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Chinese Philosophy

Mohist Dialectics Shone Bright Two to Three Millennia Ago

Mohist Dialectics Shone Bright Two to Three Millennia Ago

Despite the later decline of Mohist philosophy, which was once considered on par with Confucianism, they established numerous "Mohist Dialectics" principles two to three millennia ago, rivaling contemporary logic. These rules illuminated the landscape of Chinese intellectual history. Regrettably, due to the barriers of ancient and modern texts, many subsequent generations remain unaware of their brilliance.

Chinese Philosopher: Daoist Perspective on the Relationship Between Heaven and Humanity

Chinese Philosopher: Daoist Perspective on the Relationship Between Heaven and Humanity

Amidst the torrential flow of worldly desires, Laozi advocates a return to simplicity and authenticity. He, as a sage who penetrates the mysteries of the universe, reveals to humanity that the "Way" of nature should be the model to emulate. Only by embodying the selflessness, non-desire, and non-action of nature, as seen in "doing good to all without contention," can one attain the state of “achieving everything without striving”. Laozi's philosophy emphasizes cultivating a deep, tranquil, and serene inner world through "emptying one's mind." 

Chinese Philosopher: Confucius - Not What You Imagined

Chinese Philosopher: Confucius - Not What You Imagined

Confucianism, as the mainstream ideology in our country, has been the most profound school of thought influencing our people for two to three millennia. Confucius, the founder of Confucianism and a revered sage, embodies this tradition. However, when it comes to Confucius, although he is well-known, many individuals have never delved into a deep understanding of him. In reality, Confucius is warm yet upright, dispelling the seemingly austere or detached figure that some might assume. His thoughts and actions are profoundly humane.

Chinese Philosophy — Historical Summit of the Two Saints of Confucianism and Daoism

Chinese Philosophy — Historical Summit of the Two Saints of Confucianism and Daoism

Complementary to each other, Confucianism and Daoism have become the mainstream development of Chinese thought, with “the cultivation of rituals and music" and "returning to simplicity" as their respective driving forces. Many ancient texts record a historical summit where Confucius met Laozi. The stone reliefs of Han Dynasty also depicted this event. After asking Laozi about rituals, Confucius praised him, saying, "Today, I meet Laozi, and it's as if I meet a dragon!"

"The Way That Can Be Spoken Is Not the Eternal Way" – Daoist Thought Beyond Language and Conceptual Limitations

"The Way That Can Be Spoken Is Not the Eternal Way" – Daoist Thought Beyond Language and Conceptual Limitations

The true principles of the Way and its nature cannot be expressed through any conceptual content. However, without relying on concepts, there could be no discourse on the Way and its nature. Thus, the development of the "Way" ultimately relies on the elucidation provided by concepts and languages. Nevertheless, we must understand that "The Way that can be spoken is not the eternal Way. The name that can be named is not the eternal name." In the face of this dilemma of dependence on guidance yet fearing obfuscation, Daoism offers the guidance of "grasping the essence, forgetting the words" and "catching the fish, forgetting the trap."

Idiom Story

Chinese Idiom About Arrogance: Yelang Thinks Too Highly of Itself

Chinese Idiom About Arrogance: Yelang Thinks Too Highly of Itself

Yelang was located within the present-day Guizhou province and was isolated due to formidable mountains, hindering external communication. This isolation led the locals to be unaware of the vast territory of the Han Dynasty, resulting in the expression "Yelang thinks too highly of itself" to describe shallow knowledge and arrogance.

Chinese Idiom About Fickleness of Relationships: Birds Can Be Caught by A Net at The Door

Chinese Idiom About Fickleness of Relationships: Birds Can Be Caught by A Net at The Door

"Birds can be caught by a net at the door" is used to describe the situation when those in power or in official positions face neglect from others after losing their authority. Later, it is also commonly used to depict the scenario of businesspeople facing a lack of customers due to poor business or a deserted establishment.

Chinese Idiom About Diligence — Hang from a Beam and Stab the Thigh

Chinese Idiom About Diligence — Hang from a Beam and Stab the Thigh

During the Eastern Han Dynasty, Sun Jing and the Warring States Period's Su Qin, two individuals, employed rigorous self-discipline and unwavering commitment to their studies. Their remarkable achievements, combined and condensed by later generations, gave rise to the idiom "Hang from a Beam and Stab the Thigh." This idiom vividly describes the arduous journey of one's fervent dedication to learning. While the methods employed by Sun Jing and Su Qin may not be prevalent in today's society, we believe that individuals who share the same spirit of self-motivation and strive for self-improvement in various ways can achieve a wide range of accomplishments. 

Chinese Idioms —Three Men Make a Tiger

Chinese Idioms —Three Men Make a Tiger

The idiom "three men make a tiger" originated from the historical records of "Strategies of the Warring States." It stems from the time when King Hui of Wei sent his crown prince as a "hostage" to the state of Zhao, accompanied by the prominent minister Pang Cong. Pang Cong, fearing that he might be falsely accused by political rivals after his departure, met with king of Wei before leaving. He used the story of "three men make a tiger" as an analogy, hoping that the king would not be swayed by rumors and would maintain his trust in him. 

Chinese Idioms — A Cunning Rabbit Has Three Burrows

Chinese Idioms — A Cunning Rabbit Has Three Burrows

The well-known idiom "a cunning rabbit has three burrows" originates from the story of Feng Xuan, a retainer of Lord Mengchang of the Qi state during the Warring States period. Feng Xuan helped Lord Mengchang create three secure locations, allowing him to navigate the complexities of the era and achieve a prosperous and safe life. This idiom is often used to describe someone who plans carefully and thinks ahead. 

Chinese Idioms about Warfare —The First Drumbeat Ignites Morale

Chinese Idioms about Warfare —The First Drumbeat Ignites Morale

Cao Gui discusses warfare, saying, “the key to victory in battle lies in the spirit of courage and morale: at the first drumbeat the Qi soldiers’ spirits were raised. On the second time, their spirits declined. Finally, on the third time, their spirits had been exhausted. Their spirits were exhausted while those of our soldiers' still brimmed. Consequently we defeated them.” Originally, it referred to ancient battles, where the first drumbeat was the most invigorating for soldiers' morale. Later, it was used metaphorically to emphasize the importance of seizing the right moment and using the initial burst of energy to achieve success in endeavors.