The Pristine Dao: Metaphysics in Early Daoist Discourse
The Laozi (Daodejing) and the Zhuangzi have long been familiar to Western readers and have served as basic sources of knowledge about early Chinese Daoism. Modern translations and studies of these works have encouraged a perception of Daoism as a mystical philosophy heavy with political implications that advises kings to become one with the Dao. Breaking with this standard approach, The Pristine Dao argues that the Laozi and the Zhuangzi participated in a much wider tradition of metaphysical discourse that included a larger corpus of early Chinese writings.
This book demonstrates that early Daoist discourse possessed a distinct, textually constituted coherence and a religious sensibility that starkly differed from the intellectual background of all other traditions of early China, including Confucianism. The author argues that this discourse is best analyzed through its emergence from the mythological imagination of early China, and that it was unified by a set of notions about the Dao that was shared by all of its participants. The author introduces certain categories from the Western religious and philosophical traditions in order to bring out the distinctive qualities constituting this discourse and to encourage its comparison with other religious and philosophical traditions.
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EARLY DAOISM AND METAPHYSICS
EARLY DAOISM AND COSOMOGONY
AN ALTERNATIVE COSMOGONY OF THE CONFUCIAN TRADITION
EARLY DAOISM AND COSMOLOGY
WAS THERE AN EARLY DAOIST COSMOLOGY BEFORE THE LAOZI?
THE HIDDEN SAGE IS NOT A PUBLIC KING
THE ONTOLOGICAL VISION OF THE LAOZI
THE ONTOLOGICAL VISION OF THE QIWULUN
EARLY DAOISM AND SOTERIOLOGY
THE NEIYE DESCRIBES THE BODY AS JING
THE LAOZI DESCRIBES THE NEWBORN BODY
THE ZHUANGZI DESCRIBES THE BODY AS HEAVEN
THE HUAINANZI DESCRIBES THE CORRELATIVE BODY
EARLY DAOISM AND MODERNITY
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abyss activity acts assent and rejection beginnings bodily breath called chapter China Chuang-tzu completing the world Confucius cosmic cosmogony cosmological sequence cosmos cultivation depicts depletion describes discriminations discussion distinctions early Chinese early Daoist cosmology early Daoist discourse early Daoist writings embodies the Dao energies existence first-order harmony Five Phase foundational body Fu Xi gateway gives birth Guangchengzi Guodian heart Heaven and Earth Heaven-the Human-Earth Huainanzi Huangdi human identified images inner components intentional jing Jixia Academy King Laozi 42 Liezi manifest Mawangdui Mencius moral movements nature Neiye notions one's ontological original passage present primordial couple pristine Dao Qiwulun realms of Heaven refers relation religion represents righteousness Sage second-order harmony shen Sibu signifies social soteriological spontaneous Taiyi Sheng Shui that-which-is that-which-is-not themes thousand things three realms tion tradition tranquility transformation ultimate virtue vision vital Xicizhuan Xunzi yin-yang Zhuangzi