Daoism and the Meontological Imagination

Social Imaginaries 5 (2):59-73 (2019)
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Abstract

Of the things needing to be forgotten if we are to partake in the oneness of Dao, language is perhaps the hardest. Since the purpose of words is to delimit things, words create an artificial division between things and their image qua form. While humanity views images as distinct entities, Dao leaves them in their jumbled collectivity; while humanity feels compelled to act upon our thoughts and feelings, Dao remains silent and empty. This leads to the following question: Will modelling ourselves after Dao result in a more creative form of thinking and if so, can it be carried-out without words and images? To demonstrate why the answer to this question is yes, we will first analyze why words are an obstacle to deeper thinking before looking at how images, despite their ability to connect with Dao, are nevertheless hindered by their dependency on being. It thus falls to spirit to lay bare the constant non-image of Dao, the core of the Daoist imagination and focus of the final section of this paper.

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David Chai
Chinese University of Hong Kong

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