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A Rediscovery of Heaven-Human Oneness
2015-05-16 10:47:29   来源:文艺学网   点击:

    Man is fallen; nature is erect, and serves as a differential thermometer,
detecting the presence or absence of the divine sentiment in man.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)



It is chiefly due to the eco-environmental pressure that people tend to be more concerned with the interaction between nature and humankind. The history of Chinese intelligence witnesses a constant probe into the chiasmatic encounters between heaven (tian) and human (ren ), which is conducive to a core conception of heaven-human oneness (tian ren heyi) as the general ethos of Chinese philosophy. The polysemy of the conception is extended along with the passage of time according to the socio-cultural context. At present-day stage, the tendency to rediscover the relevance of heaven-human oneness is conducted by reading new and even modern messages into the old conception as such. It has consequently become an open-ended activity, inviting a second reflection on its hidden universality for the common good.
This paper attempts to look into the essential bearings and relevance of heaven-human oneness by tracing back to its historical line of thought with reference to updated reinterpretations. The whole argument is intended to cover these three sub-topics as follows: the threefold significance, the two-dimensional orientation, and a pragmatic alternative.


The Threefold Significance


Chinese culture was originated from a nomadic tradition followed by an agricultural counterpart. This being the case, heaven was worshiped because it was seen to be both a dominant force and a dependent means in terms of food production and human survival. According to the antiquities, heaven is above, and earth is below, thus making up the universe or Nature as a whole in which all things or beings are begotten and conserved. Hence the tri-party interaction has been the focus of consideration in Chinese thought from ancient to present. Confucianism, for instance, is preoccupied with san cai as “three basic substances” that involve tian as heaven, di as earth, and ren as human; and Taoism is concerned with si da as “four great parts” that comprise tian, di, ren and Tao (dao). It is owing to Shamanistic or magic heritage that tian is regarded as embodiment of a divine mandate and thus conceptualized for the Lord of Heaven. Yet, the Lord of Heaven stays and communicates with humans, things, tribes or societies through magic force. It is neither beyond the empirical domain nor personified into a transcendental power like the Christian God. This is why tian as heaven and ren as human are interacted with each other so closely that the conception of oneness between the two came into shape in pre-Qin period. Speaking generally, the conception itself can be dated back to Mencius (c. 372-289 BC) and Zhuangzi (c. 369-286 BC), further developed by Dong Zhongshu (179-104 BC), and metaphysically moralized by Neo-Confucianism in the Song Dynasty especially from 11th to 13th centuries AD. Along with the passage of time the idea of tian is extended into a cluster of concepts such as tiandi (heaven and earth), tianming (the mandate of Heaven), tianyi (the will of Heaven), tiandao (the way of Heaven), xianxia (the land under heaven), and among many others. I hereby look into three of them that I think are more important and relevant to the general concern of humankind nowadays. They are tiandi as Nature, xiandao as the Heavenly Way, and tianxia as the land under sky or the world, thus consisting of the threefold significance in the Chinese notion of tianren heyi qua heaven-human oneness.

Tiandi and its naturalistic aspects
The literal translation of tiandi is heaven and earth that make up the universe or Nature as a whole. The use of the term is of high frequency in many Chinese classics, and almost always set in a context where nature and humankind are interrelated.
In A Taoist Classic of Chuang-tzu (Zhuang zi), for instance, we read the following: “Heaven and Earth and I came into existence together, and the myriad things with me are one.”[i] “Heaven and Earth have great beauty but remain in silence... The myriad things have perfect principles but say nothing of them. The sage is a person who is in pursuit of the great beauty and the perfect principles.”[ii] Heaven and Earth (tiandi) are the producer of the myriad things (wanwu). The myriad things take shelter in Heaven and Earth. They all gather together to form up the entirety of Nature that is then synthesized with humankind into oneness. By such oneness Chuang-tzu tries to equalize all things and justify his principle of making no distinction. For he believes that the cosmic order or harmony is to be attained in no other way than this. In many cases, he advises those who attempt to pursue the Dao of absolute freedom and independent personality to follow the course of Nature. This is not simply because Nature operates characteristically in spontaneity or naturalness (zi ran er ran), but because Nature also has great beauty and virtuous silence. Under such circumstances, Nature is not only the place to live and act, but also the object for aesthetic appreciation. Accordingly, the sage as the idealized personality in Daoism is not merely part of Nature, but the discoverer of natural beauty as well. As is discerned in The Happy Excursion and other chapters, Chuang-tzu tenders much credit to the aesthetic value of natural beauty owing to its nourishment of spiritual freedom. He is in fact ready to embrace the natural but reject the artificial. Thus on many occasions he bestows the natural with joyous charm whereas the artificial with evil distortion, for instance, the bull tamed by man for plowing. All this leads to his philosophizing of aesthetic naturalism.
When it comes to Dong Zhongshu’s Rich Dews in Spring and Autumn (Chun qiu fan lu), the natural beauty is said to embody the harmony of Heaven and Earth, and anyone who has a peaceful mind and right conduct is able to nourish his body by means of this beauty. [iii] In a rather affectionate tone Dong assumes that Nature is the “grandfather of man”, making man as man as it bears the virtue of human-heartedness or benevolence (ren).[iv] It follows that Nature and man share a strong resemblance. For example, Nature has the sun and the moon, man has the left and right eye; Nature has four seasons, and man has four limbs; Nature has four kinds of emotional power such as joy revealed in spring, happiness in summer, anger in autumn, sorrow in winter, and so does man. Nature and man are therefore one in a classificatory sense. Accordingly, there arises harmonious order when man identifies himself with Nature. There arises terrible disorder when man separates himself from Nature.[v] The above comparison is ostensibly far-fetched and logically ridiculous. But it aims to remind humankind of their dependent position and inborn connection with Nature. The emphasis on the strong resemblance between Nature and man is not meaningless at all since it serves at least to let man attend to Nature as much as he attends to himself. This is hopefully conducive to necessary respect and emotional caring for Nature. Historically Dong is the first to coin the concept of heaven-human oneness that is seen as a milestone regarding the relations between Nature and humankind in Chinese thought. Somewhat like Chuang-tzu, Dong acknowledges the natural beauty underlined by the principle of proper harmony. But he finds such beauty beneficial in a number of ways. It is not merely aesthetically satisfying, but physically rewarding and morally generating. In other words, it satisfies aesthetic needs, nurtures the body, and facilitates the becoming of man as man by its rich resources and varied functions. However, Dong’s preoccupation like this represents a mystical naturalism. For his approach to the oneness is essentially based on the school of Yin and Yang, his personification of Heaven exemplifies a kind of mystification instead of divination, and likewise, his contemplation of natural beauty reveals some mystical rapture.
Mencius is one of the early Chinese thinkers who promote the notion of heaven-human oneness. He perceives the above notion mainly in view of Confucianism. He therefore seeks to maintain a balance by exposing the reciprocal interaction between the two sides. From a cognitive perspective, Mencius claims that “One who has exhausted xin as his mental constitution knows xing as his own nature. Knowing his own nature, he knows tian as Heaven. To preserve his mental constitution, and nourish his own nature, is the way to serve Heaven.”[vi] This argument shows how man and heaven interact with each other. On the part of man in particular, it requires a sense of mission and more initiative not only to develop one’s cognitive power and cultivate one’s character, but also to do one’s utmost for Heaven. As is detected in this context, Heaven (tian) implies abstractly an inborn destiny (tianming), and substantially the myriad things (wanwu). What is meant by “to serve Heaven” is related to fulfilling the inborn destiny and looking after the myriad things. Then, from a pragmatic viewpoint, Mencius proposes the ideal of “loving people and treasuring things” (ren min er ai wu).[vii] “Loving people” (ren min) is the result of extending affection from one’s parents to others in general. “Treasuring things” (ai wu) signifies the care-taking of all things or beings according to the law of reciprocity. For instance, “If the farming seasons be not interfered with, the grain will be more than can be eaten. If close nets are not allowed to enter the pools and ponds, the fishes and turtles will be more than can be consumed. If the axes and bills enter the hills and forests only at the proper time, the wood and timber would be more than can be used.”[viii] Consequently, things are protected and multiplied at the same time, and people are in turn enabled to enjoy sufficient means and live a reasonably good life. Otherwise, there would bring about a detrimental outcome of abusing the natural resources and depriving Nature of generative capacity. This is often metaphorically described in Chinese as though a greed-trodden farmer kills the hen for its eggs.
Among the three thinkers aforementioned, Nature is perceived to be good and beautiful a priori. Distinguished from Zhuangzi’s preoccupation with aesthetic naturalism and Dong Zhongshu’s concern with mystical naturalism, Mencius seems to be in favor of pragmatic naturalism. Relatively, the aesthetic naturalism tends to exaggerate the perfect beauty of Nature while ignoring the active role of humankind; the mystical naturalism tends to reinforce the heaven-human resemblance in order to project human affection into Nature; and the pragmatic naturalism tends to stress the mutual independence and reciprocal interaction between Nature and humankind so as to secure a balanced development for the sake of human existence as its ultimate telos.
1990s witnessed the revival of the rationale of heaven-human oneness. It occurred against the background of eco-environmental pressure in China and the world over. Quite some thinkers reexamine the rationale in order to build up a high awareness of the problematic relations between human and Nature. They regard Nature as an organic whole of the cosmic scheme, and propose a new operation of heaven-human oneness for eco-environmental protection in terms of “sustainable development”. In their mind, the organic whole ought to be taken care of because no part of it is a separated island, and everyone is accountable for its protection. As for the general objective of sustainable development, it is not merely economy-based, but morality-based because it is also intended for the welfare of later generations of human race in its entirety.

