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Buddhism

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

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to have replied ...

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

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

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

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

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

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

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

Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...

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

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

Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

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

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

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

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

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

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...




The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction








A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance than a
series of lectures by your verbal philosopher whom you respect. It
contains within itself the whole history of the earth; it tells you
what it has seen since the dawn of time; while your philosopher
simply plays on abstract terms and empty words. What does his
Absolute, or One, or Substance mean? What does his Reality or Truth
imply? Do they denote or connote anything? Mere name! mere
abstraction! One school of philosophy after another has been
established on logical subtleties; thousands of books have been
written on these grand names and fair mirages, which vanish the
moment that your hand of experience reaches after them.

"Duke Hwan," says Chwang Tsz, "seated above in his hall, was"
(once) reading a book, and a wheelwright, Phien, was making a wheel
below it. Laying aside his hammer and chisel, Phien went up the
steps and said: 'I venture to ask your Grace what words you are
reading?' The duke said: 'The words of sages.' 'Are these sages
alive?' Phien continued. 'They are dead,' was the reply. 'Then,'
said the other, 'what you, my Ruler, are reading is only the dregs
and sediments of those old men.' The duke said:


Chwang Tsz, vol. ii., p. 24.


'How should you, a wheelwright, have anything to say about the book
which I am reading? If you can explain yourself, very well; if you
cannot, you shall die.' The wheelwright said: 'Your servant will
look at the thing from the point of view of his own art. In making a
wheel, if I proceed gently, that is pleasant enough, but the
workmanship is not strong; if I proceed violently, that is toilsome
and the joinings do not fit. If the movements of my hand are neither
(too) gentle nor (too) violent, the idea in my mind is realized. But
I cannot tell (how to do this) by word of mouth; there is a knack in
it. I cannot teach the knack to my son, nor can my son learn it from
me. Thus it is that I am in my seventieth year, and am (still)
making wheels in my old age. But these ancients, and what it was not
possible for them to convey, are dead and gone. So then what you, my
Ruler, are reading is but their dregs and sediments." Zen has no
business with the dregs and sediments of sages of yore.






Next: The Sermon Of The Inanimate

Previous: Great Men And Nature



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