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By Sallie B. King

A Philosophical learn of the Buddha Nature Treatise and different chinese language Buddhist Texts

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Extra resources for Active Self . A Philosophical Study of the Buddha Nature Treatise and Other Chinese Buddhist Texts

Example text

2 工bid* A concern over an identical incorrect view is found in Yogacarabhumi (T. 30, p. 713b). There too the hol­ der of this incorrect view is identified only as the beginner on the Mahayana path. (Takemura, p. ) Thus, one should not expect to find a written record of this view. ^Ibidw p. 793c. ^ No sooner is this second-level understanding of the two truths proffered, however, than it too is called into question, especially the understanding of supreme truth given therein. Is it sufficient, the author asks, to speak thus of supreme truth as no more than the absence of ownnature?

Thus, the author says, this na­ ture is nothing "fixed" . Over and over again it is emphasized that reality, or that which constitutes reality, is of a dynamic, ever-changing nature. To think of it as "fixed"--whether as being or as non-beingis a basic mis­ take . This of necessity applies to Buddha nature as well. In a sense, ontology takes second place to practical neces­ sity . The primary importance is perceived to be soterio­ logical , the self-transformation of liberation• Ontological notions must fall in line with this matter of superior im­ portance and provide a theoretical explanation as to how self-transformation or change is possible.

Basically, yu means "have" or "there is•11 Wu is the opposite, meaning "lack" or 11there is not" (evidently the oldest form of this char­ acter pictured a forest from which the trees had been cleared by men; see L . Wieger, Chinese Characters, 2nd edition [New York : Dover. 1965]). Thus, anciently, the terms indicated the presence or absence of a thing or things. 11 As Graham says, ”in Indo-European languages a thing simply isr without implying anything outside it. • • . I n Chinese . • . C. Graham, 35 111Being1 in Western Philosophy Compared with Shih/Fei and Yu/Wu in Chinese Philosophy,11 Asia Major 7 [December 1959]: 98 •)— Philosophically, yu and wu early took on the extended, abstract senses of existence and non-existence, something and nothing.

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