Tiandao and its moralistic expectations
The Chinese conception of tiandao means the Heavenly Way concretized through its counterpart of rendao as the Human Way. The former poses a higher frame of reference for the latter as is directed toward moral development. This idea can be traced back to The Book of Changes (Yi jing or I Ching) in the following statement: “The great man is someone whose virtue is constant with Heaven and Earth, his brightness with the sun and the moon, his orderly procedure with the four seasons…When he precedes Heaven, Heaven will not act in opposition to him; and when he follows Heaven, he obeys the timing of its motion”[ix] What is emphasized here appears to be the interactive oneness between Heaven and Humankind. In reality, the key message is hidden in the human virtue and consistency with Heaven and Earth. As is noticed in the commentary on the first two hexagrams of qian (symbol of Heaven) and kun (symbol of Earth), the human virtue is expected to assimilate the counterpart of both Heaven and Earth. It says in the Great Symbolism, “The action of Heaven is strong and dynamic. In the same manner, the noble man never ceases to strengthen himself.”[x] “The disposition of Earth bears sustaining power. The noble man, in accordance with this, supports all beings with his generous virtue.”[xi] Observably the dynamic action of Heaven is demonstrated through the ceaseless cycle of the four seasons, and the sustaining power of Earth through the carrying capacity of mountains, waters and all other beings. Such doings suggest tiandi zhide as respective virtues of Heaven and Earth. These virtues then come together to form tiandi zhidao as the Way of Heaven and Earth, which is shortened into tiandao as the Heavenly Way. The noble man as an idealized personality becomes what he is by learning from the Heavenly Way. He strives to develop himself persistently like Heaven, and similarly like Earth he tries to achieve the generous virtue to help all other beings grow properly. His deed of this kind works to establish rendao as the Human Way for moral accomplishment.
This line of thought has been extended throughout the Chinese history of ideas. Mencius, for instance, pushes it further as a moral requirement on character training. “Wherever the noble man passes through,” as he says, “transformation of others follows; wherever he abides, his instructive influence is too subtle and great to be measured; his virtuous achievement flows above and beneath, like that of Heaven and Earth.”[xii] The Human Way is embodied in what the noble man does, and the Heavenly Way represented by “that of Heaven and Earth”. The former is supposed to reach the corresponding level of the latter. It is on this point that the heaven-human oneness is accomplished, and so is the idealized personality of the noble man. The similar idea is also found in The Doctrine of the Mean (Zhong yong). The noble man is assumed to be a person with the most complete sincerity that exists under Heaven. When he can give its full development to his own nature, he can do the same to the nature of other men. When he can give its full development to the nature of other men, he can give their full development to the natures of animals and things. When he can do this job, he can help the transforming and nourishing powers of Heaven and Earth. When he can help this way, he may with Heaven and Earth form a ternion.[xiii] The process demonstrates a hypothesized sequence about how the Human Way mingles with the Heavenly Way. It commences with the virtue of sincerity that is capable of transforming oneself and others for better; it goes through a number of stages by virtue of applying altruism to other men, animals, and things, etc. Finally it arrives at the highest possible state of forming a ternion. The ternion in this context involves the union among the three components including Heaven, Earth and Mankind. Actually it indicates again the heaven-human oneness, and a sense of mission on the part of human as human. In order to fulfill this oneness and mission, it calls for a gradual transcendence and self-development from low to high.
Confucianism pays more attention to the reciprocal interaction between the Heavenly Way and the Human Way. This tradition has been carried onward by Confucianists from the past to the present. Among the Neo-Confucianists in the Song Dynasty, there is a general agreement on canceling out the distinction between the Heavenly Way and the Human Way. That is to say, they tend to identify the former with the latter and ascertain the oneness between the two. For example, Zhang Zai (1020-1077 AD) argues that the Heavenly Way and the Human Way seem to be different in size, but remain the same in essence because it is through human to know and experience Heaven. [xiv] Cheng Hao (1032-1085 AD) simply refuses to distinguish one from another. For he thinks that Heaven and humankind are originally not two but one, it is therefore needless to ponder over their synthesis at all.[xv] Cheng Yi (1033-1107 AD) goes even further to define the relationship in such concise terms as follows: The Way (dao) is freed from any distinction between Heaven and human. Yet, it is called the Heavenly Way when it is with Heaven, the Earthly Way when it is with Earth, and the Human Way when it is with human. The Way is one only. It is shared by Heaven, Earth and humankind altogether.[xvi]
In recent decades the modern Confucianists attempt to revive the thought-way of Neo-Confucianism for the sake of moral reconstruction. Mou Zongsan (1909-1995), for example, has made tremendous endeavors to reinterpret the moral expectation of heaven-human oneness. He places much emphasis on integrating the virtue of Heaven with its human counterpart. In his mind, the individual life ought to be completely in conciliation with the cosmic life. He thus affirms that the attainment of this conciliation leads to the accomplishment not merely of moral being but also inward sageliness. In order to fulfill this telos, one must follow the Heavenly Way, and model his own nature upon it. How is that possible then? Mou’s illustration gives rise to a circle of development. The circle is consisted of four components. Down below is the becoming of individual life filled with possibilities. High above is the working of the Heavenly Way that is both religiously “transcendent” (chaoyue) and morally “immanent” (neizai). On the right hand side stands the process of moral praxis relating to the virtues of human-heartedness (ren) and truth (dao). On the left hand side stands the mandate of Heaven in constant movement. It is reckoned that the process of moral praxis and the movement of the mandate make possible the transformational interaction between the individual life and the Heavenly Way. On this occasion, the individual life will rises up to combine itself with the Heavenly Way as a result of praxis of the virtues of human-heartedness and truth. It has nourished a moral mind and transformed itself into a “real life” (zhenshi de shengming), “real subject” (zhenshi de zhuti) or “real self” (zhen wo). Meanwhile the Heavenly Way has turned itself into a “metaphysical substance” (xingershang de shiti), and penetrated into the human nature, thus breaking the estrangement and causing the conciliation between the individual life and the Heavenly Way.[xvii] In plain language, the individual life of humankind below will ascend upward to meet the Heavenly Way through moral praxis, whereas the Heavenly Way will descend downward to meet the individual life of humankind through constant movement. They create the conciliation or heaven-human oneness in which the Heavenly Way will transform itself into a “metaphysical reality” while the individual life into a moral being or “real self”. The key to this idealized outcome lies in sincere and persistent praxis of such virtues as human-heartedness and truth. Otherwise, there is no chance for the Heavenly Way to become a “metaphysical reality” but to remain as an abstract vision hanging in the air, and similarly, the individual life will not be able to become a moral person but to remain as a physical being down to the earth.
In the final analysis, the Confucianists of whatever type do use such terms as the Heavenly Way (tiandao) and the Human Way (rendao) in discourse. But very often they identify them with one another by illustrating the Heavenly Way in light of the Human Way for a moral purpose. As a matter of fact, this line of thought is derived from a learning strategy recommended by Confucius. When talking about himself with Zi Gong, Confucius confesses: “I do not complain against Heaven, nor do I grumble against Man. My learning start from what is down below and get through to what is up above. If I am understood at all, it is perhaps by Heaven.”[xviii] This confession reflects Confucius’ learning attitude, strategy and objective altogether. He concentrates on what he is learning and what progress he is making disregarding what others may say about him. The most important message of the remark is xiaxue er shangda, say, “My learning start from what is down below and get through to what is up above.” Here by “what is down below” is meant human affairs or social commitment, and by “what is up above” is meant such virtues as human-heartedness and righteousness (renyi). According to Confucius, learning is both a cognitive and practical process. It begins with knowing human affairs and social deeds, but its penetration must rise high; it thus continues to facilitate the attainment and praxis of “what is up above” in terms of the virtues aforementioned. Eventually the learning process comes up with a transformation of what is learned into the virtues expected (zhuan zhi wei de). Such virtues as human-heartedness and righteousness are all symbolized in the Heavenly Way and practically exercised by human beings. A synthesis to be made in this regard exemplifies the highest form of achievement of which human as human is capable in one sense, and in the other, it advises people to be realistic in pragmatic learning but idealistic in moral cultivation. This off course calls for a pursuit of moral transcendence as an elementary part of character building.

