Three Types of Philosophical Wisdom

Thomé H. Fang

Trans. Suncrates and Sandra Wawrytko


I. Explication of Terminology

1. In the beginning there was the significance, [1] and the significance was without name. Vª sª nª (fumigation) [2] generates the energy and function (virya and rª sa) whereby it has come to manifest itself as feeling and reason.

1.1 Feeling and reason [eros and logos] constitute the primal ideas in the discursive system of philosophy. The concretion of feeling depends upon reason, and the origination of reason depends upon feeling, thus operating wondrously as in a magical chain of mutual implication of essential relativity. Their proper realms (spheres), their interlinks, and their unifying fusions can be intuited—though hardly expressible in words. [3]

1.2 Philosophy is the endeavour to encompass the totality of feeling and reason prevalent in the various worlds of actualities and possibilities, in order to inquire into their original sources, to search for their essential truths, and to exhaust to the utmost their ultimate mysteries.

1.3 In the world of philosophical vision there is the supreme feeling; those who are devoid of feeling are kept far from the main entrance of philosophy as the gateway to the Dharmadhª tu (Realm of Truth). In the world of philosophical vision there is perfect reason; those who are contrary to reason are detained thereat right before the main entrance of the same. Neither can be admitted.

2. The philosopher is one who, measuring all things in life by the fair measure of feeling and reason, can in spirit and thought journey through the worlds both of actualities and possibilities, and thus is capable of profound achievements.

2.1 The combined world of feeling and reason is characterized as remote or close, deep or shallow, fine or coarse, manifest or latent, etc. Those who are outside it are in no position whatever to fathom it; yet those who have entered into it are distinguished in status according to the varying degrees of their achievement in learning, meditation, and practice. Hence arises the distinction of philosophers as greater or lesser in stature.

2.2 Human life is made possible by endowment with feeling; human existence is made possible by concordance with reason. Originally, life and existence per se are the basic human rights; The efficacy and function of philosophy, therefore, pervade the entire cosmos. Whoever opposes philosophy and leads an unmindful way of life and existence is always caught in the abyss of avidyª (ignorance); and avidyª ~ is the source of great trouble for humankind!

3. The human being is born with consciousness which, if discriminating in feeling and concordant with reason, delineates itself as ª na (intelligence). Whatever is perceived thereby is called a visaya (world or horizon); the visª ya is embodied with the laksª nas (character-forms); to percieve those laksanas under the form of the Bhutatathata (Ultimate Reality) is called the symbolic power of intelligence (ª na-dharani). The human being is born with impulse [4] which, if commensurate with feeling and congruent with reason, delineates itself as prajñª (wisdom). Whatever is apprehended thereby is called a dhatu (realm or sphere); the dhatu is filled with the vir-skandhas (essences-aggregates); to apprehend the vir-skandhas in light of the Vir-Samª sa-Citta (All-Comprehensive-Mind-Essence) is the act-deed of wisdom (prajñª -karmas).

3.1 Originally intelligence and wisdom are not two separate "things," because of the unity [by primary fusion] of feeling and reason. [5] Consciousness is accompanied by impulses; impulses in turn transform with consciousness. Intelligence, integrating impulses in commensuration with feeling and in congruence with reason, produces the mahª -prajñ~ -pª ramit~ (salvation by great wisdom); impulses, following intelligence for enjoyment of reason and fro satisfaction of feeling, generates the mahª -ª na-mukti (liberation by great intelligence). Thus, to produce the maha-prajñª -pª ramitª and to generate the maha-jñ~ na- mukti are the philosopher’s business; for essentially the mahª -prajñª -pª ramit~ and the maha-jnana-mukti are both the philosopher’s ultimate commitment.

3.2 Inasmuch as there are right or erroneous modes of consciousness, there is true or false intelligence; inasmuch as there are pure or impure kinds of impulse, there is perfect or imperfect wisdom. Aim to elucidate the reason of things as they are in light of tathatª (thusness), thus approaching towards the true intelligence; and to transform the feeling of dispositions as they can become in process of transmutation, thus abid-ing by the perfect wisdom. This makes the philosopher’s ideal way of life.

4. What is here called "Three Types of Philosophical Wisdom" is not the same as what is obtained successively through] "learning, meditation, and practice." "Wisdom obtained through learning," "wisdom obtained through meditation," and "wisdom obtained through practice" indicate the varied realms of philosophical attainments on different orders as the ladder of philosophical discipline, where learning is incorporated into meditation, and meditation and practice are to be pursued incessantly in perfect coalescence. It is only when one has com-prised in himself all these three kinds of wisdom that he can be said to have completely fulfilled his merits as a philosopher. Wisdom obtained through learning ranks as the preliminary order, hence making the third class philosophers; wisdom obtained through meditation ranks as the intermediate order, hence making the second class philosophers; wisdom obtained through practice ranks as the most advanced order, hence making the first class philosophers. Practice without meditation and meditation without learning spells "philosophy walking on its end upside down"; learning unaccompanied by meditation and practice signifies "philosophy running contrariwise in retrogression"; meditation unaccompanied by learning and practice, means "philosophy going for fish by draining the pond!"

4.l The kind of philosophical wisdom that arises from each individual’s effort at learning, meditation and practice, thus forming in itself a self-contained system, is called "the self-witnessed wisdom" of that individual as a person; the kind of philosophical wisdom that lies deeply embedded in the cultural spirit of an entire people, thus forming by interpenetration a system of mutual relevance, is called "the collective wisdom" of that people as a whole. In the present study our interpretation centers around "the collective wisdom" of which the universe of discourse is, accordingly, designated as "Three Types of Philosophical Wisdom" -- (1) the Greek, (2) the European, and (3) the Chinese.

II. Universe of Discourse: Statement of Main theses

1. Vindication of General Themes

1. Philosophy can be viewed from two aspects: (1) as wisdom in the fundamental, and (2) as wisdom in the derivative, sense. To the former belongs the collective wisdom; to the latter, the individual. The collective wisdom integrates as its constituents a variety of the individual wisdom which, in turn, participates in one or several species thereof.

2. Achievement of wisdom depends on genius. On the genius of a given people as a whole depends the collective wisdom; on that of a given person per se depends the individual’s self-witnessed wisdom. The latter differentiates itself from the former; the former makes an aggregate of the latter. The collective wisdom is the root; the individual’s self-witnessed wisdom, its branch. For the time being let us focus just on the root and leave the branch alone.

2.1 The Greeks illuminate the eternal realm of reason by intelligence of being (yathª bhñ tam-ª na), and hence have originated the wisdom of being (yathª bhñ tam-prajñª ).

2.2 The Europeans deal with the fluctuating world of situations by method of expediency, and hence have produced the wisdom of expediency. When materialized in the performance of the power of act-deeds (karma-bala), it is also termed the technique of expediency (upª ya-kausalya).

2.3 The Chinese realize the creative process of transformation by fulfillment of life (sª dhana), and hence have attained the wisdom of universal equity (samª ta-prajñª ) by exerting the technique of expediency on the basis of the wisdom of being.

3. Illuminating the realm of reason by intelligence of being, dealing with the world of situations by technique of expediency, and realizing the process of transformation by fulfillment of life—all these three belong alike to the wisdom-in-general at work which, again, is prehended and sustained by the wisdom-seed (prajñª -vija) as matrix.

3.1 In the beginning there was Logos, and Logos corresponded with Words; in the beginning there was Nous (thought), and Nous had fused itself into reason. Such has been the Greek wisdom-seed (prajna-vija).

3.2 In the beginning there was Power, and Power could produce act-deeds; in the beginning there was Potency, and Potency could wield Forces. Such has been the European wisdom-seed (prajna-vija).

3.3 In the beginning there was Love, and Love could further Transformation; in the beginning there was Awareness, and Awareness could generate Enlightenment. Such has been the Chinese wisdom-seed (prajñª -vija).

4. Prior to its active operation the wisdom-seed (prajñª -vija) remains embedded in the national genius of the people, so deeply concealed as if invisible. It is their national spirit or soul (Geist). Through vasª na (fumigation) the seed transforms and manifests itself as the varied mental activities and impulses (samskª ra-laksª nas as the moving forces) that prompt the individual geniuses to establish each their own systems of thought in a continuous process of creation and innovation, whose power it is to ever flow and permeate thoroughly, like the waters, and whose function it is to interpenetrate and illuminate mutually, like the lamps, thus forming a coherent theoretical framework of culture.

4.1 The Greek wisdom of being develops itself into the logos-type of culture, intent upon establishing the ideal realm of reality by virtue of reason.

4.2 The European technique of expediency develops itself into the power-type of culture, intent upon taking flight into the whimsical world of illusions by indulgence of feeling.

4.3 The Chinese wisdom of universal equity develops itself into the fulfillment-type of culture, intent upon transferring from the illusory to the authentic.

5. The collective wisdom is impregnated with significances, both profound and subtle in charactere; it is often concretely embodied in the spirit of life of a given people, which is highly complicated in structure and comprises therein a variety of relevant factors that can be summarized into three determinant elements as follows:

5.1 The Greek spirit of life can be represented by the three spirits of Dionysus, Apollo, and Olympos. The Dionysian spirit symbolizes the powerful feeling; the Apollinian spirit, righteous reason (Diké); the Olympian spirit, both feeling and reason in decline, but not without a mellowness peculiar to the later phase of life. [As said of sampling the sugar cane, "the lower down to the end, the sweeter it tastes."] Of all these three the Apollinian is predominant.

