Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Potpourri of Quotes I

Scott Bradley


As previously mentioned, I have begun reading R.H. Blyth's Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics. And thus far I have to admit that I generally find his arguments hard to follow and his tone more shrill and judgmental than I would prefer. But no matter — like a lot of these works, it's the access to snippets of the original documents contained therein which make them most valuable to me. So here are some random quotes which you might also find thought-provoking. (I am not always sure who or what Blyth is quoting, and indicate this with a question mark.)

"The Way is not difficult; but you must avoid choosing!" (Hsin-Hsin Ming)

"The Way is not far from man; if we take the Way as superhuman, beyond man, this is not the real Way." ("Confucius"; The Doctrine of the Mean)

"The Way is near, but men seek it afar. It is in easy things, but men seek it in difficult things." (Mencius)

"Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." (Shakespeare)

"Every day is a good day" (Unmon)

"Your everyday mind — that is the Way!" (Unmon?)

"Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor. For a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious; and a jest which will not bear serious examination is certainly false wit" (Georgias Leontinus quoted by Aristotle)

“A certain monk said to Hogan, ‘I E-cho ask you, What is the Buddha?” Hogan answered, ‘You are E-cho.’”

“A certain monk asked Hyakujo, ‘What is Truth?’ Hyakujo said, ‘Here I sit on Daiyu Peak!’”

“Chokei said to Hofuku, while pointing at the mountains, ‘Is not this Reality?’ Hofuko said, “It is, but it’s a pity to say so.”

“Words are a wise man’s counters — they do not reckon by them; but they are the money of fools.” (Hobbes)

“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.” (Polonius)

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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