Tianxia and its Cosmopolitan ideal
Both Daoism and Confucianism show concern for tianxia as a political rather than a geographical concept. Its literal rendering could be “the land under Heaven or sky”. Actually in a narrow sense, it refers to China as it was once divided into many states; and in a broad sense, it signifies the world in its entirety. The conception of tianxia among the Chinese literati is more than necessary for it is deeply rooted in their mentality as a cosmopolitan ideal and ultimate goal of their lifetime mission. The mission itself is composed of four segments abbreviated as xiu qi zhi ping, which means four major tasks such as cultivating the personality, regulating the family, governing well the State, and keeping the world in peace. The whole idea is elaborated in a Confucianist classic of The Great Learning (Da xue):
The Dao of great learning is to manifest the illustrious virtue, to renovate the people, and to achieve the highest excellence… The ancients who manifested the illustrious virtue to the world first governed well their States. Wishing to govern well their States, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their personalities. Wishing to cultivate their personalities, they first rectified their minds. Wishing to rectify their minds, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things. Things being investigated, knowledge was extended. Their knowledge being extended, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their minds were then rectified. Their minds being rectified, their personalities were cultivated. Their personalities being cultivated, their families were rightly regulated. Their families being regulated, their States were well governed. Their States being governed, the whole world was kept in peace. From the son of Heaven [emperor] down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the personality the root of everything besides.[xix]
As is observed in this picture of great learning, there are eight major steps ranging from near to far or rising from low to high in a logical sequence. The first step is the investigation of things (gewu); the second is the extension of knowledge (zhizhi); the third is the sincerity of the thoughts (chengyi); the fourth is the rectification of the mind (zhengxin); the fifth is the cultivation of the personality (xiushen); the sixth is the regulation of the family (qijia); the seventh is the proper governance of the State (zhiguo); and the eighth is keeping the world in peace (ping tianxia). All these eight steps form a progressive process sustained by the law of cause and effect. Among them the first step is where the learning process begins with a cognitive motivation as the cause, and then leads to the second step as the effect. In the similar manner it gets through the rest of other steps before ending up with the ultimate objective. This means all the other seven steps or tasks serve as premises for “keeping the world in peace”. In order to keep the world in peace, the most determinate of all the premises is “the cultivation of the personality” (xiushen) as the root of everything besides. For the personality thus cultivated is not only an able and learned person, but a moral and rectified one as well. Without such kind of personality, the family cannot be regulated, the State cannot be well governed, and accordingly the world cannot be brought into peace. In practice, the entire process of great learning also demonstrates the Confucianist scheme of sageliness within and kingliness without (neisheng waiwang zhi dao). Comparatively, the first five steps contribute to the nurture of sageliness within (neisheng) that embodies the personality characterized with the highest excellence of human-heartedness and righteousness; and the last three steps contribute to the development of kingliness without (waiwang) that is verified through proper treatment of family, state and world affairs altogether.
It is assumed that one may read the old text and understand the new situation better. This is only possible by means of extending the implications of the text in view of the status quo. Regarding what is discussed above, the most appealing of all is not the learning process itself but the conventional ideal of ping tianxia as “keeping the world in peace”. Looking into the extended meaning of tianxia as the world, we are inclined to compare it with the widespread and over-treasured notion of State in modern politics. Geographically and ideologically, the notion of State is as a rule nationality-based and largely confined to the marked borderline or national territory. If it is by any chance produced no radical nationalism or did less harm to other nations for the sake of national identity, it would be utilized to justify a kind of egoist patriotism at least. It is usually in the name of State interests, national willpower, and blind patriotism that some unreasonable destruction and even war crimes are committed along with unnecessary cost of human lives and other resources. In contrast, the ideal of tianxia is by principle world-oriented and thus features a cosmopolitan horizon. As idealistic as it may be, it appears more constructive and reciprocal par excellence in the realm of international relations. After all, it could be employed to encourage a world outlook and high awareness of cosmopolitanism.
In respect of the three derived aspects of heaven-human oneness explicated above, the theory of tiandi as Nature connotes a cosmic scheme of appropriate praxis for humankind to act according to the law of reciprocity; the doctrine of tiandao as the Heavenly Way implies a moral scheme of spiritual cultivation for humankind to pursue self-perfection, the conception of tianxia as the world as a whole indicates a political scheme of cosmopolitan consciousness for humankind to develop a broader vision. This line of thought is said to function as a keystone in the formation of the cultural mentality among the educated in particular. It always stays open to be rediscovered and reinterpreted with the passage of time, however.


