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Professor Chang-Yi Chang was born in China and went to Taiwan at the age of 14. Graduating from National Taiwan University in Literature and Philosophy, he went to study Western Philosophy, Mathematics, and Logic at University of Washington in Seattle and received a Master's Degree in Philosophy. Receiving a Santana Fellowship, he then went to Harvard University to study Philosophy and Logic and received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard. He joined University of Hawaii at Manoa Department of Philosophy in 1964 and since 1973 has been a Professor of Philosophy at that university. Professor Chang's main specialty is Contemporary Western Philosophy, primarily Metaphysics and Hermeneutics and Philosophy of Language, and Chinese Philosophy, inclusive of Confucianism, Neo-Confucianism, Philosophy of Yijing, and Chinese Buddhism. He has done research and published and taught in all of these subjects.


Professor Chang has taught at various places, including Yale University, Queens College in New York, National Taiwan University in Taipei, International Christian University in Tokyo, Berlin Technical University in Berlin, Hong Kong Baptist University in Hong Kong, and Peking University in Beijing, and lectured in numerous universities in Europe, Asia, and the United States. He has written over 10 books and 130 papers in Western Philosophy, Chinese Philosophy, Comparative Philosophy, Integrative Ethics, and Creative Management Theory in both English and Chinese, including the better-known work entitled New Dimensions of Confucian and Neo-Confucian Philosophy, published by State University of New York Press in 1993. Professor Chang is the founder of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy, the International Society for Yijing Studies, and the Journal of Chinese Philosophy, which he asked me to show you.


In recent years, he initiated both the International Association of Confucian Studies in Beijing and the International East-West University in Honolulu. Please help me in welcoming Professor Chang. Thank you. First of all, I want to say my thanks to Joseph. This is a really good meeting, and I feel myself enriched, and learned a lot from interacting with friends here, and also I think I was even, I must say, enlightened by some of the very heartfelt self-talk that you described.


As a philosopher, I think we always have something to learn from people who are deeply engaged in meditation. In my state of life, I feel this is an open challenge. I want to say that I have written a paper which is titled A Confucian Theory of Human Self. The theory is based upon my reflection on self-cultivation and freedom in Confucianism. And then I thought, after I learned something from this group, I thought I should say more about the Confucian tradition of meditation and reflection, which I'm going to make a distinction on the board. So I put a new summary on my paper, which is more concrete, more ethical in itself, probably more useful than a purely philosophical articulation


on the issues involving self-cultivation and the free will. But however, the paper I wrote, however, has a significance, because it involved a basic controversy between Martin Luther King and the Neo-Confucians in the 17th century. As you know, Martin Luther King was the first teacher in China, and he was tremendously interested in learning from the Confucians. And then after he had been there for a year or so, he decided that he was a friend of classical Confucianism. And he would be possibly, I will use my own word, an antagonist, or even possibly a critique of Neo-Confucianism. Why? Well, this is because he found the Confucian writings of the classics, such as Confucius' Analects, that there's a reference to heaven,


and heaven is, in many times, appears to be a personal god. Because in the Book of Poetry, as you know, the book which Confucius has used as one of his teaching materials in his lifetime, in the 6th century BC, the reference to heaven is highly personal. And Confucius himself said, I pray to heaven. And people said, is that a common practice? He said, that's what I do all the time. And there's also another passage which refers to his practice of expiation. You know, expiation, expiation, expiation. This was referred to when he was so ill that his disciples were sitting around him, saying, now is the time for us to expiate, expiate, you know, with myself.


And Confucius said, no, I have expiated myself all the time. In other words, what he's saying is that his life, his practice of learning, of what I call the core humanity, for him, constitutes a practice of love, benevolence, self-purification, if you like. So that, I think, is very appealing to Manjushri. But yet, on the other hand, the problem of human nature, which of course is also a concept very deeply developed by the classical Confucianists, particularly by Mencius, as you know, in the 4th century BC. And according to Mencius, of course, human nature is good. A person is from the realm of being good, solemnly good. And our life is how do I discover this goodness?


