Chinese 7A Final Exam

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Han Feizi
Created a new concept of law: Dao-Fa
– Dao: how the natural/cosmic world exists and functions
– when Dao is applied to human society: Dao-Fa/Law
– Morality (Kongzi/Mozi’s ideas) are too personal and private to be applicable to an entire society
– when law is practiced, the humans become less estranged from the cosmos and order returns
– was the first to explain how law is important to human society and practice in the new social political context
Li Sao
(leaving the disturbing world) a biographical account of Qu Yuan’s journey to understanding how the world is corrupt and amoral through his interaction with the King and him “Noble”men in government
– focuses the idea of not leaving behind an enduring name
Li Sao and Zhuangzi
– both used stories to teach a lesson
– Li Sao is an allegory
– Zhuangzi is a parable
Yuan You
(far roaming) straightforward, simple, has an ending. about an out of body mystical experience seeing a spirit. on the journey to find/understand morality. tragedy and travel literature.
Sima Qian’s life
– his father on his deathbed said that he needed to become a grand scribe to save his name. his ancestors were grand scribes as well

– letter to ren an detailed sima qian’s dedication to becoming a grand scribe, why he chose to get castrated instead of dying just so he could finish the shiji and become a grand scribe (explained that the han people needed to be documented)

– li ling, when sima qian defended a former general in order and angered emporer wu he was sentenced to castration or death

130 chapters, 6 subsections
basic annals – chronological chapters
tables – show reigns, important events, royal lineages in table form
treatises – evolution of music/astronomy/ritual
hereditary houses – talks about leading states and powerful families
biographies – biggest section, talks about the most important people
postface – summary of each chapter and why he wrote it

important documentation of the golden age of the Han and a cognitive/narrative record of history until then

he viewed history as a way to recode things that have happened and learn from the past, recoding the truth and transmitting memory to posterity

The Biography of Bo Yi and Shu Qi
two good men who died of hunger.

shows that heaven does not always help the morally right

– importance of being a good person and leaving a lasting name for yourself

self narration
about how sima qian gives advice to the king, but the king does not listen to him

shows that the heavens do not always help the morally right

Sima Qian’s 5 Emperors
The Yellow Emperor, Chuan-Hsu, K’u, Yao, Shun

^ moral leaders
^legitimizes the authority of emperor Wu

(songs of the south) more religious/fantastical. good representative of the han culture. anthology of 17 literary, mostly poetic, works. Most important: qu yuan, song yu, jing cha.
Qu Yuan
was a government official who was slandered by other people in government. he went on this long mystical/spiritual journey and learned that the world is not moral and heaven doesn’t reward moral people. he learned of the importance of leaving a lasting name for oneself. he eventually killed himself in the milo river
On encountering trouble
(qu yuan) tang of shang and yu of xia were mentioned as righteous. he said the high god says only wise men can flourish.
qu yuan’s itinerary
chong hua, house of zhou, cangwu, hanging garden, yanzi mountain, pool of heaven, fusang tree, house of spring

each place taught him a different lesson and showed good and bad people and their interaction with the world

why is li sao so canonical
– unique composition of time and space
+ real world
+ historical past
+ heaven
+ real world
– story of loyalty and betrayal
– the motive of the spiritual journey
the four noble truths
– there is suffering: the life cycle, karma, illness, old age
– the source of suffering is craving
– the only way to end suffering is to end craving
– the path to ending suffering is through concentration and meditation
five aggregates
– form and matter
– sensation
– perception
– physic dispositions
– conciousness

the physical and mental elements that make up who we are

came up in the heart sutra by the “A” person

2 ways to get to the final state
lesser vehicle (Hinayana): the process of rebirth can only be stopped by reaching nirvana

greater vehicle (Mahayana): allowed for Bodhisattva (would use his spiritual power to help others and would remain on the world), where people instead of leaving the cycle, wait for everyone else to reach salvation as well. means “being of wisdom”

a transcendent state where you don’t experience the cycle of life, karma, no worldly desires or ties

to get there:
– wisdom
– moral conduct
– concentration and meditation

buddhism being introduced into china and the challenges with it
china was already pretty civilized (writing systems, governement, etc) and buddhism usually brought those things with it. so it’s not like china needed buddhism or anything. also there were a lot of relgiions in china already.

there were already lots of different kinds of philosophies in china so buddhism wasn’t really necessary i guess?

who were the first buddhists in china
they interpreted buddhism in terms of preexisting things like daoism or other philosophies. wanted buddhism to contribute to their elixers and other superhuman powers. they were interested in the metaphysical speculation
north vs south china buddhism
north china: said you keep having to pray and eventually you’ll get nirvana, happens gradually. more practical and devotional

south china: it happens suddenly. lots of talk of the philosophy behind it

Disposing of Error (Lihou Lun)
lots of people feared the influence of buddhism and wanted to strike back. this came at a time of increased influence of buddhism. northern china persecuted buddhism, southern china did polemics. (mozi wrote it)

a culturally Chinese analysis about how to interpret China’s classical tradition, about the validity of a Buddhist analysis of its classics

death/rebirth/immortality clash with Chinese culture and buddhism
Chinese ancestor worship depending on people worshiping their ancestors to keep the ancestors souls, like to feed their souls

