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Buddhism

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

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen), an emine...

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

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

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

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

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

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

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

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

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

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

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

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

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

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

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

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

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