How do I realize my goodness? How do I activate it and expand my goodness so that my life will be morally pure and one in desire? And now, according to Manjushri, he found this is not compatible with the free will, the teaching which he found in St. Augustine. So he criticizes Neo-Confucianism. But the interesting thing is that in his time, it's the way of Neo-Confucianism. In the 7th century, it's dominated by, in the Ming Dynasty, you have, of course, you have Wang Yangming, the school, the widest school of Neo-Confucianism. And some of the Neo-Confucians are followers of Zhu Xin, the even better known Neo-Confucianist, the master, the great master of 12th century, in the Southern Seoul. So here we talk about the nature being the principle, which I will explain later.


So in that sense, how do you have free will, according to the Christian doctrine? Because you have everything already determined. You are determined to be good. How can you make a free choice of doing the wrong thing? Now, my paper, my original paper, is trying to reconcile this position. I think this is, of course, still a difficult position, because if we want to reconcile Christianity and Confucianism, we want to have a deep and ongoing dialogue between the two. I think this is still a question we have to face. Namely, if you are determined to be good, you are given an adult to be good, then why do you need a free will? Well, where is the place of free will? Now, what I try to bring out is that, well, at least from the classical Confucian writing, in Confucius, for example, in the Analects, they talk about will.


It's very dominant. You have the will, and that will is the will to heaven, the will to the dog, the will to truth, if you like. So in that sense, that will, however, can be evaporated by every part of your body, by your desires, by your feelings, by substances, by various many other factors of life. So in that sense, the will is free in the sense that in front of or confronting all the negative factors, you still can insist and persist in your pursuit of goodness of human nature, goodness of human heart, the goodness of conduct. So in that sense, that will is a free will, because you can do something else. You can be bent, you can be frustrated, you can be otherwise, in other words. So I do not find that there is any real incompatibility between the two positions.


So I think that even, and this is important, because new Confucianism is a development of Confucianism from the classics. It is a doctrine which has blended insights from both Taoism and Buddhism. So it is a better developed and probably even more systematically developed Confucian position. And you may say its position today is strong. We talk about the contemporary Neo-Confucianism. Some people call me a contemporary Neo-Confucianist, but certainly not in the sense I like to be called. However, that Neo-Confucianism is highly important, because it talks about reason, talks about principle. It also talks about reflection, meditation, and contemplation. Now, saying this, of course, I think is to provide a better ground, hopefully, for Confucian dialogue.


Now, I'd like to, however, to actually refocus my paper on some very fundamental insights of Confucianism, which I think would make Confucianism, in my language, the core religion of pristine humanity. In other words, I see Confucianism as something which people feel wonder and puzzled. You know, even among many Chinese, is Confucianism a religion? If it's a religion, what is this religiousness that consists in? Well, I would say, by worst standard, it's not a religion, because there's no community of Confucians as such. People are Confucianists because they practice, you know, what they learn from their own thinking, their own understanding, and they do many things.


And Confucians are highly flexible. They are versatile, in some sense. So, therefore, there's no form. You know, there's not only no institutional form, but even today, no ritual form in Confucianism. But that doesn't mean there's no Confucianism. Even today, in China, I might say, since 1985, since I returned to China, I went there every year, I found that deeply in the Chinese heart, you may say, there is Confucianism. No matter whether you talk about Marxism or Mao Zedongism, Mao Zedong thought, but I think Confucianism is deeply embedded in the Chinese culture. And as a culture, if you grow in that community, then you, of course, learn to think in the Chinese way, the Confucian way. The Confucian way is the Chinese way, if you like.


But also, there's another reason I'd like to bring up, although it has not been, you know, really painted. Mainly, there's the obvious reference to some fundamental cosmological insight, which is the world of change. I think since the 80s, people now come to recognize the very foundation of Chinese philosophy and Confucianism, for that matter, or Taoism, for that matter, is the philosophy underlying the world of change. Now, the world is constantly being creatively changing, and we need to adapt to that by looking into ourselves, so that we can become creative, and creatively adapting as well. So that's an insight which I think becomes the guiding light also for Confucius, the continuous, ongoing self-cultivation of the human person, so that the human person can become spiritually a whole person, a spiritually whole person.