The Two-dimensional Orientation

It is worth mentioning that after the founding in 1949 of the New China as it so called, the rationale of heaven-human oneness was brought under attack by the official ideology. Maoism went so far as to declare a kind of “civil war” against Heaven or Nature. This is typically evidenced in one of Mao’s decrees as follows: It draws tremendous delight from the battle against Heaven, and so it does from the class struggle amongst humanity (yu tian dou, qi le wuqiong; yu ren dou, qi le wuqiong). As a consequence, the separation of heaven and human was politically imposed and rampantly reinforced. This situation lasted for a decade or so when China paid a heavy price during the rash period of the Great Leap Forward in late 1950s, and suffered a nationwide famine resulted from “man-made natural disasters” in early 1960s. It is not until early 1980s that the academics in the Mainland China resumed the reconsideration of heaven-human oneness. But this time the methodology manifests a two-dimensional orientation by means of the “pragmatic reason” (shiyong lixing), and in this regard Li Zehou’s observation stands out for its philosophical insights. The two-dimensional orientation involves ziran renhua as the humanization of Nature, and ren ziranhua as the naturalization of humankind.

Ziran renhua as the humanization of nature

According to Li Zehou, Nature could be classified conceptually into two modes: the external and the internal. The external Nature stands for the living surroundings of humankind, while the internal Nature for the physical faculties of humankind. In 1999 he makes a metaphorical use of such binary terms as “hardware” and “software” to illustrate the humanization of both the external and internal Nature.
Regarding the humanization of the external Nature, the analogy of “hardware” refers to the recreation or reformation of the natural environment in which humankind live. It is reflected, for instance, in the man-made reservoirs, canals, artificial lakes, husbandry and agriculture, etc. Nowadays this form of practice continues, for instance, in the field of transforming the biological genes of plants and vegetables with the help of modern technology. Then, the analogy of “software” points to the crucial changes that have occurred to the interrelationship between Nature and Humankind. As a result of the development of the “hardware” abovementioned, human fear and worship for natural elements, things, and phenomena are gradually vanished in the course of civilization, and replaced by an aesthetic affinity and other utilitarian expectations. Hence the beauty of natural landscape is discovered and appreciated. It is on this point that Li Zehou grounds his argument on a historical ontology (lishi bentilun). As he stresses, it is historical development that has altered the heaven-human relations and also made possible the humanization of Nature. In this sense “humanization” is not something merely conceptual or subjective, but essentially anthropo-ontological. Say, the objective relationship between Nature and Humankind has been changed historically, thus making Nature as part of human existence. Eventually Nature was turned from a fearful object in itself into an object for itself that is approachable with human affinity. All this is the fundamental and objective basis of the humanization of Nature in the subjective conscious of humankind.[xx] As is read in The Four Lectures on Aesthetics (Meixue sijiang), Li Zehou utilizes a broad and narrow vision to formulate his observation as follows:
The ‘Humanization of Nature’ in its broad sense is a philosophical concept. The sky, oceans, deserts, wild forests and so on are not directly reformed by humankind, but perceived as the outcome of the “humanization of Nature”. For such humanization indicates the historical measure of human conquest of Nature, and the developmental stage of the entire society. In effect there arises a fundamental change in the interrelationship between humankind and Nature. This abandons the sheer conception of Nature in its narrow sense, and refuses to take it as a reformed object via labor only. Then the “humanization of Nature” in its narrow sense is evinced in the natural objects recreated by humankind, for example, the cultivated flowers and grass that appear beautiful indeed. Yet, as social development goes further ahead, human beings become more and more interested in contemplating such landscapes as thunderstorms and wild deserts that remain untouched by human hands…For these things are already freed from any harmful or hostile content, and their sensuous forms turn out to be more appealing to human attention. During the contemplation of these natural forms that seem to revolt against humankind in appearance, one is most likely to experience an aesthetic pleasure of a sublime kind.[xxi]
The humanization of Nature is by principle a process that goes hand in hand with the progression of human civilization or culture. It involves the historical relationship between human praxis and Nature, and transforms, directly or indirectly, natural things into aesthetic objects. In this respect, the humanization of Nature in its narrow sense that is operated through human labor and technological recreation provides the basis (if not direct basis) for the humanization of Nature in its broad sense, that is, it is the basic cause of changing the Nature-and-human relations. In other words, “the humanization of Nature in its broad sense could take place only when the humanization of Nature in its narrow sense has developed to a certain historical stage.”[xxii] The primitives, for instance, could hardly appreciate such natural scenes as mountains, waters, flowers and birds simply because they used to live under the fearfulness of Nature that was not humanized either in its broad or narrow sense.
In the case of the humanization of the internal Nature, Li Zehou again offers an analogical analysis. By the analogy of “hardware” he means the transformation of physical faculties and DNA structures, etc. It involves a deliberated human control and recreation of the natural faculties and their functions (ganguan de renhua). As a result, the five faculties or senses, for example, are humanized or encultured, and we humans therefore can enjoy a musical ear for music, an artistic hand for painting, and literary eye for poetry, etc. This suggests that the instinctive and sense utility of the faculties or faculties are gradually decreased, and in turn modified by non-utilitarian functions including aesthetic sensibility and taste. The analogy of software in this context refers mainly to the humanization of desires and eros (qingyu de renhua). The historical process of enculturation differentiates humans from animals even though they share something in common. Specifically speaking, the long history of making and using tools along with social group organization have helped the psychical organisms and functions become different from that of animals. The difference lies chiefly in the mixture of animal-ness with cultural-ness. This leads to the cultural-psychological formation (wenhua xinli jiegou) in which the animal mentality and the cultural achievement are sedimented (jidian), and so are the sociality (rationality and cultural-ness) and the individuality (sensibility and animal-ness). Among many others, an offhanded example could be the virtue of human love originated from sheer sex. This shows the fact that the humanization of the internal Nature has made human as human from a moral perspective.
