Monday, June 17, 2013

482: The Yi Ching continued

As we all know, religion plays an important role in the development of philosophy and science, in our Western philosophy a well known fact.

The developments were either dominated or obstructed by the Church or science tried to free itself from understanding reality, based on religious ideas.

When we think of China we hardly can associate it with some religion, like India can be associated with Hinduism or Arabic countries with the Islam.

Maybe some of you think of Buddhism in relation to China. One reason why we may have trouble to connect a religion with Chinese culture, may be due to Confucius. His attitude towards religion is a kind of agnostic and you just don't discuss it.

Of course there were religious concepts is Chinese metaphysics too.The insufficiency of the dualism which finds expression in this contrast of the Yang and Yin principles, must have made itself felt very early, 

for the Chinese philosophy, as it appears in all the classics, exhibits a decided tendency towards monism. The Yang and Yin are thought to have originated in a process of differentiation from the T'ai Chi, which is "the grand origin," the source of existence . Its symbol is a circle.

Monism means, a philosophy which assumes just one origin of existence, the existence of only one higher entity, unlike a polytheistic philosophy, which assumes the existence of multiple gods.

The T'ai Chi is not mentioned in the body of the
text of the Yi Ching, but is commonly believed to be implied in its secret teaching. This opinion appears to have been established as early as the time of Confucius.

In modern usage the term Tai Chi is now commonly understood, both in the West and in mainland China, to refer to the martial art and exercise system. What is now known as "T'ai Chi " only appears to have received this appellation from around the mid-1800s.

About 230 CE wrote the Chinese scholar Wang Pi: "Existence must begin in non-existence, and therefore the Grand Origin produced the two elementary forms. 

T'ai Chi is the denomination of what has no denomination. As it cannot be named, the text takes the extreme point of anything that exists as an analogous term for the T'ai Chi."

In the diagram to my left behind me the inscriptions in the two large black and white rectangles immediately above the circle read from the right to the left " yin " and "yang,".

If we fold the diagram in the middle we find that the yin and yang differentiations of the great origin cancel one another and the whole world sinks back into nothing, into black.

This symbolizes the omneity of the zero, which will illustrate what Chinese thinkers mean when they speak with reverence of the great nothing, of emptiness, of non-action, of non-existence.  To them it represents the omnipresence of the Deity in the All.

These ideas are formulated by Chou Tze (1017 - 1073 C.E)and his disciple Chu Hi (1130 - 1200 C.E.). The latter wrote a treatise on "The Immaterial Principle (Li) and the Primary matter (K'i)".

As Chi Hi writes: "The great extreme is merely the immaterial principle or  heaven, earth, and all things ; speaking of it with reference to  heaven and earth, then the great extreme may be said to exist within heaven and earth. 

Speaking of it with respect to the myriad of things, then amongst the myriad of things 1 each one possesses a great extreme. The great extreme is not an independent separate existence; 

it is found in the male and female principles of nature, in the five elements, and in the myriad of things. . . . Should any one ask, what is the great extreme ? 

(…)The great extreme is the immaterial principle of the two powers, the four forms, and the eight changes of nature ; we cannot say that it does not exist, and yet there is no form or corporeity that can be ascribed to it."
This is a reference to the Yi Ching.

Here we say again, that almost every culture in its metaphysics creates a believe in an uncaused cause a T'ai Chi. Next step is to personalize this uncaused cause.

