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In ancient China, the Taoists were the scientists (see Needham's classic Science and Civilization in China, vol 2). And the scientist-Taoists were not "religious" in anything like the Western sense. To them we owe ceramics, much of metallurgy, the alchemy that led to gunpowder and herbal medicine, decimal arithmetic, etc., etc., etc. I keep stressing this point in my posts, because the same respect that the Saturn theory accords to ancient peoples for describing real phenomena in their myths must be granted to their scientific and technological accomplishments. The Taoists were notoriously open-minded, and only later when post-Confucian orthodoxy came to power in China were the Taoists (and other free-thinkers) crushed out.
Confucianism and "Imago Viva Dei"
Leibniz and Confucius
But we must look at China the way Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz did from Europe, together with the Jesuit missionaries in China, in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The Jesuits, beginning with the extraordinary Matteo Ricci in the late sixteenth century, had gone to China armed with the fruits of the Golden Renaissance--maps, astronomical and musical instruments, paintings using the science of perspective, etc. They discovered not a primitive nation, but a nation already well advanced in most areas of science and technology--in some cases more advanced than Europe. They found an exceptionally learned population, generally open to the scientific and moral ideas of the Renaissance. They also found 160 million people, one-fourth of the world's population, with a population density of nearly 40 per square kilometer, almost twice that of Europe, with a higher average standard of living and a greater literacy rate.
To Leibniz, this population density proved something: It proved that that society had mastered to a significant degree the fundamental laws of nature. This was proof that they knew God--not perfectly, of course, but to a degree that made possible the sustained expansion of the unfolding creation. Leibniz studied the Confucian classics, using the translations he received from his Jesuit correspondents, based on the assumption that a fundamental understanding of man's role as imago viva Dei, in the living image of God, must be imbedded in their philosophy, as proven by their advanced culture, and the high population density. The purpose was not to gratuitously gloss over shortcomings or errors, nor to propitiate the Chinese (as the Jesuits were repeatedly accused of doing), but to scientifically discover the cause, in their ideas, of the development of Chinese civilization, in the only place such a cause could be found--in the coherence of the ideas guiding their culture with the laws of the universe.
The problem in China today is not overpopulation, but that the nation has been subjected to 150 years of British opium, British imperial looting, foreign wars, civil wars, and 44 years of Maoist lunacy. The result is the destruction of the infrastructure and education, which renders the existing economy incapable of sustaining the population. The International Monetary Fund and Deng Xiaoping's reformers plan to ``solve'' this problem by mass forced abortions, and by grinding up the so-called surplus labor in Auschwitz-style free trade zones. We're looking at the potential for another holocaust, caused by the same forces that have caused several holocausts in China's history.
To reverse this, we must first ask: What caused the population growth in the first place?
Why China Grew
Confucius (d. 479 B.C.) compiled what was called the Five Classics, which were a compilation of the oral and written tradition of Chinese antiquity together with his own contributions.
The ``Golden Age'' of which Confucius writes covers the era of approximately 2500 B.C. to 1000 B.C. In fact, there can be no doubt about the existence of an advanced civilization in that era, since astronomical proof exists within the classics themselves. Nineteenth-century European scholars and astronomers, using a passage from one of the five classics, the Book of History, which specifies the meridian passage of a series of stars at the summer solstice, used the procession of the equinox to prove that the measurement took place precisely in the year 2357 B.C. Another reference to a specific constellation's relation to the ecliptic at the summer solstice was shown to almost certainly have been recorded in the sixteenth millennium before Christ. In fact, it is extensively recorded in historical records that each of the early dynasties established their authority on the basis of their astronomical discoveries and their construction of solar calendars.
Let me show how this tradition is reflected in the classics. In the Analects, the collection of Confucius's own teachings, the master is asked by his disciples where they can turn for guidance when he dies. He responds:
Look to the Heavens. What do they say? Do the seasons not run their appointed courses And all things proceed according to their nature? Look to the Heavens. What do they say?
The poetry classic, or Book of Poetry, contains the following poem on the intelligibility of the Creation, and on the source of human virtue being located in the quest for mastering that lawfulness:
Heaven, in creating mankind, Created all things according to law, Such that people can grasp this law, And will love virtue.
