Home Societal / Political Cross Cultural An Eastern Mind: The Chinese Philosophy of Chuang-Tzu

An Eastern Mind: The Chinese Philosophy of Chuang-Tzu

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Structure, Energy and Materials

Now you may ask, how does one achieve this inner harmony? How can the ancient eastern philosophy help modem people who purse physical and psychological health? Now l must refer to my colleague Lao-Tzu whose words have been collected in the Tao Te Qing. He had developed three elements. As the heavens have three elements – the sun, the moon and the stars – the earth has three elements – the water, the fire and the wind. Human beings also have three elements- Jing Qing Shen – which I would translate as Material, Energy and Structure. The material is our solid body, our flesh, our blood, our hair, our organs. The energy is what flows among the materials – the dynamic of the human body which can be the temperaments, the feelings, the emotions, the sensations. The Structure is a bit complex. It can be the way that energy flows among materials, or the pattern that materials transfer thorough energy. Thus, the Structure has determined how we are different from one another.

If we take a look at Lao-Tzu’s non-action idea, he suggested that the best way to keep harmony among the three elements is Being – that one shall follow the nature as the water follows down the river pathway. Lao-Tzu had illustrated a simple way of being. However, it is too hard to fulfill this ideal status. It is even harder since he did not give a clear way to reach this being, as he suggested. Tao is not to be told. Then we could tum to another philosopher Confucius, who had written Li and Jiao. He believed the way to realize harmony is to teach people how to behave. His concept is all about structures. That perhaps is why for over 2000 years, the Chinese kings all favored his concepts and promoted it. It is always easy to make rules and let people follow.

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