Daoist philosophy, Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching), Confuciusm and qì
By: Joe Hing Kwok Chu 按此看中文。
The difference of Daoist philosophy and Confucius philosophy is that:
the Daoist philosophy emphasizes the cultivating one's body and mind, while
the Confucius philosophy emphasizes the maintaining the functioning of the society.
The classics Dao De Jing represents Daoist philosophy. Daoist philosophers emphasized the training of the body and cultivating qi and promoting the mind (shen 神). This Daoist concept is revealed in the works of Zhuang Zi (莊子) (399-275 BC), the daoist philosopher and writer, that "dao is to maintain the body, and ultimately is to maintain the mind."
The Confucians emphasized righteousness and morals (overwhelming gigantic qi). The term qi has many meanings. When the term qi is used in traditional Chinese medicine, refers to functions of the body.
The concept of overwhelming gigantic qi (浩然之氣）was explained through the following dialogue between Mencius, a disciple of Confuciusm, and his disciple Gongsun Chou.
Gongsun Chou asked his master : "Dare I ask my master, what is your ability and expertise?"
Mencius said: "I understand people. I know how to propagate and cultivate my overwhelming gigantic qì."
Gongsun Chou asked: "Master, dare I ask, what is overwhelming gigantic qì?"
Mencius replied: "It is difficult to explain. Qi is extremely large and extremely firm. One has to be just and honest. Then the qì can be large and firm. To cultivate this kind of qì , one has to cultivate one's own morals and sense of justice. Do not do bad deeds or you will destroy it. If you cultivate it, with time, it will permeate the universe. Being virtuous will spread virtue (through education) to others, with no limit."
Daoist philosophy and Daoist religion are not the same thing although Daosist religion claims that the Daoist philosopher, Lao Zi (Laotse) is their founder. Read this article.
Why there are different spelling for the Chinese word tao 道？
"Tao" is written using the method designed by Herbert Allen Giles (1845-1935), a British missionary and linguist, originator of Wade-Giles romanization of Chinese.
"Dao" is written using the official romanization method of the Chinese government called pinyin, which is the most widely used method of romanization of Chinese today. It is a much more logical way of romanizing Chinese.
Small qi: the term small qi 小氣 refers to the characteristic of a person, meaning stingy, petty, miserly, narrow-minded and jealous. It is not used as the opposite of overwhelming gigantic qi.
Click here to hear the pronunciation of the word qì.
Back ground information on Mencius.
The Chinese explanation came from the above link.
道家注重個人之修煉： "練精化氣， 練氣化神，練神返虛"﹔儒家注 重講究 "正氣"﹐"浩然之氣"﹔醫家講所講的氣是指人體的機能， 如 "臟腑之氣"。
道德 經之第六章：谷神不死是 謂玄牝。玄牝之門是 謂天地根。綿綿若存， 用之不勤。 第六章是為修道之入門。
玄牝 （音xuán pìn）雌性之動物。
Last update: Feb 1, 2011; 5:42 p.m. LAH