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If I admire Wang Yang-ming so greatly it is because he combined in his person qualities and capacities which proved that it is possible to live the philosophic life to the full. He was in his fifty-seven years of life a successful military commander, an excellent magistrate, a talented poet, a discriminating analyst of religions, a cultivator of intuition, a practiser of meditation, and a teacher of philosophy. He not only brought together the best in Confucius' teaching, in Buddhism and Taoism, but made valuable contributions of his own to this synthesis. It is however needful to explain to Western students that Wang's teaching of the unity of Knowledge and Conduct does not refer to intellectual knowledge but to intuitive Knowledge. To this union or Mutuality of KNOWING and DOING he gave the name of "SINCERITY." The theory learnt from books or lectures does not of itself necessarily have power to move the will; but intuition developed in the course of time by practising mental quiet, emotional calm, and personal detachment has this power. What the Indian gurus called detachment is really the same as what the Chinese philosophers like Lao Tzu called "non-action," and this is the term Wang used. It does not mean doing nothing but keeping to a certain emotional dis-involvement while doing things, an attitude itself arising from, or helped by, the quiescence practice. Another definition of "Sincerity" is harmony with the Principle of the Universe.


-- Notebooks Category 15: The Orient > Chapter 3: China, Japan, Tibet > # 134

-- Perspectives > Chapter 15: The Orient > # 48






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