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Buddhism

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

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

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

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

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

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

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

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

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

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

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

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

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

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

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

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

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




There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral








By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be good as
well as bad; or he should be neither good nor bad. There can be no
alternative possible besides these four propositions, none of which
can be accepted as true. Then there must be some misconception in
the terms of which they consist. It would seem to some that the
error can be avoided by limiting the sense of the term 'man,' saying
some persons are good-natured, some persons are bad-natured, some
persons are good-natured and bad-natured as well, and some persons
are neither good-natured nor bad-natured. There is no contradiction
in these modified propositions, but still they fail to explain the
ethical state of man. Supposing them all to be true, let us assume
that there are the four classes of people: (1) Those who are purely
moral and have no immoral disposition; (2) those who are half moral
and half immoral; (3) those who are neither moral nor immoral; (4)
those who are purely immoral and have no moral disposition. Orthodox
Christians, believing in the sinlessness of Jesus, would say he
belongs to the first class, while Mohammedans and Buddhists, who
deify the founder of their respective faith, would in such case
regard their founder as the purely moral personage. But are your
beliefs, we should ask, based on historical fact? Can you say that
such traditional and self-contradictory records as the four gospels
are history in the strict sense of the term? Can you assert that
those traditions which deify Mohammed and Shakya are the statements
of bare facts? Is not Jesus an abstraction and an ideal, entirely
different from a concrete carpenter's son, who fed on the same kind
of food, sheltered himself in the same kind of building, suffered
from the same kind of pain, was fired by the same kind of anger,
stung by the same kind of lust as our own? Can you say the person
who fought many a sanguinary battle, who got through many cunning
negotiations with enemies and friends, who personally experienced the
troubles of polygamy, was a person sinless and divine? We might
allow that these ancient sages are superhuman and divine, then our
classification has no business with them, because they do not
properly belong to mankind. Now, then, who can point out any sinless
person in the present world? Is it not a fact that the more virtuous
one grows the more sinful he feels himself? If there be any mortal,
in the past, the present, and the future, who declares himself to be
pure and sinless, his very declaration proves that he is not highly
moral. Therefore the existence of the first class of people is open
to question.






Next: There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral

Previous: Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shi



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