Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom

Drawn from the documents of chinese language Zen masters of the Tang and music dynasties, this assortment may perhaps shock a few readers. unlike the preferred photo of Zen as an authoritarian, monastic culture deeply rooted in Asian tradition, those passages painting Zen as remarkably versatile, adaptive to modern and person wishes, and transcending cultural boundaries.

The readings contained in Zen Essence emphasize that the perform of Zen calls for cognizance on my own and doesn't depend upon a heritage in Zen Buddhism and Asian tradition. the genuine essence of Zen is living within the courting among brain and tradition, no matter what that tradition will be. This specified choice of writings creates an image of Zen no longer as a faith or philosophy, yet as a realistic technology of freedom.

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By this passion or Sacrifice, the Supreme Self creates the world of men; by entering into their bodies and opening up the apertures of the senses and the mind, he awakens them to consciousness. As such he is the 'Eye in the World', symbolized by the sun in the outer world and by fire (Agni, 'inner light') in the inner world of man's heart. 1 The Supreme Self as the 'Inner Man' has been swallowed by the 'Outer Man', by the sense of individuality or egoism. Each human being is bound to be at war with himself until he finds out Who he really is.

In them the religion of the Indo-Europeans is supposed to have reached the peak of its 'development'. The Indian sages now applied themselves to the problem of immortality and promulgated the teaching on the identity of the Atman (the :real Self in man) with Brahman (the Cosmic Reality). Other teachings and practices, including the various forms of yoga, are supposed to have developed in the centuries following the Upanishads. 1 THE TRADITIONAL EASTERN VIEW When all of the above has been said, the profounder part of the Indian position has scarcely been plumbed.

This story also illustrates the fundamental purpose of all the Upanishadic texts. They are designed to loosen man from his bondage to the transitory by pointing out the avenue to supreme knowledge. ' 1 Immortality here has a distinctly qualitative dimension. It is not to be equated with hope for continued personal existence in some state beyond the grave. For that state, too, according to the Indian teaching, is transitory. Immortality means knowing the Self which is unborn and undying. It is ignorance of the Self which constitutes spiritual death.

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