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The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists maintain that there are on earth ma...

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

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

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

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

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz Jun-shi
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anoth...

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

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

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

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

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

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

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

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

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that sur...

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

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


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

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