The precise verbal expressions of the inarticulate thoughts: self-knowledge precedes self–order; self-order precedes order of the family; order of the family precedes order of the community; order of the community precedes order of the state and order of the state precedes order of the country – thus the fate of the nation depends upon the, precise verbal expressions.
History is the sum total of effects of human willing; human willing is dependent upon human ideation; therefore if history is disharmonious or disorderly, it can only be addressed categorically by understanding and rectifying the ultimate roots – ideas. This is called diving to the bottom of the ocean to bring order to the surface.
The metaphysical presupposition of Confucian thought can be qualified as a basic faith in life – in both the structure of the universe as well as the human condition. Confucianism perceives as the ideal state of existence an absolute perception and orderly manifestation of man in his totality. This constitutes the fundamental divergence between the eastern, or Confucian, and western, or Abrahamic, soul. Confucianism is predicated on determining the natural constitution of id or instinct and modeling the personality and society on the proper realization of this indwelling nature – which is called looking into the heart and acting directly therefrom. The west contrarily, in the earliest stages of its personality and social formation, externalized the image of a masculine god who imposed arbitrary behavioral directives from a position of trans-human superiority. The eastern conception of ethics is fundamentally interior and feminine in the sense of relying on id, which is properly symbolically expressed as water or as the mother spirit of earth, whereas the west, in an embryonic prefiguration of what reason now is, conceived of a power which is wholly contrary to the darkness and from whom personal and social ethics have derived. This is what caused Robert Bly to rightly describe the west as predominately yang and masculine and the east as predominately yin or feminine.
There is an epistemological aspect to the divergence as well. Confucian knowledge consists in the illumination of the features of one’s immanent nature with an aim at understanding the purpose for every desire in order to formulate the most effective system to realize these intentions harmoniously or become the ‘whole man’. To the western, more exterior conception of things, the interior darkness is almost always ignored or suppressed. Knowledge, in the western sense, generally consists in the possession of a variety of facts that are primarily surface-oriented or rational. This antagonism to darkness is expressed in Freud, who brought the antithesis of faith in life to its apex when he conceived of the unconscious as nothing more than a prison for everything the superego – being a manifestation of the essentially Abrahamic formation of an externalized, and self-imposed system of ethics – deems to be incompatible with right existence. Where the Confucian system of ethics begins from a belief in human nature – from a certain level of deification of the constituency of the human soul – the west begins from an antagonism to human nature, or the preeminence of a deity fundamentally different and distinct from humanity and towards whom it is necessary for humanity to conform. Thus western civilization is predominately one-sided regarding its relation to what can be expressed by the terms ‘body’ or ‘desire’ and toward which Abrahamic forms of valuation have ever been opposed. Contrarily, it could be argued that Confucianism furnishes a civilization too one-sided in the opposite direction, placing too much faith on the idea that the root of universe is in someway synonymous with the human heart or the id. The consequence of the western system, though, must indubitably be division. The id is fundamentally evil in western thought: western man believes he must tame himself, whereas eastern man believes he must realize himself.
Confucian ethics are more rational and should ultimately tend to promote a higher degree of tranquility and a more fuller and prolonged sense of contentment in one’s existence, in as much as their first principle consists in witnessing the nature of the self without hostility and subsequently tending to the soul as a gardener does to his garden – by coming to an awareness of the nature of each plant, what is beneficial and what is detrimental, and organizing conduct so as to facilitate the most salutary fruition. The west, in contradistinction, begins with the external deity concept and establishes its first principle as a form of antagonism in accordance with the arbitrary moral precepts imposed therefrom: the eastern soul seeks to harmonize, whereas the western soul seeks to dominate and conquer. In a very profound sense, this external deity archetype is the fundamental root of the western impetus to control and the essential hostility to id is expressed in the general disregard for external nature manifested in the current and massive ecological disruption produced by human activity. Abrahamic thought systems are profoundly anti-natural – Nature is evil, god is good; all modernity has done is transfer the god concept onto empirical reason and convert the formula to the following: science is good and exists to subjugate nature. Thus western man is still living out an Abrahamic fantasy to the detriment of himself and the world.
These dichotomous strains of existence between the eastern and western soul constitute the fundamental divergence whose synthesis will be this century of history’s function. There is a far deeper divide separating the American from the Chinese than that which separated the American from the Russian in the cold war. The cold war itself was predominately a conflict of surfaces – Democracy and Communism being only opposed forms of rationality. What divides the eastern and western soul is a far deeper, implicit and predominately unconscious conception of what the nature of reality is. Both the eastern psyche and the western psyche are now clothed in reason, but their capacity to desire is conditioned by divergent metaphysical sensibilities – and reason is always a slave to passion. It is therefore ultimately going to be necessary for humanity to find a way to facilitate an integration, bringing congruity and synthesis, to the light and the darkness