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Aspects of cyclic myth in Chinese and Western literature Chen, Robert Shan-Mu 1977

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ASPECTS OF CYCLIC MYTH IN CHINESE AND WESTERN LITERATURE ROBERT SHAN-MU CHEN B.A., Soochow U n i v e r s i t y , 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Programme of Comparative L i t e r a t u r e We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the req u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF. BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 197? Robert Shan-mu Chen, 1 9 7 7 i In p resent ing t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements fo r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e fo r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t permiss ion for e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s t h e s i s fo r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l ga in s h a l l not be a l lowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Robert Shan-mu Chen Department of Comparative L i t e r a t u r e The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 D a t p October 20, 1977-J /ABSTRACT This t h e s i s i s a comparative study of the h i s t o r y and l i t e r a r y form of the c y c l i c myth i n Chinese and Western European c u l t u r e . The c y c l i c myth i s seen as a complex of d i s c r e t e myths and r i t u a l s which tend to i d e n t i f y man with the p e r i o d i c regeneration o f nature and c e l e s t i a l bodies i n order t o ensure personal duration against the f l u x o f time. By comparing the o r i g i n s and transformations of the c y c l i c myth i n both cultures the e s s e n t i a l d i s t i n c t i o n s between Chinese and Western l i t e r a t u r e w i l l be r e -vealed as both cosmological and o n t o l o g i c a l . In order t o b r i n g the Chinese c y c l i c myth i n t o a coherent perspective, e f f o r t s are devoted to the reconstruction and analysis of f i f t e e n Chinese myths which concern temporal consciousness. The o r i g i n a l c y c l i c myth i s then traced through in c r e a s i n g l e v e l s of ab s t r a c t i o n : r i t u a l , n a t u r a l r e l i g i o n , and f i n a l l y p h i l o s o p h i c a l speculation, f o r each has been i n c o r -porated w i t h i n the c y c l i c mentality of the homogeneous Chinese c u l t u r e . With the abstr a c t i o n of the c y c l i c myth broadly defined, the paper turns t o a h i s t o r i c a l study of the presentation and function of archetypal c y c l i c images and patterns i n Chinese l i t e r a t u r e , r e l a t i n g these i n s i g h t s to the Chinese world-view. A subsequent survey of the s u r v i v a l of the c y c l i c myth i n Western l i t e r a t u r e , despite the dominant eschatology of C h r i s t i a n i t y , serves as the focus of comparison between East and West. By a general d e l i n e a t i o n of the c y c l i c myth's transmutation i n Judaeo-Christian c u l t u r e , the paper proposes a b e t t e r discernment o f the c y c l i c schema as an infonrting structure o f l i t e r a r y works or an index o f c u l t u r e , and a fur t h e r understanding of the c y c l i c myth as a whole. CONTENTS i l l I. DTTRDDUCTION I I . THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE CHINESE CYCLIC MYTH A. The Temporal Envisagement i n Chinese Mythology B. The C y c l i c Myth i n Chinese R i t u a l and P r i m i t i v e R e l i g i o n C. The C y c l i c Myth i n Chinese Philosophy i . Y i n Yang School • i i . Confucianism i i i . Taoism i v . Chinese Buddhism D. Summary I I I . THE CYCLIC MYTH IN CHINESE LITERATURE A. The C y c l i c Myth i n Chinese Poetry i . L i Sao i i . Kuei Ch'u L a i Tz'u B. The C y c l i c Myth i n Chinese Drama i . Mu Tan T'ing i i . Han Tan Chi C. The C y c l i c Myth i n the Chinese Novel i . H si Yu Chi i i . Hung Lou Meng D. Summary IV. THE CYCLIC MYTH IN WESTERN LITERATURE A. H i s t o r i c a l Background B. A B r i e f Survey of the S u r v i v a l of the C y c l i c Myth i n Western L i t e r a t u r e V. CONCLUSION VI. APPENDIXES Appendix I: Abbreviation of T i t l e s o f Source Books of Chinese Mythology Appendix I I : Chronological Table of Chinese C l a s s i c s and Legendary Sources 1 11 12 28 55 55 58 64 69 76 86 87 88 100 106 108 118 124 125 137 145 159 160 166 200 209 210 211 I V Appendix I I I : Constxuction of Some Chinese Myths 1. i i . i i i . i v . v. v i . v i i . v i i i . i x . x. x i . x i i . x i i i . x i v . xv. Appendix IV: i . i i . i i i . Myths of Creation The Myth of the Creation of Man The Myth o f the Great Deluge The Myth of Paradise Rebuilt and the Golden Age The Myth of the S i l v e r Age The Myth o f Passageways t o Heaven The Myth of the Divine Conference and the Rebellion of Ch'ih Yu The Myth of the Estrangement of Earth From Heaven The Myth of Disasters on Earth A f t e r the Estrangement The Myth of the God of Time and the Journey of the Sun The Myth of T i t a n P'eng Tsu's Sorrow Over the Ephemerality of L i f e The Myth of T i t a n K'ua Fu: One Who Chased the Sun The Myth of Hou I: One Who Shot Down Nine Suns The Myth of the F l i g h t to the Moon The Myth of the Divine Administration The E n g l i s h T r a n s l a t i o n of Poems C i t e d L i Sao. Tr. David Hawkes The Return. Tr. James Robert Hightower Homing. Tr. Lucien M i l l e r 212 212 215 216 219 219 221 224 228 229 230 234 235' 236 239 241 249 249 256 258 VTI. BIBLIOGRAPHY 260 V AC^OWLElX^EMEaSIT I should l i k e t o express my gratitude to Professor G. Good, Director of the Programme of Comparative L i t e r a t u r e , and Professors Florence Chao and Jan Walls of the Department of Asian Studies, f o r t h e i r e n t h u s i a s t i c guidance throughout the research programme and h e l p f u l suggestions during the preparation of the t h e s i s . Appreciation i s extended t o my f a m i l i e s f o r t h e i r continuous encouragement over a period of two years; e s p e c i a l l y t o my wife, L i s s a , f o r her love and understanding during d i f f i c u l t times. My greatest debt i s recorded i n the dedication. INTRODUCTION 2 Whether the study o f comparative l i t e r a t u r e i s regarded as "the comparison of l i t e r a t u r e with other spheres of human expression" or as "the study of l i t e r a t u r e beyond the.confines of one p a r t i c u l a r country," 1 a student comparing the l i t e r a t u r e s of China and Western Europe i s i n -e v i t a b l y doomed to a s o l i t u d e o f uncertainty. The abysmal remoteness of the two cultures through h i s t o r y tends to magnify any perceived corres-pondence t o the point of assured conclusions where only rough s i m i l a r i t i e s may, i n f a c t , e x i s t . In the comparison of l i t e r a t u r e with other areas of knowledge the very homogeneity of Chinese c u l t u r e poses a problem. The i n t e g r a t i o n of philosophy and l i t e r a t u r e , the coherence of r e l i g i o n and philosophy, the c o r r e l a t i o n of philosophy and p o l i t i c s , and the s i m i l a r i t i e s of various p h i l o s p h i c schools, and a e s t h e t i c a l l y the coalescence of l y r i c verse and music, and p a i n t i n g and poetry: these concerns present a united f r o n t , almost a b a r r i e r to the i n q u i s i t i v e Western mind. In the comparison of one l i t e r a t u r e to another, the student i s faced with deciding which Chinese l i t e r a t u r e i s the area of concern. Thus the May-Fourth Movement, a p o l i t i c a l p r o t e s t which eventually became a c u l t u r a l reformation i n 1919, demarcates an i n t e g r a l t r a d i t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e with an independent evolution of more than two thousand years from a heterogeneous modern l i t e r a t u r e with an i n t r i c a t e and pervasive Western influence or the barrenness of i d e o l o g i c a l dogma. In the above perspective, a comparative study of l i t e r a r y theme, e s p e c i a l l y that of archetypal image and pattern, that which i s most funda-mental and most beyond temporal and s p a t i a l b a r r i e r s , i s l i k e l y to be the most urgent and constructive task f o r the student comparing Chinese and Western l i t e r a t u r e . As the ultimate expression o f psychic t r u t h and the most primordial yet autonomous form o f the human s p i r i t , the c y c l i c myth 3 as an archetypal pattern of mythology n a t u r a l l y arouses one's a t t e n t i o n . Thus the task of t h i s paper i s t o trace the o r i g i n s , formation, and pre-sentation of that most pervasive mentality or schema known f o r ages i n Chinese c u l t u r e as "T'ien Jen Ho I , " l i t e r a l l y the u n i t y of man and cosmos; and further, to engender i n s i g h t i n t o the c y c l i c myth as a whole by contrast and comparison t o i t s Western counterpart. The f i r s t step i s a s i m p l i f i -c a t i o n of terminology—the schema of "T'ien Jen Ho I" i s hereafter to be rendered as "the Chinese c y c l i c myth" which immediately suggests the common importance of c y c l i c i t y to both cultures while allowing f o r more i n c l u s i v e a p p l i c a t i o n i n the relevant areas of study. Indeed, the uniqueness of the independence of Chinese l i t e r a t u r e and i t s remoteness to Western assumptions o f f e r s an opportunity to put the European-oriented New C r i t i c i s m to a double t e s t . And Arthur E. Kunst's conclusion on the ultimate object of the comparative study of Asian and European l i t e r a t u r e s as "the c r e a t i o n of a t r u l y comprehensive theory of l i t e r a t u r e . . . b a s e d on a knowledge of independently evolved imaginative 2 t r a d i t i o n s " serves as the best s t a r t i n g p o i n t of t h i s paper. While such an ambitious scope i s yet beyond r e a l i s t i c expectation a t t h i s time, our comparison w i l l hopefully r e v e a l areas of f u r t h e r study as w e l l as i l l u m i n a t e a concept c e n t r a l to both l i t e r a t u r e s . Despite a l a b y r i n t h of various i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , most scholars would agree with Mircea E l i a d e that myth i s a "complex system of coherent 3 a f f i r m a t i o n about the ultimate r e a l i t y of things," a system which c o n s t i -tutes a metaphysical v a l i d a t i o n of human existence, or a p r i m i t i v e ontology that asserts an intimate r e l a t i o n s h i p between man and the cosmos. In i t s sociopoeic aspect, myth i s a dramatization and a r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the fundamental needs of the society. Here Malinowski's d e f i n i t i o n o f myth as 4 "a n a r r a t i v e r e s u r r e c t i o n of a primeval r e a l i t y , t o l d i n s a t i s f a c t i o n of deep r e l i g i o u s wants, moral cravings, s o c i a l submissions, assertions, 4 even p r a c t i c a l requirements" serves as the best d e s c r i p t i o n of i t s v i t a l function i n p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t y . F i n a l l y i n i t s psychopoeic aspect we turn to the pioneering work of C a r l Jung where "myths are o r i g i n a l reve-l a t i o n s of the preconscious psyche, involuntary statements about unconscious psychic happenings." 5 Here myth i s an expression of i n s t i n c t u a l d r i v e s , repressed wishes, fears and c o n f l i c t s , and remnants of the c o l l e c t i v e unconscious, whether i n i t s mensopoeic, sociopoeic, or psychopoeic aspects, (and a l l are involved i n apprehending the c y c l i c myth), myth i s the o r i g i n a l touchstone of c u l t u r e . We w i l l maintain that myth circumscribes a v e r b a l universe i n which man's psychological, s o c i a l , r e l i g i o u s , and p h i l o s o p h i c a l l i v e s are r e a l l y one i n the j u x t a p o s i t i o n and succession of the stage of gods, heroes, and man. In the l a s t a n a l y s i s , with f u n c t i o n a l s i m i l a r i t y i n regard t o soothing the psyche, s t a b i l i z i n g the so c i e t y , and promoting c u l t u r a l c o n t i n u i t y , we w i l l not enter i n t o the controversy surrounding the primacy of myth o r r i t u a l . M though myth connotes a way of envisaging, and r i t u a l , as a temporal sequence of acts, denotes a way of doing, t h e i r f u n c t i o n a l r e l a t i o n i s both i n e v i t i a b l e and interdependent. L i l l i a n Feder best renders t h i s mutal dependence as: "myth c l a r i f i e d the prescribed a c t i o n of r i t e s , and r i t e s enacted mythical n a r r a t i v e i n s t y l i z e d dramatic form. We would thus agree with Northrop Frye that myth should be understood as "the c e n t r a l informing power that gives archetypal s i g n i f i c a n c e to the r i t u a l , " while a 7 r i t u a l may i n turn suggest the o r i g i n of the n a r r a t i v e of myth. /Aside from r i t u a l , myth tends t o r e v e a l a body of metaphysical thought whose development may be consequent to the o r i g i n a l myth. This process was 5 suggested by Susanne Langer- "When the mythical mode is exhausted, natural religion is superseded by a discursive and more literal form of thought, 8 namely philosophy," and amplified by Frye to include literature "which inherits the fictional and metaphorical patterns that identify aspects of human personality with the natural environment." In a sense, then, both philosophy and literature merge inseparably with myth while literature es-pecially inherits plots and characters, and themes and images which are complications (in Frye's terms, "displacements") of similar elements in myth. It is this universalizing tendency of myth which justifies the mythopoeic subject of this study: to investigate the origins of the narrative of the cyclic myth in rituals, to expound the abstraction of the cyclic mentality in philosophy, and to study the presentation and function of the archetypal cyclic mythos in literature. To begin with a brief account of the origins and functions of the cyclic myth is to concern ourselves with the disparity between human and cosmic time. Time is the essential experience of human existence. It is usually comprehended as a linear progression of succession which is never experienced as a whole, for as soon as the future becomes the present, the present becomes the past. While the fact that things exist through time demands a second concept, that of permanence or duration. As an adequate description of time, duration must be understood as arising from the suc-cessive flux of time, yet conversely, only within the background of duration is the emergence and the human awareness of succession possible. Without duration, time is the mere succession of heterogeneous present moments; while without succession, duration is but an all-inclusive and unchanging present. Duration then becomes the sustaining quality of time and the actual 'co-existence' of past, present, and future. The concept of duration 6 has important r a m i f i c a t i o n s f o r consciousness, f o r the i n d i v i d u a l as a sel f - c e n t r e d form of l i f e must endure by opposing i t s permanency to i t s t r a n s i t o r i n e s s i n time. And the highest state of consciousness, whether transcendental or mythical, i s the awareness of the 'co-existence' of past, present, and future, or the experience of time as a whole. As one of the most v i t a l archetypes of human consciousness, the c y c l i c myth i s i n e v i t a b l y temporally centred. I t i s a myth of e t e r n a l return, the myth of p e r i o d i c becoming and perpetual regeneration. I t s themes represent man's envisaging and manipulating o f the unfathomable cosmic s e t t i n g o f h i s existence, e s p e c i a l l y the awful consciousness of h i s b i o l o g i c a l l y i r r e v e r s i b l e death against the r e b i r t h of the sun, moon, and the seasons. This l i n e a r consciousness of the s e l f against nature would remain an imponderable nightmare were i t not f o r man's rtYthmaking imagination which recognizes i n nature the permanent symbol and di v i n e r u l e , and assi m i l a t e s himself t o i t to define h i s l i f e and being. In essence, the c y c l i c myth i d e n t i f i e s man with the p e r i o d i c becoming and regeneration i n nature, and guarantees personal duration against the f l u x of time. In the mythopoeic perspective, nature i s c y c l i c a l ; there i s everywhere a concept o f the end and beginning o f a temporal period, and there are always i n s t a n t r e p e t i t i o n s or images and obvious metaphors ready to convey a dawning concept o f being. In heavenly motion, s o l a r a l t e r n a t i o n , lunar r e g u l a r i t y , and seasonal r o t a t i o n , there appears a pattern of c y c l i c s i g n i f i c a n c e which o f f e r s an o p t i m i s t i c view o f l i f e i n general. Northrop Frye best summarizes t h i s as: "myth seizes on the fundamental element of design o f f e r e d by nature- the c y c l i c , as we have i t d a i l y i n the sun and yea r l y i n the seasons- and assimilates i t to the human c y c l e of l i f e , death and r e - b i r t h " . 1 ^ 7 Above a l l the identity of human and natural cycle presents a conviction of the periodic regeneration of time which in turn is a revolt against the historical or linear time of succession. Here we rely greatly on the re-searches of Mircea Eliade, especially his Cosmos and History. According to Eliade, the cyclic ontology makes the abolition of historical linear time possible through a reduction of events to categories, individuals to archetypes, space to the "centre", and time to the original time of creation. Then, through the repetition of meaningful paradigmatic acts or archetypal gestures, the linear time of succession is suspended as man participates in the time of pure duration, the mythical time of infinite perpetuality.^ 1 In this regard the cyclic myth can be seen as an identification of man with the cyclical structure of nature from which he derives a cyclic notion of time that makes his l i f e meaningful and his being harmonious with the cosmic setting of incessant regeneration which surrounds him. In literature the cyclic myth is most evident in thematic structure and symbolism which depicts the cyclic cosmogony within which the action of the work occurs, and in the pattern of plot usually described as the cyclic "quest of the hero". This latter pattern has been a frequent sub-ject of literary theorists, receiving its broadest treatment in Frye's Anatomy of Criticism, but is also ably represented in Robert Harrison's essay, 12 "Symbolism of the Cyclical Myth in 'Endymion' ". The following study is naturally indebted to the work of Northrop Frye and Mircea Eliade who, despite the limited inclusiveness of their, theories, have provided the framework for studying the relationship between myth and literature. In the following pages we w i l l trace the formation of the cyclic mentality in archaic Chinese mythology by investigating its narrative origin in the dramatic enactments of natural religion in totemism, 8 manaism, and an c e s t r a l worship, i n the Chinese r i t u a l s of s a c r i f i c e s t o Heaven, Earth, and the cosmic mountain, and i n the i n s t i t u t i o n s of monthly observances and the H a l l of L i g h t . Next we w i l l analyze i n the major schools of Chinese philosophy, the p o s s i b l e evolution o f i t s o n t o l o g i c a l a s s e r t i o n of the u n i t y or harmony of man and the cosmos, before surveying the presentation and function of the c y c l i c myth i n Chinese l i t e r a t u r e . F i n a l l y , w i t h i n a b r i e f survey o f Western European l i t e r a t u r e we w i l l de-monstrate the a s s i m i l a t i o n of the c y c l i c myth by the e s c h a t o l o g i c a l con-cerns of C h r i s t i a n i t y and i t s subsequent influence on that l i t e r a t u r e . 1-1 »—• . \ - " « 3 < = . - i W O T , g ; 9. Fcxitnotes to Introduction 1. Henry H. Remak, "Comparative L i t e r a t u r e : I t s D e f i n i t i o n and Function", i n Newton P. Stallknecht and Horst Frenz, ed., Comparative L i t e r a t u r e : Method and Perspective (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern I l l i n o i s Univ. Press, 1971), p. 1. 2. Arthur E. Kunst, " L i t e r a t u r e o f A s i a " , i n Stallknecht, p. 323. 3. Mircea E l i a d e , Cosmos and His t o r y (New York and Evanston: Harper Torchbooks, 1959), p. 3. 4. Bronislaw Malinowski; C i t e d by L i l l i a n Feder i n Ancient Myth  i n Modern Poetry (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Univ. Press, 1971), p. 6. 5. C a r l Jung. C i t e d by Feder, i b i d . , p. 50 6. Feder, i b i d . , p. 5. 7. Northrop Frye, Fables of I d e n t i t y (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1963), p. 15. 8. Susanne Langer, Philosophy i n a New Key (New York: A Mentor Book, 1951), p. 172. 9. Northrop Frye, A Study of E n g l i s h Romanticism (New York: Random House, 1968), pp. 4-5. 10. Frye, Fables of I d e n t i t y , p. 32. 11. E l i a d e , op. c i t . , pp. 35-36. 12. Robert Harrison, "Symbolism of the C y c l i c Myth i n Endymion," i n John B. Vickery, ed., Myth and L i t e r a t u r e : Contemporary  Theory and P r a c t i c e (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1966), p. 230. LEAF 10 OMITTED IN PAGE NUMBERING. II THE CDNSTRUCTION OF THE CHINESE CYCLIC MYTH A. The Temporal Envisagement i n Chinese Mythology Perhaps more so i n China than i n any other c u l t u r e o f comparable a n t i q u i t y , myth circumscribes a universe i n which man's psychological, p h i l o s o p h i c a l , r e l i g i o u s , s o c i a l , and even p o l i t i c a l h i s t o r i e s are c e n t r i p e t a l l y anchored i n abstractions o f c y c l i c renewal. Using the time honoured p r i n c i p l e s o f d i v i d e and conquer we must trace three great roots of ancient Chinese culture-";;mythology,ritual, and philosophy, to d i s c e r n t h e i r f i n a l blossoming i n t o a c y c l i c myth which was (and i s ) one of the foundations of Chinese l i f e . The t r e e i s immense, the branches manifold, and the roots often fragmented by the sheer weight of h i s t o r y . Obviously much pruning w i l l be necessary, not so much as t o obscure the shape through modern c r i t i c a l fashions but to re v e a l the true o u t l i n e s as revealed i n Chinese c u l t u r e . Any study of the e a r l i e s t Chinese myths must acknowledge the i n -s u f f i c i e n c i e s of source documents. To minimize the vagaries of three thousand years of natural upheaval i s to maximize the human f a c t o r which i n the case of the infamous Burning of the Books of 220 B.C. was equally disastrous. Ignoring the more f a n t a s t i c events o f h i s t o r y , one s t i l l must deal with the well-meaning d i s t o r t i o n s of euhemerizing humanists, r a t i o n a l i s i n g n a t u r a l i s t s , and f a n a t i c r e l i g i o u s sectarians. Fortunately f o r our purposes we are more concerned with the sustained i n f l u e n c e o f the o v e r a l l fragmentary corpus, and the reappearance of e a r l i e r ideas i n l a t e r i r r e f u t a b l e documents tends to confirm the accuracy of o r i g i n a l models. Much remains t o be done i n reconstructing e a r l y Chinese mythology, and some of the problems may f i n d s olutions i n future a r c h a e l o g i c a l d i s c o v e r i e s . To discover the o r i g i n s of the Chinese c y c l i c myth i s to re v e a l the e x i s t e n t i a l s i t u a t i o n of most p r i m i t i v e peoples. To b r i e f l y r e s t a t e 13 the general formation of the cyclic myth, in the world there is every-where a revelation of recurrent rhythm- the periodic alternation of tide, of night and day, of the moon's wax and wane, and of the seasons. Against this cosmic rhythm is placed the undeniable linearity of human consciousness. To alleviate the intolerable tensions of this disparity "myth seizes on the fundamental element of design offered by nature-the cycle, as we have i t daily in the sun and yearly in the seasons-and assimilates i t to the human cycle of l i f e , death, and (analogy again) 2 rebirth". From the periodicity of nature primitive man derives a cyclical notion of time subsumed in a cyclic mythology. It is through this pre-mise that we trace the temporal sense as an essential experience of human existence through Chinese myth to its eventual dramatization in the Myth of Divine Adniinistration. Only by emphasizing the process through which man reveals the tensions which compelled the formation of the original myth can we adequately ex-plain the time-sense of early Chinese mythology. What later becomes the developed cosmogonic cyclic myth which underlies Chinese culture was once fragmented into separate myths of creation, rebellion, and reconciliation. The cyclic myth may be seen as the developed response to the tension which these earlier myths portrayed. Chinese mythology in one aspect is the continuous story of maturing temporal awareness- the harmony of time and its frustrations, the ripeness of time, and the urge toward rebellion against or reconciliation with time. In the Chinese myth of creation the cosmic cycles are but universal courses necessary for the great harmony. Light and darkness, seasons, and tides were no cause for concern for the earliest men in myth for they were s t i l l in some sense, divine; that is although separated by P'an Ku, heaven and 14 earth remained i n communication, and divine and mortal beings mingled freely. The divine and human worlds further coincided through cosmic mountains and cosmic trees which joined heaven and earth. There was no conscious differentiation between god, man, and nature. Mankind enjoyed the paradisial rewards of a thousand-year lifespan which could be extended by partaking of sacred fr u i t s and the waters along the pathways to heaven. Existence, i n a word, was eternal and i t was not u n t i l the estrangement 3 of earth from heaven that temporal tensions arose. In A Classification of Shang and Chou Myths, Chang Kuang-chih suggests that the accessibility of the world of god to the world of man was taken for granted throughout the Shang (1766-1123 B.C.) and the Chou (1122-249 B.C.) periods; but i n later periods i n some traditional versions 4 the communication between the two worlds was completely severed. In fact, the Myth of Estrangement of Earth from Heaven had early appeared i n The Book of Documents, supposedly compiled i n the Spring and Autumn period (722-481 B.C.) and was at once available i n several important classics of the period such as Remarks Concerning the States, The Bamboo  Books, and The Mountain-Sea C l a s s i c . 5 The temporal harmony enjoyed by the man-gods during the Golden Age was soon shattered by the Myth of the Rebellion of Ch'ih Yu. Immediately evident are the parallels between the causes and effects of Ch'ih Yu's rebellion and the Christian myths of Satan's f a l l and Eve's disobedience. Although both descents are based on the sin of pride, the separation of the worldly from the divine i s more pronounced i n the Christian view, and less humanly directed i n the Chinese version. Thus the Titan, Ch'ih Yu, i s descended from Yen-Ti, one of the Sun-Gods, and possesses the fantastic physical attributes more typical of the divine than the profane. We must agree with T'ang Chun-i that one of the char-a c t e r i s t i c s of Chinese c u l t u r e i s the absence of an abyssal d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between human and d i v i n e beings, and t h i s i n time furthers the emerging concept o f the continuing (though diminished) u n i t y o f Heaven and man. The Chinese myths support E l i a d e ' s theory that p r i m i t i v e peoples regard the existence of man i n the cosmos as a f a l l from a spontaneously con-7 tinuous present. To t h i s end Ch'ih Yu's r e b e l l i o n r e s u l t e d i n the ex-perience of time as the support and l i m i t a t i o n of existence; i t was a deprivation of immortality and a d e n i a l of e t e r n i t y . The emergence of the God of Time a f t e r the estrangement from Heaven p e r f e c t l y underscores the temporal tensions of the e a r l i e s t Chinese mythmakers, e s p e c i a l l y when we consider that the god's name, "I Ming," connotes "a s i g h of sorrow or g r i e f " . The i d e n t i t y o f the sun as an emblem of time was never more exact; no longer the f a m i l i a r sun trans-formed from P'an Ku's l e f t eye nor the gracious god of l i g h t and heat, i t becomes abstracted i n t o ten suns, each s t r i c t l y regulated and t r a v e l l i n g across the sky through various sta t i o n s to i n d i c a t e the periods of the day, and each s t r i c t l y supervised and f u l f i l l i n g through r o t a t i o n the decimal system of dating. Although there i s much disagreement among Chinese scholars about the p r i o r i t y of the appearance of the Myth of the Ten Suns over the decimal d i v i s i o n of time used i n the Shang period (1766-1123 B.C.), a l l agree t h a t the names of the ten suns and the decimal points are i d e n t i c a l ; that the myth of the r o t a t i o n o f the ten suns appeared no l a t e r than the Shang period; and that the myth of the simultaneous appearance of ten suns appeared no l a t e r than the end of the Spring and Autumn period. (722-481 B.C.). At any rate the imaginative basis f o r the Myth of the Ten Suns can be seen as an increased awareness of the d i s c o n t i n u i t y of time with i t s fragmentation i n t o d i f f e r e n t modes o f experience ranging 16 from joy t o sorrow. Later the appearance o f the ambivalent gods of the four seasons 1^ and the Myth o f H s i He" forms the background t o t h e anguish of l i f e ' s ephemerality i n the Myth of T i t a n P'eng Tsu. In L i f e and Immortality i n the Mind of Han China, Yu Ying-shih notes that i n the bronze i n s c r i p t i o n s of the Western Chou perio d (1122-771 B.C.), pleas f o r longevity are the most popular i n s c r i p t i o n s i n the prayers to ancestors or Heaven. But by the Spring and Autumn period there emerged a concept of immortality which d i f f e r e d considerably from i t s t r a d i t i o n a l counterpart, and by the end of the Warring States period i t had become a widespread c u l t . Such phrases as "retarding o l d age" and "becoming immortal" became pervasive l i t e r a r y references as w e l l as inscriptions."'""'" The t r a n s i t i o n from d e s i r e f o r worldly longevity to otherworldly immortality i l l u s t r a t e s the continuing psychic s t r e s s o f the temporal sense. Throughout the e a r l y mythic l i t e r a t u r e we f i n d r e -ferences t o remote countries where death does not e x i s t , residence of the immortals, and the healing herbs and f r u i t s of l i f e on cosmic mountains. The time sense revealed i n Chinese myth has moved f u l l c i r c l e from para-d i s i a l enjoyment to profane d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t . The records o f ancient Chinese myth i l l u s t r a t e that the temporal a n x i e t i e s of existence n a t u r a l l y gave r i s e t o c o n f l i c t i n g responses- i n t h i s case, e i t h e r r e b e l l i o n or r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . The Myth of T i t a n K'ua Fu belongs to the former. His f u t i l e quest t o capture the sun and thus put an end t o time i s a remarkable statement of man's r e v o l t against a l l -consuming time. References t o the God o f Hades, the God of Night, the Abyss Yu as the nadir of the sun's descent, the Great Marshes of Chaos and L i f e , the peach Tree of Immortality suggest a d i u r n a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n 12 of the death and r e b i r t h of the day. Yet the gargantuan t h i r s t of K'ua Fu i s a powerful index of the b i t t e r n e s s of m o r t a l i t y inherent since the estrangement of earth from heaven. Perhaps the transformation of h i s s t a f f i n t o a peach f o r e s t should be seen as the persistence o f the w i l l to r e v o l t ; i n other words a sensual balm t o a l l a y the disgust which l i f e ' s t r a v e l l e r s f e e l toward i t s c e r t a i n end. Man's persistence against time even garners the sympathies and p a r t i c i p a t i o n of c e r t a i n gods as the Myth o f Hou I and the Ten Suns i l l u s t r a t e s . We have already stressed the importance o f the temporal sense i n the o r i g i n a l Myth of the Ten Suns over and above i t s usual i n t e r p r e t a t i o n as a myth of nat u r a l calamity and human strength. Both the i m p l i c i t contrast between p a r a d i s i a l timelessness and consequent profane time, and the suggestion that the appearance o f the mu l t i p l e suns caused a lack o f water, the source o f l i f e , support a temporal i n -t e r p r e t a t i o n . Hou I's angry f r u s t r a t i o n with the t o t a l domination of the sun's (or time's) hold upon mankind evokes a dest r u c t i v e response against time i t s e l f , and he i s punished severely f o r h i s r e b e l l i o n , however much mankind's f e e l i n g may be with the archer-god. Since no r e v o l t against time (that i s , eluding death) can succeed, i t follows that temporal tensions should be moderated by the de s i r e f o r r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with time, a w i s h - f u l f i l l m e n t f o r the timeless s t a t e which was man's before the estrangement. The Myth of the F l i g h t to the 13 Moon i s o f t h i s type. Mount K'un Lun presents a sacred zone, and i t s s p i r a l road becomes the passage from death to l i f e , from man to d i v i n i t y , from the ephemeral to the e t e r n a l . But i t s a c c e s s i b l i t y i s beyond mortal a b i l i t y , and Chang O's de s i r e f o r r e c o n c i l i a t i o n proves too strong and r e s u l t s i n her e x i l e from earth. The undercurrent of f u t i l i t y implies that r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with time i s impossible w i t h i n e a r t h l y existence. Her banishment to the moon, that archetype o f o t h e r l i f e , points out the d i f f i c u l t y of transcending time on the profane s o i l of earth. The temporal response of r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i s i n a sense the t y p i c a l response of myrhmaking, the imaginative i d e n t i f i e d with the natura l ; and when the c y c l i c myth i s considered, the s p i r i t of r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i s at once o r i g i n a l with the myth. C e r t a i n l y the cosmic rhythm with i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f p e r i o d i c becoming played an immense part i n the elaboration o f c y c l i c concepts. I t provided a c e r t a i n symbolic form and o p t i m i s t i c p a r a l l e l between the s o l a r , lunar, and seasonal c y c l e s , and the human organic c y c l e . Through the intense n o s t a l g i a f o r the p a r a d i s i a l archetype and the severe urge t o regenerate himself, the p r i m i t i v e mythmaker chose t o ass i m i l a t e . o r homogenize the human c y c l e of l i f e and death to the c y c l e o f nature and thus assign equal o n t o l o g i c a l r e a l i t y to time experienced by assuming that the observed laws of nature were one with the unobserved laws of d i v i n i t y . Susanne Langer makes a s i m i l a r point: "The e t e r n a l r e g u l a r i t i e s of nature, the heavenly motions, the al t e r n a t i o n s of night and day on earth, the t i d e s of the oceans, are the most obvious metaphors to convey the dawning concepts of l i f e - f u n c t i o n s - b i r t h , growth, decadence, and 14 death." And Mircea E l i a d e : "What i s important i s that man has f e l t the need t o reproduce the cosmogony i n h i s constructions, whatever be t h e i r nature; th a t t h i s reproduction made him contemporary with the mysti c a l moment o f the beginning o f the world and that he f e l t the need of returning to the moment, as often as p o s s i b l e , i n order t o regenerate h i m s e l f . " 1 5 Beginning with the myths of cr e a t i o n and heaven, and the consequent estrangement, we have seen the Chinese temporal sense develop through r e b e l l i o n to r e c o n c i l i a t i o n and f i n a l l y acceptance of the na t u r a l c y c l e as the metaphor f o r the regeneration of time and man. As the basi s of a worldview which has ex i s t e d f o r three thousand years, the evolving c y c l i c myth must not be seen as one myth (as i n The F l i g h t t o the Moon) but as a pattern w i t h i n Chinese mythography which despite i t s m a l l e a b i l i t y c o n t r o l l e d the development of future thought. As a pattern o f mythopoesis the c y c l i c myth engendered a f a n t a s t i c surge of abstraction. Once the r e s o l u t i o n of temporal tensions became p o s s i b l e through the union of human and natural c y c l e s , the ancient Chinese c l a s s i c s are testimony to the i n c r e d i b l e systematising o f correspondences t o ensure the i d e n t i t y of man and nature. The descriptions and s t o r i e s concerning gods of d i r e c t i o n s , elements, and seasons scattered through such c l a s s i c s as The Mountain-Sea C l a s s i c , The Monthly Observances i n The Spring and  Autumn Annals of Lu', The Monthly Ordinances i n The Book of R i t e s , and i n The Book Huai-Nan Tzu, are remarkable records o f t h i s tendency to r a t i o n -a l i z e a homogeneity between b i o l o g i c a l and cosmic rhythms."^ One o f the major concerns was the abstra c t i o n of seasonal r o t a t i o n i n t o p e r i o d i c regeneration by means o f an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the gods o f d i r e c t i o n s with the gods of elements and seasons. The culmination of these r a t i o n a l i z i n g labours may be seen i n s u r v i v i n g fragments o f the Myth o f Divine Administration. Through study of i n s c r i p t i o n s on e a r l y oracle bones ( c i r c a 1300 B.C.) i t i s evident that concepts of the gods of d i r e c t i o n were yet r e l a t i v e l y undeveloped- that i s , no s p e c i f i c d i v i n e character had been assigned to each god. By the end o f the F i f t h Century B.C. these gods had developed the natures o f the Chinese geographic d i r e c t i o n s and the v i r t u e s o f the 17 f i v e elements. These rudiments of the Myth of Divine Administration were furt h e r systematized as the gods of the seasons became the d i v i n e a s s i s t a n t s of the o r i g i n a l f i v e gods of d i r e c t i o n . In t h i s manner the regenerative c y c l e of nature became assimilated more completely wi t h i n the sphere of human experience. O r i g i n a l l y thought to be a "divine comedy" of man's a f f i l i a t i o n with n a t u r a l p e r i o d i c i t y , the Myth of Divine Administration survives only i n occasional fragments i n the ancient c l a s s i c s . Unfortunately what remains are thematic summaries rather than dramatic p l o t s or records of mythopoeic i n c i d e n t s . Etymological studies enables us to recapture much o f the v i t a l i t y o f t h i s major step i n the development o f the c y c l i c myth and the following chart o u t l i n e s the pattern of analogy and correspondence which i s c e n t r a l to the myth's importance. Chuan Hsu, the Sovereign God of the North, denotes "a cautious r e f r a i n i n g , " and implies the abstention o f earth a f t e r a c o l d dew. The Winter God's sacred animal i s a black t o r t o i s e , symbol of the mysterious state whereby the earth r e t r e a t s beneath the hoar f r o s t of the north wind. Yu Ch'iang, the a s s i s t a n t , i s the son of the Pu Chou Wind which dwells i n the obscure snow-covered northwest o f the universe and i s always associated with death. Despite t h i s grim aspect, the connotation of "Yu Ch'iang" i s "at ease with power, i n harmony with v i g o r , or matched with v i t a l i t y " . Thus Yu Ch'iang's image as the God of the North Sea or the God o f Water i s a f i s h capable of transforming i t s e l f i n t o a g i g a n t i c phoenix which f l i e s from the f r i g i d north bringing the water of l i f e f o r the spring. Yii Ch'iang i s a l s o c a l l e d "Yuan Meng", (denoting " o r i g i n i n o c c u l t darkness or chaos"), or "Hsuan Meng", (denoting " l a t e n t profundity and perseverance"). To summarize, Chuan Hsu and h i s a s s i s t a n t , Yii Ch'iang, connote the l a t e n t v i t a l i t y of darkness and chaos, the p o t e n t i a l f o r growth 18 hidden i n the deepest snows of winter. Through examination of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between other gods and t h e i r 21 assistants, the connotations of archaic names, and the symbolic reasoning behind certain sacred animals, the pattern of the Myth of Divine /Administration emerges. However fragmentary the original sources, this myth embodies that tendency to abstract the human to the divine through the intermediary example of natural cycle. DIRECTION COLOUR SEASON ELEMENT CYCLIC NATURE THE SOVEREI GN GOD OF DIRECTION NAME SACKED ANIMAL DENOTATION AND CONNOTATION OF ITS NAME DESCRIPTION AND ATTRIBUTION ; Cen cer Yellow Mid-Season Earth The Center Huang Ti The Yellow Dragon -symbol of the earth -The Supremacy of the Universe -The Omnipotent Supreme Being -four faces to oversee the i four directions. 1 -The Supreme God of a l l | direct ions, a l l dimensions ! and a l l s p i r i t s . -The Soverign God of the Center, the f i f t h direct ion. . East Green Spring Wood Birth (or rebirth) T 'ai Hao The Green Dragon -symbol of the great s p i r i t of vigor and v i t a l i t y -The great or high s p i r i t of vigor and v i t a l i t y (of the r is ing sun of the morning, or of the east wind dissipating the winter's severe cold.) -a dragon body. , -The God of the virtue of wood i South Red Summer Fire Growth Yen Ti The Red Sparrow -symbol of mult i -p l i c i t y . -The burning heat and the b r i l -l iant l ight (brought about by the south wind which follows grain-rain and encourages growth -an ox body, -a great Sun-God. -The God of Agriculture. -The God of the Virtue of Fire West White Autumn Metal (or gold) Harvest Shao Hao or Chin T'ien or Yuan Shen The White Tiger -symbol of the inexorable beast of prey. -The low or small s p i r i t of vigor and v i t a l i t y . -The sp i r i t which w i l l be dor-mant in the seed when the west wind brings forth sweet ripeness -The Golden sky of the autumn evening. -The God of Completion of the round sundown. -a falcon body. J -The God of the White Star -The God of the Sundown i -The God of the Virture of Metal or Gold. North Black Winter Water Storeage or (Hiber-nation) Chuan Hsu The Black Tortoise -symbol of the mystery of hibernation. -The cautious refraining. -The Abstention of Earth after the cold dew i i-\ j -a Unicorn body. |' -the great-grandson of j the Supreme Being. j -The God who executed the | estrangement of Earth from Heaven. -The God of the Virtue ro'i of Water. M • THE ASSISTANT TO THE GOD OF DIRECTION NAME Hou T'u or (Ch'u* Lung) Chu Mang or (Ch'ung) Chu Jung I Ju Shou or (Kai) or (Hung Kuang) Yu Ch'iang or (Yuan M£ng) or (Hsu'an MeVig) ATTRIBUTION -The God of Earth -The God of Hades The God of Wood -The God of the Spring -The God of L i fe . -The God of Fire -The God of the Summer -The God of Growth -The God of Metal or Gold. - The God of the Autumn. - The God of Harvest. •The God of Seed.) The God of Punish-ment -The God of Water -The God of Wind -The God of North Sea -The God of the Winter -The God of Hibernation DENOTATION A'iD CONNOTATION OF ITS NAME -The great Earth. -The horned dragon. The bud and sprout (-symbol of l i f e and .the spring). -The repeti t ion, mult ipl ication and regeneracy. -The persistent heat and l ight of f i r e •The climactic state of jubilant heat and l ight of the summer solst ice which drives l i v ing things to growth. •The reaper of the r ich roots of exube-rant grass. •The collector of the beard. •The midwife for accouchment. •Completion and perfection, or necessity and destination. the red l ight of the sunset. -The latent v i t a l i t y of darkness and chaos. -The origin in the occult darkness or chaos. -At ease with power, harmony with vigor. -The latent profundity and persever-ance in the fathomless darkness. DESCRIPTION -a bu l l ' s body with a three'eyed tiger head ana two dragon horns. -holding a cord or rope-rule to regulate the four directions of the universe, - r id ing on two dragons. -a square face and a bird body. -holding a pair of compasses to regulate the course of the spring. •riding on two dragons. -son of the Sovereign God of the West and brother of the God of the Autumn -a beast body. -holding a yoke or a beam to regulate the course of the summer. - r iding on two dragons •son cf the great Sun-God, the Sovereign God of the South. •a tiger body with white'hair and with snakes nanging down from each ear. holding a square to regulate the course of the Autumn. riding on two dragons. 'S2\? f £ H ? S O V E R E I 9 N God of the West, brother of the God of Wood, the God of the Spring and the God of L i fe . -A bird body with a green snake hanging down from each ear. -A pair of huge wings which cause storms. -A f ish body capable of transforming into a gigantic phoenix which brings along water of l i f e for the spring from the north. -Holding a weight to regulate the course of the winter. -Riding on two dragons. -Son of the Pu Chou Wind of the Chaos, which causes death. 24 The hierophany of the gods of d i r e c t i o n s v i v i d l y i l l u s t r a t e s the nascent c y c l i c myth: growth, completion, hibernation (abstention and latency), death, followed by the gl o r i o u s r e b i r t h . The d i v i n e administration, the d i v i s i o n of experience i n t o symmetrical quadrants, demonstrates an urgent w i l l beneath the abstraction. I t i s an attempt under severe temporal tension to i d e n t i f y the dark side of death or the ephemerality o f being with d i u r n a l change, lunar c y c l e , and the seasonal r o t a t i o n which promises l i f e through death. I t i s a l s o the hope of transcendence from a l i f e of f l e e t i n g being to a l i f e of e t e r n a l becoming. With the great a f f i l i a t i o n of the gods of d i r e c t i o n s with the gods o f elements and seasons, a p e r i o d i c regeneration i s established and a renewal of l i f e i s obtained by man as a part of nature. 25 Footnotes to the Temporal Envisagement i n Chinese Mythology 1. To avoid t e x t u a l e r r o r s inherent i n the fragmentary nature of the e a r l i e s t source documents, we have confined ourselves to recognized Chinese c l a s s i c s . Appendix I provides b i b l i o -graphical data f o r a l l sources used i n rendering the myths presented i n Appendix I I I . Although seven books selected date from a f t e r 100 A.D., they are e i t h e r records of legends t a c i t i n o r a l t r a d i t i o n , or books of etymology and encyclopedia of quotations from ancient l o s t t e x t s . Furthermore, we l i m i t source fragments to those which are i d e n t i f i a b l e with traces i n c l a s s i c s and with legendary texts believed to have existed. Appendix I I provides a chronological table o f various Chinese c l a s s i c s and i n s t i t u t i o n s and t h e i r supposed o r i g i n s or legendary sources. 2. Frye, Fables of Identity, p. 32. 3. The t e x t of the myth of c r e a t i o n and other myths mentioned i n t h i s chapter are provided i n Appendix I I I . 4. Chang Kuang-chih, "A C l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f Shang and Chou Myths,'" B u l l e t i n of the I n s t i t u t e of Ethnology, Academia S i n i c a , 14 (Autumn 1962, T a i p e i ) , 83. 5. The Book of Documents which c h i e f l y c o nsists of addresses to and from the Throne, supposedly beginning with the period of the legendary Emperors Yao and Shun ( c i r c a 3000 B.C.) was f i r s t compiled i n the Spring and Autumn period (722-481 B.C.) and then was destroyed during the Burning o f the Books i n 220 B.C. I t was l a t e r restored and edit e d i n the Western Han dynasty by K'ung An-kuo (156-74 B.C.). The Remarks Concerning the State of Ch'u was compiled c i r c a 400 B.C. The present ve r s i o n o f the Mountain-Sea c l a s s i c was not compiled u n t i l a f t e r the beginning of the C h r i s t i a n era, but i t contains myths and legends which had t h e i r o r i g i n s i n a t l e a s t the Chou dynasty (1122-249 B.C.). Scholars b e l i e v e that i t s o r i g i n a l v e r s i o n was compiled i n the Warring States period, c i r c a 372 B.C. The Bamboo Books supply a condensed record o f reigns and events supposedly from 2700 B.C. t o 300 B.C. and was discovered i n 279 A.D. i n the grave of Duke Hsiang of Wei who d i e d i n 294 B.C. 6. T'ang Chiin-i, Chung Kuo Wen Hua Chih Ching Shen Chia Chih (The S p i r i t u a l Value o f Chinese Culture) (Taipei: Cheng Chung Press, 1972), pp. 22-24. 