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The modern Chinese Buddhist movement called Wei Shih taught as its fundamental tenet the principle of mentalism. The teachings are identical with and probably derived from the Sanskrit Yogacara school. Its chief centre was at Nanking, and from the doors of its "China Inner Knowledge College" there went forth a number of well-instructed disciples--both monks and laymen--some of whom I had the pleasure of meeting before the war. What has become of so essentially spiritual an institution under the atheistic dominance of present conditions? If it has met the fate of so many others, the balancing contribution which it could make to the new China is alas! no longer available. Some pilgrimages to such centres have been stopped, others discouraged. Some temples have been turned into secular schools. Large numbers of monks have been forced to discard their robes and have been driven back into civilian life. I know that Buddhism generally is regarded as a mere superstition by the Western-science-worshipping minds of today's Chinese youth and leadership. This attitude is both dangerous and fallacious. Although the Buddha, for his own monk-catching reasons, and because of the times and conditions in which he lived, emphasized the pessimistic world-view, and thus presented a one-sided teaching, he was in himself one of the most illumined men who ever lived.


-- Notebooks Category 15: The Orient > Chapter 3: China, Japan, Tibet > # 11






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