In other words, we can be handicapped in many ways, but spiritually, we have to be whole. And we can attain that wholeness, that spiritual wholeness of the human person. And on that basis, you can realize in many historical forms whatever values you encounter in your own particular context of life. So, let me first, by pointing out the distinction I have in mind, and which will help you to understand Confucianism, is the reflection, meditation, and contemplation. I have asked a few friends here, I said, what's the distinction between meditation and contemplation? After talking with them, I think I can safely say that there's some kind of correspondence here between meditation and Si, particularly a deep form of thinking.


Now, Si's thinking in general, you think about some issues, you come to a certain light, you come to have a certain understanding. So this is a Confucian term which is used very much in the Annalects. So, thinking or deep thinking, I take that to be meditation, which is on some particular issue. And when you think about an issue, you become understanding. You come to an understanding, you come to a light, so that you come to see how things are, so that you come to see the underlying principles, reasons. This is relief. Now, contemplation is an even older word. And this is something which I have written a long paper on. I take this to have two sides. Why? Because this word has been used, actually, starting in the days of the Book of Change. Because right in the Book of Change, you have one hexagram. It's called Guan. Guan is translated as observation.


But observation is not an exhaustive word, because Guan is to observe things by emptying yourself, so that you don't have any prejudice, so you don't have to have any pre-conceptualization, so you are completely open to things which are happening or taking place. And this is how the word picture is formed, in the hexagram images of the Book of Change. Because the sages, or what they call the authors of the Book of Change, the sages, the ancient sages, they have opened their mind to observe things in the world in such a comprehensive way, in such a long-term process, so that they have come to a whole picture of the whole world. Not only pictures of things as still, but pictures of things in motion, in flux.


So the Book of Change is a book of the image of change. It is a book of, you may say, a cosmographic of the world. Now, once you have that understanding, then you can add yourself to each image, which appears in light of an individual situation. Because all situations have to be, in some way, linked together. Because the holistic observation of things is such that it brings you the links, the connections, the interconnections of all things, so that you can respond to them. And then you can look back into yourself, how I respond to it. What are the best ways to respond to it? So in the early cosmographies provided in the Book of Change, there's more instructions or guides as to,


at certain situations, as represented by certain images or hexagrams, you should not only understand the situation, you should also respond in a positive way, so that you will always achieve some form of harmonization between yourself as the observer and the things which you observe. But this observation I will also call contemplative, because it brings you back to yourself. It then allows yourself to respond according to your true nature. So to observe, in this deep sense, in this comprehensive sense, is to contemplate. Now I think that is why the word has been used by both Confucius himself, by Nietzsche, by Laozi, and by Zhuangzi. And then we continue into the Buddhist tradition. We have referred to Ji Zhang, the great Tiantai Yogeshara master in the Tang Dynasty,


who wrote this maha zi guan, the maha cessation of the object observation. But I interpret that zi guan is to stop the observation so that you can bring back an understanding of yourself. So it's not necessarily better to completely get rid of your observation, but rather to not let the observation hinder you from understanding the true nature of reality. Because behind the observation, there is a true ultimate reality presenting itself. So I think this leads to the question about reflection. Because this is typical of what Xin is to do with looking back at yourself, and therefore, as in the elements, Zhuangzi, the first disciple of Confucius, said,


I reflect on myself three times a day. I ask myself three questions. Am I loyal to my friends? Do I practice what I say? Do I transmit what I have learned? These are the three things he said he reflected three times a day. Now that reflection, of course, is a normal reflection. But it leads to an insight into the human self. The human self can observe things, contemplate things, and learn from things, and yet also make a determination, a decision to act right, to make a choice between right and wrong. In light of a more comprehensive understanding of things. So I think that's the beginning, you may say, of Confucianism. Confucianism is based upon overall understanding of things, so that one will find one's place in the nature, in the scheme of things.


