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The Chinese temperament was too realistic to follow the Indian into a merely metaphysical view of life and too practical to run away with it into an escapist view. Indeed, the very name of the principal religion of China--Confucianism--is the Doctrine of the Mean, the Mean being the middle point between two extremes, the balance between two sides. Even the two most celebrated Chinese mystics exhibited their national tendencies in their writing and philosophically united the idea of real being with the idea of illusory being. Such were Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. Like the Indians, the Chinese were ready to find out what other-worldliness had to offer them; but unlike the Indians, they were not ready permanently to forsake the worldly life while doing so. Even the Buddhist school, which has lasted longest and remained strongest in China, is the one named "The Round Doctrine"--meaning that it is widely rounded to include both the spiritual and the material. This is the "Tendai" school.


-- Notebooks Category 15: The Orient > Chapter 3: China, Japan, Tibet > # 2

-- Perspectives > Chapter 15: The Orient > # 58






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