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Dao (Tao)

the way or path; the nameless
-basic concept that cannot be defined
-mystical reality that cannot be grasped by the mind

li (action)

ceremonies, rituals, and rules of proper conduct, in the Confucian tradition


Confucianism stressing the importance of meditation and dedication to becoming a sage, established during the Chinese Song dynasty

qi (ch'i)

the vital energy in the universe and in our bodies according to Chinese cosmology and the Chinese sciences

ren (character)

humanity, benevolence- the central Confucian virtue

wu wei

in Daoism, "not doing," in the sense of taking no action contrary to the natural flow


in Chinese philosophy, the bright, assertive, "male" energy in the universe


in Chinese philosophy, the dark, receptive, "female" energy in the universe


-label invented by scholars and stretched to cover a philosophical tradition

The Dao de jing

"The Classic of the Way and its Power"
-book written for a border guard by Laozi
-350 BCE
-suggest it was an alternative to confucianism
The books central philosophy is a practical concern with improving harmony in life

Daoism: Inner Alchemy

-within our body is the spiritual micro-universe of the "three treasures" necessary for the preservation of life:
1)generative force (jing) 2)vital life force (qi) 3)spirit
These help with breathing techniques, sexual techniques, etc

Daoist Sects

Celestial Master: Zhang Daoling had a vision in with he was appointed representative of the Dao on each and give this title
-He advocated similar practices of healing by faith and developed a quasi-military organization of religious officials
"Highest Purity Daoism": Elite group of celibates, who resided on Mount Mao called their practices this
-They looked down on the Celestial Master tradition
-Complete Perfection: New meditation practices, divine beings, rituals, scriptures, heavens rebirth, and hell
-dominant in monastic schools
-is also the foundation for most Hong Kong Daoist temples and marital arts groups


-the practice of virtue
-sixth century BCE
-Did not begin with Confucius - rather based on ancient Chinese beliefs in Heaven, ancestor worship, and the efficacy of rituals


Created Confucianism: family name was Kong; the Chinese honored him as Kong Fuzi (Master Kong) and called his teachings Rujiao (the teachings of the scholars)


heaven has cosmic order reflected on earth
-relationship to social order

The five relationships

-elder sibling/younger sibling

The Analects

in chapter Iv - Confucuius describes the rare person who is utterly devoted to ten as one who is not motivated by personal profit but by the moral, is concerned with self-improvement rather than public recognition, etc

Life of Confucius

-born 551 BCE during Zhou Dynasty
-death in 479 BCE

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