Please wait a minute...

Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2017, Vol. 12 Issue (1) : 54-71     DOI: 10.3868/s030-006-017-0005-6
Orginal Article |
The Symbolism of the Body in Daoism
CHENG Lesong()
Department of Philosophy, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Download: PDF(321 KB)  
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks
Abstract

The body is the center of Daoist practice. In addition to being the carrier of feelings, experiences, and actions, it also plays a major role in the construction and interpretation of religious meanings. What is important here is how it serves as the starting point and springboard for practitioners seeking either to obtain the ideal state of being or acquire transcendent powers. This article explores the formation of the body as a symbol in Daoism, and analyzes its corresponding implications. I attempt to do this through a close textual reading of Daoist texts and a critical review of previous academic work on the Daoist conception of body. Within Daoism, the body is neither some physical object, nor a spirit-flesh hybrid that is the subject of theological reflection. It is the vehicle to immortality, and is in itself a small pantheon to be discovered and promoted. As such, it is an open and rich symbol that both generates and integrates meanings on different levels. The symbol of the body not only brings together diverse meanings, but it also provides a conduit through which these meanings are expressed. After taking on religious meaning, the body comes to actualize its potentiality through Daoist practice and cultivation.

Keywords Daoism      symbol      symbolism      body     
Issue Date: 24 April 2017
 Cite this article:   
CHENG Lesong. The Symbolism of the Body in Daoism[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2017, 12(1): 54-71.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/10.3868/s030-006-017-0005-6
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/Y2017/V12/I1/54
Service
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
RSS
Articles by authors
CHENG Lesong
Related articles from Frontiers Journals
[1] David Chai. Ji Kang on Nourishing Life[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2017, 12(1): 38-53.
[2] Thomas Michael, CHEN Yazhou. Approaching Laozi : Comparing a Syncretic Reading to a Synthetic One[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2017, 12(1): 10-25.
[3] Alicia Hennig. Three Different Approaches to Virtue in Business- Aristotle, Confucius, and Lao Zi[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2016, 11(4): 556-586.
[4] Joanna Guzowska. The Spatiality of Cognition in the Zhuangzi[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(3): 415-429.
[5] Paul J. D’Ambrosio. Authenticity in the Zhuangzi ? Contemporary Misreadings of Zhen 真and an Alternative to Existentialism[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(3): 353-379.
[6] Richard Shusterman. Somaesthetics and Chinese Philosophy: Between Unity and Pragmatist Pluralism[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(2): 201-211.
[7] Eva Kit Wah Man. A Cross-Cultural Reflection on Shusterman’s Suggestion of the “Transactional” Body[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(2): 181-191.
[8] Roger T. Ames. “Bodyheartminding” (Xin 心): Reconceiving the Inner Self and the Outer World in the Language of Holographic Focus and Field[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(2): 167-180.
[9] Leah Kalmanson,Sarah Mattice. The De of Levinas: Cultivating the Heart-Mind of Radical Passivity[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(1): 113-129.
[10] HUANG Mei Tin. The Encounter of Christianity and Daoism in Philippe Couplet’s Confucius Sinarum Philosophus[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2014, 9(4): 615-624.
[11] XIA Ying. The Principle of Production and a Critique of Metaphysics: From the Perspective of Theory of Baudrillard Contractual Approach Based on Rawls’ Device of the “Original Position”[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2014, 9(2): 181-193.
[12] CHEN Yun. Bodily Subjectivity, Way of Administration and Governance in the Axial Age[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(4): 624-640.
[13] Chris Fraser. Xunzi Versus Zhuangzi: Two Approaches to Death in Classical Chinese Thought[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(3): 410-427.
[14] CHEN Xiaoping. Various Concepts of “Supervenience” and Their Relations:A Comment on Kim’s Theory of Supervenience[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2011, 6(2): 316-333.
[15] FAN Minghua. The Significance of Xuwu 虚无 (Nothingness) in Chinese Aesthetics[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2010, 5(4): 560-574.
Viewed
Full text


Abstract

Cited

  Shared   
  Discussed