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Description Original material by Professor Crispin Sartwell, Edited by Professor John Lachs and Wendy McElroy, Produced by Pat Childs
China’s two greatest philosophers, Confucius(551 BC) and Lao Tzu , were intensely interested in how we should live and how a good society is governed.
The central concepts of Confucianism are Li, the proper ordering of society through rituals and ceremonies, and Zhen, the proper ordering of the self through humaneness, benevolence, and love.
Daoism ( Taoism which leaders are Lao zi and Chuang Zi) influenced Chinese thought with its doctrine of yin-yang, which symbolizes the interdependence of opposites (such as male/female, good/evil, etc.). The Dao (Tao) which means "the Way", also involves emptiness, absence, spontaneous action, and forgetting (rather than the rituals, learning, and prescriptive moral and social activities that Confucianism emphasized). The Daoist rejects power and control, instead accepting and ecstatically affirming things as they are. Daoism is a doctrine of nonresistance, of "going with the flow" by being so deeply immersed in an activity that you become one with it.
The Daoist concept of enlightenment also helped shape the Chinese philosophy known as Chan Buddhism, which rejects consciousness and self-awareness. The Chan Buddhist gives up on "figuring things out," instead emphasizing meditative exercises and devices such as koans. This philosophy is known in Korea as Son, and in Japan and the West as Zen Buddhism.