So one will look into oneself and understand what oneself is, so that one can act right, do right, and find peace and repose in one's life. Now, so this I think is very important, and very important for understanding. Now there are four things which have been mentioned in the commentaries of the Four Coachings, which indicate some nature of the contemplation, which I think has been carried on particularly by Confucianists. Namely, contemplation is overall, inner observation and outer observation. It is a matter of penetrating understanding. It is an insightful knowledge. It is an inner feeling about things, about how things are born, and what will go, where it comes from, and where it will go. Now, in this collection, I want to say, I myself make a distinction between


the two modern periods of Confucianism's own life. When you talk about elements, you actually are basically looking at the conversations of Confucius with his disciples around him, before his early years. So how much before? I think that's probably around 50 years old. He said, I know the many elements at the age of 50. Now there are certain messages which later was added to that, because Confucius died at the age of 71 or 72, some people say. And he said, by the age of 70, I can do things with so much with freedom at the dictum of my heart, without trespassing against any more rules.


In other words, the more freedom he has achieved at the age of 70 is one which is totally in conformation with the mental pattern, which he said he knows by the age of 50. Now, I will come to the mental pattern later. But my point here is, in that sample, in the elements, he said, I do not know. He seemed to indicate that I do not know death. And because his disciples asked him, can you tell me something about death? Confucius said, if you do not even know life, how do you know death? And people asked him, can you tell me something about spirits? And Confucius said, if you don't even know man, how do you know spirits? Now, that's very important, because the focus is on human person as a metaphor.


The human person has the key to understanding of death, life, heaven, earth, spirits. If you don't know the human person, how do you know other things? You cannot claim other things. And to know the human person is to know yourself. That's the first, you know, foremost, clearly evidence, self-evident proposition. Now, what I'm trying to indicate is, in the commentaries, such as the Xi Ci, the Atlantic commentaries, in the Book of Change, now we can confirm, because of the archaeological discoveries in 1973, you know, in Hunan province, we can fairly confirm, I think, I myself am convinced, that Confucius has studied the Book of Change, and has made those commentaries possible. Now, the reason I say this is, you know, is to try to bring up this passage in the commentaries of the Xi Ci,


where it is said that by looking at myself, the origin of things, by retracing the beginning of life, we know what is life and death. And he also said, by looking into the subtle changes of things, we come to know the forms of spirits. So the interesting thing is that, in later part of Confucian development, I would say, now those metaphysical questions are basically answered by Confucius himself, or by his teaching to his disciples. I mean, that is something which, I think, today the evidence has pointed out in that development. So I do not want to paint Confucius as simply a moral teacher, an agnostic, you know, moralist.


I want to say that Confucius himself is a profound thinker, and he is a deeply pious person, and he has deeply contemplated and meditated on fundamental issues of life and reality. So, and therefore, there are three things, four things, which are said about him, which I think should be a good characteristic about him. That is to say, first of all, he comes to know many things. In his way, he can help the world, and he never goes beyond what he knows. Second, he is likely to heaven and earth, but he is not violating, trespassing against the fundamental reality. And thirdly, he knows the man of heaven, and he enjoys his natural life, and there is no anxiety on his part.


Thirdly, fourthly, he is very subtle in his own mind, and he is devoted to heaven, which has been translated variously as benevolence, love, goodness. But here I translate it as co-humanity. And because of his devotion to life, he is capable of love. So these four points, no anxiety, capability of love, no trespassing, no excess, somehow summarizes a contemplative side of Confucian work and person. And therefore, if we talk about sage in the Confucian sense, we can distinguish between a moral sage in the Andalites and a contemplative sage in the commentaries of the Confucians. I think you have these two sides. A moral sage side and a contemplative side.


Now, I want to, and I will also say something, you know, continuing our dialogue this morning. What is Confucianism? Here, I want to say very briefly, and we will be more summarizing this. But Confucianism would entertain a state of mind of detachment, in the sense of being comprehensive and tolerable and persistent. Confucianism is for commitment, for negation. So you cannot have detachment without commitment. And detachment is for the purpose of commitment. The commitment to engage yourself, develop yourself, cultivate yourself, until you reach the state of total understanding. So this is important. And that probably makes it a little bit different from other traditions.


