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

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

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

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

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 ...

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

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

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

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...

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

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne[FN#204] says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms o...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...




Zen And Idealism








Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaksana
School of Mahayana Buddhism.[FN#197] 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.[FN#198]


[FN#197] Appendix, chap. ii., 'The Mahayana Doctrine of
Dharmalaksana.'

[FN#198] 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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