The Religion of the Samurai


A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan By Kaiten Nukariya [1913]

... If, again, man's nature is essentially bad, as Si√ľn Tsz holds, how can he cultivate virtue? If you contend that ancient sages invented so-called cardinal virtues and inculcated them against his natural inclination, why does he not give them up? If vices be congenial and true to man's nature, but virtues be alien and untrue to him, why are virtues honoured by him? If vices be genuine and virtue a deception, as you think, why do you call the inventors of that deceiving art sages? How was it possible for man to do good before these sages' appearance on earth?

3. Man is both Good-natured and Bad-natured according to Yan Hiung[1] (Yo-yu).--According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less real than evil, and evil is no more unreal than good. Therefore man must be double-natured-that is, partly good and partly bad. This is the reason why the history of man is full of fiendish crimes, and, at the same time, it abounds with godly deeds. This is the reason why mankind comprises, on the one hand, a Socrates, a Confucius, a Jesus, and, on the other, a Nero and a Kieh. This is the reason why we find to-day a honest fellow in him whom we find a betrayer to-morrow.

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