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|吐生與厚德--土的原型象徵=Birth and Thickness--The Primordial Symbolic Meanings of Earth
|楊儒賓; Yang, Rur-bin;
|吐生; 厚德; 原型; 權力; 土德; Birth; Thickness; Archetype; Power; Earth;
|This article examines the symbol of earth in early China, in the period in which the system of Five Agents was not yet formed. I explore this issue from one religious institution, two rituals (the chi ritual and the offering to the altar of earth) and three mythical personalities and events (Nu Wa, Yu the Great, the Yellow Emperor). This article suggests that the fundamental symbolic meanings of earth in early China were birth, thickness, and power. The element of power was specially embodied in the image of the Yellow Emperor, who conquered the mythical monster Ch'ih-Yu and four other emperors. He represents a principle of order. The ideas of birth and thickness were adopted unconsciously by Confucianism. Confucianism was based on the good earth of the Yellow River plain. Unavoidably, its philosophy was deeply penetrated by the symbolic meanings of the yellow earth. In Confucian metaphysics, it was expressed as unending life, as well as modesty, honesty, integrity, and respect for ultimate things such as the respect towards origin. This article is one in the series of my "The Origins of the Five Agents or Five Elements.'' I want to emphasize the objective aspect of the theory of substance and function in Chinese metaphysics.