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Chinese Renaissance Essay

1332 words - 5 pages

In history, there are many historical figures who are well known for their addition to culture, or way of life, of a major group. Chuang-Tzu, also known as Zhuangzi, is well known for his contribution to the development of Daoism, which existed before 1000 BCE. Even though Daoism is also called Taoism, they both have the same literal meaning, “the way”. Long after the uprising of Daoism, the first Chinese Renaissance brought the civilization to a repeat of its “golden age”. This new age brought reform and restoration to Chinese culture though both technological advancement and ideas that were not as significantly strong as when they were expressed in the past. Renaissance literally means “rebirth” and this time was characterized by many terms of art, literature, and architecture provided by the Chinese. Many of the significant works of literature can be seen by Chuang-Tzu.
Daoism is a Chinese religion in which it believed that enlightenment could be reached through strong practice and balance between internal and external values. Dao means the way of the path to spiritual awareness through meditation and strict dietary practice. The Dao de Jing was the first script, consisting of 88 chapters, which represented and conveyed the Daoist idea of nature’s unity while using a series of images to illustrate the positive and negative elements in ordinary things. (Fiero, 71) Confucianism was very similar to Daoism, “Confucian ideals of order, harmony, and filial duty were easily reconciled with holistic Daoism”. (Fiero, 336) Not only did the Dao De Jing play a significant part in the representation of Daoism, but the Yin-Yang symbol was once of the main focuses in Daoism. The symbol represented the balance between good and evil and showed that there is yin in and yang in yin, meaning there is good in evil and evil in good. (Fiero 71) The Yin-Yang symbol also represents the balance of the Universe and the natural order of life, practiced by Daoism. Enlightenment would be reached by following this eternal serenity, because without balance in the world, it would be chaotic. Yin represents feminity, darkness, softness, moisture, coolness, the earth and the moon which Yang represents masculinity, light, hardness, brightness, warmth, and the sun. Qi is viewed from this symbol, and is universal energy that represents the unity of opposites, proving that Yin and Yang are co-existed and that there is no beginning and there is no end.

Chuang-Tzu significantly impacted the growth of Daoism through his works in his book Chuang-Tzi/Zhuang Zi. It was found that this followed up after the writings of Lao Tzu, and is also thought to not have been completed by only Chuang-Tzu. (Raz) “Unlike the Confucians who conflated the human world and the natural world (especially in Mencius, where the human moral force qi, could fill up heaven and earth), Chuang Tzu was acutely conscious of the difference between rules in the natural world, and the human subjective world. One...

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