The second thing, you know, in light of what they talk about, people talk about the difference between one brand of Taoism and Confucianism. Then I think the canonization of Taoism as holding the world is very important. But then if you try to see what would be the Confucian point, the Confucian point is to embrace all. That is to say, the one has to clearly develop into many. And in many, you realize the one, not one apart from the many. I think that's the Confucian point. Now, because of this, I'd like to bring up some of the fundamental practices of self-conviction in the Confucian tradition. Right from my two-page paper summary, I began with the ideal of human self-realization in Confucianism.


Now, here I bring up several important points. Of course, the first point is the cultivation of merit for humanity. Now, this is based upon the reflection of the human person. Because, as you know, Confucius has this so-called silver rule, which I think is also golden. Don't do to others what you don't want others to do to you. And that's the discovery of humanity. Because you want to be treated, you know, equally, reciprocally, you know, with respect and with service and care. And that's reverence. That's called humanity. Humanity cannot be separate from community in that sense. So, ren, written in the sense of a male with two, which is kind of symbolic. It's simplifying this discovery of the community sense of human existence.


Now, so here, ren is to be explained as both central-minded and like-minded. If you are central-minded, you have to be like-minded. To go back to yourself is to care for others. Of course, to care for others, you have to recognize not only just the essence of the care, but also the form of the care is to be presented. So, Confucianism stresses the importance of ritual and propriety. That's something which he said about ren. Ren is to control oneself, overcome oneself, so that one will act in a proper way. Now, the second point about Confucianism is this pure goodness of human nature, as you find in the Manjus. I think this is to be, probably, you know, probably is something so important here, because if we talk about the purity of heart, the heart is the purity of heart, and I'll try to explain a little later, even better words.


But the importance of the purity of heart is to go back to the origin, the very origin that we have in ourselves. At the bottom of ourselves, we have that pure goodness. And pure goodness is the very presentation of the original humanity. And we may be caught up by many things, by our, you know, four things, as Confucius said, our subjectivity, our stubbornness, our prejudice, our selfishness, but if we look deeper, if we reflect more, then we will find this original goodness. I think this was brought up by Manjus very clearly, because he wanted to say, you know, we do naturally make decisions to be right or wrong, and we do naturally care for small babies, you know, we do naturally feel shame, guilty, we do naturally like to be treated with respect.


Those are the indications of how good we originally are. So I think this is something to realize. Now the third point is, I come to see this. Confucius expresses an external form of realization, namely family, community, society, and state. To Confucius, this is a continuum. You, as self, become a group of men, you develop family, and you enlarge yourself with the same journey of humanity, you develop a community, and then you enlarge yourself to a larger society, and then you form a state. So in another sense, state, society, community, family, are all bounded on the basic human goodness. It's a necessity which grows out from human nature. But of course, this is one side of Confucianism. In this globalized time, when we say there are other sides,


the other side is what I call inter-realization, which also is limited by Confucianism, which has been brought up by Confucius, namely, I have to exhaust, fulfill my heart, mind. I have to know my nature. I have to know heaven. I have to know the meaning of heaven. The meaning of heaven is to know what I'm for, what is the place of my self in this world. So this particular progress of deepening understanding of myself constitutes what I call inter-realization of the human self. Now, for this, I would summarize by saying that well to doubt. Well to doubt. This word actually is used by Confucius, zi yu dao, you know, devote to the doubt. In the Analects, Confucius, a gentleman, a noble person, is one who is well to doubt, and who develops his nature, his virtue,


and who cultivates his co-humanity, and then enjoy us. And this is very important, because this is how the individual person can transform, can develop himself, by finding himself in his nature of what he is, and then develop that in relation to the outside world. The more inward you go, the more transcendent you become. Now, this can become even more concrete in the case of Mencius. I want to mention in the third chapter of Mencius, they refer to the cultivation of the qi, vital force, the flat knife, he called the flat knife qi, the great flat knife of qi, because for him, the whole heaven and earth is filled with this vital force,


