Unformatted text preview: Daoism
East Asian Civilizations
September 20, 2010 Political context
Political context Schools of thought offering practical approaches to government: Confucianism
Mohism from Mozi
Legalism Daoism as a reaction against government Nature of texts
Nature of texts Major texts: Daodejing (Classic of Integrity and the Way) 道道道
by Lao Zi 道道 , the “old master”
by Lao Zi Zhuang Zi 道道 by author of same name.
道道 by author of same name. Neiye 道道 (Internal Enterprise) – recently discovered. Ca. 300 BCE Multiple authorship and layering of texts Traditional accounts Traditional accounts of authors Lao Zi. Lao Dan, southern China, between late 5th and early 3rd c. BCE Zhuang Zi. Zhuang Zhou, 4th c. BCE Daoism as critique
Daoism as critique Inadequacy of language:
Those who know do not speak; Those who speaks does not know. (#56)
The Way is what the mouth cannot speak, what the eyes cannot see, what the ears cannot hear (Internal Enterprise, 80) Morality:
When the great Way declined,
There was humaneness and rightness
When intelligence and wisdom emerged, There was great artifice.
When the six relations were no longer harmonious,
There were filial children.
When the realm fell into disorder,
There were loyal ministers. (#18) What is dao?
What is Way or road:
The Way that can be spoken of is not the constant Way; the name that can be named is not the constant name. (#1)
The empty, elusive, uncarved block:
The Way is for ever nameless.
Though the uncarved block is small
No one in the world dare claim its allegiance. (#32) The functioning of dao
The functioning of Role of ignorance:
Therefore the ordering of the sage empties their minds,
fills their bellies, weakens their ambitions, strengthens their bones. (#3) Wuwei 无无
Wuwei Nonaction elimination of striving or distinctions: He does nothing (wuwei), and there is nothing that is not brought to order. (end of #3)
Therefore the sage accomplishes things by doing nothing, furthering a teaching that is without words. (2)
I know that in doing nothing there is advantage. The wordless teaching and the advantage of doing nothing there are few in the world who understand this.! (43) Polarities and the rule of opposites:
Turning back is how the way moves; Weakness is the means the way employs. The myriad creatures in the world are born from something, and something from nothing. (#40)
Flux of the universe: Between Heaven and Earth – how like a bellows! Vacuous but inexhaustible, Moving and producing ever more. (5) Influence of Daoism
Influence of Daoism Later “Daoist” religion. Multiple gods; concern with health and longetivity.
Path to power for scholars and soldiers. Political context
Political context Is Daoism political?
Focus on health and longevity Han dynasty popular movements
Alchemy Discovery of gunpowder Influence on Influence on culture and art ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2012 for the course HIST 106B taught by Professor Chaffey during the Fall '11 term at Binghamton.
- Fall '11