The Neo-Confucian Confrontation with Buddhism:

A Structural And Historical Analysis

Edward T. Ch'ien

Journal of Chinese Philosophy
Copyright@1988 by Dialogue Publishing Company, Honolulu,
Hawaii, U.S.A.

P.347 It is common knowledge that tension existed between Buddhism and Confucianism as two of the three major systems of thought in Chinese history. In their classification of teachings, the Buddhists almost invariably ranked Buddhism as the "ultimate cure" (pi-ching chih)(a) while characterizing Confucianism as a "worldly dharma-medicine" (shih-chieh fa-yao) (b) which merely provided a "view of the temporary" (chia-kuan)(c) and which, though necessary for those who were unable to achieve "profound transformation" (shen-hua) (d) because of their "thin and weak" (po-jo) (e) capacities, needed to be transcended if salvation were to be attained. I have put the words "ultimate cure," "view of the temporary," "profound transformation" and "thin and weak" in quotation marks because they were the actual words used by Chih-i(f) (538-597) in elaborating a theory of "contemplating the mind" (kuan-hsin).(g1) However, if the specific words were those used by an individual monk to articulate a specific theory,the attitude they embody toward Confucianism was exemplary of a view which was widely held by the Buddhist monastic establishment in general. Tsung-mi(h) (780-841), for instance, was by no means a narrow- minded Buddhist monk, but was syncretically oriented. He maintained that the Three Teachings were mutually complementary and should all be "observed with respect" (tsun-hsing)(i). Nevertheless, for all his liberal catholicity toward the diversity of teachings, Tsung-mi still regarded Buddhism as the "definitive and final" (chueh-liao(j)) teaching; and his syncretism was predicated upon a principle of hierarchy which necessitated the ultimate condemnation of Confucianism as a "delusion" (mi(k)).(2) He wrote, P.348 Although the Three Teachings equally reflect the intentions of the sages, differences exist in that there are real and provisional doctrines.Confucianism and Taoism are provisional doctrines while Buddhism consists of both real and provisional doctrines......In going to the root of things, only Buddhism-since it examines all phenomena and, using every means, investigates their principles in an attempt to reveal their nature--is definitive and final.(3) This mixture of initial open-mindedness with ultimate exclusiveness which characterized Tsung-mi's syncretic outlook pervades the thinking of a number of eminent Chinese monks who, though ostensibly all-embracing, were nonetheless unequivocal in their rejection of Confucianism as being inferior. Chih-yuan(1) (976-1022), to cite another example, considered the Three Teachings to be the "same" (t'ung)(m) in "[making people] move toward the good and depart from evil and in [helping them] overcome cruelty and weed out murder." But, he added, [Confucianism and Taoism],though extensive and complete, only briefly point to the general aim of reaching to the spirit and investigating ultimate principles. That which fully expounds their wonders [i.e., the spirit and ultimate principles] consists in the teachings of Shakyamuni.(4) The Confucians, on the other hand, brought against Buddhism a whole array of charges which suggest that they considered it to be among the worst of all heterodoxies. As Ch'eng Hao(n) (1032-1085) stated, The harm of Yang Chu and Mo Ti is greater than that of Shen Tzu and Han Tzu, and the harm of the Buddha and Lao Tzu is greater than that of Yang and Mo.... Shen Tzu and Han Tzu are shallow and vulgar, and obviously so.Therefore, Mencius attacked only Yang and Mo, for they delude the world to a high degree. The words of the Buddha and Lao Tzu are close to being true. In this they cannot be matched by P.349 Yang and Mo. This is why they are much more harmful.(5) This essay will examine some of the Confucian charges against Buuddhism, especially as they were articulated by the Neo-Confucians. In doing so, however, the validity of these charges will not be judged but their meaning will be ascertained. The Neo-Confucian charges against Buddhism, whatever their philosophical value and however diffuse and wide-ranging, are fully sensical statements; they possess a certain coherence which is informed in its meaning by the structure of Neo-Confucianism as a historically constituted discourse. Of all the Confucian charges against Buddhism as heterodox, the one Buddhist metaphysics emerged relatively late in time. The Confucians did not seriously engage the Buddhists on the metaphysical level until the Neo-Confucian revival of the Sung. But emerging late as it did,the metaphysical charge must be viewed as the most basic in terms of the philosophical consciousness of the orthodox Neo-Confucians.It is rather ironic that while the importance of metaphysics in Neo-Confucianism is usually recognized, the metaphysical significance of the Neo-Confucian confrontation with Buddhism is not always fully appreciated. It has been said, for instance,that the Ch'eng brothers' criticisms of Buddhism are "based on morality and common-sense" and that their "fundamental objection" to Buddhism lies in their judgment that "the ultimate motive of the Buddhist is selfish."(6) Actually, however, Ch'eng I(o) (1033-1107) had insisted that the "foundation" or pen-ling(p) of Buddhism was wrong.In response to a student's enumeration of the similarities between Buddhism and Confucianism, Ch'eng I said, "Although there are many similarities like these, simply because their [i.e., the Buddhists'] foundation is wrong, everything of theirs is wrong."