Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Evolution and the Chinese thought!
In the age of upper antiquity, human beings were few and animals were numerous, so the people could not prevail against the birds, beasts, insects, and serpents. Then there appeared a sage who taught the people how to build nests out of wood so they could escape all harm. The people were pleased by this and made the man king of the entire world, giving him the name “The Nester.” The people ate fruits, melons, mussels, and clams, but they were putrid and foulsmelling and hurt the people’s stomachs so that they often became sick and ill. Then there appeared a sage who taught the people how to start a fire by drilling dry kindling so they could transform their rancid foods. The people were pleased by this and made the man king of the entire world, giving him the name “The Kindler.” In the age of middle antiquity, the world was covered by a great flood, but Gun and Yu of the Xia opened up channels to divert the waters. In the age of lower antiquity, the wicked kings Jie and Zhou governed cruelly and created disorder, but Tang of Yin and Wu of Zhou led punitive campaigns to overthrow them.
Now if someone built nests out of wood or started fires by drilling dry kindling during the age of the Lords of Xia, they would surely be laughed at by Gun and Yu. If someone opened up channels to divert the flood waters during the age of the Yin and Zhou, they would surely be laughed at by Tang and Wu. This being the case, if someone goes around praising the Way of Yao, Shun, Tang, Wu, and Yu in the present age, they will surely be laughed at by the new sages.
For this reason, the sage does not expect to follow the ways of the ancients or model his behavior on an unchanging standard of what is acceptable. He examines the affairs of the age and then makes his preparations accordingly.
This is how things happened according to the last major thinker of the pre-Qin period in China, the social and political theorist Han Feizi