7. Mircea E l i a d e , Cosmos and History, p. 75. 8. Tz'u Hai (Grand Dictionary) (Taipei: Chung Hua Press, 1972, d u p l i c a t i o n ) , pp. 626-29. A l s o c f . Morohashi T e t s u j i , Dai Kanwa  J i t e n (Tokyo: baishukan Shuten, 1968), I I , 1120, 1159. 9. Kuan Tung-kuei, "A Study on the Ancient Chinese Myth of the Ten Suns," B u l l e t i n of the I n s t i t u t e of Hi s t o r y and Philology, Academia S i n i c a , XXX I I I (1962, T a i p e i ) , pp. 289-317. 26 A 10. Tu Er-wei, The Mythological System of the Mountain-Sea C l a s s i c (Taipei: Hua Ming Press, 1960), pp. 1-8. Tu suggests that an ambiguous concept of d i r e c t i o n s , seasons, and correspondent c o l o r s underlies the Mountain-Sea C l a s s i c . He f u r t h e r notes th a t the Southern Mountain C l a s s i c describes the summer moon, the Western Mountain C l a s s i c the autumn moon, the Northern Mountain C l a s s i c the winter moon, and the Eastern Mountain C l a s s i c the spring moon. With regard t o d i r e c t i o n a l c o l o r the south i s u s u a l l y red, the west white, the north black, and the east green. 11. Yii Ying-shih, " L i f e and Immortality i n the Mind o f Han China", Harvard Journal of A s i a t i c Studies, 25, (1964-1965), pp. 87-90. 12. c f . Wang Hs i a o - l i e n , "K'ua Fu Kao" (Studies on K'ua Fu), The  Continent Magazine (Taipei: The Continent Magazine, 1973), 46:2, 1-20. 13. K'un Lun as a lunar or cosmic mountain: c f . Tu Er-wei, "The Meaning of K'un Lun Myths", Contemporary Thought Quarterly (1961, T a i p e i ) , 1:1. 14. Susanne Langer, Philosophy i n A New Key, p. 164. 15. Mircea E l i a d e , Cosmos and History, pp. 76-77. 16. The Spring and Autumn Annals o f Lvi (Lii Shih Ch'un Ch'iu) was compiled by scholars assembled and patronized by Lu Pu-wei, a Prime M i n i s t e r during the Ch'in dynasty, and was published i n 238 B.C. The contents of i t s f i r s t twelve sections (The Monthly Observances or Yiieh Ling) are d e s c r i p t i o n s o f r o y a l and b a r o n i a l b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s . I t s o r i g i n a l production may be ascribed t o court d i v i n e r s and s c r i b e s f o r i t s r i t u a l was an e s s e n t i a l part of t h e i r p r a c t i c e , and the welfare of the state depended upon t h e i r c o r r e c t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of i t s ordinances. The Book of Rites ( L i C h i ) , a compilation of r o y a l ceremonies and duties preserved by the court w r i t e r s of the Chou dynasty, was l o s t a f t e r the Burning of the Books and was r e v i s e d c i r c a 100 B.C. The t i t l e and contents of Section IV of the book are a l s o known as "the Yiieh Ling" and many postulate a (common source f o r both. Whether the "Monthly Observances" present an i d e a l o r f a c t u a l account of the ordinances of government and r i t u a l has been a subject of debate among Chinese scholars. In e i t h e r case the p r i n c i p l e s underlying these observances have been embodied i n the theory and p r a c t i c e o f kingship u n t i l almost the present day, and as such, the work i s valuable w i t h i n the framework of t h i s paper. 27 17. Chou He, Ch'un Ch'iu Chi L i Kao Pien (Investigation of R i t u a l s and Ceremonies of the Spring and Autumn Period) (Taipei: Chia Hsin C u l t u r a l Foundation, 1970), pp. 17-18. 18. CHUAN HSU: SACRED ANIMAL: YU CH'IANG: YUAN MENG: HSUAN MENG: Tz'u Hai, p. 3178. ., Als o c f . Morohashi, op. c i t . , p. 291 (v. 12). Tu, op. c i t . , pp. 71-72, 75-77. Tz'u Hai, pp. 1076,; 1088, .'1091. Also c f . Morohashi, op. c i t . , pp. 771 (v. 4), 517 (v. 8) . Tz'u Hai, pp. 284, -360. Als o c f . Morohashi, op. c i t . , pp. 973 (v. 1), 130 (v. 2) . Tz'u Hai, pp. 360, 1904. Al s o c f . Morohashi, op. c i t . , pp. 765 (v. 7), 775 (v. 7) . B. The C y c l i c Myth i n Chinese R i t u a l and P r i m i t i v e R e l i g i o n Before turning to the development of the c y c l i c myth i n Chinese r i t u a l , we must dispense with a maze of d e f i n i t i o n , f o r i f Western c r i t i c s have debated "myth" i n t o a l a b y r i n t h , then surely the c e n t r a l minotaur must be the r e l a t i o n between "myth" and " r i t u a l " . At the outset we must r e i t e r a t e that p r e s c r i b i n g the primacy of one or the other i s not r e a l l y t o the point of t h i s study; we would p r e f e r to be d e s c r i p t i v e rather than p r e s c r i p t i v e , and follow Clyde Kluckholm's l e a d — " t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i s not one of the primacy o f e i t h e r case, but t h a t of an i n t r i c a t e mutual interdependence, d i f f e r e n t l y structured i n d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s . " 1 With respect to the c y c l i c myth, Chinese r i t u a l p r a c t i c e has a common psychological b a s i s , and o f f e r s a formalized statement or symbolic dramatization of the same needs. The problem i s best concluded with reference to P h i l l i p Wheelwright "As the p r i m i t i v e p a r t i c i p a t e s i n nature, a l t e r n a t i o n s of movement and r e s t as there may be are soon accentuated and dramatized by r i t u a l so that the human t r a n s i t i o n may blend with that of the cosmos...Nature, i n r i t e o p o e i c perspective as w e l l as mythopoeic perspective i s c y c l i c a l ; 2 i t e x h i b i t s v i t a l l y p e r i o d i c becoming." An i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f the c y c l i c b a s i s of e a r l y Chinese r i t u a l begins with the most p r i m i t i v e forms of totemism, a phenomenon be l i e v e d non-ex i s t e n t i n China by Western s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s u n t i l several decades ago. The supposed absence o f totemism i n ancient China would seem t o present grave problems to those t h e o r i s t s who b e l i e v e that the "totemic-era" i s an i n e v i t a b l e c u l t u r a l p e r i o d o f the h i s t o r y o f mankind. Fortunately the pioneering work of L i Chi and Huang Wen-shan has unveiled the t o t e m i s t i c p r a c t i c e s o f Chinese s o c i e t y during the Hsia dynasty ( 2205-1766 B.C.) and during the Lower P a l e o l i t h i c and N e o l i t h i c Ages. - 3 To confine ourselves to aspects of totemism i n the formation of the Chinese c y c l i c myth, we owe much t o L i u Chieh's systematic and scrupulous study, History of the Migrations of Ancient Chinese Gentes, which asserts t h a t the l i z a r d , among the three e a r l i e s t totemic animals, and the sun and the moon were totems of the clans of the Archer-God Hou I's o f f s p r i n g ; and that the decimal names f o r the ten suns and l a t e r t h a t of t h e i r corresponding animals were a l s o the names 4 of various p h r a t r i e s i n the Hsia dynasty. The o r i g i n a l character f o r " l i z a r d " i s a paradoxical combination of the sun and moon which etymologically connotes the l i z a r d ' s p r o t e c t i v e c o l o r a t i o n , that i s , to 5 change as or with the sun and moon. At any rate the mana of t h i s totem resides i n the v i r t u e of adaptation, the persistence of the sun and the moon, or the v i r t u e of the ever r i s i n g sun and the e t e r n a l l y becoming moon.*' Here, i n one of the e a r l i e s t known Chinese totems we detect the r e s t l e s s urge to a l l e v i a t e that temporal tension which gave r i s e to the myth of the Archer-God i n the f i r s t place. Again the d e s i r e f o r harmony with c y c l i c nature, the n o s t a l g i a f o r p e r i o d i c regeneration, i s elucidated and emphasized. I f the most archaic c l a s s i c s are any i n d i c a t i o n , the ancient Chinese were extremely r i t u a l i s t i c , and numerous are the records of s t r i c t and i n t r i c a t e r i t u a l s o f d a i l y , monthly, seasonal, and y e a r l y s a c r i f i c e s . Among these the s a c r i f i c e s to Heaven and Earth, the four d i r e c t i o n s , and the cosmic mountain are most important e i t h e r as r e -f l e c t i o n s o f or contributions to the evolution of the c y c l i c myth. But before f u r t h e r study what must be stressed here are the Sun and the 30 Moon as the images o f Heaven and Earth. From time immemorial i t has been believed that the sun, born i n the morning i n the east a t the spring equinox, i s the essence of Heaven which i n every aspect i s luminous, a c t i v e , and d i f f u s i v e ; while the moon, born i n the evening i n the west a t the autumn equinox, i s the essence of Earth which i n a l l 7 aspects i s nebulous, passive, and accommodating. The s a c r i f i c e to Heaven and Earth i s f i r s t recorded i n the i n s -c r i p t i o n s on or a c l e bones and i s c a l l e d "Chiao," l i t e r a l l y "the suburban s a c r i f i c e " . As the greatest s a c r i f i c e of the year, i t was o f f e r e d by the emperor as the son o f Heaven and the representative d f Earth. The r i t e of Chiao i s div i d e d i n t o two s a c r i f i c e s : the Earth s a c r i f i c e must be held on the summer s o l s t i c e i n a southern marsh on a square mound; the s a c r i f i c e to Heaven must occur on the winter s o l s t i c e on a northern h i l l on a round mound. While the square and round mounds are supposedly i m i t a t i v e of Earth and Heaven r e s p e c t i v e l y , i t i s the temporal con-siderations which are most reve a l i n g o f the c y c l i c concept. The summer s o l s t i c e was beli e v e d t o be the day the moon (as the essence of Earth) was at i t s extreme southerly p o s i t i o n , the poin t o f r e v i v a l of the powers o f dormancy, quiescence, and abstention. The winter s o l s t i c e was the day the sun was most northerly, and the point o f r e v i v a l o f the powers o f v i t a l i t y , exuberance, and d i f f u s i o n . Ancient custom d i c t a t e d that nothing should be attempted which might hinder the s o l a r or lunar return on these two days. Thus we read: "No f i r e s must be l i t i n the southern p a r t o f the house l e s t the heat be over-encouraged. Doors and gates must be closed to encourage the l i f e - f o r c e and the free flow of the seasonal influence. Men of p o s i t i o n or rank must keep v i g i l and f a s t . They must remain secluded i n t h e i r house, avoid v i o l e n t exertion, abstain from music and the b e a u t i f u l , avoid sexual indulgence..." S t r i c t obedience of these customs would ensure the seasonal v i c t o r y of the forces of decay and darkness and preserve the vegetative c y c l e . Regarding the ascendancy of the powers o f growth and l i g h t during the winter s o l s t i c e , the following customs were observed: "In the eleventh hour responsible o f f i c e r s are commanded to take care that nothing covered be thrown open, and that there should be no c a l l i n g up of the masses. No dwellings should be thrown open; no digging should be done or the heat of the earth would escape, or be s t i r r e d to unseasonal 9 a c t i v i t y . " For the modern mind the r i t e s of Chiao must seem i n c r e d i b l y naive, even f o o l i s h , but they occupy a c e n t r a l p o s i t i o n i n the develop-ment of the c y c l i c myth. Here f o r the f i r s t time we see that through r i t e correspondent to the cosmic rhythm, the emperor as the annointed superintendent of the world could ensure harmony between the human and natural worlds. The Chiao i s a graphic example of the consuming d e s i r e of the e a r l y Chinese mind f o r p e r i o d i c regeneration, and the annulment of time. The round mound of the f i r s t r i t e s of Chiao was the prototype of the f i n a l A l t a r to Heaven i n Peking, and the r i t u a l the o r i g i n a l pattern of the emperor's r o l e i n Chinese l i f e f o r succeeding centuries. The r i t e was l a s t performed i n 1935 under Japanese occupation and despite the use of radio broadcast, recaptures much o f i t s o r i g i n a l power. Aside from the emperor's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to regulate the myriads of l i v i n g things along the righteous course of the universe and thereby maintain harmony between man, Heaven and Earth, the four d i r e c t i o n s received no l e s s a t t e n t i o n i n ancient r i t e s . According to Interp r e t a t i o n  of Rites i n the Book of R i t e s , s a c r i f i c e s should be o f f e r e d at the begin-ning of each season to the corresponding gods of d i r e c t i o n s and seasons to encourage the harmonious course of each season. S ix jade o f f e r i n g s used i n these ceremonies are v i v i d reminders o f the myth of d i v i n e admin-i s t r a t i o n and the c y c l i c basis o f the r i t e : P i , a round green t a b l e t i n i m i t a t i o n of the p e r f e c t c y c l e of the cosmic rhythm, was t o be off e r e d i n homage to Heaven; Ts'ung, (homage t o Earth), a square yellow t a b l e t , symbolized the "great ground"; Kuei, (homage to the gods of the East and Spring) a green e q u i l a t e r a l - t r i a n g l e t a b l e t , imitated the new growth of spring; Chang, (homage to the gods of the South and Summer), a red acute-right-angle t r i a n g l e t a b l e t , symbolized the half-death o f the v i t a l i t y of a l l summer things; Hu, (homage to the gods of the West and Autumn), a white tiger-shaped t a b l e t , i l l u s t r a t e d the prey of autumn's sev e r i t y ; and f i n a l l y , Huang (homage to the gods o f North and Winter), a black semi-circular t a b l e t , symbolized the death-like state of dormancy and hibernation i n w i n t e r . 1 1 Another ancient r i t e , the mysterious Feng Shan S a c r i f i c e , i l l u s -t r a t e s the importance of the moon i n e a r l y Chinese r i t u a l . I t was o r i g i n a l l y a s a c r i f i c e of the emperor t o Mount T ' a i — the cosmic mountain upon which centred the myths of passageways to Heaven, the myths of d i v i n e secret abodes of the Supremacy of the Universe and the Supernal Mother-Goddess, and the myths o f the Trees o f L i f e i n various gardens. Perhaps the mythic l o c a t i o n and i n a c c e s s i b i l i t y of Mount K'un Lun and other cosmic mountains prompted the s u b s t i t u t i o n of Mount T' a i i n t h e i r place. At any rate u n t i l the Sung dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) almost every emperor a f t e r enthronement would o f f e r a thanksgiving s a c r i f i c e on the h i l l of Mount T ' a i . As a lunar homage the s a c r i f i c e r e c a l l s the myth of Ch'ang O and her f l i g h t t o the moon. But what i s most important i s the mythic undercurrent, that t h i s r i t e i s a l s o a return to the o r i g i n , a homage to the moon through which immortality 12 might be obtained. To review the elaboration of the c y c l i c myth i n these e a r l i e s t Chinese r i t u a l s i s to underscore the importance of temporal tensions i n the c r e a t i o n o f these r i t e s . The most archaic sun-moon totemism may be viewed as a n o s t a l g i a f o r p e r i o d i c regeneration; the s a c r i f i c e s to Heaven and Earth and the Four Dir e c t i o n s are attempts to harmonize human l i f e with the cosmic rhythm of e t e r n a l return, while the thanks-g i v i n g s a c r i f i c e to the cosmic mountain t y p i f i e s that d e s i r e to return to the o r i g i n , or gain immortality. As the e a r l y myths became c o d i f i e d and abstracted i n t o the complex myth of d i v i n e administration, the r i t e o p o e i c aspect generated abstractions of r i t u a l culminating i n the great i n s t i t u t i o n "Ming T'ang" — the H a l l o f L i g h t . Any i n v e s t i g a t i o n of ancient Chinese r i t u a l i n v a r i a b l y leads to the i n s t i t u t i o n of "Ming T'ang" — l i t e r a l l y the H a l l of L i g h t from which sprang China's astronomy, cosmology, r e l i g i o n , government, a g r i c u l t u r e and e t h i c s . While we have suggested the conceptual frame-work which gave r i s e to the i n s t i t u t i o n , i t s a c t u a l o r i g i n i s shrouded i n conjecture. The denotation of "Ming" f i r s t suggests an astronomical o r i g i n o r a s s o c i a t i o n f o r "Ming" i s composed o f two pictographs f o r the sun and the moon, and therefore i n d i c a t e s that which i s produced by the two luminaries. Most Chinese c l a s s i c s suggest the o r i g i n o f Ming T'ang to be no more than the thatched hut of the t r i b a l magician-astronomer, or perhaps the secluded sanctum used by the sage-ruler f o r astronomical 13 observation. T r a d i t i o n assigns the b u i l d i n g o f the f i r s t Ming T'ang to Shen Nung, the f i r s t legendary r u l e r and the P a t r i a r c h of A g r i c u l t u r e , (probably the euhemerized f i g u r e o f the great Sun-God o f the South) i n the shape of the Pa Kua, the octagonal form of astronomical changes invented by Fu H s i , the Sovereign God of the East. Whatever i t s o r i g i n , i t i s assured that during the expansion from t r i b a l to feudal system, the 34 thatched hut became f i r s t f i v e rooms, and then i n the Chou dynasty, nine h a l l s surmounted by an upper c i r c u l a r s t o r y set on the square 14 c e n t r a l h a l l . The sundial structure of Ming T'ang represents both the t e r r e s t r i a l and c e l e s t i a l center of the Chinese world. The upper sto r y or astronomical observatory was accorded the name "K'un Lun" (from the cosmic mountain) while the square below was s a i d t o be symbolic of Earth i n opposition to the c i r c u l a r Heaven above. Understood as a d i r e c t i o n a l and seasonal scheme, the f i v e or nine h a l l s provide a clock-wise progression o f the monthly s a c i r f i c e s from the beginning t o the end o f the year. Records show that " i t was the duty of the r u l e r a t each new moon t o prepare himself according t o various r u l e s , by ablutions, by eating s p e c i a l foods varying with the seasons, by wearing the garments of the seasons, and performing variolas other duties required of him, t o 15 o f f e r the monthly mimetic s a c r i f i c e s " . An improper s a c r i f i c e would not merely be i n e f f i c a c i o u s , but inauspicious t o the poin t of d i s j o i n i n g the course of nature. Therefore the r u l e r , or emperor, should a c t i n accord with the scheme of progression and "maintain i t i n world-wide exactitude i n order to l i n k up the ways of the three powers of Heaven, Earth, and Man, and to extend i t throughout the seasons, f o r the three powers and the four seasons form the seven e s s e n t i a l s , from which spring the f u l f i l l m e n t of the nature of things i n general and which, by a i d i n g t h e i r development and nurture, complete that which has already been ordained"."^ In p r a c t i c e the emperor would progressively occupy a room fac i n g the d i r e c t i o n i n d i c a t e d by the month and perform the required cosmological, astronomical, s o c i a l and a g r i c u l t u r a l r i t u a l s and ceremonies. direction' season color element— month •north •winter •black •water •10-Novembe ll-Decembe 12 -J anuary direction west season autumn color white element metal month 7-August 8- September 9- 0ctober h a l l 7-left division 8- Hall of Assembly Hall of Decoration Hall of Unification of Calendar 9- right division requirement—white chariot white horse white banner white earment white jade ornament direction the center season midsummer color yellow element s o i l month the day of the Saturn between July and August requirement—yellow chariot yellow horse yellow banner yellow garment yellow jade ornament hall-requirement— -10-left division 11- Somber Hall K a i l of Darkness 12- right division -black chariot black horse black banner black garment black jade ornament direction east season spring color green element wood month 1 -February 2- March 3- April ha l l 1-left division 2- Hall of Azure-Sun Hall of Rising-Sun 3- right division requirement-green chariot green horse green banner green garment green jade ornament direction south season summer color red element f i r e month k~ May 5- June 6- July h a l l 4-left division 5- Hall of Light Hall of Sun-Banqueting 6- right division requirement—red chariot red horse red banner red garment and jade ornament U) With the breakup of the feudal system of the Chou dynasty, Ming T'ang f e l l i n t o decline and i t s functions as an administrative centre were dispersed through the empire. Yet i t remained the Son o f Heaven's greatest temple f o r the need f o r the nation to be l i n k e d i n harmony with the realm of nature s t i l l remained, and f o r t h i s purpose the r u l e r was s t i l l the one e s s e n t i a l nexus. In a l l operations the animated world s t i l l depended upon h i s cooperation i n the t r i f o l d union of Man, Earth, and Heaven; the Ming T'ang remained the nation's powerhouse f o r i t s e f f e c t s were p o l i t i c a l and e t h i c a l which, f o r the ancient Chinese, were i n essence r e l i g i o u s . The i n s t i t u t i o n of Ming T'ang suggests the intense symbiosis between man and cosmos which i s a hallmark o f Chinese c u l t u r e . William E. S c o t h i l l ' s explanation p a r a l l e l s our explanation o f Ming T'ang as a c r u c i a l manifestation o f the evolving c y c l i c myth: "This u n i t a r y and symmetrical system of c e l e s t i a l palaces i s but a con v i c t i o n of the existence of an u n i v e r s a l law, a r e v e l a t i o n of a c y c l i c concept of the universe, an awareness of the destiny or necessity o f man's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the due course of u n i v e r s a l harmony, and hence a manifestation of an age-old dream of manipulation over i t through the sage-ruler or the emperor's knowledge of, and therefore the power over, the cosmic order 17 with i t s annual c y c l e of months and seasons." As the basi s o f the Chinese calendar and cosmology, the i n s t i t u t i o n of Ming T'ang played a major r o l e i n the development o f tetra-symmetrical and p e n t a - c y c l i c a l concepts so important i n the evolution of Chinese p h i l o s o p h y — a philosophy which would i n return contribute much t o the design of the c y c l i c pattern of man i n the cosmos. The progressive anthropocentrism of Chinese r i t u a l revealed i n the movement from the e a r l i e s t totemism, through the r i t e s o f Chiao, and f i n a l l y i n the developed i n s t i t u t i o n of Ming T'ang i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y l i n k e d t o increasing abstractions of n a t u r a l p e r i o d i c i t y , f o r only as man i s i n harmony with c y c l i c nature does he approach the d i v i n e . The temporal tensions motivating t h i s progression are a l s o v i s i b l e i n the s h i f t from p r i m i t i v e ancestor-worship (as a means of cxamtunig with d i v i n i t y ) to the concept of Te as the essence of the Mandate of Heaven, a c r u c i a l development i n maintaining the legitimacy o f Ming T'ang. In s c r i p t i o n s on more than one hundred thousand fragments o f o r a c l e bones bear powerful testimony to the potency of ancestor worship i n the Shang dynasty (1766-1123 B.C.). The vast majority of these are records of the Shang r u l e r s ' pleas, requests and consultations regarding a f f a i r s of harvest, warfare, calamity and general s o c i a l welfare. What i s most i n t e r e s t i n g i n these invocations i s the u t t e r necessity o f i n t e r -cession by the great ancestors i n communications with the Supreme Being, " T i " . I t seems that a c c e s s i b i l i t y t o the d i v i n e world was v i r t u a l l y impossible but f o r the great ancestor or forerunners of the dynasty. 7Ancestor d e i f i c a t i o n i s perhaps traced to the Shang b e l i e f that death was a n a t u r a l return t o the o r i g i n and mysterious s t a t e of increased s p i r i t u a l potency; the semi-divine dynastic founder thus dwelt "on high", i n c l o s e a s s o c i a t i o n with the Supreme Being and was able t o intercede on behalf of the consulting r u l e r . The people of the Shang were more i n c l i n e d t o synthesize the powers of the Supreme Being and the d e i f i e d ancestor, rather than d i s t i n g u i s h between them. This homogenization i s confirmed by Wang Kuo-wei who concludes that " T i " and the great 18 ancestor were but two faces of the same i d e n t i t y . Etymological study r e i n f o r c e s t h i s conclusion: the pictographic 38 character for "ancestor" takes the form of a phallus— , while that of "the Supreme Being" and "the sacrifices to great ancestors of the 19 dynasty" appears as a flower with ovary— . Both characters are symbols of origin and regeneration; indeed the desire to return to the origin, to unite with the regenerative powers of the divine world may be seen as the psychological and ethical basis of ancestor worship. With the f a l l of the Shang dynasty, the Supreme Being, "Ti", was soon substituted by the "Omnipotence of T'ien" of the Chou rulers. This "T'ien" of the Chou was a far less "impersonal" omnipotence and associated as the "omnigoodness" and "omnijustice" of the universe. The rationalization of the Supreme Being was in part due to the divine justification sought by the Chou rulers for their revolution. Thus the Chou claimed a "Mandate of Heaven", which favours no one but the virtuous, and appoints no eternal mandatary and promises no eternal blessing. The concept of "Te" or virtue is central to the "personalization" of Heaven implied in the Mandate of Heaven. "Te" must be understood not only in the English sense of virtue, but as an expression of natural harmony—inwardly a spontaneity with this harmony, and outwardly as the sustaining constancy or the irresistable potency of the trifold unity of Heaven, Earth and Man. It was believed that Heaven would withdraw its mandate from an unworthy occupant of the throne who stood between the transmission of "virtue" between the celestial high and the people. The concept of Te then served to undercut the transcendency of the celestial and innovate the immanent counterpoise of the terrestrial in the cosmic harmony. Through the influence of "Te", the Mandate of Heaven became more rational and humanistic, and finally became identified with the "collective 39 w i l l " of the people upon the e x i l e of the tyrannic King L i by the people 20 of Chou. Through such vagaries o f h i s t o r y the "Mandate" became l e s s a j u s t i f i c a t i o n of kingship and more an excuse, yet the in c r e a s i n g need f o r amelioration of temporal tensions through union with the natural c y c l e remained, and eventually stimulated a more cosmogonic concept of " v i r t u e " , the Tao, or the most b a s i c stratum of Chinese philosophy. One of the c e n t r a l ideas of Chinese l i f e , Tao has been the subject of intense s c r u t i n y by Chinese and other scholars. Granet, the French s i n o l o g i s t suggests that "tao" was o r i g i n a l l y a t o t e m i s t i c p r i n c i p l e comparable to mana and Tu Er-wei has r e f i n e d t h i s concept to the i d e n t i t y of "tao" as the exact name and image f o r the impersonal power of p e r i o d i c 21 change o f the moon. Both suggestions are implied i n an e a r l y meaning o f Tao as the way of nature or the sustaining potency o f the course o f nature. By the l a t e r Chou period i t had become all-embracing and yet somehow transcending the ancient symbols, f i n a l l y bearing a great r e -semblance to the Logos of H e l l e n i s t i c and Graeco-Roman philosophers. I t became a t o t a l i s t i c concept o f an i d e a l and u n i v e r s a l order, harmony, and p e r f e c t i o n — a n ultimate a s s e r t i o n o f man's oneness with nature, but i t s p h i l o s o p h i c a l elaboration i s perhaps b e t t e r discussed wi t h i n the framevrork. of that seminal Chinese work, the I Ching, or The Book of  Changes. I t i s indeed f i t t i n g t o summarize the importance of the c y c l i c myth i n e a r l y Chinese r i t u a l and r e l i g i o n with a b r i e f study of the I Ching, a work described by Richard Wilhelm as a foundation of Chinese l i f e — " N e a r l y a l l that i s greatest and most s i g n i f i c a n t i n three thousand years of Chinese c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y has e i t h e r taken i t s i n s p i r a t i o n from t h i s book, or has exerted an influence on the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of i t s text." 40 Foutunately f o r our purposes, the E n g l i s h s i n o l o g i s t has the pioneering work of Legge and Wilhelm r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e and numerous secondary studies a l s o t r a n s l a t e d i n t o E n g l i s h ; we may thus r e s t r i c t ourselves t o the influence o f the c y c l i c myth i n the formation of the I Ching. Concerning the e a r l i e s t h i s t o r y o f the I Ching, i t was perhaps a t f i r s t an unorganized c o l l e c t i o n of peasant omen-texts, then during the Hsia dynasty these documents were combined with d i v i n a t i o n p r a c t i c e s . Towards the beginning of the Chou dynasty i t had assumed i t s present form of the Eight Trigrams and probably the permutations of the s i x t y -four hexagrams. Despite the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of e s t a b l i s h i n g an accurate chronology, we can deduce from the development of the I Ching the importance of temporal tensions and the desir e f o r p e r i o d i c regeneration so t y p i c a l o f the mythology of temporal awareness o u t l i n e d e a r l i e r . The e f f i c a c y of d i v i n a t i o n i s a c e n t r a l concept i n Chinese h i s t o r y , and one that extends i n t o remotest a n t i q u i t y . O r i g i n a t i n g i n agricad-tural> auguries, the p r a c t i c e of d i v i n a t i o n has always implied a communication between micro- and macrocosm, a b e l i e f i n the p a r a l l e l i s m between what i s without and what i s w i t h i n us, that the course of one may a l s o be meaningful f o r the other. While the processes of n a t u r a l change are too various f o r immediate perception, the d i r e c t i o n of change may be perceived through the use of sacred objects which a r t as the medium between human ac t i o n and n a t u r a l law. Since the "estrangement of earth from heaven," d i v i n a t i o n must a l s o be seen as the d e s i r e f o r r e c o n c i l i a t i o n between human and n a t u r a l time, one e s s e n t i a l l y l i n e a r , the other c y c l i c . Connections between d i v i n a t i o n p r a c t i c e s and what would become the I Ching were established during the Shang dynasty by the c o d i f i c a t i o n of t h e i r eight n a t u r a l d e i t i e s (heaven, earth, mountain, marsh, thunder, f i r e , water, and wood) i n t o l i n e a l configurations, the Pa Kua. D i v i n a t i o n of Pa Kua was accomplished through the use of the t o r t o i s e - s h e l l and the arrangement of s t a l k s of m i l f o i l . The t o r t o i s e i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y the sacred animal of the north-winter, a h i b e r n a l animal capable of seemingly o c c u l t death and r e b i r t h , while the m i l f o i l was regarded as a sacred p l a n t bearing three hundred stems every thousand years and i s connected with the v i r t u e of roundness or p e r f e c t i o n . This n a t u r a l symbolism f u r t h e r underscores the c y c l i c b a s i s o f d i v i n a t i o n ; i n both media we can di s c e r n the importance of regeneration and c y c l i c renewal. The o r i g i n s of the Pa Kua are clouded by the lack o f h i s t o r i c a l data. Chinese t r a d i t i o n a t t r i b u t e s the invention of the eight images to Fu H s i , the Sovereign God of the East, and the f i r s t euhemerized emperor of the t h i r d millenium B.C. Fu H s i a l l e g e d l y contemplated the forms and patterns exhibited i n sky, earth, and s e l f , and devised the eig h t l i n e a l f i g u r e s o f three l i n e s each t o demonstrate the i n t e l l i g e n t operations of nature and c l a s s i f y the q u a l i t i e s of the myriads of things. Fu Hsi i s a l s o c r e d i t e d with ordering the Pa Kua i n t o the "Primal Arrange-ment" which i s b a s i c a l l y a symbolic statement of the e t e r n a l and balanced completeness wi t h i n which the process of dynamic balance operates. In the Primal Arrangement i s found the interconnection of element, season, and d i r e c t i o n which t y p i f i e s the abstract systemization of the Myth o f Divine Administration, the Chiao s a c r i f i c e , and the i n s t i t u t i o n of Ming 23 T'ang. 42 S Ch'i«n Spring III \ ( "I1 E Li III / X >^ K*un N Wlntw t Autumn w K'an The Primal Arrangement of Pa Kua i n P a i r s of Antitheses. The roots of the I Ching are further grounded i n n a t u r a l c y c l e when the importance of c e l e s t i a l objects i s considered. " I " or "Change" i s w r i t t e n as a pictograph of a sun placed over the moon, and as i n the heavens, the sun i s replaced by the moon, and the moon again by the sun, so i s Change always proceeding i n the phenomena o f nature and the ex-periences of s o c i e t y . According to Richard Wilhelm's annotated Ta Chuan, "Owing to changes o f the sun, moon and s t a r s , phenomena take form i n the heavens. These phenomena obey d e f i n i t e laws. Bound up with them, shapes come i n t o being on earth, i n accordance with i d e n t i c a l laws. Therefore the processes on earth—blossom and f r u i t , growth and decay—can be 24 c a l c u l a t e d i f we know the laws of time." The premise f o r such a spe-c u l a t i o n i s a b e l i e f i n the concept of constancy evoked by the o r b i t of heavenly bodies, and the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the p o l a r i t i e s of heaven and earth, sun and moon, and the y i n and yang p r i n c i p l e s . Obviously these c e l e s t i a l phenomena have always been present and ready f o r abstraction. In due course, images were recognized, a t t r i b u t e s assigned, and concepts formed. And i t i s generally believed that the Shang were the f i r s t to develop the concepts of p o l a r i t y between heaven and earth, masculine and feminine, and y i n and yang. The e i g h t trigrams of Pa Kua were of course not imnune t o the r a t i o n a l i z i n g complexities of the e a r l y Chinese mind. The tensions which compelled the abstracting correspondences, between man, nature, and the d i v i n e i n previous schemata (Ming T'ang, etc.) are a l s o behind the evolving Pa Kua. The a c c r e t i o n of correspondences was h i s t o r i c a l l y r e i n f o r c e d by the f a l l of the House of Shang; r o y a l d i v i n e r s were e x i l e d and forced t o earn a l i v i n g from d i v i n i n g among common c i t i z e n s . To meet the various a p p l i c a t i o n s of " t e r r e s t r i a l " l i f e , many more images and a t t r i b u t e s were added to the Pa Kua. The following chart i s o f f e r e d i n i l l u s t r a t i o n o f the increasing complexity of symbols and a t t r i b u t e s . TRIGRAM NAME IMAGE ATTRIBUTE TRAIT DIRECTION AND SEASON SYMBOLIC ANIMAL PART OF BODY FAMILY RELATION PRIMAL ARRANGEMENT LATER HEAVEN SEQUENCE 55 Ch'ien Heaven The Creative Strong Firm Light S Summer NW Dragon or Horse Head - Father 55 Chen Thunder The Arousing Active Moving Arousing NE . E Spring Dragon Foot F i r s t Son 55 K'an Water (or moon) The Abysmal Enveloping Dangerous D i f f i c u l t W Autumn N Winter Pig Ear Second Son Ken Mountain The Resting Resting Stubborn Unmoving NW NE Dog Hand Youngest Son cm un K'un Earth (or so i l ) The Receptive Yielding Weak Dark N Winter SW Mare or OX Belly Mother Sun Wood (or wind) The Gentle Gentle Penetrating Flexible SW SE Bird Thigh F i r s t Daughter — Li Fire (or sun) The Clinging Cl inging Depending Beautiful E Spring S Summer Pheasant Eye Second Daughter Tui Lake Marsh Rain The Joyous ... Joyful Sat isf ied Complacent SE w Autumn Sheep Mouth Youngest Daughter 45 In order f o r the c y c l i c nature of change to be i n t e l l i g i b l e i n such a l i n e a r configuration, i t must be pointed out t h a t the two c a r d i n a l p r i n c i p l e s of a l l existence are symbolized by the trigrams, "The Creative" and "The Receptive". The two p r i n c i p l e s are united by a r e l a t i o n based on homogeneity: they do not combat but complement each other. The d i f f e r e n c e i n l e v e l creates a p o t e n t i a l by v i r t u e of which movement and l i v i n g expression of energy become p o s s i b l e . Out of t h i s p o t e n t i a l there s t i r s the c r e a t i v e force, Chen, symbolized by thunder. This e l e c t r i c a l force forms centres of a c t i v a t i o n which are discharged as l i g h t n i n g , The C l i n g i n g , or L i . Now the movement s h i f t s and thunder's opposite, wind, (or Sun) sets i n , t o be followed by rain(K'an). Then there i s a new s h i f t as the trigrams L i and K'an (formerly a c t i n g i n t h e i r secondary forms as l i g h t n i n g and rain) now appear i n t h e i r primary forms as sun and moon which i n turn cause heat and c o l d . When the sun reaches zenith there i s heat, represented by T u i , the Joyous; when the moon reaches zenith there i s c o l d , represented by Ken, the mountain or Keeping S t i l l . The trigram, Keeping S t i l l , i s of mysterious s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r here, i n the seed, i n the deep-hidden s t i l l n e s s , the end of everything i s joined to a new beginning. We have then i n the Pa Kua the roots of the f i r s t Chinese metaphysical speculation which proclaims t h a t from Tao emerged the great p r i m o r d i a l one; the one evolved i n t o the two p o l a r i t i e s o f y i n and yang; the two produced the four seasonal phenomena, or heavenly spheres, or phases of being; and the four i n turn produced the e i g h t trigrams which are symbols of bio-cosmic transformation. Above a l l i t must be emphasized tha t the Pa Kua are not representations of things as such, but o f t h e i r tendencies i n movement, or processes or phases i n nature corresponding with t h e i r inherent a t t r i b u t e s ; and as such, the Pa Kua, through d i v i n a t i o n , o f f e r man communication with regenerative nature and release from temporal 46 limitations. The next stage i n the development of the I Ching, that of the multiplication of the eight trigrams into sixty-four hexagrams, may be seen as the <^lmination of the efforts of the exiled Shang diviners to universalize the Pa Kua. Certainly there i s much his t o r i c a l evidence that the f i n a l organization i s the work of King Wen, (1154-1122 B.C.) the founder of the Chou dynasty. It i s generally believed that King Wen was also responsible for the arrangement of Pa Kua known as the "Sequence of Later Heaven," a "phenomenal" sequence which presents the Pa Kua i n the order i n which changes are experienced by man i n a yearly cycle. K'on N The Sequence of Later Heaven The labours of King Wen (and later, his son, the Duke of Chou) i n creating the sixty-four hexagrams provided a sophisticated system of relating the complexities of human behavior to the processes of change in nature. Arrangement of the hexagrams follows the pattern of natural 47 cycle; thus the second last hexagram, "After Completion," represents a gradual transition from ascent to standstill; while the last hexagram, "Before Completion," represents the transition from chaos to order. Its place at the end of the circular sequence points to the fact that every end contains a new beginning. The I Ching presents a complete image of heaven and earth, a microcosm of a l l possible relationships for the hexagrams and lines in their move-ments and changes mysteriously reproduce the movements and changes of the macrocosm. Thus we read that the I Ching "contains the measure of heaven and earth; therefore i t enables us to comprehend the Tao of heaven 26 and earth and its order". Crucial to any understanding of the I Ching is the concept of change. In the process of change, every component of the situation can reverse itself according to yin-yang theory and bring a new element into the situation as a whole; moreover, beyond the transformation of opposites, change is also a cycle of phenomenal complexes which are themselves con-nected, such as day and night, summer and winter, and l i f e and death. The absence of change is s t i l l movement, that i s , regression, not cessation of movement, for standstill and rest are also aspects of change. Above a l l , change f i l l s the category of time with content, from chaos to cosmos, that is the underlying direction of man's desire to escape temporal limitation. Howe does the final formulation of the I Ching during the Chou dynasty ameliorate the tensions of human ephemerality, the prime motivation behind the systematising of early Chinese myth and ritual? In the f i r s t place change reveals an organic order, for the hexagrams provide complete images of conditions and relationships existing in the world. Because 48 human and te r r e s t r i a l nature obey the same definite laws, and these principles are manifestations of the divine Tao, consistency returns to human l i f e . Secondly, implicit i n the concept of change i s man's position at the centre of events. Change i s neither an intangible snare nor external fate, but an order corresponding to human nature, a guideline from which one can "read-off" events. The cyclic nature of a l l movement prevents the movement i t s e l f from dispersing beyond human understanding, and becomes, as i t were, at the service of man. Finally, and what i s perhaps most crucial, the concept of change defines man's place and responsibility i n the cosmos and removes him from subjection to nature. According to the I Ching man i s i n a position to intervene i n the course of events considerably beyond his own sphere. When, i n accordance with the natural order, each thing i s i n i t s appropriate place, harmony i s established. Now each situation demands the action proper to i t , and i n every situation there i s a right and a wrong course of action; thus the individual comes to share i n shaping his fate, for his actions intervene as determining factors i n world events. As the centre of events, the individual who i s conscious of responsibility i s on a par with the cosmic forces of heaven and earth, and i n such a manner, can change be influenced. In the f i n a l analysis we return to Richard Wilhelm (as we once began) to summarize the metaphysical importance of the I Ching; " I t i s b u i l t on the premise that the cosmos and man...obey the same law; that man i s a microcosm and i s not separated from the macrocosm by any fixed barriers. The very same laws rule for one as for the other, and from the one a way leads into the other. The psyche and the cosmos are to each other l i k e the inner world and the outer world. Therefore, man participates by nature i n a l l cosmic events, and i s inwardly as well as outwardly interwoven with them".*-' Through i t s r e v e l a t i o n of the universe as organic order and man's p o s i t i o n of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as the centre of events, the I Ching serves as both summary of an s o l u t i o n to the temporal tensions which were the basis of Chinese myth and r i t u a l . As always, time i s of the essence, and the response t o the dreadful l i n e a r i t y of human consciousness i n the face of nat u r a l c y c l e and di v i n e immortality must be a temporal s o l u t i o n . Unlike the e s c h a t o l o g i c a l s o l u t i o n of the C h r i s t i a n s , the Chinese embraced the e v e r - c y c l i c n a t u r a l world as a manifestation o f the d i v i n e Tao, and through the gradual evolution of a c y c l i c myth regained a semblance of the d i v i n i t y man once enjoyed. The e a r l i e s t myths and r i t u a l s reveal the anguish of human ephemerality; and the myth of d i v i n e administration, the Chiao s a c r i f i c e s , and the i n s t i t u t i o n o f Ming T'ang suggest the d i r e c t i o n of the s o l u t i o n . I t remained f o r the complex abstractions o f the I Ching t o provide an ongoing metaphysical system which would s a t i s f y those e a r l i e s t longings. Of course, the I Ching could never be the f i n a l s o l u t i o n , i f there could ever be a " f i n a l s o l u t i o n " to the l i m i t a t i o n s of consciousness. Rather The Book of Changes was a plateau of speculation, o f f e r i n g a f i r m base f o r the p h i l o s o p h i c a l machinery which would soon be brought to bear on the refinement of i t s c e n t r a l concepts. As the most exact formulation of the c y c l i c myth y e t developed, i t became the crossroads of Chinese c u l t u r e and the source of i n s p i r a t i o n f o r future a r t i s t s and philosophers. Before considering the next stage of the c y c l i c myth's development a t the hands o f Chinese philosophers, we o f f e r the fol l o w i n g chart by way of summarizing the evolution of ideas discussed thus f a r . C e r t a i n l y any attempt to encapsulate three thousand years of Chinese c u l t u r e on a 50 single page i s doomed to ignominious defeat. Moreover our graphic history i s perhpas more conceptually accurate than chronologically exact, (especially considering the fragmentary nature of the earliest Chinese works). Yet despite these limitations, a visual presentation often succeeds where pages of text cannot, and i t makes immediately apparent the importance of The Book of Changes as both past sunniary and future basis. 51 ANCESTOR, HEAVEN FATHOMLESS ANTIQUITY MYTHOLOGICAL EMPERORS P'AN KU FU HSI NU VA SHEN NUNC HUANG TI (T'AI HAO) (YEN TI) (SHAO HAO) CHUAN HSU THIRD MILLENNIUM B.C. LEGENDARY SAGE KINGS -YAO . SHUN YU 2205 - 1766 B.C. HSIA DYNASTY -•Myth of C r e a t i o n of Universe •Myth of Cr e a t i o n of Man •Myth of U n i v e r s a l D e s t r u c t i o n *Myth of Paradise R e b u i l t •Myth of Golden Age •Myth of Passageways to Heaven •Myth of U n i v e r s a l R e b e l l i o n *Myth of Estrange-ment of Ear t h from Heaven •Myth of God of Time *Myth of. B i r t h s of Ten Suns and Twelve Moons •Myth of T i t a n K' ua Fu's Chasing the Sun| •Myth of Death of Nine Suns •Hyth of F l i g h t to the Moon *Myth of D i v i n e A d m i n i s t r a t i o n CORRESPONDENT RITE TO COSMOS  •ORIGIN OF FENG SHAN •CHIAO SACRIFICE MING T'ANC INSTITUTION 'INVENTOR OF MING T'ANG •INVENTOR OF MING T'ANC •INVENTOR OF MING T'ANG MING T'ANG - A THATCHED HUT OF TRIBAL MAGICIAN AND MEDICINE-MAN MING T'ANG - AN ASTRONOMICAL OB-SERVATION PLACE OF SAGE RULERS TAO. YIN7YANG, FIVE AGENTS MANA - TAO TAO - HOON LIZARD CLAN SIM-MOON CLAN CONCEPTS OF POLARITIES ABOVE:BELOW HEAVEN:EARTH SUN:MOON LIGHT: DARKNE5S HEAT:COLD MALE:FEMALE DIVINATION I PA KUA •INVENTOR OF PA KUA •DIVINATION •UNITED HILL ORIGINAL SYSTEM OF CHANGES •ORIGINAL PA KUA 1766 - 1123 B.C. SHANG DYNASTY -1300 B.C. E a r l i e s t date of Oracle Bone found  1154-1122 B.C. King Win of Chou EMERGENCE OF FIRST PORTION OF MYTHS SHANG TI WORSHIP (SUPREME BEING) ANCESTOR WORSHIP GODS OF FIVE DIRECTIONS NATURAL CODS CHIAO SACRIFICE & FENG CHAN & OTHER SACRIFICES MINC T'ANG - THE CENTRE OF THE WORLD CORRELATION Oi' FIVE DIRECTIONS & SEASONS COLORS & ELEMENTS EIGHT TRIGRAMS -SYMBOLS OF EIGHT NATURAL DEITIES • R e v e r t i n g d e p o s i t o r i g i n a l system of changes • M u l t i p l i c a t i o n o f Hex igrams  1122 - 771 B.C. WESTERN CHOU DYNASTY 1122-1115 B.C. Duke of Chou EMERGENCE OF SECOND PORTION OF MYTHS NON-ANTHROMORPHIC HEAVEN MANDATE OF HEAVEN HEAVENLY TAO & TE MING T'ANG - A NINE HALL COSMIC TEMPLE YIN-YANG POLARITY FIVE AGENTS EIGHT TRIGRAMS -EIGHT NATURAL PHENOMENA • M u l t i p l i c a t i o n 1 Hexlgrams  771 - 279 B.C. EASTERN CHOU DYNASTY 722-481 B.C. Sp r i n g 4 Autumn P e r i o d — THE BOOK OF CHANGES $m P H I L O S O P H Y EIGHT TRIGRAMS -CYCLE OF COSMIC CHANGES HUNDRED SCHOOLS OF PHILOSOPHY CHOU I - EARLY POR-TION OF BOOK OF CHANCES (770 B.C.) 403-221 B.C. War-r l n g S t a t e s P e r i o d CONFUCIANISM - CONFUCIUS I TAO AND YIN-YANG COSMOGONY I COSMOLOGY - CYCLIC, ORGANIC, HARMONIOUS I CYCLIC TIME ' I LINEAR TIME"OF HISTORY AND UTOPIAN AGE I CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN MAN AND HEAVEN I UNITY OF MAN AND HEAVEN AND EARTH UNITY OF MAN AND COSMOS 221 - 207 B.C. CH'IN DYNASTY TAOISM - LAO TZU (571 B.C. - ?) j CHANG TZU (399-295 B.C.?) TAO AND YIN-YANG COSMOGONY I COSMOLOCY - CYCLIC, ORCANIC, HARMONIOUS I .CYCLIC TIME I LINEAR TIME OF GOLDEN AGE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN MAN AND NATURE HARMONY AND UNITY OF MAN AND NATURE • THE BURN1NC OF BOOKS CYLIC, ORGANIC, YIN-YANG SCHOOL - TSOU YE (305-240 B.C.) YIN-YANG AND FIVE ACENTS COSMOGONY I COSMOLOGY -HARMONIOUS I CYCLIC TIME I CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN MAN AND UNIVERSE UNIFICATION OF MAN AND UNIVERSE (BUDDHISM) I I (OMNI-PRESENCE OF BUDDHA-NATURE) I (NIRVANA 6 AT-TAINMENT OF BUDDHA-NATURE) 52 Fcx>tnotes t o the C y c l i c Myth i n Chinese R i t u a l and P r i n i i t i v e R e l i g i o n 1. Clyde Kluckholm, "Myth and R i t u a l : A General Theory," i n John B. Vickery, op. c i t . , p. 39. 