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy - Karyn L. Lai, Oxford 2008
Chinese Philosophy, P. Carus, 1902
A Brief History of chinese Philosophy. D.T. Suzuki, 1914

The Discussion

[13:23] herman Bergson: Thank you :-)
[13:24] Debbie DJ: Neat. It has a lovely symmetry about it.
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: yes as symmetric it can be
[13:24] herman Bergson: yes..this male - female principle as the origin of everything....
[13:24] herman Bergson: We have Adam and Eve for that
[13:25] Urbanium: Hello everybody!
[13:25] Abinoam: Hi Urbanium
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: hi Urbanium
[13:25] herman Bergson: Have a seat Urb :-)
[13:25] Urbanium: thank you
[13:25] Debbie DJ: In some ways the idea of yin and yang is embodied in set theory - when you select something it leaves the rest of the universe behind.
[13:26] herman Bergson: What do you mean by that Debbie?
[13:26] Merlin: Oh Deep Debbie
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: hmm
[13:26] herman Bergson: Thought so too Merlin :-))
[13:26] Debbie DJ: Well, when the fire is burning, it is not not burning.
[13:26] Merlin: It is just turning ONE into TWO
[13:27] Debbie DJ: when you think of you, you have to think of not(you)
[13:27] Debbie DJ: i need a BAR (logic negation) here ;)
[13:27] Merlin: hehe Is that a bit of maths Debbie?
[13:27] Merlin: lol
[13:27] Abinoam: lol
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: ehehe
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: complex
[13:28] Merlin: Use != in LSL
[13:28] herman Bergson: Not sure how you relate this to the Yin Yang dualism,, Debbie
[13:28] Debbie DJ: When you study set theory, the universe is defined as everything. when you remove an element, the universe is changed.
[13:28] herman Bergson: It is...
[13:28] Debbie DJ: ok, just an observation
[13:29] .: Beertje :.: true
[13:29] Merlin: It is just a matter of creating a division
[13:29] Merlin: But the number two is the first that is greater than one
[13:29] herman Bergson: Well my observation today was that it is hard to pinpoint a religion on Chinese culture
[13:29] Merlin: and the first that becomes useful
[13:30] Merlin: and as we see with binary once you do that you can create all the numbers
[13:30] Debbie DJ: true merlin.
[13:30] herman Bergson: And tho there is buddhism, this may be due to Confucianism
[13:30] Abinoam: yes, i like that
[13:30] Debbie DJ: And also true Herman.
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:30] herman Bergson: We'll meet Confucius in coming lectures....
[13:31] herman Bergson: and even more interesting is the position of Lao Tze...
[13:31] herman Bergson: And what is interesting tools that there was a kind of believe in a personalized god in those days....
[13:32] herman Bergson: around 1200 CE....
[13:32] herman Bergson: and a monism....
[13:32] herman Bergson: but christianity never became popular in China
[13:32] .: Beertje :.: why not?
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: not their culture?
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: maybe
[13:33] herman Bergson: One of the reasons was that the Chinese have a deep respect for their ancestors and their philosophy.....
[13:33] Abinoam: europeans never conquered china the way they did, say latin america or africa.
[13:33] herman Bergson: The missionaries didn't show such respect at all.....which was rather offending to Chinese culture
[13:34] herman Bergson: Indeed Abinoam...
[13:34] Merlin: Well good for the Chinks then
[13:34] Merlin: (oops)
[13:34] Abinoam: hoorah!
[13:34] Urbanium: yes, but did they ever show any respect?
[13:34] herman Bergson smiles
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:34] herman Bergson: who Urbanium?
[13:35] herman Bergson: Christian missionaries?
[13:35] Urbanium: yes
[13:35] Merlin: I think I know what Urb is saying there
[13:35] herman Bergson: good question :-)
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: aaa
[13:35] Abinoam: in china, or in general?
[13:35] Urbanium: in general
[13:35] .: Beertje :.: qwark!
[13:35] Debbie DJ: If humans are inherently good (ref H. Bergson) did the Chinese philosophy achieved this objective for 5000 years?
[13:35] herman Bergson: can fill in the picture yourself....
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: QWARKIEEE!
[13:36] Bejiita Imako:
[13:36] Qwark Allen: ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°•   Helloooooo!  •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜  
[13:36] Qwark Allen: Hey!