(7) Together with his brother Ch'eng Hao, Ch'eng I had also rejected any suggestion that the "mind" or hsin(q) of Buddhism might be right whereas its "practice" or chi(r) was wrong. Repeatedly, the two Ch'engs signled out Wang T'ung's(s) (583-616) distinction between "mind" and "practice" for criticism,(8) suggesting that they considered their differences with the Buddhists to be more than a mere matter of moral practice and that their apparently ethical and common-sensical arguments against Buddhism were grounded P.350 in fundamental considerations off metaphysics. In point of fact, the orthodox Neo-Confucians had always viewed their metaphysics to be different from that of the Buddhists. Thus it is said in the Chin-ssu lu,(t) The Buddhists do not understand yin(u) and yang(v), day and night, life and death, or past and present. How can it be said that their metaphysics (hsing-erh- shang che(w)) is the same as that of the Sage?(9) In metaphysics, the orthodox Neo-Confucians developed the theory of "Principle" (li(x)) with which they opposed the Buddhist doctrine of "Emptiness" (k'ung(y) or sunyata). As propounded by the Ch'eng brothers and Chu Hsi(z) (1130-1200), Neo-Confucian Principle "is not just an idea or something abstract,"(l0) not only because it is embodied in concrete things but because it exists metaphysically as the essence of things and is that which gives reality and universality to things. As the essence of things, Principle is inherent in all things and is never in actuality separate from things or material force (ch'i(aa)), for, as Chu Hsi said, "it is only when there is material force that Principle finds a place to settle."(11) In this sense, Principle is necessarily immanent. On the other hand, however, Principle is also transcendent, as it exists "above physical form"(hsing-erh-shang(ab) )and is itself without "form."(12) Therefore, although Principle is inherent in things and is actually inseparable from them, it does not depend on them for existence. It has a metaphysical existence of its own which does not transform with the transformation of thing. Principle, in other words, is immaterial but nonetheless real in the sense that it is "eternal and unchanging" and that it forms the "essence of things" and is "indestructible."(13) As such, Neo-Confucian Principle was often contrasted with Buddhist Emptiness which the orthodox Neo-Confucians understood in a negative sense as a denial of the reality of their Principle. Chu Hsi, for instance, made an absolutely unqualified condemnation of the Buddhist idea of Emptiness which, he said, "means complete non-being."(14) He pointed out that the Buddhists considered Heaven and Earth as "illusory and erroneous"(15) and that "the Buddhists talk about Emptiness whereas the P.351 Confucians talk about reality, and whereas the Buddhists talk about nonbeing, the Confucians talk about being."(16) He also criticized the Buddhists for mistaking "mind" for "Nature" (hsing)(ac) and for being " most afraid of the very mention of the word 'Principle'."(17) He said, with us Confucians, although the mind is vacuous, Principle is real. The Buddhists, on the other hand, go straight to their destination of Emptiness and Voi d.(18) He thus rejected the view that the distinction between righteousness and selfishness was the "only difference" between Buddhism and Confuciaism and insisted that the "fundamental points" of these two teachings were different because, he said, "we Confucians say all Principles are rea l while they [i.e., the Buddhists] say all principles are empty."(19) Chu Hsi's metaphysical criticisms of the Buddhist idea of Emptiness are standard among the orthodox Neo-Confucians and can be traced back to the anti-Buddhist arguments of Chu's early Sung predecessors such as Chang Tsai(ad) (1020-1077) and the Ch'eng brothers. Chang Tsai accused the Buddhists of "not knowing to investigate Principle to the utmost." As a result, "the Buddhists do not know Heaven's decree and consider mind-dharma as the reason for the rise and extinction of Heaven and Earth."(20) He said, The Buddhists have false ideas about our Heaven-endowed Nature and do not know how to shape and bring into completion the functioning of Heaven. On the contrary, they regard such small things as the Six Sense Organs to be the causes of the universe. They cannot thoroughly understand these things, and consequently falsely assert that heaven, earth, the sun and the moon are illusory and false.... Can they be said to have investigated Principle to the utmost? Can they be said to have fully developed their Nature?(21) Ch'eng Hao also condemned the Buddhists trying to "do away with Four Elements"(22) and to "annihilate normal nature completely."(23) P.352 In doing so, he said, the Buddhists would only "deviate very far from the Way"(24) or Tao(ae) and end up "With having no reality."(25) The Budd according to Ch'eng Hao, also "wanted to eliminate this Principle." But,he said, all things have and come from "this Principle" which "is why it is said that all things form one body." For Ch'eng Hao, "to eliminate this Principle" is utterly impossible and becomes possible "only in death."(26) Compared with Chang Tsai and Ch'eng Hao, Ch'eng I is not particularly known for his metaphysical criticisms of Buddhism. As Professor Wing-tsit Chan has pointed out, Ch'eng 1 criticized Buddhism mostly on moral and social grounds.(27) But even Ch'eng I denounced the Buddhists as those who "do not understand Principle"(28) and contrasted them with the Sage as a follower and practitioner of Principle. He said, Heaven has this Principle. The Sage follows and practices it; [i.e., Principle]. This is what is called the Way. The Sage bases himself on Heaven whereas the Buddhists base themselves on mind.(29) In thus rejecting Buddhist Emptiness as nihilistic, the orthodox Neo-Confucians have been dismissed as "baseless." It has been argued for instance, that in Mahayana Buddhism, especially in its Chinese articulations as T'ien-t'ai,(dl) Hua-yen, (dm) and Ch'an, (ay) there is "transcendence-in-immanence"and that Nagarjuna's 'negativistic' logico-ontological analysis of the epistemological duality of the mind, the truth, and the reality constructed by men as well as of the ontological nondifferentiability of nirvana/samsara, absolute/relative, etc., is finally transformed into a direct, positive, and dynamic affirmation of the reality of the phenomenal world and everyday life.