Confucius identified a concept called, in Chinese, jen, as the fundamental principle of God's creation and of man's essence as he reflects that creation. Jen is often translated as ``love,'' or ``benevolence,'' or ``humaneness'' in English, and throughout history the Chinese debated the real meaning of jen along similar lines. It is clear, however, both in Confucius and especially in the work of Mencius--the greatest follower of Confucius, who died in 289 B.C., about 200 years after Confucius--the divine love of God for his creation, and the higher form of human love made possible through joining the emotions and the intellect; a love of God, of truth, of beauty, and of mankind as a whole. This is the ``love of virtue,'' which derives from accepting God's love through ``grasping'' his laws and mastering the lawfulness that governs the physical universe.
Mencius extended this concept to assert that man is born fundamentally good, in precisely the same way that Plato did.
Mencius argued that jen, and the other fundamental virtues--righteousness, propriety and wisdom--are not imposed on man from outside, but are born within him. All men are equal in precisely this respect, that they have the same potential for good, to participate in the continuing creation. That men differ from one another in respect to these virtues is simply due to their failure to carry out their potential.
To Confucius and Mencius, the primary responsibility of those who properly develop their inborn powers, is to apply those powers to the development of the nation, what we think of as physical and political economy. Even the Emperor, although known as the Son of Heaven, was not above this natural-law responsibility. In the famous passage from the end of the Analects, Confucius quotes Emperor Yao, who, near death, says to his successor Emperor Shun: ``The God-ordained order of succession now rests upon thy person. Hold fast with the heart and soul to the true middle course of the right. If there should be distress and want among the people within the Empire, the mandate of Heaven shall be taken away from you forever.''
Mencius extends this ``Mandate of Heaven'' to every political leader. He says that there is no difference between killing a man with a sword and killing him with the style of government. In a passage that has an eerie familiarity to today's moral collapse and the corruption in the judicial system, as I see clearly here every day, Mencius says:
``They are only men of education who, without a dependable livelihood, are still able to maintain a fixed heart. As to the people, if they have not a dependable livelihood, it follows that they will not have a fixed heart. And if they have not a fixed heart, there is nothing which they will not do in the way of self-abandonment, or moral deflection, of depravity, and of wild license. When they thus have been involved in crime, to then follow them up and to punish them--this is to entrap the people. How can such a thing as ``entrapping the people'' be done under the rule of a benevolent man?''
A prince is not a man of privilege, but a man of responsibility to Heaven. He is called upon to lead through the example of his own virtue, not through arbitrary power.
So, this is the historical process that gave rise to a population of over 25 million by the time of Confucius, which then more than doubled over the next 400 years. There are obvious parallels with Christian teaching. In fact, a fundamental teaching of Confucius was the Golden Rule. Nicolaus of Cusa, whose work generated the Golden Renaissance in Italy in the fifteenth century, in his essay ``On the Peace of Faith,'' made reference to the Golden Rule, and to the commandment to love God, when he said:
``The divine commandments are very brief and are all well known and common in every nation, for the light that reveals them to us is created along with the rational mind.''
In the same way, Leibniz, in studying Confucianism and especially the Confucian Renaissance masters of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, whom I'll discuss later, said this about their teaching: ``To offend Heaven is to act against reason; to ask pardon of Heaven is to reform oneself and to make a sincere return in work and deed in the submission one owes to this very law of reason. For me, I find this all quite excellent and quite in accord with natural theology.... Only by strained interpretation and interpolation could one find anything to criticize on this point. It is pure Christianity, insofar as it renews the natural law inscribed in our hearts, except for what revelation and grace add to it to improve our nature.''