2. P h i l i p Wheelwright, "Notes on Mythopoeia," i n Vickery, i b i d . , pp. 60, 64. 3. L i Chi, Beginnings o f Chinese C i v i l i z a t i o n s (University of Washington Press, 1957), pp. 20-21. Huang Weh-shan, "Totemism and the O r i g i n of Chinese Philosophy," B u l l e t i n of the I n s t i t u t e of Ethnology, Academia S i n i c a , 9 (1960, T a i p e i ) , 52. 4. L i u Chieh, History o f the Migrations o f Ancient Chinese Gentes (Taipei: Cheng Chung Press, 1971), pp. 50-98. 5. L i u , i b i d . , p. 88. Etymological Dictionary (Shuo Wen Chieh Tzu) c i t e d by L i u , i b i d . , p. 53. 6. Stanza from the C l a s s i c of Poetry, c i t e d by L i u , i b i d . , p. 88. 7. From various c l a s s i c s cited, by Tu John Er-wei, The Religious System of Ancient China (Taipei: Hua Ming Press, 1951), pp. 126, 155 . 8. L i Ch i : Yiieh Ling. Cf. Wang Meng-ou, L i Chi Ching Chu Ching I (Taipei: The Commercial Press, 1971), pp. 214-19. Also c f . William E. S c o t h i l l , The H a l l of Light, (London: Lutterworth Press, 1951), 42-3. 9. L i Ch i : Yiieh Ling. Cf. Wang Meng-ou, i b i d . , pp. 232-41. Als o c f . S c o t h i l l , op. c i t . , pp. 48-9. 10. S c o t h i l l , op. c i t . , p. 189. The dethroned emperor, Hsiian T'ung, under Japanese pressure returned to h i s a n c e s t r a l Manchuria t o found a new dynasty. A new t r i c e n t r i c A l t a r designed i n i m i t a t i o n of the h i s t o r i c Peking a l t a r was erected and the r i t e s performed as S o o t h i l l describes: "At the winter s o l s t i c e 1935, i n the darkness before dawn he came i n the r i g h t f u l robes, following the ancient r i t u a l , i f with diminished g l o r y , k n e l t under the fr o s t y s t a r s , f a c i n g the north; and by radio the world l i s t e n e d t o h i s t h i n sharp voice as i t rose and f e l l while he o f f e r e d himself to the ancestors and the powers above and of n a t u r e — the Shang T i , and c r i e d aloud the ancient prayers f o r s u i t a b l e seasons f o r h i s new-old people. His s a c r i f i c i a l pyres were scanty compared with the past, h i s retinue small; but some of h i s supporters may have hoped that through the renewed r i t e s , the 'kingly way' might come back t o earth, and potency and 53 v i r t u e flow i n t o the s l i g h t robed f i g u r e looking toward the north s t a r , bearing himself with a p a t h e t i c d i g n i t y a f t e r the fashion o f the sovereigns of a long, long past." 11. T'a Ts'ung Po and annotation by Cheng Hsuan; c i t e d by Tu, op. c i t . , p. 149. 12. See Chou L i Feng Jen, Ta T ' a i L i Pao Fu Chu, and Han Shu Chiao  Szu Chin; c i t e d by Tu, i b i d . , p. 129. Also Chiao Szu Chih; c i t e d by Tu, i b i d . , pp. 129-147. Also Annotation by Shih Ku; c i t e d by Tu, i b i d . , p. 129. 13. S c o t h i l l , op. c i t . , pp. 67-68, 87. Our d i s c u s s i o n of Ming T'ang i s almost e n t i r e l y indebted to William E. S o o t h i l l ' s remarkably d e t a i l e d i n v e s t i g a t i o n s i n The H a l l of L i g h t . One of the few pioneering works of Chinese scholarship a v a i l a b l e i n E n g l i s h , i t i s indispensable f o r students o f e a r l y Chinese h i s t o r y and philosophy. 14. The arrangement o f the rooms has been a matter f o r controversy among scholars of l a t e r times, and there are various versions of the plan ( a l l of comparatively l a t e date) which are given below. (Also o f . S c o t h i l l , op. c i t . , pp. 88-89). 54 15. Wang Meng-ou, L i Chi Ching Chu Ching I (Modern /Annotation and T r a n s l a t i o n of The Book of Rites) (Taipei: The Commercial Press, 1971), pp. 201-43. 16. S c o t h i l l , op. c i t . , p. 70. 17. S c o t h i l l , i b i d . , p. 112. 18. Kuo Ting-t'ang, The Development of the Concept of Heaven i n  the Pre-Ch'in Period (Shanghai: The Commercial Press, 1936) pp. 11-16. 19. Wei Cheng-t'ung, A C r i t i c a l Approach to the Chinese Culture (Taipei: B u f f a l o Book Co., 1969), p. 79. Also Chou He, op. c i t . , pp. 138-39. 20. Yeh Yu'-lin, annotated, Kuo Yii (Remarks Concerning the States) (Taipei: The Commercial Press, 1970), pp. 10-13. Also c f . Wei Cheng-t'ung, A C r i t i c a l Approach to the Chinese  Philosophy and Thought (Taipei: B u f f a l o Book Co., 1968), p. 17 A l s o c f . Kuo, op. c i t . , p. 33. 21. C i t e d by Huang, TATOOCP, pp. 54-56. Also c f . Tu Er-wei, The Religious System of Ancient China (Taipei: Hua Ming Press, 1951), pp. 1-15. 22. Richard Wilhelm and Cargy F. Baynes , t r . , The I Ching: Book o f Changes (Princeton: Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 3rd ed., 1967), p. x / v i i . 23. K.A. Dhiegh's The Eleventh Wing (New York: D e l l P u blishing Co., 1973, pp. 81-92) o f f e r s an i n t e r e s t i n g a n a l y s i s of the sym-b o l i c i n d i c a t i o n s contained i n the Primal Arrangement. He notes that: "Man's joyous temperament (Tui) i s s i t u a t e d i n the southeast octogant wedge between L i and Ch'ien. L i i s the natural element of f i r e . I t represents l i g h t , c l a r i t y , sun, eye, perception and understanding. I t i s set i n the east, a symbol o f r i s i n g , beginning, a s t a r t i n g p o i n t from where there i s ascendance. Above, i n the south, i s Ch'ien (The O r i g i n a t i n g ) . Ch'ien i s the source of a l l phenomena, p r o j e c t i v e , the root of power An inference: Man experiences the joyous state when he perceives without a doubt tha t he functions as a r i s i n g expression of heaven's power, and with t h i s c o n viction he has merged i n t o the w i l l of heaven", (pp. 87-8) 24. Richard Wilhelm, TICBOC, p. 283. 25. I b i d . , pp. 284-5. 26. C i t e d by Hellmut Wilhelm, Chang: Ei g h t Lectures on the I Ching (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1960), p. 69. 27. Richard Wilhelm,The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese  Book of L i f e (New York: A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book, 1967) , p. 11. C. The C y c l i c Myth i n Chinese Philosophy I f we accept the view that the I Ching i s t r u l y the crossroads of Chinese c u l t u r e we must a l s o admit that i t i s a t r a n s i t i o n , a crossroad from the age of myth and r i t u a l t o the era o f r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n and abs t r a c t i o n , and yet a convergence where the four main schools o f Chinese philosophy (Confucianism, Taoism, the Yin-Yang School, and Buddhism) meet. Throughout h i s t o r y these four schools have been p a r a l l e l i n g and r e i n f o r c i n g each other to the poin t where one can t r u l y say that every Chinese i s a Confucian i n h i s s o c i a l and a c t i v e l i f e , a T a o i s t i n h i s i n d i v i d u a l and passive l i f e , and a T a o i s t or Buddhist i n h i s r e -l i g i o u s l i f e , o r a Yin-Yang b e l i e v e r i n h i s s u p e r s t i t i o n . According t o E l i a d e "the symbol, the myth, the r i t e , express, on d i f f e r e n t phases and through means proper to them, a complex system of coherent affirmations about the ultimate r e a l i t y of things, a system that can be regarded as c o n s t i t u t i n g a metaphysic". 1 When the mythic mode i s exhausted, natural r e l i g i o n i s soon superseded by a more d i s -c ursive and l i t e r a l form of thought, namely, philosophy; the Yin-Yang school of thought occupies t h i s middle ground between na t u r a l r e l i g i o n and philosophy. The Yin-Yang School No aspect o f Chinese c i v i l i z a t i o n has escaped the imprint of the Yin-Yang school's doctrines. Teaching that a l l things and events are products of y i n and yang, that phenomena succeed one another i n r o t a t i o n as the F i v e Elements take t h e i r turns, Tsou Yen (305-240 B.C.?) i s the c e n t r a l f i g u r e of the school and i s us u a l l y c r e d i t e d with combining the two currents i n t o one. B r i e f l y the concepts of yin-yang and the F i v e Elements may be regarded as e a r l y Chinese attempts i n the d i r e c t i o n of constructing a metaphysical cosmology f o r the former assays the o r i g i n of the universe, and the l a t t e r the structure o f the universe. As we have already discussed the yin-yang concept a t some length, we should note that the doctrine o f the F i v e Elements i s f i r s t stressed i n the l i t e r a t u r e of the "Grand Norm" i n The Book o f iXx^uments and "Monthly Observances" i n The Book o f R i t e s . A t t r i b u t e d t o a speech by the Viscount of Chi of the Shang dynasty towards the end of the twel f t h century B.C., the Grand Norm provides nine categories through which the Fi v e Elements may be seen to operate. The f i r s t category concerns both substance and nature o f each of the elements: Water, to moisten and descend; F i r e , to flame and ascend; Wood, t o straighten and to be crooked; Metal, to y i e l d and to be modified; and Earth, to provide f o r sowing and reaping. When these f i v e i n each category come f u l l y and i n t h e i r regular order, the myriad of l i v i n g things w i l l be r i c h and luxuriant; i f there i s extreme excess i n any one, d i s a s t e r w i l l follow. Thus the human and nat u r a l worlds were fu r t h e r l i n k e d : good or bad conduct on the p a rt of the sovereign, f o r example, would r e s u l t i n the harmony or disturbance o f nature. "The Monthly Observances" i s f i r s t found i n Lii's Spring and Autumn  Annals o f the t h i r d century B.C. I t i s a small almanac advising what should be done month by month i n order to r e t a i n harmony with nature. Here the four seasons were c o r r e l a t e d with the four compass points and the F i v e Elements; (the i n t e r v a l between summer and autumn became associated with the "centre" as a d i r e c t i o n and Earth as the element). Again analogies were drawn between human conduct and nat u r a l law and set down 57 as the i n s t i t u t i o n of Ming T'ang, the H a l l o f Li g h t . In A Source Book i n Chinese Philosophy Chan Wing-tsit notes that "by the time of Tsou Yen, the two concepts (the yin-yang p a i r and the Five Elements) were thought of together ...When t h i s i n t e r e s t i n correspondence was extended to the realm of p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s , there emerged a c y c l i c a l philosophy of h i s t o r y on the one hand and the mutual 2 influence between man and Nature on the other". With regard to the c y c l i c a l concept of h i s t o r y the succession of dynasties accords with the n a t u r a l succession of the elements. Thus Earth, under whose power the Yellow Emperor ruled, was overcome by the Wood of the Hsia dynasty. And the Wood of t h i s dynasty was overcome by the Metal of the Shang dynasty. The r o t a t i o n of the dynastic c y c l e moved from theory to p r a c t i c e i n the t h i r d century B.C. as the F i r s t Emperor o f the Ch'in dynasty believed that h i s "Water" dynasty must govern with harshness and violenc e to reach accord with the transformations o f the F i r e Powers. As l a t e as 1911 the o f f i c i a l t i t l e of the Emperor was s t i l l "Emperor through (the Mandate of) Heaven and i n accordance with the Movements (of the F i v e Powers)". I f such was the influence of Yin-Yang teachings on the r u l i n g a u t h o r i t i e s , one can only imagine i t s pervasiveness a t a more ple b i a n l e v e l . The y i n yang theory has a l s o put Chinese e t h i c a l and s o c i a l teachings on a cosmological b a s i s . I t has helped develop the view that things are r e l a t e d and that r e a l i t y i s a process of transformation. P h i l o s o p h i c a l l y , i t r e s u l t e d not only i n the concept of a common law governing both Man and Nature but a l s o the c r u c i a l doctrine of the uni t y of Man and Nature. To sum up, the Y i n Yang school maintained that m u l t i p l i c i t y arose from the constant i n t e r a c t i o n of y i n and yang, that the universe i s a realm 58 of perpetual c y c l i c succession of the F i v e Elements which produce and overcome one another i n a f i x e d sequence, tha t there i s mutual influence between Man and Nature, and that h i s t o r y i s a c y c l e of succession based on the cyc l e of the F i v e Elements. Confucianism I f one word could characterize the h i s t o r y o f Chinese philosophy i t would be the "humanism" t h a t professes the uni t y of man and cosmos. Humanity i s the p i v o t a l idea of the Confucian system; Confucius' c e n t r a l concerns are the harmonious universe and the superior man. Humanity, i n Chinese "jen", i s human nature and righteousness, and the Confucian "jen" emphasizes the u n i v e r s a l i t y o f human heartedness, and p a r t i c u l a r i t y i n terms o f righteousness. "Jen" i s not a contemplative v i r t u e but an ac t i v e p r i n c i p l e to be c a r r i e d out; i t includes not only a l l human beings but the universe i n i t s t o t a l i t y . In t h i s connection "jen" i s expanded to the concept of one body with the universe and the generative force o f a l l things, the process of production. The second concept c r u c i a l to an understanding of Confucianism i s that of Chung Yung, the Golden Mean. The function o f t h i s c e r t r a l i t y i s t o achieve harmony, a l l d i f f e r e n c e s must be present i n t h e i r proper proportions. C e n t r a l i t y i n the i n d i v i d u a l i s the state o f eq u i l i b r i u m i n one's mind before f e e l i n g s are aroused, and harmony i s the state a f t e r they are aroused. In society c e n t r a l i t y and harmony together mean complete accord i n human r e l a t i o n s . Ultimately through the moral p r i n c i p l e of Tao, Heaven and Earth and man w i l l a t t a i n t h e i r proper order and a l l things w i l l f l o u r i s h i n the harmonious u n i v e r s a l operation of the t r i n i t y . The c y c l i c aspects of Confucianism remained vague and unsettled 59 u n t i l the influence of Yin-Yang school. Tung Chung-shu (176-104 B.C.) combined the Confucian doctrines of et h i c s and h i s t o r y with the ideas of y i n and yang. For Tung, man i s the microcosm and Nature the macrocosm. Nature influences man because both are governed by the same mat e r i a l forces o f y i n and yang, but man as a r e p l i c a of Heaven, i s superior to a l l other things o f the world. He modified the theory o f dynastic succession to a cyc l e of "Three Reigns"—Black, White and Red corresponding to the Hsia, Shang, and Chou dynasties. His theory that a r u l e r r u l e s through the Mandate of Heaven j u s t i f i e d the exercise of imperial authority and at the same time s et c e r t a i n l i m i t s on i t . The Confucians urged the continual re-examination of imperial r u l e t o ensure t h a t n a t u r a l harmony was not upset. A f a s c i n a t i n g study could be made of the e f f o r t s of Tung's Confucians to lay r e s t r a i n t s upon the.power of an absolute monarchy. The scheme of correspondences o f the Yin-Yang Confucianism of Tung Chung-shu must have had unusual f a s c i n a t i o n f o r the medieval Chinese, f o r i t dominated Chinese thought f o r f i v e centuries. Both Taoists and Confucians found i t congenial because i t was a systematized expression of the idea of harmony. Nevertheless the r e a l s p i r i t of harmony, whether the c e n t r a l harmony of Confucianism or the inner harmony of the Ta o i s t s , or the harmony between man and nature as taught by both schools, was l o s t . The doctrine of correspondence scon degenerated i n t o an i n t e l l e c t u a l sport, a game or puzzle, and f i n a l l y , a s u p e r s t i t i o n ; and was soon replaced by the r a t i o n a -3 l x s t i c and n a t u r a l i s t i c Neo-Taoism. The next great phase or Neo-Confucianism (960-1912 A.D.) marked a return to the I Ching's p r i n c i p l e s of human nature and destiny. The ch i e f proponent of Neo-Confucianism was Chou Tun-i (1017-1073 A.D.). Elaborating on the cosmogony of The Book of Changes, he maintained that i n 60 the evolution of the universe from the Great Ultimate through the material forces o f y i n and yang and the F i v e Elements t o the myriad things, the Five Elements are the basis of the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of matter; whereas y i n and yang c o n s t i t u t e t h e i r a c t u a l i t y . The two forces are fundamentally one. Consequently the many are u l t i m a t e l y one and the many have t h e i r own c o r r e c t states o f being. The nature and destiny of man and thing w i l l be c o r r e c t i n t h e i r d i f f e r e n t i a t e d s t a t e i f they a l l follow the same un i v e r s a l p r i n c i p l e . T h i s was the c e n t r a l t h e s i s o f Neo-Confucianism f o r 4 the next several centuries. Neo-Confucianism developed i n three d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n s : the r a t i o n a l i s t i c school of p r i n c i p l e i n the Sung p e r i o d (960-1279); the i d e a l i s t i c school of mind i n the Ming period (1368-1644) and the empirical school i n the Ch'ing period (1644-1912). We s h a l l r e s t r i c t ourselves to the c y c l i c aspects of these schools of thought. The c e n t r a l f i g u r e s i n the r a t i o n a l i s t i c movement were Ch'eng I (1033-1107), who formulated the major concepts and provided the ba s i c arguments, and Chu Hsi (1130-1107), who systematized Neo-Confucianism i n t o a r a t i o n a l i s t i c whole. To Ch'eng I, i n the production and reproduction i n the universe the process of d a i l y renewal never ceases. This i s a p r i n c i p l e to make a new thing p o s s i b l e . But a l l p r i n c i p l e s are a t bottom one, c a l l e d the Great Ultimate. I t i s the cooperative functioning of p r i n c i p l e and material force that makes the universe a cosmos and the f u l l e s t r e a l i z a t i o n of "c e n t r a l harmony". C e n t r a l i t y i s the order of the universe and harmony i s i t s unalterable law. In the operation o f y i n and yang, and Heaven and Earth, there i s not a s i n g l e moment of r e s t i n t h e i r r i s e and f a l l , i n t h e i r zenith and nadir. The constant succession may suggest that appearance and disappearance 61 follow a c y c l e , but t h i s c y c l e should not be understood i n the Buddhist sense as a return to the o r i g i n . The Neo-Confucian universe i s l i k e a v a s t furnace, and there i s no such thin g as m a t e r i a l f o r c e returning t o i t s source. Every c r e a t i o n i s therefore a new c r e a t i o n , and the universe i s perpetually new.5 When p r i n c i p l e i s endowed i n man i t becomes h i s nature—good because p r i n c i p l e i s the utmost source of a l l goodness. Through moral c u l t i v a t i o n s e l f i s h desires can be eliminated and the p r i n c i p l e of nature r e a l i z e d . The c u l t i v a t i o n i s by i n v e s t i g a t i o n of things, extension of knowledge, s i n c e r i t y o f the w i l l , correctness o f f e e l i n g , and c u l t i v a t i o n of one's personal l i f e — w h e n t h i s i s done one w i l l have f u l l y developed one's nature and f u l f i l l e d one's destiny. This development of human nature, according to the r a t i o n a l i s t i c Confucian, does not stop with personal p e r f e c t i o n but involves a l l things, (and here we return t o the concept of "jen"). By i n t e r p r e t i n g the word i n i t s pun of "the seed or growth j " the Neo-Confucian came td. understand "jen" as the process of production i t s e l f , as w e l l as the e a r l i e r concept of humanity. The second or i d e a l i s t i c phase df Neo-Confucianism emphasized only the p r i n c i p l e and the i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f phenomena. The r a t i o n a l i s t i c Neo-Confucians regarded mind as a function of man's nature which was i d e n t i c a l with p r i n c i p l e ; but t o Lu Hsiang-shan, (1139-1193) the c e n t r a l f i g u r e of t h i s phase, mind was p r i n c i p l e . The mind i s o r i g i n a l l y good and endowed with the innate knowledge of the good and the innate a b i l i t y to do good. F i l l i n g the whole universe, through a l l ages and i n a l l d i r e c t i o n s , there i s the same mind. I t i s i d e n t i c a l with a l l things, f o r there i s nothing outside the way and there i s no way outside things. To i n v e s t i g a t e phenomena i s to i n v e s t i g a t e the inind; since a l l p r i n c i p l e s are 62 complete and inherent i n the mind, there i s no need t o look outside. Lu advocated a simple, easy and d i r e c t method of recovering one's o r i g i n a l l y good nature.^ A second philosopher of t h i s school,Wang Yang-ming, (1472-1529) agreed with the Lu i n the main, but emphasized the d i r e c t i o n o f the m i n d — t h a t i s , the w i l l . To him, a thing (or a f f a i r ) was nothing but the mind determined to r e a l i z e i t . Opposed to the r a t i o n a l i s t i c Confucian's con-tentio n that as things are inve s t i g a t e d one's w i l l becomes sincere, Wang maintained that the s i n c e r i t y of the w i l l must precede the i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f things. For the next one and one-half centuries the i d e a l i s t i c philosophy of Wang dominated Chinese thought, but from the Seventeenth Century on, Confucianists began to demand the evident, the concrete, and the p r a c t i c a l and t h i s marked the beginning of the f i n a l e mpirical phase o f Confucianism. The l a s t outstanding philospher of the school, T a i Chen (1723-1777) advocated t h a t p r i n c i p l e i s nothing but the order of things, t h a t the way to in v e s t i g a t e p r i n c i p l e i s not through i n t e l l e c t u a l speculation or even i n t r o s p e c t i o n , but by the c r i t i c a l , a n a l y t i c a l , and objec t i v e study of phenomena based on objec t i v e evidence. Despite the "modern" s c i e n t i f i c appeal of t h i s concept, T a i was very much a t r a d i t i o n a l i s t i n maintaining that the universe i s an unceasing process of production and reproduction. Disregarding the abstract d i s p a r i t i e s o f the various schools of Confucianism, i t should be apparent that the philosophy i s always a humanism which professes a harmonious universe, and the u n i t y o f man and the cosmos. His strong f e e l i n g s towards humanity l e d Confucius to expand the idea of "jen" to include the universe i n t o t a l i t y . He understood "jen" as the mind o f man, the foundation of a l l goodness, and the source of a l l production i n the universe; and made i t p o s s i b l e that the u n i t y of man and the universe be based on moral p r i n c i p l e s : the extension of love, the 63 e l e v a t i o n of the mind above the usual d i s t i n c t i o n between the s e l f and others. By prcclajjning man's conduct as a manifestation of the Tao and the determination of the u n i v e r s a l harmony, he put man i n s p i r e d by "jen" i n the centre of the cosmos with h i s i n t e g r a l power to form a t r i n i t y with Heaven and Earth. As a Yin-Yang Confucian, Tung Chung-shu saw that a l l things had t h e i r complements i n y i n and yang which express themselves through the medium o f the F i v e Elements, producing and overcoming one another i n a f i x e d sequence. Accordingly he l a i d the groundwork f o r the construction of the elaborate correspondences of the F i v e Elements with d i r e c t i o n s , seasons, colours, tones, tastes, and the l i k e to underscore the macrocosm. His universe was a harmonious and organic whole and the constant succession of the y i n and yang was i t s underlying p r i n c i p l e . To him, man was microcosm and nature a macrocosm; and there was a mutual influence between the two. Man was s t i l l i n the centre of the cosmos and was responsible f o r the un i v e r s a l harmony, even i n Tung's concept of h i s t o r y as a constant c y c l e of the succession of three reigns. Emerging from the great i n f u s i o n of philosophy and Buddhism, Neo-Confucians d i f f e r e d i n t h e i r ideas about the means t o form the uni t y with the universe. Some of them,in understanding t h a t the p r i n c i p l e , the law of existence o f a l l things, was one and i t s manifestations were many, i n s i s t e d that t h i s unity was based on the understanding o f the nature of phenomena through an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of things. Others, i n understanding that since a l l p r i n c i p l e s were inherent and complete i n the mind, i n s i s t e d on a unity o f man and cosmos through i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f the mind. Another, i n seeing that the w i l l was the c e n t r a l function of mind, professed that s i n c e r i t y of w i l l must precede i n v e s t i g a t i o n . Nevertheless a l l Neo-Confucians were i n accord i n understanding that the universe was a perpetual transformation, a constant process of unceasing production and r e -production, a s p i r a l of perpetual renewal; and that harmony was the unalterable law of the universe. As a whole Confucianism r e f l e c t s the continuation of the c y c l i c myth i n i t s anthropocentric concept o f a harmonious and organic universe; while the everpresent theme of e t e r n a l return or the p e r i o d i c regeneration of man and cosmos i s never c l e a r e r . Taoism Our t h i r d major p h i l o s o p h i c a l school, Taoism, arose i n response to a period o f p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l chaos caused by the crumbling feudalism of the Chou dynasty. While Confucianism emphasizes s o c i a l order and an a c t i v e l i f e , and Taoism the i n d i v i d u a l l i f e and t r a n q u i l i t y , i t should be noted that the e f f e c t s of Taoism on Chinese l i f e move f a r beyond personal quiescence: i n i t s doctrines on government and personal c u l t i v a t i o n i t i s f u l l y the equal of Confucianism. O r i g i n a l l y a hermitic school of thought which, under Yang Chu, advocated the preservation of l i f e and avoidance o f i n j u r y through "escape", through the work o f Lao Tzu i t r a p i d l y evolved metaphysical s i g n i f i c a n c e as an attempt t o r e v e a l the laws underlying phenomenal change. As these laws remain unchanging, i f one regulates one's actions i n accordance with them an understanding o f l i f e i s assured. A t h i r d phase o f Taoism concerns the work o f Chuang Tzu, and h i s doctrine o f s p i r i t u a l transcendence as a s o l u t i o n to the problems of mundane l i f e . The Taoism of Lao Tzu begins as one would expect with the Tao, the Way; p r i o r to and above a l l things, i t i s the source of a l l phenomena and the way i n which a l l things pursue t h e i r course. "Te" i s the potency or v i r t u e obtained from the u n i v e r s a l Tao by each i n d i v i d u a l t h i n g i n the process o f becoming. "Tao i s th a t by which things'cx>me to be, and A 7 Te i s that by which things are what they are". When Tao i s possessed by i n d i v i d u a l things, i t becomes t h e i r character or v i r t u e . The i n d i v i d u a l ' s i d e a l l i f e , society's i d e a l order, and even government's i d e a l course are based on and guided by the Tao. The c e n t r a l concept o f Lao Tzu's Taoism, "wu-wei" or non-action, should not be regarded as negative or q u i e t i s t i c , f o r the Tao i s not an escape from the l i n e a r i t y of human consciousness so much as an embrace of the c y c l i c course o f nature. "Wu-wei" i s not i n a c t i v i t y so much as taking no a c t i o n that i s contrary to nature. The Way i s a l i f e of s i m p l i c i t y , r e s t r i c t i n g a l l a c t i v i t i e s which are n e i t h e r necessary nor na t u r a l . This idea i s grounded i n the laws that govern the changes of things, fundamentally the notion that when a thing reaches one extreme, i t reverts from i t . In accordance with the law of nature, excess i s counter-productive. 7As the way of l i f e then, Tao denotes s i m p l i c i t y spontaneity, t r a n q u i l i t y , weakness and non-action. The second major f i g u r e o f Taoism, Chuang Tzu (399-295 B.C.) might be termed the philosopher of change. To him, Nature i s not only spon-ta n e i t y but a state of constant f l u x ; i t i s a u n i v e r s a l process which binds a l l things i n t o one, e q u a l i z i n g a l l tilings and a l l opinions. In t h i s l i f e o f change, things transform themselves by themselves, f o r t h i s i s the nature o f things. A free development of our natures may lead us to a r e l a t i v e kind of happiness, but absolute happiness i s achieved through higher understanding of the nature o f things. Chuang Tzu's r e l i a n c e on c y c l i c process as the Way i s best i l l u s -t r a t e d by h i s comments on h i s wife's death: "Now by a fur t h e r change, she has died. The whole process i s l i k e the sequence of the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn, and winter. While she i s thus l y i n g i n the great mansion of the universe, f o r me t o go about weeping and w a i l i n g would be to proclaim myself ignorant o f the natural laws. Therefore g I stop." C l e a r l y , through h i s understanding of the p r i o r i t y of c y c l i c process, the sage i s no longer a f f e c t e d by the changes of the world. Thus Chuang Tzu emphasizes the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of natural processes and man's somewhat f a t a l i s t i c acquiescence t o them. Because the Tao embraces a l l things and combines them i n t o a unity, absolute happiness i s achieved through complete understanding of the Tao and the i d e n t i t y of man with the universe. In order t o be one with the Great One, one must transcend and forget the d i s t i n c t i o n s between things-d i s t i n c t i o n s such as l i f e and death, me and non-me, t h i s and that, and the l i k e . As i s s a i d i n the Chuang Tzu: "The universe i s the uni t y of a l l things. I f we a t t a i n t h i s unity and i d e n t i f y ourselves with i t , then the members of our body are but so much dust and d i r t , while l i f e and death, end and beginning, are but as the succession of day and night, 9 which cannot d i s t u r b our inner peace." To Chuang Tzu, t h i s i s the i d e a l man, f o r he not only transcends the ordinary d i s t i n c t i o n s of things but a l s o transcends the d i s t i n c t i o n between the s e l f and the world. In Chuang Tzu, Taoism reached a mystical height of transcendence; whereas Lao Tzu's way i s d i r e c t e d c h i e f l y to handling human a f f a i r s , that o f Chuang Tzu aims c h i e f l y a t dealing with the universe. The former goal i s s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l reform, that of the l a t t e r i s transcendence of the mundane world. A l l i n a l l , Chuang Tzu's c o n t r i b u t i o n to Chinese l i f e was inestimable: as p a r t of Taoism h i s philosophy helped to transform ancient and medieval Confucianism i n t o Neo-Confucianism, and he was a major influence on the l a t e r development o f the Zen school o f Buddhism. Taoism remained i n f l u e n t i a l u n t i l the second century B.C. when i t s main tenets were c o d i f i e d by L i u An i n The Huai-Nan Tzu. Here the Tao i s concretized i n cosmological terms; Tao o r i g i n a t e d from vacuity, and vacuity produced the universe, which i n turn produced the ma t e r i a l forces of y i n and yang. In add i t i o n , The Huai-Nan Tzu synthesized such non-Taoist elements as the Confucian emphasis on lear n i n g as a method of s e l f - c u l t i v a t i o n , and the L e g a l i s t emphasis on law i n government. This s y n c r e t i c approach ensured the s u r v i v a l o f Taoism a t a time when Confucianism was dominant i n government and o f f i c i a l thought. The next great resurgence of Taoism was a re a c t i o n t o the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l chaos of the waning Han dynasty. Continuous warfare, the degeneration o f Confucianism i n t o a s c h o l a s t i c i s m based on moral and s o c i a l dogma, and the r i s e of occultism suggested a s p i r i t u a l r e v o l t . In the Wei-Chin period, scholars revived the study of the ancient philosophers and the f i r s t p o s i t i v e r e s u l t was the notion that non-being ("wu") should not be regarded as the contrast of being, but as the pure being i t s e l f , one and u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d . One f a c e t o f t h i s movement, known as the Pure Conversation school, concentrated on a d e n i a l of the mundane i n favour o f romantic wandering, and c u l t i v a t i o n of the w i t and imagination. The second fa c e t deserves c l o s e r a t t e n t i o n . At t h i s time the dominant trend i n Han thought was the corres-pondence of Nature and man and t h e i r mutual influence, but the Meta-p h y s i c a l Schools of Wei-Chin moved beyond these phenomena t o a r e a l i t y beyond space and time, the non-being of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. These Neo-Taoists are T a o i s t i c i n t h e i r metaphysics, but Confucian i n t h e i r s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l philosophy. Again, beyond the Confucian correspon-dences they stressed the o v e r a l l p r i n c i p l e which unites and commands a l l p a r t i c u l a r concepts and events. Despite T a o i s t contributions t o the development o f the Zen school of Buddhism i n the seventh and eighth centuries, and i t s influence on the Neo-Confucians of the eleventh century, the Confucian way of l i f e could not abide the quietism o f T a o i s t philosophy, and Taoism as a p h i l o s o p h i c a l system ceased to e x i s t soon a f t e r the f i r s t millenium. I t s general c o n t r i b u t i o n i s summarized by Chan: "As a way o f l i f e , however, i t has never l o s t i t s hold on Chinese c u l t u r e and so c i e t y . I t s s p i r i t of harmony, s i m p l i c i t y , and peace has been eloquently expressed i n Chinese landscape p a i n t i n g , landscape gardening, poetry, tea drinking, etc., and i t s s p i r i t of naturalism, individualism, and freedom has strongly molded Chinese l i f e . " 1 0 We have stressed how very e a r l y i n Chinese h i s t o r y , the r e c o n c i -l i a t i o n of man and time became pos s i b l e only through i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of l i n e a r consciousness with c y c l i c process. The e n t i r e t h r u s t of Taoism has been to lend t h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p h i l o s o p h i c a l legitimacy. Lao Tzu discerned an unchanging Tao beneath the unceasing transformations of l i f e . L i v i n g i n accordance with the Tao, i n harmony with nature, and avoiding a l l excess would r e s u l t i n an understanding of n a t u r a l processes, and happiness. Chuang Tzu placed even greater s t r e s s of c y c l i c i t y , and i n t e r p r e t e d the universe as a great current o f constant change. By understanding Te as Tao i n d i v i d u a l i z e d i n the nature of things, he professed a transcendence which i n i t s extreme form denied time altogether and a more spontaneous view of l i f e wherein one was advised to adapt one's own nature t o the u n i v e r s a l process of transformation, and become one with the universe. F i n a l l y , although the Neo-Taoists d i f f e r e d i n t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of p r i n c i p l e as transcendent beyond things, or as immanent i n things, and 69 t h e i r consequent emphasis on being or non-being; they a l l agreed that the sage rose above a l l d i s t i n c t i o n s and contradictions, and remained i n the midst of human a f f a i r s and responded t o a l l transformations without d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . In t h i s manner the Taoists provided a model of man whose understanding o f the Tao beneath c y c l i c change enabled h i s f r e e existence wi t h i n the ever-transforming world. Chinese Buddhism By the second century A.D. Buddhism, the fourth major p h i l o s o p h i c a l school, had become an influence i n Chinese thought. O r i g i n a l l y Buddhism was considered a r e l g i o n of the o c c u l t a r t s , but by the t h i r d and fourth centuries as the more metaphysical Buddhist texts entered t r a n s l a t i o n , Buddhism was regarded as a p h i l o s o p h i c a l Taoism; and the p r a c t i c e of a n a l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s continued u n t i l the f i f t h century. No doubt the use o f T a o i s t terminology to express Buddhist ideas contributed to a synthesis of the two, and l e d t o the p e c u l i a r l y Chinese form of Buddhism adumbrated below. Although there appeared many schools of Buddhism i n China, most are united i n t h e i r treatment of three c e n t r a l concepts—Karma, Samsara, and Nirvana. Because the universe of an i n d i v i d u a l sentient being i s the manifestation of h i s mind, and every mental event must produce a r e s u l t no matter how f a r i n the future, some r e t r i b u t i v e concept i s necessary: t h i s i s Karma. I t i s the cause and i t s r e t r i b u t i o n i s the e f f e c t . Thus the being of an i n d i v i d u a l i s composed o f a chain of causes and e f f e c t s . Karma extends beyond ones present l i f e t i m e , and t h i s chain o f causation i s c a l l e d Samsara, the Wheel of B r i t h and Death, the main source of man's s u f f e r i n g . A being's e s s e n t i a l ignorance of the nature of Samsara leads 70 to worldly attachments despite t h e i r i l l u s o r y nature. Through the teachings of the Buddha, and i n the course o f many r e b i r t h s , the i n d i v i d u a l may accumulate Karma which does not crave attachment. The r e s u l t i s emancipation from the Wheel of L i f e and Death, or Nirvana. In a word, then, Nirvana i s the r e a l i z a t i o n or self-consciousness of the i n d i v i d u a l ' s o r i g i n a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the Universal Mind. In i t s e a r l i e s t stages i n China, Buddhism and Taoism were rather i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e . Thus the Pure Land school founded by Hui Yuan (334-416) expresses the hope f o r r e b i r t h i n the Pure Land and i s an extension of the T a o i s t search f o r e v e r l a s t i n g l i f e on earth; the goal was not the termination of human existence, but rather, i t s continuation. A second l i n e of thought, the gospel of u n i v e r s a l s a l v a t i o n professed by the great monk, Tao Sheng (d. 434) , maintains that because of the a l l -pervasiveness of the Dharma-body of the Buddha, a l l things can a t t a i n Buddhahood. This doctrine r e f l e c t s Confucian influence, e s p e c i a l l y through the o l d e r Chinese notion that a l l people can became sages. A t any r a t e by the time of Tao Sheng Buddhism had developed a t h e o r e t i c a l background which l e d to the development of three t r u l y p h i l o s o p h i c a l schools: T'ien-t ' a i , Hua-yen, and f i n a l l y , the Ch'an or Zen school. Founded by Chih I (538-597) of T ' i e n - t ' a i Mountain, t h i s f i r s t t r u l y Chinese school of Buddhism addressed i t s e l f t o the problems of dharma, or the laws of existence, and d i s t i n g u i s h e d a harmony of Three Levels of Truth. As explained by Chan Wingi;tsit-, ".. . a l l ciharmas are empty because they have no nature of t h e i r own but depend on causes f o r t h e i r production. This i s the Truth of Emptiness. But dharmas are produced and do possess temporary and dependent existence. This i s Temporary Truth. Being both empty and temporary i s the very nature of dharmas. This i s the Truth of the Mean. The three involve each other, 71 f o r Emptiness renders dharmas r e a l l y empty, dependent existence makes them r e l a t i v e l y r e a l , and the Mean embraces both. I' 1 1 A second c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the T ' i e n - t ' a i school i s a r a t i o n a l i z i n g approach to the phenomenal world whcih f i n a l l y d i stinguishes three thousand worlds, the t o t a l i t y o f manifested r e a l i t y . Because each "world" interpenetrates a l l others, they are immanent i n a s i n g l e thought; that i s , a l l phenomena are manifestations o f the Universal Mind and each manifestation i s the Mind i n i t s t o t a l i t y . In l i n e with the synthetic nature o f much Chinese thought, the T ' i e n - t ' a i school o f f e r s a harmony of transcendence and immanence with regard t o the Buddha-nature, and leads to the next great school of Chinese Buddhism. The Hua-yen philosophy as expounded by Fa Tsang (643-712) resembles that of the T ' i e n - t ' a i i n that each dharma i s a t once one and a l l and the world i s i n r e a l i t y a p e r f e c t harmony. Consequently when one dharma r i s e s , a l l dharmas r i s e with i t , and v i c e versa. In short, the e n t i r e universe r i s e s simultaneously. The c h i e f d i f f e r e n c e i s the basis f o r the harmony, f o r i n the T ' i e n - t ' a i school the Ten Characters of Thusness are invoked through m u l t i p l i c a t i o n to produce the three thousand worlds of r e a l i t y , a process which i s not only awkward metaphysically but depends on the mutual i n c l u s i o n of a l l dharmas through correspondence and dependence. The Hua-yen school s i m p l i f i e s the u n i t y of dharmas through mutual i m p l i c a t i o n ; they imply each other. Since dharmas have no substance of t h e i r own, they are empty, and i t i s t h i s emptiness that combines them through im p l i c a t i o n . In a r e a l sense, dharmas e x i s t only i n r e l a t i o n to each other and t o the e n t i r e universe, which i s a set of i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Despite the general s i m i l a r i t i e s between the Hua-yen philosophy and the r i s i n g trends of Neo-Confucianism ( e s p e c i a l l y i n regard to the o n e - i s - a l l and a l l - i s - o n e philosophy), there i s one s u b s t a n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e . The 72 dominant r a t i o n a l i s m of the Neo-Confucians would not admit the Buddhist notion that a l l phenomena are manifestations of the mind. Furthermore, through the p r i n c i p l e that the universe "produces and reproduces," the Confucians believed that the universe i s d a i l y renewed. This c r e a t i v e element i s la c k i n g i n the Universal Causation of the Hua-yen school. Turning now to the f i n a l flowering of Buddhism i n China, the Ch'an or Zen movement has been described by Suzuki as a school i n which "the Chinese mind completely asserted i t s e l f , i n a sense, i n opposition to the Indian mind. Zen could not f l o u r i s h i n any other land or among any 12 other people". /Although Chinese scholars agree that the Bodhidharma d i d v i s i t China i n the e a r l y f i f t h century, Ch'an Buddhism d i d not es-t a b l i s h independent existence u n t i l the work of Hung Jen (601-674). By focussing on The Diamond Sutra (or S c r i p t u r e ) , Hung Jen s h i f t e d the emphasis of Chinese Buddhism from the study o f Ultimate R e a l i t y , or the true nature of dharmas, to the human mind i t s e l f . This emphasis on meditation d i d not so much r e f l e c t Indian asceticism as i t d i d T a o i s t enlightenment through l i v i n g i n accord with the Tao, the way of nature. Two schools of meditation developed: the Northern school advocating gradual enlightenment through the a n n i h i l a t i o n of thought, and the Southern school which advocated sudden enlightenment, a notion based on the u n i v e r s a l i t y of the Buddha-mind to the extent th a t any occasion or any moment could serve as a "spring-board" t o enlightenment. H i s t o r i c a l l y the Southern school i s of greater importance, and many of i t s ideas were transmitted i n t o Japanese Zen Buddhism. The l o g i c a l extension of spontaneous enlightenment was to diininish the importance o f such t y p i c a l l y Indian p u r s u i t s as avoidance of worldly involvement, embrace of i n t e l l e c t u a l understanding, and the search f o r unity with the I n f i n i t e . In a sense, Chinese meditation with i t s use of external influence, i t s worldliness, and 73 i t s emphasis on w i t and i n s i g h t i s a continuation of the o r i g i n a l impulse t o s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n with Time depended on involvement with the world of c y c l i c nature, and i n the Southern school of Zen Buddhism the o r i g i n a l impulse i s recaptured. Commenting on the humanistic trend of Chinese meditation, Chan notes that "the e f f e c t of such strong emphasis on man has been tremendous on Chinese Buddhism. B r i e f l y , i t has contributed t o the s h i f t i n outlook from otherworldliness to t h i s w o r ldliness, i n obj e c t i v e from i n d i v i d u a l s a l v a t i o n to u n i v e r s a l s a l v a t i o n , i n philosophy, from extreme doctrines to synthesis, i n methods of freedom from r e l i g i o u s d i s c i p l i n e and p h i l o s o p h i c a l understanding to p i e t i s m and p r a c t i c a l i n s i g h t I t i s a l s o t h i s s t r e s s on man th a t has enabled Buddhism to j o i n with Confucianism 13 and Taoism so th a t the Chinese can follow a l l of them a t the same time." In retrospect, Chinese Buddhism d i f f e r e d much from Indian Buddhism i n i t s concept of dharma— as emptiness and temporary, f o r a l l phenomena are manifestations of the mind of Buddha-nature, and each manifestation i s the mind i n i t s t o t a l i t y ; thus, as one dharma r i s e s , a l l dharmas, the universe, r i s e with i t and v i c e versa. A second d i f f e r e n c e concerns the idea of harmony—for the world of Buddha i s a P e r f e c t Harmony and i s neither external t o the Wheel of B i r t h and Death nor the phenomenal world, but i s here i n t h i s present world. And f i n a l l y , the Chinese concept of Nirvana d i f f e r s from the somewhat n i h i l i s t i c approach of the Indian r e l i g i o n , f o r Nirvana i s the gradual or sudden i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the Buddha-nature which i s the true nature o f a l l men and a l l things. Indeed the Chinese Nirvana i s f a r more i n tune with the T a o i s t u n i t y of man and the universe. With regard to the c y c l i c i t y o f the Buddhist "Samsara", i t i s 74 tempting t o draw several p a r a l l e l s between the Wheel of L i f e and Death and the e t e r n a l recurrence of the c y c l i c myth. At the most b a s i c l e v e l the c i r c l e i s an archetype of common occurence; i t i s the impulse behind the formation of a c y c l i c pattern which i s c r u c i a l t o our a n a l y s i s . The Indian Buddhist impulse i s to see man enslaved by Samsara, the wheel i s a function o f the i l l u s o r y nature o f the world, and l i b e r a t i o n i s to escape from i t s c o n t r o l l i n g power. In Chinese Buddhism, the e s s e n t i a l l y negative Indian view i s subsumed wit h i n a more anthropocentric view which maintains that l i b e r a t i o n i s p o s s i b l e w i t h i n the world, even w i t h i n the wheel. 75 Footnotes t o the C y c l i c Myth i n Chinese Philosophy 1. E l i a d e , Cosmos and History, p. 3. 2. Chan Wing-tsit, A Source Book i n Chinese Philosophy (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Univ. Press, 1972), p. 245. 3. Chan Wing-tsit, "The Story of Chinese Philosophy>" i n Chen Charles K.H., compiled, Neo-Confucianism, Etc.: Essays by  Wing-tsit Chan (New York: O r i e n t a l Society, 1969), p. 331. 4. Chan Wing-tsit, "Chinese Philosophy," i n Chen, i b i d . , p. 386. 5. Chan Wing-tsit, "The Story of Chinese Philosophy," i n Chen, i b i d . , pp. 342-43. 6. Chang Wing-tsit, "Chinese Philosophy," i n Chen, i b i d . , pp. 392-93. 7. Fung Yu-lan, A Short Hi s t o r y of Chinese Philosophy (New York: The Free Press, 1966), p. 100 8. Fung, i b i d . , p. 108. 9. I b i d . , pp. 114-15. 10. Chan Wing-tsit, "Taoism," i n Chen, op. c i t . , p. 416. 11. Chan Wing-tsit, A Source Book i n Chinese Philosophy, p. 396. 12. C i t e d by Chan, i b i d . , p. 425. 13. Chan Wing-tsit, "Transformation of Buddhism i n China," i n Chen, op. c i t . , p. 434. 