The World-Conception of the Chinese: Their Astronomical, Cosmological and Physico-Philosophical Speculations

By Alfred Forke | Go to book overview

as warmth, heat, clearness, and cold. Heaven possesses these feelings in common with man, in whom the same forces are active as in heaven. Thus we obtain the following equations: (1) Pleasure=warmth=spring, (2) Joy= heat=summer, (3) Anger=clearness=autumn, (4) Sorrow =cold=winter. For pleasure love may be substituted, and for anger seriousness. With the warm spring fluid heaven loves and produces vegetation, and with the hot summer fluid it displays its joy and develops the plants, with the clear autumn fluid it shows its seriousness and causes everything to mature, and with the cold winter fluid it mourns and conceals its produce in the earth(p). A certain poetry cannot be denied to these physico- philosophical speculations recalling similar productions of western philosophers.

Thus the bridge is laid joining the material heaven with heaven as an object of religious worship. We have no more the blue celestial dome, but a being formed of the very finest substance, which feels as we do ourselves.


B. RELIGIOUS-PHILOSOPHICAL VIEWPOINT.

I. NATURE OF HEAVEN.

(a) Heaven the origin of all things.

Heaven is the source of all existence and the "ancestor of all things"(q). Heaven comprises everything, the earth

____________________
(p)
Ch'un-ch'iu fan-lu XI., 10 v..
(q)
. The Tung Chiao-hsi chi is by Tung Chung-shu, second century B. C.

-147-

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The World-Conception of the Chinese: Their Astronomical, Cosmological and Physico-Philosophical Speculations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction. v
  • Contents ix
  • Book I. the Universe 1
  • A. Ancient Times. 3
  • B. Modern Times. 101
  • Book Ii. Heaven. 131
  • B. Religious-Philosophical Viewpoint. 133
  • B. Religious-Philosophical Viewpoint. 147
  • Book Iii. Yin and Yang. 161
  • A. Ancient Times. 163
  • B. Modern Times. 200
  • Book Iv. the Five Elements. 225
  • By the Same Author. i
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