5.2 The European spirit of life can be represented by the three spirits of the Renaissance, the Baroque, and the Rococo. The Renaissance distinguishes itself in artistic passion; the Baroque, in scientific intellect; the Rococo, in the conflict between passion and intellect, indulging in the void, the illusory, and the alluringly fantastic. These three are all combined in one spirit: the Faustian.

5.3 The Chinese spirit of life can be represented by Laotzu, Confucius, and Motzu. (Chuangtzu of course was elated with Laotzu, but the Taoists after the Han Dynasty had, as a rule, deviated into the wrong track. Both Mencius and Hsuntzu were related to Confucius; but the Han Confucians were far too petty in stature to be mentioned here whileas those of the Sung and Ming periods were themselves not pure Confucians in spirit. Motzu must be properly distinguished from the variant schools bearing his namesake.) Laotzu elucidated the wondrous function of Tao; Confucius developed the originating power of Creativity; Motzu elaborated the sacred sentiment of Love. He who had combined the spirits of both Laotzu and Motzu and had abided to the Concentric Way of the Mean, was Confucius. Tao, Creativity, and Love are distinguishable, though inseparable, from one another. In the wake of Laotzu, Confucius, and Motzu came the syncretists (taken in the broadest sense of the term, not confined to those so-labelled by Liu Hsin and Pan Ku). But they had, as a rule, all deteriorated into such a deplorable state of decadence that their discourses on Tao were lured to mere trivialities, hence bound to be unable to exhaust its saddharma (wonderful truth); their discussions on Creativity were carried into mara (delusion), hence fated to get caught in varª na (hindrance, blockage); and their tall talks on Love were totally negligent of the importance of feeling, hence doomed to be of aphala (fruitless, of no avail)!

6. The consummate perfection of the collective wisdom always depends on the adoption of the proper forms to express its essence, mode, and function so as to be unitive in essence, triadic in mode, conjunctive of both in function, and all operative in perfect congruence throughout.

6.1 The Greek wisdom is essentially a kind of substantial harmony, resembling the harmonious melody in the music of prime notes, expressing itself in the mode of a threefold hierarchy, and functioning to set forth the supreme justice for various kinds of cultural values, known as the harmony of triadic unity in the form of a threefold hierarchy.

6.2 The European wisdom is essentially a kind of ungrounded system, resembling the contrapuntal composition in the music of complex notes, expressing itself in the mode of a set of antipathetic multidualities, and functioning to mark out the proto-type for various kinds of cultural values, known as the system of inherent contradiction.

6.3 The Chinese wisdom is essentially a kind of comprehensive harmony, resembling the symphonic harmony; expressing itself in the mode of essential relativity, such as the mutual implication of I-thou, the co-relativity of this and that, the co-prehension of polarities, and the congruence of inner and outer; and functioning to create the standard rule, known as the way of sympathetic interpenetration. The Way or Tao, inasmuch as it transcends all quarters and limits, stagnancy and fluidity, onesideness and inadequacy, obstructiveness and impenetrabi-lity, is called "chung," i.e., the principle of concentricity as equilibrium.

6.11 A certain organization, great or small in magnitude, inasmuch as it is self-completed in form and self-contained in substance, is called a system of substantial harmony, known in Greece as the "Kosmos," taking after the image of the great model. As such, the Greek cosmos comprises a set of triadic circles in unity: The outer sphere is the celestial; the inner, the human; and the intermediate, the state and society, thus forming the harmony of triadic unity.

6.111 The Greek universe forms a concrete, finite macrocosm. Its constitution exemplifies a triadic unity. The essential unity refers to the substantial harmony; the triadic mode, to the Platonic three worlds of ideal-forms, mathematical figures, and the physical objects (Republic, Book VI, l0-5ll), or the three realms of the Supreme Good, Demiurge, and Physis (Timaeus). The Neo-Platonic tripartition of the cosmos into the divine, soul (psychê) and body follows the same vein in connotation. 6.112 The Greek system of the state forms a concrete, finite politicosm. An ideal state, it maintains, shall be composed of 5040 families. Its constitution exemplifies a triadic unity: The essential unity refers to the principle of justice (Diké); the triadic mode, to the respective functions of the philosopher-kings, the guardians, and the labor class.

6.113 The Greek structure of the individual psychic state is a concrete, finite microcosm. Its constitution exemplifies a triadic unity: The essential unity refers to the ideal personality; the triadic mode, to reason, passion, and concupiscence. Reason the mastering principle regulates passion; passion the auxiliary principle controls concupiscence. (Republic, 246-254.)

6.114 Such a harmony of triadic unity is precisely the archetype of the Greek cultural values. The ideal form of tragic poetry represents the Law of the unity of three unities: (1) unity of action; (2) unity of space; and (3) unity of time. (Aristotle, Poetica.) The ideal form of architecture represents the harmony of threefold hierarchy; (1) symmetry of right and left; (2) proportion of upper, middle, and lower; and (3) balance of front, center, and rear. Symmetry, proportion, and balance represent mutual harmony. The ideal form of sculpture represents the law of frontality (according to Professors J. Lange, E. Löwy, and A. Furtwängler). Draw a straight line from the head through the spine to the ground, and it will pass through the central point at the tip of the nose, the navel, and the middle between the feet. This represents again the harmony of triadic unity.

6.2l A certain world, broad or narrow in scope, inasmuch as it is subtle in nature and fictitious in content, is called an ungrounded system, known in Europe as the antipathetic system of dualities or even multidualities, as represented in the following "scheme of contradiction," where positions A and B are involved in mutual contradictions, counterpoint oppositions, and endless conflicts. This antipathetic system of multidualities can be obtained simply by rotating around the scheme as shown below:

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6.2ll The European world forms a system that is at once really fictitious, ostensibly harmonious, but infinitely abstract. As reflected in theory, there are to be noticed the doctrines of (1) distinction between primary and secondary qualities; (2) functional divergence between sense and reason (Descartes vs. Hume); (3) difference between spirit and matter (Newton vs. Hegel); (4) dichotomoy of matter and life (vitalism vs. mechanism); (5) impossibility of union of body and mind; (6) phenomena and noumena as parallel but opposed (Kant); (7) bankruptcy of transmorphoses of appearance and reality (Hegel, Bradley, etc.); (8) matter vs. energy (classical physics vs. new physics); (9) matter vs. space as both continuous and discontinuous (the wavicle theory of matter); (10) universal causality as problematical (Hume’s refutation of causality; the indeterminancy-principle in modern quantum physics).

6.2l2 The European political organization forms a kind of vast empire that is expanding and inflating ad infinitum. Its inherent contradiction appears so frequently: The government seeks for power concentration while the people cry out for freedom, hence arousing the political struggles because of mutual hatred; the capitalists are thirsty for exploitation while the labors are suffering from poverty, hence provoking the class-struggles because of opposing confrontation, until consequently the monarchy degenerates into the mass-equality [in the name of demo- cracy as universal levelling down]; democracy, into the class-dictatorship; the class-dictatorship, into the one-man rule; and the one-man rule is clothed with—as the bearer of—liberty, equality and constitutionality! The political scene of Europe in transition resembles the flickering lantern lights, so evanescent and fluctuating in varied bizarre forms as to dazzle the human minds and eyes.

6.213 The European structure of the individual psychic state forms a split, double-personality. Its universal proto-type is Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, wherein the one switches into the other, birth and death take place simultaneously and alternate incessantly in one and the same person, who is never exhausted in making use of either side of his double-faced identity, now this, now that; or Faust and the Devil Spirit (Mephistopheles) constantly playing hide and seek. As evolved into theory, there are to be noticed the doctrines of (1) non-correspondence between body and mind (Spinoza and Descartes); (2) sense vs. intellect (Descartes and Pascal); (3) reduction of body to mind (introspective psychology and idealism); and (4) reduction of mind to body (behavioristic psychology and a part of neo-realism).

6.214 Such a system of inherent contradiction is precisely the standard measure of the European cultural values. It is remarkably illustrated, first, in literature wherein innumerable conflicts of psychological motivation and their development are, in the last analysis, all expressed in the mode of indulgence into the illusory, for examples: the romance of Don Quixote, the play of Hamlet, and the poetic drama of Faust. It is remarkably illustrated, secondly, in architecture wherein the [Gothic- styled] cathedral buildings are featured with the slanting tendency, the awe-inspiring erection, the sky-piercing pinnacles, and the vacuity of interior halls and exterior corridors. It is remarkably illustrated, thirdly, in painting wherein the method of perspective requires that hues be differentiated by variations of soft and strong, shadows be marked by gradations of light and dark, tangent lines be cut diagonally or horizontally, so as to suggest distance on the pictorial space, and heavy coloring be used to fill the void, thus adorning the appearance of the magnificent sensuous beauty.

6.31 A certain world or horizon, real or imaginary in view, inasmuch as it is replete with the divine spiritual fervor and inexhaustible in the flux of the creative vital force, is called a system of comprehensive harmony, known in China as the concentric way of sympathetic interpenetration. It is a system materially vacuous but spiritually opulent and unobstructed, substantially limited but functionally infinite, wherein the human spirit, through productive imagination, is intoxicated in the divine ecstasy as the source of inspiration and aspiration. The idea of the concentric way as the all-illuminating, the all-penetrating, the all-comprehending, and the all-pervading is easy to understand while that of sympathetic interpenetration is rather obscure in meaning, but can be illustrated metaphorically by the symbolism of a lyric poem of love as cited below:

Thou art mine,

I am thine;

Being in love vehement,

We are kindled with fire fervent.

Out of that clay

We are so cast

Into forms dissevered, aye,

Never meant long to last.

Let these two figures

Be rendered in pieces,

Immersed in the water deep

Again, coalesced in a heap.