76 D. Sunraary From p r i m i t i v e man's f i r s t r e a l i z a t i o n of temporal tensions i n the niyths o f Chinese a n t i q u i t y , to the mature philosophy of Neo-Confucianism i n the eighteenth century A.D., i s a sweep of h i s t o r y so vast and deep that any overview must indeed be t e n t a t i v e . Yet c e r t a i n p r i n c i p l e s continue to appear, evolve, and appear again; the evolution of the c y c l i c myth i s an e l a s t i c concept responding to the temper of the time. Impelled by man's continuing awareness o f the d i s p a r i t y between l i n e a r consciousness and the c y c l i c universe, the r e s o l v i n g i d e n t i f i c a t i o n was f i r s t suggested through myth, r e i n f o r c e d and c o d i f i e d through r i t u a l , and f i n a l l y expanded and l e n t i n t e l l e c t u a l legitimacy through philosophy. At no time i n t h i s l a b y r i n t h i n e process d i d the Chinese mind lose s i g h t of the e s s e n t i a l anthropocentricity of the c y c l i c construct; and t h i s must be seen as the e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e between Chinese and Judaeo-Christian c u l t u r e through the ages. The i n t e g r i t y of the c y c l i c myth should be evident i n the following summary as we review Chinese cosmology, concepts of time and h i s t o r y , and f i n a l l y the co-existence and c o r r e l a t i o n of c y c l i c and l i n e a r time i n Chinese c i v i l i z a t i o n . In retrospect, the development of the c y c l i c concept from myth and r i t u a l t o philosophy i s mimetic with t r a n s i t i o n s i n the concept of T a o — from a mana, or lunar symbol, t o the Way of Nature, and f i n a l l y to the Absolute T o t a l i t y , the ultimate a s s e r t i o n of man's oneness with nature and cosmic regeneration. A s i m i l a r point i s made by Nathan S i v i n i n h i s Chinese Conceptions of Time: "Once the Chinese r e a l i z e d that there seemed to be a Way of Nature harmonizing a l l the pulses of natural phenomena, they came to think of Nature as a great organism i t s e l f , with a t o t a l l i f e rhythm generated out of the harmony of a l l 77 i t s parts, i n c l u d i n g man." Chinese philosophers whether Confucians or T a o i s t s , (or even Buddhists with t h e i r s u b s t i t u t i o n of Buddha nature f o r Tao) a l l seem to agree that o n t o l o g i c a l l y Tao i s the i n f i n i t e sub-stance embracing and u n i t i n g a l l beings, and i s a l s o the i n e v i t a b l e destiny of a l l beings to return t o f o r a peaceful l i f e of virtuous harmony. Cosmogenetically Tao i s the primordial begetter of a l l things; and the immanent world of beings, i n a state o f urgent want, w i l l r e s o r t to the transcendental world of Tao, i n a sense, f o r the i n f u s i o n of energy necessary f o r the performance of adequate function. This endless Becoming i s the r e s u l t of the unceasing i n t e r p l a y o f Y i n and Yang around which a l l the emblems and symbols are gathered i n h i e r a r c h i a l order. The i n t e r p l a y of Y i n and Yang evokes and symbolizes the c y c l i c rhythm of the cosmos and portrays two cotplementary facets of the T o t a l i t y — cooperation and a l t e r n a t i o n . /Amaury de Riencourt compares these processes t o the d i a l e c t i c : "Tao i s a synthesis, that which i s never quite reached because i t always transforms i t s e l f i n t o a new t h e s i s which c a l l s f o r a new a n t i t h e s i s and promotes a fur t h e r s y n t h e s i s — 2 and thus on and on, a never ending process of development. Thus a t the centre of the c y c l i c myth i s the concept of Tao, evolution and perpetual change. Several Western scholars b e l i e v e that the Chinese people lack a myth of c r e a t i o n . Joseph Campbell maintains that "Chinese philosophy i s characterized by contending systems of o r i e n t a t i o n to the world i n being. 3 There are no myths of c r e a t i o n " . In s u b s t a n t i a l agreement i s Frederick Mote who professes that "they have regarded the world and man as un-created, as c o n s t i t u t i n g the c e n t r a l features of a spontaneously s e l f -generating cosmos having no creator, god, ultimate cause or w i l l external 78 4 to i t s e l f " . While only the P'an Ku legend could t r u l y be c a l l e d a myth o f creation, i t s r e l a t i v e l y l a t e appearance i n the t h i r d century A.D. would tend t o c a s t doubt on i t s a u t h e n t i c i t y as a record of the b e l i e f s o f a n t i q u i t y . Yet the following must be taken i n t o consideration: the apparent r i s e of r a t i o n a l i s m r e f l e c t e d i n the e a r l y Chou p e r i o d i n the emergence of the non-anthropomorphic concept of Heaven or Nature which replaced the anthropomorphic concept of a Great Ancestor Sumpreme Being a millenium e a r l i e r ; the strong emphasis on humanity and the e a r l y euhemerism of Confucianism and i t s long domination of Chinese c u l t u r e ; the Burning of the Books and the reconstruction of the C l a s s i c s by Confucian scholars; and f i n a l l y the o r a l legends of Creation s t i l l e x i s t i n g among various aborigines throughout China: a l l these matters should admit the reconsideration of such b o l d de n i a l s , a t l e a s t u n t i l more s u b s t a n t i a l evidence has been gathered. At any ra t e , while the cr e a t i o n story of P'an Ku remains disputable, there can be no doubt t h a t Chinese cosmology r e f l e c t s tremendous influence of a c y c l i c myth. Whether as the Yin-Yang scholar's realm of perpetual c y c l i c succession o f the F i v e Elements producing and overccmiing one another i n a f i x e d sequence; or as the Confucianist's constant process o f unceasing production and r e p r o d u c t i o n — a harmonious s p i r a l of perpetual renewal; or as the Tao i s t ' s constant f l u x o f r e v e r s a l , that spontaneous current which infuses a l l things according t o t h e i r natures; or f i n a l l y as the Chinese Buddhist's p e r f e c t o n e - i n - a l l and a l l - i n - o n e harmony o f the world of Buddha; the Chinese universe always remains a harmonious and organic whole. The e s s e n t i a l l y non-mechanistic, n o n - t e l e o l o g i c a l , and a n t i -t h e i s t i c cosmology of the Chinese has informed a humanism which t o some Western minds must seem rather naive. Indeed Chinese cosmology not only releases man from mechanistic doctrines of fear and s i n because h i s e r r o r s can neither offend personal gods nor threaten h i s i n d i v i d u a l existence, but i t o f f e r s a most "unthreatening" personal r e l a t i o n s h i p to the cosmos. E v i l as an a c t i v e force cannot e x i s t , nor can i t be per s o n i f i e d . The implications o f such a cosmology tend to make r e l i g i o n superfluous and the r e l i g i o u s f o r m a l i z a t i o n and i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n rather weak or unimportant, since there i s no supreme power knowingly d i r e c t i n g the cosmos, and no supreme s p i r i t u a l e n t i t y to be prayed to or implored; but i t makes a r e f i n e d form of magic imperative because man has t o be i n c o n t r o l of h i s e a r t h l y h a b i t a t . By way o f summary, Mote o f f e r s a s i m i l a r conclusion: "The r i t u a l i z e d s o c i e t y of China can be adequately explained i n terms of i t s own cosmology engendering from i t s c y c l i c concept, and i t i s noticeable t h a t t h i s c y c l i c , harmonious, and organic cosmology has somehow kept man's at t e n t i o n on l i f e here and now and made Chinese thinkers responsible f o r ordaining the forms and 5 patterns of that l i f e . " I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t the word f o r cosmos i n Chinese i s "Yu-Chou", which as e s s e n t i a l l y the meaning of space-time. "Yu" denotes a l l the space i n every d i r e c t i o n while "Chou" connotes a l l the time that i s yet to come and that has passed since f u r t h e s t a n t i q u i t y . The cosmos i s thus explained i n terms o f time and space, o r rather as we s h a l l ex-p l a i n further, i n terms of man's awareness of h i s place i n time and space. Attacking a popular Western notion o f the Chinese idea of time, Joseph Needham explains: "The cu l t u r e o f China manifested a very s e n s i t i v e consciousness of time. The Chinese d i d not l i v e i n a timeless dream, f i x e d i n meditation upon the noumenal world. On the contrary, 80 h i s t o r y was f o r them very r e a l and more v i t a l than any comparably ancient people; and whether they conceived time t o contain a perennial f a l l from ancient p e r f e c t i o n , o r t o pass i n cycles of g l o r y and catastrophe, or t o t e s t i f y t o a slow but i n e v i t a b l e evolution and progress, time f o r them brought r e a l and fundamental change". Chinese temporal thought has always involved two seemingly opposed concepts: there was a c y c l i c a l cosmic time without a beginning point, and there was a developmental l i n e a r time of human h i s t o r y i n which man's cumulative c u l t u r a l achievement had i t s beginning. The r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of t h i s l i n e a r h i s t o r i c a l time with c y c l i c time was no doubt made po s s i b l e by the unique syncretism of Chinese philosophy. In t r a c i n g the development of the i n s t i t u t i o n of Ming T'ang, we have suggested the importance of a calendar which was both astronomically accurate and metaphysically c e n t r a l to the e a r l y c u l t u r e . But according to the nature of Tao, the cosmic calendar (developed through determination of s o l s t i c e s , the lengths of day, month, and year, the motions of sun and moon and the planetary revolutions) was but one l i n k i n a greater, or an i n f i n i t e , chain of duration. Moving beyond the b a s i c sun-moon cycles the Chinese attempted t o b u i l d longer c y c l e s , longer rhythms, 7 i n e f f o r t s t o harmonize more and more of the c e l e s t i a l motions. F i n a l l y , about two thousand years ago, a t o t a l astronomical system was devised, producing a c y c l e of twenty-three m i l l i o n years, or a World Age. In a sense, they could envisage time beginning anew every twenty-three m i l l i o n years without compromising t h e i r c o n v i c t i o n t h a t the p h y s i c a l world was e t e r n a l . Despite the vastness of t h i s c y c l e , moments a World Age apart were fundamentally i d e n t i c a l , f o r t h e i r Tao i s the same; they mark a unique combination of c e l e s t i a l jux-tapositions and represent the same beat i n the cosmic rhythm. 81 Within the World Age were subsumed the major, theories o f dynastic change: the Yin-Yang na t u r a l i s t ' s h i s t o r y as a c y c l e of constant succession i n accordance with the transformations of the F i v e Elements, and the Y i n -Yang C o n f u c i a n i s t 1 s h i s t o r y as a c y c l e o f constant succession of three reigns symbolized by Black, White, and Red. Thus to most Chinese h i s t o r y i s the manifestation of Tao whose incarnation i s a continuous process, ever renewed. Yet having professed t h i s g e n e r a l i z a t i o n , we must deal with the concepts of l i n e a r time as w e l l presented by Joseph Needham i n h i s l e c t u r e , Time and Eastern Man. Needham discerns three major trends i n Chinese thought which support h i s emphasis on l i n e a r i t y o f temporal view: the h i s t o r i c a l viewpoint of Confucian humanism, the i m p l i c i t h i s t o r i c i s m i n concepts o f the Golden Age and r e a l i s a b l e Utopia, and the r i s e i n Chinese historiography of "continuity h i s t o r y w r i t i n g " . C l e a r l y i f a c y c l i c universe implies the absence of "progress", or a d e f i n i t e d i r e c t i o n to become b e t t e r or worse, the Confucian doctrine o f the p e r f e c t a b i l i t y o f the i n d i v i d u a l becomes rather unsupportable. Thus the humanity of Confucianism succeeded i n e s t a b l i s h i n g a moral code based on an e t h i c a l philosophy o f h i s t o r y . The temporal thought of a Confucian would perforce be more concerned with l i n e a r l i m i t s of human existence. Amaury de Riencourt suggests a s i m i l a r view i n maintaining that "the true goal of the higher type of Confucians was not s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n through mystical i n t r o s p e c t i o n , but the securing o f an honored place i n the harmonious procession of 9 h i s t o r i c a l personages". This notion of "right-txmeliness" underlies the popular Western idea o f the Confucian as an ancestor-worshipper. E a r l y Chinese a t t i t u d e s t o the development of human so c i e t y o f t e n assume contrasting forms. The more p r i m i t i v e notion was of a Golden 82 Age of cotununalism of Sage-Kings from which mankind had s t e a d i l y declined. On the other hand we f i n d the idea that these c u l t u r e -heroes were progenitors of something much greater than themselves, that eventually a Utopian Age of the Great Togetherness and Harmony (Ta T'ung), or the Great Peace (T'ai P'ing) would develop. Both views are united i n t h e i r implied opposition to feudal s o c i e t y , and t h e i r concern with h i s t o r i c a l change, a l b e i t w i t h i n the vast matrix of the World AGe c y c l e . A t h i r d e s s e n t i a l l y l i n e a r development i n Chinese temporal thought i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d by Needham i n the r i s e of Chinese historiography."^ As Confucian h i s t o r i a n s progressed beyond the usual concerns of dynastic legitimacy, there evolved various forms of "continuity h i s t o r y w r i t i n g " which d e a l t with long periods of time i n v o l v i n g several dynasties, and t h i s manner overcame the coitpartmentalization o f time advocated by e a r l i e r Yin-Yang scholars. Of course these l i n e a r aspects'of Chinese temporal thought were always a f f e c t e d by ( i f not subsumed within) a more c y c l i c viewpoint. Indeed Needham's point i s not the primacy o f the l i n e a r perspective, but the development o f h i s t o r i c i s m i n China, a development seen necessary by some to make the leap between c i v i l i z a t i o n and c u l t u r e . Whatever the concerns of Confucian h i s t o r i a n s regarding imperial r u l e , the r u l e r s themselves were governed by a c y c l i c a l world-view embodied i n the i n s t i t u t i o n of ^iLng T'ang. Perhaps the most reasonable approach would be to minimize the dispute as t o where Chinese c u l t u r e stood i n the contrast between a l i n e a r perspective of time, and the myth of e t e r n a l recurrence; but t o r e a d i l y admit th a t both kinds of time were and are co-existent, or a t l e a s t important on d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s and i n d i f f e r e n t warp: the former i n moral, s o c i a l , and h i s t o r i c a l contents, while the l a t t e r i n s p i r i t u a l , a r t i s t i c , p h i l o s o p h i c a l and metaphysical perspective. Naturally, i t i s the a r t i s t i c and l i t e r a r y which w i l l be the focus of our next chapter. A quotation from a contemporary Chinese scholar, Thome H. Fang, may serve by way of summary of the Chinese conception of time: "The question i s , What i s time? The essence of time con-s i s t s i n change; the order of time proceeds with concatenation; the e f f i c a c y of time abides by durance. The rhythmic process of epochal change i s wheeling round i n t o i n f i n i t u d e and per-p e t u a l l y d o v e t a i l i n g the o l d and the new so as to issue i n t o interpenetration which i s continuant duration i n c r e a t i v e advance. This i s the way i n which time generates i t s e l f by i t s systematic entry i n t o a pervasive unity which con s t i t u t e s the r a t i o n a l order of c r e a t i v i t y . The dynamic sequence of time, r i d d i n g i t s e l f of the perished past and ccariing by the new i n t o present existence, r e a l l y gains something over a l o s s . So, the change i n time i s but a step t o approaching e t e r n i t y , which i s perennial durance, whereby, before the bygone i s ended, the f o r e f r o n t of the succeeding has come i n t o presence. And therefore, there i s here a linkage of being p r o j e c t i n g i t s e l f i n t o the prospect of eternity.'-' 1 1 The evolution of the c y c l i c myth through r i t u a l and philosophy must be seen as a triumph over time, as a v i c t o r y over the e a r l i e s t temporal tensions of p r i m i t i v e man. I f myth f i r s t adumbrated these tensions, i f r i t u a l was to ensure that the rhythm of man's l i f e on Earth was i n f u l l accordance with the rhythm of Heaven, i f philosophy l e n t i n t e l l e c t u a l legitimacy to the uni t y of man and the cosmos; then 84 t h i s i s the Tao, complete and f u l l y understood. The motivation has always been t o triumph over time. "This i s why Confucians have craved so much f o r the c o n t i n u a l l y c r e a t i v e potency o f the heavenly Tao i n the shaping of the cosmic order as a whole. This i s why the Taoists have whole-heartedly cherished the i d e a l of nothingness f o r i t s craming to the rescue of a l l things r e l a t i v e i n the realm of Being. And t h i s i s a l s o why Chinese Buddhists have vehemently struggled f o r the partaking of the Buddha-nature embedded i n the i n t e g r a l t r u t h of the ultimate 12 s p i r i t u a l Enlightenment.'! Having established the h i s t o r i c a l background and p h i l o s o p h i c a l basis of the c y c l i c myth, we may now turn to i t s s u r v i v a l i n the l i t e r a t u r e of China. 85 Fcxitnotes t o Summary o f the Construction of the Chinese C y c l i c Myth 1. Nathan S i v i n , "Chinese Conceptions o f Time," The Earlham Review, I ( F a l l , 1966), 86. 2. Amaury de Riencourt, The Soul of China (New York: Coward and McCann Inc., 1958), pp. 80-82. 3. Joseph Campbell, The Masks o f God: O r i e n t a l Mythology (New York: V i k i n g Press, 1959), p. 379. 4. Frederick Mote I n t e l l e c t u a l Foundations o f China (New York: A l f r e d Knopf, 1971), pp. 17-18. 5. I b i d . , pp. 26-27. 6. Joseph Needham, Time and Eastern Man (The Henry Myers Lecture, 1964) Royal Anthropological I n s t i t u t e Occasional Paper No. 21, (1965), p. 1. 7. According to S i v i n , "When the f i r s t complete system o f cycles o f a l l f i v e o f the planets was worked.out, about two thousand years ago, i t turned out that the o v e r - a l l c y c l e was 23, 639, 040 years long. I t would take that long f o r the b i g wheel which drove a l l of the l i t t l e wheels to revolve once and a new world age would be s t a r t i n g — when, on a New Year's Day, which i s als o the f i r s t day of the month, the sun, moon, and a l l the planets were l i n e d up next to each other l i k e a s t r i n g o f pear l s " . S i v i n , op. c i t . , p. 88. 8. Needham, op. c i t . , p. 12 9. Riencourt, op. c i t . , p. 15. 10. Needham, op. c i t . , pp. 11-12. 11. Fang Thome H., "The World and the i n d i v i d u a l i n Chinese Meta-physics," i n Charles A. Moore, ed., The Chinese Mind (Honolulu: U n i v e r s i t y of Hawaii Press, 1967), p. 240. 12. I b i d . , p. 259. I l l THE CYCLIC MYTH IN CHINESE LITERATURE A. The C y c l i c Myth i n Chinese Poetry Myth, as a mode of cognition or a n a r r a t i v e r e s u r r e c t i o n o f unconscious d r i v e s , wishes, fears and c o n f l i c t s , c i rcumflects a v e r b a l universe i n which man's psychological, p h i l o s o p h i c a l , r e l i g i o u s , s o c i a l and even p o l i t i c a l h i s t o r y are r e a l l y one i n the j u x t a p o s i t i o n and succession of the stages of gods, heroes, and men. As r i t e s degenerate, myth merges inseparably i n t o and with l i t e r a t u r e , a r t , r e l i g i o n and various other symbolic forms. Thus Northrop Frye notes that "there are two structures i n a c u l t u r e which descend from mythology: one i s l i t e r a t u r e which i n h e r i t s the f i c t i o n a l and metaphorical patterns of mythology, and the other i s a body of i n t e g r a t i n g or cohering ideas, a l s o mainly f i c t i o n a l , i n r e l i g i o n , philosophy, and kindred d i s c i p l i n e s " . 1 In our study of Chinese l i t e r a t u r e i t i s t r u l y impossible t o separate the c y c l i c myth and i t s developments from the works studied. Indeed, by d e f i n i t i o n , w i t h i n a homogeneous c u l t u r e such a separation would be unthinkable. The h i s t o r y of Chinese l i t e r a t u r e properly begins i n the f i f t h and fourth century B.C. i n the Yellow River and Yangtze regions, the twin cradles of ancient Chinese c i v i l i z a t i o n . Concerning the poetry of the former area, i t i s s a i d that Confucius (551-479 B.C.) s e l e c t e d seme three hundred poems i n t o an anthology, The C l a s s i c Of Poetry. Composed mainly of ballads and f e s t a l songs, The C l a s s i c of Poetry r i g h t l y belongs i n the company of the Vedas, Homeric epics, and Psalms, perhaps more so with the l a t t e r because of i t s intimate expression of the voice and f e e l i n g s of the common people. I t maintains a spontaneous confidence i n l i f e which l a t e r Chinese poetry never r e a l l y recaptures, and has since become the core of Confucian l i t e r a t u r e . VJhereas Chinese h i s t o r y had i t s beginning i n the northern region where we f i r s t f i n d reference to sage-kings and dynastic r u l e r s of a n t i q u i t y , Chinese mythology found a favorable climate f o r development i n the southern or Yangtze area. Unlike the harsher northern surroundings, the f e r t i l e Yangtze region enabled i t s residents t o l i v e i n comparative ease, t o indulge i n dreams of the romantic and the supernatural. These t r a i t s gave r i s e to a l i t e r a t u r e of metric songs d i f f e r e n t from The C l a s s i c  of Poetry i n t h e i r l y r i c nature and romantic s p i r i t . Indeed The Songs  of the South i s more sentimental, even self-conscious, and often evokes the supernatural and the otherworldly. Together these two schools con-s t i t u t e the o r i g i n a l mainstream of Chinese poetry. L i Sao The greatest solo voice of The Songs of the South was Ch'ii Yuan (343-277 B.C.). His " L i Sao" (Encountering Sorrow) i s the e a r l i e s t n a r r a t i v e poem of any length to survive. A b r i e f biography reveals a l i f e of p o l i t i c a l upheaval and e x i l e which r i v a l s t h a t o f Dante. As a member of the r u l i n g house of the state of Ch'u, h i s b r i l l i a n t diplomatic career was shadowed by the jealous i n t r i g u e s of h i s f e l l o w m i n i s t e r s . His f i r s t banishment i n 305 B.C. occasioned many of h i s most b r i l l i a n t l y r i c songs: Encountering Sorrow, Outpouring of Sorrow, and Inquiry Into the Cosmos. A second e x i l e i n 286 B.C. r e s u l t e d i n h i s "Summoning the Soul," "Thinking of the F a i r One,1" and "Crossing the River". The c a p i t a l of Ch'u was f i n a l l y plundered and ruined by the conquering army of Ch'in i n 278 B.C., and a t the age of s i x t y - s i x Ch'ii composed "Lament f o r the C a p i t a l ; " and "Embracing the Sand/" expressions of h i s r e j e c t i o n o f p a t r i o t i c hope. According to legend, one year l a t e r , on the f i f t h day of the f i f t h moon he corcnitted s u i c i d e by drowning. 89 As the f i r s t great poet o f China, Ch'u Yuan has been c a l l e d the father of Chinese poetry and has become a c u l t u r a l hero. In some southern t e r r i t o r i e s he has even been worshipped as a water-deity. At any r a t e , the day o f h i s death i s often designated as Poet's Day, and the Dragon Boat F e s t i v a l commemorates h i s drowning. Generally speaking, " L i Sao" i s a l l e g o r i c and o f t e n anagogic. I t c o n s i s t s of two parts: the t r i s t e s s e and the quest, which David 2 Hawkes designates as the " t r i s t i a " and the " i t i n e r a r i a " . The t r i s t i a expresses the poet's sorrow, complaint, and resentment against a malicious so c i e t y which through slanderous misrepresentation has separated him from the F a i r One he serves. The i t i n e r a r i a describes the poet's journey i n search of a new mate, perhaps a goddess or legendary beauty, and f i n a l l y i t s end whereby s p i r i t u a l transcendence triumphs over embittered despair and anguished n o s t a l g i a . " L i Sao" begins with the poet's d e c l a r a t i o n o f d i v i n e ancestry through Kao Yang, or Chuan Hsu, the great grandson of the Sovereign God of the North who had supervised the Estrangement of Earth from Heaven. This d e c l a r a t i o n j u s t i f i e s the d e r i v a t i o n o f the poet's oracular names, 3 "True Examplar,1! and "Divine Balance". ( I . i . ) In the second s e c t i o n the poet catalogs h i s innate and c u l t i v a t e v i r t u e s , then claims that he i s i n " f e a r f u l pursuit':".' of Time. The problem appears t o be one o f r e c o n c i l i n g the d i u r n a l and seasonal cycles with which the poet c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e s , to the longer c y c l e o f a human l i f e t i m e , s p e c i f i c a l l y the ephemerality o f youth and love. Using the n a r r a t i v e device o f d i r e c t quotation, the poet next r e -c a l l s h i s encouragement o f the F a i r One to follow him. ( I . i i i . ) He c i t e s examples of legendary kings who a l s o followed a virtuous path and so preserved t h e i r peace and beauty. His speech i s a f a i l u r e ; the F a i r One remains inconstant, and the poet i s e x i l e d . C y n i c a l l y he proclaims how " l o y a l t y brings disaster;'; yet involes the n i n e f o l d heaven t o witness h i s enduring l o y a l t y . In r e s i g n a t i o n and as consolation, he devotes himself t o the c u l -t i v a t i o n of flowers: h i s garden i s as large as i t i s various. (I. iv.) At t h i s point the blossom imagery begins t o serve many purposes, f o r the c u l t i v a t i o n of flowers i s l i n k e d t o the personal c u l t i v a t i o n necessary to achieve l i b e r a t i o n from sorrow. Moreover there i s a constancy wi t h i n the vegetative c y c l e which the poet contrasts to the inconstancies of the mundane world. Through i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with c y c l i c nature, the poet believes h i s "mind can be t r u l y b e a u t i f u l . " By c l o t h i n g himself with fragrant flowers, he follows the solemn way of P'eng Hsien, an ancient sage recluse, and attempts to transcend the ephemeral. F i n a l l y , the poet o f f e r s an anguished contrast between h i s way of l i f e and that of a " generation of cunning a r t i f i c e r s " . (I. v i i . ) He w i l l bear blame and endure i n s u l t s , but keep himself pure and spotless and d i e i n righteous-ness. There follows a moment of v a c i l l a t i o n , but again the poet resolves to continue on h i s virtuous path: he: w i l l t r a v e l the four quarters of the world gathering flowers and fragrances to f u l f i l l h i s constant love f o r beauty and nourish h i s immanent v i r t u e . Here Ch'ii Yuan makes e x p l i c i t the T a o i s t notion that love of nature leads t o transcendence of the material world: "Even i f my body were dismembered;/...how could d i s -memberment ever hurt my mind?" (I. v i i i . ) An encounter with Nu* Hsu, Goddess of Matchmaking, f a i l s to a l t e r the poet's course as she warns that the consequence of persistence i s often death, and attenpts t o b r i n g about a compromise between the poet and the so p h i s t i c a t e d world. (I. ix.) In •reply, he appeals t o the ancient sage-king, Shun, f o r inner guidance, and following an inventory of the r i s e a n d ' f a l l of dynasties, concludes that the high god i n Heaven knows no p a r t i a l i t y and allows only the good and virtuous to f l o u r i s h . The poet therefore decides to endure h i s i s o l a t i o n from the mundane world and h i s estrangement from the F a i r One. (I. x.) This confirmation si g n a l s the end of the t r i s t i a ; i n a mood of embittered despair the poet completes h i s anxious preparations f o r the c e l e s t i a l journey t o come. The i t i n e r a r i a begins with the poet's c e l e s t i a l journey t o the 5 cosmic mountain, K'un Lun. In Chinese mythology, Mount K'un Lun i s the abode o f p e r f e c t blessedness and the passageway t o Heaven. I t con s i s t s of f i v e c i r c u l a r l e v e l s along a s p i r a l path but i s considered beyond mortal reach. Nevertheless the wandering poet q u i c k l y ascends to the Hanging Gardens, the uppermost c i r c l e - another i n d i c a t i o n of h i s innate beauty and c u l t i v a t e d v i r t u e . I t i s a s p i r i t u a l realm of immortality, and by ascending i t one may command the wind, the r a i n , and the l e s s e r gods and goddesses. Perhaps rerninded o f mundane ephemerality, the wanderer * f i r s t command i s f o r Time to stop. He waters h i s dragon-steeds a t the 6 7 Lake of P u r i t y , and r e s t s under the cosmic t r e e , Fu Sang, before rushing h i s g l i t t e r i n g t r a i n to the gates of Heaven, the realm o f pure d i v i n i t y . Here h i s progress i s checked by the Superintendent of the Nine Heavens, Lu Wu. Through a night of i n d e c i s i o n , the poet mends h i s o r c h i d garments and crosses the White Water, one o f the c o l o r f u l r i v e r s flowing out o f the Lake o f P u r i t y where H s i Wang Mu, the Supernal Goddess, dwells. He ascends Mount Cool Wind i n the fourth c i r c l e , the realm of immortality, and despairs f o r again there i s no f a i r lady. (II. i i . ) Sending one of h i s attendant gods i n search of a nymph, he remains i n the House o f Spring where Ch'ung, the a s s i s t a n t t o the Sovereign God o f the East and the grandson of Chuan Hsu, the poet's d i v i n e ancestor, i s the God of 9 Sprxng and L i f e . Despite the e f f o r t s of the Patroness o f Marriage as go-between, the nymph proves to be a rather v a i n hedonist and very d i f f i c u l t to woo. The poet resolves t o seek elsewhere f o r h i s mate. (II. i i i . ) Our wanderer scours the heavens and the four quarters of the earth before f i n d i n g the jade tower i n which Chien T i , a legendary beauty and l a t e r the ancestress o f the House o f Shang, i s confined by her father, the Lord of Sung. As homage, the poet sends a magpie, then a phoenix, yet f a i l s i n competition with h i s virtuous r i v a l , the f i r s t ancestor o f the House o f Shang. (II. iv.) A t t h i s p o i n t the poet turns to woo the Lord of Yii's two princesses, but they l i v e i n v i r t u e and are to marry Prince Sao K'ang. The wanderer laments the i n a c c e s s a b i l i t y of sage-kings and t h e i r daughters the world over, and despairs h i s present s i t u a t i o n . (II. v.) For consolation, the poet seeks out sacred s t a l k s and approaches Ling Fen f o r a d i v i n a t i o n . An auspicious o r a c l e i s divined: "Beauty i s always bound to f i n d i t s mate./ Who that was t r u l y f a i r was ever without lovers?" (II. v i . ) Following the d i v i n e r ' s encouragement to seek elsewhere f o r a t r u l y f a i r lady, the poet takes t h i s opportunity to renew c r i t i c i s m of the f o l l i e s o f the mundane world. In i n d e c i s i o n he consults the s p i r i t of Wu Hsien, the c h i e f o f the shaman a n c e s t o r s . 1 0 A f t e r enumerating h i s t o r i c a l examples, Wu Hsien addresses the poet i n oracular s t y l e : 93 To and f r o i n the earth you must everywhere wander, Seeking f o r one whose thoughts are o f your own measure As long as your soul w i t h i n i s b e a u t i f u l , What need have you o f a niatchmaker? Gather the flower of youth before i t i s too l a t e , While the f a i r season i s s t i l l not yet over." (II. v i i . ) In retrospect the poet comes t o a b i t t e r r e a l i z a t i o n : that the world i s a disordered tumult o f changing and d r i f t s t o conform t o e v i l counsel; that a l l fragrant flowers such as orchids and peppers have been trans-formed i n t o worthless mugworts; a l l because they have no p e r s i s t e n t care f o r beauty. With only h i s garland l e f t i n p r i s t i n e fragrance, the poet decides to follow Ling Fen's advice and transcend the moribund world by continuing h i s journey i n quest o f a mate. (II. v i i i . ) In h i s jade and i v o r y c h a r i o t , accompanied by an increased retinue, the poet departs f o r Mount K'un Lun and world's western extremity. In Chinese mythology, beyond the Dark Water l i e s the crescent o f Sinking Sand, the western boundary of earth and Heaven. Beyond l i e the sacred mountains K'un Lun, Ch'ang L i u , and Yii, the abodes of the Gods of Completion and Per f e c t i o n , the place of sunset and sundown. I t i s the boundary toward which T i t a n P'eng Tsu a t the age of eight hundred t r a v e l s i n search of immortality. 1''" Crossing the blood-red Sinking Sand on a bridge of dragons, the poet soars through the Nine Heavens and the Nine Underworlds i n the poem's most f l o r i d l y d e s c r i p t i v e passage. But a sudden glimpse of h i s o l d home i n the distance causes both groom and dragons t o refuse to go on. The journey i s brought to an abrupt end. There remains only an Envoi (II. x.) i n which the poet reaffirms h i s d e c i s i o n to remain i n e x i l e , and vows t o continue a f t e r P'eng Hsien's example—to quest f o r sacred plants and d i v i n e blossoms, and f i n a l l y , a soul-mate. The poem ends with a triumphant restatement o f the value o f virtuous c u l t i v a t i o n and reclusiveness as the path t o transcendence. Before e l u c i d a t i n g the c y c l i c aspects of " L i Sao", i t i s necessary to provide some background t o the i n t e l l e c t u a l m i l i e u i n which i t was written. The T h i r d Century B.C. i n China was a time of d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t and s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n , a time when magic, r i t u a l , and myth had not been superseded by r a t i o n a l i s m and abstraction. Myths o f ancient gods and goddesses exi s t e d simultaneously with the r i s i n g systematization of the Yin-Yang school, or the abstracting tendencies o f Taoism and Confucianism a l i k e . C e r t a i n l y , ancestor worship and use of Pa Kua, the precursor to the I Ching, i n d i v i n a t i o n and philosophy was s t i l l popular. In f a c t the use o f magic and r i t e s t i l l p r e v a i l e d i n the southern regions, e s p e c i a l l y among the barbaric peoples where Ch'u Yuan was e x i l e d . With t h i s i n mind, i t i s no surprise• t h a t the i d e n t i t y o f the poet as a. mystic, a Yin-Yang d i s c i p l e , a Confucian, or a T a o i s t has been disputed f o r centuries. I t i s only r e c e n t l y t h a t scholars have reached consentient agreement on 12 the profusion and profundity of Ch'u Yuan's sources. Thus the t r a d i t i o n a l bureaucratic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of " L i Sao" has y i e l d e d t o the study of sensus s p i r i t u a l i s . " L i Sao" holds a mirror to i t s turbulent age, and i s a condensed song of the various speculations of the era. S t r u c t u r a l l y speaking, the t r i s t i a of " L i Sao" con s i s t s of a r e a l i z a t i o n and a de c i s i o n which require the search f o r fragrant blossoms and the quest f o r a mate which i n t u r n c o n s t i t u t e s the progress o f the i t i n e r a r i a . This r e a l i z a t i o n develops from the t r a g i c sense of the poet's self-consciousness upon h i s divorcement from the F a i r Lady, h i s s o l i t u d e i n the mundane world, and h i s estrangement from the cosmos. The notion that the poet i s i s o l a t e d i n time as w e l l as space i s r e i n f o r c e d by images 95 of the "swift steeds" of Time and the ephemerality o f l i f e , manifested i n the p e r i o d i c changes of seasons and the incessant transformations of the vegetable world. T h i s c r u c i a l awareness creates an embittered n o s t a l g i a and an anguished d e s i r e f o r r e c o n c i l i a t i o n ; both demand s e l f - c u l t i v a t i o n and s e l f - f u l f i l l m e n t through vegetable adornment as a means o f obtaining a u n i t y with the Tao, f u l f i l l i n g the quest f o r a mate, and ensuring the progress of the cosmic journey. The Chinese have always believed that there i s mutual r e l a t i o n s h i p between man and cosmos, and i t i s i n t h i s connection that evergreen s t a l k s , b e a u t i f u l flowers, and fragrant blossoms are understood to conceive a sacred q u a l i t y capable of bestowing p u r i t y , p e r f e c t i o n , and even, d i v i n i t y . The symbolism of vegetable adornment i n " L i Sao" has a shamanic o r i g i n from Chiu Ko (The Nine Songs), the e r o t i c l i t u r g y of the southern 13 barbarian which was r e f i n e d and edit e d by Ch'u Yuan under r o y a l (command. " L i Sao's" vegetable world, as i n the l i t u r g y , i s one of sharp contrast between such rank weeds and pale flowers as mugwort and dogwood, symbolizing the slanderous and the profane; and such b e a u t i f u l and fragrant flowers as orchid and pepper which symbolize the virtuous and the d i v i n e . In formative trope, the l a t t e r flowers become a configuration of the poet's innate v i r t u e as a descendent of the God of Spring and Wood. Moreover, once the poet confronts h i s self-conscious awareness, they become an emblem and a pledge o f h i s p e r s i s t e n t s e l f - c u l t i v a t i o n of v i r t u e and incessant p u r s u i t of u n i t y with the " f a i r lady" and the course. F i n a l l y , upon the defeat of the o r c h i d i n i t s a l l e g o r i c a l b a t t l e with the weed, the emblem becomes the primary motif o f the amor quest and cosmic journey. With regard t o the i t i n e r a r i a we f i n d two major themes, the quest i t s e l f and the consequent "progress" w i t h i n the quest: both concepts share resemblances to the myth of Mount K'un Lun, the Feng Shan r i t u a l , 96 and the p r a c t i c e s of the Ming T'ang. i n s t i t u t e . At the heart of the poem i s the r e s o l u t i o n of temporal tensions (symbolic i n ex i l e ) through r e c o n c i l i a t i o n and union with the d i v i n e , whether we speak of the emperor's ittLmetic cosmic journey through monthly, d i r e c t i o n a l , and seasonal progression i n the symmetrical nucrccosmic Ming T'ang; or h i s sacred journey and thanksgiving s a c r i f i c e to Mount K'un Lun or the other cosmic mountains; o r the s o l a r and lunar symbols o f r e -generation i n the Feng Shan r i t u a l ; each i s concerned with r e - e s t a b l i s h i n g a unity with the cosmos, to re-harmonize the powers of Heaven, Earth, and Man and partake of the regeneration. S i m i l a r l y , i n " L i Sao", the motivation behind quest and progress i s a cosmological r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . According to David Hawkes, the idea o f the progress i s magical, f o r a complete and successful c i r c u i t of the cosmos w i l l make one a l o r d o f 14 the universe, able t o command any o f i t s powers a t w i l l . Thus the poet, as the representative seeking shaman or emperor, undertakes a r i t u a l journey c o n s i s t i n g of ascent to the hub of the cosmos, then a c i r c u i t of the various quarters of the mandala-like universe, and f i n a l l y a return t o the centre of power. The wanderer i s i n i t i a l l y s uccessful, but the r e f u s a l of Heaven's guardian t o admit the poet (II. i . ) i n d i c a t e s that r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i s not yet p o s s i b l e , that the c i r c u i t must be completed w i t h i n the quest. Again, the symbolism o f beauty and the feminine i n " L i Sao" has much to do with p r i m i t i v e thought. The metaphoric kenning of flower to virtuous king or b e a u t i f u l goddess i s found i n The C l a s s i c o f Poetry and the l i t u r g i c a l r i t u a l of Chiu Ko; while the moon-earth-woman configuration as the regenerative feininine r e q u i r i n g the masculine complement f o r virtuous 15 unity i s evident i n some shamanic r i t u a l s and e s p e c i a l l y i n the I Ching. 97 Despite s c h o l a r l y dispute as to the s p e c i f i c a l l e g o r y of the goddess or beauty, (whether as the goddess i n myth, the nymph i n shamanic l i t u r g y , or the virtuous king or way of humanity i n Confucian i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ) , a common ground i s in d i c a t e d by returning to the o r i g i n a l c y c l i c myth with i t s impulse t o temporal r e c o n c i l i a t i o n , and i t s emphasis on the p e r i o d i c a l t e r n a t i o n of opposites. The amor quest i s undertaken i n the c o r r e c t c i r c u i t according to the progress of due d i r e c t i o n . Although the quest i s not f u l f i l l e d , due to the necessity o f the a l l e g o r y resembling the poet's f u t i l e mundane p u r s u i t , the c i r c u i t progress has assured him a harmony with the cosmos and granted him reascendance t o the hub of the universe. S p i r i t u a l success i s i n d i c a t e d by h i s transcendental f l i g h t between the Nin Heavens and the Nine Earths, and i n the reception of the Nine Heavenly Hymns and the Nine Divine Dances. While the poet's n o s t a l g i a f o r h i s a n c e s t r a l home i n the c a p i t a l of Ch'u underscores the i n e v i t a b l y unsuccessful quest i n the amor al l e g o r y , and brings the t r a g i c f u t i l i t y of h i s p i e t a s t o a climax, i t i n turn r e i n f o r c e s 16 the triumph o f s p i r i t u a l transcendence and the way o f the sage recluse. Metaphorically speaking, the poet i s never c l o s e r to "home" than when he i s soaring a t the western extreme o f the universe i n harmonious un i t y with the cosmos. In a word, the poeti c amor and piet a s of the romance f i n d t h e i r a l l e g o r i c a l expression and formative tropes i n the mythos of the quest and progress; each i n turn may be seen as abstractions of the c y c l i c myth, the paradoxical centre of the poem. E x i l e d from a l l that he loves, the poet focuses on the decadent aspect of c y c l e with regard t o soci e t y , and the incessant aspect of c y c l e with regard to the time of na t u r a l succession. This, i n turn, leads him to lament the l i n e a r aspect of human l i f e . 98 Paxadoxically i t i s the obverse c y c l i c aspects which provide h i s l i b e r a t i o n : the r e - c r e a t i v e side of natural c y c l e evident i n h i s concern f o r vegetable garments; and h i s use of incessant change t o provide both the model f o r h i s continued wanderings, and the constancy necessary t o a transcendent understanding of human l i f e i n the T a o i s t sense, and f i n a l l y h i s recon-c i l i a t i o n with time and the cosmos. In formation o f l i t e r a r y genre, " L i Sao" has influenced other poets appearing i n The Songs of the South, and poets i n succeeding generations i n both s t y l e and s p i r i t . P r o s o d i c a l l y , i t s emblematic density contributed much to the development of the "rhapsody" i n the l i t e r a t u r e of the Han dynasty. Thematically speaking, the cosmic progress and quest of a goddess reappear i n such poe t i c works as "The Rhapsody o f the Goddess" by Sung Yu of the Warring period, "The C e l e s t i a l Journey of the Great Man" by Ssu Ma Hsiang Ju of the Western Han period, "The Rhapsody of the Nymph of River Lo" by Ts'ao Chih of the Three Kingdoms period, and i n poems of mystic journeys by Kuo P'u and h i s contemporaries i n the 17 Chin dynasty. Hawkes has noted m h i s study of the quest archetype i n /Asian l i t e r a t u r e that the panoramic enumeration o f cosmic progress i n " L i Sao" and the l i t u r g y of shamanism has i n due time become a cosmological approach t o a r t and l i t e r a t u r e . Thus i n the t h i r d century A.D., Lu Chi's "Rhapsody o f L i t e r a t u r e " describes the c r e a t i v e w r i t e r as a poet-magician, an i t i n e r a n t mystic who explores the universe t o acquire the powers of l i t e r a r y c r e a t i o n : 99 "Taking h i s p o s i t i o n a t the hub of things, the w r i t e r contemplates the mystery o f the universe... His s p i r i t g a l l ops t o the e i g h t ends o f the universe; His mind wanders along vast distance. In the end, as h i s mood dawns c l e a r e r and c l e a r e r , object, Clean-cut now i n o u t l i n e , shove one another forward. He s i p s the essence o f l e t t e r s ; he r i n s e s h i s mouth With the e x t r a c t of the s i x a r t s . F l o a t i n g on a heavenly lake, he swims along; Plunging i n t o the nether spring he immerses himself." With regard t o the t r i s t i a , although r e c e i v i n g no s i m i l a r generic development, through the poetry o f Sung Yu i t has received the focus of "sorrow over autumn." Thus i n Chinese l i t e r a t u r e the image of autumn has becmce not only an a l l u s i o n t o the t r i s t i a of " L i Sao," but a symbol o f man's temporal awareness of the ephemerality of being, of h i s r e a l i z a t i o n o f h i s estrangement from the c y c l e of e t e r n a l return. 100 Kuei Ch'u L a i Tz'u S i m i l a r to the Warring period background of " L i Sao," p o l i t i c a l turmoil, warfare and n a t u r a l d i s a s t e r s o f the t h i r d and fourth centuries A.D. form the background to the next poet under study, T'ao Ch'ien. In desperation the Chinese turned from the romantic poetry o f i t i n e r a n c y and the s t e a d i l y r e t r e a t i n g mythological worldview t o embrace that s y n c r e t i s t movement which saw the r i s e of Chinese Buddhism and the synthesis of Confucianism and Taoism with regard to the unity of man and nature. The exemplary man became the sage i n intimate companionship with nature, who r i s e s above a l l d i s t i n c t i o n s and contradictions, but remains i n the midst o f human a f f a i r s and responds to a l l transformations spontaneously without d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . In l i t e r a t u r e , the s p i r i t u a l reclusiveness of " L i Sao" coupled with the (diminution o f confidence i n l i f e i n h e r i t e d from The C l a s s i c of Poetry engendered a realm of t r a n q u i l i t y a c c e s s i b l e to earth-bound mortals. A major preoccupation was the attainment of a peace of mind which enable one to enjoy contentment w i t h i n h i s meager existence. T'ao Ch'ien (or T'ao Yuan-Ming, 365-427 A.D.) l i v e d through 101 the turbulent waning o f the Chin dynasty, a half-century of r e v o l u t i o n , banditry, and r e g i c i d e . One of China's t r u l y great w r i t e r s , he i n i t i a l l y attempted to use h i s education i n s e r v i c e t o the state but was unable to compromise h i s p r i n c i p l e s to the corrupt bureaucracy of the time. In 405 A.D., he resigned h i s m a g i s t e r i a l post, the occasion o f h i s "Rhapsody o f the 20 Return," and embraced the l i f e of the peasant. Crop f a i l u r e s and f i r e s could not convince him t o exchange r e l a t i v e poverty f o r the barren rewards of r e s p e c t a b i l i t y , and h i s pcietry survives as a testament t o the joys of l i v i n g i n simple iharmony with nature. T'ao Ch'ien's poetry best expresses the dilemma o f a man of good w i l l born i n t o the troubled times of medieval China. As a poet and recluse he does more than give meaning to a p a r t i c u l a r l y chaotic p e r i o d of Chinese h i s t o r y ; he belongs t o t h a t small group of poets who are properly c a l l e d p h i l o s o p h i c a l , who c r y s t a l l i z e a t t i t u d e s toward l i f e that are v a l i d i n other times and places. He has long been recognized by Chinese c r i t i c s as the master of poetry of r e c l u s i o n and the father of Chinese p a s t o r a l poetry. His unique philosophy of n a t u r a l harmony and a s s i m i l a t i o n with cosmic change i s best i l l u s t r a t e d i n h i s 21 rhapsody of the return, "Homing". On one l e v e l "Homing" i s the r e v e l a t i o n of the gradual f u l f i l l m e n t of man's s p i r i t u a l quest f o r e t e r n a l return. Perhaps r e c a l l i n g " L i Sao" i t e x h i b i t s a binary structure: the c a l l to return and the return i t s e l f . Through severe self-examination w i t h i n a " t r i s t i a " s i m i l a r to that of " L i Sao", the poet discovers t h i s s i t u a t i o n t o be that of a gardener over-come by the weeds of existence, an a l l u s i o n t o the wasted garden o f orchids i n " L i Sao"; t h i s i s the immediate motive behind the poet's d e c i s i v e urge to return. The ruined garden for which the poet grieves may be seen as the corrupted mundane world whose attachments have bound the poet to this point in his l i f e . His bitter disillusionment has developed through a lifetime of frustrations, and over the historical truths revealed by ancient sages and virtuous kings, and even over the Confucian doctrine of service and moral duty to mankind. The sense of homelessness which the poet feels in bureaucratic service is best expressed in another of T'ao's works, the fourth of "Twenty Poems After Drinking Wine" through the image of the lost bird. "Anxious and seeking, the bird lost from the flock-The sun declines, and s t i l l he flies alone, Back and forth without a place to rest; From night to night, his cry becomes more sad, A piercing sound of yearning for the dawn, So far from home, with nothing for support..." The plaintive sound of the bird's yearning for its nest is echoed in the poet's profound nostalgia for home. To the poet the homecoming call demands reclusion from the sophisticated world: "By mischance I f e l l into the dusty net And was' thirteen years away from home. The migrant bird longs for its native grove. 