Buddhism The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...
A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...
Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...
The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a Chinese...
Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...
The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...
The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of
The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...
Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...
Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...
Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...
The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...
Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms or
The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...
The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...
The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...
Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shi
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given ...
Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...
Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...
Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...
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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