the qi, which is required. And the question is, how do I tap myself to it? How do I lean myself to it? The qi actually is deeply implanted in myself. By looking at myself, then I can feel the whole universe bubbling, vibrating. And so he did explain that by identifying myself, I come to the rightness, to the beginning of the dawn, and then I can feel I'm part of the heaven and part of the earth. I can even participate in the creative works of heaven and earth. Now, with that particular cultivation, by daily basis, you become brave, free from anxiety, and wise. And because he discussed this in terms of bravery, what is the true courage? The true courage is one who has insight into one's nature,


and who has developed, cultivated this flat knife qi between heaven and earth. Now, he contrasted that kind of genuine moral courage with some full-hearted bravery. Somebody said, I can do this, I can do anything. He said, what's wrong with your bravery? Do you have a ground to be brave? Mao Zedong said, even if I know I'm right, even if I'm weak physically, I have nothing to fear. The three armies can come to me, I can die. So you see, this particular moral side, more bravery, more courage in the cultivation tradition. Now, if you are wrong, he said, even if you are strong, you are already a coward. You have no qi in your heart.


So the qi has to be founded on the discovery of the goodness of human nature. And once you have the goodness of human nature, it helps you to make the qi come to you. So that you are interacting with the whole universe, heaven and earth, not alone. So you have nothing to fear, not even death. And this is the Confucian understanding. And so, in his discussion, I was in that chapter, chapter 3, which is highly important. He talked about how we have to cultivate the unity of heart, mind, qi, and language. Language is to be an expression of our mind side of understanding. We may say, the heart side of our mind, heart, or heart-mind, is to be expressed by our intercommunicating with the larger heaven and earth,


so the qi feels with me, and I will not be bent, even in front of death. Now, to be in detail, maybe I'll come to the second part about the so-called dialectics of the human self, while integrating Da Xue and Zhong Gong. As you know, in the power of classical Confucianism, we refer to the four books, Confucius, Mencius, and Da Xue. Da Xue is supposed to be written by the Ba Qi disciple of Confucius, Zheng Zi. And Zhong Gong is supposed to be written by his grandson, Shi Si. But here, probably I don't have time to go through this, but let me just indicate how we work with it. I just want to see how we combine this together. I think this has not been done, because I'm doing a book on how to combine the book of the Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mind.


Now here, I try to distinguish three models of mind in internal cultivation, so to speak. Here you can see how to be sincere, how to rectify yourself, and here I try to put a note here by saying that purification is combining illumination, coming to a purification, and sincerity or authentication. So you have to have two sides of purification, and then the purification becomes enlightenment. So that's my point about this. Once you become enlightened, you can apply yourself to life, to practice, to daily life. So here you can see you have the idea of resting in the supreme goodness, seeking purpose, calming, repose, contemplation, seeking, achieving, and so on. And then, of course, you can go on to various forms of practice. Now, about the real cultivation, I originally did not want to say anything, since I was reminded about the real cultivation tradition.


So I'm going to bring six points about the real cultivation as you can see. Zhou Dengyi has particularly this, what I call, male cultivation. You know, under-cultivation of Zhou Dengyi's teachings, the wuqin. So I put male, you know, emptiness. The emptiness is cosmological. You begin with emptiness, then you become creative. So that's the Zhou Dengyi's insight in the Tai Chi school. And then you have Zhang Zai, which is very, very powerful in talking about heaven is my mother, earth is my mother, heaven is my father, I enjoy living, and in peace I die. And many Chinese, good intellectual Chinese, follow this advice. And Chen Hao, of course, who started the understanding of heaven as principle, the principle is heaven. So that the deep experience of heaven can be, however, intellectually presented


as bright reasons. So that's the point. It's a point about reason should not be narrow, it should be open. Now Chen Yi takes this point about single-heartedness without meaning. That is the cultivation when he was asked by his disciple, how do you cover yourself? Now Chen Yi, you have to remember, he's the one who advocated sitting in quietness. You know, you have the famous story, his disciple come to see him, he was contemplating, meditating. And the disciple was standing at the door, and the snow come down. It's until the snow come to about one feet that he came to say, you come in. Then comes the famous story that you have to wear down your mask, because the contemplation has a great effect, not on himself, but on the student. Zhu Xi talked about residing in reverence, reflecting on things,