23 The fish in the pond recalls its former depths". What is most important is the direction of "home"; return does not point to Mount K'un Lun of mythology, nor to the archaic Golden Age, but to the present, to the family home in the forest of the southern h i l l . The return is neither divine nor mythic, but human and existential. The miniutiae of pastoral existence circumscribe the destiny and the immanent content of the 103 "return to nature". While nature, as the poet and h i s contemporary sy n c r e t i c metaphysicians comprehend, i s a state of spontaneity i n which the myriads of things i n an incessant f l u x e x i s t and transform themselves according to t h e i r own immanent p r i n c i p l e s . To l i f e or existence i s therefore a t t r i b u t e d an essence of constant change. To the return or quest f o r meaning i s assigned the requirement of harmony with nature, to plunge i n t o the f l u x of transformation, f o r only w i t h i n the f l u x can man unite himself with the i n f i n i t e and enjoy the regeneration of e t e r n a l return. In other words, i t i s i n the p e r f e c t f u s i o n , the p r e - e x p e r i e n t i a l i n d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , of the s e l f and nature that existence can become a meaningful oneness. These ideas form the undercurrent of one of T'ao's most famous poems, the f i f t h of "Twenty Poems A f t e r Drinking Wine": "I b u i l t my cottage among the habitations of men, Yet there i s no clamor o f passing c a r t s and horses. You would l i k e to know how i t could be? With the mind detached, one's place becomes remote. Pic k i n g chrysanthemums by the eastern hedge I catch s i g h t of the d i s t a n t southern h i l l s : The mountain a i r i s l o v e l y as the sun sets And f l o c k s o f f l y i n g b i r d s return together. In these things i s the fundamental t r u t h 24 I would l i k e t o t e l l , but lack the words". The absolute detachment of the mind i s a s p i r i t u a l discerment derived from the soul's o r i e n t a t i o n t o nature. I t not only t r a n s f e r s the hut i n t o remote distance and absolves the poet from worldly corruption, but enables him t o perceive the epiphany of oneness between chrysanthemum, h i l l , and s e l f . To return, then, t o the second p a r t of "Homing", we may d i s t i n g u i s h several stages i n the poet's r e i n t e g r a t i v e process: a l i n e a r progress home, a r e - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with i t s surroudings and the garden reunion, a harmony with nature, and a s s i m i l a t i o n with cosmic change. Due t o the 104 human and e x i s t e n t i a l s p i r i t of the p a s t o r a l , (and i n contrast to " L i Sao"), the l i n e a r progress acquires no r i t u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e beyond s t r u c t u r a l t r a n s i t i o n . The rhythms of rocking boat and wafting breeze cease with the sudden appearance of home. Anxieties end as external and i n t e r n a l landscapes become a l l i e d . Next the a l l i a n c e i s extended with the thematic entrance of domestic b l i s s . A sense o f s p i r i t u a l belonging and contentment- a combination of a cup of wine, a simple window s i l l , and a l i t t l e room r e f l e c t s the a c c e s s i b i l i t y and the s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y of the garden. This i n turn leads the poet t o w i l l i n g l y proclaim the end of d e s i r e and makes h i s f u r t h e r reunion with the garden p o s s i b l e . (II. i . ) Within the garden the p o e t 1 s contentment f o s t e r s an a s s i m i l a t i o n with the s i m p l i c i t y and the spontaneity of nature. This i s a world of perpetual motion- clouds and b i r d s a l i k e share a "homing" impulse. As a microcosm of the world of change, the garden o f f e r s r e c o n c i l i a t i o n o f estrangement which the corrupt secular world could not. In the next section (II. i v . ) the poet moves beyond h i s peaceful enclave to d e l i g h t i n the exploration of h i s new found harmony with nature- "sensing my l i f e o f movement has come t o r e s t " . Paradoxically the " r e s t " of the poet i s w i t h i n the centre of an everchanging nature, f o r r e s t i s not quiescence but a c t i v e involvement and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with n a t u r a l c y c l e and e t e r n a l return: "nature's myriad creatures f l o u r i s h i n g i n season". F i n a l l y , r e f l e c t i n g upon the mundane world and the state of nature, the poet achieves a transcendent l e v e l o f discernment. The new consciousness i s a philosophy of s e l f - a s s i m i l a t i o n w i t h i n the Great Change; i t i s a renunciation o f both wealth and honour and the p a r a d i s i a l myths of Mount K'un Lun, and a triumph over death. Of most importance i s the promise o f a harmonious l i f e of 105 contentment f o r each i n d i v i d u a l without recourse to the supernatural. From a s t r u c t u r a l viewpoint, "Homing" presents the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n o f man and nature through s p a t i a l and temporal o r i e n t a t i o n . Beginning with the s e l f ' s r e - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with home i n a s i n g l e day, the poem expands i t s focus to a d a i l y reunion with the garden, t o a seasonal harmony with nature, and f i n a l l y t o t o t a l a s s i m i l a t i o n with the incessant change of the i n f i n i t e . As a p a s t o r a l a b s t r a c t i o n of the mentality behind the c y c l i c myth i n terms of man's harmony with nature as spontaneous change and existence as an i n t e g r a l oneness, "Homing" o f f e r s an escape' from the t r a g i c sense of randomness, estrangement, and f i n i t u d e which was unique i n Chinese l i t e r a t u r e and extremely i n f l u e n t i a l . The p a s t o r a l of T'ao Ch'ien with i t s profound contemplation of l i f e and nature, and i t s d e p i c t i o n o f epiphanies o f man's reunion with home, garden, and nature engendered the theme of amor f o r nature i n the new song-style poetry and i n the aesthetics of landscape poetry which followed. This i n turn heralded the fu s i o n of Chinese northern and southern c u l t u r e s , and the subsequent richness of the T'ang dynasty- the second great flowering of Chinese l i t e r a r y c u l t u r e . 106 B. The C y c l i c Myth i n Chinese Drama As a mature a r t form Chinese drama owes much to the Mongol emperor, Yuan Tai-tsung, whose d i s t r u s t o f scholars l e d t o the a b o l i t i o n of academic examinations f o r those seeking o f f i c i a l preferment. As a r e s u l t , i n the l a t e t h i r t e e n t h century many scholars turned to the theatre and replaced the playwright-actors as masters of the most popular a r t of the time. Evolving from such diverse sources as mediumistic seances, r i t u a l and court entertainments, m a r t i a l mask-dances, puppet shows and shadow plays, and of course, c o l l o q u i a l s t o r y t e l l i n g , the " v a r i e t y play" of the Sung dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) had already achieved a well - i n t e g r a t e d n a r r a t i v e structure. But f o r the most part, these Sung plays were the creations of the Book Gu i l d , actors, and f o l k w r i t e r s , and i t remained f o r the Confucian scholars, robbed of court p o s i t i o n s by Yuan's decree, t o p e r f e c t the two mainstreams of Chinese theatre. The Northern Play, popular i n the c a p i t a l and o f t e n composed by poets as an i n t e l l e c t u a l pastime, was a mature drama of four scenes' duration. Unfortunately from a c r i t i c a l viewpoint, these e a r l y plays were judged not so much by p l o t a c t i o n or character development as by the l y r i c poetry chanted by the two lead r o l e s . Contemporary with the Northern Play, but dramatically more i n t e r e s t i n g was the Southern Show school o f Hang-Chou, the most prosperous c i t y of the southern d i s t r i c t s . According to L i n Wen-keng, the Southern Show was f u l l - f l e d g e d play i n song and dialogue w r i t t e n i n c o l l o q u i a l language; s t r u c t u r a l l y , the dialogue advanced dramatic acti o n , while the songs, arranged i n sequence, v i v i d l y expressed 25 the heightened sentiments of the characters. By 1260 A.D., with the u n i f i c a t i o n of the Yuan empire the two dramatic forms had merged with 107 the Southern Show c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y dominant. With the r i s e of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), the Yuan drama was f u r t h e r r e f i n e d i n t o "Ch'uan Ch'i", l i t e r a l l y "legend of the strange" or dramatic romance. The Ch'uan Ch'i i s perhaps the l e n g t h i e s t of dramatic sub-genres, composed of f o r t y or more scenes and characterized by songs chanted i n alternate solo or i n chorus by several characters i n the play. The greatest dramatic achievement of the Ch'uan Ch'i genre, and probably of the e n t i r e Ming dynasty, were the "Four Dream plays" of T'ang Hsien-tsu (1550-1616 A.D.) Although contemporary with Shakespeare, the i n t e l l e c t u a l m i l i e u of the Ming perio d i s so u t t e r l y d i f f e r e n t from the Elizabethan, that p h i l o s o p h i c a l background may not be ignored before turning t o the work of the dramatist himself. In a very concrete sense Ming thought o r i g i n a t e d i n an experience of the s e l f and an a s p i r a t i o n t o sagehood, t o which the s i n g l e key was the r a t i o n a l i s t i c Neo-Confucian doctrine that man i n h i s e s s e n t i a l nature i s i d e n t i c a l with a l l nature and o f the same substance as a l l things forming one body with Heaven, Earth, and a l l things. T h e o r e t i c a l l y t h i s i d e n t i t y i s based on the equation of "jen" (human-heartedness, humanity, love) with l i f e i t s e l f f o r the fundamental c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the universe i s i t s p r o d u c t i v i t y or c r e a t i v i t y , and man too i s seen as c r e a t i v e i n h i s very essence. They believed that self-transcendence could be attained by p l a c i n g one's e t h i c a l and c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n with the c r e a t i v e process o f Heaven and Earth, and by a f f i r m i n g one's humanity wherein one's spontaneous d e s i r e was n a t u r a l l y i n accordance with Heaven. Thus not only d i d sagehood depend on one's speculation of the mind and nature of man, but man's b o d i l y s e l f and h i s moral mind was posited as the centre of c r e a t i o n , and the d i r e c t attainment o f sagehood was j u s t i f i e d . 108 Of the many schools of Neo-Confucian thought, the idealism of Wang Yang-ming (1472-1529) found an advocate i n Lo Ju-fang, whose v i t a l i s t i c and r e l a t i v e l y e x i s t e n t i a l i s t philosophy was most adaptable t o the romantic, emotional, and sensual temper of the time, and serves as the bdst meta-p h y s i c a l b a s i s of T'angVs dramatic work. As a prOTiinent " e x i s t e n t i a l " Confucian of the L e f t Wing school, Lo Ju-fang (1515-1589) regards the perpetual renewal of l i f e as; a ceaseless v i t a l i t y , i n t r i s i c a l l y good, and as the animating p r i n c i p l e o f the universe. He equates "sheng" ( l i f e or v i t a l i t y ) with "jen", and furt h e r i d e n t i f i e s t h i s jen with "jen" (man) i n the f a c t that the b i r t h of a person i s due to the l a t e n t v i t a l i t y i m p l i c i t i n the process o f c r e a t i o n and i s a partaking of the joy of spontaneous c r e a t i v i t y . By equating man, love, and v i t a l i t y , Lo Ju-fang has e x i s t e n t i a l l y i d e n t i f i e d human nature with the inherently good v i t a l i t y of l i f e , and assi m i l a t e d the s e l f t o the perpetual regeneration of the universe through humanity as an incessant . animating power of cr e a t i o n . In h i s philosophy man i s t r u l y the crossroads of c r eation, spontaneously f r e e , but responsible t o maintain the way of nature. This v i t a l i s t i c s t r a i n of Lo's thought i s evident i n the "Four Dreams"—especially i n Mu Tan T l i n g Huan Hun Chi (The Return of the Soul to the Peony P a v i l i o n ) , and Han Tan Meng Chi (The Dream on A p i l l o w i n Han Tan Inn), the great dramas of T'ang Hsien-tsu, a student of Lo and a leading l i t e r a r y and i n t e l l e c t u a l f i g u r e i n the sixteenth' century. China. Mu Tan T'ing Huan Hun Chi Despite a l i f e l o n g passion f o r Yuan drama, T'ang Hsien-tsu's l i t e r a r y e f f o r t s d i d not begin u n t i l h i s retirement from a c o n t r o v e r s i a l m a g i s t e r i a l career. S e t t l i n g i n Lin-ch'uan, h i s family home, he completed The Peony P a v i l i o n i n 1598. I t i s a romance of f i f t y - f i v e scenes which 109 demonstrates mastery of both c o l l o q u i a l and po e t i c d i c t i o n ( e s p e c i a l l y with regard to puns and a l l u s i o n s ) , and s k i l l f u l c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i n i t s dramatization of human c o n f l i c t w i t h i n the fantasy of a dream a l l e g o r y . As the play i s r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e i n t r a n s l a t i o n , a b r i e f synopsis w i l l serve f o r purposes of a n a l y s i s . Following the seasonal r o t a t i o n which i s one o f the s t r u c t u r a l hallmarks of the play, the spring phase begins i n teh Southern Sung dynasty with a promising young scholar, L i u C h ' u n - c h ' i n g , l i t e r a l l y "Lover of Spring". As a gardener i n Canton, L i u dreamed of a b e a u t i f u l maiden beckoning him to a l i f e of virtuous p r o s p e r i t y from beneath a plum t r e e . Obsessed by her beauty and h i s Confucian desires f o r o f f i c i a l success, L i u adopts a new name, "Meng-mei", l i t e r a l l y "Dreamer o f the Plum". The dream-maiden i s Tu Li-n i a n g o r F a i r Bride, the daughter o f a s t e r n l y r a t i o n a l Confucian, P r e f e c t Tu. Perceiving only the importance of grace and v i r t u e i n womanhood, Tu maintains h i s daughter i n v i r t u a l s e c l u s i o n under the: tutelage of Ch'en, an aged Confucian pedant. But the return of spring has s t i r r e d the blood of youth, and F a i r Bride undertakes a quest o f the heart i n opposition to the naive love songs o f the Golden Age, the f a v o r i t e s of Tutor Ch'en. Encouraged by her vivacious handmaiden, Ch'un Hsiang (Spring Fragrance), F a i r Bride adorns h e r s e l f i n spring f i n e r y and v i s i t s the family's forbidden garden. Overcome by the emotions of spring, she soon returns to her room and dreams of a young scholar who lures her i n t o the Peony P a v i l i o n with a willow twig and endearing words. Their dream-romance blossoms immediately but farewells are i n e v i t a b l e . F a i r Bride awakes t o profound love-sickness, but on returning to the garden P a v i l i o n she fi n d s only a large plum t r e e . In despair she consoles h e r s e l f by b e l i e v i n g t h a t a f t e r death she could a t 110 l e a s t be buried under the plum tree so as to be near her dream love. F a i r Bride's lovesickness continues, and summer brings the shocking r e a l i z a t i o n that her beauty i s fading. She paints a s e l f - p o r t r a i t to immortalize her l o v e l i n e s s . Her i l l n e s s i s , of course, a cause f o r parental concern but P r e f e c t Tu and Tutor Ch'en regard i t as a mere " f l u " , while her mother employs Nun Stone F a i r y t o d i s p e l the e v i l s p i r i t s which she blames f o r the lovesickness. As autumn brings the f a l l of beauty, F a i r Bride' condition worsens. On mid-autumn day, the f e s t i v a l of moon and lover, she i s b u r i e d under the plum tree while her p o r t r a i t i s hidden w i t h i n the Peony P a v i l i o n . Meanwhile P r e f e c t Tu has been appointed Tribunate i n Yang-chou c i t y , but before h i s departure he establishes a memorial convent superintended by Nun Stone F a i r y and Tutor Ch'en. In the winter phase the soul of F a i r Bride descends i n t o Hades, but judgement i s suspended by the administrative r e c i t i f i c a t i o n of the tenth c i r c l e , and her soul remains i n Limbo. Three winters pass, and we return t o the progress of young L i u . T r a v e l l i n g to the c a p i t a l f o r h i s academic examinations, L i u s l i p s on r i v e r i c e but i s rescued by Tutor Ch'en and removed t o the Blossom Convent f o r recuperation. Meanwhile F a i r Bride i s saved from an inauspicious transmogrification by the Flower Goddess of the Peony P a v i l i o n who intervenes on her behalf. The Goddess' p l e a so moves the Judge of Metempsychosis tha t he grants F a i r Bride a new l i f e and return to the garden. Spring returns, and the convalescing L i u discovers F a i r Bride's s e l f - p o r t r a i t i n the P a v i l i o n . N a t u r a l l y he soon r e a l i z e s that t h i s i s the image o f h i s dream-love, and c a l l s f o r the p a i n t i n g to become r e a l i t y . That night F a i r Bride r e j o i n s the upper world (though i n g h o s t - l i k e form) I l l and i n three successive nights she reveals the mystery of her love, death, and r e s u r r e c t i o n , bidding L i u t o exhume her body that they might enjoy the f r u i t s of corporeal love. L i u induces Nun Stone F a i r y t o perform the i l l e g a l deed which returns l i f e t o F a i r Bride, and the e l d e r l y nun promptly marries the two lovers. The t r i o s et out f o r the c a p i t a l where L i u i s t o w r i t e h i s examinations. Summer i s a b l i s s f u l p e r i o d f o r the newlyweds, but a r e b e l l i o n i n the south has delayed announcement of the examination r e s u l t s . Autumn brings an order f o r Tribunate Tu to p a c i f y the rebels; he sends Madam Tu and the household to the c a p i t a l , but i s himself beseiged by rebels i n Huai-an c i t y . Meanwhile Tutor Ch'en, hurrying t o a l e r t the elder Tu of the scandalous exhumation, i s captured by the rebels and freed on the condition that he convey to Tu f a l s e news of the death of Madam Tu and Spring Fragrance. The t r a g i c news provides Tribunate Tu with a strategy which r e s u l t s i n v i c t o r y f o r the imperial forces. The delighted Emperor elevates Tu to the post o f Prime M i n s i t e r and appoints Ch'en as the Palace Announcer. The examination r e s u l t s confirm L i u as the f i r s t ranked scholar, and the c a p i t a l i s puzzled by the unknown whereabouts of the new l i t e r a r y champion. In the in t e r i m L i u had rushed t o the a i d of the beseiged Tu, only t o f i n d himself arrested a t the v i c t o r y banquet and charged with i l l e g a l exhumation; n a t u r a l l y the ever r a t i o n a l Tu has rej e c t e d the stor y of r e s u r r e c t i o n and Liu's claims to be h i s son-in-law. Meanwhile Madam Tu and Spring Fragrance on t h e i r journey t o the c a p i t a l have met upon F a i r Bride i n the deserted house which she was sharing with L i u . Oblivious t o t h i s ghostly reunion, Tribunate Tu extracted a confession from L i u and sentenced him to death, but he i s soon rescued by imperial 112 o f f i c i a l s sent to f i n d the newly famous scholar. S t i l l f u r i o u s , Tu brings the crime t o the Emperor's a t t e n t i o n and a l l are summoned t o the court f o r imperial judgement. Fortunately F a i r Bride and Madam Tu appear i n time to d i s c l o s e the t r u t h of the re s u r r e c t i o n . With the a i d o f a magic mirror the Emperor discerns t h a t F a i r Bride i s indeed a l i v e again, and although the r a t i o n a l l y stubborn Tu i s r e l u c t a n t t o accept the v e r d i c t , h i s ..rancour i s soon overcome by h i s love f o r F a i r Bride. The play con-cludes with a joyous family reunion and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n o f a l l p a r t i e s , 26 concerned. As w i l l be shown, The Peony P a v i l i o n i s a r e v e l a t i o n of man's unity with the perpetual renewal of the universe through the triumph of love over l i f e and death, and the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of love and propriety, or rather the reunion of reason and passion, of the r a t i o n a l and the a f f e c t i o n a l . The playwright's operative device i s the heorine's t o t a l devotion t o l o v e — the subject of her quest i n l i f e and dream, the cause of her death and res u r r e c t i o n , and the sustaining force of her r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with the cosmos. T'ang attached supreme importance t o love as the d i s t i n g u i s h i n g feature of human existence, thus we read i n the preface t o The Peony P a v i l i o n : "Of a l l the g i r l s i n t h i s world, who i s ever so steadfast and committed to love as F a i r Bride? Once dreaming o f her love, she f a l l s s i c k ; and her i l l n e s s becomes worse with her ever deeper attach-ment to love u n t i l she draws a s e l f - p o r t r a i t as a legacy t o the world and then d i e s . Dead f o r three years, she can s t i l l i n her liiribo-like existence seek her dream-lover and regain her l i f e . To be as F a i r Bride i s t r u l y to be one t o t a l l y devoted to a f f e c t i o n . Love i s of source unknown; but remaining true and t o t a l l y committed to i t , one may die of i t and again come to l i f e by i t s power. Love i s not love a t i t s f u l l e s t i f one who l i v e s i s u n w i l l i n g to d i e f o r i t , or i f i t cannot restore to l i f e 'one who has so died. Love engendered i n a dream i s not necessary to be unreal; there i s no 113 lack of such dreamers i n the world. Only f o r those whose love must be f u l f i l l e d on the p i l l o w , and f o r whom a f f e c t i o n deepens only as o l d age drawns on, i t i s e n t i r e l y a corporeal matter..."27 In a sense, t h i s eloquent statement of T'ang's philosophy of love echoes Lo's e x i s t e n t i a l i s t i c doctrine o f i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the mind with the generating force of l i f e and the a s s i m i l a t i o n of the s e l f with the incessant transformation o f the cosmos. The Peony P a v i l i o n i s the playwright's p o s t u l a t i o n of love as the primary and e s s e n t i a l condition o f l i f e , an a f f i r m a t i o n o f l i f e consonant with Lo's philosophy that senses and sentiments are as nat u r a l as to bear the ultimate t r u t h of the cosmos. T'ang postulates h i s drama of true a f f e c t i o n i n opposition to the decorous y e t f r i g i d l i f e o f the r a t i o n a l i s t i c Ming Confucians. Thus he perceives the f u t i l i t y of the r a t i o n a l mind i n analyzing the depths of human a f f a i r s : "Mas, a f f a i r s o f the world are c e r t a i n l y beyond mortal man's f u l l understanding. With no omniscience, one can only s t r i v e t o use 'reason' as a guide t o h i s understanding; and yet what i s 28 without i n 'reason' i s never sure t o be n e c e s s a r i l y w i t h i n ' a f f e c t i o n ' . He discerns that love as the t r u e s t and most spontaneous of human desires i s an expression o f true selfhood and the core o f the universe, enabling one to i n d i f f e r e n t i a t e between the s e l f and things, to di s c e r n r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n , even t o transcend l i f e and death. The Peony P a v i l i o n i s then beyond doubt a dramatic romance under-scored by the c y c l i c myth with the a f f e c t i o n a l s e l f a t the thematic centre. In structure the play i s c l o s e l y c o r r e l a t e t o the temporal progress of the seasonal c y c l e . I t i s the time o f spring which provokes love's awakending i n hero and heroine. While the conversion o f the hero's name from "lover of spring" to "dreamer of the plum" i n d i c a t e s the r i s e of d e s i r e and ambition i n the pla n t e r o f flowers and f r u i t s a f t e r h i s oracular dream, spring s t i r s i n the heroine a p h y s i c a l and mental awakening, a yearning f o r love which neither reason nor pr o p r i e t y can suppress. Her foray i n t o the forbidden garden, symbolic of man's union with nature, marks the beginning of a search f o r selfhood i n contact with nature, sense, and sentiment by means of the quest f o r love compelled by her revela t o r y dream. With the end o f spring her love i s u n f u l f i l l e d i n r e a l i t y and paralyzed by decorum, and r e s u l t s i n her extreme love-sickness . While summer i s the time when we would expect love t o achieve f r u i t i o n , F a i r Bride's romantic d i f f i c u l t i e s create a tension between a c t u a l i t y and the seasonal expectation. This i s r e f l e c t e d i n her s e l f -p o r t r a i t , a s t a t i c image of love, u n f u l f i l l e d y e t never changing. I t i s her legacy to the world. The tension i s maintained through autumn when love should bear harvest. The d i s p a r i t y between the n a t u r a l pattern of love which has been symbolically l i n k e d to seasonal progress, and the barren r e a l i t y Of the heroine's love-sickness i s underscored by her d e c l i n i n g health and eventually, death. The descent of F a i r Bride's soul i n t o Hades and i t s three year, imprisonment i n Limbo i s of course thematically consistent with the a t t r i b u t e s of winter, the time of death and hibernation. With the return of spring, love and heal t h are reborn i n hero and heroine. Resurrection and reunion lead to marriage, and as love i s given c o r p o r e a l i t y , the play's thematic a c t i o n i s again i n harmony with the seasonal c y c l e . With harmony re-established, summer corresponds t o marriage and maturity, and autumn i s allowed to generate i t s harvest of reunions progressing from dream to r e a l i t y . Thus the mother-daughter reunion i s undertaken through the former's gh o s t - l i k e state of uncertainty and the 115 l a t t e r ' s death-like status of f u g i t i v e from the southern r e b e l l i o n ; the' daughter-father reunion i s f u l f i l l e d during the former's death-like f a i n t , while the father-son-in-law r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i s completed only a f t e r the l a t t e r ' s l i t e r a r y success and an imperial v e r d i c t . Indeed, the temporal progress and thematic structure of the play are i n p e r f e c t accordance with the a t t r i b u t e s of the Chinese c y c l i c myth: spring- b i r t h or r e s u r r e c t i o n , summer-growth or attachment, autumn- ripeness or harvest, and winter-death and the p o t e n t i a l i t y of r e b i r t h . I t i s even analogous to the symbolic forms of the seasons i n King Wen's Eight Trigrams: spring- the arousing, summer- the c l i n g i n g , autumn- the joyous, and winter- the abysmal. Thematically speaking, the c o r r e l a t i o n of the play and the c y c l i c myth i s furthered by the p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r transcendence i n dream and death. To r e c a l l that a t the heart of the myth i s the r e l i e f of temporal tensions through union with natural c y c l e , i s al s o to suggest the d i f f i c u l t y o f the union w i t h i n the l i n e a r constructs of human consciousness. Whether dreams are l i n e a r i n the sense of r e c o l l e c t i o n , or s p a t i a l and c y c l i c a l i n the sense o f Jung's "synchronicity", they c e r t a i n l y allow freedom of symbolic s e l f - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n u s u a l l y denied i n waking consciousness. The dream i n The Peony P a v i l i o n are both naive and oracular; they are engendered through the unconscious w i s h - f u l f i l l m e n t of the u n s a t i s f i e d s e l f and are immediately the ..motives f o r . t h e hero and heroine's incessant quests f o r love. The tra n s c e n d a b i l i t y o f dream over both time and the s t r i c t decorum o f the censorious ego frees the heroine from a l l i n h i b i t i o n s and taboos to ex-perience the f u l f i l l m e n t o f love which through the s p i r i t u a l i z a t i o n of dream i s the only r e a l i t y beyond past, present, and future. Death and deah-like f a i n t s i n the play are s i m i l a r l y revelatory. 116 They are spontaneously sleep-like deaths, circumscribed by the self-destiny of the persistent w i l l of the questing heroine. Again the transcendability of death over time, decorum, and the rational enables the heroine as "a sleeping beauty" to be inanimate for three years yet s p i r i t u a l l y to roam the world i n qeust for her love. Here death simplifies love into true humanity, and purifies love to an extreme absolute w i l l , a v i t a l i t y to die, to resurrect, and to reconcile. While the resurrection of Fair Bride i s the material demonstration of the power of love, i t i s above a l l the poetic truth of Lo Ju-fang's equation of love and humanity to l i f e and v i t a l i t y . The marriage i s not only a union of questing selfs but a fulfillment of perfect selfhood through love as the truest affection or humanity and the essence of the self's unity with the perpetual regeneration of the universe. From a philosophical standpoint the real triumph of The Peony  Pavilion i s the perfect embodiment of the conflict between the heroine and her father; i n other words the metaphysical dispute of the primacy of "Ch:'ing" (as love, passion, affection) over " L i " (as reason or the rational principles which govern human conduct). Prefect Tu i s a stern guardian of Confucian morality. His dedication to reason i s a block to spontaneous affection and keeps him, as o f f i c i a l r e c t i f i e r of the course of spring and agriculture, remote from the actual s o i l the peasant t i l l s or the back garden where nature prevails. Although the r i t u a l aspects of the cyclic myth are so deeply engrained i n Chinese culture that even such a rationalist as Tu i s o f f i c i a l l y responsible for maintaining the harmony of Tao and agricultural practices, i t i s this same Confucian rationalism which negates the spi r i t u a l nourishment to be derived from such practices. Incapable of realizing the heroine's physical and mental awakening and.amor dedication, he refuses to acknowledge h i s daughter's r e s u r r e c t i o n and marriage u n t i l the very l a s t scene of reunion. F a i r Bride as the incarnation o f love i n i t i a l l y r e j e c t s " L i " which suppresses her awakening to true selfhood and denies her subsequent personal f u l f i l l m e n t . Eventually she asserts her own d e s i r e and makes the supreme coranitment to love i n the decorum-free states o f dream and death. Her incessant quest f o r love i s f i r s t rewarded by Tutor Ch'en's conversion from r a t i o n a l i s t pedant t o naive i n t e r p r e t e r of love songs i n The C l a s s i c of Pcietry. The conversion i s completed as he becomes the guardian of the heroine's grave and her champion against her father's r i g i d i t y . But the ultimate r e v e l a t i o n of love's supremacy over reason occurs i n the great r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of the f i n a l e . Her love f u l f i l l e d i n marriage sustains despite the lack of paternal approval u n t i l Tu's intransigence necessitates f u r t h e r a c t i o n . She f a i n t s away i n desperation of ever achieving r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with her father; y e t i t i s p r e c i s e l y by the force of a f f e c t i o n shown i n her death-like f a i n t that the tyranny of the c o l d l y r a t i o n a l over the spontaneous a f f e c t i o n o f thb heart • i s overcome. F i n a l l y h i s whole-hearted acceptance heralds a true u n i t y o f mind and heart, a harmony of the r a t i o n a l and the a f f e c t i o n a l . While the grarid reunion and r e t u r n t o s o c i a l harmony i s but a t r a d i t i o n a l convention f o r the comic mode of the Ch'uan Ch'i school of Ming theatre, i t must a l s o be admitted that the convention i s the p e r f e c t v e h i c l e f o r T'ang's e x i s t e n t i a l i s t i c concept o f p l a c i n g man's b o d i l y s e l f and a f f e c t i o n a l heart a t the centre of the c r e a t i v e process. Through The Peony P a v i l i o n he proclaims t h a t the way t o sagehood l i e s i n the en-lightenment of one's innermost nature, that love as the t r u e s t humanity i s the f u l f i l l m e n t of one's true selfhood and i s i n contact with a l l senses and sentiments, and the nature o f a l l things. The work of T'ang Hsien-tsu demonstrates the informing power of the c y c l i c myth i n Ming cu l t u r e . As a s t r u c t u r a l l y thematic pattern which underlies the dramatic actio n , i t f i r s t e stablishes the tension of d i s p a r i t y between seasonal expectation, the c y c l i c way of nature, and grimly r a t i o n a l s o c i a l r e a l i t y , and then provides the thematic framework as love triumphs through death and dream. While the attainment o f true selfhood i n T'ang's drama assumes an e x i s t e n t i a l i s t i c focus through the i n s i g h t of Lo Ju-fang, harmony-, with nature i s the ultimate aim. Whether through " L i " or "ChJing," the regeneration o f man through perpetual renewal i s the unchanging centre. Han Tan Meng Chi Turning now to the l a s t of T'ang Hsien-tsu's dramatic works, Han  Tan Chi (The Dream on A P i l l o w in. Han Tan Inn), completed i n 1601, we f i n d h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c concern with the achievement of permanent contentment w i t h i n human transcience viewed from a l e s s romantic standpoint. Indeed i n Han Tan Chi the l i f e of sentiments i s reduced to a dream of r e v e l a t i o n . The framing n a r r a t i v e of the play concerns Lu Sheng, whose l i f e i n terms of achievement must be regarded as a f a i l u r e . Lu i s v i s i t e d by one o f the E i g h t T a o i s t Tjmiortals searching f o r a mortal whose mental detachment would render him s u i t a b l e f o r menial tasks i n the Imrnortal's homeland, the magical i s l a n d Peng-lai. D i s s a t i s f i e d by Lu's p l a i n t i v e confession of f a i l u r e , the Immortal bids him to r e s t h i s head on a magic pi l l o w . The p o r c e l a i n p i l l o w proves to be an instrument of secular wish-f u l f i l l m e n t and much o f the play concerns Lu's amazing adventures while i n the dream st a t e . The Lu pf dream marries i n t o wealth, bribes h i s way to 119 bureaucratic and academic success, constructs a mighty canal through use of magic, i s promoted t o V i c e Prime M i n i s t e r f o r q u e l l i n g a r e b e l l i o n , and sentenced to death when i t i s discovered that he accepted a b r i b e from the r e b e l general. Granted a l a s t minute reprieve, the e x i l e d Lu i s almost k i l l e d by a t i g e r and set upon by bandits; he i s even devoured by a whale. A f t e r three years of e x i l e new evidence exonerates Lu from previous charges, and he returns t o the c a p i t a l a hero, and soon, Prime M i n i s t e r . Twenty years of d i s t i n g u i s h e d service pass, and Lu r e t i r e s to a r e g a l estate t o l i v e h i s remaining years i n l i c e n t i o u s ease. His death i n dream r e s u l t s i n h i s awakening, and upon the Immortal's d i s c l o s u r e that h i s dream-wife i s i n r e a l i t y a donkey, and h i s c h i l d r e n but dogs and • chickens, Lu r e p l i e s : "Reverend S i r , I, Lu Sheng, am now awakened. Our l i f e and family t i e s are but l i k e t h i s . How could they p e r t a i n to the realm o f r e a l i t y ? I have now completely r e a l i z e d the nature of l i f e and death, and the p r i n c i p l e l y i n g behind our ^ preordained g l o r y and disgrace, gain and loss." F i n a l l y s a t i s f i e d with Lu's r e p l y , the Immortal whisks the enlightened peasant t o the d i v i n e abode where t o sweep the f a l l e n p e t a l s from the Sacred Peach Tree he i s given a broom enscribed: "to sweep t i l l there w i l l be no p e t a l s , no ground, and no broom to become a sage t o j o i n the ultimate o r i g i n . Adpated from Shen Chi-chi's (d. 781 A.D.) The World Inside the  P i l l o w which i n turn o r i g i n a t e d i n the "Jade P i l l o w " story by L i u Yi-ch'ing (403-444 A.D.), Han Tan Chi i s c e r t a i n l y a drama of quest and enlightenment. Yet the c e n t r a l notion of The Peony P a v i l i o n , that love i s the most intense 120 form o f existence surpassing time and death, seems a t f i r s t t o be repudiated by the re s i g n a t i o n and cynicism of Han Tan C h i . Generally speaking, the structure of the play i s analogous t o C.G. Jung's archetype of t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n , and the archetype and i n i t i a t i o n i n myth and r i t u a l . The i n i t i a l quest, which contains the phases o f the c a l l to adventure, supernatural a i d , the crossing of the threshold, and the b e l l y o f the. whale, f i n d s i t s s a t i r i c devices i n the conventional pathos of Lu Sheng, the Confucian malcontent who i s barely free from s t a r v a t i o n yet eagerly s t r i v i n g f o r success and fame. No doubt there i s a l s o a pathetic element i n the quest o f the T a o i s t Immortal, Lii Tun-pin, who t r a v e l s the world without f i n d i n g h i s candidate distinguished by p e r f e c t mental detachment. The quest i a almost f u t i l e u n t i l the two meet i n Han Tan Inn. Commanding nearby s p i r i t s and animals to i n t r i g u e a dream of a m a t e r i a l l y successful l i f e , the Immortal l u l l s Lu i n t o h i s dream quest. The p i l l o w i s hollow, and the hole w i t h i n my be i d e n t i f i e d as the b i r t h p l a c e of subconscious d e s i r e s , dream and death,' even the womb and r e b i r t h . L i f e i n the dream world o f the p i l l o w suggests both wish-f u l f i l l m e n t and ordeal f o r Lu Sheng completes a l i b i d i n a l marriage to Miss T s ' u i (as the earth-mother image and the goddess of wealth and fame), and endures the t e s t s of extreme s u f f e r i n g t y p i c a l of an i n i t i a t i n g protagonist before enjoying the great accomplishments of the questing hero. Indeed the dream co n s i s t s of extremes of g l o r y and disgrace, b l e s s i n g and d i s a s t e r , and happiness and sorrow over a span o f s i x t y years. This phase o f t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n ends with the f i n a l r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of the hero and the emperor- the atonement o f the son with the father, which brings the hero to penultimate success and gl o r y as a noble and contented l o r d . 121 The return i s a great awakening. Having enjoyed great wealth, fame, and longevity, the hero leaves the phantasmagoric l i f e without regret a t the age of eighty, only to awake i n t h i s world as a farmer i n torn sheepskin jacket i n Han Tan Inn. The d i s p a r i t y between the two l i v e s i s the immediate cause of enlightenment. Having f u l f i l l e d h i s desires f o r sensuality, wealth, and fame i n the t r a n s f i g u r a t i v e dream world, and r e a l i z i n g i n retrospect the nature and the t r u t h of a l i f e of sentiments, the hero i s r e c o n c i l e d with the T a o i s t Immortal. Atonement of the hero and the emperor (representative of father and sage images) i s a l s o the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of the young man and sage elements of Lu's own character. This apotheosis enables the young man t o become master of the two worlds and bestows on him the freedom t o l i v e . The conversion of a Confucian malcontent to a wandering T a o i s t symbolizes a s p i r i t u a l transcendence, an incessant pursuit, f o r pure being, and even the c u l t i v a t i o n necessary f o r the harmonious un i t y of s e l f and cosmos. Thematically the dream i s apocalyptic. That the intransience of l i f e i s a c e n t r a l metaphorical concern i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the duration of the dream; despite s i x t y years, of extreme success and imperial s e r v i c e i n dream-time, i n r e a l i t y the duration was only the time required t o cook a bowl o f m i l l e t porridge. This phantasmal nature brings about a d i s -illusionment with l i f e whether i t i s regarded as a f f e c t i o n a l or r a t i o n a l . The dream's o r i g i n i n the Immortal's i n t r i g u e and the vagueness of the hero's f r e e w i l l undermined by the Tjtimortal's looming d i c t a t o r i a l shadow serve to undercut the hero as a legitimate seeker o f s e l f f u l f i l l m e n t . The hero's dream l i f e then must be viewed not as a paradigm of the virtuous l i f e but as a means to an end, to b r i n g him the greatest p o s s i b l e contrast to ensure enlightenment. I t would appear that the f u l l e r the dream l i f e , 122 the greater the contentment, and the prompter the enlightenment; f o r as T'ang writes, "where dream ends, awakening begins; and when a f f e c t i o n 32 i s spent, enlightenment follows". I t i s i n t h i s connection th a t i t may be s a i d that T'ang Hsien-tsu d i d not s u f f e r a r a d i c a l change o f a t t i t u d e which induced him i n h i s l a s t play to look down upon "love" or any other human attachment; nor i s Han Tan Chi to be regarded as worldly renunciation of or escapism from the time-space world of sentiment. Rather, i n the context that the t r u e s t humanity i s the innermost a f f e c t i o n , the core of selfhood, Han Tan Chi i s t o be understood as another l e v e l of T'ang's metaphysical speculation complementary t o th a t o f The Peony P a v i l i o n . Here he perceives the attainment of pure being l i e s i n the t o t a l detachment of the s e l f from the world o f sentiment consequent t o the f u l l e s t ex-perience of that sentimental l i f e . While mental detachment and u n i t y o f the s e l f with the ultimate o r i g i n both require a true selfhood defined through T'ang's philosophy of love and being i n The Peony P a v i l i o n , the dream paradoxically serves as both the v e h i c l e f o r the f u l l e s t experience of the l i f e of sentiment and a metaphor of the transience and emptiness of l i f e . At the conclusion of the play, v e h i c l e and metaphor combine as a higher s p i r i t u a l r e a l i z a t i o n rather than a renunciation of l i f e . The process i s most analogous to the "sudden enlightenment" o f the Ch.'an or Zen school of Buddhism which professes the immediate and d i r e c t attainment of Buddhahood by anyone a t any time and any place. Perhaps the o r a c l e i s t o be understood i n a Ch'an Buddhist sense: "to c u l t i v a t e (sweep) t i l l there w i l l be no things or no object (no p e t a l s ) , no s e l f and no subject (ground), and no means and no consciousness (no broom) to become a Buddha (a sage- one who i s f i r s t with and then without selfhood) t o j o i n the ultimate o r i g i n " . Thus 123 i t seems c l e a r that any perception of negativism i s mdermined by the playwright's e x i s t e n t i a l i s t i c v i s i o n of the fusion of T a o i s t myth, the Confucian e t h i c of sentiments, and the Ch'an Buddhism o r a c l e . In comparing The Peony P a v i l i o n t o Han Tan Chi we have noted that the former demonstrates the path to true selfhood while the l a t t e r the path t o enlightenment or Buddhahood once true selfhood has been attained. With regard t o the representation of the c y c l i c myth both plays are united i n t h e i r concern f o r the transcendence of l i n e a r human cons-ciousness. Such temporal concerns are indeed the l i i n i t a t i o n o f the human condition and a perennial subject i n Chinese l i t e r a t u r e . While the seasonal pattern i n The Peony P a v i l i o n i s perhaps more representative o f the s u r v i v a l of p e r i o d i c regeneration i n Chinese drama, Han Tan Chi demonstrates an a f f i n i t y i n terms o f ultimate unity. Where the spontaneous expression o f love as human nature necessitates a harmony with n a t u r a l c y c l e , that harmony i s i n turn transcended by the ultimate and o r i g i n a l u nity. That the drama of T'ang Hsien-tsu should provide such a model of transcendence i n the human a f f a i r s of l i t e r a t u r e i s one o f the great achievements of Ming c u l t u r e . 