VIEW THE MOBILE VERSION of www.xlf.ca Informational Site Network Informational
Privacy
   Home - Samurai - Code of Honor - Courage - Samuri Religion - History of Buddism

Buddhism

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followin...

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shi
(So-shoku). The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given ...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

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

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

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

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

Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

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

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

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

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

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

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

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...




Zen Is Not Nihilistic








Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at the first
sight, to be idealistic in an extreme form, as they say: "Mind is
Buddha" or, "Buddha is Mind," or, "There is nothing outside mind,"
or, "Three worlds are of but one mind." And it may also appear to be
nihilistic, as they say: "There has been nothing since all eternity,"
"By illusion you see the castle of the Three Worlds"; "by
Enlightenment you see but emptiness in ten directions." In
reality, however, Zen is neither idealistic nor nihilistic.
Zen makes use of the nihilistic idea of Hinayana Buddhism, and calls
its students' attention to the change and evanescence of life and of
the world, first to destroy the error of immutation, next to dispel
the attachment to the sensual objects.


These words were repeatedly uttered by Chinese and Japanese
Zenists of all ages. Chwen Hih (Fu-dai-shi) expressed this very idea
in his Sin Wang Ming (Shin-o-mei) at the time of Bodhidharma.

The Rin-zai teachers mostly make use of the doctrine of
unreality of all things, as taught in Prajnya-paramita-sutras. We
have to note that there are some differences between the Mahayana
doctrine of unreality and the Hinayana doctrine of unreality.


It is a misleading tendency of our intellect to conceive things as if
they were immutable and constant. It often leaves changing and
concrete individual objects out of consideration, and lays stress on
the general, abstract, unchanging aspect of things. It is inclined
to be given to generalization and abstraction. It often looks not at
this thing or at that thing, but at things in general. It loves to
think not of a good thing nor of a bad thing, but of bad and good in
the abstract. This intellectual tendency hardens and petrifies the
living and growing world, and leads us to take the universe as a
thing dead, inert, and standing still. This error of immutation can
be corrected by the doctrine of Transcience taught by Hinayana
Buddhism. But as medicine taken in an undue quantity turns into
poison, so the doctrine of Transcience drove the Hinayanists to the
suicidal conclusion of nihilism. A well-known scholar and believer
of Zen, Kwei Fung (Kei-ha) says in his refutation of nihilism:

"If mind as well as external objects be unreal, who is it that knows
they are so? Again, if there be nothing real in the universe, what
is it that causes unreal objects to appear? We stand witness to the
fact that there is no one of the unreal things on earth that is not
made to appear by something real. If there be no water of unchanging
fluidity, how can there be the unreal and temporary forms of waves?
If there be no unchanging mirror, bright and clean, bow can there be
the various images, unreal and temporary, reflected in it? If mind
as well as external objects be nothing at all, no one can tell what
it is that causes these unreal appearances. Therefore this doctrine
(of the unreality of all things) can never clearly disclose spiritual
Reality. So that Mahabheri-harakaparivarta-sutra says: " All the
sutras that teach the unreality of things belong to the imperfect
doctrine " (of the Shakya Muni). Mahaprajnya-paramita-sutra says The
doctrine of unreality is the entrance-gate of Mahayana."


See the appendix, chap. ii., 'The Mahayana Doctrine of
Nihilism.'






Next: Zen And Idealism

Previous: The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom



Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
SHAREADD TO EBOOK


Viewed 1610