On this point, human ethics or practical reason is identified with the kernel of the “humanization of the internal Nature,”[xxiii] and connected with it is human taste or new sensibility from an aesthetic perspective.[xxiv] This is because “Both humanization of the external Nature and that of the internal Nature are the historical products of human society as a whole. Aesthetically, the former turns the objective world into beautiful reality, and bears the essential cause of the beautiful, while the latter helps the subjective mentality experience aesthetic feeling, and reveals the essential cause of the aesthetic feeling. They are all attained through the entire history of social praxis.”[xxv] With other arguments alike, this one expresses the primary aspect of Li’s hypothesis of historical sedimentation (jidian lun) that is challenged and reexamined by other philosophers at home and abroad in recent decades. The limited length of this paper only allows for a brief description rather than a critical analysis.

Ren ziranhua as the naturalization of humanity
If ziran renhua as “humanization of Nature” is borrowed from Karl Marx and extended from a historico- and antrhopo-ontological viewpoint, ren ziranhua as naturalization of humanity is chiefly inspired by the Chinese thought-way of heaven-human oneness. According to Li Zehou, the naturalization of humanity serves as the counterpart of the humanization of Nature, which represent two dimensions of the historical process of human culture. Above all, the naturalization of humanity aims at the human fulfillment or the wholeness of human nature. It is historically preconditioned by the humanization of Nature, and pointed to the individual development in particular.
Correspondingly, the naturalization of humanity is assumed to contain at least two aspects. One of them is composed of three kinds of activity as follows: firstly, establish a co-existent and harmonized interaction between Humankind and Nature, and perceive Nature as a shelter to live and rest in; secondly, return to Nature for aesthetic contemplation of its beautiful landscapes, and help things grow properly by taking care of flora and fauna; thirdly, learn how to breathe naturally (e.g. through appropriate practice of qigong exercise or yoga) in order to conciliate the rhythm of human body and heart with that of Nature, and reach the heaven-human oneness.[xxvi] All of them are associated with a certain kind of aesthetic feeling or state of mind in which the rational is fused with the emotional, the subject identified with the object, and the social consciousness accompanied with the individual freedom. In a word, by virtue of naturalization of humanity one could possibly turn back to Nature for “dwelling poetically” in the world as he may free himself from the control by instrumental rationality, from the alienation by material fetishism, and from the enslavement by the system of power, knowledge, and language, etc.
The other of the two aspects lies in an aesthetic issue. It is found in the free enjoyment (ziyou xiangshou) that is stemmed from the cultural psychological formation of the person who returns to Nature with a humanized as well as socialized mentality. Compared with the service of the humanized faculties and emotions, the naturalization of humanity enables man to dwell poetically in the world, and exposes him to free enjoyment in an aesthetic and spiritual sense. That is why Li Zehou asserts the superiority of the aesthetic to both the cognitive and the ethical. For the aesthetic is neither the internalization of reason (the cognitive) nor the condensation of reason (the ethical), but the sedimentation of both reason and sense. This being the case, it works to facilitate “the rectification of seven human emotions including joy, anger, sorrow, fear, love, hate and desire” (qiqing zheng) and “the delight in heaven-human oneness” (tianren le). In other words, the aesthetic of “free enjoyment” is neither the ethical in which rationality dominates sensibility, nor the cognitive in which rationality shapes sensibility. It is fully open and individual creativity in which rationality and a variety of psychical factors (e.g. perception, imagination, desire, emotion, and unconscious) are penetrating into and interweaving with each other. This creativity is significant to both the cognitive and the ethical because it serves to “illuminate the true with the beautiful” (yimei qizhen) and “enhance the good through the beautiful” (yimei chushan).[xxvii] In this context the true leads to the discovery of real knowledge and wisdom, and the good to the cultivation of moral personality.
Metaphorically, the humanization of Nature and the naturalization of humanity seem to be two wheels of a moving cart symbolic of the historical development of human culture. A human person is up there riding the cart toward a destination of self-fulfillment or wholeness. During this process, humankind as a super-biological species stirs up not only the “humanization of the external Nature” (waizai ziran de renhua), but also the “humanization of the internal nature” (neizai ziran de renhua), which then opens up both the cognitive realm (free intuition) and the ethical realm (free will). All this is extended further and blended with the “naturalization of humanity” (ren ziranhua), thus underlying the aesthetic realm (free enjoyment). As a result there arises the cultural psychological formation with the help of historical sedimentation, and it is from this perspective of historical ontology and philosophical psychology that the new implications of heaven-human oneness are proposed.”[xxviii]
I personally think more implications can be proposed in accordance with what is in need of. As we know, the human expression of ideas and feelings in art can be broadly categorized into three basic genres in the course of history. At the very beginning there were no pictures and words. People therefore expressed themselves through sounds and gestures. Then there arose the audio expression in the genre of music-dance. Later on, people started to learn how to draw pictures and signs in order to keep records or express themselves. Then there arose the visual expression in the genre of drawing or painting in particular. Eventually words were invented and came into use. Then there arose the verbal expression in the genre of literature and poetry, for instance. In recent centuries humankind tend to be verbally trapped or yoked by language of any conceivable kind. The situation is worsened to the extent that a person does not speak words but instead words speak the person. This is often the case with those who are reluctant to think on their own but ready to parrot back what is said by others. Moreover, the situation as such is conducive to the retrogression of audio and visual capacities. Some people attribute it to the over-humanization of the faculties and senses as modern city dwellers are imprisoned in high rises and contact Nature merely by peeping out at the moon or the sun in the sky through windows, for example. Under such circumstances, the “naturalization of humanity” becomes indispensable in that it will be apt to revive human sensibility in an aesthetic sense. That is, the audio and visual sensibilities will be enhanced as one is exposed to natural sounds and scenes upon his return to Nature. All this can be seen as a favorable effect of heaven-human oneness to some extent.



