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Unity of Heaven and humanity

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Unity of Heaven and humanity is an old philosophical concept in China that can be found in various Chinese religions and philosophies. The main idea is that things like human ethics, physiology, and politics reflect Tian, which means "heaven" or "nature".

History[change | change source]

The concept of unity of heaven and humanity has its roots in ancient Chinese religion, where people believed in spirits and experienced trances. This early shamanistic experience can still be observed in present-day Chinese folk religion. The idea was first mentioned in the Spring and Autumn Warring States period[1] and was further developed in Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism.[2]

Confucianism[change | change source]

Dong Zhongshu referenced the concept as "heaven and mankind induction" during the Han Dynasty, while the Cheng-Zhu school of Neo-Confucianism believed it was based on the theory of the Divine Principle.

Daoism[change | change source]

In Daoism, the concept of Tian or "Heaven" is viewed as nature, and humans are considered to be a part of nature. The saying goes, "If there is man, there is also heaven; if there is heaven, there is also man." This belief reflects the idea that heaven and earth are interconnected and all things in the world are unified. As the philosopher Zhuangzi stated, "Heaven and earth were born with me, and all things are one with me."

Chinese medicine[change | change source]

The Huangdi Neijing is a traditional Chinese medicine text that supports the idea of the unity of Heaven and humanity. According to the text, humans are connected to nature and should be in harmony with the four seasons. The text emphasizes that humans participate in and are one with heaven and earth. It states that humans have a unified origin, properties, structure, and laws with heaven, which is considered an objective existence independent of human spiritual consciousness. The text also suggests that humans have spiritual consciousness and are a subject with it.

Outside Chinese thought[change | change source]

The concept of "unity of God and humanity" in the Western world is similar to the Chinese idea of "unity of Heaven and humanity," but there are some differences. In ancient Greece, only a sorcerer with special powers could achieve the "unity of God and humanity." In Christianity, anyone who confesses their sins and accepts Jesus Christ as God's only Son can become a child of God and enter eternal life. The Islamic view emphasizes that believers should observe "good works."

In Indian culture, the central theme of the Upanishads, which are great classic texts, is the unity of Brahman (Moksha). This principle is practiced by profound yogis and is similar to the Chinese idea of the unity of heaven and humanity.

Related pages[change | change source]

Sources[change | change source]

  1. Yao, Xinzhong (2000). An Introduction to Confucianism. Cambridge University Press. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-521-64430-3.
  2. Ching, Julia (1993). Chinese Religions. Macmillan. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-349-22904-8.