Wherewith we come in shape

Of character thou art majestic,

And I, a beauty fine to drape,

We are a pair beatific.

Whatsoever in thee good in nature

Is carved into me;

All I have, sweet and pure,

Will be osmosed full into thee.

In life we share the same coverlet;

In death we share the same coffin-casket.

--Lady Kuan Chung-Chi [tr. Thomé H. Fang]

6.311 The Chinese cosmos forms a kind of well balanced and harmonious system. Thus conceived, it embraces all things and sustains all wonders; it bodies forth all functions and transforms all energy-powers; it interfuses with all forms of life and blends all and all in a Great Creative Unity. This is the chief tenet that contains, in a nutshell, the insights of Laotzu into the Wondrous Tao as operating by virtue of Non-Being or Vacuity; the insights of Confucius into the Great Creative as the ultimate principle of all-pervasive unity by way of interpenetration; and the insights of Motzu into the Supreme Identification with the principle of justice in heaven. The teachings of various schools in the subsequent ages, provided that they have grasped any aspect of the truth enunciated by these three masters, all converge on this chief tenet as the general frame of reference. The foregoing description of Chinese wisdom as likened to a symphonic harmony is only a metaphor; in fact, the vision of Great Harmony [or with Whitehead, "Peace as the Harmony of Harmonies"] in the Chinese cosmos is such that great space shows no corners; great justice shows no partiality; supreme identification shows no discriminations; all material inertia are thus dissolved; all physical encumbrances are thus transmuted; heaven and earth perform their proper functions; all things fulfil their respective natures; all men of supreme virtue display their capabilities, by participating in the same on-going process of the cosmic creation as a whole, wondrously operating towards infinitude, reaching to heaven and earth, penetrating through all things and creatures therein, and effecting upon the human communities.—All these belong to the rational order of the spiritual realm and reveal at once the wondrous functions of ethereal vacuity or eidetic freedom.

6.312 Throughout history in China her sagely kings and enlightened rulers have all looked upon the concentric way of equilibrium and harmony as the guideline for constructing the state and governing the people. Ever since Emperor Yao of Tang [ca. 3rd millennium B. C.], whether as the domestic policy for developing and educating the people within, or as the foreign policy for uniting and harmonizing myriad states without, it remains this same principle that has been adopted as the fair measure: Hold on firmly to the Great Center; keep whole and sound the Great Harmony; and follow the Heavenly Way in sympathetic response to that of Man. [taking "the great Centre" as the symbolism of the equitable and imparital spirit of life.] As taught in the Book of Creativity, sung in the Book of Odes, stated in the Book of History, formulated in the Book of Propriety, recorded in the Spring and Autumn Annals, and elaborated even in the works of the pre-Ch’in philosophers, it is only those who have succeeded in constructing the state upon the concentric way of equilibrium and harmony that are considered "Men of Great Virtue." The reason is not far to seek.

6.313 The Chinese are fully aware that, with their human status in the cosmos firmly established between heaven and earth, their human life partakes of the cosmic equillibrium as the ground of their being, and of the cosmic harmony as the exhibition of the universal essential relativity. It is imperative therefore that they shall model their lifestyle thereupon, by taking equilibrium and harmony as the fair measure of human conducts for self-rectification and for fulfillment of the life of all things in nature, being in hearty sympathy with the principle of intersubjectivity, which boldly proclaims thus: "No others, then no I; no I, then no others to be grasped as object." Only thus can one fulfil the original nature of all forms of life-spirit, accord with the sagely way both inwardly and outwardly, assist in the cosmic process of change and transformation, and participate in the same divine work of wonders as concreator with heaven and earth, so as to fulfil the perfect virtue whereby one becomes a human qua human worthy of the title.

6.314 Such a concentric way of sympathetic interpenetration is precisely the great norm of the Chinese cultural values. It is remarkably illustrated, first, in the Book of Propriety of the Chou Dynasty wherein the six virtues have consummated in the pair of equillibrium and harmony. (In his Commentaries on it, Grand Minister Cheng Hsüan of the Han Dynasty had interpreted, the Chinese word for "sympathy," as compounded of "the concentrinc"and "the heart-core.") It is remarkably illustrated, secondly, in the Six Arts (Six Classics), wherein poetry, propriety, and music were originally indistinguishable in that poetry means wherever the note of concentricity reaches; music means the ruling measure of equilibrium and harmony; and propriety means the teachings on the concentric way of life as the authentic, for prevention of hypocrisy. It is remarkably illustrated, thirdly, in the art of Chinese architecture wherein the buildings are surrounded with mountains and rivers as if situated spiritually in the pivot of Tao so as to be responsive readily and adequately to the myriad situations of life, thus forming in epitome the beauty of harmony in the art of gardening. It is remarkably illustrated, fourthly, in the art of Chinese painting wherein the deliberate "break" of the law of perspective may seem to be a defect in method; yet, as treated with the mastery of composition, direction, contrast [yin-yang], distance, shade and light, size, texture, source and stream, passages and segments, and executed by the magic touch of an able hand, the latent is at once made manifest, and there emerges the vividness of quality in all its immediacy ["ch’i-yün sheng-tung," usually rendered as "exuberant vitality"], as in a direct vision or intuition, that completely blocks out any screening obstructiveness and presents the scene of wonders in the infinitely fluctuating forms, yet without departing in the slightest from the principle of equilibrium and harmony. It is remarkably illustrated, fifthly, in literature wherein various genres of production are all aimed at the conveyance of the unique aura of the spiritual, and at the depiction of the subtle charm of the divine. Thus it follows that sound and rhyme make a harmony while note and rhythm form a concord; the vigorous force turns inwardly for condensation while the graceful tendency burst forth outwardly for expression; the rhythmic modulation echoes spontaneously that of the cosmic note while the total texture resembles the racing course of the great dragon; the literary mind brightens as the full moon while the creative spirit soars aloft as riding the wind celestial. Each and every nuance of meaning is shown subtly, suggestively, and with restraint, in a thoroughly sustained style, with all parts organically interconnected, yet in perfect accord with the Mean or Equilibrium and Harmony as the Fundamentum of the Tao.




II. Establishment of Special Themes

1. Philosophy is born of wisdom; wisdom manifests (samudacara) itself as mental activities on the basis of the wisdom-seed (prajna-vija); hence, in order to establish the philosophical themes it is necessary to trace thereto as the fons et origio. The Greek pursuit of logos and reason, the European will to power and potency, and the Chinese heart of love and awareness are alike all the utmost profound headsprings of philosophy.

2. The influence of philosophy, once established, pervades the life of a given people as a whole, thus determining the theoretical framework of their culture. It is for this reason that the logos-type of Greek culture, the power-type of European culture, and the fulfillment-type of Chinese culture can all be properly understood just as, for scanning the water, we can trace it to the source from the streams; and, for ascending the tree, we can start from the root to the branches.

3. The three types of philosophical wisdom express themselves in such a way that each comprises within itself three determinant elements, of which only one towers as supreme. This very one forms, as it were, the predominant principle for the entire realm of philosophy and culture of a given people and serves to continue and sustain the great tradition of their collective wisdom.

4. The Apollinian spirit, the Baroque spirit (indeed the key note of the Faustian spirit), and the Primordial Confucian spirit (taking its origin from Confucius himself as distinct from all those post-Han Confucians), with their impacts in range and depth from remote sources down to far reaching tendencies, constitute respectively the soul of souls of the Greek, the European, and the Chinese peoples in their cultural life. For proper delimination, we shall hereafter adopt "the predominant collec- tive wisdom" as the base upon which to establish the special themes of philosophical wisdom.

5. There are rises and falls in the destiny of a people just as there are ebbs and flows in the trends of a philosophical tradition. In neither case is it merely a matter of chimera, or fortuity. In an age of rise or over-going, people look up to philosophy for the supreme feeling and perfect reason it inspires; in an age of fall or under-going, they all stumble lost into the wrong way of avidyª (ignorance). It follows therefore that the life-history of a certain people can be thus divided into its periods of philosophical flourishment and those of philosophical decadence. To revitalize the life of the people we must start with the initiation of philosophical wisdom. If unfortunately the philosopher is born into an age of decadence, he must be spiritually exalted into such a vantage point of view, with far-reaching insights and great visions, as to be enabled thereby to transcend that age and save it from decadence.

6. The Greek way of illuminating the realm of reality with intelligence and corresponding to the domain of logos and words with wisdom is thus based on the following principles:

6.1 The existence of the cosmos is characterized as being, not non-being; the well-being of the society, as real, not illusory; the essence of the human nature, as good, not evil.

6.2 The integrated world of feeling and reason contained in the cosmos, society, and human nature is such that it can disperse all obscurities.

Not by winds is it shaken,

Nor even wet with rain,

Nor doth the snow come nigh thereto,

But most clear air

Is spread about it cloudless,

And white light floats over it.

Homer, The Odyssesy, Book IV, tr. S. H. Butcher & A. Lang

6.3 The eminence and brightness of the heaven, the vastness and profundity of the earth, and the genuineness and earnestness of the human have each embraced as standard the ideal of perfect authenticity and justice. (Euripides, Troades, 24, 884-9.)

6.4 The purity of the mind can elucidate what is hidden and can discern what is subtle.

6.5 The knowledge of the cosmos can comprehend all the forms, and the form of forms. Hence, it is uniquely great in essence, and supreme in value. (Herein lies the excellence of the Apollinian spirit.)

