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Zen and Zen Classics, Vol. 4: Mumonkan by R.H. Blyth

By R.H. Blyth

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Mistakes of psychology-that is quite another matter. " This Question is the problem of the Buddha-Nature, Case I 34 that is, of Mu. Useless Knowledge, literally, bad knowledge, is really unused knowledge. If any organ of the body, or matter taken into it, is not used, disease at once supervenes. So all the accumulated head knowledge, dogmas ( reli­ gious and otherwise) , principles of morality, theories of life, unless put into practice, are worse than useless. They are bad, they rot the mind. If you meet a Buddha, kill him !

A state of peace and truth. This is a translation of the Sanskrit word Vikridita, to roam for pleasure, and means the supernatural powers in which Buddhas and Bodhisattvas indulge. For Zen, the expression denotes something childlike, artless, unselfconscious-one might almost say, un-Buddhistic-the life and mind of a man like Ryokan. Samadhi means composing the mind, holding it un­ disturbed, so that a knowledge of the truth may arise spontaneously in it. Compare Wordsworth : Think you, of all this mighty sum Of things forever speaking, That nothing of itself will come, But we must still be seeking?

H e instantly became en­ lightened, his fox-body was no longer necessary, and was to be found near the monastery and buried with suitable rites. This is the story Hyakujo told, but it contains, as was intended, a glaring contradiction. If it is wrong to say that the enlightened man becomes free of karma, he will be of necessity reborn into some sphere of life or other. But the old man was reborn as a fox for ' saying that the enlightened man does become free of karma. Here we have a logical fallacy, a vicious circle, a perpetual check (in chess) , and it is this which 6baku pointed to.

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