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Buddhism

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that sur...

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

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

Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

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

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

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

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

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

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

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

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

Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung Yo-yu
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...




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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