(30) This argument sounds plausible, for, ultimately, Emptiness in Mahayana Buddhism advocates not "annihilation" (chi-mieh)(af) but a transcendental reality which, in terms of Hua-yen's formulation, is a world of interpenetration with "all phenomena perfectly harmonized" P.353 (shih-shih wu-ai)(ag 31) However, plausible as the -argument is, it is also beside the point. It is beside the point because it overlooks the context in which the orthodox Neo-Confucians rejected Buddhist Emptiness as nihilistic. Structurally speaking, the question raised by the orthodox Neo-Confucian rejection of Buddhist Emptiness is not one of immanence versus transcendenceor or this-worldliness versus other-worldliness. Rather, in the orthodox Neo-Confucian confrontation with Buddhism, the question of immanence versus transcendence or this-worldliness versus other-worldliness constitutes what in Michel Foucault's terms is an "object" of discourse.(32) As such, it has a certain specificity of meaning and can become intelligible only in terms of its deployment in the context of orthodox Neo-Confu-cianism as a "discursive formation"(33) which is metaphysically defined by the idea of Principle. As Professor T'ang Chun-i(ah) has pointed out, Neo-Confucian Principle is first and foremost a "Principle of generation and regeneration" (sheng-sheng chih li)(ai)(34) which, in Professor Mou Tsung-san's(aj) terms is a "creative reality" (ch'ua-sheng ti shih-t'i)(ak 35) comprised of both t'i(al) or "substance" and yung(am) or "function." T'i exists ontologically as the being of Principle and generates yung in the phenomenal world as the activity of Principle. T'i and yung thus form a pair of organically conjoined correlates as the necessary content of Principle and set Principle apart as a concept from Buddhist Emptiness. In its basic and root meaning, the term "emptiness" is "dependent co-origination" (yuan-ch'i(an) or pratilya samutpada). As such, "emptiness" is not a metaphysical concept but a mere description of "dependent co-origination" and cannot be analyzed in terms of the categories of t'i and yung. It would not make sense to speak of "emptiness" in this usage as the t'i of "dependent co-origination" or of "dependent co-origination" as the yung of "emptiness." The t'i-yung analysis simply does not apply to "emptiness" as "dependent co-origination." On the other hand, however, "emptiness'. can become a metaphysical concept when, for instance, it is realized as the Ultimate Emptiness (pi-ching k'ung) (ao) through the Eightfold Negation and mystical contemplation. The Ultimate Emptiness thus realized is called the "correct Principle" (cheng-li)(ap) and is equivalent to the Realm of Dharma (fa-chieh(aq) or Dharmadhatu), True Suchness P.354 (chen-ju(ar) or Bhutatathata), the Law Body (fa-shen(as) or Dharmakaya) or any such terms(36) which can be and have been analyzed in terms of t'i and yung. As an example,we may turn to the Sung dynasty monk Ch'eng-ch'ien.(at) In his commentary on Fa-tsang's(au) Treatise on the Golden Lion (Chin-shih-tzu chang)(av), Ch'eng-ch'ien referred to the "gold" of the "golden lion" as the t'i of Dharmadhatu and to the "lion" as the yung of Dharmadhatu.(37) Similarly, The Awakening of Faith (Ch'i-hsin lun)(aw) speaks of Dharmakaya as the t'i of Bhutatathata and of Niramanakaya and Sambhogakaya as the yung of Bhutatathata. Dharmakaya as the t'i of Bhutatathata is, according to The Awakening of Faith, "undifferentiated" and "devoid of all characteristics" but is "complete and not lacking in anything" whereas Nirmanakava and Sambhogakaya as the yung of Bhutatathata can "extinguish ignorance and reveal the original Dharmakaya "(38) In point of fact, therefore, the t'i-yung analysis has been used in both Buddhist and Neo-Confucian metaphysics. This similarity of usage, however, is only apparent and not real, since the relationship between t'i and yung as implied in the Neo-Confucian concpet of Principle is of a totally different kind from the t'i-yung relationship as it appears in the Buddhist ideas of Bhutatathata and Dharmadhatu. As Professor Mou has pointed out, Dharmakaya as the t'i of Bhutatathata does not of itself generate Nirmanakaya and Sambhogakaya as the yung of Bhutatathata. It is only in response to the Bodhisattvas, Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas and sentient beings that Dharmakaya becomes manifest as Nirmanakaya and Sambhogakaya. Therefore, although Nirmanakaya and Sambhogakaya are manifestations of Dharmakaya, Dharmakaya is not their "direct generative cause" (chih-chieh sheng-yin)(ax), and the immediate responsibility for their coming-into-existence lies with the Bodhisattvas, Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas and sentient beings.(39) The same may also be said of the relationship between the gold and the lion of the "golden lion" as it is stated in Ch'eng-ch'ien's commentary on the Treatise on the Colden Lion As the t'i of Dharmadhatu, the gold is certainly necessary for the existence of the lion. But the Lion, as the yung of Dharmadhatu, is not a necessary outgrowth of the gold because the gold does not of itself transform into the lion without the conditioning of a skillful goldsmith. There- P.355 fore,as in the t'i-yung relationship of the three bodies of the Buddha, it is not the gold as t'i but the craftsmanship of the goldsmith that provides the "direct generative cause" for the lion to come into being as the yung of Dharmadhatu.