6.6 To seek all things and events, despite their appearances, as they are. This is called the good road to Truth for all mankind. (Parmenides)

6.7 Our mind can know truth, but it needs to be self-knowing; our knowledge can illuminate things, but it needs to be self-illuminating. To reveal the crystal clear truth with the ever self-knowing mind is not only to produce intelligence, but also to be awake to the knowledge of intelligence; not only to achieve wisdom, but also to make possible the enlightenment of wisdom. To be self-knowing means that one knows what he knows and what he does not; moreover, he knows how knowledge is made possible. Hence, each one seeks in his own way to know truth in light of whose illuminancy he reflects upon himself; each one seeks in his own way to attain knowledge by virtue of whose truth he concentrates on his spirit inwardly. Thus, we are led to the realization: That wisdom means not merely wisdom, but the wisdom of wisdom. (Plato, Charmides, l64-67.)

6.8 If whatever the mind seeks and whatever the spirit keeps all have wisdom as the measure, we will then be led to eudaemoniae (well-being); otherwise, to the abyss of avidya (ignorance), arousing thereby calamity and disaster.

7. The Greek spirit of illuminating the realm of reason by intelligence of being is indeed excellent and admirable; but there lurks in its philosophy a kind of weakness for decadence. Of the above-cited three constituent elements in the Greek collective wisdom, the Dionysian spirit excels in the powerful feeling; whereas the Apollinian spirit abounds in the righteous reason [Diké]. Especially in the 5th to the 6th centuries B. C. the early Greek people could exert their righteous reason with their powerful feeling, and hence they could, in the grand manner, exhibit their splendid great wisdom as the tragic poets had shown. Yet following the 5th century, as a result of the flourishment of the Athenian culture, the glory of their righteous reason had reached its zenith, to the effect that their powerful feeling of life and its accompanying great creative force had deteriorated and eventually disappeared, tending towards decadence. For such a drift of thought Socrates must be held as of crucial importance. Here on this point Nietzsche was quite insightful in his criticism of Socrates as the corruptor of Greek wisdom and the conductor of avidya (ignorance). Severe as it sounds, the asser- tion itself is well grounded in solid arguments.

8. Socrates’ great mistake consists in his adoption of knowledge as the sole standard for judging the reality of the cosmos, for analyzing the structure of the society, and for measuring the virtues of the human life. In fact, knowledge can illuminate truth apropos to the objective world by reference to wisdom as the measure for examination. But, with mere intellect alone, no feeling can be generated whereas, with feeling in decay, the so called intellect cannot but become trivialized—piecemeal, pedantic, dissecting—and gradually withered by itself.

9. Naturally such a radical rationalism, once fallen into Socrates’ hand, had turned the two great spirits, the Dionysian and the Apollinian, into the Olympian spirit of daily decay! which I have chosen to term "the Olympian philosophy." Its characteristics can be summarized as follows:

9.1 The actual world of existence has become the source of evils, far from meeting the standard of ideality. Though the world of possibilities might contain values such as the good and beauty, they are hardly realizable. It follows then that the actual is separated from the possible, and evils are opposed to values. The human existence in the actual world resembles the fall into the hell wherein one is unable, in mind or in spirit, to take free flight in the world of possibilities for communion with the good and beauty. Hence, the ideal of a philosopher: That since "death is better than life," he shall always regard the pursuit of death as the right way for completion of life. (Plato, Phaedo, 61, 63-4.)

9.2 The body is imprisoned by the physical desires whereas the spirit aspires itself toward the truth as goal. Without a complete release from the bondage of the body no wisdom of the soul can ever arise. It follows therefore that the philosopher must strive to purify himself of all the bodily pollutions before he can restore himself to the purity and truth-fulness of the mind. (Phaedo, 65-6.)

9.3 Abandon the actual to approach the ideal, and deny the body to approximate the divine.—This means to cover the possible with the actual, thus creating the sense of the voidness of this world; and to destroy the mind with the body, thus vindicating the theme of the illu- soriness of this life. All such sentiments, ending up in acosmism or acorporalism, are no more than the pessimist’s requiem on death. How can it be adopted as the base whereupon to approach the pure truth, to express the noble feeling, and to produce the great wisdom? Thus, we see, the collapse of the Greek culture and, with it, the decline of its philosophy are nothing but the outcome of a logical necessity.

10. The European way of exalting power and potency, generating thereby the act-deeds of karmas as a result of vasª na (fumigation), though not without a pure and homogeneous wisdom of its own in it, belongs after all to the category of the technique of expediency. The foundation of its philosophy conforms with the following conditions:

10.1 The objective existence of the universe, the pattern of the society, and the constitution of the human nature, are all so extremely evanescent, evasive-and-elusive, that nothing can be ascertained as real, and that all forms of existence are but a sort of the "as-if" world. Modern Europeans have been really fascinated with the vast expanse of the physical macrocosm, whereas in the attitude of the mdeieval traditon it is is referred to as "the infinite vast land"; Modern Europeans have created the free and new national states, whereas in the relics of the medieval religion they are called for "return to the Kingdom of Heaven;" Modern Europeans have passionately incited the simple naive state of human nature, whereas in the doctrines of the medieval heritage it is termed "the inherent original sin!"

10.2 That the universe is like a dream-world and life, but a play, has been tellingly depicted by Shakespeare. In the beginning of the modern age, the Europeans had come to the world as the newborn orphans, left with nothing to rely upon; they had felt all the more resentful, frustrated, miserable, and rueful. As typical European and eye-witness to the universe as void and illusory, and to knowledge as evasive and futile, thus Faust shouted out rudely and bluntly, lamenting on his own life experience:

Habe nun, ach! Philosophie,

Juristerei und Medizin

Und leider auch Theologie

Durchaus studiert mit heissen Bemuhn.

Da steh ich nun, ich armer Tor!

Und bin so klug als wie zuvor;

. . .

Und sehe, dass wir nichts wissen konnen!

Das will mir schier das Herz verbrennen.

I have, alas, studied philosophy,

Jurisprudence and medicine, too,

And, worst of all, theology

With keen endeavor, through and through—

And here I am, for all my lore,

The wretched fool I was before!

. . .

And see that for all our science and art

We can know nothing! It burns my heart.

--Goethe, Faust, 355-365, tr. Walter Kaufmann

10.3 The Greeks are born passionate lovers of the realm of truth; naturally they are delighted to invoke wisdom to illuminate the world in all its aspects and to see them as they are. The Europeans, in contradistinction, are the great adventurers in the dream-world; they hate knowledge as unreliable, and hence indulge themselves in taking flight into the whimsical realm of fancy as a career with no return, and creating more whims with whims as a play of the knowledge game. This aspect, again, is betrayed pointedly in the words of Faust:

Was man nicht weist, das eben brauchte man,

Und was man weiss, kann man nicht brauchen.

What one does not know, one could utilize, And what one does know one cannot use.

--Ibid., l065-6, tr. W. Kaufmann.

10.4 At first the Europeans were unable to grasp the world by standing firmly on their footing. Apparently it seemed quite impossible for them to create any great systems of knowledge; but in actuality nothing could be further from the truth. It is just because the world has no definite forms in essence, and knowledge has no criteria for verification, that the Europeans can fluctuate unfathomably and unrestrainedly so that by the power of the elusive intellect they are enabled to establish a host of the ever-changing conjectures as doctrines in pursuit of the mysteries after mysteries, indulging in taking flight of fancy into the realm of naivasamjñª na-samjñª nayatª na (beyond the scrutables and inscrutables, the thinkable and not-thinkable), and to fabricate a variety of the imaginary worlds of fancy hypothetically postulated as the objects of philosophical justification and scientific inference. The Europeans, in their relation to the universe, seem to have been possessed by the spirit of the demon, so much so that in the investigation of nature and in the extension of knowledge thereof they keep pursuing into the profoundest of her secrets and mysteries, depth after depth in realms, subtlty above subtlty in forms, and never, even with having exhausted the case to the utmost, would they cease.

Knowing what can not be done,

He seeks to do it;

Knowing what cannot be won,

He seeks to win it.

Thus had Mephistopheles praised Faust, so shall I praise the Europeans!

10.5 If there is the authentic reason to be illuminated in the realm of intelligence, and if there is the genuine feeling to be in the world of wisdom, one may just as well proceed to intuite them directly with the prajñª -caksuh (wisdom-eye) in full scope of their essence and wondrousness; it is simply not necessary to presuppose any set of the methodological principles as the guideline for the pursuance of truth. But in Europe the contents of the universe are just a matter of illusive or hypothetical constructions that can be demonstrated only by methods. Illusive or not, all the same: They still remain a matter of hypothesis. The only thing that is not illusive is logic. Therefore, the establishment of every system of European thought must be based upon the logical principles as pre-requisite. Indeed, for an inlook of the European wisdom, it would be virtually impossible to gain access into science or philosophy unless we have acquired a whole set of the techniques of expediency.

10.6 Francis Bacon had advocated the great reform of science with a view to making complete use of reason for the expansion of the power of the mind. By contention this means that the external world can never be understood until the establishment of the logical method. His Novum Organum does not aim to establish arguments, but to set method and technique; nor to state the plausible reasons, but to deliberate on the working projects. Science is logic; knowledge is power. Expression of the will to knowledge is but the expansion of the will to power. Herein lies indeed the European spirit of the conquest of nature. (Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning.)

10.7 Power is the substance; the act-deeds, its expression. Since the Europeans have already exalted power and potency, it follows naturally that they have called forth, and exerted to the utmost, the resources of their wisdom-mind for the enterprises of cultural phenomena on the large scale. What Fichte has advocated in terms of "Thathandlung" is really the core- concept of the European philosophical wisdom. Here on this point Goethe has well observed—both piercingly and accurately:

Des Denkens Faden ist zerrissen,

Mir ekelt lange vor allem Wissen.