I want to mention two contemporary views on the comparison of Confucianism with Judeo-Christian theology, both of which, I believe, are insightful. The first is that of Bishop Chang, the retired Bishop of Taiwan, who recently met with Leni Rubinstein in Taiwan and presented her with a recent translation of his book from the 1970s. Bishop Chang, writing for his parishioners, tells the Chinese not to feel slighted that God did not choose their race for the incarnation. After all, he said, if His son was to be born a man, he had to be born into a family, and the choice of the Semites was as good as any other choice, since the gift was for all mankind anyway. Besides, he had to prepare the people for this event, which is why he revealed himself to Abraham and Moses, and created the Jewish religion, allowing hundreds of years of the knowledge of the one God amongst the Jews, in order to prepare the way. The Jewish knowledge of God was based primarily on the law, Mosaic law, which instilled the fear of God in man, but, said Bishop Chang, lacked the sense of the all-pervasive love which was the message of Christ, to love one another, even one's enemies. But lo! says the Bishop, this Christian love is really the same as the jen of Confucius--so we Chinese should be very proud that God revealed this beautiful truth to us 500 years before he did in the West! He adds, however, that the Confucians did not fully comprehend jen, since the notion of justice in Confucianism included returning an act of injustice with an act of justice, but did not go so far as to return injustice with kindness, or love.
The second reference is to the work of Prof. William Theodore de Bary of Columbia University, one of the few decent scholars I've found among those in the massive ``Confucian Revival'' taking place since the death of Mao. Professor de Bary points to the Hebrew Covenant with God, which has no parallel in Confucianism except, to a limited extent, in the Mandate of Heaven. This Mandate, however, was for the Emperor only, while the Covenant was for all Jews. The Covenant, he says, was not a privilege to do what one will as a ``chosen race,'' but was in fact a heavy responsibility placed upon each and every Jew to follow God. This personal accountability for all people is, says Professor de Bary, lacking in Confucianism. The ruler, the minister and the sage are given a heavy burden by Heaven, which is uncompromising, but such responsibility is seldom placed on the common people. When the people are in trouble, the leaders are to blame. There is a lack of someone like Lyn, or a good Baptist minister who is both fearless before corrupt officials, but who also places the full weight of responsibility on the common man who tolerates the corruption in the leadership in order to preserve his own corruption and his own inaction.
This is not a small point. The lack of a sense of personal responsibility for the world as a whole leads to pragmatism. With a pragmatist's view of the world, where truth becomes secondary to convenience or immediate gain, creative activity is virtually impossible, since truth is no longer the goal, and one, therefore, either slowly or more rapidly descends to the level of a beast.
Confucius was critically aware of this problem of pragmatism. In the very first dialogue of the Mencius, a prince asks Mencius what he has to offer him that will profit his reign. Confucius denounces him for being concerned only with immediate profit rather than truth.
Chu Hsi, in the twelfth century, recognized the source of the problem, and essentially solved it. He extended the concept of the ``Mandate of Heaven'' to all citizens--thus insisting that we must each of us, answer to God for the state of our society, even though we may not be officials.
Dr. Sun Yat Sen, the founder of the Chinese Republic in 1911 and one of the great leaders and thinkers of our century, focused precisely on this problem of pragmatism as the most profound problem in the Chinese people throughout history. His book on the psychology of the Chinese, known in the West as his Autobiography, identifies the ancient Chinese adage that ``knowledge is easy, action is difficult,'' as the root of virtually every crisis in Chinese history. Sun insists that the opposite is the case: that knowledge is primary, and action is self-evident when knowledge is complete.
John Dewey, when he travelled to China at the beginning of this century, latched onto this pragmatism as a lever in his project to undermine Confucianism. It is a problem which still plagues China today, both among the Democracy Movement and among the scientists and other official circles.
Taoism and Legalism
Before I discuss Chu Hsi and the Confucian Renaissance, let's look at the other side.
Opposition to Confucianism took two forms. The second of these two was a tyrannical political movement called Legalism, which I'll discuss in a moment. The first form was the sponsorship of the mystical gobbledygook called Taoism. Lao Tze, the founder of Taoism, a contemporary of Confucius, insisted that since knowledge of the infinite, of the True Path, or the Tao, is impossible, and what we do is meaningless in regard to the ultimate course of the Tao, therefore we will be in tune with the Tao if we do absolutely nothing. Says Lao Tze: ``Do nothing, and all things will be done. I do nothing and my people become good of their own accord. Abandon wisdom and discard knowledge, and the people will be benefitted a hundredfold.''