[13:36] Urbanium: yes, I think so
[13:36] Abinoam: some certainly did. there are wonderful stories of missionaries helping the peoples of latin america, helping preserve their heritage etc
[13:36] Abinoam: not all missionaries were jerks
[13:36] Abinoam: pardon my language
[13:36] herman Bergson: Every religion that claims to be the true and only right religion has a destructive side with respect to other ideas
[13:36] Urbanium: that's new to me
[13:37] herman Bergson: That might be true certainly Abinoam....
[13:37] Abinoam: read Bartolome de las Casas book in which he condemns the violence of spanish conquistadors. and he was spanish himself
[13:37] Urbanium: yes? wonderful
[13:37] Abinoam: and a priest, if i'm not mistaken
[13:38] Debbie DJ: One should be fearful of men with guns bringing their gods to you..
[13:38] herman Bergson: You always find individuals opposing to certain kinds of violence also if they belong to the violent party
[13:38] Abinoam: yes, debbie!
[13:38] Qwark Allen: ahahah yes debbie
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: very true
[13:38] herman Bergson: Quite a habit these days, Debbie :-)
[13:38] Qwark Allen: belive or die!
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:39] herman Bergson: Hey Qwark :-)
[13:39] Qwark Allen: :-)
[13:39] Debbie DJ: My god is good - or ill kill you.
[13:39] Abinoam: lol
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: thats how muslim extremists do
[13:39] herman Bergson: yes, very weird behavior of the homo sapiens...
[13:39] Abinoam: yes, sadly that's what it often comes down to
[13:39] Urbanium: the thought that they would fight for god
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: jihad and similar
[13:39] herman Bergson: especially because such god as are only the product of his imagination
[13:39] Debbie DJ: worse than that - my money is good or ill kill you.
[13:39] Urbanium: like in the Old Testament
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: and these damn suicide bombers
[13:40] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:40] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: so tragic everything
[13:40] Qwark Allen: buy or die!!!
[13:40] Abinoam: god is just a personification of their own interests and needs
[13:40] herman Bergson: What I said at the end of my lecture....
[13:40] herman Bergson: it is amazing how the need is felt toe explain the beginning of exiastence....
[13:40] Qwark Allen: for sure consume is the new religion
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes'
[13:40] AbinoamAbinoam nods
[13:40] herman Bergson: Like the Chinese did by calling it T'ai Chi
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: sort of
[13:41] Abinoam: yes, about tai chi...
[13:41] Abinoam: i wanted to ask
[13:41] Qwark Allen: ehheeh look the huge consume temples, and how people are devoted to consume
[13:41] Abinoam: does the modern tai chi have anything at all to do with the classical?
[13:41] Debbie DJ: Its our brains - we need to rationalize our existence
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: and Apple is their god
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:41] Merlin: Well some Christians seem to think the whole of christianity depends on accepting Genesis
[13:41] herman Bergson: No Abinoam.....
[13:42] herman Bergson: the modern T'ai chi is actually called T'ai Chu ch'uan...
[13:42] Abinoam: right
[13:42] Abinoam: so it's a totally different thing
[13:42] herman Bergson: which means something as "the omnipotent fist"
[13:42] Abinoam: ah yes, i read that somewhere
[13:43] herman Bergson: it was around 1850 or so that some official at the court witnessed a demonstration of martial arts....
[13:43] herman Bergson: which had no specific name...
[13:43] Abinoam: i see. how interesting
[13:43] herman Bergson: and he seemed the have used the expression ...
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: aaaa ok
[13:44] herman Bergson: something like...the T'ai chi of the fist or so
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: i guess what we call tai chi is not at all related to that tai chi u name here
[13:44] herman Bergson: Correct, Bejiita
[13:44] herman Bergson: For your information....!!!
[13:44] herman Bergson: I have decided that the next class will be the last one before the summer break :-)
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:45] Qwark Allen: AAHH!!!
[13:45] Qwark Allen: ok
[13:45] herman Bergson: I just want a nice long vacation :-)))
[13:45] Abinoam:
[13:45] Debbie DJ: Oh cool... I'm on holiday the week after for 3 weeks:)