Lass in den Tiefen der Sinnlichkeit

Uns gluhende Leidenschaften stillen!

In undurchdrungnen Zauberhullen

Sei jedes Wunden gleich bereit!

Sturzen wir uns in das Rauschen der Zeit.

Ins Rollen der Begebenheit!

Da mag denn schmerz und Genuss,

Gelingen und Verdruss

Miteinander wechseln, wie es kann;

Nur rastlos betatigt sich der Mann.

Torn is the subtle thread of thought,

I loathe the knowledge I once sought.

In sensuality’s abysmal land

Let our passions drink their fill!

In magic veils, not pierced by skill,

Let every wonder be at hand!

Plunge into time’s whirl that dazes my sense,

Into the torrent of events!

And let enjoyment, distress,

Annoyance and success

Succeed each other as best they can;

For restless activity proves a man.

-- Goethe, Faust, l748-l759, tr. Walter Kaufmann

10.8 In view of the European exaltation of power and potency that results in the creation of wonders in a variety of ways, and in the awakening of intelligence and wisdom as well, we are bound to be fascinated. But, upon close examination, its philosophy is found to be defective at the core. For initially the European collective wisdom was motivated by the artistic passion of the Renaissance period as the point of departure. By the wonderful magic power of the deep heart, it evoked the visionary images of the cosmic beauty; but, owing to the delicacy and fragility of the heart-chord, it just could not forbear the impact of the shocking phenomena in all forms of discord and injustice; as a result, eventually it degenerated into the fantasy and absurdity of art; later, with the advance of time, it wormed its way into the scientific intellect of the Baroque period; which, again, had proved to be incapable of dovetailing itself with the genuine feeling and authentic reason in the cosmos, because it had indulged into the great voidness wherein it was tempted to establish being on the basis of non-being yet, with countless zigzag turns in the course, it found itself adrift in a maze—caught, as it were, in the web of maya (illusion), all winding up in the self-annihilation of its own standard of method.

[Into the Great Voidness

Had it taken flight

To Ground Being, as t’s,

On Non-Being, for sheer delight!

Myriad drift-turns in th’ course

Lead to the the web of maya,

Rendering to nought, perforce,

Its method’s own standard:

All lost there in a maze,

Thus making closed the case!]

Thenceforward, it was doomed to veer toward the tragedy of disillusionment or nihilism. (For detailed accounts of the ground, see my book Science, Philosophy, and the Significance of Life, Chapter VI, "The Tragedy of Life—A Duet.")

11. The weakness of the European philosophical wisdom can be summarized in three points as follows:

11.1 In all forms of discussion on the intellectual issues it adopts the mode of dualities or antipathetic multidualities, as the contrapuntal composition of the complex notes juxtaposed in manifoldness without regard for harmony. For examples, the opposition of the inner world of mind to the outer world of things; the conflict between the self and the others; the controversy over any hypothesis and its alien doctrines; and the confrontation of any method with its implications. Without attempting at the radical elimination of all such inherent contradictions, no deliberated plans could ever be expected to approach towards truth.

11.2 Philosophical wisdom is originally grounded in the nature of the mind. Only with the genuineness of the mind can one, in thought, ascend into the divine and, in discourse, attains to the wonderful. So deeply possessed by the madness of the intellect, the Europeans are infatuated with the performance of dissecting analyses into trivialities, that in dealing with the world of actual occasions they are always inclined to cover up [obliterate] what is manifest and obvious, but disclose what is hidden and subtle, thus undermining the character of intelligence and fostering illusions of myriad kinds. As discerned in the analysis of the mind, originally the pratyaksa-pramª na (immediate awareness) is supposed to be able to approach the real, yet it is called the illusory apprehension! the anumana-pramª na (rational inference) is supposed to be able to verify the true, yet it is called the problematic construction! the quasi-pratyaksa-pramª na or quasi-anumana-pramª na (illusory appearance resulting from the fallacious use of either of the former two) is after all only a matter of expediency, yet it is called the wondrous function! What is worse still, the unity of personhood is characterized by continuity in sequence throughout, yet it is called discontinuity! the relation of mind and body is characterized by interlockings, yet it called separation! the contact of the inner and outer worlds is characterized by I-thou intercommuication [as intersubjectivity], yet it is called alienation!

11.3 The speculative flight into the world of vision and into the realms of naivasamjñª na-samjnanayatª na (beyond the scrutables and the inscrutables, the thinkable and the non-thinkable) indeed represents the peak of mentality, nevertheless there is in feeling something of utmost genuineness that is not to be neglected nor dallied with; there is in reason something of ultimate certainty that is not to be destroyed nor dispensed with. Even with the intelligence of a Faust, the Europeans seem to have often been spellbound, subject to the temptation by the devils’ cunnings [or as Whitehead calls it, "the reason of the fox"] so that they have turned the true into the false and taken the false as the true, just as what Tsao Hsueh-Chin [or Cao Xue-qin, in The Story of the Stone or The Red Chamber Dream] has said: "Whenever the false is taken as true, then the true becomes false; wherever the Non-Being becomes Being, there the Being switches into Non-Being." I have written elsewhere to analyze the changing phenomena of the European intellectual and cultural scene as tending eventually towards the disillusionment of nihilism. Not that I am deliberately fond of creating any bizzarre theses; but that I have felt so deeply and strongly about the whole situation that here I am less aware, than I should, of the straightforwardness and bluntness of my wording!

l2. The Chinese, who understand the meaning of life as perpetual creativity in the incessant process of change and transformation, aim to actualize the attributes of Tao unswervingly; to embrace all and all under the form of pervasive unity as the cardinal virtue; to consummate sympathy by combining love with benefaction; to advance the urge of the All-Comprehensive Life by the great powers of origination and procreation; to pursue the path of Tao the Mysterious and Wondrous, par excellence, so as to prevail universally; to affirm the primordial unity on the principle of extensive connection; and to love harmony and peace with [the reverence for] the divine illumination. The essence of their reason is such that it accords in purity with the cosmic center as the heart-mind of heaven and earth and, in the concatenation of order, it complies with the cosmic virtue as the excellences of heaven and earth; thus they may attain to the wisdom of being as authenticity. The mode of their intelligence is such that by expansion it enlarges the macroscopic, and by convergence it prehends the microscopic; thus they may excel in the technique of expediency as resourcefulnes. Preserving their Mind as Life Itself in the mode of perpetual creativity, perfecting their Virtue as Life-Fulfillment incessantly in the continuous process of self-transcendence, and responding befittingly to the varying actual occasions, macroscopic or microscopic, great or small, as the circumstances require, without the slightest degree of partiality and egocentricity, thus they may exercise the power of intelligence to grasp every concrete situation in the mode of thoroughly universal equity, and to attain to wisdom by com- prehending every aspect thereof in the mode of the same. Established on such a ground, the essence of Chinese philosophy can be summarized by a set of fundamental principles as follows:

12.1 Principle of Life:

Within Life herself how

Are all beings embraced,

To the great path o’ Tao

All linked as interlaced!

In her creative advance

She changes, transforms

and, withal, transcends

In proper way and forms.

As Nature the Primordial,

She orignates;

As Nature the Consequential,

She consummates.

With profound Benevolence

And with an enduring Love

She continues Good, and hence

Fulfils life, below and above.

Neither cornered in Space,

Nor hardened in Substance,

In fact, she always plays

Strong and Gentle at once.

Her energy gets and spends

Displaying in Timely modes

As dynamic in essence

When in visage repose.

[authors’ paraphrasing]: Life embraces within itself all beings and creatures interwoven with, and linked to, the great path of Tao. In its fulfillment through change and transmutation it roots itself in Primor dial Nature which is the spring of inexhaustible energy, and passes through the steps of creative advance into Consequent Nature which is the achievement of the Supreme Good. As a universal active substance, Life manifests itself in Space and, withal, conquers its limitations by the great momentum of infinite creative urge. It is energetic in nature but repose in visage. As a never-ending function, Life gushes out in Time propelling and expanding itself into infinity. It is dynamic in propulsion and progression, but static in substance and continuum.4 Universal Life is imbued with five excellent qualities: (a) fulfillment through generation of new species; (b) expansion through ever-new achievement; (c) perpetual creativity; (d) emergence of novelty (from what is already accomplished in the continual process of change and transformation); and (e) efficacious effort to attain actual immortality in values.

12.2 Principle of love—The spirit of Life gives expression to the spirit of Love. The sentiment of love bears the semblance of universal change whereby the motive of comely life is actuated and the relation of affective unity is established among all beings in the world through the rhythmical movement of yin and yang. What is here called love is just the intimate communion in intensified emotional contrasts, like the convection of opposite electric charges across a spark-gap. It is a universal process wherein Heaven and Earth lead all things to play important parts in sports of bliss. The strong and the tender supervene upon each other concordantly; men and women are happily consorted; creatures of different nature are congruently concerted; and societies and institutions are beautifully interfused and interwoven. The phenomena of love can be classified under six different forms and characterized in terms of four fundamental propertiess.

12.21 The six forms of love are: (a) the mutual embracement of yin and yang; (b) the union of males and female; (c) the matrimony of man and woman; (d) the congruence of the sun and the moon; (e) the happy interaction of heaven abd earth; and (f) the established order of Ch’ien and K’un representing the powers of Origination and Procreation.

