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grounds, be it noted, are laid down on psychological evidence on the testimony of consciousness. And both grounds were put forward by Gotama in his very first sermon.1 The standard formula for the latter only is reproduced in our Manual. And it is interesting to see the same argument clothed in fresh dress in the dialogue with Milinda referred to above. The point made is this: that if any one of the skandhas could be identified with a self or soul, it would, as not subject to the conditions of phenomena, act through any other faculty it chose. It would be a principle, not only of the nature of what we should call will, but also of genuine free will.3 Soul and Free Will, for the Buddhist, stand or fall together. But, he said, what we actually find is no such free agency. We only find certain organs (doors), with definite functions, natural sequence, the line of least resistance and association.1 Hence we conclude there is no transcendent 'knower' about us.
Here I must leave the Buddhist philosophy of mind and theory of intellection. We are only at the threshold of its problems, and it is hence not strange if we find them as baffling as, let us say, our own confused usage of many psychological terms-feeling, will, mind-about which we ourselves greatly differ, would prove to an inquiring Buddhist. If I have not attempted to go into the crux of the sankhara-skandha, it is because neither the Manual nor its Commentary brings us any nearer to a satisfactory hypothesis. For future discussion, however, the frequent enumerations of that skandha's content, varying with every changing mood, should prove pertinent. In every direction there is very much to be done. And each addition to the texts edited brings new light. Nor can philosophic interest fail in the long-run to accumulate about a system
1 Vin. i. 14;= M. i. 138, 300; S. iii. 66; cf. iv. 34. 2 P. 257 et seq.
3 Cf. the writer's article on the Vedalla Suttas, J. R. A. S., April, 1894. Mil., loc. cit. f
of thought which at that early time of day took up a task requiring such vigour and audacity—the task, namely, of opposing the prevailing metaphysic, not because problems of mind did not appeal to the founders of that system, but because further analysis of mind seemed to reveal a realm of law-governed phenomenal sequence for which the ready hypothesis of an unconditioned permanent Self super grammaticam was too cheap a solution.
On the Buddhist Notions of 'Good, Bad, and Indeterminate.' By way of dhammā, rūpam and cittam, by way of Buddhist phenomenology and psychology, we come at last to the ethical purport of the questions in the Manual. Given a human being known to us by way of these phenomenal states, what is implied when we say that some of them are good, some bad, others neither?
The Dhamma-Sangani does not, to our loss be it said, define any one of these concepts. All it does is to show us the content of a number of 'thoughts' known as one or the other of these three species of dhammā. In a subsequent passage (pp. 345-348) it uses the substantival form of 'good' (ku salata; another form is kosallam) in the sense of skill or proficiency as applied to various kinds of insight, theoretical or practical.
Now if we turn to the later expression of old tradition in the Commentaries, we find, on the one hand, an analysis of the meaning of 'good'; on the other, the rejection of precisely that sense of skill, and of that alone out of four possible meanings, with respect to 'good' as used in Book I. Kusalam, we read, may mean (a) wholesome, (b) virtuous, (c) skilful, (d) felicific, or productive of happy result. The illustrations make these clear statements clearer. E.g. of (a), from the Dasaratha Jātaka: 'Is it good for you, sir, is it wholesome ?' Of (b) 'What, sir, is good
1 Asl. 38.
2 The two adjectives are kusalam, anamayam.
behaviour in act? Sire, it is conduct that is blameless (ana vajjo).' Of (c) 'You are good at knowing all about the make of a chariot."1 Again: The four girl-pupils are good at singing and dancing.' Of (d) Good states, brethren, are acquired through good karma having been wrought and stored up.'
Of these four, (c) is alone ruled out as not applicable to the eight types of good thoughts constituting dhammā kusala. In so far, then, as we suffer the Buddhist culture of the fifth century to interpret the canon for us, ' good,' in the earlier ethics, meant that which insures soundness, physical and moral, as well as that which is felicific.
The further question immediately suggests itself, whether Buddhism held that these two attributes were at bottom identical. Are certain states' intrinsically good, i.e., virtuous and right, independently of their results? Or is 'good,' in the long-run at least, felicitous result, and only on that account so called? Are Buddhists, in a word, Intuitionists, or are they Utilitarians? Or is not a decidedly eclectic standpoint revealed in the comprehensive interpretation given of ku salam?
