individual life and individual spirit. It is one
and the same life which embraces men and nature. It is the
self-existent, creative, universal principle that moves on from
eternity to eternity. As such it is called Mind or Self by Zenists.
Pan Shan (Ban-zan) says: "The moon of mind comprehends all the
universe in its light." A man asked Chang Sha (Cho-sha): "How can
you turn the phenomenal universe into Self ?" "How can you turn Self
into the phenomenal universe?" returned the master.

When we get the insight into this Self, we are able to have the open
sesame to the mysteries of the universe, because to know the nature
of a drop of water is to know the nature of the river, the lake, and
the ocean--nay, even of vapour, mist, and cloud; in other words, to
get an insight into individual life is the key to the secret of
Universal Life. We must not confine Self within the poor little
person called body. That is the root of the poorest and most
miserable egoism. We should expand that egoism into family-egoism,
then into nation-egoism, then into race-egoism, then into
human-egoism, then into living-being-egoism, and lastly into
universe-egoism, which is not egoism at all. Thus we deny the
immortality of soul as conceived by common sense, but assume
immortality of the Great Soul, which animates, vitalizes, and
spiritualizes all sentient beings. It is Hinayana Buddhism that
first denied the existence of atman or Self so emphatically
inculcated in the Upanisads, and paved the way for the general
conception of Universal Self, with the eulogies of which almost every
page of Mahayana books is filled.






Next: The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom

Previous: Nature Is The Mother Of All Things



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