12.22 The four fundamental properties of love are: (a) communion through adverse contrast. As stated in the Book of Creativity (known as the Book of Changes), "adverse contrast" or "opposition" means "When two women live together their wills will not go the same way." (Judgement on the Hexagram of "Kuei" or "Opposition"); "When two women live together their wills will conflict each other." (Judgement on the Hexagram of "Ko" or "Revolution"); and "communion" means "Heaven and Earth are opposites, but they unite in their activities; Man and woman are opposite, but they communicate in their wills; all things are opposite, but they resemble in their states." (Judgement on the Hexagram of "Kuei") ["communion" presupposes contrasts, hinting thereby the fusion of opposites or the unity in diversities.] (b) alluring admiration. As stated in the same, "alluring admiration" means "The gentle advances to stimulate and response to the strong." (Judgement on the Hexagram of "Tuei" or "The Joyous"); "When the forces of the two stimulate and response to each other, so that they unite. Keeping stillness and joyousness. When Heaven and Earth stimulate and response to each other, all things in nature are thus produced as a result of transformation." (Judgement on the Hexagram of "Hsien" or "Prehending" or "Feeling"); "Hence descends the strong to the gentle. Keeping in motion and joyousness." (Judgement on the Hexagram of "Sui" or "following." The gentle finds attraction in the strong. To the strong, the gentle is always lure; (c) fellowship of unity through intercommunication. On the mutuality of felicity Laotzu states: "Heaven and Earth unite together and send down sweet dew (all-pervasively). In the Book of Creativity it is conceived as "Yin the Procreative and Yang the Originative combine their respective virtues together to be concretely embodied in the Strong and the Gentle to make manifest the phenomena of Heaven and Earth." (Appendices, Part II, Chapter VI.) "It is the great truth of Heaven and Earth that man and woman each take their correct positions and perform their proper roles." (Judgement on the Hexagram of "Chia-Jen" or "the Family.") It is elaborated in other Hexagrams such as "Kuei-Mei, Chien, Ting, Sheng, Tzuei, Yi, Li, Lin, Tai, Tung-Jen, etc." or "Marrying the Maiden, Development, Molting, Ascending, Gathering Together, Increasing, Shining, Approach, Felicity, Fellowship in Human Beings, etc." It is stated, moreover, in Zo Chiu-Ming, Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals, Corrected Edition, on the 5th Year during the Reign of Duke Chao: "What the Yang seeks is the Yin; what the Yin seeks is the Yang. When these two meet, there is co-responses." (d) eternity of love. In the Book of Creativity it is stated thus: "By ‘eternity’ or ‘duration’ is meant making firm and durable what is already accomplished." (Judgement on the Hexagram of "Heng" or "Eternity or Duration.") "The strong and the gentle mutually stimulate and response to each other. Durable; furthered by interpenetration; lasting in its own way; no blame. ... In view of what makes duration possible we can come to see the true essence of the universe and all things in it." (Judgement on the Hexagram of "Heng" or "Eternity.")

12.3 Principle of Creative Advance—Life is the primordial active substance exhibiting itself in the mode of creative advance. The primordial substance is one but not limited to being one. Therefore it diversifies itself into Chien and Kun, which are the powers of origination and procreation pertaining to heaven and earth. The former is always dynamic; the latter is static in a way. Through the combined operation of these two powers, universal life is to be fulfilled and all beings are to be completed. Thus the cosmic phenomena are formed. Moreover, the primordial substance of life performs its splendid function in the steps of creative advance. It flushes out into the rhythmic movement of yin and yang which concatenated their energies so as to expand all the more fervidly. (Notice that here the phrase "yin and yang" signifies the powers of origination and procreation.—an important point missed in the doctrines of yin-yang and five agencies of the later periods since the Ch’in and Han.) The stupendous expenditure of these energies in the midst of modulation gives rise to formation of concord and harmony in which all things live and move and have their beings. The great function of life is the nexus of existence running through heaven, earth, man, and all things. The power of origination , being continued [as incitant] into that of procreation, penetrates into infinite variety of life, brings them along and leads them to the final destination of immortality [in values]. This is the fundamental chord of creative advance.

12.4 Principle of Primordial Unity—The substance of life is primarily one to be magically transmuted into origination whose function takes various forms and issues in infinite varieties of entities. Laotzu tells us: "The Tao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three; Three produced All Things." Tao as the fundamental root of life is the original begetter, bringing into existence that which is begotten, which, in turn, is also a begetter of the further begotten. Thus the universal life comprises in the Tao is an iterative process of creative generation of the unlimited variety of things. The infinite variety of things is evidently a plurality. But if we get into the bottom of reality, all things embraced within life stand in a universal context of essential relativity and form an inseparable unity. This contention is found in the Book of Creativity where it is stated: "The universe is an array of activity subsumed under the form of One"; as well as in the Work of Laotzu where we are exhorted to "Hold all things in the one embrace of Tao." The entire universe is permeated with life every form of which, while partaking of the original One, comes to achieve the specific oneness of its own. Thus the manifolds of the specific ones, taken in summation, constitute a system of Many, namely, pluralities which, through the ingression of the original One and by the mutual implication of essential relativity among the Many, must ultimately enter into the enriched form of a higher unity. Wang Pi’s statement that "Comprised in the form of unity and consolidated by the power of origination, all things are orderly and unmistakable despite their variance and multiplicity" is good characterzation of the mysterious Tao as revealed in the universal process of change.

12.5 Principle of Equilibrium and Harmony--his cardinal principle contains really the highest, deepest, and broadest truth of Chinese philosophy. It is emphasized not only in The Book of Creativity, but also in The Book of Odes, The Book of History, The Book of Propriety, The Book of Music; and even in The Great Learning that teaches on the importance of the cultivation of personality, the relegation of family, the governance of State, and the pacification of the world. [author’s paraphrasing]: It is the true embodiment of Chinese spirit and the nice measure of Chinese culture. It is vindicated by the Philosophy of Creativity. It is imbued in Chinese music and poetry. It regulates Chinese history and social customs. And furthermore, it shapes the rules of conduct and the ideals of political life. Equilibrium expresses the spirit of impartiality; harmony exhibits the relation of essential relativity. They are to be conceived in terms of the following characteristics: (a) thorough-going equality; (b) equity and unselfishness: (c) permeation by empathy and sympathy; (d) ideal representation through ethereal vacuity or eideitc freedom; and (e) comprehension of all things in the Unity of Tao.

12.6 Principle of Extensive Connection—The great function of universal change and the constant procedure of the All-Comprehensive Tao are intel ligible only in the light of the principle of extensive connection. Taken all in all, this principle comprises the following set of characteristics: (a) the concatenated order of Life in the mode of creative creativity; (b) the possession of meaning and value; (c) the never-ending process of change and transformation issuing in the emergence of novelty; and (d) a thread of connection running through all forms of Life, which by reason of mutual relevance and interpenetration, constitute the Integrative Universe. This very principle of extensive connection has been most elaborately elucidated in all essentials in the "Great Treatise" appended to the Book of Creativity. The Book itself contains the measure of Heaven and Earth, enabling us to comprehend the all-pervasive Tao and its order. There is in it the theoretical framework which embraces the dynamical transformation of all things and the complete consummation of all beings throughout the universe, negligent of nothing that is of any importance. As it embraces all, it is said to be great and connective in the way of functioning. The principle of extensive connection, exhibited by the hexagramic symbolism in the Book, was further exponded as a dedeuctive system by Yu Fan (l64-233 A. D.), though incompletely; it was nevertheless fully elucidated with utmost care and thoroughness by Chang Huei-yen (l761-l802) and Chiao Hsun (l763-1820). With their works of expert scholarship now available for reference, we can be brief here on this subject.

l3. Thus, combining altogether [as rich source and background] the Taoist awareness of the wondrous function of Tao, the Confucian realization of the originating power of Creativity, and the Mohist commitment to the Universal Love of all into a kind of philosophical confederacy, the Chinese people are supposed to be able to accomplish splendid deeds, to inspire great thoughts, to sustain its glorious heritage by virtue of genuineness and sincerity so as to perpetuate and enhance the splendor that is China—as a nation of culture! But as a careful examination shows, in her 4000 years of history the moments of enlightenment by wisdom are found to be extremely rare, far rarer than those of darkness, obscurity, obstinacy, and close-mindedness; consequently her culture has declined and her way of life degenerated into the mere existence of hustling and bustling for vainglory and material gains. Why? the reason, not far to seek, can be summarized in several points as follows:

l3.1 The ancient Chinese society was an aristocratic and feudal one. The collective national wisdom was contained in the Six Arts which were as whole but the art of ruling for the emperors and kings; hence, as such, they were monopolized by the literati-officers class, not to be shared in common with the mass of the people. For this reason, as we see, the intellectual and academic life was kept in the hands of the official government and the cultural ideal was left with only a few elites as minority. It follows as a result that though there was wisdom, it could hardly be spread; though there was creation, it could hardly be continued.

13.2 After the Eastern Chou period, the state education system disintegrated. Only then was it possible for the full blossoming of various schools of philosophers, of which each strived to create new styles of thinking and to present new doctrines in competition with others. It was the Golden Age of Chinese Philosophy. But unfortunately it was first thwarted by the strifes of the Warring State period; and then mutilated by the tight control of Emperor Chin, known in history as the policy of "committing all works into the flame!" Moreover, with the Chin regime taking over the China empire as the sole ruler, it aped the ancient institution by appointing officers in charge of education and academic affairs; owing particularly to the incompetency and unscrupulousness of those so called "Doctors," the academic was monopolized by them with the sole purpose in mind: to please the tyrant-rulers for the moment and to show off the "glamor and profit" thus obtained to their contemporaries; The essential principle of seeking knowledge for its own sake and abiding to truth for its own sake was deplorably lost and the new vitality of culture was thus fatally vitiated.