So, you see, Adam Smith was a Taoist. The ``invisible hand'' is a Taoist plot, and Maggie Thatcher a Taoist priestess. Not surprisingly, the British have recently launched a virtual Taoist revival in their press. The Guardian last month ran an article by a philosophy professor with the extremely unfortunate name of Ray Billington, who argues that the world has now proven itself to be Hobbesian, with everyone following their greed and lust to the extreme, and the way to ``come to terms'' with this, to accept it, is to turn to Taoism, ``the basic way or flow of the world.'' This will provide ``a deeper sense of being..., to know that the age-old distinction between divine and human ... is false.'' Now you know what governs Mr. Death, David Owen. He believes he is God.
The primary theoretician of Taoism was Chuang Tze, who lived sometime in the fourth and third centuries B.C. His book, beloved by cultists, mystics, and British oligarchs today, is an assault on Confucianism, and especially on the Confucian call for ``charity and duty to one's neighbor,'' which Chuang Tze ridiculed as destructive to the Tao.
He argues that man must not reflect the divine. He writes:
``There must be a thorough compliance with divine principles, but without any manifestations thereof. All can be summed up in one word--passivity. For the perfect man employs his mind as a mirror--it grasps nothing, it refuses nothing; it receives, but does not retain.''
Also, the mind, to Chuang Tze, is incapable of abstract thought, and cannot conceive of the infinite: ``The mind cannot picture to itself a thing without form, nor conceive a form of unlimited dimensions.'' This is pure Aristotle, who stated bluntly that ``the infinite considered as such is unknown''--and that ``the actual infinite does not exist.''
In such a world without jen and without absolutes, issues of right and wrong are indeterminate. Chuang Tze argues that: ``Anything is good or evil because it is either good or evil in our eyes.'' Under this rule of moral relativism, he continues: ``there is nothing which is not good, nothing which is not evil.''
Out of this came Legalism. To understand Legalism, look at Aristotle. To Aristotle, the Platonic (and Confucian) notion of man as fundamentally good, capable by nature of contemplating the infinite and hypothesizing scientific principles, was rejected in favor of a view of man as fundamentally neutral, with a blank slate, a tabula rasa, for a mind. The mind is capable only of recording sense perceptions, and like a computer, making logical deductions or inductions from the data. Such a human being, of course, has no inherent worth, and therefore can be shaped at will by those who control his or her education to anything they so desire--from a loyal bureaucrat, bribed with material rewards, to mindless helots, deprived of education and culture and condemned to subservient labor or outright slavery, as cogs in a machine. A ``cog in a machine'' was in fact precisely Mao's description of a ``perfect communist.''
This description of Aristotle is also a description of the Legalists in China. Hs'n Tze, the Aristotle of China, in opposition to Mencius, asserted that man was not born good, but evil, not guided by jen, by the love inscribed in their hearts, but by greed and lust. Hs'n Tze's students formalized a ``philosophy'' based on this degraded concept of man, in order to justify the rule of tyrants, above any laws of God. This was Legalism, a Hobbesian nightmare. The preferred ideology for the pacification of the masses was Taoism.
The Legalists came to power for a brief and brutal reign from 221-206 B.C., under the Legalist Emperor Qin Shi-huang, who united China through balance-of-power military operations. Qin banned Confucianism, burned the Confucian texts, and buried alive several hundred Confucian scholars who resisted. Migrant peasants driven off the land much as they are today in the PRC, were rounded up into slave brigades to build the Great Wall, where most of them died. Being poor was a crime, much as Milton Friedman's minions consider poverty to be evidence of laziness. The penalty for the crime of poverty was slavery for one's entire family.
This Legalist Emperor was the idol of Mao Zedong. As I showed in an article called, ``The British Role in the Creation of Maoism,'' these Legalists, and the Taoist ideology associated with it, was embraced as the favored ideology of the British drug dealers and British scholars in keeping with the bestial Social Darwinist view of man espoused by Hobbes, Hume, Bentham, Adam Smith, et al. from the stable of philosophical prostitutes for the British East India Company. The history of the British in China is the history of the sabotage of Confucianism, and especially of any potential for Christian/Confucian collaboration such as that espoused by Dr. Sun Yat Sen, while glorifying the Legalist and Taoist ideology, including the creation of a worldwide Taoist cult.