124 C. The C y c l i c Myth i n the Chinese Novel O r i g i n a t i n g i n the p h i l o s o p h i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l w r i t i n g s of the e a r l i e s t Chinese c l a s s i c s , Chinese f i c t i o n f i r s t f l o u r i s h e d i n the fourth to s i x t h centuries A.D. With the p o p u l a r i t y o f the supernatural t a l e s common to T a o i s t and Buddhist r e l i g i o n s , these shorter narratives often focused on myths, legends, and t a l e s o f the f a n t a s t i c , although conversational pieces regarding ancient and contemporary c e l e b r i t i e s were not unknown. But i t was not u n t i l the T'ang dynasty (618-906 A.D.) with the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the Ch'uan Ch'i genre that the n a r r a t i v e form shed i t s p o e t i c excesses and i n t e r p o l a t i o n s and evolved an e f f e c t i v e s t y l e based on l e s s adorned prose and the frequent subject, t a l e s of the marvellous. The s t o r i e s of the T'ang dynasty paved the way f o r the vast scope of Sung f i c t i o n and the immense po p u l a r i t y of i t s p r a c t i t i o n e r s . In the Sung dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) s t o r y t e l l i n g became an accepted profession, each bard s p e c i a l i z i n g i n one o f four areas: t a l e s of c h i v a l r y (often m i l i t a r y ) and l i t i g a t i o n ; the r e l i g i o u s story popular i n Buddhist sects; the h i s t o r i c a l r e c i t a t i o n ; and the r e a l i s t i c love-story often coupled with p r o f i c i e n c y i n t a l e s of the supernatural. In the hands of Sung s t o r y t e l l e r s h i s t o r i c a l materials and l i t e r a r y fragments were expanded i n t o complete s t o r i e s , r i c h i n d e t a i l and v i v i d d e s c r i p t i o n . This o r a l t r a d i t i o n was f u r t h e r r e f i n e d and enriched by the Yuan dramatists i n t h e i r plays. Thus there evolved i n the course o f time immensely popular story cycles which provided the subject matter f o r many of the e a r l i e s t Chinese novels. By the l a s t century of the Ming dynasty, f i c t i o n had become an established l i t e r a r y form among scholars and the populous middle c l a s s of the greater urban areas. With a s o p h i s t i c a t e d audience the c o l l o q u i a l short story reached the peak of i t s development with the p u b l i c a t i o n of numerous c o l l e c t i o n s i n the f i r s t decades of the seventeenth 125 century. Meanwhile the Chinese novel was entering i t s "golden age", 33 a period extending i n t o the e a r l y twentieth century. Of the bulk of Chinese f i c t i o n i n the past several centuries, s i x novels stand out as representative o f the "story c y c l e " f o l k t r a d i t i o n or of an i n d i v i d u a l author's c r e a t i v e genius o f these works (The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, The Water Margin, The Gold-Vase Plum, The Scholars, The Journey t o the West, and The Dream of the Red Chamber) the l a t t e r two are most i l l u s t r a t i v e o f the s u r v i v a l o f the c y c l i c myth and worthy of furt h e r regard. Hsi Yu Chi The Journey t o the West (Hsi Yu Chi) known t o E n g l i s h readers as "Monkey" through Arthur Waley's abridged t r a n s l a t i o n of 1942, i s a combined product of the l i t e r a r y c y c l e of o r a l t r a d i t i o n , and the author's c r e a t i v e imagination. Through i t s f i v e hundred years of evolution i t had exist e d as a crude c o l l o q u i a l story, a p o e t i c n o v e l l a , and a s i x - p a r t drama before Wu Ch'eng-en (1500-1582) r e f i n e d i t i n t o i t s present n o v e l i s t i c 34 form. Generally speaking, The Journey to the West c o n s i s t s of four parts: (1) a myth of the d i v i n e b i r t h , quest, and ultimate defeat o f a stone monkey; (2) a pseudo-historical account of MonkTripitaka 1s Oedipus-like l i f e story and family reunion, before h i s pilgrimage t o the Holy Mountain of Buddha; (3) a journey of eight-one ordeals undertaken by T r i p i t a k a and h i s 126 three disciples- Monkey, Pigsy, arid Sandy; (4) the ultimate reconciliation of the pilgrims with the Infinite Buddha. While the plot of the novel is wondrously complex, a general understanding of major incidents is prerequisite to understanding its structural basis within the cyclic myth. With this end in mind, we offer the following summary. At the outset of the novel i t is apparent that Monkey's miraculous birth has resulted in an innate knowledge of cosmic harmony, for he springs to l i f e from the rock peak of the holy Mount Flower and Fruit which for centuries had received the spirits of Heaven and Earth, and sun and moon. Thus the hero's f i r s t action is a reverential bow to each of the four quarters of the universe. With his supernatural talents and abilities Monkey became King of monkeys, gibbons, and baboons, and ruled for several hundred years in the contentment of natural harmony. But a sudden awareness of life's transience and death's inevitability compelled Monkey to search for Buddhahood, the enlightenment which denies the dark kingdom of death. Follwing an eight-year quest, Monkey arrives on the Western Continent and under the tutelage of a woodcutter is.accepted as a Buddhist novitiate, and given the religious name, "Aware-of-Vacuity". Following seven years of study, Monkey is rewarded with the secrets of longevity and seventy-two magical transformations of which levitation over great distances proves to be the most inportant. Forbidden to mention his discipleship upon punishment of death, the hero leaves the Western Continent. Returning to his homeland in time to free his subjects from the devastations of the Demon of Havoc, Monkey unites his "people" into an invincible army and is declared the greatest king of the animal and demonic worlds. Searching f o r a weapon which b e f i t s h i s new status, he obtains from the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea an i r o n bar- "The Golden-Clasped Wishing S t a f f " . The mighty weapon possesses cosmological s i g n i f i c a n c e as the l e v e l l e r of ocean and r i v e r bottoms, and as the instrument used to f i x the course of the Milky Way. With t h i s magical s t a f f a t hand the hero accepts armor from r u l e r s of the remaining three seas and returns to Mount Flower and F r u i t . A f t e r a great banquet Monkey i s (in dream) c a r r i e d by demons to the edge of the C i t y of Darkness, but he awakes and r e c k l e s s l y confronts the Ten Judges of Death, demanding immortality f o r himself and a l l h i s sub-j e c t s . Fearing that the granting of such a request would upset the harmony of L i g h t and Dark, the Dragon King and the F i r s t Judge appeal to the Supremacy of Heaven to a r r e s t Monkey. This m i l i t a r y option i s d i s -regarded; instead Monkey i s o f f e r e d the immortal post of Supervisor of the C e l e s t i a l Stables which he v a i n l y accepts. F i f t e e n years pass before he i s aware of the r e l a t i v e l y low rank o f h i s p o s i t i o n , and i n a rage he returns to h i s t e r r e s t r i a l kingdom. Thereupon a c e l e s t i a l army of s p i r i t s and gods was dispatched t o a r r e s t Monkey, but they were t e r r i b l y defeated. In an e f f o r t t o restore peace he i s o f f e r e d a new post, that of Great-Sage-In-Equal-Of-Heaven, which Monkey accepts and then returns t o the c e l e s t i a l realm. Our hero's appointment i n Heaven i s t y p i f i e d by several instances of reckless greed; guarding the Peach Trees of Immortal D i v i n i t y l e d him to devour many of the sacred f r u i t s , and a f t e r i n t r i g u i n g h i s way i n t o a c e l e s t i a l banquet, he consumed a l l the d i v i n e nectars and ambrosia l a i d out f o r the fe a s t . Intoxicated on the f r u i t s of h i s l a s t misdeed, Monkey enters the palace of Lao Tzu, and swallows a l l f i v e gourds of the e l i x i r of l i f e . R e a l i z i n g h i s g u i l t he f l e e s Heaven f o r the s e c u r i t i e s and 128 honours o f h i s lower world. Monkey's escapades so enraged the Supremacy of Heaven that a l l the forces of the universe were cxxnmanded against the mischievous protagonist, and he was f i n a l l y defeated by the Diamond Snare of Lao Tzu and sentenced to death. Tjnmune t o the usual weapons and thunderbolts, Monkey was imprisoned i n Lao Tzu's C r u c i b l e of the Eight Trigrams but he survived the alchemic f i r e s through h i s knowledge of the nature and structure of the C r u c i b l e Trigram, and escaped t o b a t t l e h i s way to the very doorstep of the Supremacy of Heaven. F i n a l l y the Buddha himself intervenes and Monkey i s t r i c k e d i n t o a moment o f bewilderment, a moment which allows Buddha to imprison him under the cosmic mountain, Mount F i v e Elements, to do penance u n t i l rescued. The ultimate defeat of Monkey concludes the f i r s t s e c t i o n of the noevel, and the i n c i d e n t a l d e t a i l provided suggest the encyclopedic nature of i t s cosmological references. Borrowing f r e e l y from the myths of a n t i q u i t y , the r e l i g i o u s l o r e o f Buddhism and Taoism, and f o l k l o r e o f the o r i g i n a l "stone monkey" story c y c l e , Wu Ch 1eng-en has fashioned a work which entertains as pure adventure, and i n s t r u c t s as r e l i g i o u s a l l e g o r y . With t h i s cosmological framework i n mind, and f o r b r e v i t y ' s sake, f u r t h e r events of the noevel may be treated with l e s s regard to i n c i d e n t a l d e t a i l . The second major section of The Journey to the West concerns the Oedipus-like biography o f the monk, T r i p i t a k a . Ch'enKuang-jui, l i t e r a r y champion of the Academic Examinations, was rewarded by an o f f i c i a l post i n the d i s t a n t River Province and the hand of the Prime M i n i s t e r ' s daughter. As the newlyweds were t r a v e l l i n g towards t h e i r new home, Ch'en-was murdered by a jealous ferryman, L i u , who then posed as the newly appointed governor and obtained s i l e n c e from Lady Ch'en who was .anxious to protect her unborn c h i l d . When a son was born, oracular advice prompted Lady Ch'en to brand the i n f a n t and send him downstream on a wooden plank with a l e t t e r of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . The baby was discovered by an abbot and r a i s e d i n a Buddhist temple, and a t age seventeen was named Hslian Tsang, l i t e r a l l y "Great Obscurity". S e t t i n g o f f i n quest of h i s o r i g i n , Hsuan Tsang eventually discovers the t r u t h o f h i s b i r t h and dethrones the impostor. The grand reunion i s completed with the appearance of h i s father, Ch'en,who had been resurrected through d i v i n e i n t e r v e n t i o n . In the neantime events had occurred to set the stage f o r the t h i r d section of the novel. Perceiving the manifold s u f f e r i n g o f those i n the underworld, and upon h i s r e s u r r e c t i o n , Emperor T ' a i Tsung has appointed Hsuan Tsang to preside over an Imperial General Mass f o r the Dead. Meanwhile the Buddhisattva of Mercy has been searching f o r a pious b e l i e v e r t o d e l i v e r the Scripture o f T r i p i t a k a (by way o f reformation) to the l u s t f u l and e v i l inhabitants o f the Southern Continent. Inspecting the route the p i l g r i m w i l l take, the Buddhisattva converted two monstrous incarnations t o Buddhism— "Sandy" ( i n r e l i g i o n "Aware-of-Purity"); and "Pigsy" (in r e l i g i o n "Aware-of-Ability"); and b i d them; to a s s i s t the pi l g r i m ' s passage and o f f e r assistance. In a d d i t i o n she arranged a pardon f o r the Dragon Prince of the Western Sea and transformed him i n t o a white horse to bear the future p i l g r i m ; and f i n a l l y , Monkey was converted to Buddhism, re-named "Aware-of-Vacuity" and ordered t o await the p i l g r i m ' s a r r i v a l when he would be released from Mount Fi v e Elements t o protect the p i l g r i m ' s westward progress. Eventually the Buddhisattva t r a v e l s to the s i t e of the Imperial General Mass and invests Hsuan Tsang as the bearer of the Great V e h i c l e o f the Scripture of T r i p i t a k a ; henceforth Hsuan Tsang, the p i l g r i m , i s to be known as " T r i p i t a k a " and the journey begins. 130 Thus i n the novel's t h i r d s e c t i o n T r i p i t a k a i s joined by Monkey, Pigsy, Sandy, and the Dragon Horse, besides encountering Zen Master Crow-Nest who bestows upon them the s c r i p t u r e s of the Heart Sutra as a s p i r i t u a l companion on t h e i r journey. For the next fourteen years, through one hundred and eight thousand leagues of t r a v e l , the f i v e p i l g r i m s endure eighty-one ordeals of the d i v i n e as w e l l as the demonic. F i n a l l y they cross the Sacred Water surrounding the Holy Mountain and the Buddha of the I n f i n i t e rewards them with the f i v e thousand and f o r t y - e i g h t s c r o l l s of the Great V e h i c l e of the True T r i p i t a k a . The t r a v e l l e r s and s c r o l l s are escorted back to China on a puff of fragrant wind by the ei g h t Vajrapanis (Diamond Angels), and each i s rewarded through various c e l e s t i a l appointments as Buddhas i n the cases of Monkey and T r i p i t a k a , or as holy guardian i n the cases o f Pigsy, Sandy and Dragon Horse. In t h i s manner i s the fourth 35 and f i n a l s e c t i o n concluded, and the great r e c o n c i l i a t i o n f u l f i l l e d . Quest and progress form the s t r u c t u r a l framework o f The Journey to  the West. We f i n d Monkey's u n i v e r s a l p u r s u i t o f irtmortality and T r i p i t a k a ' s p e r s i s t e n t search f o r h i s o r i g i n s , both secular and d i v i n e ; moreover the journey concerns s p a t i a l progress from the t e r r e s t r i a l t o the c e l e s t i a l , and temporal progress, (in terms suggested by E l i a d e i n Cosmos and H i s t o r y ) , from "profane time" to "great time" and f i n a l l y to "no time", the time o f r e c o n c i l i a t i o n and the union of the p i l g r i m s with the I n f i n i t e . In a s p a t i a l sense the novel i s a d i v i n e comedy between the Heaven of c e l e s t i a l d e i t i e s under the Jade Emperor o f Taoism, the Western Paradise o f Buddhist sa i n t s and arhats headed by the Buddha of the I n f i n i t e , the Underworld of Darkness where ghosts and souls are r u l e d by the Ten Judges of Death, the demonic world of monsters and goblins, and l a s t l y , the t e r r e s t r i a l world of earthbound mortals. Thematically speaking, whether the novel i s regarded as a r e l i g i o u s 131 or p h i l o s o p h i c a l a l l e g o r y , or as a mock epic, or even as a revolutionary s a t i r e o f decadent bureaucracy, a popular view among Communist scholars, one cannot escape the s u r v i v i n g threads o f the c y c l i c myth which provide the cosmogonic background and the i n d i v i d u a l impulse t o quest i n the f i r s t place. The temporal tensions which provoke Monkey's quest are no d i f f e r e n t from those experienced by T i t a n K'ua Fu several m i l l e n n i a before i n the time of myth; what i s d i f f e r e n t i s Monkey's knowledge of cosmological harmony, the product of centuries o f a b s t r a c t i o n and evolution of the o r i g i n a l c y c l i c myth. As a r e l i g i o u s a l l e g o r y the e x p l i c i t l y Buddhist references i n the novel are tempered by the p r e v a i l i n g s y n c r e t i c s p i r i t of Chinese philosophy; i t must be remembered that The Journey to the West was composed from an o r a l t r a d i t i o n of story c y c l e i n a time when i d e a l i s t i c Neo-Confucianism was dominant i n Chinese l i f e . The thought of Wang Yang-ming, which maintains that the mind i s the universe i n that things are nothing but what the mind determines t o r e a l i z e , and t h a t sagehood l i e s immediately a t t a i n a b l e w i t h i n one's own nature, interpenetrates that of the school of Mahayana Buddhism so dear to the p i l g r i m , Hsuan Tsang. This emphasis on the primacy of mind has been noted i n such t r a d i t i o n a l commentaries as Ch!enYuan-chih's preface to a sixteenth century e d i t i o n of the novel: "There was an o l d preface which I read through... I t held that Monkey was symbolizing the s p i r i t of the mind, the horse was symbolizing the coursing of the d e s i r e or the w i l l , and Pigsy was equivalent t o the e i g h t p h y s i c a l desires...As to monsters and demons, they were obstruction and i l l u s i o n created by mouth, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind, fear, d i s t o r t i o n and fantasy. They were given b i r t h by the mind and were submissive t o the rnind. Therefore, i n order to return t o the Ultimate O r i g i n where the mind y i e l d s to no a l l u r e or i l l u s i o n , one has to regulate the mind to subdue monsters and 132 demons t o restore t r u t h . " 0 " Indeed the symbolic expression "Monkey of the Mind and Horse o f the W i l l " recur w i t h i n the system of a l l u s i v e verse chapter-headings and a t large as an a l l e g o r i c a l device w i t h i n the text. O r i g i n a t i n g i n the t r a n s l a t e d Buddhist surras, Monkey and Horse symbolise the indulgent waywardness of the human mind before i t a t t a i n s the state o f quietude and composure through Buddhist d i s c i p l i n e s . This extensive though super-f i c i a l metaphor i s subsumed w i t h i n the novel's c e n t r a l symbolism- that of the Heart Sutra. As the c e n t r a l t e x t of Mahayana Buddhism, the Heart Sutra i s duly 37 recorded i n Hsuan Tsang's own standard t r a n s l a t i o n . I t s b a s i c teaching i s that form i s emptiness and emptiness i s form, that only through the utmost vacuity of the senses and sentiments i s i t p o s s i b l e f o r one to access Nirvana. E a r l y on h i s journey, T r i p i t a k a encounters Zen Master Crow-Nest, who bestows on him the Heart Sutra as a s p i r i t u a l companion to protect him on h i s p e r i l o u s journey. But i n Buddhist a l l e g o r y the Heart Sutra i s a f a r more important guide f o r T r i p i t a k a than h i s monster-disciples; a true understanding of i t s teachings would automatically expose the i l l u s o r y nature o f h i s calamities and hence reduce the temporal and s p a t i a l distance to Paradise. In f a c t such knowledge would render unnecessary the s e r v i c e of h i s d i s c i p l e s f o r , as Monkey demonstrates, a l l monsters and demons are both created by and submissive t o the mind. "When the monks discussed the tenets o f Buddhism the purpose o f the pilgrimage...Tripitaka remained s i l e n t , p o i n t i n g a t h i s heart and nodding again and again. The monks d i d not understand him and he s a i d : " I t i s the mind tha t gives b i r t h to monsters 133 of every kind, and when the mind i s a t r e s t they disappear." 37 T r i p i t a k a i s the embodiment o f the f e a r f u l self-consciousness of an everyman enslaved by the senses, by humanitarian a f f e c t i o n s , and by i l l u s o r y external phenomena; he i s too obsessed with the phenomenal being to f u l l y perceive the transcendental meaning of the Heart Sutra and thus rout the t e r r o r s of the senses or detach himself from delusion. Every calamity which b e f a l l s him demonstrates anew h i s incomprehension of the p h i l o s o p h i c a l issues a t hand. On the other hand Monkey i s "Aware-of-Vacuity"; he i s the only one who comprehends the doctrine o f emptiness and t h i s accounts f o r h i s f i r s t a c t i o n upon j o i n i n g T r i p i t a k a — t h e s l a y i n g of the s i x thieves of Eye, Ear, Nose, Tongue, Mind, and Body, an.-a l l e g o r i c a l event i n d i c a t i v e o f h i s superior s p i r i t u a l detachment. With h i s knowledge o f the Heart Sutra, Monkey i s able to d i s c e r n various demonic delusions, i s capable o f numerous transformations, and f r e e to roam the c e l e s t i a l and s u b - t e r r e s t r i a l realms. He c o n t i n u a l l y reminds h i s master t o heed the teachings of the Sutra: "Old master, you have forgotten the verse, 'no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind'. Of a l l of us who have forsaken the world, our eyes should not see c o l o r , our ears should not hear sound, our nose should not smell, our tongue should not t a s t e , our body should not f e e l c o l d and heat, and our mind should not harbor v a i n i l l u s i o n s : t h i s i s known as 'routing the s i x t h i e v e s 1 . Now your mind i s constantly occupied with the task of f e t c h i n g the s c r i p t u r e s , you are a f r a i d of the monsters and u n w i l l i n g t o give up your body, you beg f o r food and move your tongue, you are fond of sweet smells and provoke your nose, you l i s t e n to sounds and e x c i t e your ear, you see things around you and s t r a i n your p u p i l s . Since you have welcomed these s i x thieves on your own i n v i t a t i o n , how could you hope t o see the Buddha i n the Western Paradise?" 39 134 The thematic necessity of a f u l l n a r r a t i o n of eighty j<3ie ordeals maintains T r i p i t a k a 1 s s p i r i t u a l blindness f o r much of the novel. Fortunately the p o s s i b i l i t y of immediate enlightenment i s one of the c e n t r a l tenets of Zen or Ch'an Buddhism, and T r i p i t a k a i s enlightened while crossing the Sacred Water to the Western Paradise. S p i r i t u a l transcendence i s f u r t h e r i n d i c a t e d by the p i l g r i m s ' r a p i d and magical return t o t h e i r homeland. "In speaking o f the return to homeland on a puff of fragrant wind i t describes the ease with which the True Way may be attained. I f men could with t h e i r power of s i g h t f i r s t see through the a f f a i r s of the world, then suppress the Monkey o f the Mind and the Horse o f the W i l l , and again with wisdom govern t h e i r anger and subdue a l l e v i l s p i r i t s — ^ what d i f f i c u l t y would there be i n a t t a i n i n g the Way?" C e r t a i n l y i t would be inadequate t o propose that The Journey to the West i s merely a p h i l o s o p h i c a l iroimnentary on the Heart Sutra, and while the search f o r Nirvana i s p e r f e c t l y analogous t o the transcendence of temporal tensions (the o r i g i n a l motive of the c y c l i c myth), we s h a l l f i n d more complete c o r r e l a t i o n s i n the novel's anagogical and mythic aspects. In i t s anagogical aspect, the novel bears i n i t s food conceit a testimony to the p r i m i t i v e view of food as mana, possessing a ' s p i r i t ' which connects the d i v i n e and the profane, and confers s p e c i a l powers upon the partaker. Such sacred foods as the f r u i t s of the Peach Garden, and the various ambrosias and e l i x i r s o f Paradise seem to be ' d i s t i l l a t i o n s ' of the regenerative force which dr i v e s the seasonal c y c l e s . I t i s no accident that i n h i s search f o r immortality, many of Monkey's pranks involve the eating of such f r u i t s and nectars. Much o f the novel's i n i t i a t i n g p l o t concerns the repercussions f o r u n i v e r s a l harmony of a mere t e r r e s t r i a l 135 gaining access to such potent 'mana1. To restore the cosmic balance Monkey must be e x i l e d from Heaven, and h i s quest f o r r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with the d i v i n e must begin anew. In a more b i z a r r e sense, the p i l g r i m s themselves, e s p e c i a l l y T r i p i t a k a , by v i r t u e of t h e i r higher knowledge become 'mana' objects t o t h e i r agressors. T r i p i t a k a must endure perpetual c a n n i b a l i s t i c and sexual assaults by the male and female monsters who b e l i e v e that t o eat h i s f l e s h or absorb h i s semen i s to acquire the precious g i f t o f immortality. The monsters' ferocious agression upon T r i p i t a k a , and Monkey's incessant f i g h t f o r the F r u i t df L i f e i n t h i s view depict a vigorous quest f o r r e c o n c i l i a t i o n and u n i t y with the e t e r n a l d i v i n i t y which has been the main theme of the c y c l i c myth since the beginning of time. In i t s mythical aspects, the novel transcends a narrow r e l i g i o u s a p p l i c a t i o n by the author's i n t e n t i o n a l f u s i o n o f Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Not only do we f i n d i n Paradise geographical c o r r e l a t e s to the Heavens of the three r e l i g i o u s sects, but the Holy Mountain of Buddha i s no l e s s than the Cosmic Mount K'un Lun surrounded by c i r c l e s of obstacles according to ancient Chinese mythology. In a mythic sense the 'journey to the west 1 seems to be l e s s a Buddhist pilgrimage t o India than a mythic progress to paradise or the cosmic mountain, i n other words a quest f o r d i v i n i t y and ultimate o r i g i n . S i m i l a r l y the canonization of the p i l g r i m s seems to be l e s s a Buddhist approval than a heavenly sanction of t h e i r immortality. Furthermore the previous states of the protagonists as e x i l e d gods and banished imrortals i n penance on earth r e i n f o r c e s a mythic i n t e r p r e -t a t i o n . On the one hand they suggest such Western mythical heroes as Prometheus, Oedipus, Moses, and Faust i n t h e i r defiance of a l l authority and t h e i r quest f o r knowledge; on the other hand they remind us of such Chinese mythical f i g u r e s as the Titans Ch'ih Yu, K'ua Fu, P'eng Tsu, and even the Archer God Hou I with h i s shooting down of the nine suns, h i s e x i l e to earth, and h i s ascent of Mount K'un Lun i n search of the P i l l of D i v i n i t y . In t h i s connection the t a l e o f Monkey's con-scious upward s t r i v i n g from inanimate stone to animal shape with human i n t e l l i g e n c e , to the highest s p i r i t u a l attainment i s a t y p i c a l embodiment of the fundamental subjects of the c y c l i c myth: the mortal s e l f ' s b i t t e r awareness of the ephemerality o f l i f e , i t s incessant quest f o r iranortality through r e b e l l i o n against d i v i n i t y , and i t s eventual compromise and due r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with the i n f i n i t e . In i t s mythic implications the story of Monkey i s not f a r from the ceremony of Chiao as a r i t e correspondent t o the cosmic rhythm of e t e r n a l return, of the Feng Shan r i t u a l o f the emperor's thanksgiving s a c r i f i c e to the cosmic mountain as an imperial journey to the ultimate o r i g i n , or even the i n s t i t u t i o n of Ming T'ang as t e r r e s t r i a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the un i v e r s a l harmony. Whereas The Peony P a v i l i o n of T'ang Hsien-tsu emphasizes an e x i s -t e n t i a l i s t i c approach to the attainment o f true selfhood through a l i f e of utmost sense and sentiment i n contact with the phenomenal world, Wu Ch'eng-en prefers a merry tone of Rabelaisian mockery. Monkey i s the image of the l i v e l i e s t s p i r i t of detachment. Wu Ch'eng-en values t h i s s p i r i t above the cannibalism of the monsters (an image of the incessant craving f o r immortality), or the agonizing attachment of Pigsy as the image of the grosser sensual l i f e , o r even the s p i r i t u a l blindness o f T r i p i t a k a despite h i s everyman q u a l i t y of human compassion. Monkey i s the comic image of man's i n t e l l i g e n c e , and the p h i l o s o p h i c a l image of the doctrine of emptiness, capable of viewing himself and both t e r r e s t r i a l and c e l e s t i a l 137 worlds i n the humourous l i g h t of h i s cosmic transcendence. In a word, according t o Northrop Frye's theories, The Journey to the West i s p e r f e c t l y 41 a "comic story i n the mythic mode." Hung Lou Meng Our second novel f o r study completes the t r a n s i t i o n i n the development of the Chinese novel from c o l l e c t i v e t o i n d i v i d u a l authorship, and i s r e -garded by many as the oihTunation o f that development. Again r e f e r r i n g t o Frye's theories of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , i f The Journey to the West i s to be considered a comic story i n the mythic mode, The Dream of the Red Chamber i s then a t r a g i c story i n the high mimetic mode. I t s author, Ts'ao Hsueh-ch'in (c. 1715-1763), has created a high tragedy of a f f e c t i o n and s e l f - r e a l i -z a tion concerning the passage o f the hero from devoted attachment to s e l f -conscious g r i e f and eventually t o b i t t e r enlightenment and s p i r i t u a l transcendence, whether O r i e n t a l or Occidental, few works are i t s peers i n the vastness of i t s length of one hundred and twenty chapters, the vividness of i t s na r r a t i o n over an encyclopedic range o f d e s c r i p t i o n coverning every aspect of Chinese custom and c u l t u r e , and the subtlety of i t s p o r t r a y a l o f the more than four hundred characters. While the novel's great length and complexity p r o h i b i t a n a r r a t i v e summary, i t i s one of the most popular of Chinese novels i n t r a n s l a t i o n and we w i l l assume some f a m i l i a r i t y on the 42 part o f our readers. To regard the novel from the viewpoint of mythopoesis i s to discover a structure which r e c a l l s Robert Harrison's "quest" progression: a c a l l to quest, an acceptance and descent to the underworld or the time of t r i a l s , 138 43 and a f u l f i l l m e n t of the quest and return i n an apotheosized s t a t e . Given the novel's complexity, there are several p a r a l l e l " c a l l s to quest" which occur i n both c e l e s t i a l and t e r r e s t r i a l realms. C e l e s t i a l l y , i t co n s i s t s of the Sacred Stone's sorrow upon being r e j e c t e d as a constituent of the E t e r n a l Dome of Heaven, and h i s acceptance of a l i f e i n the t e r r e s t r i a l sphere. The e a r t h l y counterpart concerns the col l a p s e of Chen Shih-yin's self-conscious indulgence i n domestic b l i s s , and Chia Yu-ts'un's e n t h u s i a s t i c p u r s u i t of worldly fame and wealth. The acceptance of these c a l l s t o quest demands both v e r t i c a l descent and h o r i z o n t a l extension as the author weaves a journey t o d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t through a t e r r e s t r i a l l i f e of sense and sentiment f o r a l l the descending s p i r i t s . H o r i z o n t a l l y , Ts'ao i n t r i g u e s f o r both Chia and Chen a progress to ultimate enlightenment through the f r a g i l i t y and transience of i l l u s o r y fame, wealth, and happiness. Continuing w i t h i n Harrison's s t r u c t u r e , the "descent" becomes the t r i a l s and ordeals undergone by man and immortal a l i k e , while the " f u l f i l l m e n t " of the quest means a return f o r the des-cending s p i r i t s and a s p i r i t u a l ascent f o r the earth-bound mortals. F i n a l l y , "enlightenment" i s seen as d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t with domestic b l i s s and fame or wealth f o r Chen and Chia r e s p e c t i v e l y , while i t becomes the transcendence of sense and sentiment f o r the Stone and the a f f e c t i o n a l s p i r i t s . On one l e v e l The Dream of the Red Chamber concerns the Sacred Stone's eventual r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with d i v i n i t y through an ordeal o f a f f e c t i o n . The i n i t i a l r e j e c t i o n of the Stone was caused by h i s excessive sentimentality, a f a c t supported by the "discard" of the Stone a t the foot of Peak Greensickness—an onomatopoeic pun f o r the peak o f "sentimental sickness". As a consequence, the Stone was granted t e r r e s t r i a l descent to be born i n the Mansion of the Duke of Glory. At b i r t h , the miniature i n s c r i b e d crimson jade i n h i s mouth seems t o symbolize h i s s p i r i t u a l essence of a f f e c t i o n . 139 A group o f passionate f a i r i e s and amorous s p i r i t s were a l s o granted descent to be s i s t e r s and cousins to t h i s most a f f e c t i o n a l hero, and l a t e r t o j o i n him i n the Garden of Great Wonder t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n the quest f o r a l i f e of true a f f e c t i o n . Much o f the novel i s then concerned with providing ex-perience which would enable the Stone t o free himself from h i s obsession with a f f e c t i o n , to perceive the i l l u s o r y nature o f the l i f e of the senses and sentiments, and f i n a l l y to re-ascend t o the s p i r i t u a l world i n an apotheosized s t a t e . Discerning the symbolism of jade i n the novel has been a f a v o r i t e concern of scholars i n the past centuries of c r i t i c i s m , (and the amount of scholarship i s now t r u l y awesome). Wang Kuo-wei, the f i r s t Chinese scholar to speculate that jade represents the desires of the s e l f or the w i l l of being, professes that The Dream of the Red Chamber i s a p o s t u l a t i o n that the source of the s u f f e r i n g o f l i f e i s the innate wish or d e s i r e immanent i n human existence and that the only way t o s a l v a t i o n i s by s e l f - d e c i s i v e 44 renouncement of d e s i r e . In f a c t , the elirTiination of d e s i r e and the l i b e r a t i o n from attachment has always been a c e n t r a l feature of Chinese r e l i g i o u s sects. Furthermore the Empirical School o f Confucianism (1644-1912) maintained the necessity of renouncement of a f f e c t i o n through the act u a l experience of involvement. In the Chinese novel, t h i s empiricism i n e v i t a b l y demanded greater r e a l i s m — d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n and d e s c r i p t i v e n a r r a t i o n o f everyman's domestic l i f e of sense and sentiment i n a v i v i d psychological context. I t i s t h i s r e a l i s t i c compulsion which urged Ts'ao to w r i t e of personal experience i n a s t r i k i n g confessional tone to capture i t s most intimate r e a l i t y . In order t o e s t a b l i s h the necessity of the renouncement of d e s i r e , i t i s most natural that the Sacred Stone should descend t o the Mansion of 140 the Duke of Glory,' and Pao-yii t o the Garden of Great Wonder, f o r they are the most sentimental of beings i n heaven and on earth r e s p e c t i v e l y . In a sense t h e i r mutual descents represent the l o s s of c e l e s t i a l paradise and the f a l l of mankind, and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i s p o s s i b l e only through a redemption of r e a l involvement i n l i f e . The I l l u s i o n Land of the Great Void and i t s counterpart on earth, the Garden of Great Wonder, are l i t e r a r y devices necessary f o r i n t e g r a t i n g the s t r u c t u r a l a p p l i c a t i o n and thematic i m p l i c a t i o n of the novel's empiricism. In the Garden, Pao-yii i s j u s t too devoted and too attached t o comprehend the intimations of the symbolic s c r o l l s and songs, or the i l l u s o r y nature o f h i s sexual i n i t i a t i o n with Sweetheart, the incarnation of a l l beauty i n the world. Perhaps the " f a l l " i s a l l too w i l l i n g , too human; the seduction simply j u s t i f i e s the empirical p o s i t i o n that l i f e can only be r e a l i z e d by plunging i n t o the stream of being with f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and implies a sexual awakening i n the l i f e of the hero ready f o r the l i f e of true a f f e c t i o n i n the paradise of beauties. The seduction i s the f i r s t note i n the f a t e f u l symphony which w i l l expose the l i f e o f sense and sentiment as an abyss o f i l l u s i o n . Pao-yii's greatest wish i s to l i b e r a t e h i s 'garden-girls'from the corruption of adulthood and marriage by h i s equal and enormous compassion and love f o r one and a l l and the i d y l l i c l i f e i n the garden. N a t u r a l l y t h i s wish i s severely undercut by the strong i l l u s i o n a l i t y and impermanency of the Garden of Great Wonder. The i l l u s i o n a l i t y resides i n the analogy and superimposition with the I l l u s i o n Land o f the Great Void, the dream l i f e of the hero, the dwelling place of the Goddess o f Disillusionment, and the f i n a l d e s t i n a t i o n of the f a i r y g i r l s i n the garden. The impermanency l i e s i n the steady encroachment of the ' r e a l ' outside world and the i n e v i t a b l e growth o f the garden's inhabitants. F i n a l l y the emergence of the pornographic 141 embroidered purse reveals the entry o f l u s t i n t o the v i r g i n paradise, and p r e c i p i t a t e s the l o s s of t h i s temporary Eden through the calamities which follow. The s u f f e r i n g s of the hero must be manifold and miserable before he comes t o r e a l i z e the transience of l i f e and i n d e f i n i t y of a f f e c t i o n ; s p i r i t u a l enlightenment i s symbolized by the mysterious l o s s of h i s i n -scr i b e d jade, representative of the desires of the s e l f . The l o s s of the crimson jade s i g n i f i c a n t l y implies a zenith of transcendence i l l u s t r a t e d by the nadir of a f f e c t i o n a l i n s e n s i b i l i t y and i n d i f f e r e n t i d i o c y . Beset with misfortunes, Pao-yii's evolving renunciation o f a f f e c t i o n i s w e l l i l l u s t r a t e d by s c h o l a r l y research i n t o the onomatopoeic a l l u s i o n s of the protagonists' names. According to Tu Shih-chieh, 'Pao-yii' may be explicated as the ' s t i r r i n g mind', 'Black Jade' as 'passionate d e s i r e ' and the turmoil of the mind, and f i n a l l y the most sensible and sensuous 45 'Precious Clasp' as 'wisdom' or mental t r a n q u i l i t y . In t h i s connection the travesty of the hero's marriage to Precious Clasp instead of Black Jade s i g n i f i e s a timely s u b s t i t u t i o n o f wisdom f o r a f f e c t i o n . Furthermore the death o f Black Jade heralds the e l i m i n a t i o n of d e s i r e presaged i n the l o s s of the crimson jade. Deprived of the d e s i r e s of l i f e yet remote from the t r u t h o f being, Pao yu i s i r o n i c a l l y dying o f the emptiness of existence, a notion r e i n f o r c e d by the c o n f i s c a t i o n of the two mansions and f u r t h e r deaths i n the household. At h i s lowest ebb the hero i s rescued by the reappearance of the mysterious monk, t h i s time bearing the l o s t crimson jade. In dream Pao yii i s trans-ported to the B l i s s Land of Ultimate Truth, ( s i g n i f i c a n t l y s u b t i t l e d the D i s i l l u s i o n Land of Affection),. where he i s informed of h i s mythic o r i g i n as the Sacred Stone, reacquainted with the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the s c r o l l s , and escorted t o the company of the deceased Black Jade and the elevated 142 s p i r i t s of the other f a i r y g i r l s from the ruined Garden of Great Wonder. Such rev e l a t i o n s compel the hero's r e a l i z a t i o n of the i l l u s o r y nature o f l i f e and the a f f l i c t i v e nature o f a f f e c t i o n a l attachment. Upon awakening, h i s enlightenment i s s i g n i f i e d by h i s d e s i r e t o return the crimson jade to i t s sender, and h i s determination t o sever a l l human t i e s and thus r e -lease himself from the obsessions o f s u f f e r i n g . A f t e r r e s t o r i n g the mansions to honor, wealth, and power, and confirming Precious Clasp's pregnancy, with a r e j o i c i n g song of homecoming he r e t i r e s i n t o the white wilderness. The sub-plot concerning the p a r a l l e l quest of Chia Yii-ts'un i s s i m i l a r l y resolved as Chia, the incessant seeker of fame and wealth once more deprived of o f f i c i a l rank and honor, encounters h i s former patron, Chen Shih-yin, i n h i s apotheosized state of d i v i n e ferryman. Here Chia i s able to d i s c e r n the epiphanic meaning o f h i s encounters with Chen, the l i f e l o n g recluse and ferryman of true being. At l a s t he perceives the t r u t h of l i f e revealed by the d i v i n e recluse i n the myth of the Stone and the drama o f the Garden of Great Wonder, and i s able to sleep soundly i n the l i t t l e hut by the f e r r y . The episodes of the mansion's r e s t o r a t i o n as the l i n g e r i n g temptation of fame or wealth, and Precious Clasp's pregnancy as the ultimate a f f e c t i o n a l seduction may be seen as l i t e r a r y devices which r e i n f o r c e the tension of the t r a g i c pathos of the hero's renunciation. They a l s o imply the p h i l o -sophical a p p l i c a t i o n that the utmost approach to Nirvana i s the ultimate d i s -card o f whatever means by which i t was brought f o r t h . Thus e i t h e r as an image of sensuous beauty and m a r i t a l devotion, or as a metaphor of wisdom (a means t o enlightenment)., Precious Clasp's f a t e of desertion i s necessary and i n e v i t a b l e as an a f f i r m a t i o n of the hero's triumph over worldly attach-ments. I t i s i n t h i s connection that the Garden of Great Wonder may be 143 regarded as thematically equal (in an operative sense) to T'ang Hsien-tsu's dream world i n s i d e the p i l l o w , and s i m i l a r l y that the conversion of Vanitas to Monk Amor as an expression of the novel's theme i s i d e n t i c a l to t h a t o f Wu Ch'eng-en's Heart Sutra which professes that only i n the quietude of mind and heart i s Nirvana a c c e s s i b l e . C e r t a i n l y the epilogue of Chia's enlightenment as an a l l e g o r y of d i s -enchantment with the ephemerality of fame and wealth i s both a contrast and a complement to the mythic drama o f the Sacred Stone as an a l l e g o r y o f d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t with a f f e c t i o n a l attachment. The testimony of the seeker and the recluse i n the f i n a l e concerns neither t h e i r personal v i c i s s i t u d e s nor those of the Mansion or the Garden; rather the subject must be the f l u x and r e f l u x of l i f e as a whole. The epilogue o f b i t t e r r e a l i z a t i o n and r e -nouncement of being i s paradoxically the prologue of the quest f o r non-being and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with the i n f i n i t e . The Dream o f the Red Chamber r e f l e c t s a p a r t i c u l a r l y Buddhist view o f concepts underlying the c y c l i c myth. One would expect that a l i f e of harmony with c y c l i c a l nature would be the aim o f l i f e w i t h i n the Garden of Great Wonder. But of course the Garden i s es t a b l i s h e d not so much as a metaphor of na t u r a l harmony but as a dream world wherein Pao-yii may pursue h i s i d e a l of unchanging self-conscious a f f e c t i o n f a r from the everchanging mundane world. In as much as t h i s precept ignores the c y c l i c a l impermanence of r e a l i t y i t i s doomed t o t r a g i c f a i l u r e . The transcendental s o l u t i o n depends upon the r e v e l a t i o n that because r e a l i t y i s t r a n s i e n t and ephemeral, human concerns must r e f l e c t the Tao which underlies that r e a l i t y . Nirvana, or the u n i t y of the s e l f with the cosmos, must be consequent to the r e v e l a t i o n o f l i f e ' s ephemerality. Ts'ao Hsueh-Chlin's obvious fondness f o r h i s imaginative cr e a t i o n , the Garden df Great Wonder, implies the d i f f i c u l t i e s of the way to 144 transcendence. We would thus agree with C. T. Hsia th a t the author of The Dream of the Red Chamber i s "a t r a g i c a r t i s t caught between the n o s t a l g i a f o r , and the tormented determination t o seek l i b e r a t i o n from, the world of red d u s t " . ^ 145 D. Summary Within the range of Chinese l i t e r a t u r e selected, whether as po e t i c contemplation, or dramatic manipulation, or n o v e l i s t i c p h i l o s o p h i c a l pos-t u l a t i o n , aspects of the " c y c l i c " mentality continue to appear i n an i n -te g r a t i n g fashion throughout the l i t e r a t u r e of China. Concerning the evolution of the c y c l i c myth, a general progression i s evident: from the e a r l i e s t mythical envisagement through r i t u a l a c t u a l i z a t i o n to p h i l o s o p h i c a l r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n , and f i n a l l y through various l i t e r a r y a p p l i c a t i o n s or expressions. Given the complexity of Chinese l i t e r a r y c u l t u r e and the vagaries of h i s t o r i c a l scholarship the above evolutionary pattern should not be s t r i c t l y i n t e r p r e t e d i n e i t h e r a causal or l i r n i t i n g temporal sense; rather the pattern corresponds generally to the trend of increasing i n t e l l e c t u a l i t y of Chinese c u l t u r e . Our propos i t i o n that the c y c l i c myth has been a prime i n t e g r a t i n g f a c t o r throughout Chinese l i t e r a t u r e i s r e i n f o r c e d by the continual reappea-rance of the following c y c l i c archetypes f i r s t suggested i n the myths of ant i q u i t y . ( i ) The image o f the mountain as ; the cosmic mountain, Mount K'un Lun, the geographical l i n k between d i v i n e and mundane consciousness. Such mountain images as the Southern H i l l , Mount-to-Heaven, Mount-Flower-and-Fruit, Mount Holy Terrace-to-the-Heart, Mount Fi v e Elements, the Holy Mountain of Buddha, and Mount Chaos a l l connote the symbolism of Mount K'un Lun as the cosmic mountain and the passageway to Heaven. As such i t i s the d e s t i n a t i o n o f the i n i t i a t i n g protagonist and the questing hero who 146 would obtain r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with d i v i n i t y , cosmos, or i n f i n i t u d e . When the "mountain-quest" i s undertaken i n bad f a i t h , punishment i s t y p i c a l l y an i n v e r s i o n of the above sequence, estrangement or banishment. Thus Monkey i s e x i l e d beneath the mountain, i n t h i s case Mount F i v e Elements. ( i i ) The image of water as the cosmic w a t e r — t h e Sinking Water or the Lake of P u r i t y . Such water images as the Sinking Sand bounding Earth from Heaven, the Sacred Water surrounding the Western Paradise of Buddha, the White Water, the Black Water, the Red Water, the Lo River, the River-to-Heaven, the Eastern Sea, and the Transmutation Lake-for-Dragons a l l connote e i t h e r the Sinking Water as the sacred obstruction to the realm of immortality or the Lake of P u r i t y as the water o f l i f e f o r the d i v i n e t h i r s t or as the abode of the Supernal Mother Goddess. The a t t r i b u t i o n s of death, l i f e , p u r i f i c a t i o n , and immortality of t h i s cosmic water are best i l l u s t r a t e d by T r i p i t a k a ' s exuviation i n the bottomless boat upon h i s crossing the Sacred Water surrounding the Holy Mountain of Buddha. ( i i i ) The image of the garden as the garden of the Tree o f L i f e — t h e Hanging Garden. Such images as the House of Spring, the Garden of the Sacred Peach, Mount Flower-and-Fruit, the c u l t i v a t e d garden of orchids, the self-contained farm on the Southern H i l l , the garden of The Peony P a v i l i o n , the garden of the T s ' u i , and the Garden of Great Wonder a l l connote the o r i g i n a l Hanging 147 Garden with i t s a t t r i b u t e s o f n a t u r a l beauty, i t s sacred f r u i t s and d i v i n e boughs of the various trees of l i f e , i t s n ubile goddesses and beauties, l i f e - s u s t a i n i n g foods, p a s t o r a l happiness, and p a r a d i s i a l b l i s s . Again, the Hanging Garden i s the uppermost c i r c l e o f Mount K'un Lun and i s the s i t e of the Tree of L i f e and the source o f various d i v i n e ambrosias and magical nectars. Thus Monkey's r o l e as hero o f a cosmic quest i s best e x p l i c a t e d by the paradox o f h i s being both the superintendent and the in t r u d e r o f the Garden o f the Sacred Peach. ( iv) The image of spring or autumn as the symbol of cosmic transformation. Images o f seasons a l l connote the various phases of bio-metaphysical transformation consonant with the Myth o f Divine Administration. And spring and autumn with t h e i r s t r i k i n g l y v i s i b l e t r a n s i t i o n s are s p e c i f i e d as symbols of the ephemerality of l i f e and the transience of being. Thus the temporal structure o f The Peony P a v i l i o n determines i t s thematic structure, and the i n e v i t a b l e f a l l of the Garden of Great Wonder as the v i r g i n land of i d e a l paradise i s s i m i l a r l y foreshadowed. I t s hostesses are termed the maids o f spring, and t h e i r nomenclature prefigures the i n e v i t a b l e seasonal t r a n s i t i o n . In a d d i t i o n the enormous c e l e s t i a l army sent t o a r r e s t Monkey i s composed of the c y c l i c powers of the time and space (including the four Gods of Season), and the unavoidable t r a n s i t i o n i s again suggested. ( v) The image o f the heroine as the Supernal ftother Goddess— Nu Wa o r H s i Wang Mu. Images o f leading goddesses such as 148 the r i v e r nymph, the Goddess o f Flowers, the Buddhisattva of Mercy, and the Goddess o f I l l u s i o n ; or leading heroines such as F a i r Bride, Miss T s ' u i , Sweetheart, and Precious Clasp a l l connote the Supernal Mother Goddess who i s a l s o the Goddess of Marriage and i s u s u a l l y i n charge of the sacred f r u i t s and waters, and the e l i x i r of l i f e . This fentinine image i s hence the mate of the i n i t i a t i n g pro-tagonist or the patroness of the questing hero. Her function i s e s s e n t i a l l y that o f completion and i s borne out by the i n e v i t a b l e p a i r i n g of y i n and yang as the masculine and feminine p r i n c i p l e s i n the e a r l i e s t development of the I Ching. ( v i ) The image of the recluse as the symbol of the d i v i n e r or the immortal. Images of recluses such as Wu Hsien, P'eng Hsien, Ling Fen, T a o i s t L i i , P a t r i a r c h Subuddhi, the Abbot o f the Golden Mountain, Zen Master Crow-Nest, the mangy monk, the lame T a o i s t and T a o i s t Chen a l l connote the d i v i n e r who i s the seer o f ultimate t r u t h and i s hence the patron or guide of the hero i n h i s time of t r i a l s . He i s often the ferryman i n the questing hero's f i n a l ascent to r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . ( v i i ) The images of dream and death, and the dream-world as the symbol of descent and the symbol o f the time of t r a i l r e s p e c t i v e l y . Images of dream-worlds such as T'ao Ch'ien's v i s i o n of the mundane world, the limbo of F a i r Bride, the dream-world i n s i d e Lu Sheng's p i l l o w , T r i p i t a k a ' s i l l u s o r y land of demons, and even the Garden of Great Wonder 149 to Pao-yii a l l connote a l i f e of extraordinary sense and sentiment, i n other words a t r i a l which provokes a b i t t e r r e a l i z a t i o n of the t r a n s i e n t and i l l u s o r y nature of being. S i m i l a r l y such death, dream, and e x i l e images as F a i r Bride's death, Lu Sheng's dream, Monkey's death, Emperor T ' a i Tsung's death, Golden Cicada's e x i l e , Monkey's f a l l i n t o the C r u c i b l e of the E i g h t Trigrams or h i s imprisonment under Mount F i v e Elements, Pao-yii's dreams of the I l l u s i o n Land of Great Void, or h i s and other amorous s p i r i t s ' e x i l e a l l connote a descent i n t o t r a i l . ( v i i i ) The image o f awakening or r e s u r r e c t i o n as the symbol of the return of the questing hero i n an apotheosized st a t e . Such images of awakening and r e s u r r e c t i o n as F a i r Bride's r e s u r r e c t i o n , Lu Sheng's awakening, Monkey's awakening, Emperor T ' a i Tsung's r e s u r r e c t i o n and Pao-yii's awakening a l l connote the symbolic return of the hero i n an apotheosized s t a t e . Frequently such r e -turning heroes possess a d i v i n e a b i l i t y or s p i r i t u a l trans-cendence which enables them t o achieve the f i n a l ascent t o enlightenment. Thus T r i p i t a k a ' s return on a puff of fragrant wind and Pao-yu's f i n a l recovery (or awakening) from i l l n e s s and i d i o c y are a l l e g o r i c a l i n t h i s respect. ( ix) The image of conversion or canonization as the symbol of the achieved ascent to r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . Such images as Ch'ii Yiian's immortalization i n u n i v e r s a l roaming, T'ao Ch'ien's s p i r i t u a l transcendence, F a i r Bride's f i n a l r e s u r r e c t i o n and paternal r e c o n c i l i a t i o n , Lu Sheng's 150 conversion i n t o the immortal i s l a n d , the canonization o f T r i p i t a k a and fellow p i l g r i m s , Pao-yii's conversion t o the recluse of Mount Chaos a l l connote the achievement of f i n a l r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with d i v i n i t y . This ultimate apotheosis i s best delineated by T r i p i t a k a ' s canonization as manifold reconcilement—the e x i l e d god with d i v i n i t y , the p i l g r i m with Buddha, and the i n d i v i d u a l with the cosmos. The above r e c u r r i n g images e s s e n t i a l l y d e p i c t a mentality which looks inward and outward at the same time. With the severe n o s t a l g i c v i s i o n of a l i e n a t i o n and e x i l e i t looks inward i n t o a heterogeneous world of b i o -cosmic estrangement; yet by assigning equal o n t o l o g i c a l r e a l i t y to both microcosm and macrocosm and by a f f i r m i n g t h e i r mutual a p p l i c a t i o n , i t looks outward to a world o f u n i v e r s a l wholeness. Such a mentality immediately transcends the boundaries of l i t e r a t u r e and philosophy, and of myth and r i t u a l , and presents the p r i m i t i v e psyche attempting t o s a t i s f y a n o s t a l g i a f o r temporal duration and create a harmony of l i f e and cosmos. I f we consider the psyche which has created and recreated the c y c l i c myth through the forms discussed, c e r t a i n symbolic phases become evident. Here we are not concerned with s p e c i f i c images from l i t e r a t u r e or concepts from philosophy so much as with a progressive scheme or pattern, symbolic i n a general sense, which the Chinese mind has adopted and adapted i n i t s search f o r r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . Thus the c y c l i c envisagement c o n s i s t s of several 'symbolic' phases. 