and kind of see things as things, and principle things. More and more people, of course, you know, who talk about coming to the inner knowledge of goodness. And then work on that in practice. It's not important just to have the experience. The experience has to become creatively applicable. Now I come to the fourth point, which I think is very important. The fourth and the five points are the two important points for my own reflection. I would say in Confucianism, an individual is a community. The individual has to constantly engage in what we call intra-individual dialogue, and exchange within himself. Because the individual is not just a still entity. The individual is a process. And then doing so, you grow. And you grow as a community. Now, Confucianism always stresses continuity. Continuity. The secular life is separate.


The separate life is also secular. In other words, here, life cannot be simply separated in a dualistic, diahotonic way. The secular life of being a family, having friends, drinking tea, can be separate. As meditating in a church. So this is important to know. And because of that, there's humanism in Transcendence. In Transcendence, humanism. And here, this is the general view, which is actually mentioned by Johnson. The unity of inner secularness and outer kingliness, which would justify the kingdom, you would say, on earth, should be both secular and sacred. Now, I talk about unity of contemplation, purification, enlightenment. So the continuation is always a transformation process within our awareness of the unity of man and animal.


Now, in that way, we can develop family, community, social, society, state as external forms of self-realization. But then, my point 8 is very important. Because you can have other forms, according to Confucianism. According to my interpretation of Confucianism, you can have many other forms and many forms of compatibility, and interpenetrability with other forms, by way of either badness or embodiments, or both. So I have discussed the question about, can we have a Confucian Christian? Can we have a Christian Confucian? I think you can have both. Can we have a Confucian Buddhist? Can we have a Buddhist Confucian? I think we finally have both. Can we have a Confucian Muslim? I saw it in China. There are a lot of Muslims who say, I'm a Confucian. In Malaysia, you can have some Muslims who are Confucian. And you can go even deeper by saying, you can have a Confucian Christian Confucian. Or a Christian Confucian Christian.


There are different levels that you can engage yourself. So I don't see that religious practice must be exclusive. It can be sometimes independent, but sometimes congealed together. I think this is important. We should recognize this possibility of overlapping, embedding, and embodiment. Now, finally, I offer an integrated way of thinking on human self, a self-created process toward heaven, which means Tao and God. Here, I have this. Here, I put the Chinese on the floor, but my English is on here. We are here. We are a human person. Here's the heaven. Now, according to real Confucianism, this heaven has further to be developed in terms of Tai Chi and Wu Qi. Here, you have interaction.


Now, that's a further reflection. But here, however, in the Confucian tradition, it has many faults. The mandate, the Tao, and the principle. So in the early days of Confucianism, we talk about mandate. And later, in the middle part of Confucianism, we talk about the Tao. The Tao heaven, or the Tao. Confucians talk about the Tao. Confucians still have some early retaining vision of heaven as mandate from the Book of Poetry, from the Book of History, or documents. But in the new Confucian time, you talk about Tian as principle. And this is a deep contemplative experience. It's not just general principle. It's the principle of existence, principle of non-existence. So here, you have the mind, which is mind-heart, heart-mind. And here's the nature. Mind and nature are always in close interaction. So here, in this interaction, you have the feelings.


Now, on the other hand, your mind also interacts with the head. That's how you have the will. And then, on the other hand, your nature constitutes part of your body. Your body has to practice. But if you exclusively focus on the body, you become misled by desires. So, therefore, the importance of our human cultivation as a holy, spiritual person, spiritually holy person, whole person, if you want to become spiritually whole, we have to integrate all these levels of human existence, particularly in terms of mind-heart or heart-mind and human nature by relating to our body and also by relating to the heaven. I finish. That's it. I just didn't want to be left down here.


I wanted to come back to the full circle. Thank you so much, Professor. Very, very clear. Very, very helpful for me and for us. Thank you.