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Buddhism

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

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

Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated land for the seed of ...

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: "Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Sur...

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

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

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

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

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

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period, and after the downfall o...

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga claims that various supernatural powers can be acquired ...

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

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

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...




The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction








A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance than a
series of lectures by your verbal philosopher whom you respect. It
contains within itself the whole history of the earth; it tells you
what it has seen since the dawn of time; while your philosopher
simply plays on abstract terms and empty words. What does his
Absolute, or One, or Substance mean? What does his Reality or Truth
imply? Do they denote or connote anything? Mere name! mere
abstraction! One school of philosophy after another has been
established on logical subtleties; thousands of books have been
written on these grand names and fair mirages, which vanish the
moment that your hand of experience reaches after them.

"Duke Hwan," says Chwang Tsz, "seated above in his hall, was"
(once) reading a book, and a wheelwright, Phien, was making a wheel
below it. Laying aside his hammer and chisel, Phien went up the
steps and said: 'I venture to ask your Grace what words you are
reading?' The duke said: 'The words of sages.' 'Are these sages
alive?' Phien continued. 'They are dead,' was the reply. 'Then,'
said the other, 'what you, my Ruler, are reading is only the dregs
and sediments of those old men.' The duke said:


Chwang Tsz, vol. ii., p. 24.


'How should you, a wheelwright, have anything to say about the book
which I am reading? If you can explain yourself, very well; if you
cannot, you shall die.' The wheelwright said: 'Your servant will
look at the thing from the point of view of his own art. In making a
wheel, if I proceed gently, that is pleasant enough, but the
workmanship is not strong; if I proceed violently, that is toilsome
and the joinings do not fit. If the movements of my hand are neither
(too) gentle nor (too) violent, the idea in my mind is realized. But
I cannot tell (how to do this) by word of mouth; there is a knack in
it. I cannot teach the knack to my son, nor can my son learn it from
me. Thus it is that I am in my seventieth year, and am (still)
making wheels in my old age. But these ancients, and what it was not
possible for them to convey, are dead and gone. So then what you, my
Ruler, are reading is but their dregs and sediments." Zen has no
business with the dregs and sediments of sages of yore.





Next: The Sermon Of The Inanimate

Previous: Great Men And Nature



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