By Eske Møllgaard

This is often the 1st paintings on hand in English which addresses Zhuangzi’s notion as a complete. It offers an interpretation of the Zhuangzi, a booklet in thirty-three chapters that's the most vital choice of Daoist texts in early China. the writer introduces a posh interpreting that exhibits the team spirit of Zhuangzi’s concept, specifically in his perspectives of motion, language, and ethics. by means of addressing methodological questions that come up in examining Zhuangzi, a hermeneutics is constructed which makes realizing Zhuangzi’s spiritual suggestion attainable. A theoretical contribution to comparative philosophy and the cross-cultural research of non secular traditions, the ebook serves as an advent to Daoism for graduate scholars in faith, philosophy, and East Asian experiences.

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Additional resources for An Introduction to Daoist Thought: Action, Language, and Ethics in Zhuangzi (Routledge Studies in Asian Religion and Philosophy)

Example text

Heaven is opposed to the realm below Heaven (tianxia ), that is to say, the world in general and the world of human beings in particular. According to A. C. Graham (1989: 107–11), this split between Heaven (tian) and the realm of man (ren) caused a “metaphysical crisis” in the fourth century . Zhuangzi’s thought is a response to this crisis, but it should be emphasized that for Zhuangzi the split between Heaven and man does not preclude the experience of Heaven; on the contrary, the split is the very condition for this experience.

What remains is “nonunderstanding,” which is not the opposite of understanding but “its inconceivable ground and ungraspable background. . ” Therefore, says Hamacher, “understanding must understand itself from its impossibility” (1996: 2–5). Similarly Zhuangzi claims nonunderstanding as the very condition for understanding, and in particularly for understanding Heaven. Zhuangzi’s discourse is a spiritual exercise that aims to retain this productive element of non-understanding in understanding – and the reader is invited to take part in the exercise.

Seeing this Zigong says to the man: “There are machines for this that can irrigate a hundred plots of land in one day. You’ll use very little energy and see great results. ” The gardener asks 30 THE DRIVE TOWARDS COMPLETION how it works, and Zigong explains the mechanics of a well-sweep (12/52–5). Having heard this the gardener “puts on an indignant look and says with a laugh”: I have heard from my teacher, that if there are mechanical contraptions, then there is sure to be mechanical dealings; when there are mechanical dealings, then there is sure to be a mechanical heart; when a mechanical heart exists in the breast, then the pure and simple is impaired; when the pure and simple is impaired then the spiritual life-force is unsettled.

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