in buddhism, your soul doesn’t live on, so there was contradiction there

a monk does not bow down before a king
– buddhism is separate from forms of government
– buddhists are not trying to undermine the current political system
– buddhists make good subjects because they believe in karma and the desire to be reborn in paradise
– explained some of the esoteric buddhist principles to the poor people
– emphasized salvation through faith
– his ideas spread and challenged Taoism as the major religious practice in China
prajna and prajnaparamitra
the purest form of wisdom/intelligence
heart sutra
– Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara narrates it (the Buddha of compassion)
– Mahayana Buddhism
– introduced 5 aggregates
“form is emptiness and emptiness is form….”
– the five aggregates cannot be separated
– they are dynamic and do not exist separately
– can’t define/have one without the others
– cannot be understood until you understand the contentedness of human experience
sanscrit term for Chan Buddhism
– dyana
– emphasis on meditation (a state of no mind)
– introduced as a way to achieve nirvana
– different in north and south china
+ north: medidation leads eventually to nirvana gradually
+ south: nirvana happens suddenly after lots of meditation
chan buddhism 4 main catchphrases (以心轉心; 敎外別傳; 見性成佛; 不立文字)
– 以心轉心: mind to mind transmission
– 敎外別傳: there are lots of other ways to teach people, other than doctrinal teaching
– 見性成佛: to see one’s true nature is to see them complete their buddhahood
– 不立文字: words cannot explain all things that need to be taught

chan buddhism called itself a meditational school and criticized doctrinal schools.

“to see one’s own nature and become buddha”

– assumes that everyone has the capability of becoming a buddha inside of them because their nature eventually would become buddha nature
– school of thought called “Tathāgatagarbha” emerged saying that everyone had an equal chance of becoming a buddha, from a rich person to a farmworker

shenxiu, huineng, shenhui
shenxiu: was a monk going to succeed hongren as the 6th patriarch, but then wrote a poem on the wall and the poem sucked so he didn’t succeed him

huineng: last patriach of chan buddhism, his poem was kinda making fun of shenxius so he won

shenhui: follower of huineng’s sect (southern chan)

– thinks that our mind has a pure nature
– mind separate from the “dusty” world (contradicts heart sutra…5 aggregates)
– his method of attaining enlightenment are separated from the fact that we already have Buddha nature in our mind (he didn’t understand that with just a bit of meditation we can get nirvana)
– thought mind and body are real things that we make efforts for
– thinks we need to pray all of the time
– what we think are body and mind are illusory
– our mind is not distinguished from the dust
– we need to truly understand our buddha nature as our true nature
“learning of the mysterious”
revival of Daoism based on:
– laozi
-classic of change

-popularized cultural movement revival in art/music/philosophy from latter han to eastern jin, 3rd-5th centuries

– revial of philosophical [email protected]!!!!!

things that happened during the revival:
– new cultural hegemony based on historical legitimacy
– related to foundation of society/cosmos
– legitimacy based on commentary of past texts

social/cultural context:
– breakdown of kongzian ideas
+ new understanding of reality
– new metaphysical/cosmogonic discourses
– growth of cults/shamanistic practices in different groups

(account of anomolies) was a literature of record

– the writers of zhiguai thought they were writing history, not fiction
– was hard to understand the supernatural world in this intensly religous time

– writers wanted people to believe what they were writing was legitimate because it legitmizes their ability to communicate with the spirit world

Youming Lu
(records of the hidden and visible worlds)
– 5th century
– story about man moving tomb and woman switching son/daughter
– message is that the spirit world is present in the real world and has an impact
-the stories give a lesson for certain customs and rules
(tales of remarkable things)

– the consumers were individuals and now they have their own private/personal domain
– individual stories easier to learn lessons from
– easy for commoners to understand
-origin of chinese fiction

producers: male literary elite of chang’an

represetnes the symbolic reality percieved in the elite male group and represented by their cultural imagination in language

zhiguai VS chuanqi
zhiguai: religious/spiritual/more about historical record. shorter and simpler and had less characters

chuanqi: mainly love stories between man and woman and often the woman is other worldly. written for pleasure. longer, episodic, has scenes, didactic.

ren’s story
ren is a were-fox who disguises as a woman and sedcues a man named zheng. zheng serves her and loves her and she is beautiful. about love and reciprocating faith
ying ying’s story
Zhang, a once loveless man, falls for Cui Ying Ying ( the daughter in a family of people Zhang helps serve). he immediately falls for her and they start ****ing but ying ying refuses to get to know zhang. so zhang is like okay screw you i’m just going to pursue my education and find someone else then
mysterious learning movement
three main players: Wang Bi, He Yan, Guo Xiang

– revival of Daoist texts and spread of Buddhism
– not much study of clasiscal texts and a slight move away form Kongzi’s ideals
– emphasis on all kinds of religions and types

wang bi’s “the one”
he controls everything and is everywhere. the world is complex and he understands the complexities and controls them.
wang bi’s nothingness
nothingness is all around us. if you give it a name, you separate it from its truth. you can’t respond to something that has nothing in it


– the fundamental substance beyond linguistic description •The earliest state of all beings and things was indeed nothing, emptiness

Guo Xiang’s critique of wang bi
the universe has reality from lots of different things: everything came from something/somewhere
Guo Xiang’s Self Transformation
things create themselves, there is no natural “I”. The “I” cannot produce things
guo xiang’s politics
super liberal. believed in everything with the individual. support for diversity/plurality/individuality
pure conversation
not talking about politics or social conventions and discussing arts and freedom and naturalness.

-xi kang

roots of daoism
1) Huang-Lao political theology; 2) cult of immortals in Han
commandment of lord lao
live in an ideal society where people don’t drink or do badly onto each other. has a lot to do with the individual
the doctrine of three heavens
talks about how Daoism was percieved while Buddhist theory was going around. how laozi knows so much and teaches kings in china. when things go wrong in the world of men, heaven suffers as well
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