13.3 The Han rulers inherited the relics from the ruins of the previous Chin regime. Classics were then lost; the literati-officers had to count on the oral transmission for intellectual heritage. From generations to generations it is only those teachings of certain circles that they had adhered to in the name of "orthdodoxism," employing only fragmentary and piecemeal treatments for exegeses of the classics; thus great wisdom was destroyed with petty "truths" and ultimate truths were buried amidst the documents of antiquity. They knew nothing but conservatism for lack of the courage to create; even if they had anything creative, it was often mixed with the far-fetched arbitrary misinterpretation in terms of the pseudo-science of numerology and astrology [known as the art of ch’ien-wei]. Truth was thus hopelessly obscured.

13.4 All the dynasties in the Post-Han periods inhered the ancient institution of state education (even the State Examination System after the Sung period was still but the same institution in disguise), employed to corrupt the mind with profit and position and to control the truth with authority and threat. The so called "dedicating oneself to the service of the state and the world" remained mere rhetoric as lip-service whileas the practice of fame-fishing and profit exploiting had lingered on as the nasty climate in custom. In sum, the decline of the Chinese cultural and intellectual life (especially in philosophy) was due to the fact that it is typical of China throughout the ages that politics dominates culture by control of the freedom of thought, to such an extent that even in the case of certain devoted thinkers, they were subject either to the temptation of profit and position or to the subjugation by authority and power. The great trouble for China was that she has been lacking the purely motivated and wholehearted, devoted scholars. With only a few exceptions, as a rule they dared not to direct politics with the lofty cultural ideals! What had been handed down through ages in the history of China was mere real politics, ideal politics was deplorably rare! Fortunately, however, there came to be found occasionally, perhaps once in generations, certain hermit-type of scholars uninfluenced by power-politics who, as solitary souls yet with far-searching mind. had immersed themselves in studies. It is thanks to scholars of this category that eventually the Chinese intellectual life has been preserrved and continued down to the present day.

13.5 The enlightenment of philosophical wisdom is basically a matter of the individual genius. But as in the case of ancient China the intellectual treasures were in the keeping of the aristocrats; after the Chin and Han periods it was monopolized by the official "Doctors"; hence many a national geniuses were unable to devoted themselves to the pursuit of truth since they were either unenlightened for lack of education or made stupid for the sake of profits. Even when there happened to be certain outstanding scholars dedicated to the search of truth, they were most of them confined to conventionalities, becoming thereby the ‘smug-and satisfied,’ [as Chuangtzu calls them], adhered idolatrously to the teachings of certain one "great" master only, following the methods of scholasticism, piecemeal and pedantic, without intention to establish rigorous method on the basis of logical principles. Thus, groundless in advancing theories, difficult in verification, evasive and elusive in expression, they were caught in the impasse of intellectual blindness.

13.6 In China great philosophical wisdom often emerges from her great genius. As typical of the genius style, incredible and miraculous in performance, the moment that any new ideas turns up, the philosophers would often adopt the concise intuitive mode for linguistic expression, rather than follow the laborious, painstaking approach to establish theoretical knowledge and to deduce therefrom into theoretical consequences. Consequently posterity would be in no position to verify experientially with what was originally available as evidences and it would be extremely difficult, especially in case of doubts about the errors, to point out the weakness, clarify the puzzles, and turn all these into truth.

13.7 The Chinese philosophers, as a rule, have often placed their thoughts in artistic imagination and moral cultivation, intent upon the inward regard for an experience of their own spiritual enjoyment. At times, unavoidably, they are inclined to the wild tales of artistic fantasies and absurdities, or confined to the stubborn practices of ethical prejudice and bias. As a result, for lack of enlightenment and openmindedness, partiality and selfishness would ensue. For essentially both artististic imagination and moral compassion pertain to benevolence as the loving consciousness of humankind, par excelllence—hence, temperamentally tender-hearted rather than tough-minded. Adept as they often are at empathizing themselves into the world of visionary forms and invoking the sheer sense of beauty for a moment of aesthetic ecstasy, yet deficient nevertheless in such virtues of perseverance, rigor and constantcy as characteristical of the scientists, they are rather inapt to pursue and penetrate consistently into the rationalistic frameworks as theoretical constructions, by way of the thoroughgoing investigation and exhaustive examination, in order to bring about the logical systems of thought.

III. Conclusion:

Judgement & Evaluation of Results

l. In the opening paragraph I have stated my beliefs and presented the concept of wisdom as the standard rule or fair measure of philosophy, in terms of which the feeling and reason of various worlds are to be experientially verified. Also in Part Two of the foregoing section I have, to my knowledge, analyzed the three types of wisdom—Greek, European, and Chinese—in their essence, mode, and function; and scanned their influences upon the cultural life of each people. With regard to the main trends of thought in each tradition I have further com mented on their strength and weakness, respectively. Now I shall attempt to contemplate on the future of philosophical development.

2. Does philosophy today still have any future at all? Many a scholars at the present age are vexed and puzzled on this question. Pondering over the past, I have come to realize that philosophy is truly the nucleus, the center of the cultural life of any people. Notwithstanding the various drifts of thought nowadays that tend as a fashion to abandon wisdom altogether and to weaken philosophy in its power and function, yet ultimately neither can human wisdom-seed be extinguished in itself, nor can great philosphical thought be prevented from rejuvenation. Hence, why is there any difficulty for me to forecast on the prospect of the future on the basis of the experience of the past?

3. The tide of Time runs boisterously across the past into the present and the present again moves forward vigorously towards the future. Living in the present world, we experience the process of creative advance in the concatenated order of the Time-Matrix; we feel the exultation at the vibrant chord of the Wisdom-Mind. Naturally we are not supposed to be confined to the past and adhered to the old doctrines contained therein. Then, understandably, it is our solemn duty and mission to point out new prospects, to create new possibilities, to develop new philosophical truth, and to enrich in new ways our cultural lives.

4. Greek thought displays itself in the form of Wisdom of Bing; European learnings shows itself in the form of Technique of Expediency; and Chinese philosophy expresses itself in the form of Fulfillment of Life. But all have limitations—each in its own way. The weakness of the Greek way consists in its departure from feeling and disdain of life; that of the European way, in its indulgence of imagination into illusion; that of the Chinese way, in its neglect of the importance of method for stating truth. There are two approaches as way-out: One is by autonomous initiation; the other, by heteronomous reinforcement. The Greeks should keep their way of illuminating the realm of reason by Intelligence of Being; the Europeans should keep their way of dealing with the world in changing situations by Technique of Expediency; the Chinese should keep their way of realizing the process of creative advance by Fulfillment of Life. This is called the way-out by autonomous initiation. Moreover, for the Greek tendency to escape away from the world, the European fondness of indulgence into fantasy, and the Chinese weakness for arbitrary inter pretation [in a far-fetched way], each has its own histroical grounds deeply imbedded in the innermost of their national soul. Perhaps it may not work out so effectively merely by autonomous initiation; it is especially important to benefit from other sources as well. As a remedy, the Greek easy abandonment of the world here and now can be treated with the European way of free play of imagination for creation of wonders; the European power-cult can be treated with the Chinese way of profound care and concern for Fulfillment of Life; and the Chinese superficial foundering into the void or ethereal can be treated with both the Greek way of substantiality and adequacy and the European way of efficiency and expediency. This is called the wayout by heteronomous reinforcement.

5. Nietzsche, who lived in the age of decadence in Europe, lamented over the decay of wisdom and the decline of culture. He then advanced the Over-Man ideal as an antidote, anticipating that the Over- Man would stand up at the summit of all mountains, displaying supreme genius, upholding wonderful values, preparing for the future of human life, unfolding the vista of infinite prospects and possibilities, and revealing lofty hopes. Contemplating on the same issue, I have been deeply impressed with the high ideals that Nietzsche had cherished in mind. but I am worried about their being unrealistic and unactualizable. For, as Nietzsche himself has conceived, the Over-Man must be riding roughshod over all the past: he is a demon for the world; a new species for the human. Even eugenetically considered, it is all too fantastic to conceive such a marvellous emergence of novelty, a talent of the demon-spirit: Suppose that all the existing human species be extinguished, whence comes all of a sudden such a bizarre, monster-like Over-Man to accomplish the great deeds as never before? It is nothing difficult to lift oneself upward spiritually to the blue on high and take flight of fancy up there; but it is no easy task to have it actualized down here on earth!

6. The Over-Man, [claims Nietzsche], carries upon his shoulder the meaning of life for the human world. All values must be re-evaluatd and tranvaluated! All the filths of the past must be disposed! All the pollutions of the present must be cleared away!

Wahrlich, ein schmutzger Strom ist der Mensch.

Man muss schon ein Meer sein,

um einen schmut*6zigen Strom aufnehmen zu konnen,

ohne unrein zu werden. Seht,

uch lehre euch den Uebermenschen:

der ist dieses Meer,

in ihm kann eure grosse Verachtung untergehn.

Was ist das Grosste, das ihr erleben konnt?

Das ist die Strunde der Grossen Verachtung.

Die Strunde, in der euch auch euer Gluck

zum Ekel wird und ebenso eure Vernunft und eure Tudend.

--Friedrich Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra, I-3.

Verily, a pollution stream is man.

One must be a very ocean

to be able to receive a polluted stream

without becoming unclean.

Behold, I teach you the Over-Man:

He is the ocean; in him can your great contempt

be o’erwhelmed.

What is the greatest thing ye can experience?

It is the hour of great contempt.

The hour in which even your happiness

is loathsome to you,

and your reason and your virtue likewise.

--Ibid., tr. Toy Pascal.