(40) When we turn to Neo-Confucianism, however, the relationship between t'i(al) and yung(am) is very different from that in the Buddhist context. In the Neo-Confucian concept of Principle, t'i not only exists as the being of Principle but is necessarily creative of yung as the activity of Principle. Neo-Confucian t'i is thus both the ground of being and the "direct generative cause" of Neo-Confucian yung. It is true that Neo-Confucian t'i does not materialize as yung without the mediation of ch'i(z) as the third party. Ch'i thus performs a function which may seem comparable to that which is assumed by, for instance, the Bodhisattvas. Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas and sentient beings in the Dharmakaya's mani-festations as Nirmanakaya and Sambhogakaya. But this resemblance in function is superficial. Unlike the Bodhisattvas, Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas and sentient beings who are the "direct generative cause" of Nirmanakaya and Sambhogakaya, ch'i does not give rise to any kind of yung. In the Neo-Confucian frame of reference, t'i remains the sole agent responsible for the generation of yung, while ch'i is merely the medium through which t'i materializes as yung. Moreover, ch'i though a mere medium which is not creative of yung, is nonetheless necessary and real, whereas the Bodhisattvas,Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas and sentient beings are only conditional and illusory. These differences between ch'i on the one hand and the Bodhisattvas, Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas and sentient beings on the other imply that there is an essential distinction in the conception of yung between the Buddhists and the Neo-Confucians. Neo-Confucian yung, because it is created by the necessary and real t'i through the equally necessary and real ch'i, cannot be other than necessary and real. By contrast, Buddhist yung is conditional and illusory because it has as its "direct generative cause" beings who have only conditional and illusory existence. Furthermore, according to Buddhism, what is conditional and illusory must be made necessary and real. Nirmanakaya and Sambhogakaya, for instance, are ultimately to be absorbed into Dharmakaya, just as the Bodhisattvas, P.356 Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas and sentient beings are eventually to be transformed into enlightened Buddhas. Therefore, while Neo-Confucian t'i brings forth yung through the never-ending process of "generation and regeneration, " Buddhist t'i assimilates yung by converting yung into t'i which alone has necessary and real existence. To the extent that Buddhist Emptiness entails a t'i which does not of itself generate yung, it is not a "creative reality" and is thus rejected by the orthodox Neo-Confucians as metaphysically nihilistic. In purely abstract terms, this orthodox Neo-Confucian rejection is not indisputable, for Buddhism in fact affirms a t'i which does not happen to be of the Neo-Confucian kind. Nevertheless, it makes sense as a statement on Buddhist Emptiness as the antithesis of Neo-Confucian Principle. Emptiness conceptualizes a thoroughly Buddhist universe which is diametrically opposed to the Neo-Confucian world of Principle and to which Ch'an Buddhism is not an exception. Ch'an(ay) has often been claimed to be "a happy combination of Buddhist transcendentalism and Taoist naturalism,"(41) into which "the Chinese feeling for life has been assimilated."(42) However, in terms of the t'i-yung relationship that it maintains, Ch'an is still recognizably Buddhist. As examples, we may turn to the pronouncements by Ta-chu Hui-hai(az) who was an 8th century monk and a disciple of Ma-tsu Tao-i(ba) (719-788). Ta-chu used the t'i-yung analysis an a number of occasions to clarify the apparently paradoxical nature of the Ultimate Reality which he designated variously as "The Absolute," "Dharmakaya," "Prajna, " and "Vimala" and in Vimalakirti. On these occasions, the Ultimate Reality is said to be possessed of a "substance" which "does not differentiate" and is "formless, " "immaterial, " and "spotless" and is in this sense considered to be a "void." At the same time, the Ultimate Reality as "substance" is also described by Ta-chu as "not void" because the "substance" of the Ultimate Reality "contains functions as numerous as the sands of the Ganges," "avails itself of the prevailing green bamboos" and "yellow flowers" to "reveal" or "manifest itself' and has the "kirti" of Vimalakirti as its "functional manifestation" which "proceeds from the fundamental substance." Significantly, however. Ta-chu characterized the functioning of his "substance" as "responsive functioning" (yingyung)(bb) which arises in response to "circumstances" and "to the needs of P.357 living beings like the moon being reflected in the water."(43) Thus, as was the case with The Awakening of Faith and Ch'eng-ch'ien's commentary on Fa-tsang's Treetise on the Golden Lion, Ta-chu's t'i is still not the "direct generative cause" of yung; and what has been referred to as Ch'an's "dynamic and naturalistic reemphasis on the reality of the phenomenal world and everyday life" actually operates in a normatively Buddhist framework and is governed by a type of t'i-yung relationship which, though reality-affirming in its own terms, is nonetheless nihilistic in the Neo-Confucian sense. Being thus rejected as metaphysically nihilistic, Buddhism was also condemned by the orthodox Neo-Confucians as amoral. As is well known,a large part of this orthodox Neo-Confucian attack on Buddhism as amoral was focused on the Buddhist institution of monasticism or "leaving the home" (ch'u-chia) (bc) which was an obvious affront to the Neo-Confucian valuation of the family as the basis of the Neo-Confucian ethical system of the Five Human Relationships (wu-lun)(bd). It needs to be emphasized, however, that the Neo-Confucian ethical system inhabits a broad moral sphere which is coterminous with the metaphysical sphere of Principle and that the two charges of amorality and nihilism are interrelated and homologous. As a "creative reality," Neo-Confucian Principle creates a universe which is both real and moral. Principle is thus simultaneously the reason for creation and the source of goodness. Not surprisingly, therefore, Buddhist Emptiness was viewed by the Neo-Confucians not only as metaphysically nihilistic but also as morally hollow. Ch'eng Hao, (n) for instance, while accusing the Buddhists of attempting to "do away with the Four Elements." also criticized them for having only "seriousness to straighten the internal life but having no righteousness to square the external life." As a result, he said, "those who are rigid become like dry wood and those who are relaxed end up in recklessness."