This Taoist influence can be seen directly today in the school curriculum being proposed by the Outcome Based Education movement.
Look again at the population graph (Figure 1).
Upon the death of the Legalist Emperor Qin, the Qin Dynasty was rapidly overthrown. The new Han Dynasty, which lasted over 400 years to 220 A.D., was built on a return to Confucianism, establishing the classics as a standard for education, scholarship, and the examinations for public offices. Sustained population growth throughout the Han reflects this Confucian view of man. By the time of Christ, the Chinese population was about the same as all of Europe, about 50 million, while the population density was nearly twice that of Europe.
What happened to bring down the Han, and create an 800-year decline and stagnation? Without going beyond generalities, the Han failed to solve the fundamental economic problems facing the vast empire. A ``counterculture'' emerged, with many scholars looking back to Taoism as the Confucian structure of government appeared to be breaking down. It was argued that one could be a Confucian in regard to social relations and government policy, while at the same time a Taoist in regard to spiritual matters. Such an arrangement removed the actually spiritual basis from Confucianism--the role of jen considered as the Word of God--reducing it to a formal code of conduct, and thus open to corruption--just like the U.S. judicial system, once you've removed its original natural law foundation that ``all men are created equal with certain inalienable rights,'' has become a vehicle for injustice and tyranny.
During this 800-year stagnation, Buddhism was introduced into China from India along the Silk Route. I don't wish to discuss Buddhism here, but in China, the Mahayana form of Buddhism, which taught the idea of ``sudden enlightenment'' through the denial of any reality in the physical world and stopping the process of mentation altogether, interacted with Taoism to create a Chinese version of Buddhism, Ch'an, or, in Japanese, Zen. Zen, Taoism, and a greatly corrupted form of Confucianism became known as the ``Three Teachings.'' One could practice all three--like the Fellowship of Religion. But, of course, like their claim to be trying to bring all religions together by finding the lowest common denominator among them, what you end up with is a bunch of Satanists, defending the ``human rights'' of monkeys.
The amalgam of these three totally incompatible world views was to become known as ``Chinese Philosophy,'' a racist idea that somehow there is a single unified way of thought which restricts the thinking of all Asians or all Chinese. Of course, in China, the British refer to ``Western Philosophy,'' by which they mean British gnostic empiricism. That is not to say that there are not common and unique cultural influences to the Chinese as distinct from other cultures, but these are ideological questions. Philosophically, one can trace the same philosophical divisions in both East and West.
In the West, you have on the one side, the Platonists and the Christian Platonists, who believe that the world is governed by a single power which is good and is intelligible to man due to his creative reason; and, on the other hand, the Aristotelian, gnostic ideology of oligarchs and their minions, who argue that man is governed by his animal instincts, and can, at best, submit to a pragmatic ordering of a Godless society based on codified punishments and rewards. This same division, with similar predicates, exists in China in the worldviews of Confucianism, as opposed to Taoism/Legalism, and Zen Buddhism.
Every swing in this extremely volatile population graph for China can be explained by the shifting influence of one or the other of these world views over Chinese society--leaps forward during periods of Confucian revival, collapse during resurgence of Taoist degeneracy. The subject of my paper in the summer issue of Fidelio is the Great Confucian Renaissance of the eleventh and twelfth century Sung Dynasty, led by Chu Hsi, which generated the doubling of the population between 1000 and 1200 A.D. The influence of Taoism and Zen generally collapsed. A technological revolution was generated by the intellectual climate and method. The discovery of paper and printing made China the first nation where mass production and distribution of books transformed society. Most of these early printed books were either the Classics and commentaries by the leaders of the Confucian Renaissance, or books on agricultural technology, including seed varieties, hydraulics and irrigation, etc., which created a massive increase in production, facilitating the population growth.
The devastating collapse in the thirteenth century is the result of the Mongol invasion, which brought back Taoism along with the plague.
