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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...

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

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

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

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

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: "Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Sur...

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

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

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

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

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

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...

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

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

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms or illus...

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

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

The Great Person And Small Person

For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or
Good-natured in a sense transcendental to the duality of good and
bad. It conveys no sense to call some individuals good in case there
is no bad individual. For the sake of convenience, however, Zen
calls man good, as is exemplified by Shakya Muni, who was wont to
address his hearers as 'good men and women,' and by the Sixth
Patriarch in China, who called everybody 'a good and wise one.' This
does not imply in the least that all human beings are virtuous,
sinless, and saintly-nay, the world is full of vices and crimes. It
is an undeniable fact that life is the warfare of good against evil,
and many a valiant hero has fallen in the foremost ranks. It is
curious, however, to notice that the champions on the both sides are
fighting for the same cause. There can be no single individual in
the world who is fighting against his own cause or interest, and the
only possible difference between one party and the other consists in
the extent of interests which they fight for. So-called bad persons,
who are properly designated as 'small persons' by Chinese and
Japanese scholars, express their Buddha-nature to a small extent
mostly within their own doors, while so-called good persons, or
'great persons' as the Oriental scholars call them, actualize their
Buddha-nature to a large extent in the whole sphere of a country, or
of the whole earth.

Enlightened Consciousness, or Buddha-nature, as we have seen in the
previous chapter, is the mind of mind and the consciousness of
consciousness, Universal Spirit awakened in individual minds, which
realizes the universal brotherhood of all beings and the unity of
individual lives. It is the real self, the guiding principle, the
Original Physiognomy (nature), as it is called by Zen, of
man. This real self lies dormant under the threshold of
consciousness in the minds of the confused; consequently, each of
them is inclined to regard petty individual as his self, and to exert
himself to further the interests of the individual self even at the
cost of those of the others. He is 'the smallest person' in the
world, for his self is reduced to the smallest extent possible. Some
of the less confused identify their selves with their families, and
feel happy or unhappy in proportion as their families are happy or
unhappy, for the sake of which they sacrifice the interests of other
families. On the other hand, some of the more enlightened unite
their selves through love and compassion with their whole tribe or
countrymen, and consider the rise or fall of the tribe or of the
country as their own, and willingly sacrifice their own lives, if
need be, for the cause of the tribe or the country. When they are
fully enlightened, they can realize the unity of all sentient lives,
and be ever merciful and helpful towards all creatures. They are
'the greatest persons' on earth, because their selves are enlarged to
the greatest extent possible.

The expression first occurs in Ho-bo-dan-kyo of the Sixth
Patriarch, and is frequently used by later Zenists.

Next: The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man

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