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The Middle Way(Zhong Yong Zhi Dao) Doctrine of Mean

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Philosophy / religion 哲 學 ,宗教
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Joined: 14 Dec 2002
Posts: 79
Location: Guangdong, China

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2002 10:26 pm    Post subject: The Middle Way(Zhong Yong Zhi Dao) Doctrine of Mean Reply with quote


The middle way or "zhong yong zhi dao" is a Chinse ancient philosophy that shaped the life of many Chinese from generation to generation. People might not be aware of it, but it's rooted in many Chinese's thinking and the way they handle all aspects of life.

I'd like to know more about it, specifically:

1. Was that Laozi who initiated this philosophy? One "way" or "dao" from his work "dao de jing"?

2. Can someone explain to me what "zhong yong zhi dao" is about, please? (Need to confirm my understanding.)

3. What role this philosophy "the middle way" played in Chinese history/civilization?

4. Do you see that this way of dealing with life is a good approach? What negative impact it might have on shaping an individual's personality, if there is any? I know answers of this might vary from person to person.

That's about all I can think of at the moment. Would appreciate anyone who can help with some of his/her insights.

Thanks a lot!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


'Zhong yong zhi dao', this term you got it from where.

Zhong Yong was written by Confucius.

Buddhist sutras also mention the Middle Way. You can refer to 42 Sections Sutra.

Many people don't understand the true Middle Way. It is to squint your eyes during meditation, like Chinese word water.
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Joined: 03 Jun 2002
Posts: 3548
Location: New Jersey, U.S.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:06 am    Post subject: Doctrine of the Mean Reply with quote

Dear Jane:

The Doctrine of the Mean is one of the central foundation of
the Confucian philosophy. One of the four principal books by Confucius
is entitleed "Zhong Yong".

You will find both the Chinese text and English translation at
our web site at

Like all great philosophies, one cannot just explain it in a few
words, or read a few quotations from it. I do urge you to
read the original! I assure you that it is surprising "easy" to
go through the book. Of course, you may have to spend
the rest of your life re-read it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


The Master said: 'Perfect is the mean in action, and for a long time now very few people have had the capacity for it.' (This statement can mean this middle focusing is known only to a handful and successful persons.)[Note:- My Chinese is poor, therefore I rely more on translation.]

And, again, in the Book of Songs: 'Spiritual power is weightless as a hair. Yet even a hair has weight for comparison.' But 'the deeds of high Heaven are without sound and smell.' This is perfection.
[ Where does the spiritual power come from? By Confucian theory? Those who talk too much don't understand this. Spiritual power comes from inaction or meditation. Therefore action (inaction) is supreme. With the spiritual power, one can do propagation. This propagation increases further the spiritual power because of compassion, love for fellow human being. In Buddhist term, it is the 'Great Vehicle' or Mahayana.]

[There is no translation for the above verses.] In my own words:- When happiness, anger, sadness and enjoyment do not manifest in our mind, it is neutral, central. When they manifest and confined to the central, it is called togetherness. The central component is the root of the universe. Togetherness is the universal Way.
Together, they are the site of the heaven and earth, where all beings nourish from.
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