The dramatic recovery after the fall of the Mongols, during the early Ming Dynasty, represents a revival of the Confucian Renaissance of the Sung. Chu Hsi's work became the standard for education and the examinations, and Great Projects were launched, including the great voyages into the Middle East and Africa, with armadas of the largest ships in the world to that time. The population again doubled between 1400 and 1600.
However, for reasons I do not believe are adequately understood to history, in 1435, virtually the same time that the European Renaissance was being launched by Nicolaus of Cusa at the Council of Florence, the Ming Dynasty abruptly turned inward, canceling all voyages and even destroying many of the ships. The failure of will and vision at that time led to a steady deterioration of the Confucian moral structure of society. A new form of the ``Three Teachings'' emerged, which lasts up to today; this time through grafting of Zen Buddhist and Taoist ideas onto a pseudo-Confucianism by a fellow named Wang Yang-Ming. Again society degenerated, and the population collapsed between 1600 and 1644, when the Manchurians were able to sweep down on Beijing and rapidly take over all of China.
The Jesuits in China
However, the Jesuits had arrived in the late sixteenth century, and by the time of the fall of the Ming, in 1644, they had been given leadership of several ministries in the court, including astronomy, hydraulics, and others. The invading Manchu were quickly convinced to retain the Jesuits in the court, and the child destined to be the great Emperor Kang Hsi (1661-1725), was given an extraordinary education in European Renaissance science, art, and theology by the Jesuits personally, while at the same time, he received thorough instruction in the Confucian classics. Kang Hsi became a dedicated follower of Chu Hsi, the Sung leader of the Confucian Renaissance, as well as a sponsor of Christianity. It was during his reign that Leibniz carried on his correspondence with the Jesuits, and launched his plans for the Grand Design--the economic development of the entire Eurasian landmass, linking Europe and China in such a way that, as he said, ``as these most cultivated and distant peoples stretch out their arms to each other, those in between may gradually be brought to a better way of life.''
You can see by the graph, the tremendous explosion in population after 1650, more than tripling over the next 200 years. This is the dramatic proof of the power of the ecumenical alliance between Confucianism and Christianity, the shared belief that man is created in the living image of God. No other Asian nation experienced this population explosion--Japan's population declined over the eighteenth century, while India's grew by less than 10 percent. China's more than doubled. China literally ``joined'' the population explosion in Europe that had begun with the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century.
The Christian/Confucian alliance did not last 200 years, however. The same Enlightenment forces used by Venice and London to destroy the Renaissance in Europe succeeded in cutting off Western support for the brilliant work of Leibniz and the missionary/scientists in China. By the death of Kang Hsi in 1725, the connection was broken--the potential for the Christianization of China was destroyed. Europe increasingly fell under British masonic control, while in China, although the impulse of the Confucian/Christian period sustained relative peace and prosperity throughout the eighteenth century, as shown by the population graph, still, the cutoff of scientific input from the Golden Renaissance and stagnation in the Chinese leadership over the next 100 years left China vulnerable to British gunboats when they arrived in 1840.
The collapse of population after 1850, which you see in the graph, represents the fruits of the British Opium Wars and their sponsorship of a peasant revolt called the Taiping Rebellion, which claimed to be a pseudo-Christian movement, but was actually a Taoist atrocity supported by British and American missionaries and government officials. The Taiping Rebellion was used to force Beijing to capitulate to Lord Palmerston's demands to the right to ``free trade,'' meaning the free sale of British opium throughout the empire. Between 1850 and 1950, under increasing British control over every aspect of China's economy and government, the population increased by only 25 percent, while the world population increased by over 100 percent.
The graph of population under the Communists shows that the Chinese under Taoist leadership are still able to commit genocide without outside help. The drastic dip was the Great Leap Forward where 30 to 50 million died. The decreasing rate of growth since the Cultural Revolution is paradigmatic of an impending collapse.
