Inter -  Faiths  Dialogue



Interreligious dialogue : The Man > Man's True Nature

Onelittleangel > The Man > Man's True Nature
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N ow the original substance of the mind is man's nature. Human nature being universally good, the original substance of the mind is correct.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2424 | 
Wang Wen-ch'eng Kung ch'uan-shu, or Complete Works of Wang Yang-ming, Inquiry on the Great Learning, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 35 







I n all our changes and movements, we will stick to no particular point, but possess in ourselves the Mean that is perfectly natural. This is the ultimate of the normal nature of man and the principle of things. There can be no consideration of adding to or subtracting from it. If there is any, it means selfish ideas and shallow cunning, and cannot be said to be the highest good. Naturally, how can anyone who does not watch over himself carefully when alone, and who has no refinement and singleness of mind, attain to such a state of perfection? Later generations fail to realize that the highest good is inherent in their own minds, but exercise their selfish ideas and cunning and grope for it outside their minds, believing that every event and every object has its own peculiar definite principle. For this reason the law of right and wrong is obscured; the mind becomes concerned with fragmentary and isolated details and broken pieces; the selfish desires of man become rampant and the Principle of Nature is at an end. And thus the learning of manifesting character and loving people is everywhere thrown into confusion.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2422 | 
Wang Wen-ch'eng Kung ch'uan-shu, or Complete Works of Wang Yang-ming, Inquiry on the Great Learning, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 35 







M oral principles inherent in the human mind are endowed by Heaven and cannot be wiped out. Those who are beclouded by material desires so as to pervert principles and violate righteousness, do so because they do not think, that is all. If they can truly examine themselves and think, their sense of right and wrong and their choice between right and wrong will have the qualities of quiet alertness, clear-cut intelligence, and firm conviction.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2403 | 
Complete Work of Lu Hsiang-shan (Hsiang-shan ch’uan-chi), 32:4a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 33 







M encius said, "That whereby man differs from the lower animals is but small. The ordinary people cast it away, while the superior man preserves it. (1) What is cast away is the mind. That is why Mencius said that some people "cast their original mind away . (2) What is preserved is this mind. That is why Mencius said that "The great man is one who does not lose his child's heart" (3) (What Mencius referred to as) the Four Beginnings (of humanity, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom, that is, the sense of commiseration, the sense of shame, the sense of deference and compliance, and the sense of right and wrong) (4) are this mind. It is what Heaven has endowed in us. All men have this mind, and all minds are endowed with this principle. The mind is principle.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2399 | 
Complete Work of Lu Hsiang-shan (Hsiang-shan ch’uan-chi), 11: 5b-6a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 33 
(1) Mencius, 4B: 19. (2) Mencius, 6A: 10. (3) Mencius, 4B: 12. (4) Mencius, 2A: 6.







H uman nature at its source is absobutely tranquil and unaffected by externality. When it is affected by contact with the external world, consciousness and knowledge emerge. Only those who fully develop their nature can unify the state of formlessness and unaffectedness, and the state of objectification and affectedness.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2357 | 
Chang Tsai, Cheng-meng, Ch.1, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 30 







H eaven is my father and Earth is my mother, and even such a small creature as I finds an intimate place in their midst.
Therefore that which fills the universe I regard as my body and that which directs the universe I consider as my nature.
All people are my brothers and sisters, and all things are my companions.





Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2352 | 
Chang Tsai, Cheng-meng, ch. 17, THE WESTERN INSCRIPTION, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 30 







O ur nature views things as they are, but our feelings cause us to see things subjectively and egotistically. Our nature is impartial and enlightened, but our feelings are partial and deceived.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2339 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 8B: 16a-17a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







S elf-nature is always pure, just as the sun and moon are always shining. It is only when they are obscured by clouds that there is brightness above but darkness below and the sun, the moon, and the stars cannot be seen. But when suddenly a gentle mind blows and scatters all clouds and fog, all phenomena are abundantly spread out before us, all appearing together. The purity of people’s nature is comparable to the clear sky, their wisdom comparable to the sun, and sagacity comparable to the moon. Their sagacity and wisdom are always shining. It is only because externally people are attached to spheres of objects (1) that erroneous thoughts, like floating clouds, cover the self-nature so that it is not clear. […] By taking refuge ourselves is meant to remove evil deeds. This is called taking refuge.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2310 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 20 







