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Lecture 2

EAS100Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Tao Te Ching, Daozang, Chinese Philosophy

East Asian Studies
Course Code
David Chai

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Week 2
Reading#1 The Tang Period
- Taoism went through a great period of expansion, largely because ruler's last name was Li
- claimed Laozi as an ancestor and elevated status of Daoism
- Taoism's stated purpose was the establishment of a Great Peace throughout the empire
- Rebellions were launched to restore an order that had been compromised by a failing dynasty or emperor from whom the
mandate of heaven had been withdrawn
- Gaozong claimed Laozi to be an incarnation of the Primordial Chaos
- Xuanzong made Taoism an official teaching and incorporate it into the civil service exam
- trying to harmonize the 3 teachings, Xuanzong wrote commentaries on Dimond Sutra, Classics of Filial Piety and Daodejing
Lecture#2 Daoism
- plays a very important role in the dev't of Chinese philosophy most importantly on Neo-Confucianism
- not very philosophical but religious; in Tang Daoism is more popular on the local level than others
- Neo-Confucianism borrows a lot of terms that emerged in this period
- Chinese philosophy is about continuity rather than abrupt changes happened in vacuums (western)
- reign relatively short compared to Kangxi and Qianlong
- contribution to dev't of Taoist religion (moving away from philosophy)
Laozi's 2 names: Lao Dan, Li Er >> taboo because same last name with the royal family
- said Li Er is actually their ancestor; trace family history all the way back to Laozi
- give more legitimacy to his reign by relating to a famous philosophy; he's a patriot of Daoism
- official support of the royal family, elevating status of Daoism classics higher than Confucianism
- make Laozi their divine ancestor, make him a god and deified him and made him immortal
- "Supreme Emperor of Primal Mystery" 台上玄元皇帝; doesn't really mean anything
- made the Dao De Jing a part of the state curriculum, built Taoist temples >> more income
- in the middle Tang it will add Zhuang Zi to the civil service exam
- Daoist Canon: encyclopedia of all Daoism works, hundreds of texts; main text w/ diff. commentaries
- btw there's also a Confucius Canon and a Buddhist Canon
- priest given titles and ranks elevating them above Confucians such as Princes; promoting Daoism
- a continuation, he's an actual Daoist priest in the Shang Qing school
- he invited scholars to come to the capital: Chang An & Luo Yang; academic meeting and lecture on Daoist philosophy
- Dao De Jing was carved on stone (happened to Confucian classics in the Han dynasty), require every family to have a Daodejing
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Week 2
- he wrote a commentary on the Daodejing and the Yijing; expansion on the temple on a larger scale
Relationship to Buddhist:
- Daoist are strongly opposed to Confucian "unnatural" ideas; Buddhism was still relatively new, people thought it's a diff. branch
- Buddhists borrowed a lot of Daoist vocabularies to gain support, since it needs to be translated they just use exited terms
- both use charms, form ritual ceremonies, involved in medicine; Chinese medicine is rooted in Daoism; Yin-Yang & 5 elements
- dev't alchemy, burning metal & mixing w/ medicinal products; most famous was gold >> seen as closest thing to heaven
- sharing terms of Existence & Non-Existence; being & non-being; but means diff. thing
- wu in Buddhism = emptiness, emptying out one's mind of consciousness, part of the purification
- you = that of Buddha, the true Buddha; the heart, mind, Buddha
- you in Daoism = everything, all living and non-living things; in time Buddhist work out new terms
- ti = refers to the body of a thing/ substance, physical presence of you is the body; then there must has a use
- yong = function, purpose
- 3 heavens; 3 pure ones; 5 agents (Daoism) vs 4 agents (Buddhism)
- Zhuangzi : Chaos (hundun); Dao gives birth to One, One gives birth to Two...One is Chaos; undifferentiated wholeness
- how the being and non-being come together will determine the substance and its use >> Daoism
- gan-ying: stimulus and response
- the void: things are there but they are never really there
Buddhist when meditating, empty yourself of conscious, you are an empty thing, a shell in which Buddha enters
Daoism it's more about the state of one's being, ontology, existence, the nature of one's substance
- during this time in order to distinguish Daoist w/ Buddhism, the Chinese started to make Dao into something else and becomes
Li (Reason); in this time period it's refering to Dao as cause of the natural ordering of universe (can't be studied b/c changing)
- in Neo-Confucianism, it became the natural ordering that can be studied and know only through human reason
- as humans we have rational mind which allows us to think and makes us superior
- Buddhism sees the truth of reality as a illusion where as Daoism sees it as freedom; 自由; how was it expressed?
- where does Truth come from and who creates Truth? Truth as freedom doesn't come from humanity, but from Dao, only Dao
- if we want to be free, it's not about using logic or scientific methodology, it's means joining & becoming one w/ Dao
- it's freedom only when you accept that things exists the way they do because Dao allows them to be like that
- chaos to being and non-being, that's the danger zone, the start of reason b/c of the dividing and extinguishing
- when two to three you begin naming things, and further away from Dao because it's not one whole anymore
- Buddhism says it's all empty and illusion, Daoist say you need to learn how to experience that oneness instead of dismiss it
- Buddhism use quietism, sitting and meditating in order to meditate mind, Daoism use non-action, not using rational mind
- everything in Daoism is about balance, harmony, everything always reach the middle ground: known as the middle way
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