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A Study of the Probability of Self-Cultivation in Guo Xiang’s “Zhuang Zi Zhu”: Focusing on “Tian-Dao” and “Xin-Xing”
Master Zhuang,Guo Xiang,Self-cultivation,nature mind,Wei Jin Neo-Taoism,Way of heaven,A Commentary on The Book of Master Zhuang,Qi,
|Publication Year :||2008|
Before concretely discussing Guo Xiang’s theory of self-cultivation, we must understand his cosmos or universe theory. In another word, we have to sort out his metaphysical assumptions. The differences of cosmos theory or metaphysical assumptions would result different positions of human beings in the cosmos. Also, it involves different types of theories of self-cultivation.
The theory of self-cultivation definitely involves the enhancement of positive activities or the settlement of negative activities of human beings. No matter the positive or negative activities, all involve the active ability of human beings. This ability, in traditional Chinese philosophy, is often discussed by the concept of “mind”. “Mind” or “mind nature” plays very critical key. In addition, The theory of self-cultivation also involves the question of what have to do, that is how to self-cultivate. According to Chinese traditional philosophy, “mind” includes the abilities of thinking and knowing. If “mind can think”, one can judge and understand the “true knowledge”. Therefore, “how to self-cultivate” involves the discussion of “mind”. Guo Xiang opposed the actions of “learning”, “knowing”, “teaching”. In his other descriptions, he restrictedly acknowledged the positive side of “learning”.
Guo Xiang’s theory of self-cultivation denies the whole creation’s own accord under the concepts of “naturally difference” and “ difference of mind nature”, while it depicts what human beings have to do under the concepts of “self-willed”, “capricious inaction” etc.. Therefore, the writer contends Guo Xiang’s theory of self-cultivation is very restricted under his “A Commentary on The Book of Master Zhuang” for human beings are innately restricted by “naturally difference” and “difference of mind nature”. Accordingly, general people can not become a supreme people in spite how hard one works. In another word, “difference of nature mind” can not be changed. Since people can not surpass the limits of “difference of nature mind”, people have to do inactively in order to naturally comply with “difference of nature mind”. Guo Xiang’s “A Commentary on The Book of Master Zhuang” contends the self-cultivation realms of general and supreme people have been inherently decided. However, the hard working of general or supreme people to achieve self-cultivation is actually to accomplish their “difference of nature mind”. In this meaning, all people are the same.
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