The Bad Are The Good In The Egg

This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but also with

ordinary people. There are many who are honest and good in their

homesteads, but turn out to be base and dishonest folk outside them.

Similarly, there are those who, having an enthusiastic love of their

local district, act unlawfully against the interests of other

districts. They are upright and honourable gentlemen within the

boundary of their own district, but a gang of rascals without it. So

also there are many who are Washingtons and William Tells in their

own, but at the same time pirates and cannibals in the other

countries. Again, there are not a few persons who, having racial

prejudices, would not allow the rays of their Buddha-nature to pass

through a coloured skin. There are civilized persons who are humane

enough to love and esteem any human being as their brother, but so

unfeeling that they think lower creatures as their proper food. The

highly enlightened person, however, cannot but sympathize with human

beings and lower creatures as well, as Shakya Muni felt all sentient

beings to be his children.

These people are exactly the same in their Buddha-nature, but a wide

difference obtains among them in the extent of their expressing that

nature in deeds. If thieves and murderers be called bad-natured,

reformers and revolutionists should be called so. If, on the other

hand, patriotism and loyalty be said to be good, treason and

insurrection should likewise be so. Therefore it is evident that a

so-called good person is none but one who acts to promote wider

interests of life, and a so-called bad person is none but one who

acts to advance narrower ones. In other words, the bad are the good

in the egg, so to speak, and the good are the bad on the wing. As

the bird in the egg is one and the same as the bird on the wing, so

the good in the egg is entirely of the same nature as the bad on the

wing. To show that human nature transcends the duality of good and

evil, the author of Avatamsaka-sutra declares that 'all beings are

endowed with the wisdom and virtue of Tathagata.' Kwei Fung (Kei-ho)

also says: "All sentient beings have the Real Spirit of Original

Enlightenment (within themselves). It is unchanging and pure. It is

eternally bright and clear, and conscious. It is also named

Buddha-nature, or Tathagata-garbha."

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom The Beatitude Of Zen facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail