Compiled by scholars at the court of Liu An, king of Huainan, in the second century B.C.E, The Huainanzi is a tightly organized, sophisticated articulation of Western Han philosophy and statecraft. Outlining "all that a modern monarch needs to know," the text emphasizes rigorous self-cultivation and mental discipline, brilliantly synthesizing for readers past and present the full spectrum of early Chinese thought. The Huainanzi locates the key to successful rule in a balance of broad knowledge, diligent application, and the penetrating wisdom of a sage. It is a unique and creative synthesis of Daoist classics, such as the Laozi and the Zhuangzi; works associated with the Confucian tradition, such as the Changes, the Odes, and the Documents; and a wide range of other foundational philosophical and literary texts from the Mozi to the Hanfeizi. The product of twelve years of scholarship, this remarkable translation preserves The Huainanzi's special rhetorical features, such as parallel prose and verse, and showcases a compositional technique that conveys the work's powerful philosophical appeal. This path-breaking volume will have a transformative impact on the field of early Chinese intellectual history and will be of great interest to scholars and students alike.
The book goes on to explore the relationship of moral, intellectual, and political authority in the first century of the Han dynasty, a period when the regime sought to monopolize all moral and intellectual authority."--BOOK JACKET.
In 2010, the editors of this volume completed the first unabridged English-language translation of the Huainanzi, opening exciting new pathways in the study of philosophy, Asian studies, political science, and Asian literature. This abridgement contains essential selections from each of the Huainanzi's twenty-one chapters and adds a new introduction and chapter descriptions. The text represents a remarkable synthesis of Daoist classics, such as the Laozi and the Zhuangzi; books associated with the Confucian tradition, such as the Changes, the Odes, and the Documents; and a range of other foundational philosophical and literary works, from the Mozi to the Hanfeizi. The abridgement preserves the Huainanzi's special rhetorical features, such as its parallel prose, verse, and unique compositional techniques. The Essential Huainanzi continues to increase awareness of this brilliant work and change our understanding of early Chinese history.
My dissertation “Writing as Weaving: Intertextuality and the Huainanzi’s Self-Fashioning as an Embodiment of the Way” re-evaluates the current treatment of the Huainanzi, a text that Liu An, the king of Huainan, presumably presented in 139 BCE at his inaugural visit to his nephew Emperor Wu, as a collection of philosophical treatises. It showcases how the authors of this highly intertextual scripture fashioned the text as a powerful manifestation of the Way (dao). In the first part of the dissertation, I demonstrate that the Huainanzi employs at least the three images of a tree’s root, a chariot wheel’s hub, and a weaving texture that are commonly associated with the cosmos and the power of the Dao to create a homology between the Liu clan’s scripture, the sage, and the Way. Hence, I propose that the authors of the Huainanzi apparently fashioned the text in image of the force that underlies the organization of the universe. In the second part of the dissertation, I demonstrate with the example of weaving that the Huainanzi does not only contain passages that depict the text in homological terms with the Way. Based on a perceived correlation of the practices of writing and weaving during the Han dynasty, I suggest that the producers of the Huainanzi in fact implemented the cosmic process of weaving in the scripture’s design and intertextual writing practice. In other words, by inserting and connecting various traces of the words of pre-Han writers in its texture, the Liu clan’s scripture presents itself both as being in image and as an embodiment of the Way and its powers—of the very force that connects and weaves together the celestial patterns and terrestrial forms into a cosmic texture. Consequently, I finally speculate that the authors of the Huainanzi might have created the Liu clan’s scripture in image and as an embodiment of the Way in order to produce a textual artifact that belongs to the universally resonating category of the Dao, which underlies the order and orchestration of the universe.
The Huainanzi has in recent years been recognized by scholars as one of the seminal works of Chinese thought at the beginning of the imperial era, a summary of the full flowering of early Taoist philosophy. This book presents a study of three key chapters of the Huainanzi, "The Treatise on the Patterns of Heaven," "The Treatise on Topography," and "The Treatise on the Seasonal Rules," which collectively comprise the most comprehensive extant statement of cosmological thinking in the early Han period. Major presents, for the first time, full English translations of these treatises. He supplements the translations with detailed commentaries that clarify the sometimes arcane language of the text and presents a fascinating picture of the ancient Chinese view of how the world was formed and sustained, and of the role of humans in the cosmos.
Events on Wall Street and Main Street reveal that some business leaders make dramatically unethical selfserving decisions that ignore the public interest. How can business schools educate future business leaders to make ethical decisions? Unfortunately, most business schools fail in teaching ethical decisionmaking. They erroneously assume that such decisionmaking is primarily conscious and reasonbased, reflecting the western cultural orientation toward science and logic. In this book, Thomas Culham cites neurological findings showing that unconscious processes and emotions play a much more significant role than reason in making ethical decisions. Culham urges business schools to teach a modified form of emotional intelligence, linked with researchsupported contemplative practices from the great meditative traditions. This book details the author's ethics curriculum and explains its successful application at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. This fascinating, interdisciplinary, and highly practical curriculum integrates philosophy (virtue ethics), Daoist thinking, psychology, and neuroscience. This curriculum intends to transform the way business schools teach decision making. Such an effort might just transform the way we do business.
Ouyi Zhixu (1599–1655) was an eminent Chinese Buddhist monk who, contrary to his contemporaries, believed karma could be changed. Through vows, divination, repentance rituals, and ascetic acts such as burning and blood writing, he sought to alter what others understood as inevitable and inescapable. Drawing attention to Ouyi's unique reshaping of religious practice, Living Karma reasserts the significance of an overlooked individual in the modern development of Chinese Buddhism. While Buddhist studies scholarship tends to privilege textual analysis, Living Karma promotes a balanced study of ritual practice and writing, treating Ouyi's texts as ritual objects and his reading and writing as religious acts. Each chapter addresses a specific religious practice—writing, divination, repentance, vows, and bodily rituals—offering first a diachronic overview of each practice within the history of Chinese Buddhism and then a synchronic analysis of each phenomenon through close readings of Ouyi's work. This book sheds much-needed light on a little-known figure and his representation of karma, which proved to be a seminal innovation in the religious thought of late imperial China.
By blending multiple strands of thought into one ideology, Chinese Syncretists of the pre-imperial period created an essential guide to contemporary ideas about self, society, and government. Merging traditions such as Ruism, Mohism, Daoism, Legalism, and Yin-Yang naturalism into their work, Syncretists created an integrated intellectual approach that contrasts with other, more specific philosophies. Presenting the first full English translation of the earliest example of a Syncretist text, this volume introduces Western scholars to both the brilliance of the syncretic method and a critical work of Chinese leadership. Written by Shi Jiao, China's first syncretic thinker, during the Warring States Period of 481 to 221 BCE, Shizi is similar to Machiavelli's The Prince in that it dispenses wisdom to would-be rulers. It stresses the need for leaders to be detached and objective. It further encourages self-cultivation and effective government, recommending that rulers maintain self-discipline, hire reliable people, delegate power transparently, and promote others in an orderly fashion. The people, it is argued, will emulate their leader's wisdom and virtue, and a just and peaceful state will result. Paul Fischer provides an extensive introduction and a chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis of the text—outlining the importance of syncretism in Chinese culture—and explores the text's particular features, authorship, transmission, loss, and reconstruction over time. The Shizi set the stage for a long history of syncretic endeavor in China, and its study provides insight into the vital traditions of early Chinese philosophy. It is also a template for interpreting other well-known works, such as the Confucian Analects, the Daoist Laozi, the Mohist Mozi, and the Legalist Shang jun shu.
This exciting new edition of Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture gives a clear, detailed, and accessible presentation of the main features of constitutional Five Element acupuncture. It covers the context and history of this form of acupuncture, as well as the relevant Chinese medicine theory. After examining the Elements themselves and the functions of the Organs, the book explores the basis of diagnosis in Five Element acupuncture, possible blocks to treatment and the treatment itself. It puts this style of treatment into the context of other styles of acupuncture treatment — especially Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as it is used in the West today. Features The Five Elements referred to in the title are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Gives a clear, detailed and accessible presentation of the main features of Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture treatment. Covers the context and history of this form of acupuncture, as well as the relevant Chinese medicine theory. Includes an unambiguous description of the principle aspects of diagnosis within a system, ironing out inconsistencies often present in discussions of these aspects. This edition has been thoroughly revised throughout and includes a new and improved colour page design. Quotes from the foreword to the first edition by Peter Eckman, San Francisco: "...the authors have shown how their approach can even integrate with TCM findings to treat patients more completely and rapidly. As the case histories illustrate, Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture is a style of practice that is second to none, and this innovative text is an excellent resource for learning it"
Only by inhabiting Dao (the Way of Nature) and dwelling in its unity can humankind achieve true happiness and freedom, in both life and death. This is Daoist philosophy's central tenet, espoused by the person—or group of people—known as Zhuangzi (369?-286? B.C.E.) in a text by the same name. To be free, individuals must discard rigid distinctions between good and bad, right and wrong, and follow a course of action not motivated by gain or striving. When one ceases to judge events as good or bad, man-made suffering disappears and natural suffering is embraced as part of life. Zhuangzi elucidates this mystical philosophy through humor, parable, and anecdote, deploying non sequitur and even nonsense to illuminate a truth beyond the boundaries of ordinary logic. Boldly imaginative and inventively worded, the Zhuangzi floats free of its historical period and society, addressing the spiritual nourishment of all people across time. One of the most justly celebrated texts of the Chinese tradition, the Zhuangzi is read by thousands of English-language scholars each year, yet only in the Wade-Giles romanization. Burton Watson's pinyin romanization brings the text in line with how Chinese scholars, and an increasing number of other scholars, read it.
This book traces the evolving uses of writing to command assent and obedience in early China, an evolution that culminated in the establishment of a textual canon as the foundation of imperial authority. Its central theme is the emergence of this body of writings as the textual double of the state, and of the text-based sage as the double of the ruler. The book examines the full range of writings employed in early China, such as divinatory records, written communications with ancestors, government documents, the collective writings of philosophical and textual traditions, speeches attributed to historical figures, chronicles, verse anthologies, commentaries, and encyclopedic compendia. Lewis shows how these writings served to administer populations, control officials, form new social groups, invent new models of authority, and create an artificial language whose master generated power and whose graphs became potent objects.
In early China, was it correct for a woman to disobey her father, contradict her husband, or shape the public policy of a son who ruled over a dynasty or state? According to the Lienü zhuan, or Categorized Biographies of Women, it was not only appropriate but necessary for women to step in with wise counsel when fathers, husbands, or rulers strayed from the path of virtue. Compiled toward the end of the Former Han dynasty (202 BCE-9 CE) by Liu Xiang (79-8 BCE), the Lienü zhuan is the earliest extant book in the Chinese tradition solely devoted to the education of women. Far from providing a unified vision of women's roles, the text promotes a diverse and sometimes contradictory range of practices. At one extreme are exemplars resorting to suicide and self-mutilation as a means to preserve chastity and ritual orthodoxy. At the other are bold and outspoken women whose rhetorical mastery helps correct erring rulers, sons, and husbands. The text provides a fascinating overview of the representation of women's roles in early legends, formal speeches on statecraft, and highly fictionalized historical accounts during this foundational period of Chinese history. Over time, the biographies of women became a regular feature of dynastic and local histories and a vehicle for expressing and transmitting concerns about women's social, political, and domestic roles. The Lienü zhuan is also rich in information about the daily life, rituals, and domestic concerns of early China. Inspired by its accounts, artists across the millennia have depicted its stories on screens, paintings, lacquer ware, murals, and stone relief sculpture, extending its reach to literate and illiterate audiences alike.
When Freudian sexual theory hit China in the early 20th century, it ran up against competing models of the mind from both Chinese tradition and the new revolutionary culture. Chinese theorists of the mind—both traditional intellectuals and revolutionary psychologists— steadily put forward the anti-Freud: a mind shaped not by deep interiority that must be excavated by professionals, but shaped instead by social and cultural interactions. Chinese novelists and film directors understood this focus and its relationship to Mao's revolutionary ethos, and much of the literature of twentieth-century China reflects the spiritual qualities of the revolutionary mind. From Ah Q to Lei Feng investigates the continual clash of these contrasting models of the mind provided by Freud and revolutionary Chinese culture, and explores how writers and filmmakers negotiated with the implications of each model. .