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|Other Titles:||Heng Xian and Lao Zi|
abidingness ； way ； nothingness ； spontaneity ； return
|Issue Date:||2016-05-23 11:30:55 (UTC+8)|
As one of the texts included in the Shanghai Museum's collection of excavated texts from Chu, the Heng xian (The abiding beginning) has, due to its unique content, widely attracted the attention of scholars. The following article begins by examining the relation between the Heng xian and Lao Zi and proceeds to discuss the concepts of "heng (abiding)" and "fu (return)" in order to discern the signficance of the Heng xian within the intellectual history of Daoism. We posit that the use of "abiding" in the Heng xian originally derived from Lao Zi's "heng dao (abiding way)", but that its intentional avoidance of "way" and its use of "abiding" as a new term to describe the source of all things represents a new understanding of this source. Compared to the "way" of Lao Zi, this new understanding utilizes ideas such as "da xu (great emptiness)" and "zi sheng (spontaneity)" to expound the pure emptiness characteristic of "abiding". Consequently, it completely eliminates the "being" aspect of the "way" of Lao Zi. This inclination is similarly manifest in the Zhuang Zi (Master Zhuang) and the Huang Di si jing (The Yellow thearch's four classics). The concept of "return" is emphasized equally in both the Heng xian and the Lao Zi, which allows us to easily notice the basic pattern of creation and return included in ancient Chinese cosmogony. In this model, the source of all things not only implies beginning, but at the same time also embodies destination and completion. In establishing a source of all things, the cosmogonist also establishes his own ultimate value and purpose.
|Relation:||政大中文學報, 3, 33-50|
Bulletin of the Department of Chinese Literature National Chengchi University
|Appears in Collections:||[政大中文學報 THCI Core] 期刊論文|
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