I want to review only one aspect of the material in the Fidelio article. That one aspect is what I called the extension of the thesis in ``On the Peace of Faith'' by Nicolaus of Cusa. Cusanus posed that the Christian Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, as revealed through the life of Christ, was also a scientific truth which is imbedded in the laws of the universe. Therefore, he argued, anyone, following any theology which believes that the universe is governed by one principle, that it is not irrational and inconsistent, must necessarily discover this triune reality in the process of investigating the lawfulness of the creation. While Cusanus was not familiar with Confucianism, he demonstrated in ``On the Peace of the Faith'' that every religion could be shown to reflect the truth of the Trinity understood in this way. I will show how this concept can be extended to include Confucianism, following the work of both Cusanus and Leibniz.
To demonstrate this, let me review the fundamental ideas developed by Chu Hsi and his predecessors in the eleventh and twelfth century, the Sung Dynasty.
Chu Hsi wrote an essay called ``Treatise on Jen.'' He argued that since the death of Mencius, the true meaning of jen--and, in fact, the true meaning of the entire Confucian doctrine--had been generally lost. Jen had come to mean, at best, love in a more general sense, encompassing sentimental notions, an ``inferior and crude concept.'' Chu Hsi wrote that ``When one realizes that jen is the source of love, and that love can never exhaust jen, then one has gained a definite comprehension of jen.'' Further, he said, ``the mind of Heaven to produce things is jen. In man's endowment, he receives this mind from Heaven, and thus he can produce.''
You can see that this is very similar to the idea of the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, which emanates from God, pervades and animates the universe, and is the basis of man's ability to participate in the unfolding creation of the universe.
This led Chu Hsi to recognize the need to develop a metaphysical explanation of the relationship between God and man. Neither Confucius nor Mencius had engaged in extensive metaphysical speculation, having the unfortunate consequence that Taoist and Zen Buddhist notions of Nothingness, mystical means of longevity, reincarnation, and so forth, tended to fill the void for people searching for such answers. Chu Hsi addressed this head on, by taking several notions used by Taoists and Zen Buddhists, explicating a true metaphysical understanding of these concepts which was coherent with the concept of jen discussed above, and in the process, carried out a fierce and devastating polemic against both Taoism and Zen Buddhism.
The term Tao itself is an example. By exposing the Taoist notion of the Tao as a falsely constructed limit on man's capacity to know anything, as something lying beyond an unbridgeable gap from man's intelligibility, he returned to the notion of the Tao, the true path, or God, as used by Confucius. Chu Hsi showed that one can learn more and more about the Tao, about God, in an unlimited way, bounded only by the absolute infinite of God himself. This knowledge comes about through man's capacity to contemplate the infinite, and thus we can know the Tao negatively. For example, Chu Hsi says: ``The Tao alone has no opposite.'' Also: ``God is not spatially conditioned. He has neither corporeal form nor body. There is no spot where He can be placed.'' But man can, through the intellect, conceive of the negation of these finite limitations, to thus conceptualize the infinite attributes of Tao. This concept is very similar in nature to the method used by St. Thomas Aquinas, nearly a contemporary of Chu Hsi, to refute the materialist, finite epistemology of Aristotle, and anticipates the work of Nicolaus of Cusa two centuries later in his work on negative theology, as you'll find in the work of Will Wertz on Aquinas and Cusanus.
The most important contribution of Chu Hsi was the concept of Li, usually translated as Principle, which was a term only occasionally used by Confucius and Mencius, and misused by the Taoists. Chu Hsi defined Li as ``complete wholeness,'' as ``above the realm of corporeality,'' and as ``prior to all created things.'' This is God, pure Unity, the One. But, he says:
``Li is one, but its manifestations are many.... There is only one Li, but as applied to man, there is in each individual a particular Li.''
Thus, the Li is both the one and the many, in the sense that every created thing reflects the lawfulness of the creation, that this reflection of the creator is the Principle of that created thing, or its Li, which participates in the Universal Li, which is God the Creator.
Leibniz said of Li:
``Can we not say that the Li of the Chinese is the sovereign substance which we revere under the name of God?'' He saw that the individual manifestation of Li in all things was similar to his notion of the monad; in fact, his development of this concept reflected his intense, life-long study of Confucianism and Chu Hsi in particular. This is also crucial to scientific method. Unlike the pseudo-science of the Taoists, the Aristotelians, the British empiricists in general, one cannot learn anything truthful or truly useful about the universe by simply observing and recording the accidental attributes of the material form or structure of things. One must hypothesize the causal relations between things and events in the universe, on how things change, how they are changed by other things or events, and how they cause change in other things.
