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The Theory of Convergence and Retention of Mind Itself(Innate Good Knowing) in the Philosophy of Luo Hongxian(羅洪先)

  • JOURNAL OF CHINESE STUDIES
  • 2006, (20), pp.53-85
  • Publisher : CHINESE STUDIES INSTITUTE
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature

Inchai Chung 1

1고려대학교

ABSTRACT

Though the philosophy of Luo Nienan(羅念菴) belongs to the School of Returning to Calmness(歸寂派) which was advocated by Nie Shuangjiang(攝雙江) but he never strictly follow the Nie's theory. He was influenced by the Wang Longxi(王龍溪) who insisted the spontaneous flow of innate good knowing(liang-chih;良知) in the actual world. Luo criticized both Wang and Nie's theory of cultivation, and advocated his own theory which proclaims convergence and retention of Mind itself. The philosophical theory of Luo is comprize of three stage of development according to the Huang Zongxi(黃宗羲) who wrote Philosophical Records of the Ming Confucian scholars(明儒學案). The first stage is to become a sage through annihilation of selfishness or having no desire in Mind itself(無欲) while keeping silence(主靜) which is the beginning of the cultivation. The second stage is that to recognize the constant body of quiet(寂體) in the Mind, which is against the theory of inconstant body in the Mind(心無定體論) developed by Chen Mingshu(陳明水). The constant body of quite itself is the Principle of Heaven(天理) from which all moral principles come out. It also becomes the ground of moral practice. But the mind is filled with selfish greed and we cannot be free from it. The selfishness comes not only from ones sensual desire but also from ones intention. We should pluck out the root of selfish desire and intention. The third stage was the theory of convergence and retention of Mind itself, which brings about true realization of innate good knowing. It means the full awakening of the body of benevolence(仁體), which has no division of inner and outer and finally becomes One body of all things in the world. This explains why the awaken man could feel the pain of the others, even when they are remote from himself.

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