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Buddhism

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

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

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga claims that various supernatural powers can be acquired ...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

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

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

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

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

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

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

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

There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

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

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

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...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...




Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless








How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be unknowable
and hidden behind or beyond appearances? They investigated all the
possible presentations in different relationships, and put them all
aside as appearances, and brooded on the thing-in-itself, shut out
from all possible relationship, and declared it unknowable.
Thing-in-itself means thing cut off from all possible relationships.
To, put it in another way: thing-in-itself means thing deprived of
its relation to its knower--that is to say, thing-knower-less. So
that to declare thing-in-itself unknowable is as much as to declare
thing-unknowable unknowable; there is no doubt about it, but what
does it prove?

Deprive yourself of all the possible relationships, and see what you
are. Suppose you are not a son to your parents, nor the husband to
your wife, nor the father to your children, nor a relative to your
kindred, nor a friend to your acquaintances, nor a teacher to your
students, nor a citizen to your country, nor an individual member to
your society, nor a creature to your God, then you get
you-in-yourself. Now ask yourself what is you-in-yourself? You can
never answer the question. It is unknowable, just because it is cut
off from all knowable relations. Can you thus prove that
you-in-yourself exist beyond or behind you?

In like manner our universe appears to us human beings as the
phenomenal world or presentation. It might appear to other creatures
of a different mental constitution as something else. We cannot
ascertain how it might seem to Devas, to Asuras, to angels, and to
the Almighty, if there be such beings. However different it might
seem to these beings, it does not imply that the phenomenal world is
unreal, nor that the realm of reality is unknowable.

'Water,' the Indian tradition has it, 'seems to man as a drink, as
emerald to Devas, as bloody pus to Pretas, as houses to fishes.'
Water is not a whit less real because of its seeming as houses to
fishes, and fishes' houses are not less real because of its seeming
as emerald to Devas. There is nothing that proves the unreality of
it. It is a gross illusion to conceive reality as transcendental to
appearances. Reality exists as appearances, and appearances are
reality known to human beings. You cannot separate appearances from
reality, and hold out the latter as the object of aspiration at the
cost of the former. You must acknowledge that the so-called realm of
reality which you aspire after, and which you seek for outside or
behind the phenomenal universe, exists here on earth. Let Zen
teachers tell you that "the world of birth and death is the realm of
Nirvana"; "the earth is the pure land of Buddha."






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