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Unformatted text preview: CHINA: THE SOCIAL. ORDER AND THE NATURAL ORDER Social Order: r Ca. 12011 B.C.E. the Shang Dynasty had established a royal order much like that of Egypt and Mesopotamia v Kings had a powerful bureaucrach and armies ofpcasantarcher- warriors who also flamed king’s lands in peacetime r Tombs of ancient kings contained much wealth, bronze vessels, jade objects, and polychromed ceramics. Bodies of beheaded slaves who built the tombs were also found Natural Order. - Ancient Chinese believed that a harmonious natural order pervaded the universe I- This natural, creative principle was called Slicing-ti {Lord on High} or Qian (Heaven). '- The substance of the universe and the vital emeryt that pervades human body was called oi (pronoun-iced “kefl r Priests used tortoise shells and animal bones, heated and cracked, to divine the firture :- Chincse worshipped their dead ancestors who were believed to have continuing influence on this life r The I Citing (Book of Changes) was used to interpret signs of the future. '- Yin and Yang, the interaction of two cosmic forces, or modes of energy, was the metaphor symbolizing that the universe is made up of interacting, balancing forces—maleffcmale, hotfcold, hardr'sofi, and so forth Ancient China (conth— ‘ “The Mandate of Heaven” ad the Nannal Hicr‘dchy: r- Shang rulers and their successors claimed to rule as intermediaries between the. earth and the spirit world and that the ruler, in: his I’l'l'fflfllfi' behavior, carries out the wit! ofhemren on earth a Rulers of China were priest-kings who sat on the “Dragon 'I'hronc" which symbolized theunity of physical and spiritual world -- Later Zhou rulers established the world's first merit system for goyenrment service based on educational merit, beginning a long tradition of excellence in learning Confucius (Kong Fuzi, 551-479 B.C.E.): -- Correct behavior and respect for the natural social order was known as Hand was codified in the teachings ofConfiicius known as the Andean 1- Confitcius emphasized the importance of tradition, respect for elders, and exercise of good marmers r ConfiJcius maintained that more! harmony was the root of pnfificflf barraony Daoism (the Way): I- the Dec is considered tire mfg: behind the cosmic energy that resists ~ intellectual analysis ' __ - though the Dec is ineffable (incxpressiblc), a is manifested in the harmony of things; it can be understood only by those who live simply I» Lao Zi (“The Old One“) is considered the author of the Dan De er Elli: If!" nflurn-‘I :‘I'I +l-In. mi]. [fin—J. T1 1"“ 1" The Yin and Yang. ' A cosmological metaphor is the yi'nfyottg principle. This principle, which ancient Chinese emperors called “the foundation of the entire universe,” interprets all of nature as the product of two interacting cosmic forces, or modes of energy, comraonly configured as twin interpenetrating shapes enclosed within a circle The interaction of yang, the male principle {associated with lightness, hardness, hrightn ess, warmth. and the sun), and yin, the female principle {associated with darkness, softness, moismre, coolness, the earth, and the moon}, describes the creative energy of the uni- verse, as well as the order of nature, which, for the Chi- nese, resides in the balance between the forces of hot. and cold, day and night, heaven and earth, male and female, and so on. The circle, a figure with no beginning or end, and the ring or disk, which unifies positive form and negative space, symbolizes these. ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course HUMANITIES hum2271 taught by Professor Richards during the Spring '08 term at Tallahassee Community College.

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