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Buddhism

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

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

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

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

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to have replied ...

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

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 ...

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

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

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

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

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

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

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

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

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...




Real Self








If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where does
personality lie? What is Real Self? How does it differ from soul?
Self is living entity, not immutable like soul, but mutable and
ever-changing life, which is body when observed by senses, and which
is mind when experienced by introspection. It is not an entity lying
behind mind and body, but life existent as the union of body and
mind. It existed in our forefathers in the past, is existing in the
present, and will exist in the future generations. It also discloses
itself to some measure in vegetables and animals, and shadows itself
forth in inorganic nature. It is Cosmic life and Cosmic spirit, and
at the same time individual life and individual spirit. It is one
and the same life which embraces men and nature. It is the
self-existent, creative, universal principle that moves on from
eternity to eternity. As such it is called Mind or Self by Zenists.
Pan Shan (Ban-zan) says: "The moon of mind comprehends all the
universe in its light." A man asked Chang Sha (Cho-sha): "How can
you turn the phenomenal universe into Self ?" "How can you turn Self
into the phenomenal universe?" returned the master.

When we get the insight into this Self, we are able to have the open
sesame to the mysteries of the universe, because to know the nature
of a drop of water is to know the nature of the river, the lake, and
the ocean--nay, even of vapour, mist, and cloud; in other words, to
get an insight into individual life is the key to the secret of
Universal Life. We must not confine Self within the poor little
person called body. That is the root of the poorest and most
miserable egoism. We should expand that egoism into family-egoism,
then into nation-egoism, then into race-egoism, then into
human-egoism, then into living-being-egoism, and lastly into
universe-egoism, which is not egoism at all. Thus we deny the
immortality of soul as conceived by common sense, but assume
immortality of the Great Soul, which animates, vitalizes, and
spiritualizes all sentient beings. It is Hinayana Buddhism that
first denied the existence of atman or Self so emphatically
inculcated in the Upanisads, and paved the way for the general
conception of Universal Self, with the eulogies of which almost every
page of Mahayana books is filled.





Next: The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom

Previous: Nature Is The Mother Of All Things



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