A Pragmatic Alternative


As is explicated foregoingly, the three-fold significance and the two-dimensional orientation are all leagued with the rationale of heaven-human oneness. Hypothesized from all this is the highest form of achievement that human as human pursues. It is called tiandi jingjie. Its literal rendering could be “heaven-and-earth realm”, and its free translation could be “cosmic realm of being”, symbolizing the cultivation of a superior personality with a universal view and cosmopolitan mind. By principle “the cosmic realm of being” is mainly preoccupied with the excellence of heaven-human oneness. Accordingly, the cosmic personality is capable of serving not only the society and humankind, but also the universe and all things. He is therefore willing to do whatever possible so as to retain all beings or things in their most proper positions. What he heads for is, in Mencius’ terms, the becoming of “heavenly citizen” (tianmin).[xxix] Such citizenship is expected to transcend the conventional limits of ethnic race, nationality, state territory or political borderlines altogether.
In brief, tiandi jingjie as the cosmic realm of being is based on a sense of mission to “serve heaven” (shi tian) by doing the utmost to help all things grow properly in the universe. Those who are in favor of this realm of being will see themselves not merely as social beings, but also as universal beings, claiming personal commitment to both society and universe at the same time. Being in this case, they enjoy a thorough understanding of human nature, and of the interrelationship between humankind and the universe. And in a spiritual sense they seem to have moved from the finite “I” into the infinite “I”, and thereby live in freedom instead of necessity.
As is detected, the cosmic realm of being sounds as much idealistic as abstract. But it can be made somewhat accessible when specified in terms of renmin er aiwu as loving people and treasuring things. If it is properly applied in this regard, it will come out to be in favor of both cosmopolitan consciousness and eco-environmental protection to certain degree. For this reason it could be recommended as a pragmatic alternative to confront with the eco-environmental problems according to the law of reciprocity between Nature and Humankind.
In my perception the applicability of this alternative is preconditioned by the motivation to know tianli as natural laws, and to develop renxin as humane mind. Here tianli also stands for the universal principle whilst renxin for the altruist love. The knowledge of tianli helps one take rational actions when making use of natural resources, and the development of renxin guides one to treat people and things alike with equal affinity. Relatively speaking, the former requires great-mindedness and insightfulness into the principles of all things through investigation, whereas the latter requires human-heartedness and adherence to the virtue of sincerity. Both of them involve a sense of mission and an awareness of reciprocal relationship. This is because we human beings are part of Nature. We are susceptible to the impact from other species and things in the world, and in return we have impact on them as well by what we do in general.
Mostly the mind is acknowledged to play a vital role in conducting the virtue of loving people and treasuring things either for socio-cultural or eco-environmental enterprises. Just imagine, if the mind is merely confined to human welfare proper, it will be too narrow and self-centered to take into due consideration the welfare of those other than homo sapiens. Such narrow-mindedness or anthropo-centerism is inclined to meet human needs by overexploiting other things like natural and maritime recourses. Then the eco-development might be thrown out of balance and the eco-environment be put into jeopardy. An offhanded case in North China is the environmental crisis relating both to the desertification of the grassland due to excessive husbandry,[xxx] and the increase of sandstorms due to the wide-spreading desertification. Facing this vicious cycle, we predict a decisive breakthrough to be made by looking into the cultivation of the mind per se.
Then, there arises the question about how to cultivate the mind to the fullest extent as is expected. As far I could see, this involves a process of which there are at least three essential stages. First and foremost, it is expected to do what Zhang Zai advices: “da qi xin, yi ti tianxia zhi wu”. This implies a basic attitude. According to my understanding, “da” means “broad or great”, opposite to its binary counterpart “xiao” that means “small”; “xin” refers to “ren xin” as the human mind. Here “da qi xin” suggests that human beings do their utmost to “make the mind broad”. Hypothetically, the mind can be as broad as to accommodate the whole universe (renxin zhida, keyi nangkuo yuzhou). This mind-universe relationship is of course imaginative and spiritual rather than physical or spatial. Its transcendent pursuit can render the mind much broader or greater than anything else. Then, what is it for by so doing? It is to enable the human race to “experience and understand the real condition of all things under the sky or in the whole universe” (yi ti tianxia zhi wu). “The real condition” as such embodies the living and environmental condition that affects the human condition, directly or indirectly. “To experience and understand the real condition” is not possible unless we have relevant knowledge and empathy at least. In this case the knowledge comes from investigating the connections among all things, and the empathy from projecting feelings into the surroundings. With this state of mind humans will be ready to transposition themselves into “all things in the whole universe” and naturally develop a conscience of treasuring them in all. It is noteworthy that Zhang Zai’s notion also implies something negative. He calls on people to broaden the mind simply because it usually remains small, confining itself to the narrow domain of personal gains and losses only. Such small-mindedness is conducive to either egoism or anthropocenterism, say, the self-claimed privilege that man is the measure of all things. Hence the cultivation of broad-mindedness is indispensable in this regard.
Subsequently, efforts must be redoubled to exercise the second strategy. That is, “xu qi xin, yi shou tianxia zhi shan”. By “xu qi xin” is meant “making the mind empty” as is so literally translated. Its actual meaning is twofold: one is to empty the mind of being self-opinionated and selfish, and the other is to keep the mind modest and open. When people get up to this stage, they will be ready to “receive and appreciate all the good in the world” (yi shou tianxia zhi shan). The good of this kind is derived not simply from human beings and social events, but also from other beings and natural things. It needs therefore to learn the merits and lessons from others in order to do a good job for all. Meanwhile it needs to appreciate the benefits offered by others and then do them a favor in return. The whole idea seems to be that a good turn deserves another from a reciprocal perspective. It is common sense, for instance, that no one can survive without breathing in the oxygen largely produced by the plants. It is therefore the same to take care of the plants as to take care of the breathers themselves. Otherwise it will be as harmful as to lift up a stone and then drop it on the toes of the lifter himself.
Last but not the least, it is of practical value to follow the third strategy. That is to “jin qi xin, yi mou tianxia zhi shi”. By “jin qi xin” is implied two messages: one is to “complete the mind” by recovering its original mind (benxin) or the good mind (liangxin), while the other is to “do the utmost through the mind” (jinxin) by taking right actions. Confucianism believes that the mind is originally good, but might be covered up with human desires; its original good can be regained if the desires are reduced and eliminated. This asks for a cultivating process with moral sincerity. What is to be emphasized on this point is bilateral regarding the service of the mind. The service as such should be good-natured and best deployed to “plan and conduct all the world affairs” (yi mou tianxia zhi shi). In order to fulfill this mission it is necessary not merely to make the most of the mind, but follow the logical order by making the mind broad to experience and understand all the things in the universe, by making the mind empty to receive and appreciate all the good in the world, and above all, by making the mind humane to love people and treasure things altogether.
In sum, tiandi jingjie as the cosmic realm of being features loving people and treasuring things in view of tianren heyi as heaven-human oneness. As a hypothesis it can be creatively developed into a pragmatic alternative for human fulfillment and eco-environmental protection as well. Practically and ultimately it is intended to upgrade the quality of life for humankind as a whole providing we humans become more cosmopolitan and more conscious of tian as Heaven or Nature as part of our own being, so to speak.



