James Giles
Roskilde University
This paper shows that a careful reading of Laozi’s The Way and Its Power enables one to come up with a metaphysics of awareness. This is done by rejecting those accounts that paint Laozi as a mystic or cosmologist and by arguing for the human-centeredness of his approach. It is shown that three central ideas in Laozi’s work can all be understood as referring to properties of awareness. These three ideas are the Way , return , and non-action . The “Way” refers to awareness itself, “return” refers to the way in which awareness oscillates between activity and stillness, and “non-action” refers to how awareness expresses itself in action. This interpretation fits with the Daoist project of articulating a way of living that brings human existence into harmonious relation to the world
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DOI 10.5840/ipq201353443
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