7. Nietzsche’s Over-Man ideal is not without point. But as he speculated, the Over-Man must contempt all human beings in the past. Isn’t such a claim too far-fetched, and unfair to the core? So far as I can see, the Greeks, the Europeans and the Chinese have each in their own way created many splendid cultural values that are too esteem-worthy to be disposed at one stroke. The empty Over-Man ideal, as we notice, should itself be substantiated by being charged with the philosophical wisdom distilled and crystallized from the combined excellences of these three great peoples—the Greek, the European, and the Chinese. Only thus can he be expected to be able to carry upon his shoulder such new values for the world and to carry out such great responsibilities as a matter of cultural mission. What the present age needs, above all, is great appreciatin with the spirit of open mind, not great contempt with the spirit of haughty mind! By "Over-Man" is to be understood as the ideal personality of combined virtues: He is the one who, by transcending the weakness of the Greeks, can become an ideal European and Chinese; he is the one who, by transcending the defects of the Europeans, can become an ideal Greek and Chinese; and he is one who, by transcending the flaws of the Chinese, can become an ideal Greek and European. Please just contemplate on the possibility with a serene mind: If this kind of Over-Man can ever cultivate all such beautiful virtues as mentioned above, and hence is able to produce perfectly the Wisdom of Being, the Technique of Expediency, and the Wisdom of Universal Equity, how noble and magnificent then would he be in personality! How excellent and superior in thought! and how sublime and wonderful in virtue-deeds!

Thus, on such grounds we are enabled to envision the feasibility that the future development of philosophy will be greatly motivated with a wholistic comprehension of historical wisdom in its course of creative advance towards the state of consummate perfection—as an Omega-point, so to speak! Thereupon we see that most feasibly the future philosophical development may well take such a course as to be moved all the way up, as it were, by the motive-force of a wholist comprehensioin of the historical wisdom, in order to reach the omega-point state as the consummation of perfections!



[1] Compare this powerful statement with those formulated by John and Goethe:

"In the beginning there was the Word." (John, I-1.)

"In the beginning there was the Mind."

"In the beginning there was the Power."

"In the beginning there was the Act." (Faust, I, 1224-1237.)

It is to be noted that in the original text the German word "Sinn" for "Mind" can also be rendered as "Significance." Committed to a value-centric ontology, the author believes that the Universe as a Kosmos is pervaded with Meaning and Value. See his early work, The Chinese View of Life (Hongkong: The Union Press, 1956), p. 21. Such a value-centric perspective and meaning-oriented approach recall to Hermann Keyserling, of whom he thought and spoke highly, as he told the translator in 1974. For further details on Significance as the primordial unity of Eros and Logos, see endtnote 3 below.


[3] For the rendering of the metaphorical expression "vasana" as "fumigation, perfuming," see the author’s Chinese Philosophy: Its Spirit and Its Development (Taipei: Linking Publishing Co., Ltd., l98l), p. 268, p. 270; Junjiro Takakusu, The Essentials of Buddhist Philosophy (Honolulu: Office Appliance Co., Ltd., l956), pp. 90-91; D. T. Suzuki, Essays in Zen Buddhism (New York: Samuel Weiser Inc., 1971), Third Series, p. 344, where it is stated thus: "Vasana, meaning ‘perfuming,’ ‘impression,’ memory,’ ‘habit-energy,’ is an emanation isuing from every deed, good or bad, which has the power to affect others. ... These emanations are all loaded with the power to affect or ‘perfume’ any sentient being who may be in the position to come in touch with them." For lack of an English equivalent we may, however, interpret its multi-dimensional meanings in terms of a cluster of related notions, such as "matirx," "fermentation," "brewing," "incubation," "development," "innfluence," "interaction," "transaction," "genetic function," etc. It is an extremely important concept in the Vijñª na-Vada or YÇgacara School of Buddhism, generally known as "The School of Consciousness-Only"—a misnomer, indeed! Rather, if thought out and properly understood, it should read: "The School of Wisdom-Only." Extremely subtle in analytic acumen and complicated in systematic schemes as it appears in the doctrinal frameworks, such as "Five Dharmas (Categories) and Three Svabhavas (Characters/Forms) -- and their Nullifications, respectively; Eight Vijnanas (Consciousnesses) and Twofold Anatman (Egolessness)," it culminates in the central theme of "Transformation of consciousness into wisdom and taking refugee in Bhutatathª ta." Thus it may well be subtitled A Philosophy towards Wisdom: Via Transformation of Consciousness or, simply Prajñª ism or ª naism by reason of the ultimate identification of bodhi and prajna, signifying ‘wisdom’ in the Buddhist sense as "the unitive intuition in the light of comprehensive harmony" or, as termed in Chinese, "yüan-rong tong-guan."

[4] Cf. H. Keyserling, Creative Understanding (New York & London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1929), p. 249: "One may explain the power of the Creator of the Universe as Eros—its meaning is Logos in any case. And what could Creation be without a meaning?" and pp. 244-5: "... it is this principle [of Logos] which shows Eros the goal. Its essence, as far as we can grasp it, is Significance. I can say nothing certain, ... as to the ultimate relationship between Logos and Eros; nor do I know what these symbols ultimately mean. The fact that the Divine has been alternately understood as Eros and as Logos according to temperament leads one to assume that they are both equally deeply rooted in the essence of things and that they ultimately belong to a higher unity; it may be even a case of ultimate metaphysical identity."

Here we notice certain points of similarity and discrepancy between Fang and Keyserling as two great comparative philosophers of culture: Both agree "what could Creation be without a meaning?" and both assume that Logos and Eros "ultimately belong to a higher unity." But they differ in their interpretations on the role of Significance: For Keyserling the essence of the Logos-principle is Significance; whereas for Fang the "higher unity" to which both Eros and Logos belong, the primordial source and fountainhead from which both originate, is none other than Significance Itself! Methodologically, Fang is a trans-dualist, an integrationist, a fusionist, even a com- fusionist; whereas Keyserling, with his pasionate love of clarity, tends to emphasize the Logos-side of life by extolling what he calls the "Creative Understanding." (Cf. op. cit., pp. 138-9; 149; 246-7; 258-9; 261-4, etc.) But, with regard to the search of meaning and Significance, the question at issue is: "Is clarity enough?" or, what amounts to the same, "Is the Logos-side of life enough?" As to the "higher unity" of Eros and Logos, Fang makes explicit what remains nebulous in Keyserling’s speculation; their discrepancy is a matter of relegation, i.e., of the status and role of Significance in their respective theoretical frameworks which may be schematized as follows:


Keyserling vs. Fang

Eros Eros

? Significance

Logos Logos


[5] The Chinese word "" in the original is ambiguous, signifying both "desire" and "impulse." But here we prefer to render it as "impulse" for reasons both of the contextual consideration and of the author's own reading, as shown in his insightful comment on Chou Tun-I (10l7-1073), the North Sung Neo-Confucian philosopher. Chou is criticized as being unable to appreciate the true spirit of Primordial Confucianism as well as Primordial Taoism expemlified by Mencius and Lao-tzu. For what Laotzu has said of human nature as endowed with "great " should be taken to mean "great impulse," that is, "great creative impulse"; similarly, what Mencius has said of "the desirable as the good" also should be taken in the same sense of "creative impulse." In either case the underlying presupposition is that, since human nature is endowed by Heaven, what follows therefrom, such as human feeling, human impulse, and human capability, are all good throughout. This is a cardinal theme in Confucianism that has been maintained from Mencius (371-289 B. C.) to Tai Chên (1723-1777). Yet Chou, says Fang, has missed the whole point in his misinterpretation of "sagehood" in terms of "desirelessness!" See the author’s Eighteen Lectures on Neo-Con-fucianism (Taipei: The Dawn Cultural Enterprise, Ltd. Co., 1983), p. 191; p. 209.

In this connection, we have reason to suspect that when Whitehead, in op. cit., p. 344, speaks of God as "the lure for feeling; the eternal urge of desire," it is "the creative impulse" that he has in mind. For Russell the Principle of Creative Impulse remains the master principle in almost all his social and political writings, from Principles of Social Reconstruction (1916) to New Hopes for a Changing World (1952). He even argues that all the existing political theories based on desire, rather than impulse, are erroneous!

5 Cf. Cassirer's view on the primary fusion in the symbolic: "this primacy of the symbolic function, is the secret of all symbolic forms and all spir itual activities," "where the sensuous and the ‘intelligible’ are originally fused in the unity of primary symbols." See Robert S. Hartman, "Philosophy of Symbolic Forms" in Paul A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Enrst Cassirer (New York: Tudor Publishing Company, l958), p. 302. It is of interest to notice certain congenial tendencies towards unity by fusion, expressed in the form of the dialectical unity of concept and quality (for Pepper), of freedom and form (for Cassirer), of life and form (for Goethe), and of feeling and reason (for Fang), etc.

6 The Buddhist terms "mahª prajñª -pª ramitª " and "mahª ª na-mukti" here rendered respectively as "salvation by great wisdom" (da-zhih du) and "liberation by great intelligence" (da hui jie) indicate the soteriological dimension so much emphasized in the entire Indian tradition, whether Buddhism or Hinduism. But such a soteriological purpose or epistemic salvation, as a rule, is found to be conspicuously lacking in Western philosphies. It is perhaps for this reason that T. S. Eliot was led to speak of the Indian philosophers so highly: "Their subtleties make most of the great European philosphers look like schoolboys." Cf. T. S. Eliot, After Strange Gods: A premier of Modern Heresy (London: Faber, l933), p.40, cited in Jeffrey M. Perl and Andrew P. Tuck, "The Hidden Advantage of Tradition: "On the Significance of T. S. Eliot’s Indic Studies," Philosophy East & West, April, l985, Vol. 35, No. 2, 125.