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3 Streams Of Thought In China


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The basis of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism in China.

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3 Streams Of Thought In China

  1. 1. What do Ancient Philosophies have to do with us? <ul><li>World View is philosophical ideas of being, a culture’s beliefs about its place in the cosmos; beliefs about the nature of humanity; manifested in… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Philosophy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Religion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Art </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of space and time </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. U.S. World View <ul><li>Individual is more important than group </li></ul><ul><li>Materialistic </li></ul><ul><li>Future time orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Doing rather than being </li></ul><ul><li>Belief in Supreme Being </li></ul><ul><li>Science and Technology important </li></ul><ul><li>Get identity from work </li></ul>
  3. 3. East Asian World View informed by 3 streams of thought <ul><li>Confucianism teaches: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>relationship with others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Buddhism teaches: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inner cultivation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Taoism teaches: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship with nature </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Confucianism was official policy: <ul><li>In China for 2,000 years </li></ul><ul><li>In Korea for 500 years </li></ul><ul><li>In Japan for 250 years </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore ingrained into East Asia thought </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethico-political doctrine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic value system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful in maintaining a stable Chinese state </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Confucian Ethic places… <ul><li>Emphasis on Family </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The family experience teaches us how to interact with the larger world </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on Education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Education brings honor and financial stability to the family </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Self-Cultivation <ul><li>The Fully Realized Human </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Respectfulness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tolerance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trustworthiness in word </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quickness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generosity </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Family/Social Dimension <ul><li>Five Relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reciprocity </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Education Dimension <ul><li>The fully developed human </li></ul>
  9. 9. Moral Dimension <ul><li>“Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Analects, XII, 17 </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Political Dimension <ul><li>“To govern is to correct. If you set an example by being correct, who would dare to remain incorrect”. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Analects, XII:17 </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Spiritual Dimension <ul><li>“You do not understand even life. How can you understand death?” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Analects, XI;12 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Western military challenge changed thought <ul><li>May fourth Movement, 1919 was response to West </li></ul><ul><li>Blamed traditional culture & Confucianism for making China stagnant & backward </li></ul><ul><li>Leaders of May 4 movement chose to obliterate old culture in order to modernize </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Revolution, 1966-76, further eroded Confucian thought </li></ul>
  13. 13. Contemporary Confucianism <ul><li>Late 1970s –open door policy </li></ul><ul><li>1986 Contemporary Confucianism designated a national project </li></ul><ul><li>Now Confucianism believed commensurate with Protestant ethic in terms of role in rise of capitalism </li></ul>
  14. 14. You Tube with Daniel Bell <ul><li> </li></ul>
  15. 15. Los Angeles Times article <ul><li>,0,7088320.story </li></ul>
  16. 16. International Herald Tribune <ul><li> </li></ul>
  17. 17. Taoist Values <ul><li>Nature should be befriended, not conquered </li></ul>
  18. 18. Taoist Values <ul><li>Eschews dichotomies </li></ul>
  19. 19. Taoist Values <ul><li>Pacifism </li></ul>
  20. 20. Taoist Values <ul><li>Spontaneity & naturalness </li></ul>
  21. 21. Types of Taoists <ul><li>Philosophical or Literati Taoists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wu Wei </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Types of Taoists <ul><li>Medical/self-cultivating Taoists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximize Chi </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Types of Taoists <ul><li>Religious/communal Taoists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Harnessing higher powers for humane ends </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Buddhist Values <ul><li>Compassion </li></ul><ul><li>Suppression of ego </li></ul><ul><li>Living for others </li></ul>
  25. 25. 3 poisons in Buddhism <ul><li>Delusion </li></ul><ul><li>Craving </li></ul><ul><li>Hostility </li></ul>
  26. 26. 5 precepts of Buddhism <ul><li>Do not kill </li></ul><ul><li>Do not steal </li></ul><ul><li>Do not lie </li></ul><ul><li>Do not be unchaste </li></ul><ul><li>Do not take drugs or drink intoxicants </li></ul>
  27. 27. Buddhism in China <ul><li>Arrived from India 1 st or 2 nd century CE </li></ul><ul><li>Clashed with Confucianism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Redemptive power of charity & good works </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Buddhist Temple activity <ul><li> </li></ul>
  29. 29. Basic Tenats of Buddhism <ul><li>Four noble truths </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Life is dukkha—suffering—life as typically lived is out of joint which restricts movement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The cause of suffering is desire for private fulfillment (ego oozing like a sore) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We overcome suffering by letting go of desire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We let go of desire by following eightfold path </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Eightfold path <ul><li>Right knowledge (of 4 noble truths) </li></ul><ul><li>Right aspiration (decide what we want) </li></ul><ul><li>Right speech (truth & charity) </li></ul><ul><li>Right behavior (see 5 precepts) </li></ul><ul><li>Right livelihood/occupation </li></ul><ul><li>Right effort (moral exertion) </li></ul><ul><li>Right mindfulness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ All we are is the result of what we have thought” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Right absorption </li></ul>
  31. 31. The little creek…not religion, not philosophy, but local traditions <ul><li>It nourishes the spirit in… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The search for meaning in contemporary China </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Common Spiritual heritage <ul><li>Centered on family </li></ul><ul><li>Pivots on recognition of vital energy—Qi-animating all reality </li></ul><ul><li>World is a sacred place of power & mystery </li></ul><ul><li>Humans must cooperate with the power & make it operative in society </li></ul>
  33. 33. So how does all this apply to us???
  34. 34. Buddhism promotes <ul><li>Compassion </li></ul><ul><li>Suppression of ego </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Individual </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>National </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Living for others </li></ul><ul><li>Joy </li></ul>
  35. 35. Confucianism stresses <ul><li>Strong family </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Civil treatment of others </li></ul>
  36. 36. Taoism stresses <ul><li>Pacifism </li></ul><ul><li>Naturalness </li></ul><ul><li>Working with nature </li></ul><ul><li>Eschewing dichotomies </li></ul>
  37. 37. These are qualities the West needs, has too little of, and should learn.
  38. 38. Religious freedom or restriction <ul><li>1982 Document 19 on religious policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Declared 5 religions legitimate: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Buddhism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Daoism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Catholicism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Protestantism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Islam </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Document is ambiguous & enforcement capricious </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Buddhist temples <ul><li>Government funds used to restore temples destroyed during Cultural Revolution </li></ul><ul><li>New temples constructed with private funds by monks & nuns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gives donors merit through contributions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important to participate in moral revival of China </li></ul></ul>