(44) Ch'eng Hao's dual rejection of Buddhism as metaphysically nihilistic and morally hollow was echoed by Ch'eng I(o) and Chu Hsi,(aa) both of whom, on the basis of their belief in the moral character of Principle, attacked what appeared to them to be the amorality of Buddhism. Ch'eng I denounced the Buddhists for "desiring to forget about right and wrong" and said, "How can right and wrong be forgotten? There is naturally the Principle P.358 of the Way in abundance. Why bother to forget [about right and wrong]?"(45) Chu Hsi, on the other hand, took pains to draw a distinction between the Confucian and Buddhist conceptions of Nature. The Confucians, he said, maintain that Nature is "intrinsically possessed of the Principle of the Way in abundance" and that it embodies a definite sense of "right and wrong" whereas the Buddhists regard Nature as an "indeterminate" (hun-lun)(be) state of "things and affairs" without any sense of "right and wrong." Consequently, the Buddhists take "seeing" of any kind as Nature regardless of whether or not the "seeing" involved is in accord with Principle. "That is why," he said, the Buddhists "are topsyturvy and are never right anywhere."(46) For the Neo-Confucians like the Ch'eng brothers and Chu Hsi who envisioned metaphysics as "moral metaphysics,"(47) Buddhist Emptiness which they judged to be metaphysically nihilistic could not but also be amoral. It does not help to argue that Buddhism in fact advocates compassion and universal salvation as Bodhisattva ideals and prescribes sila or chien(bf) ("precepts) for both the monastic and lay communities, for these ethical ideals and precepts are not anchored in the reality of Principle which, as the "direct generative cause" of yung, is also of itself creative of morals. The Neo-Confucian charge of amorality thus follows directly as a logical concomitant from the Neo-Confucian judgment that Buddhist Emptiness is metaphysically nihilistic. As noted earlier, Neo-Confucianism was a historically constituted discourse. As such, it did not remain static, but experienced changes over time. These changes have implications for the Neo-Confucian anti-Buddhist criticisms which also witnessed changes in correspondence with the changes in the infrastructure of Neo-Confucianism as a historical phenomenon. A case in point is Huang Tsung-hsi(bg) (1610-1695) whose statements on Buddhism fully exemplify the consistency between the changes in Neo-Confucianism and the changes in its charges against Buddhism. In comparison with the orthodox Neo-Confucians of the Sung, Huang was intellectually more tolerant and pluralistic. He greatly values diversity in thought and considered it important to distinguish what he called the "purpose" or tsung-chih(bh) of each philosophical school or thinker.(48) For this reason, he was critical of his fellow disciple, Yun Jih-ch'u(bl) (fl. P.359 1630's), for suggesting that "[philosophical] discussions must be brought into unity." He said, "With regard to the learning of the different paths and many deliberations, Chung-sheng(bj) (i.e., Jih-ch'u) still has a certain rigidity which has yet to be transformed."(49) Simiarly, Huang was disparaging of Chou Ju-teng(bk) (l547-1629?) for composing The Orthodox Transmission of the Doctrine of the Sages (Sheng-hsueh tsung-chuan)(bl) which traced the development of the sagely learning from the earliest sage kings through Wang Yang-ming(bm)(1472-1529) and his disciples to Lu Ju-fang(bn) (1515-1588) who was Chou's own mentor. This work, according to Huang, was flawed by its tendency to lump the various schools and thinkers together like "amalgamating gold, silver, copper and iron into one vessel." As a result, it failed to clarify what in Huang's terms was the "special purpose of each school."(50) In contrast with, and as an alternative to Chou's Shen-hsiieh tsung-chuan, Huang compiled A Critical Anthology of Ming Neo-Confucians (Ming-ju hsueh-an)(bo) which even included what Huang judged to be "onesided views and mutually opposed doctrines."(51) Huang admitted that the divergent views of Ming Neo-Confucians were not all equally valid. Some were "profound" and "pure" while others were "shallow" and "imperfect." But they all reflected the complexity of "mind" which "suffuses Heaven and Earth"; and they each embodied what an individual thinker or school had attained.(52) The attainment of each school or thinker constituted the "purpose" of the school or thinker. This "purpose" was a focal point of study and was a "gate whereby students might gain entrance [into the Way]." Students, according to Huang, should pay particular attention to the differences between the many schools and thinkers. They should not try to seek confirmation from thoughts or doctrines which were of the same kind as their own. "Learning," Huang said, cannot be a matter of "aiding water with water."(53) Huang's valuation of diversity in thought underlay his attitude toward Buddhism which he rejected ultimately but to which he accorded a certain degree of truth-value. He was therefore able to defend Lo Hunghsien(bp) (1504-1564), a leading Ming Neo-Confucian, against criticisms of Lo's interest in Buddhism and Taoism. He said, "For Mr. Lo, there is not a place which is not a place of learning; and there is not a person who is P.360 not a companion in learning."