[i] Cf. Chuang-tzu, “On the Equality of Things,” in A Taoist Classic: Chuang-tzu (trans. Fung Yu-lan, Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1989), 49.
[ii] Cf. Chuang-tzu, Zhi bei you 知北遊 (intelligence traveling northward), in Chen Guying (ed.), Zhuangzi jinzhu jinyi 莊子今注今譯(the book of Chuang-tzu newly annotated and paraphrased, Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1983) , p. 563.
[iii] Cf. Dong Zhongshu, Xun tian zhi dao 循天之道 (act upon the dao of heaven),” in Chunqiu fanlu 春秋繁露 (the book of Dong Zhongshu or rich dews in spring and autumn, Shanghai: Shanghai Classics Press, 1989), pp. 91-93.
[iv] Ibid., Wei ren zhe tian 為人者天 (heaven serves man), p. 64; Wangdao tong san 王道通三(the kingly way), p. 67.
[v] Ibid., Yin Yang yi 陰陽義 (the meaning of Yin and Yang),” p. 71.
[vi] Cf. Mencius, The Works of Mencius (trans. James Legge), 13.1.
[vii] Ibid., 13.45.
[viii] Ibid., 1.4.
[ix] Cf. The Book of Changes (trans. James Legge), Hexagram 1: Qian 乾(34.). Also see The Classic of Changes (Trans. Richard John Lynn, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), p. 138.
[x] Cf. The Book of Changes (trans. James Legge), Qian 乾(the creative). Also see The Classic of Changes (trans. Richard John Lynn), Hexagram 1: Qian, p. 130.
[xi] Ibid., The Book of Changes, Kun 坤(the receptive). Also see The Classic of Changes, Hexagram 2: Kun, p. 144.
[xii] Cf. Mencius, The Works of Mencius (trans. James Legge), 13.12.
[xiii] Cf. The Doctrine of the Mean (trans. James Legge), 22.
[xiv] Cf. Zhang Zai, Zhangzi zhengmeng 張載正蒙 (the just enlightenment, ed. Wang Fuzhi, Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1975), p. 94.
[xv] Cf. Cheng Hao & Cheng Yi, Yu lu 語錄 (collected sayings), vol.s 2, 11. also see Chinese Philosophy Section under Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, ed., Zhongguo zhexueshi ziliao xuanji 中國哲學史資料選輯 (selected sources of the history of Chinese philosophy, Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1982), part 1 of Song, Yuan and Ming Dynasties, p. 220.
[xvi] Ibid., vol.s 2, 18.
[xvii] Cf. Mou Zongsan, Zhongguo zhexue de tezhi 中國哲學的特質 (the characteristics of Chinese philosophy, Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1997), pp. 20-32, 74-81, 114-117.
[xviii] Cf. Confucius, The Analects (trans. D. C. Lau, London: Penguin Books, 1979), Book XIV, 35. Also see Confucius, The Confucian Analects (trans. James Legge), 14.35.
[xix] Cf. The Great Learning (trans. James Legge), 1. The English version is offered here with some minor modifications according to the original text. For instance, James Legge rendered tianxia in “empire”, and I changed it into “the world”. He translated tianxia ping into “the whole empire was made tranquil and happy”, and I revised it as “the world was kept in peace”. Some translators prefer to say “the whole world was brought into peace”.
[xx] Cf. Li Zehou, Shuo ziran renhua 說自然人化 (on the humanization of nature), in Li Zehou, Lishi bentilun/Jimao wushuo 歷史本體論/己卯五說 (historical ontology/ five essays from 1999, Beijing: Sanlian shudian, 2003), pp. 242-243.
[xxi] Cf. Li Zehou, Meixue sijiang 美學四講 (four lectures on aesthetics, Beijing: Sanlian shudian, 1989), pp. 88-89.
[xxii] Ibid., p.91.
[xxiii] Cf. Li Zehou, Shuo ziran renhua說自然人化 (on the humanization of nature), in Li Zehou, Lishi bentilun/Jimao wushuo 歷史本體論/己卯五說 (historical ontology/ five essays from 1999, pp. 248-259.
[xxiv] Cf. Li Zehou, Meixue sijiang (Four Lectures on Aesthetics), pp. 110-125.
[xxv] Ibid., pp. 112-113.
[xxvi] Ibid., pp. 95-96.
[xxvii] Cf. Li Zehou, Shuo ziran renhua說自然人化 (on the humanization of nature), in Li Zehou, Lishi bentilun/Jimao wushuo 歷史本體論/己卯五說 (historical ontology/ five essays from 1999, pp. 263-264.
[xxviii] Ibid., pp. 266-267.
[xxix] Hierarchically according to Fung Yu-lan’s comparison, “the cosmic realm of being” is above the other three categories including “the moral realm of being” (daode jingjie道德境界) preoccupied with the values of humanity and righteousness, “the utilitarian realm of being” (gongli jinngjie功利境界) preoccupied with the gaining of merits and profits, and “the instinctive realm of being” (ziran jingjie 自然境界) preoccupied with the satisfaction of desires and wants. Cf. Fung Yu-lan, Xin yuan ren 新原人(on the meaning of human life), in Fung Yu-lan, Zhenyuan liushu 貞元六書(consistency and fundamentality: six books, Shanghai: East China Normal University Press, 1996), Vol. 2, pp.568-649.
[xxx] According to the official statistics the proportion of excessive animal husbandry in China is up to 36.1 % of the total area including Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Gansu, Tibet, Xinjiang regions and Qinghai province.
 