These are, however, somewhat modern-I am tempted to say, somewhat British-distinctions to seek in an ancient theory of morals. They do not appear to have troubled Buddhism, early or late. The Buddhist might possibly have replied that he could not conceive of any thought, word, or deed as being intrinsically good and yet bad in its results, and that the distinction drawn by the Commentator was simply one of aspects.
If pressed, however, we can almost imagine the Buddhist well content with the relative or dependent good of Utilitarianism, so closely is his ethics bound up with cause and effect. Good, for him, is good with respect to karma -that is, to pleasurable effect or eudæmonia.
With respect to the supremely good effect, to arahatship
1 Cf. M. ii. 94.
or Nirvana, he might, it is true, have admitted a difference, namely, that this state was absolutely good, and not good because of its results. It was the supreme Result or Fruit, and there was 'no beyond.' But then he did not rank Nirvana exactly in the category of good, and precisely for this reason, that in it moral causation culminated and ceased. He spoke of it as Indeterminate, as without result-as a Freedom, rather than as a Good.
He would not then have fallen in with Aristotle's definition of Good in terms of aim, viz., as that at which everything aims.' Good was rather the means by and with which we aim. But that at which we aim is, in all lower quests, Sukham, in the one high quest, Vimutti (emancipation), or Nirvana.
Nor must the substitution of these two last terms for that well-being, that well-ness, Tò eù v,' which is the etymological equivalent of sukham, be taken as indicating the limit of the consistent Hedonism or Eudæmonism of the Buddhist. For he did not scruple to speak of these two also (Emancipation and Nirvana) in terms of pleasurable feeling. Gotama attaining his supreme enlightenment beneath the Bo-tree is said to have ' experienced Emancipation-bliss' (vimutti-sukhapatisam vedi).2 And to King Milinda the Sage emphatically declares Nirvana to be 'absolute (or entire) happiness' (ekanta-sukham). And we know, too, that Buddhism defined all right conduct and the sufficient motive for it in terms of escape from ill (dukkham, the antithesis of sukham) or suffering. Here then again their psychological proclivity is manifested. They analyzed feeling, or subjective experience, into three modes: sukham, dukkham, adukkham-asukham. And in Good and Bad they saw, not ends or positions of attainment, but the vehicles or agencies, or, to speak less in abstractions, the characteristic mark of those kinds of
1 Cf. p. 12, n. 3. 3 Mil. 313.
2 Vin. i. 2, 3, quoted Jāt. i. 77.
conduct, by which well-being or ill-being might respectively be entailed.
The Buddhist, then, was a Hedonist, and hence, whether he himself would have admitted it or not, his morality was dependent, or, in the phrase of British ethics, utilitarian, and not intuitionist. Hedonist, let us say, rather than eudæmonistic, because of the more subjective (psychological) import of the former term. And he found the word sukham good enough to cover the whole ground of desirability, from satisfaction in connexion with sensecompare Buddhaghosa's traveller refreshed obtaining both joy and ease1-up to the ineffable Content' of Nirvana.2 He did not find in it the inadequacy that some moral philosophers have found in our 'Pleasure.' His ethical system was so emphatically a study of consequences-of karma and vipaka (effect of karma)-of seeing in every phenomenon a reaping of some previous sowing—that the notion of good became for him inevitably bound up with result. As my late master used to say (ex cathedrá) : If you bring forward consequences-how acts by way of result affect self and others-you must come to feeling. Thence pleasure becomes prominent. And did not folk suffer loose, lower associations to affect their judgment, there would be no objection to Hedonism. For pleasures are of all ranks, up to that of a good conscience.'
A reflection may here suggest itself to readers in this country who have, at the feet of Spencer, Bain, and Leslie Stephen, learnt to see, behind Nature's device of Pleasurable Feeling, the conservation of the species-' quantity of life, measured in breadth as well as in length 'as the more fundamental determinant of that which, in the longrun, becomes the end of conduct. Namely, that there seems a strange contradiction in a philosophic position which is content to find, in the avoidance of pain and the quest of pleasurable feeling, its fundamental spring of
1 Below, p. 12, n. 3.
2 Santutthi. See p. 358, n. 2.