(54) Without mentioning Ch'eng I's name explicitly, Huang also took issue with Ch'eng's statement that Buddhism need not be "investigated" but only be judged and rejected on the basis of its "practice."(55) He claimed that "it is not that the Buddhists do not have any true perception whatsoever,"(56) but that they "do not probe deeply enough" and as a result fall short of the ultimate.(57) In this regard, Huang is markedly different from the orthodox Neo-Confucians of the Sung period whose criticisms of Buddhism were characterized by him as "superficial." He said in his "introductory Remarks" to the Ming-ju hsueh-an, It is often said that in literary and practical accompl- ishments the Ming did not measure up to former dynasties. Yet in the philosophy of Principle it attained what other dynasties had not. In everything Ming scholars made the finest of distinctions and classifications, as if they were sorting the hairs on an oxen or picking silk threads from a cocoon. They thereby discovered what other scholars had failed to discover. Though the Ch'engs and Chu Hsi [in the Sungl spent many words in refuting the Buddhists, they never got beneath the surface. Buddhism's specious reasonableness and confounding of truth they failed to point out. But Ming scholars were so precise in their analysis that the Buddhists were completely exposed and trapped.(58) Huang did not specify in this passage how the orthodox Sung Neo-Confucian criticisms of Buddhism might be considered as "super-ficial." A clue, however, can be gained from the Ming-ju hsueh-an where Huang rejected a number of Ming Neo-Confucian criticisms of Buddhism, which had been standard among the orthodox Neo-Conlucians of the Sung. For instance, he denied that Buddhism was necessarily nihilistic.(59) He pointed out that the Buddhists "regarded True Emptiness as wonderful being"(60) and that they did not really intend to negate things and emotions. He said, The Buddhists consider happiness, anger, sorrow, joy, Heaven, P.361 earth and the myriad things to be coming into and going out of existence in the midst of Emptiness. [These emotions and things and the universe] do not obstruct the circulation [of the Way]. What need is there for them to be annihilated?(61) He further maintained that Buddhism could not be distinguished from Confucianism, and therefore refuted as un-Confucian any characterization of it as a doctrine which "transcends the world" (ch'u-shih) , (bq62) is "selfish" (tzu-ssu)(br) or "self-interested" (tzu-li), (bs63) and is solely concerned with the "inner" (nei)(bt) or "mind" but not with the "outer" (wai)(bu) or "Nature."(64) According to Huang, these orthodox Sung-style refutations of Buddhism missed the crux of the real problem which, for Huang, lay in Buddhism's "seeing function as Nature" (tso-yung chien-hsing).(bv65) In Huang's terms, this meant that the Buddhists saw only "substance in [its state of] circulation" and that, as a result, they perceived only change, but not constancy in the midst of change.(66) As conceived by Huang, the universe had two aspects: the active (tung)(bw) and the tranquil (ching).(bx) In its active aspect, the universe appeared as the "circulation of great transformation which does not cease day or night." This aspect of the universe was "change" (pien) (by) which, however, was not random, but contained within itself a cert; ain order or regularity. Therefore, Huang noted, After spring, there is necessarily summer; and after autumn.there is necessarily winter. Men do not transform into things; and things do not transform into men. Grassdoes not change into plants; and plants do not change Into grass.(67) This order or regularity represented the tranquil aspect of the universe. It has "remained as it is since antiquity" and is referred to by Huang as "true constancy" (chen-ch'ang).(bz) These two aspects of the physical universe also prevail in the life of man. In man, the active and therefore changing aspect manifests itself as the circular movement of emotions between the two states of "being aroused" (i-fa)(ca) and "not-yet-aroused" (wei-fa).(cb) The unchanging aspect or "true constancy" of man exists in P.362 the midst of the changing emotional states as the four Mencian "beginnings" of goodness, i.e., the four fundamental feelings of commiseration, shame, deference and the sense of right and wrong.(68) The Confucians, according to Huang, saw both "change" and"constancy" in man and the universe. By contrast, the Buddhists saw only "change" but not "constancy." They considered "change" as absolute or, as Huang put it, as "uncreated and inextinguishable."(69) In this sense, what the Buddhists actually saw was not really wrong; it only fell short of the Ultimate Truth because they "did not probe deeply enough" to see the "unchanging" in the midst of change.(70) Being thus without the "true constancy" to rely on, the Buddhists could not but drift with the flow of events and were unable to maintain a firm sense of good and evil or right and wrong.(71) For the same reason, the Buddhists had to accept an "adverse" situation and "abide by it as if it were fate." The Confucians, on the other hand, recognized only "righteousness" (i).(cc) They did not concern themselves with "life and death" or "propitiousness and adversity." They "lived if it were righteous to live and died if it were righteous to die."(72) The "true constancy" which the Confucians perceived but which the Buddhists missed was identified by Huang as Principle(73) which he, like the Ch'eng brothers and Chu Hsi, considered to be the same as Nature. He said, "What pertains to Heaven is Principle and what pertains to man is Nature."(74) Moreover, Principle bears to ch'i(z) the same kind of relationship that prevails between Nature and mind.(75) Unlike Ch'eng and Chu Hsi, however, Huang considered this relationship to be one of identity. He said that Principle and material force or mind and Nature were merely "concepts" (ming)(cd) created by man to describe two different aspects of the same thing. When viewed in terms of its change, the universe is called material force. But the same universe is also called Principle because its change as material force conforms to a pattern of"regularity" (tse) .