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The conception of 'heart-mind' in the Zhuangzi

Authors Nam, Sai Lok
Issue Date 2009
Summary The conception of heart-mind in Zhuangzi is studied in a two dimensional way in this thesis: (i) specific studies of this conception in different divisions, i.e. the Inner Chapters, the Outer Chapters and the Miscellaneous Chapters; and (ii) a comparison of the studies in the three divisions in general. A systemical understanding of the conception of heart-mind can be found in the Inner Chapters. According to Zhuangzi, we cannot live effectively under the influence of the “cheng xin”(成心). The harmfulness of “cheng xin”(成心) is that it prohibits us from describing the reality truthfully. An interaction between the cognitive function and the affective function of the cultivated heart-mind enables us to obtain the effective way in our lives and it is achieved by “the fasting of heart-mind”. “Ming”(命) represents the things that we cannot do anything about, and Zhuangzi holds that only a man of “de”(德) can be reconciled to “ming”(命). Therefore, the goal of self-cultivation in Zhuangzi’s thought is to seek a better life rather than moral improvement. Based on the notions of the Inner Chapters, the authors of the Outer Chapters supplement the missing linkage between “cheng xin”(成心) and the nature of human-beings. They also emphasize the conception of “wang”(忘) and indicate that the self-cultivation of heart-mind is a long lasting practice. On the other hand, the authors of the Miscellaneous Chapters elaborate the notions of the other two divisions but their original ideas are not found in this thesis In the three divisions, understandings of certain conceptions are different in aspects like, the faults of human-beings, the roles of heart-mind and senses, the metaphorical description of the cultivated heart-mind, and etc. But the goal of self-cultivation is consistent in the three divisions, that is, the achievement of a better life.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2009
Language English
Format Thesis
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