G ood and learned friends, you must all go through the experience yourselves and receive the discipline that frees you from the attachment to differentiated characters. Follow me at the same time and repeat my slogans. They will enable you, good and learned friends, to see that the Three Bodies (1) of the Buddha are within you: 'We take refuge in the pure Law-body of the Buddha with our own physical bodies. We take refuge in the Myriad Transformation-body with our own physical bodies. We take refuge in the Perfect Reward-body with our own physical bodies.' The physical body is like an inn and cannot be spoken of as a refuge. It has always been the case that the Three Bodies lie in one's own nature. Everyone has them, yet because they are deluded they do not see, and they seek the Three [Bodies] of the Tathagata (Thus-come Buddha) externally, without realizing that the Three Bodies are inherent in one's own physical body. Good and learned friends, listen to your good friend. If you, good and learned friends, now see in your own physical bodies the self-nature that involved the Three Bodies of the Buddha. These Three Bodies will arise from your nature.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2309 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 20 
The doctrine of "becoming a Buddha in this very body" is a far cry from the original Indian idea that the body is a hindrance to freedom. One cannot help recalling that the Confucianists have always regarded the body as a gift from parents and as such it is a sacred trust and therefore to be well taken care of, and that for centuries the Taoists religion had tried in many ways, including medicine, diets, exercise, sex technique, and breath control, to make the body suitable for everlasting life on earth. These are some of the roots that make Zen essentially Chinese.







T he Wei-mochieh [so-shuo] ching says, 'Immediately we become completely clear and recover our original mind. The P'u-sa chieh ching (Scripture of Disciplines for Bodhisattvahood) says, 'We are originally pure in our self-nature. (1) Good and learned friends, realize that your self-nature is naturally pure. Cultivate and achieve for yourselves the Law-body of your self-nature. Follow the Way of the Buddha yourselves. Act and achieve Buddhahood for yourselves.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2308 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 19 
(1) Buddhism conceives a Buddha to have a threefold body, namely, the Lawbody or spiritual body (Dharmakaya), the Reward-body or Enjoyment-body (Sambhogakaya), and the Transformation-body or body of incarnation (Nirmanakaya). The Law-body is the Buddha-body in its self-nature, the body of the Dharma or truth, the body of reality, the body of principle. This "body" has no body existence. It is identical with truth. In various schools it is identical with the Realm of Dharma (Dharmadhatu), Buddha-nature, or the Storehouse of the “Thus-come" (Tathagatagarbha). The Reward-body is the person embodied with real insight, enjoying his own enlightenment or that of others. The Transformation body is a body variously appearing to save people. The three bodies are three in one, are possessed of all Buddhas, and are potential to all men.







M an's nature is originally pure. It is by false thoughts that True Thusness is obscured. Our original nature is pure as long as it is free from false thoughts. If one does not realize that his own nature is originally pure and makes up his mind to look at purity, he is creating a false purity. Such purity has no objective existence. Hence we know that what is looked at is false. Purity has neither physical form nor character, but some people set up characters of purity and say that this is the object of our task. People who take this view hinder their own original nature and become bound by purity.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2306 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 18 







G ood and learned friends, in method there is no distinction between sudden enlightenment and gradual enlightenment. Among men however, some are intelligent and others are stupid. Those who are deluded understand gradually, while the enlightened achieve understand understanding suddenly. But when they know their own minds, then they see their own nature, and there is no difference in their enlightenment. Without enlightenment, they remain forever bound in transmigration."




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2304 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 16. 







M aster Ch'u said, "The king sends people to spy on you and see whether you are really different from others." Mencius said, “How should I be different from others? Yao and Shun were the same as other men.




Confucianism 2157 | 
Book of Mencius, 4B:32, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 
Yao and Shun are Chinese greatest sage.







T he sage and I are the same in kind.




Confucianism 2141 | 
Book of Mencius, 6A:7, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







M encius said, "If you let people follow their feelings (original nature) they will be able to do good. This is what is meant by saying that human nature is good. If man does evil, it is not the fault of his natural endowment .The feeling of commiseration is found in all men; the feeling of shame and dislike is found in all men; the feeling of respect and reverence is found in all men; and the feeling of right and wrong is found in all men. The feeling of commiseration is what we call humanity; the feeling of shame and dislike is what we call righteousness; the feeling of respect and reverence is what we call propriety (li); and the feeling of right and wrong is what we call wisdom. Humanity, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom are not drilled into us from outside. We originally have them with us. Only we do not think [to find them]. Therefore it is said, 'Seek and you will find it, neglect and you will lose it. [Men differ in the development of their endowments], some twice as much as others some five times, and some to an incalculable degree, because no one can develop his original endowment to the fullest extend.




Confucianism 2140 | 
Book of Mencius, 6A:6, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







M an's nature is naturally good just as water naturally flows downward. There is no man without this good nature; neither is there water that does not flow downward. Now you can strike water and cause it to splash upward over your forehead, and by damming and leading it, you can force it uphill. Is this the nature of water? It is the forced circumstance that makes it do so. Man can be made to do evil, for his nature can be treated in the same way.




Confucianism 2139 | 
Book of Mencius, 6A:2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







B y nature the men are alike. Through practice they have become far apart.




Confucianism 2135 | 
Analect of Confucius, 17:2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 2. 





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