When things or events are not understood, or contradict existing accepted notions about the universe, then a hypothesis must be formulated and tested through a crucial experiment which challenges existing knowledge with a higher conception.
The clue necessary for a successful hypothesis is what Leibniz called the law of necessary and sufficient reason. The law of necessary and sufficient reason stated in somewhat Confucian terms, is that the principle of any thing or event, its Li, is coherent with and participates in God's creation as a whole, and thus must be perfect, or participate in God's perfection, in the sense that it has precisely those qualities necessary for it to be and to act as it does, and it has no important extraneous qualities, other than those sufficient to be and to act as it does. It is in this sense that Leibniz says that this world was created by God as the best of all possible worlds. It is the comprehension of this truth which provides the only possible basis for the kind of thinking necessary for true scientific work; it is the basis upon which hypothecation can be made.
It is not surprising then, that among empiricist scientists of the twentieth century who have been instrumental in destroying the scientific method of hypothesis practiced by Kepler, Leibniz, and Riemann, we find several who are raving Taoists. Not only Joseph Needham, who I single out for attack in the Fidelio article, but also Niels Bohr, the founder of quantum mechanics. Bohr credited Taoism as the inspiration for his world view. His theory of ``complementarity'' derived from the Taoist yin-yang view of the universe. To such Taoists, no doubt, cold fusion is neither yin nor yang, and therefore simply doesn't exist. I promise you more on this in the future.
To conclude, we can now look at how the Trinity is imbedded in Confucianism. Nicolaus of Cusa identified the Trinity as Unity, Equality and Connection. The Unity is the One and the Many coexisting in the Creator, God the creator of all things. To Christians, this is God the Father; to Confucians, the indivisible Universal Li, or Tao.
The Equality, the second person of the Trinity is the reflection of the Creator in every creating thing and event, which is reflected in the most perfected way in man, in the divine spark of reason. To Christians, Christ represents true Equality with God, while through the imitation of Christ all men can share in that equality. To Confucians, this is the individual Li, or individual Principle in all things and events, which is intelligible to man due to the ``inborn luminous virtue'' that Heaven has bestowed on all mankind.
And, finally, the Connection, the third person of the Trinity, is the love, which emanates from the Unity and from all his creations, insofar as his creations manifest the Creator. This love that connects all things is the Christian agapė, the Holy Spirit that proceeds from the Father and from the Son. It is, to Confucius, jen, the boundless love of Heaven and Earth.
Just as the Trinity is an indivisible unity for Christianity, so is the triune nature of nature itself an indivisible unity, and so also are the Tao, Li and jen an indivisible unity to Confucianism.
Compare this concept of Unity, Equality and Connection, to the Taoist ``all-is-one,'' which is the root of virtually every environmental cult today. To them, it is not the singular transfinite essence, or Li, of things which characterize equality with the Creator and his creations, but the material things themselves, the ephemeral, accidental attributes of things, are all One. The world is One, undifferentiated. There is no distinction between God, man, animal and rock. Thus, a spotted owl or a gorilla have the same worth and the same rights as a human being. In such a world, there is no living God, but the world is just a self-moving entity, plodding through time without any higher law or guidance, reduced to the mindless, bestial world of the discredited Darwinian foolishness, the rule of greed and lust.
Can China turn away from its current course, heading for yet another catastrophic collapse of population, and instead contribute to a new Renaissance for all mankind? Confucius, Mencius, and Chu Hsi live in the hearts of the Chinese people. Although Mao forcefully eliminated all teaching of the classics, burned the books and murdered the scholars just as his mentor Qin Shi-huang had done, still, the tradition is passed on, however imperfectly, from parent to child.
Most likely, the Chinese in the audience there today learned some of this from their parents or grandparents. The tradition is preserved, but endangered, in Taiwan, where, as in the West, there are very few who do not compromise with the Taoist/Aristotelian ideology. Our own role in renewing the ecumenical method and the Grand Design of Leibniz is indispensable.