Notes


[1] This paper was delivered as a keynote address at 2005 ISUD Congress on “Nature, Culture and Humanity”, University of Helsinki, Finland.
[2] Cf. Chuang-tzu, “On the Equality of Things,” in A Taoist Classic: Chuang-tzu (trans. Fung Yu-lan, Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1989), 49.
[3] Cf. Chuang-tzu, Zhi bei you 知北遊 (intelligence traveling northward), in Chen Guying (ed.), Zhuangzi jinzhu jinyi 莊子今注今譯(the book of Chuang-tzu newly annotated and paraphrased, Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1983) , p. 563.
[4] Cf. Dong Zhongshu, Xun tian zhi dao 循天之道 (act upon the dao of heaven),” in Chunqiu fanlu 春秋繁露 (the book of Dong Zhongshu or rich dews in spring and autumn, Shanghai: Shanghai Classics Press, 1989), pp. 91-93.
[5] Ibid., Wei ren zhe tian 為人者天 (heaven serves man), p. 64; Wangdao tong san 王道通三(the kingly way), p. 67.
[6] Ibid., Yin Yang yi 陰陽義 (the meaning of Yin and Yang),” p. 71.
[7] Cf. Mencius, The Works of Mencius (trans. James Legge), 13.1.
[8] Ibid., 13.45.
[9] Ibid., 1.4.
[10] Cf. The Book of Changes (trans. James Legge), Hexagram 1: Qian 乾(34.). Also see The Classic of Changes (Trans. Richard John Lynn, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), p. 138.
[11] Cf. The Book of Changes (trans. James Legge), Qian 乾(the creative). Also see The Classic of Changes (trans. Richard John Lynn), Hexagram 1: Qian, p. 130.
[12] Ibid., The Book of Changes, Kun 坤(the receptive). Also see The Classic of Changes, Hexagram 2: Kun, p. 144.
[13] Cf. Mencius, The Works of Mencius (trans. James Legge), 13.12.
[14] Cf. The Doctrine of the Mean (trans. James Legge), 22.
[15] Cf. Zhang Zai, Zhangzi zhengmeng 張載正蒙 (the just enlightenment, ed. Wang Fuzhi, Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1975), p. 94.
[16] Cf. Cheng Hao & Cheng Yi, Yu lu 語錄 (collected sayings), vol.s 2, 11. also see Chinese Philosophy Section under Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, ed., Zhongguo zhexueshi ziliao xuanji 中國哲學史資料選輯 (selected sources of the history of Chinese philosophy, Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1982), part 1 of Song, Yuan and Ming Dynasties, p. 220.
[17] Ibid., vol.s 2, 18.
[18] Cf. Mou Zongsan, Zhongguo zhexue de tezhi 中國哲學的特質 (the characteristics of Chinese philosophy, Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1997), pp. 20-32, 74-81, 114-117.
[19] Cf. Confucius, The Analects (trans. D. C. Lau, London: Penguin Books, 1979), Book XIV, 35. Also see Confucius, The Confucian Analects (trans. James Legge), 14.35.
[20] Cf. The Great Learning (trans. James Legge), 1. The English version is offered here with some minor modifications according to the original text. For instance, James Legge rendered tianxia in “empire”, and I changed it into “the world”. He translated tianxia ping into “the whole empire was made tranquil and happy”, and I revised it as “the world was kept in peace”. Some translators prefer to say “the whole world was brought into peace”.
[21] Cf. Li Zehou, Shuo ziran renhua 說自然人化 (on the humanization of nature), in Li Zehou, Lishi bentilun/Jimao wushuo 歷史本體論/己卯五說 (historical ontology/ five essays from 1999, Beijing: Sanlian shudian, 2003), pp. 242-243.
[22] Cf. Li Zehou, Meixue sijiang 美學四講 (four lectures on aesthetics, Beijing: Sanlian shudian, 1989), pp. 88-89.
[23] Ibid., p.91.
[24] Cf. Li Zehou, Shuo ziran renhua說自然人化 (on the humanization of nature), in Li Zehou, Lishi bentilun/Jimao wushuo 歷史本體論/己卯五說 (historical ontology/ five essays from 1999, pp. 248-259.
[25] Cf. Li Zehou, Meixue sijiang (Four Lectures on Aesthetics), pp. 110-125.
[26] Ibid., pp. 112-113.
[27] Ibid., pp. 95-96.
[28] Cf. Li Zehou, Shuo ziran renhua說自然人化 (on the humanization of nature), in Li Zehou, Lishi bentilun/Jimao wushuo 歷史本體論/己卯五說 (historical ontology/ five essays from 1999, pp. 263-264.
[29] Ibid., pp. 266-267.
[30] Hierarchically according to Fung Yu-lan’s comparison, “the cosmic realm of being” is above the other three categories including “the moral realm of being” (daode jingjie道德境界) preoccupied with the values of humanity and righteousness, “the utilitarian realm of being” (gongli jinngjie功利境界) preoccupied with the gaining of merits and profits, and “the instinctive realm of being” (ziran jingjie 自然境界) preoccupied with the satisfaction of desires and wants. Cf. Fung Yu-lan, Xin yuan ren 新原人(on the meaning of human life), in Fung Yu-lan, Zhenyuan liushu 貞元六書(consistency and fundamentality: six books, Shanghai: East China Normal University Press, 1996), Vol. 2, pp.568-649.
[31] According to the official statistics the proportion of excessive animal husbandry in China is up to 36.1 % of the total area including Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Gansu, Tibet, Xinjiang regions and Qinghai province.
 

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