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

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

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

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

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

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

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

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period, and after the downfall o...

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

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

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

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

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

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law
For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, by Kei Z...




Zen And Idealism








Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaksana
School of Mahayana Buddhism. For instance, the Fourth
Patriarch says: "Hundreds and thousands of laws originate with mind.
Innumerable mysterious virtues proceed from the mental source." Niu
Teu (Go-zu) also says: "When mind arises, various things arise; when
mind ceases to exist, various things cease to exist." Tsao Shan
(So-zan) carried the point so far that he cried out, on hearing the
bell: "It hurts, it pains." Then an attendant of his asked "What is
the matter?" "It is my mind," said he, that is struck."


Appendix, chap. ii., 'The Mahayana Doctrine of
Dharmalaksana.'

Zen-rin-rui-shu.


We acknowledge the truth of the following considerations: There
exists no colour, nor sound, nor odour in the objective world, but
there are the vibrations of ether, or the undulations of the air, or
the stimuli of the sensory nerves of smell. Colour is nothing but
the translation of the stimuli into sensation by the optical nerves,
so also sounds by the auditory, and odours by the smelling.
Therefore nothing exists objectively exactly as it is perceived by
the senses, but all are subjective. Take electricity, for example,
it appears as light when perceived through the eye; it appears as
sound when perceived through the ear; it appears as taste when
perceived through the tongue; but electricity in reality is not
light, nor sound, nor taste. Similarly, the mountain is not high nor
low; the river is not deep nor shallow; the house is not large nor
small; the day is not long nor short; but they seem so through
comparison. It is not objective reality that displays the phenomenal
universe before us, but it is our mind that plays an important part.
Suppose that we have but one sense organ, the eye, then the whole
universe should consist of colours and of colours only. If we
suppose we were endowed with the sixth sense, which entirely
contradicts our five senses, then the whole world would be otherwise.
Besides, it is our reason that finds the law of cause and effect in
the objective world, that discovered the law of uniformity in Nature,
and that discloses scientific laws in the universe so as to form a
cosmos. Some scholars maintain that we cannot think of non-existence
of space, even if we can leave out all objects in it; nor can we
doubt the existence of time, for the existence of mind itself
presupposes time. Their very argument, however, proves the
subjectivity of time and space, because, if they were objective, we
should be able to think them non-existent, as we do with other
external objects. Even space and time, therefore are no more than
subjective.






Next: Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease

Previous: Zen Is Not Nihilistic



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