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Buddhism

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

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

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

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a prominent d...

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a Chinese...

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

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

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...

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

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...




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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