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Buddhism

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

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

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

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

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

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

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

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

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

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

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

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

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

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

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

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

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

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

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




The Mystery Of Life








Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in life in
order to prepare ourselves for an insight into the depth of life. We
are far from being pessimistic, for we believe that life consists in
confliction, but that confliction does not end in confliction, but in
a new form of harmony. Hope comes to conflict with fear, and is
often threatened with losing its hold on mind; then it renews its
life and takes root still deeper than before. Peace is often
disturbed with wars, but then it gains a still firmer ground than
ever. Happiness is driven out of mind by melancholy, then it is
re-enforced by favourable conditions and returns with double
strength. Spirit is dragged down by matter from its ideal heaven,
then, incited by shame, it tries a higher flight. Good is opposed by
evil, then it gathers more strength and vanquishes its foe. Truth is
clouded by falsehood, then it issues forth with its greater light.
Liberty is endangered by tyranny, then it overthrows it with a
splendid success.

Manifoldness stands out boldly against unity; difference against
agreement; particularity against generality; individuality against
society. Manifoldness, nevertheless, instead of annihilating,
enriches unity; difference, instead of destroying agreement, gives it
variety; particularities, instead of putting an end to generality,
increase its content; individuals, instead of breaking the harmony of
society, strengthen the power of it.

Thus 'Universal Life does not swallow up manifoldness nor extinguish
differences, but it is the only means of bringing to its full
development the detailed content of reality; in particular, it does
not abolish the great oppositions of life and world, but takes them
up into itself and brings them into fruitful relations with each
other.' Therefore 'our life is a mysterious blending of freedom and
necessity, power and limitation, caprice and law; yet these opposites
are constantly seeking and finding a mutual adjustment.'






Next: Nature Favours Nothing In Particular

Previous: Life Consists In Conflict



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