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Tang dynasty religions

Tang dynasty religions



A superficial and irreverent look at the changes in Chinese philosophy in the Post Classical Era

A superficial and irreverent look at the changes in Chinese philosophy in the Post Classical Era



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    Tang dynasty religions Tang dynasty religions Presentation Transcript

    • Tang Dynasty Religions Ch-ch-ch-changesa slightly irreverent look at what happens in China
    • Buddhism• Mahayana Strand enters China• Monasteries form and are popular--social benefits for local people• but calls for celibacy and cutting family ties• meets Daoist thought and...
    • Chan Buddhismtwo ways to do it, either directed study of koans or silent illumination
    • KoanWhat does your face look like before you are born if no one can see it? What is the sound of one hand clapping?Where is the space between a sound ending and a new one beginning?
    • Modern KoanIf a tree falls in the woods and there is no person there to hear it, does it make a sound? If you are in a car, traveling at the speed of light, and you turn on your headlights, does anything happen?
    • Theory of the double TruthTruth is present; existence and non-existence arepresent. So where does truth reside? Then same question for enlightenment
    • A good deed entails no retributionaction without effort (natural and spontaneous actions) meets Karma
    • Enlightenment comes from deliberate andpurposeful effort and natural living wait, but you just said... Yep. Paradox
    • Enlightenment is sudden though you should spend time in non-activecontemplation, Enlightenment is a sudden switch
    • Words are useful but limitedYou can’t really describe enlightenment. Words are but an approximation of the idea.
    • There is no other reality than this worldEnlightened people see the hidden “buddha nature” of the world. Ordinary folks just see physical objects.
    • Confucianism doesn’t like this stuff much But is influenced by it...
    • Neo-Confucianism!c’mon people, they aren’t that creative a group of philosophers...
    • Argues for moral standards, familypersonal behavior and social harmony
    • Argues also about the nature of realityTwo elements: Li (the essence or Form) and Qi: the material version of the item. Paging Dr. Plato...
    • Admits there is a soulbut what is it? is it metaphysical? does it connect us to a cosmic family structure?
    • Daoism gets bitterWhy is Buddhism so popular? Why aren’t we popular like Buddhism? How can we be more popular?
    • Tries first for a rip-offDharma=Dao, Nirvana=wuwei...we can do monasteries too...we can be celibate too...
    • Doesn’t work, sobecomes more mystical We can be immortal if we just eat the right combination of herbs andspices...mmm...mushrooms....dude.....the Way is all around us, man....