(ce) Principle and material force or mind and Nature are therefore "two concepts for the same thing" (i-wu erh liang-ming).(cf) They do not designate "two things which are of the same substance" (liang wu erh i-t'i).(cb76) Ch'i(z) or mind, from this point of view, refers not only to change but to intrinsically "regular" change. whereas li(x) or Nature is not only "regula- P.363 rity" but the intrinsic "regularity" of ch'i(z) or mind as change. Because Huang identifies li(x) and ch'i(z) or mind and Nature as one, he denies that "ch'i must be governed by li," stating that to say so is to see "ch'i as a dead matter."(77) For the same reason, Huang also denies that li is able to generate ch'i(78) or that it has to be attached to ch'i in order to circulate in the phenomenal world.(79) He thus criticized Hsueh Hsuan(ch) (1389-1464) for using the simile of "sunlight" and a "flying bird" which suggested that "li became involved in activity by riding on the occasion of ch'i just as rays of sunlight got into flight by riding on the back of a flying bird."(80) Huang insists that both li and chi are both active and tranquil. In their active aspect both li and ch'i are "daily renewed" (jih-hsin).(ci) They both go through the continual process of "coagulation and dispersion" (chu-san);(cj) and neither the li nor the ch'i from the past can be the li or the ch'i of the future. In their tranquil aspect, however, both li and ch'i are "infinite and eternal" (wu ch'iung-chin) (ck) and are without "coagulation and dispersion."(81) Similarly, Huang denies the primacy of Nature over mind, maintaining that Nature cannot be solely identified with the tranquil state "before emotions are aroused" or mind be solely identified with the active state "after emotions are aroused." He regarded distinctions of this kind between mind and Nature as fallacies of the Sung Neo-Confucians, particularly Chu Hsi, who, though considering mind as "the commander of Nature and emotions," never actually ovcercame the view of mind and Nature as a duality.(82) Closely related to Huang's rejection of what he considered to be the dualistic views of li and ch'i and mind and Nature is his rejection of the characteristically Sung Neo-Confucian concept of ch'i(z) or ch'i-chih(cl) ("physical endowment") as a source of evil. He said that chi or ch'i-chih is never evil and that what Chang Tsai called the "nature of physical endowment" (ch'i-chih chih-hsing)(cm) is nothing but Nature which is intrinsically and always good. Huang allows that in the process of change, irregularities or evil may occur in the form of "excesses" (kuo) (cn) or "insufficiencies" (pu-chi).co Such irregularities or evils, however, have nothing to do with chi. They occur only because ch'i has lost its "original-so-ness"(pen-jan).(cp)But the chi that has lost its "original-so-ness"is no longer really ch'i which, being identified with li,is inherently regular P.364 and can never be a source of evi1.(83) Huang pointed out poignantly that Mencius only spoke of evil as a result of the mind becoming "submerged"(hsien-ni),(cq) but never attributed this "submergence" of mind to ch'i or ch'i-chih as a source of evi1.(84) For Huang, therefore, there is no ch'i that is not "spiritual" (ling)(cr) because ch'i is li.(85) Likewise, there is no mind that is not "self-regulating" and "self-regulated" (tzu-yu chu-tsai) (cs) because mind is Nature."(86)The reason why ch'i is ch'i and mind is mind is precisely that ch'i or mind contains within itself the ordering principle of li or Nature.(87) Huang's conceptualization of Ii and cch'i or mind and Nature as on underlies his rejection of such Sung-style criticisms of Buddhism as being concerned only with mind but not with Nature. For Huang, this Sung position on Buddhism is not tenable because it presupposes a dualistic view of mind and Nature which regards Nature or li as external to mind. Therefore, instead of refuting Buddhism as being concerned only with mind and not with Nature, Huang maintained that the Buddhists did not understand either mind or Nature and that they did not understand Nature precisely because they did not understand mind.(88) To regard the issue otherwise, as did the Sung-style Neo-Confucians, was to commit the same kind of fallacy that the Buddhists had committed. Huang observed that although the Sung-style Neo-Confucians regarded li or Nature as something to be integrated with mind (whereas the Buddhists considered li as an "obstacle" (chang)(ct) to the mind), they were the same in maintaining a dualistic view of mind and Nature and in seeing Nature as external to mind.(89) Again, the question is not whether Huang is justified in his criticisms of Budd\hism or, for that matter, in his refutations of Sung-style Neo-Confucianism. The point to be emphasized is that his criticisms of Buddhism are fully consistent with his refutations of Sung-style Neo-Confucianism and that they both reflect a characteristically Ming Neo-Confucian tenet which holds a monistic view of li and ch'i or mind and Nature. As Neo-Confucianism changed as a structure of signification, its criticisms of Buddhism also changed as expressions of a Neo-Confucian vision. NATIONAL TAIWAN UNIVERSITY P.365 NOTES 1. Chin-i,(f) Mo-ho chih-kuan,(cu) in Taisho shinshu daizokyo (cv) (hereafter cited as Taisho), Vol. XLVI. No. 1911,5a- 7b/52-100 (esp. 76-78) 2. Tsung-mi,(h) Yuan-jen lun,(cw) in Taisho, Vol. XLV, No. 1886, p. 708. 3. Ibid. Translation taken with minor modifications from de Bary, ed., The Buddhist Tradition. New York: The Modern Library (1969), p. 181. 4. Chih-yuan,(l) "Ssu-shih-erh-chang ching hsu,"(cx) Hsien -chu p'ien,(cy) in Dai Nihon zoku zokyo,(cz), part I, Series 2, Case 6, Vol. 1, 1/32a-b. 5. Chu Hri(au) and Lu Tsu-ch'ien, Chin-ssu lu chi-chu(da)(he- reafter cited as Chinssu lu).