[13:45] herman Bergson: and I guess too :-)
[13:45] Qwark Allen: you deserve it for sure
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:45] Urbanium: I would like to join the class
[13:45] Abinoam: sweet. and when will we resume?
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: will have my vacation in July
[13:45] Qwark Allen: a pitty my rl got to busy at class days
[13:45] herman Bergson: You are most welcome Urbanium...
[13:45] .: Beertje :.: i want a long vacation too..but the question is do I GET it?
[13:46] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:46] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:46] Abinoam: lol
[13:46] Urbanium: thank you
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:46] Debbie DJ: Well, I guess you will be reading Chinese by the end of the Vac Herman?
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:46] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:46] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:46] herman Bergson: Could be indeed Debbie :-)
[13:46] herman Bergson: I already once did....
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:46] Bejiita Imako:
[13:46] herman Bergson: worked my way through Elementary Chinese part 1 and 2 many years ago :-)
[13:47] Qwark Allen: very nice
[13:47] Abinoam:
[13:47] Qwark Allen: so different language
[13:47] Debbie DJ: Debbie bows respectfully...
[13:47] herman Bergson: But I admit...I have to brush up my grey cells again:-)
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: very different
[13:47] Abinoam: yeah, not an easy language to master
[13:47] Qwark Allen: if you have in mind language, make influence in the way you think
[13:47] herman Bergson: Actually I was studying Japanese....
[13:48] herman Bergson: and because I knew a lot of Kanji I wanted to know how Chinese was
[13:48] Qwark Allen: good stuff
[13:48] herman Bergson: It is fascinating
[13:48] Abinoam: excellent
[13:48] Qwark Allen: japanese is not easy also
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: japanese i have easier get words  from, with Chinese its just different sounds, cant make any words out of it at all
[13:48] Debbie DJ: I struggle with new languages ;(
[13:48] Urbanium: they have 3 alphabets
[13:48] herman Bergson: I cant speak Chinese at all...way too difficult
[13:49] herman Bergson: yes Japanese use the Kanji and the hiragana and for loanwords the katakana
[13:49] herman Bergson: that is a big difference with Chinese....
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: one of the few things i know in Chinese is Wo Ai ni wich means same as Ai sshiteru in japanese = I love you
[13:49] Abinoam: aww
[13:49] herman Bergson: In japanese you have conjugations of verbs...
[13:50] Debbie DJ: Neat Bejiita ;) Love you too - lol
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: haha
[13:50] herman Bergson: Well...before we end up in a language course here..:-)
[13:50] Bejiita Imako:
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: (jumphugs Debbie)
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: hehee
[13:50] Qwark Allen: heheheh
[13:50] herman Bergson: Let me invite you for next Thursday and thank you for your participation of today :-)
[13:51] Abinoam: thank you herman, good stuff
[13:51] Debbie DJ: Thanks for a great lecture Herman.
[13:51] Urbanium: sorry, Professor
[13:51] .: Beertje :.: i will be here next thursday it 's way too interesting:)
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: hmm getting more and more interesting this stuff
[13:51] Urbanium: how can I join the group?
[13:51] herman Bergson: just a moment and we'll fix that Urbanium :-)
[13:51] Urbanium: thank you :)
[13:51] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-)
[13:51] Abinoam:
[13:52] Qwark Allen: AAHH!!!
[13:52] Debbie DJ: welcome urbanium..... to our class ;)
[13:52] .: Beertje :.: well we have a lot to think about again
[13:52] Qwark Allen: today i have to finish everything for sl10b buildings
[13:52] Urbanium: thank you very much, Professor
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:52] herman Bergson: Welcome to the group Urbanium :-)
[13:52] Qwark Allen: a lot of things there very interesting
[13:52] Urbanium: thank you
[13:52] Debbie DJ: Go for it qwark - when does it open?
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: nice Urbanium
[13:52] Qwark Allen: this saturday
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:52] .: Beertje :.: can we have an LM Qwark?

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