(t) Taipei: Chung-hua shu-chu (1966), 13/1a. Translation taken with minor modifications from Wing-tsit Chan, tr., Reflections on Things at Hand (hereafter cited as Reflections) New York: Columbia University press (1967), pp. 279-280. 6. A. C. Graham. Two Chinese Philosophers. London: Lund Humphries (1967). p. 85. 7. Chin-ssu lu, 13/3b;Chan.Reflections, pp. 285-286. 8. Grah-am, Two Chinese Philosophers,p.88. 9. Chin-ssu lu. 13/3a; Chan,Reflections, p 285. 10. Wing-tsit Chan, "Chu Hsi's Completion of Neo- Confucianism,"Etudes Song, Ser. II:1(1973). p.67. 11. Wing-tsit Chan, A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy (herea- fter cited at Source Book). Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University press (1969), p. 637. 12. Ibid. 13. Chan.''Chu Hsi's Completion of Neo-Confucianism," p. 66. 14. Chu Hsi,(aa) Chu-tzu ch'uan-shu,(db) 1714 ed., 60/12b; Chan, Source Book, p.646. 15. Ibid 16. Chu-tzu ch'uan-shu, 60/14b. Translation adapted from Chan,Source Book, p. 648. 17. Chu-tzu ch'uan-shu. 60/15b-16b; Chan, Source Book, p. 649. 18. Clu-tzu ch'uan-shu. 60/14b. Translation adapted from Chan,Source Book, p. 648. 19. Chu Hsi,(aa) Chu-tzu yu-lei,(dc)Taipei; Cheng-chung shu-chu(1970), Vol. I. p.102. 20. Chang Tsai,(ad) Chang-tzu ch'uan-shu.(ad) Taipei: Chung-hua shu-chu (1966). 2/22b. 21. Ibid. Trandation adapted from Chan.Reflections, p. 286. 22. Ho-nan Ch'eng-shih i-shu(de) (hereafter cited as Ch'eng- shih i-shu).Shanghai: Commercial press (1935), p. 80; Chan, Source Book, pp. 535-536. 23. Ch'eng-shih i-shu,p.24. P.3 66 24. Ibid, p.80;Chan,Source Book, pp.535-536. 25. Ch'eng-shih i-shu,p.153. 26. Ibid., pp. 34-35;Chan,Source Book, pp. 533-534. 27. Chan,Source Book. p.565. 28. Ch'eng-shih i-shu, p.2l6;Chan,Source Book, p.564. 29. Ch'eng-shih i-shu, p. 300. 30. Charles Fu, "Morality or Beyond: The Neo-Confucian Confron- tation with Mahayana Buddhism," Philosophy East and West, XXIII:3 (July 1973), pp.390-391. 31. For the idea of shih-shih wu-ai,(ag) cf. Junjiro Takakusu, The Essentials of Buddhist Philosophy. Honolulu: Office Appliance Co., Ltd. (1956), p. 119. 32. Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge, tr. by A.M. Sheridan Smith New York: Harper & Row (1976), pp. 40-49. 33. Ibid.,pp. 31-39. 34. T'ang Chun-i,(ah) Chung-kuo che-hsueh yuan-lun yuan-hsing p'ien,(df) Kow-loor. Hsin-ya shu-yuan yen-chin so (1974 pp. 336-367. The concept of "generation and regeneration" is derived from the Book of Changes (cf. James Legge,tr., The I Ching. New York: Dover [1963],p. 356.) 35. Mou Tsung-san,(aj) Hsin-t'i yu hsing-t'i.(dg) Taipei: Cheng-chung shu-chu (1973),Vol. I, pp. 33-42. The following discussion is indebted to Professor Mou's analysis of the problem of t'i(al) and yung(am) in Buddhism (cf. ibid., pp.571- 657). 36. Cf. Chan,Sourre Book, pp, 357,436-437,n.44. 37. Ch'eng-ch'ien,(at) Chu chin-shih-tzu chang,(dh) in Dai Nihon zoku zokyo.(cz) Part I, Series 2, Care 8, Vol. l,pp. 75b-78b (esp. p. 75b). 38. Yoshita S. Hakeda, The Awakening of Faith. New York: Colu- mbia University Press (1967), pp. 65, 69-70. 39. Mou,Hsin-t'i yu hsing-t'i Vol.I.pp.6o7-616. 40. Ch'eng-ch'ien,(at) Chu chin-shih-tzu chang,(dh) pp. 75b-76 (a). 41. Fu, "Morality or Beyond: The Neo-Confucian Confrontation with Mahayana Buddhism," p. 391. 42. Heinrich Dumoulin, A History of Zen Buddhism. New York: McGraw-Hill (1965), p. 104. 43. Hui-hai(az), Tun-wu ju-tao yao-men lun(di) and Chu-fang men-jen ts'an-wen yu-lu(dj) in Dai Nihon zoku zokyo,(cz) Part I, Series 2, Case 15, Vol. 5, pp 425b,429a & 429b- 430a ; John Blofeld, The Zen Teaching of Hui Hai. London: Rider & Co. (1969), pp. 77, 104, 111. The term ying-yung(bb) is widely used in modern Chinese to mean "application" of "applied" as, for instance, in the expression ying-yung k' o-hsueh(dk) or "applied science." Most likely, however, it is Buddhist in origin. As indicated by Hui-hai's use of it, the term in tis original Buddhist sense exemplifies the Buddhist concept of yung. P.367 44. Ch'eng-shih i-shu, p. 80;Chan, Source Book, pp. 535-536. 45. Ch'eng-shih i-shu, p. 289. 46. Chu-tzu ch'uan-shu, 60/17a-19a. 47. For the concept of "moral metaphysics" cf. Mou, Hsin-t'i yu hsing-t'i.Vol I, pp. 139-189. 48. Huang Tsung-hsi,(bg) Ming-ju hsueh-an.(bo) Taipei: Shih- chien shu-chu (1965), "tzu-hsu," p. 1. 49. Ibid. 50. Ibid.,"fan-li,"p. 1. 51. Ibid. 52. Ibid., "tzu-hsu," p. l;cf. also "fan-li," p. 1. 53. Ibfd.,"fan-li,"p. 1. 54. Ibid., p. 158. 55. Ibid., p. 336. For Ch'eng I's statement, see Ch'eng-shih i-shu. 15/166. 56. Huang,Ming-ju, p. 8. 57. Ibid., p.336. 58. Ibid., "fan-li,"p. 1. 59. Ibid., p. 151. 60. Ibid., pp. 8 & 371. 61. Ibid., p. 261. 62. Ibid., pp. 216-217. 63. Ibid., p. 336. 64. Ibid., pp. 336 & 486. 65. Ibid., pp. 7-8; cf. also pp. 101-102, 229, 311,352, 357. 66. Ibid., p. 8. 67. Ibid. 68. Ibid., pp. 8,126. 69. Ibid., p. 8. 70. Ibid., p. 336. 71. Ibid., pp. 8, 132. 72. Ibid., p. 607. 73. Ibid., p. 8. 74. Ibid., p. 485. 75. Ibid., p. 8. 76. Ibid., p. 466. 77. Ibid., 78. Ibid., p. 524. 79. Ibid., pp. 485-486. 80. Ibid., p. 44. 81. Ibid. 82. Ibid., p. 486. 83. Ibid., p. 285;cf.also, pp.372-375,428. 84. Ibid., p. 399. 85. Ibid., p. 52;cf also pp.15,182. 86. Ibid., p. 448. 87. Ibid., p. 289. 88. Ibid., p. 486. 89. Ibid., pp.192,448. p.368 Chinese philosophy a 畢竟治 y 空 b 也界法藥 z 氣 c 假觀 aa 朱熹 d 深化 ab 形而上 e 薄弱 ac 性 f 智顗 ad 張載 g 觀心 ae 道 h 宗密 af 寂滅 i 遵行 ag 事事無礙 j 決了 ah 唐君毅 k 迷 ai 生生之理 l 智圓 aj 牟宗三 m 同 ak 創生的實體 n 程顥 al 體 o 程頤 am 用 p 本領 an 緣起 q 心 ao 畢竟空 r 述 ap 正理 s 王通 aq 法界 t 近思錄 ar 真知 u 陰 as 法身 v 陽 at 業遷 w 形而上者 au 法藏 x 理 av 金師子章 p.369 aw 起信論 bx 靜 ax 直接生因 by 變 ay 禪 bz 真常 az 大珠慧海 ca 已發 ba 馬祖道一 cb 未發 bb 應用 cc 義 bc 出家 cd 名 bd 五倫 ce 則 be 渾淪 cf 一物而兩名 bf 見 cg 兩物而一體 bg 黃宗羲 ch 薛瑄 bh 宗旨 ci 日新 bi 鄆日初 cj 聚散 bj 仲昇 ck 無窮盡 bk 周汝登 cl 氣質 bl 聖學宗傳 cm 氣質之性 bm 王陽明 cn 過 bn 羅汝芳 co 不及 bo 明儒學案 cp 本然 bp 羅洪先 cq 陷溺 bq 出也 cr 靈 br 自私 cs 自有主宰 bs 自利 ct 障 bt 內 cu 摩訶止觀 bu 外 cv