1.0. The t r i s t i a depicts a l i n e a r consciousness, an i n d i v i d u a l a l i e n a t i o n , and a n o s t a l g i c d e s i r e f o r c y c l i c harmony. The t r i s t i a u s u a l l y a r i s e s from a r e a l i z a t i o n of the ephemerality of l i f e , and the i l l u s i o n s of the world 151 of sense and sentiment, or from the temporal awareness of the f i n i t u d e of man i n h i s cosmic estrangement. I t therefore arouses a d e s i r e f o r permanence w i t h i n the everchanging cosmos and u n i t y with a u n i v e r s a l oneness which i n turn motivates the cosmic quest. 2.0. The i t i n e r a r i a or cosmic quest delineates a temporal and s p a t i a l jouney or progress from the 'profane time' of the t e r r e s t r i a l world t o the 'great time' o f the demonic or under-world, and f i n a l l y t o the 'no time' o f the C e l e s t i a l world. The progress may elaborate on such t y p i c a l quest patterns as the search f o r the waters, f r u i t s , and e l i x i r s o f l i f e which guarantee cosmic perpetuity f o r the partaker; or ah incessant p u r s u i t of a goddess as mate t o restore a balanced harmony of opposites; or a panoramic c i r c u i t of the universe, the conclusion o f which provokes an apotheosis. The journey i t s e l f may elaborate e i t h e r a descent to the ordeal land f o r purgation by t r i a l , or an ascent t o the hub of the universe and the abode of d i v i n i t y f o r a sacred r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . 2.1. The quest f o r a goddess elaborates upon an incessant p u r s u i t of m a r i t a l union or d i v i n e r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with a legendary beauty, or a mysterious nymph or f a i r y goddess. A l l are representative of the Supernal Mother Goddess who i s the patroness o f marriage and of the f r u i t s , waters, and e l i x i r s of l i f e . The token of love and proposal i s often a fragrant blossom, a sacred stalk,, or a d i v i n e branch of jasper l e a f . 2.2. The symbolism of vegetable adornment and nutriment expresses a contagious and r e f l e c t i v e i n s i g h t i n t o the interpenetration o f human microcosm and nat u r a l macrocosm. I t often concentrates on the 'mana1 of food through the f r u i t s and waters of i i m i o r t a l i t y , or the sacred power of the golden bough (as fragrant blossom, or magic s t a l k , . • 47 or d i v i n e l e a f or branch). 3.0. The return o f the hero depicts a f u l f i l l m e n t of the quest i n terms of a r e s u r r e c t i o n from death, an awakening from dream, a renunciation of the mundane world, or a t r a n s i t to the immortal realm. The return i s made i n an apotheosized state and i n turn j u s t i f i e s the hero's f i n a l r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with the cosmos. 4.0. The r e c o n c i l i a t i o n expresses the a c t u a l i z a t i o n of the o r i g i n a l w i s h - f u l f i l l m e n t . I t may assume such forms as the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n o f a f a l l e n god with the supremacy of utlimate d i v i n i t y , of man with nature as a harmonious unity, of the p i l g r i m with Buddha, or the s e l f with being as a spontaneous oneness. R e c o n c i l i a t i o n may be i n d i c a t e d by conversion, canonization, or tra n s -cendence; and i t s a c t u a l i z a t i o n elucidates a coherent a p p l i c a t i o n of the mutual r e l a t i o n s h i p between man and god or universe. This i n t e g r a t i o n i s c e n t r a l t o the homogeneity of Chinese c u l t u r e . TAS a whole the c y c l i c pattern delineates the psyche of estrangement and r e i n t e g r a t i o n , between the f a l l e n status and that to be restored, the 153 l o s t paradise and that t o be regained, and the severed r e l a t i o n s h i p and that t o be rec o n c i l e d . I t i s designed t o soothe a l i n e a r consciousness and integrate the heterogeneous r e a l i t y of l i f e and being, and i s evident i n a l l the l i t e r a r y works selected above. I f myth i s regarded as the lowest common denominator of c u l t u r a l expression, or as a n a r r a t i v e pattern informed by the elemental dr i v e s and a n x i e t i e s of the c o l l e c t i v e psyche then our elaboration of the Chinese c y c l i c myth bears many s i m i l a r i t i e s t o Robert Harrison's o u t l i n e of the Western c y c l i c myth o f f e r e d below: "The c y c l i c a l myth may be described as a s p i r a l l i n g motion i n which the hero experiences a descent .(kathodos) and an ascent (anodos), emerging not a t the point of outset, but a t a higher l e v e l . The b a s i c movements i n t h i s e c c e n t r i c c i r c l e are: The C a l l t o the Quest (for i t i s a quest, though not a Neo-Platonic one), Acceptance and Descent .into the Underworld (time of t r a i l s ) , F u l f i l l m e n t of the Quest, and Return, often apotheosized by some s o r t of sacred marriage."48 Our examination of the progression of myth, r i t u a l , and philosophy and f i n a l l y , l i t e r a t u r e has posited a homogeneous c y c l i c schema present i n every sphere of human expression i n Chinese c u l t u r e . To the Chinese t h i s i s the concept o f "T'ien Jen Ho I", the unity of man and cosmos. Further study w i l l demonstrate how t h i s concept stands as both contrast and complement t o i t s Western counterpart. 154 Footnotes t o the C y c l i c Myth i n Chinese L i t e r a t u r e 1. Northrop Frye, A Study of En g l i s h Romanticism, p. 5. 2. David Hawkes, "The Quest o f Goddess", i n A s i a Major, XIII: 1, 2 (1967), 82. 3. David Hawkes, trans., Ch'u Tz'u: The Songs of the South (Boston: Beacon Press, 1962), pp. 21-34. I have v a r i e d the structure s l i g h t l y from t h i s t r a n s l a t i o n , as provided i n Appendix IV, i . 4. P i Ha i - c h i , Wen Hsueh Yen Chiu Hsu Chi (On Liter a t u r e ) (Taipei: Taiwan Commerical Press, 1971), pp. 55-56. 5. Cf. Appendix I I I , v i f o r the Myth of Mount K'un Lun. 6. Cf. Appendix I I I , v i f o r the Myth of the Lake of P u r i t y . 7. Cf. Appendix I I I , x f o r the Myth o f Fu Sang and the Ten Suns. 8. Cf. Appendix I I I , v i f o r the Myth of Mount Cool Wind. Al s o c f . Appendix I I I , x i v f o r the Myth of Hsi Wang Mu. 9. Cf. Appendix I I I , xv f o r the Myth of the God of East and Spring. A l s o c f . Appendix I I I , v i i i f o r the Myth of Ch'ung. Al s o c f . Appendix I I I , xv f o r the Myth o f Chii Mang. 10. T a i Chen, "Ch'ii Yiian Fu Chu" (Commentary on Ch'ii Yiian's Poetry) i n Ch'u Tz'u Ssu Chung (Hong Kong: Kuang Chih Press, 1959), I, 8. 11. Cf. Appendix I I I , x i f o r the Myth o f the Sinking Sand and T i t a n P'eng Tsu's Sorrow. 12. Cf. Wu T'ien-jen, Ch'u Tz'u Wen Hsueh T'e Chih ( L i t e r a r y C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Songs of Ch'u) (Taipei: Taiwan Com-merical Press, 1972), pp. 12-45. Als o c f . Kuo Mo-jo, Ch'ii Yiian Yen Chiu (Study on Ch'ii Yiian) (Ch'iin Y i Press, 1946), pp. 134-40. Al s o c f . Chan An - t ' a i , Ch'u Yiian (Shanghai: People's Press, 1957), pp. 60-72. 13. Cf. Su Hsiieh-lin, Chiu Ko Chung Jen Shen L i a n A i Wen T i (The Problem of Love Between Mortal and Immortal i n the Nine Songs) (Taipei: Wen Hsing Press, 1967), pp. 35-37. Als o c f . Wu T'ien-jen, op. c i t . , pp. 21-22. A l s o c f . Lee Chia-yen, "Ch'ii Yiian L i Sao Ssu Hsiang He Y i Shu" (The Thought and A r t of L i Sao by Ch'u Yiian) i n Ch'u Tz'u Yen Chiu Lun Wen Chi (Chuang Kuo Yii Wen Press, 1969), I I , 62. Als o c f . Yu Kuo-en, Ch'u Tz'u Lun Wen Chi (Essays on The Songs of Ch'u) (Shanghai: Wen Y i n United Press, 1959), pp. 307-10. 155 14. David Hawk.es, "The Quest of the Goddess", p. 82. 15. Again a p r i m i t i v e u n i v e r s a l i t y i s supported by s i m i l a r i t i e s t o such Jungian archetypes as the h e r o i c quest f o r the "anima". 16. Further discussion o f the Romance elements i n " L i Sao" may be found i n Yeh Shan, " Y i Shih Yii Chuei Ch'iu" (Emblem and Quest) , i n Ch'un Wen Hsiieh (The Pure L i t e r a t u r e Monthly), 3:6 (Taipei: Ch'un Wen Hsiieh Press, 1968), 52-53. 17. For fur t h e r information on the poets c i t e d : Sung Yii: L i n Wen-Keng, History of Chinese L i t e r a t u r e (Taipei: Kuang Wen Press, 1963), p. 63. A l s o David Hawkes, op. c i t . , p. 82. Ssu-Ma Hsiang-ju: L i n , op. c i t . , p. 76. A l s o Hawkes, op. c i t . , pp. 87-88. Ts'ao Chih: L i n , op. c i t . , p. 87-89. Kuo P'u: I b i d . , p. 105 A l s o c f . Kan P'ing, "Lun Wei Chin Yu Hsien Shih Te Hsing Suai Yii L e i Pieh" (Study on the R i s i n g and F a l l i n g , and the C l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f the Poetry o f the Quest o f Gods i n Wei Chi Period) i n Chung Wai Wen Hsiieh, 3:5 (1974, T a i p e i ) , 154-58. Also c f . L i n Wen-yiieh, "Ch'ung Yu Hsien Shih Tao Shan Shui Shih"(From the Poetry of the Quest of Gods to the Poetry of Mountain and Water), i n CWWH, 1:9 (1973, T a i p e i ) , 709-22. 18. A c h i l l e s Fang, "Rhymeprose on L i t e r a t u r e : The Wen-fu of Lu C h i " , (HJAS, 14, 531-32, 1951), c i t e d by Hawkes, "The Quest of the Goddess", pp. 93-4. 19. Cf. L i n Wen-keng, op. c i t . , pp. 63-87. 20. "Kuei Ch'u L a i Tz'u", the Chinese t i t l e of the rhapsody, l i t e r a l l y means "to go away and to return home". Lucian M i l l e r t r a n s l a t e d i t i n t o "Homing" i n h i s remarkable a r t i c l e , "Poetry as Con-templation: T'ao Ch'ien's 'Hoiiung' and William Wordsworth's 'Tintern Abby'", i n The Journal o f the I n s t i t u t e o f Chinese Studies, 6:2 (1973, Univ. of Hong Kong Press), 565-84. While James Robert Hightower t r a n s l a t e d i t as "The Return" i n h i s outstanding work, The Poetry of T'ao Ch'ien (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970), pp. 268-70. I have v a r i e d the structure s l i g h t l y from these t r a n s l a t i o n s , as provided i n Appendix IV, i i and i i i . 21. This biography of T'ao Ch'ien i s adopted from Hightower, i b i d . , pp. 1-6. A l s o c f . Chang Chih, T'ao Yuan-mLng Chuan Lun (Shanghai: Hsiieh T i Press, 1953), pp. 111-24. Cf. Luh C h ' i n - l i , "T'ao Yuan-itdng's Poem, 'Form, Shadow and Soul' and the Doctrine of Buddhism and Taoism i n the East Chin", i n B u l l e t i n of the I n s t i t u t e o f History and Philology, Academia S i n i c a , VTI:3 (1937, Shanghai), pp. 211-28. 156 22. Hightower, op. c i t . , p. 129. 23. I b i d . , p. 50. 24. I b i d . , p. 140. 25. L i n Wen-kehg, op. c i t . , p. 166. 26. This synopsis of the play i s adapted from: T'ang'. Hsien-tsu, Mu Tan T'dng' (The Peony Pavilion) (Taipei: Wen Kuang Press, 1974). 27. Hsia C.T., "Time and the Human Condition i n the Plays of T'ang Hsien-tsu", i n Wm. Theordore de Bary, ed., S e l f and Society i n Ming  Thought (New York and London: Columbia Univ. Press, 1970), p. 276. Also c f . Chang H. C., Chinese L i t e r a t u r e (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 1973), p. 267. Cf. C y r i l B i r c h , Studies i n Chinese L i t e r a r y Genres (Berkeley and London: Univ. of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1974), p. 242. 28. C i t e d by Hsia i n Theodore de Bary, op. c i t . , p. 276. Also c f . B i r c h , op. c i t . , p. 242. Cf. Chang, op. c i t . , p. 267. 29. T'ang Hsien-tsu, T'ang Hsien-tsu Chi (The Complete Works of T'ang Hsien-tsu) (Shanghai: Chung Hua Press, 1962), IV., 2283-2426, (scene 29). 30. I b i d . , scene 30. 31. Chang Han-liang, "The Archetypal Structure of the Cycle of 'Yang-l i n ' Story", i n Chung Kuo Ku Tien Wen Hsueh Lun Tsung I I I : On  Myth and L i t e r a t u r e (Taipei: Chung Wai Wen Hsueh Press, 1976) pp. 259-272. Also c f . L i n Wen-keng, op. c i t . , p. 326. 32. T'ang Hsien-tsu, op. c i t . , p. 1096. 33. Much of the l i t e r a r y and h i s t o r i c a l background of Chinese f i c t i o n i s based on L i u Wu-chi, An Introduction t o Chinese L i t e r a t u r e (Bloomington and London: Indiana Univ. Press, 1966), pp. 141-228. 34. Wu Ch'eng-en (1500-1582). Biographical d e t a i l s are sketchy, but he i s believed to have been a native of Huai-an i n Kiangsu province, and t o have had no successful o f f i c i a l career except as a minor d i s t r i c t magistrate f o r seven years; t h i s , despite the f a c t that he was a learned Confucian enjoying a wide reputation f o r h i s w i t and l i t e r a r y t a l e n t . He i s s a i d t o have composed The  Journey t o the West a t the age o f s i x t y - e i g h t and t o have followed the e x i s t e n t story c y c l e o f f o l k t r a d i t i o n . A volume of c l a s s i c a l poetry and prose l e f t by him has been edite d by Miss Hsiu-yeh L i u , with valuable b i o g r a p h i c a l and b i b l i o g r a p h i c a l information. L i u Hsiu-yeh, Wu Ch'eng-en Shih Wen Chi (An Anthology of Wu Ch'eng-en's Poetry and Prose) (Shanghai: Ku T'ien Wen Hsueh Press, 1958). 157 35. This summary has been adapted from Wu Ch'eng-en, The Journey t o  the West (Tainan: Wang Chia Press, 1975). /Also from /Arthur Waley, trans., Monkey (London: Penguin Books, 1973). 36. Glen Dudbridge, The Hsi Yu Chi: A Study of Antecedents to the  Sixteenth Century Chinese Novel (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1970), p. 174. 37. Hsia C T . and Hsia T.A., "New Perspectives on Two Ming Novels: 'Hsi Yu Chi' and 'Hsi Yu Pu'", i n Chow Tse-tsung, ed., Wen L i n : Studies  i n the Chinese Humanities (Madison, Milwaukee and London: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1968), p. 235. 38. Lu Hsiin, A B r i e f History of Chinese F i c t i o n , trans., Yang Hsien-yi and Gladys Yang (Peking: Foreign Language Press, 1958), p. 218. A l s o c f . Arthur Waley, op. c i t . , p. 136. Also c f . Wu Ch'eng-en, HYC, p. 86. 39. I b i d . , p. 297. A l s o c f . Hsia C T . and Hsia T.A., op. c i t . , p. 236. A l s o c f . Hsia C T . , The C l a s s i c a l Chinese Novel (New York and London: Columbia Univ. Press, 1968), p. 129. 40. Glen Dudbridge, op. c i t . , p. 172. 41. Northrop Frye, Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Univ. Press, 1957), pp. 33-51. 42. Few bio g r a p h i c a l f a c t s about Ts'ao Hsueh-ch'in are a v a i l a b l e , except that he was the scion of a wealthy Manchu family which i n h i s e a r l y youth became impoverished through p o l i t i c a l reverses. At the age of t h i r t e e n , Ts'ao Hsueh-ch'in moved to Peking with h i s parents who, despite reduced circumstances, maintained t h e i r connections with the Manchu a r i s t o c r a c y . With the ascent o f Emperor Ch'ien-lung i n 1736, the family b r i e f l y regained favour, but by 1744 unknown di s a s t e r s had again ensnared Ts'ao i n d i r e s t poverty. I t was during t h i s p e r i o d that Ts'ao began composing h i s r e f l e c t i o n s upon h i s a r i s t o c r a t i c youth and p h i l o s o p h i c a l speculations i n t o the enormous tapestry of "The Story of the Stone", or The Dream of the Red Chamber. Completion of the work occupied the next ten years, and he died i n February, 1763. The Following e d i t i o n s are most frequently c i t e d : -Cao Xueqiru The Story of the Stone. V o l . I. Tr. David Hawkes. London: Penguin Books, 1973. -Wang Chi-chen. Tr. The Dream of the Red Chamber. New York: Pantheon Books, 1958. -Florence and Isobel McHugh. Tr. The Dream of the Red Chamber. New York: Pantheon Books, 1958. -Hung Lou Meng (The Dream of tlie Red Chamber). Tainan: Wang Chia Press, 1975. 158 43. Robert Harrison "Symbolism of the C y c l i c a l Myth i n Endymion", i n John B. Vickery, ed., Myth and L i t e r a t u r e , p. 230. 44. Wang Kuo-wei, " C r i t i c i s m on the Dream o f the Red Chamber", i n Y i L i , ed., Ku Tien Wen Hsueh Yen Chiu Tzu Liao Hui Pian (Anthology of M a t e r i a l s f o r the Study of C l a s s i c L i t e r a t u r e ) (Peking: Chung Hua Press, 1963), I, 248-252. 45. Tu Shih-chieh, Hung Lou Meng P e i Chin Tao Yu Shih K'ao (study on the P o l i t i c a l Metaphor of Sorrow f o r the Chin and Lamentation f o r the Ming i n the Dream of the Red Chamber) (Taichung: Author, 1971), pp. 363-65. 46. Hsia C.T., The C l a s s i c a l Chinese Novel, p. 297. 47. Although the Chinese myth of the golden bough i s unsubstantiated, apparent fragments are t o be found i n the ancient c l a s s i c s . Thus the p r o v e r b i a l phrase that a beauty's genesis i s of "the golden bough and the jasper l e a f " must be more than f i g u r a t i v e speech. 48. Robert Harrison, "Symbolism of the C y c l i c a l Myth i n Endymion", i n Vickery, op. c i t . , p. 230. IV THE CYCLIC MYTH IN WESTERN LITEPATURE 160 A. Historical Background We have maintained that one of the great characteristics of Chinese literature is its ongoing reflection of a homogeneous culture circumscribed by the concepts and pattersn of the original cyclic myth. Beginnning our comparative study of its Western counterpart, one is cautioned not to expect the immediate philosophical opposition suggested by Rudyard Kipling's infamous "East-West" quote. In fact the precepts of comparative mythology would suggest that archaic Western man shared many archetypal insights with archaic Eastern man. The myth of the eternal return i f not universal is at least common among ancient mentalities. The cyclical speculations of Plato's Politicks,the Iranian Darhat, and pre-Messianic Judaism are not far removed from the temporal concerns of primitive man, whether he resides in the valleys of the Euphrates or the Yangtze. Archaic man, whether Oriental or Occidental, through the repetition of paradigmatic gestures and periodic ceremonies, succeeded in conquering the inherent estrangement of linear consciousness and lived in harmony with the cosmic rhythms. Assuming the importance of periodic regeneration in most primitive cultures (and its consequent refinement in Chinese culture), what we must account for is the development in Judaeo-Christian culture of the notion of finite time, a fragment (though itself also cyclical) between two atemporal eternities. Obviously no account of the survival of the cyclic myth in Western culture would be complete without some mention of the forces which brought about the radical shift suggested above. To begin, the extent to which the developing Hebrew faith conceived of man's relationship to divinity rather than his identity with that divinity is the earliest measure of the "finite" temporal sense. In the centuries following the decline of Sumerian civilization, more or less continual persecution resulted in the formation 161 of a tribal religion unique in its insularity. Jeremiah and Ezekiel seem to have invented the idea that a l l religions except one are false, and that the Lord punishes idolatry. Meanwhile destruction of the Temple ensured that Judaism would become non-sacrificial with regard to ritual, a marked departure from the practices of contemporary and competing faiths. In time a theology evolved in which man had been created not to enjoy divinity but to know, honour, and serve i t . Once this existential focus had been codified in the biblical trails of Job and the sacrifices of Abraham, reconciliation with divinity lost its immediate possibility , (so cotimon in Chinese theology), and became more future oriented. The consequent mythology developed away from the notion of periodic regeneration and towards a progressive temporally oriented worldview of a creation, once and for a l l , at the beginning of time, a subsequent f a l l from grace, and a continuing restoration. The world no longer was to be experienced as divinity operative through cosmic rhythms; rather i t became a field of cosmic conflict between two powers, one light and one dark. Finally, as Richard Needham indicated in his brilliant Time and Eastern Man, the consequences of Hebraic Messianism included a radical view of time and history. "The Hebrews were the f i r s t Westerners to give a value to time, the f i r s t to see a theophany, an epiphany, in time's record of events. For Christian thought the whole of history was structured around a centre, a temporal mid-point, the historicity of the l i f e of Christ, and extended from the Creation through the covenant of Abraham to the second coming of Christ,, the messianic millennium and the end of the world." The Messianism of the Hebraic, and consequently the Christian faith, assumes on a higher plane the eschatological role of the king as representing divinity on earth. In accordance with archaic belief his chief mission was 162 the p e r i o d i c a l regeneration of a l l nature. The t r i a l s of the Hebrew prophets suggest what i s manifest i n the l i f e of J e s u s — t h a t v i c t o r y , according to the ancient scenarios, was always f i n a l l y the king's. The c r u c i a l d i f f e r e n c e i s t h a t now t h i s v i c t o r y occurs not annually but i s projected i n t o a Messianic future. Moreover, through the t e r r i b l e v i s i o n s of the prophets and the promise o f future v i c t o r y , h i s t o r i c a l catastrophes were construed as Yahweh's wrath and acquired meaning as r e v e l a t i o n s or concrete expressions of the same s i n g l e d i v i n e w i l l . H i s t o r i c a l f a c t s thus become " s i t u a t i o n s " of man i n respect t o God and h i s t o r y i t s e l f i s seen as the ephiphany of God. Such a ste r n v i s i o n was n a t u r a l l y d i f f i c u l t f o r the e l i t e to i n c u l c a t e i n times of prosperity, and the h i s t o r y of Hebraism i s marked by many returns t o such Paleo-Oriental d i v i n i t i e s as Baal and A s t a r t e i n the absence of calamity. As t h i s e s s e n t i a l l y l i n e a r view of time and h i s t o r y was i n h e r i t e d by C h r i s t i a n i t y and f i r m l y c o d i f i e d by St. Augustine, Western temporal a t t i t u d e s became f i x e d i n the l i n e a r pattern stressed by Henri-Charles Puech: "A s t r i a g h t l i n e traces the course of humanity from i n i t i a l F a l l to f i n a l Redemption. And the meaning of t h i s h i s t o r y i s unique, because the Incarnation i s a unique f a c t . Indeed as Chapter 9 o f the E p i s t l e t o the Hebrews and I Peter 3:18 emphasize, C h r i s t died f o r our s i n s once only, once f o r a l l ; i t i s not an event subject to r e p e t i t i o n , which can be reproduced several times. The development of h i s t o r y i s thus governed and oriented by a unique f a c t , a f a c t that stands e n t i r e l y alone. Consequently the destiny o f a l l mankind, together with the i n d i v i d u a l destiny o f each one of us, are both likewise played out once, once f o r a l l , i n a concrete and i r r e p l a c e a b l e time which i s that of h i s t o r y and l i f e . " 2 Of course the o r i g i n a l myth of the e t e r n a l return could not be u t t e r l y replaced by the l i n e a r approach of Judaeo-Christian orthodoxy. The 163 ninemonic power of primal archetypes and the immediate accessibility of natural cycle to an agricultural society ensured the survival of the cyc l i c myth. In fact as Mircea Eliade so ably demonstrates i n his Cosmos and History, cyclic speculation s t i l l occupied a prominent role for primitive and intellectual alike well into the seventeenth century. Even within Christianity cyclic naturalism thrives i n cosmological symbolism which bears remarkable similarities to the Oriental structures previously discussed. According to the archetypal symbolism of the centre, Paradise or Eden i s situated at the centre of the cosmos; i t was on this site that Adam was created, and the same spot where the Cross of Christ was erected. This sacred mountain, where Heaven and Earth meet, i s the Axis Mundi where the Tree of Knowledge once stood. In the myth of Eden the Tree stands in the centre of the Garden, at the source of the four rivers which meta-phorically "water the garden". Eden i s not only the mirror of Heavenly above: i t i s also a reflection of Christ, wherein a l l the events of Man's Redemption are seen i n reverse. Over against the Tree of Knowledge, from which comes death, i s the Tree of the Cross, from which came eternal l i f e . One i s reminded of the myth which identifies the wood of the cross with a staff or beam taken from the Tree of Eden. In this manner Christianity weaves a web of symbolic correspondences reminiscent of the abstracting tendencies of M'ing Tang, the Yin-Yang School, and especially the myth of Mount K'un Lun i n Chinese thought. The most significant survival of the cyclic myth in Christianity concerns the cycle of the Christian l i t u r g i c a l year. This religious calendar ccramemorates, i n the space of a year, a l l the cosmogonic phases observed by archaic man, yet combines these phases within the Christian 164 framework of the b i r t h , death, and r e s u r r e c t i o n of the Son. In a sense the sacred year cea s e l e s s l y repeats the Creation; Man becomes contemporary with cosmogony as r i t u a l p rojects him i n t o the "great time" of the beginning. With t h i s c y c l i c l i t u r g y i n mind, M a n Watts suggests a scheme of pagan correspondences: "The seasons df the year are themselves transformed from the pagan Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter t o the C h r i s t i a n Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Passiontide, Easter, and Pentecost. However, because the sun i t s e l f i s seen as a type of C h r i s t , the Sun of J u s t i c e , the C h r i s t i a n Year i s rather s i g n i f i c a n t l y integrated with the c y c l e of the sun. The C h r i s t i a n Year begins four weeks before Christmas, which coincides approximately with the Winter S o l s t i c e — the time when, i n the Northern Hemisphere, the sun i s at i t s lowest meridian and i s about t o begin once more i t s upward journey t o the midheaven. Anciently, t h i s time was sometimes known as the B i r t h o f the Sun, being as i t were, the nddnight of the year, from which point the sun begins t o r i s e . According to t r a d i t i o n , then, C h r i s t was born a t midnight a t the Winter S o l s t i c e . " 4 This pattern of correspondence could be extended i n t o greater d e t a i l . For example the Pentecost, f i f t y days a f t e r the Passover, was o r i g i n a l l y the Jewish Feast of the Weeks, the c e l e b r a t i o n of f r u i t i o n and harvest. The Passover a l s o celebrates the deliverance from Egypt and with the harvest imagery, C h r i s t i f often r e f e r r e d t o as the " f i r s t f r u i t " o f the New Creation. The f i r s t t o r i s e from the dead r i s e s i n the very season when the buried g r a i n f i r s t r i s e s to f r u i t i o n . Generally, i n the c y c l e of the C h r i s t i a n year the r i t e s of the Incarnation are governed by the s o l a r calendar, since they are connected with the b i r t h of the sun and f a l l upon f i x e d dates: on the other hand the r i t e s o f Atonement, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension are governed by the lunar calendar, the images of Death and Resurrection f i n d i n g t h e i r n a t u r a l counterpart i n the waning and waxing of the moon. 165 If the cyclic myths of Christianity and China can be said to have spatial form, then the figurers of the circle and the spiral respectively would be their images. What is most crucial is the relative emphasis on periodic regeneration in each schema: while the very heart of the Chinese cyclic myth is the ever recurring natural cycle whose principle is the Tao which provides liberation from the anguish temporality of linear consciousness; in the Christian format, at the heart we find the paradigmatic l i f e of Christ, cyclic through birth and resurrection, yet not periodic because of the historicity of his l i f e . To repeat Puech, the birth and death of Christ are not subject to repetition, they are historical events. Thus despite the cyclic symbolism of the liturgical year and the manifold efforts of both folk and clergy to perceive natural correspondences, Christianity remains essentially a faith of linear eschatology. 166 B. A B r i e f Survey of the S u r v i v a l o f the C y c l i c Myth i n Western L i t e r a t u r e As we turn to study the Western l i t e r a r y view of the c y c l i c myth, i t must be pointed out t h a t although the i d e a l o f C h r i s t i a n i t y i s a l i n e a r eschatology, i n p r a c t i c e the c y c l i c elements receive prominence i n r e l a t i o n t o the orthodoxy of the p r a c t i t i o n e r . Thus the thought of Augustine, a member of the orthodox e l i t e , i s f a r more " l i n e a r " i n i t s intentions than that of any of the countless heterodox l a i t y of Catholicism. One would be more c o r r e c t i n maintaining t h a t the Middle Ages were dominated by the e s c h a t o l o g i c a l conception of the end of the world, complemented by the theories of c y c l i c undulation which explained the p e r i o d i c return of events. The s u r v i v a l of archaic r i t e s of p e r i o d i c regeneration no doubt provided a sense of c e r t a i n t y t o moderate the unrelieved misery of the era. R e c a l l i n g t h a t C h r i s t i a n dogma maintained that nothing of value was p o s s i b l e i n the sublunary world except the steadfast v i r t u e which would lead, i n the end, t o e t e r n a l b l i s s , i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g that vegetative r i t e s and s u p e r s t i t i o n s should survive i n l o r e and p r a c t i c e . By the fourth century A.D. the H e l l e n i s t i c melting pot o f barbarian myths and mystery r e l i g i o n s had been given " p h i l o s o p h i c a l sanction" by the e f f o r t s of the Neo-Platonists, p r i m a r i l y P l o t i n u s . For C h r i s t i a n i t y , the Neo-Platonic influence e n t a i l e d a separation of h i s t o r i c a l event and metaphysical element i n favour of the l a t t e r . Popularly a vulgar s p i r i t u a l i s m replaced the h i s t o r i c i t y of C h r i s t , and engendered (in E r i c h Auerbach's words), "a rather dismal s o r t o f e r u d i t i o n ; elements of astrology, m y s t i c a l doctrine, Neo-Platonism, strangely d i s t o r t e d i n the vulgar mind, were summoned up i n support of t h i s r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of events, 5 and an abstruse a r t of a l l e g o r i c a l exegesis was born". Despite t h i s 167 climate of a l l e g o r i c a l excess, where every object and event of h i s t o r i c a l C h r i s t i a n i t y could be endowed with a "meaning" through importation of natural and mythological symbolsim, the l i t e r a l r e a l i t y of C h r i s t ' s l i f e and the transcendent meaning of h i s love survived. Toward the end of the f i r s t millenium dogmatic a l l e g o r y had been replaced by a s p i r i t u a l i z a t i o n of the mundane world from i t s greatest p o l i t i c a l developments to i t s l e a s t consequential d a i l y a f f a i r s . Medieval man had discovered h i s in t e n s e l y personal r o l e i n the drama of s a l v a t i o n and an i n d i v i d u a l f a t e that was d e c i s i v e f o r a l l e t e r n i t y . Paradoxically the development of a l l e g o r y and mimesis, the l a t t e r superceding the former, ensured the s u r v i v a l of c y c l i c symbolism; r e a l i t y could be presented as the operative sphere of the t r i u n e d i v i n i t y wherein the archetypes of n a t u r a l c y c l e and mythological quest were subsumed. Thus although Dante was the f i r s t master of mimesis of secular C h r i s t i a n r e a l i t y , he was a l s o an encyclopedic symbolist i n the e x e g e t i c a l t r a d i t i o n . While both mimetic and a l l e g o r i c a l a t t i t u d e s i n The Commedia are in d i c a t e d i n Dante's famous l e t t e r to Can Grande, and f u r t h e r developed as the " f o u r f o l d method" of symbolic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , the poet does not mention that t h i s i s a l s o the story of the p i l g r i m ' s own growth and development, h i s quest f o r enlightenment. Indeed the progress of the narrator p a r a l l e l s the c y c l i c myth of the hero i n i t s four major phases: the t r i s t i a — w h e r e i n the poet discovers h i s a l i e n a t i o n and s p i r i t u a l estrangement i n the "dark wood"; the i t i n e r a r i a — w h e r e i n he progresses through both descent to the land o f ordeals and ascent to the hub of the universe; the return of the hero—wherein Dante "returns" to wholeness, f u l f i l l i n g the sub-quest f o r the goddess (Beatrice) and achieving apotheosis through an i n t e l l e c t u a l comprehension of God; and f i n a l l y , r e c o n c i l i a t i o n — 168 wherein the poet-hero achieves the state o f ecstacy necessary f o r h i s i n t u i t i v e apprehension of God. In the course of the journey the soul descends i n t o i t s own depths knowing that these depths are a l s o those of the created world. Dante's mythopoesis i s most c l e a r l y shown i n h i s various encounters with the monstrous apparitions which bar h i s path and guard the way t o the Tree of L i f e (or Knowledge) . Encounters with the l i o n , leopard, and she-wolf, and Minos, Cerberus, Pluto, the Gorgon with her F u r i e s , the Minotaur, Geryon, and the f i g u r e of L u c i f e r himself l i n k the story of Dante's descent i n t o H e l l not only with the death and r e -s u r r e c t i o n of C h r i s t and h i s v i c t o r y over the D e v i l , but a l s o with the myths of the great c l a s s i c a l heroes—Hercules, Theseus, Perseus, and the myth of the rape and rescue of Proserpina. Such mythologizing r e i n f o r c e s the quest aspect o f The Commedia, and establishes s t r u c t u r a l use of the c y c l i c myth as governing pattern. In h i s monumental a n a l y s i s , Dante: Poet o f the Secular World, Auerbach discerns The Commedia's structure t o be three great interwoven . . 7 systems, p h y s i c a l , e t h i c a l , and h i s t o r i - p o l i t i c a l . The p h y s i c a l system consists i n the Ptolemaic order of the universe adapted to C h r i s t i a n dogma by C h r i s t i a n A r i s t o t e l i a n i s m , and accounts f o r the geographical o u t l i n e of r e a l i t y , and the extension of Being from the "Primum Mobile" through a l l created beings to man who occupies a s p e c i a l p o s i t i o n through exercise of f r e e w i l l . The second or e t h i c a l system generally follows Thomist e t h i c s and i s responsible f o r the complex h i e r a r c h i e s of H e l l and Purgatory. For example, the terraces of Purgatory are subdivided according to the nature of the love that must be r e c t i f i e d i n the i n d i v i d u a l penitent. F i n a l l y w i t h i n the h i s t o r i - p o l i t i c a l system are contained the interpenetrating h i s t o r i e s of the c r e a t i o n and f a l l o f man and the Roman Empire, and the 169 world-renewal myths of the Near East alluded to previously. Here we are most concerned with the "physical" system of Dante's world in its cyclic aspects, best demonstrated by examining the diagrams offered below.^ Dante's Cosmos 171 According to these s t a t i c representations, the s p a t i a l type of Dante's world i s the c i r c l e (of which more w i l l be s a i d l a t e r ) but dynamic progress through these c i r c l e s takes the form of a s p i r a l . In the "inferno" Dante moves i n a narrowing leftward s p i r a l t o the centre of the earth-sphere where he overcomes L u c i f e r . From t h i s negative centre the d i r e c t i o n of the s p i r a l i s reversed, and i n the "Purgatorio" i t ascends. Again i t i s an inward progression to a p o s i t i v e centre represented by the Tree reaching up t o Heaven, or the fountain flowing from d i v i n e w i l l . In the "Paradise" the movement i s apparently outwards u n t i l the s i g h t of God as an i n f i n i -tesimal p o i n t o f l i g h t i n Canto XXVTII; then everything i s turned i n s i d e out and the heavens appear as wheels conceived the s p i r a l to represent the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the centre arid the c i r c l e : through the c y c l i c i n t e r p l a y of the Holy T r i n i t y God's love i s r e f l e c t e d i n the c i r c u l a r motion of c e l e s t i a l bodies, while man's progress t o the centre reproduces t h i s pattern i n reverse. Dante was meticulous i n l o c a t i n g the a c t i o n of The Commedia i n r e a l time, again i n a c y c l i c fashion. The p i l g r i m ' s journey from H e l l to the Empyrean takes seven d a y s — E a s t e r Week, the most important i n the C h r i s t i a n calendar. He enters the Gate of H e l l on Good Friday, leaves H e l l on Easter Sunday, and the journey through Purgatory and Paradise ends on Easter Thursday to complete the c i r c l e . In another sense the poet's quest may be s a i d t o follow the seasonal c y c l e . Beginning i n the dark wood, the dying world of autumn, he descends t o encounter Satan i n the i c y c o l d of winter; spring, the ascent phase, i s represented i n h i s r e -union with Beatrice, and summer with i t s l i g h t and warmth i s seen i n the poet's Empyrean enlightenment. In t h i s manner Dante defines h i s cosmology w i t h i n the n a t u r a l c y c l e , a process which i s u n i f y i n g i n structure and 172 u n i v e r s a l i z i n g i n theme. Apart from these s t r u c t u r a l uses of the c y c l i c myth, Dante f u r t h e r grounds h i s poem thematically i n the a l l e g o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n s o f n a t u r a l symbolism, most notably i n h i s use of s o l a r , p a s t o r a l , and lunar or water imagery. In encyclopedic d e t a i l Helen Flanders has traced how the syncretism of the f i r s t centuries a f t e r C h r i s t r e s u l t e d i n a s o l a r pantheism, a t r i n i t y of l i f e , l i g h t , and heat which became the t r i u n e Sun of the 9 "Paradise". Whether or not Dante 1s use of s o l a r imagery i s a consequence of the a s s i m i l a t i o n of Mithraism by e a r l y C h r i s t i a n i t y , there can be no doubt of h i s emphasis on the c y c l i c aspects of the sun as the image of the r e b i r t h of the Son. In the second canto of the "Purgatorio" the sun r i s e s from the ocean marking the dawning of Easter Day. The sun i s of course C h r i s t , the Son, r i s e n i n Dante's heart and l i g h t i n g h i s way. From t h i s point on, V i r g i l i s more o f a companion; the r e a l guide i s the l i g h t of the sun and i t s movement around the earth. The vegetative c y c l e f i n d s a unique a p p l i c a t i o n i n the C h r i s t i a n framework o f the Commedia. I n i t i a l l y we f i n d the poet i n the tangled dark wood, symbolic of the s i n inherent i n nature and man a f t e r the F a l l . T h e f i n a l terrace of Purgatory presents the dark f o r e s t healed and restored to order and f r u i t f u l n e s s — i t i s the E a r t h l y Paradise, and suggests Eden, the archetypal garden. In C h r i s t i a n l o r e , prelapsarian Eden was a v i r t u a l l y s t a t i c paradise, knowing neither seasonal c y c l e nor c l i m a t i c excess, (a s t a t i c concept q u i t e f o r e i g n to the Chinese mind with i t s dynamic and c e n t r i p e t a l status of n a t u r a l c y c l e ) . While Dante's Paradise i s indeed a place of perpetually temperate climate, perhaps owing t o the i n f u s i o n o f Near Eastern f e r t i l i t y symbolism i n the e a r l y development of C h r i s t i a n i t y he a l s o veiws Paradise w i t h i n n a t u r a l c y c l e ; i t i s the place from which the 173 seeds of vegetable l i f e i n the world below proceed, and to which they return. Yet the progress of the poet from s i n to grace does not involve p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the regenerative f l u x of nature (as i n the Tree of Knowledge blooming i n the company of Beatrice and the g r i f f i n ) i s an a l l e g o r i c a l i n d i c a t i o n of h i s progress, not so much a "cause" as a "c o r r e l a t e " . In many respects the C h r i s t i a n worldview regards d i v i n i t y i n c o n t r o l of nature rather than revealed through nature. The garden archetype i s seen as the conscious image of nature before the F a l l ; i t e x i s t s t o remind man of h i s l o s t innocence and the ordinary manifestation of God's w i l l i n prelapsarian nature. In essence, as one approaches d i v i n i t y , the image of Paradise may be seen as a l l e g o r i c a l l y s t a t i c , rather than n a t u r a l l y c y c l i c . Turning from Dante's use of the c y c l i c aspects of nat u r a l symbolism to those o f abstract symbolism the reader i s immediately struck by the importance of the c i r c l e image t o the Commedia. The turning spheres wi t h i n spheres, the mandala image of the Rose unfolding, the luminous globe of the sun, the T r i n i t y as three interpenetrating c i r c l e s o f d i f f e r e n t colours, and of course, the poet's own c i r c u l a r or s p i r a l progress: a l l are testaments to the power o f the c i r c u l a r image to the medieval mind. The most i n s i g h t f u l a n a l y s i s o f the metaphysical s i g n i f i c a n c e of the c i r c l e i s undoubtably Georges Poulet's "The Metamorphosis of the C i r c l e " . Concerning himself with Dante, Poulet demonstrates the o n t o l o g i c a l b a s i s of the c i r c l e : " E t e r n i t y i s not simply the p i v o t around which time turns; i t i s a l s o t h a t p o i n t where, l i k e the rays of the c i r c l e , the events of the past and the future converge and unite i n the consciousness of God Heaven, a l l nature, the whole of c r e a t i o n i n i t s s p a t i a l and temporal unfolding, have existence only because everywhere and always the a c t i o n from a c r e a t i v e centre causes them to e x i s t . Doubtless t h i s c r e a t i v e a c t i o n i s e s s e n t i a l l y s p a t i a l , since every place i n the universe i s a t the r e c e i v i n g end of the 174 a c t i o n . But i t i s a l s o temporal, since every new noment i s a l s o the e f f e c t of t h i s continuous creati o n . God possesses time not soley by His omniscience, but a l s o by His omnipotence."10 In simpler terms, God i s a sphere of which the centre i s everywhere and the circumference i s nowhere. The d i v i n e concourse of the Holy T r i n i t y i s e s s e n t i a l l y a c y c l i c i n t e r p l a y which underpins the created universe and moves i n ever widening c i r c l e s through the universe as continuous cr e a t i o n . For Dante, s w i f t motion, r e g u l a r l y c i r c l i n g l i k e the sun, i s a symbol of d e l i g h t which l i e s beyond i n t e l l e c t u a l comprehension. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , the penultimate imge o f the "Paradiso" i s that of the conundrum of man attempting t o square the c i r c l e , i n other words, of equating the e a r t h l y (the square) and the heavenly (the c i r c l e ) . The s o l u t i o n i s not geometrical but transcendental: the two are indeed one, united "by the love that moves the Sun and the other s t a r s " . The c i r c l e i s then the metaphor of God as e t e r n i t y , and the paradigm o f the t r a n s -mission of His d i v i n e love i n continuous c r e a t i o n . To conclude our b r i e f excursion i n t o the medieval world of the Commedia, we f i n d the c y c l i c myth w e l l represented i n i t s mythopoeic aspect as the pattern o f the quest o f the hero. Without r a d i c a l d i f f e r e n c e from the Chinese pattern, the poet-hero progresses from t r i s t i a , through i t i n e r a r i a , apotheosis, and f i n a l l y to r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . I t i s w i t h i n the cosmological and e x i s t e n t i a l aspects o f the c y c l i c myth that d i s t i n g u i s h i n g features emerge. Whereas the Chinese cosmos i s i d e a l l y a c y c l i c harmony of d i v i n i t y , man, and nature i n accordance with the Tao, the C h r i s t i a n universe i s h i e r a r c h i c a l . God i s the transcendent cause which from without preserves h i s creatures and t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l and continuing existences. D i v i n i t y i s an "otherness", a l b e i t the support of man and nature through continuous 175 creation, but an "otherness" which maintains the separate i d e n t i t i e s of man and nature. C e r t a i n l y Dante's t r i u n e d i v i n i t y i s e s s e n t i a l l y c y c l i c but i n a sense above and beyond the created world. The Chinese c y c l i c myth p o s i t s the immanence of d i v i n i t y i n nature which i s immediately acc e s s i b l e to the seeker of d i v i n e r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . Medieval C h r i s t i a n i t y knows no such immanence i n s c h o l a s t i c doctrine, and the h i s t o r i c a l influence of the more n a t u r a l l y c y c l i c Near Eastern c u l t s seem t o suggest the reluctance of e a r l y converts t o accept the estrangement of d i v i n i t y from nature, and eventually nature from man. I t remained f o r John M i l t o n , several centuries l a t e r , to plumb the psychological i n t r i c a c i e s of t h i s h i e r a r c h i c a l arrangement as i t survived i n the mind of seventeenth century Puritanism; but f i r s t we must o u t l i n e the e x i s t e n t i a l r e v e l a t i o n s o f Renaissance humanism which underlay Milton's c r e a t i o n of Satan. The great v i c t o r y of the Renaissance was the r e s t o r a t i o n of d i v i n e immanence t o the human world. In the words of Georges Poulet: "In a universe which now seemed e n t i r e l y subject to v i c i s s i t u d e , there remained only a double awareness of the v i c i s s i t u d e i t s e l f and the cosmic force which produced it...God seemed rather the indwelling power that from wi t h i n t i r e l e s s l y sustained and prolonged the u n i v e r s a l motion by which things and beings accomplished t h e i r temporal d e s t i n y . V 1 1 During the Renaissance, d i v i n i t y approaches the immanent "suchness" of Chinese thought, rather than the "otherness" of the medieval era. In f a c t , the ephemerality of being i n a world of change, the nost common i n i t i a t i n g theme of the t r i s t i a i n the Chinese myth, i s everywhere present i n Elizabethan l i t e r a t u r e . Spenser's "Mut a b i l i t y Cantoes" immediately spring to mind, and Shakespeare explored the t o p i c most completely i n h i s 176 sonnets. Shakespeare's response to the fleetingness of being i s t y p i c a l l y ambivalent: the temporal f l u x may be viewed negatively as the u n i v e r s a l l e v e l l e r as i n Sonnets XII and LXIV; or p o s i t i v e l y as the f i e l d of a c t i o n whereby man, e s p e c i a l l y the a r t i s t , could c l a i m immortality through h i s work, as i n Sonnet XIX where the poet concludes: "Yet, do thy worst o l d Time; despite thy wrong / My love s h a l l i n my verse ever l i v e young." Coupled with t h i s ambivalent response to ephemerality, we f i n d r e -newed i n t e r e s t i n c y c l i c a l nature as the v e h i c l e of d i v i n i t y most immediately ac c e s s i b l e t o man. 7Already suggested i n the a l l e g o r i c a l p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n i n Spenser's The F a e r i e Queene, the use of c y c l i c a l nature as a model f o r human conduct f i n d s complete expression i n Shakespeare's plays. For example i n The Winter's Tale the values o f nature's regenerative powers are attached t o c e r t a i n characters (primarily Mamilius, F l o r i z e l , P e r d i t a , and o f course , Autolycus), who move through the play and are instrumental i n i t s r e s o l u t i o n . Yet behind Shakespeare's p a s t o r a l v i s i o n o f regenerative nature hovers the famous "degree" speech of Ulysses i n T r o i l u s and Cressida. Nature was s t i l l the lowest l i n k of the Chain of Being, and was corrupted along with humanity by Adam's o r i g i n a l s i n . The Reformers emphasized man's f a l l i n t o a st a t e of corrupted nature and the esc h a t o l o g i c a l concerns o f the Redemption and predestination. As a consequence, duration beyond ephemerality consisted of a moment by moment f a i t h i n God and personal redemption. Profane nature was more oft e n viewed as a temptation rather than a support, while the e f f o r t s of Bacon, Montaigne, and Descartes tended t o place man i n the p o s i t i o n of an observer of nat u r a l c y c l e rather than an equal p a r t i c i p a n t . Seventeenth century man was a prisoner of the i n s t a n t , h i s existence preserved moment by moment by an "other" God who guaranteed transcendence of t h i s ephemerality i n moral terms a t the end of time. The uniquely l i n e a r and momentaneous consciousness of man was a f a v o r i t e subject of seventeenth century poets, 177 and Milton's Paradise Lost i s no exception. What i s more i n t e r e s t i n g i s h i s encyclopedic rendering of the problem i n terms of the e n t i r e h i s t o r i c a l sweep of C h r i s t i a n i t y . The three realms of existence i n Paradise Lost - Heaven, Earth, and H e l l , are complexly p a r a l l e l and constantly i n t e r a c t i n g . We f i n d t h a t the f a l l o f Man p a r a l l e l s the f a l l o f Satan but i s a l s o caused by i t , and t h a t Man i s redeemed by C h r i s t who was the cause o f Satan's f a l l . The pattern of downfall i s b r i e f l y : Satan s i n s through h i s envy of the Son's Anointment, then denies h i s c r e a t i v e union with God i n the Son which i n turn r e s u l t s i n the f a l s e a b s t r a c t i o n o f s p i r i t i n t o matter and the demonic conceptions of time and space. Satan then causes the f a l l of Adam and Eve who experience these new modes of time and space themselves. Even before Satan's p h y s i c a l f a l l the transformation has begun as he t r i e s to express through a p h y s i c a l g l o r i f i c a t i o n o f the s e l f what God expresses through a s p i r i t u a l g l o r i f i c a t i o n of those who form the "one i n d i v i d u a l Soul". Thus i s erected i n the North o f Heaven the great golden Palace of L u c i f e r , and l a t e r i n H e l l , the demonic forces b u i l d an ostentatious Pandemonium. A second and more important consequence of Satan's r e b e l l i o n i s the new perception of time and space which he gives the f a l l e n angels and to a l e s s e r degree, man. A hierarchy of perception w i l l make t h i s point c l e a r . At the apex o f the temporal s c a l e i s God who has been and ever w i l l be; he interchanges past, present, and future tenses a t w i l l , and i s both i n time and beyond time simultaneously. On the next l e v e l we f i n d Milton's curious notion of the angelic perception of time. There i s a d i u r n a l c y c l e of s orts i n Heaven, but i t a f f e c t s the angels but subtly; evening and 178 morning seem to be matters of personal t a s t e . Prelapsarian Adam's temporal experience i s , as we would expect, s i m i l a r to the angels' except h i s nights are somewhat darker. He has no idea of what death might be and the past i s never so,important as the present. To the extent that time i s i l l u s t r a t e d by change through movement, there i s no time i n Eden. F a l l e n Adam's temporal experience i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t . The separation of inind from God has occurred and Adam has become acutely self-conscious. The changeless cycles of h i s previous l i f e have been shattered by di s c o r d . The experience of time as a l i n e a r progression has begun: h i s past i s constantly fading away; the present i s never r e a l l y there, and the future stretches away i n "endless miserie". Meanwhile Satan, deservedly, i s a t the bottom of the s c a l e . He i s trapped i n a perpetual present of pain and misery. He has no future, absolutely no hope that there w i l l be any change i n h i s condition. Of course there i s hope f o r Adam (though not r e a l i z e d u n t i l the concluding l i n e s o f the epic) i n the c y c l e o f l i f e and death i n C h r i s t ' s redemption. There i s s i m i l a r s c ale of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i n the experience of space. For God, space i s e t e r n a l presence. He i s everywhere a t once, and the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s t o t a l . For u n f a l i e n Adam and the angels, space has d e f i n i t e l i m i t s and within t h i s circumscribed area a l l i s r i g h t . They cannot "be" everything but they can know that everything i s i n i t s proper place. Adam e s p e c i a l l y d e l i g h t s i n p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the n a t u r a l harmony of Eden u n t i l the F a l l when space becomes an i n d i f f e r e n t environment. There are b l u s t e r i n g winds, varying seasons, and the animals have become carnivorous. Adam i s t e r r i b l y disordered and alone but he i s not threatened. Satan has n a t u r a l l y fared worst. He experiences the completely a l i e n and h o s t i l e environment o f co n f i n i n g H e l l without and 179 the chaos o f i n s a n i t y w i t h i n . The l a s t two books of Paradise Lost enables Adam t o transcend the present and see inankind's hope f o r reunion with God a t the end of time. Satan must l i v e i n the present because he cannot d i e ; only e t e r n a l damnation awaits him. Paradoxically, man's corruption i s not e t e r n a l because God has granted him death, and i t i s with death that Adam i s f i r s t f a m i l i a r i z e d i n Book Eleven. As the v i s i o n s unfold, he i s ac-quainted with a l l other facets of behavior, both good and e v e i l , which comprise the fa t e of h i s o f f s p r i n g . Adam becomes humanized by s u f f e r i n g as a parent a l l the consequences of h i s disobedient act. But as he remains unconvinced that h i s f a l l was t r u l y "fortunate", the true plan of God's i n f i n i t e mercy i s f i n a l l y revealed when he discovers that C h r i s t w i l l give h i s own l i f e so tha t mankind may be redeemed from death i n t o an eventual reunion with the c r e a t i v e force of God i n Heaven. At l a s t Adam understand the meaning of h i s t o r y , a h i s t o r y i n which h i s progeny w i l l enjoy the reunion that he has f o r f e i t e d . Michael's l a s t promise i s of the f i n a l v i c t o r y over S i n and Death, the Last Judgement, a t which time a l l h i e r a r c h i e s w i l l d i s s o l v e i n t o the Pure L i g h t of God. F i n a l l y our general parents pass i n t o h i s t o r i c a l time, secure i n t h e i r f a i t h , and strengthened by an understanding of the i n t e r a c t i o n s between time and e t e r n i t y . In Paradise Lost then, M i l t o n presents the t h r e e f o l d legacy of Adam's f a l l i n terms which circumscribe seventeenth century man's con-sciousness: i n time, existence which endures from moment to moment by v i r t u e o f continuous creation; i n space, existence which i s a l i e n a t e d from a nature which i s i t s e l f corrupted; and f i n a l l y , a l i n e a r concept of a h i s t o r y which provides p o s s i b l e d i v i n e r e c o n c i l i a t i o n only at the end o f time i t s e l f . To be sure the p a s t o r a l d e l i g h t s o f c y c l i c a l nature were never t r u l y i n a c c e s s i b l e , (witness Marvell's The Garden), but there. 180 i s l i t t l e sense of revealed d i v i n i t y or the p o s s i b i l i t y of permanent harmony with nature as a path to d i v i n i t y . Rather, s u r v i v a l of p a s t o r a l conventions represented a p o s i t i v e response to the i n s t a n t , a moment of joy. T y p i c a l l y the negative response i s almost as frequent and u s u a l l y concerns such tLme-honoured images as the reaper, mower, or scythe. In essence, the esc h a t o l o g i c a l emphasis o f Reformed C h r i s t i a n i t y rendered the regenerative powers of the c y c l i c myth t o an i n d i v i d u a l moment of consciousness; l a s t i n g harmony was relegated t o the Last Judgement w e l l beyond the natural sphere. EXoring the eighteenth century the r e t r e a t of d i v i n i t y from the r o l e of continuous c r e a t i o n i s accelerated. According t o the p r i n c i p l e s of Cartesian detachment, the universe came to be perceived as a complicated mechanism of secondary causes o r i g i n a l l y s e t i n motion by God, the f i r s t cause. In t h i s r a t i o n a l i s t view man should look t o nature not f o r the noumena of p a n t h e i s t i c experience, but f o r evidence of the i n t e l l i g e n t design of cre a t i o n which i t presents. As the subject-object viewpoint tended t o emotionally estrange man from nature, and as d i v i n i t y was no longer the support o f existence, self-consciousness came t o be momen-taneously preserved by sensation alone, while memory served t o s t r i n g the i n d i v i d u a l beads of experience i n t o a sense of i n d i v i d u a l duration. In the most o p t i m i s t i c veiw, l i v e d sensation (however momentary) becomes the consciousness of being; surely the apex o f t h i s " i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n " i s reached with Rousseau's proclamation, "Like God one i s s u f f i c i e n t unto 12 oneself". Indeed, i f Rousseau's Confessions o f 1728 represent the ultimate " i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n " o f consciousness i n the e a r l y eighteenth century, the work must a l s o be acknowledged as the foundation of Romanticism which developed f i f t y years l a t e r i n England and Germany. 181 Eighteenth century man was conscious only i n a moment of sensation; yet as the moment became ever more imbued with f e e l i n g , the exceptional man might perceive a s e l f and a r e a l i t y which are not instantaneous, i n short a duration based on a profound r e v e l a t i o n . This r e v e l a t o r y moment (whose consequent l o s s i s the ever present Romantic nostalgia) might be based on cx-TOtiuning with nature, or the transcendent l o s s of s e l f i n love, or a f e e l i n g of the e n t i r e past reborn w i t h i n oneself. Whatever i t s cause, t h i s Faustian s t r i v i n g f o r a duration beyond the moment became the essence of pre-Romanticism and c e r t a i n l y a c e n t r a l concern of Goethe's drama. The presentation of heaven as a cosmogonic r e a l i t y i s a c e n t r a l assumption of the Commedia and Paradise Lost, one that i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y absent i n Goethe's Faust. As a s c i e n t i f i c i n v e s t i g a t o r and poet-philosopher, Goethe's fundamental purpose was to represent, i n a work of a r t , man's place w i t h i n the confines of l i f e on t h i s earth, t o explore man's p o t e n t i a l and l i m i t a t i o n s w i t h i n the nat u r a l laws to which he i s subjected. In Faust, heaven e x i s t s f o r dramatic purposes; earth and the poet's mind on earth i s the r e a l f i e l d of acti o n . Goethe's s c i e n t i f i c and p h i l o s o p h i c a l 13 researches were d i r e c t e d towards the "un i v e r s a l " whxch underlies phenomena. To t h i s end he embraced the Neo-Platonic idea of a world-soul from which l i f e emanantes and to which i t u l t i m a t e l y returns, and image of the o v e r a l l harmony i n t o which our unharmonious l i f e on earth might f i n a l l y resolve. I f l i f e i s considered t o be a s e r i e s of emanations i s s u i n g from and s t r i v i n g t o return to the l i v i n g godhead, i t follows that a l l matter i s i n a state o f continuous f l u x and change. Moreover as the unceasing cycles of the world-soul animate a l l p h y s i c a l l i f e i n perpetual change, value concepts of d u r a b i l i t y and permanence f i n d no true correspondence 182 e i t h e r i n nature or the l i f e of man. As the play v i b r a t e s with a v i t a l i t y which can f i n d no s a t i s f a c t i o n i n any s t a t i c s i t u a t i o n , so Faust s t r i v e s f o r a duration beyond the eighteenth century moment of 'sensitive' consciousness. Faust's cynicism regarding the p o s s i b i l i t y of permanent value w i t h i n n a t u r a l f l u x underlies h i s bet with Mephistopheles. He t e l l s the d e v i l , i f I should ever wish a b e a u t i f u l moment to l a s t , then I w i l l be ready to di e and surrender my so u l . Paradoxically, by signing the pact Faust opens the floodgates t o previously denied emotional and sensual experience, the romantic b a s i s of the revelatory moment and the i n t u i t i v e understanding sought by h i s 'higher' s o u l . In Faust time and space become functions o f the imagination as the seeker discovers that every experience i s transformed i n t o i l l u s i o n as r e a l i t y recedes w i t h i n the u n i v e r s a l metamorphosis. These contrasts between i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y and between form and change comprise the rhythm of c y c l i c a l t e r n a t i o n according to which the play functions. From the opening scene where the angels present a view of earth i n endless r o t a t i o n dominated by the quotidian c y c l e , t o the c o n t i n u a l l y s h i f t i n g landscape of the f i n a l "Forest, Rocks, Solitude" scene, Goethe demonstrates the u n i v e r s a l i t y of c y c l i c a l t e r n a t i o n i n human experience. In Faust himself the rhythm of day and night symbolizes the struggle between b i o l o g i c a l d e s i r e and s p i r i t u a l a s p i r a t i o n . Thus i n the "Night" scenes which are the f i r s t and l a s t appearances of Faust, the f i r s t i s preceded by the angelic scene mentioned above which i s bathed i n l i g h t , and the l a s t i s succeeded by a l i g h t scene i n which Faust's immortal s p i r i t i s c a r r i e d upward. A second focus of c y c l i c a l n a t u r a l symbolism i s Goethe's frequent use 183 of water imagery i n a l l i t s forms. I t s everchanging q u a l i t y , i t s perpetual motion, the f a c t that i t i s a l i f e - g i v i n g f o r c e — t h e water c y c l e affords an i d e a l image o f the Neo-Platonic world-soul, which s i m i l a r l y emanantes i n t o matter and then returns to i t s e l f . Goethe makes t h i s point most c l e a r l y when Thales says to the ocean: "From the wave was a l l created / Water w i l l a l l l i f e s u s t a i n / ...Your power the freshness of 14 our l i f e maintains". While water i s the poet's f a v o r i t e image o f metamorphosis, we a l s o f i n d references t o the evolution of b u t t e r f l y from c h r y s a l i s , the unfolding of the l e a f from i t s bud, and of course, more mythical images of death and r e b i r t h . Goethe's use of n a t u r a l symbolism i s w e l l i n d i c a t e d i n the events surrounding h i s apprehension o f the E a r t h - S p i r i t very e a r l y i n the drama. Unable to partake of the serene yet overwhelming v i s i o n of the Macrocosm, Faust's magical powers conjure the E a r t h - S p i r i t which combines water and Neo-Platonic imagery; i t i s a concrete representation of the. dynamic force underlying a l l change, (in a sense, s i m i l a r to the Chinese 'Tao'). Unable to grasp the E a r t h - S p i r i t ' s s i g n i f i c a n c e , a dejected Faust i s on the verge of s u i c i d e when the E a r t h - S p i r i t remanifests i t s e l f i n the C h r i s t i a n r e b i r t h symbolism of Easter b e l l s which Faust connects with youthful memories of spring f e s t i v a l s . This c e l e b r a t i o n of the c y c l i c a l regeneration of nature and man moves Faust to te a r s , and compels h i s descent t o the v a l l e y of experience. Such c y c l i c a l symbolism represents the f l u x of e t e r n a l return i n the poet's world, but only r a r e l y provides a sense of being beyond the momentary sensation. The v i t a l i t y of Goethe's nature admits no permanence beyond the mortally i n a c c e s s i b l e world-soul. Whereas Dante's work summarized some t h i r t e e n centuries o f C h r i s t i a n i t y , Goethe's embraces nearly a l l of Western c u l t u r e and the myths of three 184 thousand years. The c y c l i c a l aspects of Faust's myth symbolism would alone f i l l s e veral volumes and we must r e s t r i c t ourselves to i t s most s a l i e n t features. Hovering i n the background i s of course the great myth o f C h r i s t i a n i t y , and one o f the strengths o f Faust i s i t s use of C h r i s t i a n doctrine as myth, s t i l l a h e r e t i c a l approach i n the eighteenth century. Ignoring C h r i s t i a n propaganda, i t s imagery provides a mythical s e t t i n g i n which the. drama unfolds. C l a s s i c a l mythology forms an i n t e g r a l aspect of the work, e s p e c i a l l y i n the Helen sub-plot and the C l a s s i c a l Walpurgisnight. In p a r t i c u l a r the l a t t e r f e s t i v a l concentrates many of the Dionysian and f e r t i l i t y f i g u r e s of a n t i q u i t y to emphasize the e r o t i c and sensual side o f Faust's "lower s o u l " . The regenerative aspect of na t u r a l c y c l e provides f o r the r e b i r t h of Homunculus a t the oceanic beginning of time and the path t o the corporeal Helen, as opposed to her conjured shade. Here the myth of the b i r t h of Aphrodite from the sea i s presented, and transformed i n t o the c y c l i c myth of Galatea. As the representative of Eros, Galatea's reunion with Nereus prefigures the reappearance of Helen i n the next a c t and Gretchen a f t e r Faust's death, and c e r t a i n l y the oibid n a t i o n of the C h r i s t i a n myth a t the play's conclusion. In short, Goethe f r e e l y draws upon the most potent myths of e t e r n a l return to underscore the perpetually r e -generative aspects of the f l u x of r e a l i t y , and to suggest the f i n a l redemption of Faust himself. In one of the most s t r i k i n g examples of Goethe's 'modernity', Faust penetrates i n t o the shadowy world beneath myth, the realm of the Mothers. In essence the Mothers guard the memory of mankind, and represent an elemental maternal i n s t i n c t a t the deepest l e v e l s of the human psyche. One i s tempted to suggest that they are Goethe's pre-Jungian version of 185 r a c i a l memory, but the vagueness o f d e s c r i p t i o n ("eternal pastime o f the et e r n a l S p i r i t " ) only i n d i c a t e s that t h e i r transforming powers are r e l a t e d i n some way to the na t u r a l f l u x . Perhaps Faust's journey to the Mothers i s best viewed as an attempt by the mythic hero to apprehend the secret of nature by r e t r a c i n g h i s way to the o r i g i n s of cr e a t i o n . In as much as the journey brings him f i r s t t o Helen of Troy and f i n a l l y t o the Mother of God i t i s successful. In Part One Goethe demonstrates how Faust's t i t a n i c mission destroyed the innocent l i v e s of Gretchen and her family; while i n Part Two Faust's great s o c i a l p rojects e n t a i l t r a g i c s o c i a l s a c r i f i c e s . A f t e r the hero has been blinded by Sorge (or Care), he f e e l s an "inner l i g h t " which compels h i s f i n a l v i s i o n of a s o c i a l Utopia and h i s b l i s s f u l acceptance of the f l e e t i n g Moment. Despite Mephistopheles' excitement, Faust i s not d e c l a r i n g h i s d e s i r e f o r the s t a t i c moment to endure (to r e c a l l h i s o r i g i n a l bet); rather, as Harry Slochower i n d i c a t e s i n h i s Mythopoesis, "the words salute a continuous task i n which the 'Moment' i s forever 15 . renewed". The key i s not i n mere a c t i v i t y which seizes the moment, but i n the d i r e c t i o n of the a c t i v i t y , (and here Goethe i s most anti-romantic), which i s d i r e c t e d towards the betterment of mankind. In Faust we see the resurgence of the c y c l i c myth, generally w i t h i n a Neo-Platonic and C l a s s i c a l framework, which allows f o r progress or evolution w i t h i n the natu r a l c y c l e as a d i a l e c t i c a l upward s t r i v i n g . The revelatory moment i s seized only that i t may be renewed by furth e r s t r i v i n g . R e c o n c i l i a t i o n with d i v i n i t y i s possible; (we do not know whether Faust a c t u a l l y reaches Heaven), but the rewards are most c l e a r l y evident i n ea r t h l y existence. Within the c y c l i c manifestations of the world-soul duration beyond the moment i s acknowledged, i n a sense "synthesized", then renewed i n the next 186 moment a t a more evolved l e v e l . That such a progression i s a v a i l a b l e only to a "super-hero" upon h i s death i s a f i n a l testament to Goethe's personal doubts regarding the p e r f e c t a b i l i t y of man. One would expect th a t the Romantic movement would provide the d e f i n i t i v e r e i n t e g r a t i o n o f the. c y c l i c myth with nineteenth century l i t e r a r y concerns. C e r t a i n l y on the simplest l e v e l the Romantic poets r e h a b i l i t a t e d and rediscovered nature on a scale unmatched i n the l a s t millenium; yet so acute was the self-consciousness of the moment, so intense was the Cartesian legacy of " i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n " of r e a l i t y and the Faustian s t r i v i n g f o r possession of r e a l i t y , t h a t the urgency o f the goal alitiost d i c t a t e d i t s evanscent apprehension and consequent l o s s . As continued s c i e n t i f i c advances emphasized the mechanical design of c e l e s t i a l nature, t e r r e s t r i a l nature and man himself became the s u r v i v i n g f i e l d of d i v i n i t y . As a v i t a l being w i t h i n an organic world, man's r e l a t i o n s h i p to nature came to be seen as one of p a r t i c i p a t i o n , an i d e n t i t y of process rather than a separation of subjective and o b j e c t i v e creatures or products. A revived sense of the numinous power o f nature became symbolically r e l a t e d to human nature; whatever i s immanent i n nature i s a l s o imminent w i t h i n ourselves, and t h i s i s what dist i n g u i s h e s Romanticism from mere pantheism, a point w e l l made by Coleridge i n h i s Ode To Dejection; "We receive but what we give And i n our l i f e alone does Nature l i v e . " But i f nautre i n some way represents man, one must ask what i s the nature o f t h i s representation? Here the E n g l i s h school of Romanticism recognized the "imagination" as the c e n t r a l i d e n t i t y between man and nature. The influence of German philosophy was c r u c i a l : Kant had proved that r e a l i t y i s forever unknowable to the i n t e l l e c t , and F i c h t e that nature 187 i t s e l f was only a cr e a t i o n of the ego or the p r i v a t e " w i l l " . Denied an i n t e l l e c t u a l i d e n t i t y of man and nature, the E n g l i s h Romantics sei z e d upon the imagination which p a r t i c i p a t e s with nature as a process, and imitates s p e c i f i c a l l y i t s power of b r i n g i n g organisms to b i r t h . Coleridge, i n p a r t i c u l a r , determined the poet i c imagination as the "exemplastic" power which reshapes our primary awareness of the world i n t o symbolic avenues to the t h e o l o g i c a l . That vague yet v i t a l force which dri v e s nature through c y c l i c regeneration even i n i t s most v i o l e n t manifestations i s a l s o to be found wi t h i n the human psyche; the contraries of nature are a l s o those o f man. A b r i e f examination of a representative poem, S h e l l e y 1 s Ode To The  West Wind w i l l i l l u m i n a t e the r e l a t i o n s h i p between c y c l i c nature and man as conceived i n one of i t s more profound studies. The poet a t sunset observes the turning of the year, the passage i n t o f a l l . As night comes on, a v i o l e n t tempest of h a i l and r a i n descends, an event which the poet reads as a sig n o f the c r e a t i v e d e s t r u c t i o n that w i l l a f f e c t the whole condition of man. In the f i r s t stanza, Shelley establishes the "west wind" as the breath of l i f e , the source of seasonal change; yet i t cannot be apprehended d i r e c t l y . The poet may only observe i t s manifestations, and distance himself from the source by de s c r i b i n g i t s e f f e c t s . The v i t a l i t y " i s both d e s t r u c t i v e and c r e a t i v e , thus i n a state resembling death, the seeds as symbols of renewal l i e i n a bed (again, sexual energy), u n t i l the wind infuses them with l i f e as the "breath" o f the f i r s t l i n e becomes "blow". The stanza concludes with the f i r s t of several invocations to the wind to hear i t s prophet, the poet: 188 "Wild S p i r i t , which a r t moving everywhere; Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh, hear!" In the second stanza Shelley t r a n s f e r s h i s gaze to the sky. Here the heavens, l i k e the f o r e s t , are dying, and y i e l d i n g t h e i r substance up to the destroying wind. The compression of time from year t o night s i g n a l s the nadir of the destruction-preservation c y c l e i n t h e o l o g i c a l imagery to r e i n f o r c e the idea that t h i s now destroying v i t a l i t y i s the a c t u a l realm of d i v i n i t y . "Of the dying year, to which t h i s c l o s i n g night W i l l be the dome of a v a s t sepulchre, Vaulted with a l l thy congregated might Of vapours, from whose s o l i d atmosphere Black r a i n , and f i r e , and h a i l w i l l burst: oh, hear!" With the t h i r d stanza Shelley's s o c i a l concerns are most evident as the wind destroys what i s l e f t o f the o l d "Mediterranean" order o f " o l d palaces and towers / quivering w i t h i n the waves intenser day". By d e f i n i t i o n , the wind i s a l s o the creator of t h i s order, but i t i s the mind " l u l l e d by the c o i l of h i s c r y s t a l l i n e streams" which supports i t s e l f by r e s t r u c t u r i n g the manifestations o f the west wind, which lends l e g i -timacy to the dying order despite the f a c t that the r e f l e c t e d c i v i l i z a t i o n i s overgrown with vegetation. In the l a s t two stanzas the poet himself replaces l e a f , cloud, and wave as the object of the wind's force. In the fourth he declares t h a t i f he were merely part o f nature ( l i k e a l e a f or cloud), or i f he s t i l l possessed the imaginative strength o f childhood, he would not be s t r i v i n g i n prayer f o r coitmunion. That both conceptions are impossible i s witnessed by the " f a l l " of the poet upon "the thorns of l i f e " . Denied apprehension of the l i f e - f o r c e by self-consciousness and the l i n e a r i t y of time, Shelley, 189 i n the f i f t h stanza, truns t o the e a r l i e r suggested i d e n t i t y between the poet i c imagination and the v i t a l i t y behind nature. The poet demands to be l i k e a " l y r e " , the p e r f e c t image o f a r t compelled by nature; he wishes to be an instrument l i k e the f o r e s t , s e n s i t i v e t o c y c l i c a l changes yet p e r s i s t i n g through those changes. A c y c l e i s implied as Shelley's thoughts, ("dead" because of t h e i r inherent " s e l f i s h n e s s " ) , may become, structures which support new l i f e , i n the same manner as a bed may spring to l i g h t when infused with breath. The prayer t o the wind stresses mutual need; i f the prophet needs the d i v i n e , the d i v i n e as assuredly needs the prophet i f the message i s to be heard by men. . The " l y r e " has become a "trumpet", the wind, as winter becomes spring, must blow through the poet rather than around him. For a l l i t s revolutionary i n t e n t s , Shelley's prophetic v i s i o n i s e s s e n t i a l l y a p r i v a t e v i s i o n , as were a l l Romantic v i s i o n s . In h i s i n -troduction t o The V i s i o n a r y Company, Harold Bloom notes that because Byron 16 was the most s o c i a l of Romantic imaginations, he was the l e a s t Romantic. The use of the c y c l i c myth as a s t r u c t u r a l model f o r a r t , and c y c l i c imagery as the immanent force behind both nature and the p o e t i c imagination was never so widespread as during the period of Romanticism. In as much as the poet i c imagination i s a p r i v a t e imagination, resurrected and maintained by a c r e a t i v e e l i t e , apprehension of the u n i t y between man and nature was reserved a t f i r s t f o r the most imaginative. But one can imagine Wordsworth's pa s t o r a l shepherds trampled i n the rush of those seeking communion with nature i n the years to come. S o c i a l i z a t i o n along Cartesian and m a t e r i a l i s t l i n e s rendered " o r i g i n a l " p a r t i c i p a t i o n with nature inconceivable, "imaginative" p a r t i c i p a t i o n became popularized to the p o i n t o f meaninglessness. In China the c y c l i c myth has survived simply because i t began as a 190 myth (or complex of myth) which evolved an accepted cosmology r e f l e c t e d i n r i t u a l and a r t , i n government and i n d i v i d u a l l i f e . The f a i l u r e of the French Revolution may be seen as the f a i l u r e t o create a new myth, that of the r e c e n t l y discovered "natural man". The Romantic movement was an i n t e l l e c t u a l r e v o l u t i o n which cannot be f a u l t e d i n i t s attempt to provide the a r t i s t i c structures of that new myth doomed t o f a i l u r e because of i t s "newness". The legacy of the Romantic movement was the progressive " i n t e r i o r i -z ation" of nature, witnessed i n the r i s e o f the science o f psychology and the r i o t of p r i v a t e symbolism i n both v i s u a l and verbal a r t , and the subsequent absence of a d i v i n e l y r u l e d cosmogonic order as a back-ground u n i v e r s a l i n a r t . Since the Romantics, the popular experience of time has remained one dominated by l i n e a r i t y and the l i n e a r progress of h i s t o r y . By way of contrast, we r e c a l l that the archaic mentality defended i t s e l f against l i n e a r h i s t o r y by p e r i o d i c a l l y a b o l i s h i n g i t through r e p e t i t i o n of the cosmogony and a period regeneration of time, or by g i v i n g h i s t o r i c a l events a m e t a h i s t o r i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e t h a t was consoling and coherent with the cosmic order. How d i f f e r e n t from t h i s c y c l i c mentality i f the post-Hegelian p o s i t i o n , i n which every e f f o r t i s d i r e c t e d toward saving and conferring value on the h i s t o r i c a l event as such, the event f o r i t s e l f and i n i t s e l f . As existence becomes more and more precarious because of h i s t o r y , the p o s i t i o n of l i n e a r h i s t o r i c i s m becomes l e s s and l e s s consoling. With t h i s problem i n mind, i n the past century we have witnessed attempts by many a r t i s t s to r e h a b i l i t a t e the c y c l i c view of h i s t o r y , most notably James Joyce and W.B. Yeats. Despite the dominance of C h r i s t i a n eschatology i n Western thought, the c y c l i c a l ideology was never t o t a l l y overwhelmed i n i n t e l l e c t u a l c i r c l e s , 191 and c e r t a i n l y not i n cultures which maintained an agrarian base. Beside the conception of l i n e a r progress, i t survived i n the astronomical theories of Tycho Brahe and Kepler, and more s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n the h i s t o r i c a l theories of Giordano Bruno, Vico, and most recent l y , Spengler. The c y c l i c con-ception of V i c o i s e s p e c i a l l y relevant i n modern l i t e r a t u r e as i t i n -fluenced both Yeats and Joyce i n t h e i r temporal thought. The herculean e f f o r t s of W.B. Yeats to r e h a b i l i t a t e the chaos of modern h i s t o r y i n t o a coherent cosmos represent one of the great i n t e l l e c t u a l adventures of t h i s century. Over a period o f nineteen years Yeats explored the o c c u l t imagery o f the Kabbalah, Neo-Platonism, and the hermeneutic texts of the London theosophists. Aided by h i s wife's phenomenal psychic powers of "automatic w r i t i n g " he f i n a l l y completed h i s work, i f completion could be po s s i b l e i n such o c c u l t areas, and i n 1937 published A V i s i o n , h i s personal v i s i o n of the true arrangement of r e a l i t y . Developing h i s e a r l i e r conception of overlapping gyres, Yeats b e l i e v e that the image of r e a l i t y was best a Great Wheel o f twenty-eight spokes, a lunar c y c l e corresponding to the phases of the moon. The Great Wheel, representing everything, rendered a coherent r e a l i t y beneath the chaotic f l u x o f mundane experience, and was categorized through the twenty-eight p e r s o n a l i t y types, the twenty-eight incarnations a man must l i v e through, the twenty-eight phases of any s i n g l e l i f e , and the twenty-eight b a s i c phases of each two thousand year c y c l e o f world h i s t o r y . Such an e s o t e r i c scheme brings us very close to the o r i g i n a l concerns of the c y c l i c myth, e s p e c i a l l y i n i t s e x p l i c i t i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of man with the cosmos. The following passage, from Yeats 1 Wheels and B u t t e r f l i e s makes t h i s p o i n t more d i r e c t l y than we could suggest through commentary. 192 "...the soul r e a l i z i n g i t s separate being i n the f u l l moon, then, as the moon seems to approach the sun and dwindle away, a l l but r e a l i z i n g i t s absorption i n God, only t o w h i r l away once more: the rnind o f a man, separating i t s e l f from the common matrix, through c h i l d i s h imaginations, through struggle-Vico's h e r o i c age- t o roundness, completeness, and then e x t e r n a l i s i n g , i n t e l l e c t u a l i s i n g , systematising, u n t i l a t l a s t i t l i e s dead, a spider smothered i n i t s own web: the choice o f f e r e d by the sages, e i t h e r with the soul from the myth t o union with the source o f a l l , the breaking of the c i r c l e , or from the myth to r e f l e c t i o n and the c i r c l e renewed f o r b e t t e r o r worse. For b e t t e r or worse according to one's l i f e , but never progress as we under-stand i t , never the s t r a i g h t l i n e , always a necessity to break away and destroy, or to sink i n and forget." 17 Immediately evident i s Yeats' ultimate d e n i a l of l i n e a r progress, t o be replaced by a c y c l i c conception of the i d e n t i t y of the s o u l , the r e a l man, with cosmic regeneration. The c y c l i c cosmogony of A V i s i o n presented Yeats with a system of metaphor which frequently i s a t the heart of h i s most notable poetry, "The Second Coming" being the most famous example of t h i s method. I t i s a c r e d i t to the poet's genius that h i s unique " v i s i o n " i s neither d i d a c t i c nor obscuring i n h i s a r t ; as Richard Ellmann comments, "an awareness o f the system was more u s e f u l f o r w r i t i n g than * i t i s f o r reading the poem(s)". Yet f o r a l l the poet's labours i n the l a b y r i n t h i n e l o r e of the o c c u l t , f o r a l l h i s genius and personal p o p u l a r i t y , h i s p r i v a t e " c y c l i c myth" r e -mained a "myth" i n i t s most profane sense of " f i c t i o n " ; i n the mass inind of the twentieth century, time i s l i n e a r , h i s t o r y progressive, and the poet' prophecy s i n g u l a r l y unheard. A l l i e d with Yeats against the progressive l i n e a r conception o f h i s t o r y , i n Finnegans Wake James Joyce declares h i s t o r y t o be "A human pest c y c l i n g 19 (pistJ) and r e c y c l i n g (past!)..." For Joyce, not only does h i s t o r y repeat i t s e l f , but "the V i c o road goes round and round t o meet where terms begin". ^ u The Viconian myth o f h i s t o r y i s to Finnegans Wake what the Homeric myth was to Ulysses: a s t r u c t u r a l device of complex p a r a l l e l s which tends to invest the microcosm of character with vast and profound echoes of the macrocosm. Harry Levin's c r i t i c a l i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the works of Joyce o f f e r s a concise summary of Vico's theory which we present i n the i n t e r e s t s of b r e v i t y . The Viconian pattern of r e p e t i t i o n presents "three consecutive periods.••characterized as d i v i n e , heroic, and c i v i l . Each period contributes i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i n s t i t u t i o n ( r e l i g i o n , marriage, and b u r i a l r i t e s ) and i t s corresponding v i r t u e (piety, honour, and duty). The i n a r t i c u l a t e dark ages give way to the fabulous, and then the h i s t o r i c a l , forms o f l i t e r a r y expression; the o r i g i n a l h i e r o g l y p h i c language i s succeeded by meta-p h o r i c a l speech, and a t length by an e p i s t o l a r y s t y l e and a profane vernacular. The r i s e of c i t i e s i s the sum of three epochs of man's a c t i v i t y , y et the ruins of bygone c i v i l i z a t i o n foreshadow the f a l l o f c i t i e s . The fourth epoch, and the p e c u l i a r t w i s t i n Vico's philosophy of h i s t o r y , i s the c y c l i c movement by which the t h i r d period swings back i n t o the f i r s t again 'da capo'" In Finnegans Wake the recurrent domestic cycles o f Ulysses are sub-sumed w i t h i n the l a r g e r c y c l i c matric of Viconian philosophy. Thus the f i r s t three books of the novel represent d i v i n e , heroic, and human ages r e s p e c t i v e l y , while the fourth i s the r e f l u x that leads to the r e -cr e a t i o n o f the d i v i n e age again. Moreover, i n Book I the c y c l e i s twice repeated on a smaller scale i n the f i r s t e ight chapters, and i n Books I I and I I I i t i s twice more repeated i n the four chapters of each. The main structure i s v i s i b l e as one large c y c l e , containing four smaller 194 c y c l e s . This reductive tendency i s evident as "wheels w i t h i n wheels", c y c l i c images and incidents abound on almost every page of the work. As Levin notes, "the whole sequence i s l i k e l y to emerge coloured by i t s context a t any moment: 1 . . . t h e i r weatherings and t h e i r marryings and t h e i r bury ings and t h e i r n a t u r a l s e l e c t i o n s . . . ' or as '...thunderburst, ravishment, d i s s o l u t i o n , and p r o v i d e n t i a l i t y ' and again, '...eggburst, 22 eggblend, eggburial, and hatch-as-hatch c a n — ' " The e f f e c t of such a technique i s t o suggest a world of c y c l i c a l immanence, where myth and arcane correspondence hover behind every gesture or turn of phrase. Many of the c y c l i c a l sub-plots and i n c i d e n t a l events are conceptually independent o f Vico's theory, yet i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s generally correspond to the c y c l i c s tructure. The Earwicker family i s the family of man moving through b i r t h , death, and r e b i r t h . The f i r s t four chapters follow the father through these phases, and they are represented again i n the next four i n the c y c l e of the mother, from her o r i g i n a l l e t t e r to her renewal as the r i v e r . Book I concerns the father, the mother, and Shem, her f a v o r i t e son, while Books I I and I I I concern the father, the mother, and Shaun, the father's f a v o r i t e son and h i s successor. F i n a l l y i n Book IV, the mother (again as a r i v e r ) renews h e r s e l f and family once more. Within the s t r u c t u r a l framwork afforded by Vico's regenerative s p i r a l of h i s t o r y , Joyce creates a pan-cultural mythological complex which borrows f r e e l y from Scandinavian, O r i e n t a l , Germanic, C e l t i c , Romanic, and o f course, c l a s s i c a l and C h r i s t i a n mythologies. According to John Vickery, the encyclopedic inclusiveness o f Finnegans Wake more than suggests Frazer's The Golden Bough. Thus the novel " i s , i n e f f e c t , a human comedy on man's r e l i g i o u s consciousness, dramatizing a s e c u l a r i z e d and so comic ve r s i o n o f the struggle between r e l i g i o u s g u i l t and fear 195 and imaginative s a t i s f a c t i o n and sexual joy. Informing the f e a r i s the f a c t of m o r t a l i t y . By s t r e s s i n g the r i t u a l forms of death, Finnegans Wake follows c o l o s e l y the lead of The Golden Bough and i s p a r t i c u l a r l y 23 sedulous i n using i t s images and f i g u r e s " . Vickery goes on t o o u t l i n e the extensiveness of Joyce's F r a z e r i a n images, focussing on the i n t e r p l a y between Shem and Shaun. I t must be remembered that whereas Frazer's work c o l l e c t s , arranges, and comments upon the myths of archaic man, he does not presume t h e i r continuing operation w i t h i n a modern consciousness. Indeed the sheer inclusiveness o f Joyce's cailminating work, ( T i n d a l l c a l l s 24 i t "perhaps the most comprehensive of myths" ), poses problems which are i m p l i c i t i n the mentality o f the twentieth century. A myth composed by a modern a r t i s t , even one of Joyce's stature, i s d i f f e r e n t from ancient myth. C e r t a i n l y a modern myth i s more conscious, and more p r i v a t e , and i t s use o f irony i s qu i t e absent i n the o r i g i n a l models. These three c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , e s p e c i a l l y the privacy of a "nonaTYth" wit h i n what i s surely the l e a s t a c c e s s i b l e of modern novels, lead one to conclude that Joyce's novel i s not so much a myth as an a r t i s t i c attempt to r e h a b i l i t a t e the c y c l i c myth f o r modern man. That the attempt i s a unique achievement o f monumental genius i s not disputed. Let us reconsider how the modern mentality d e f i e s both the e s o t e r i c "Great Wheel" myth o f Yeats and the pan-cultural Viconian myth of Joyce's Finnegans Wake. In essence, twentieth-century Western man has experienced, by adulthood, an almost complete displacement of the modes o f consciousness necessary f o r mythology t o e x i s t as an explanation of r e a l i t y . Henry Murray's b r i l l i a n t essay, "The Possible Nature of a Mythology to Come/" ou t l i n e s the extent of t h i s transformation from archaic man's " c h i l d - l i k e " mythologizing to the extreme r a t i o n a l i s m and consequent a l i e n t a t i o n of 196 nodern man. Four aspects of displacement are in d i c a t e d : (1) Emotional i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s with nature and projections i n t o space are displaced by cogn i t i v e detachment allowing d i s s e c t i o n s of the environment i n t o concepts of material p a r t i c l e s and energy; (2) a progression from non-verbal images and f e e l i n g s t o emotive d i c t i o n , followed by the t h e o r e t i c a l d i c t i o n of abstract concepts, and f i n a l l y t o symbols u l t i m a t e l y d i s s o c i a t e d from images and f e e l i n g s ; (3) an i n i t i a l r e c e p t i v i t y t o v i s i o n s , sensory impressions, and a u t h o r i t a t i v e statements changes with c u l t u r a l evolution and aging to a state of suspension of judgement i n the absence of indubitable proof; (4) an ever higher standard as to what const i t u t e s s u f f i c i e n t 25 b a s i s or evidence f o r a statement. These then are the psychological roots of our modern incapacity to embrace a mythopoeic perspective i n the twentieth century. N a t u r a l l y , the extent to which l i t e r a t u r e transcends these l i m i t a t i o n s i s the extent of i t s capacity to present myth; and as we have seen i n Yeats and Joyce, the world of myth l i e s very c l o s e to the centre o f t h e i r l i t e r a r y preoccupations. Lamenting the separation o f f a c t and value, T.S. E l i o t named i t "the d i s s o c i a t i o n of s e n s i b i l i t y " , a c u l t u r a l phenomena which implies the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of a r t because we have come t o accept f a c t and empirical evidence as the t o t a l r e a l i t y . By attempting t o r e h a b i l i t a t e the c y c l i c myth as that which i s immanent behind empirical r e a l i t y , Yeats 197 and Joyce attempt to restore to art i t s cosmogonic function of explaining the real nature of reality. t 198 Fcx>tnotes to the C y c l i c Myth i n Western L i t e r a t u r e 1. Joseph Needham, Time and Eastern Man (The Henry Myers Lecture, 1964; Royal Anthropological I n s t i t u t e : Ocassional paper No. 21, 1965), p. 45. 2. C i t e d by Mircea E l i a d e , Cosmos and History, p. 143. 3. I b i d . , pp. 141-47. 4. A l l a n Wilson Watts, Myth and R i t u a l i n C h r i s t i a n i t y (London: Thames and Hudson, 1954), p. 87. 5. E r i c h Auerbach, Dante: Poet of the Secular World. Tr. Ralph Mannheim, (Chicago and London: The Univ. of Chicago Press, 1961), p. 18. 6. "The meaning of t h i s work i s not simple but rather may be c a l l e d polysemous, that i s to say, having more meaning than one, f o r i t i s one meaning that we get through the l e t t e r , and another which we get through the thing the l e t t e r s i g n i f i e s ; the f i r s t i s c a l l e d l i t e r a l but the second a l l e g o r i c a l or mystic." C i t e d by Thomas Bergin, Dante's Divine Comedy (Englewood C l i f f s : P r e n t i c e - H a l l Inc., 1971), p. 78. 7. Auerbach, op. c i t . , pp. 101-33. 8. Diagrams of Dante's conceptions of the Cosmos and H e l l are repro-duced from the f a c i n g pages of Thomas Bergin's Dante's Divine  Comedy. 9. H. Flanders Dunbar, Symbolism i n Medieval Thought and I t s Con- sunrnation i n the Divine Comedy (New York: Russel & Russel, 1961), pp. 105-262. 10. Georges Poulet, "The Metamorphosis o f the C i r c l e " , i n Dante: A  C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays t Ed. John Freccero, (Englewood C l i f f s : P r e n t i c e - H a l l Inc., 1965), pp. 154-55. 11. Georges Poulet, Studies i n Human Time (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956), p. 8. 12. C i t e d by Poulet, i b i d . , p. 21. 13. As Slochower points out, "Long before F i c h t e ' and Whitehead, Goethe opposed what Hopkins c a l l s ' the b i f u r c a t i o n of nature'. His 'symphronistic method' aimed t o f i n d the recurrent phase, the primal phenomenon or 'Urphanomen'; i n botany, the 'Urpflanze', i n the animal world, the ' U r t i e r ' . The key words i n h i s vocabulary are 'world' and 'unity'". Harry Slochower, Mythopoesis: Mythic Patterns i n the L i t e r a r y  C l a s s i c s (Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1970), pp. 187-88. 14. Goethe, Faust: Part Two, trans. P h i l i p Wayne, (Middlesex: Penguin Books Ltd., 1959), p. 154. 199 15. Slochower, op. c i t . , p. 209. 16. Harold Bloom, The Vi s i o n a r y Company (London: Faber & Faber L t d . , 1961), p. xv. 17. W.B. Yeats: c i t e d by John Unterecker, A Reader's Guide to W i l l i a m  B u t l e r Yeats (New York: Noonday Press, 1959), p. 254. 18. Richard Ellmann, Yeats: The Man and the Masks (New York: E.P. Datton, 1948), p. 233. 19. James Joyce, Finnegans Wake (New York: The V i k i n g Press, 1939), p. 99. 20. I b i d . , p. 452. 21. Harry Levin, James Joyce: A C r i t i c a l Introduction (New York: New Dir e c t i o n s Publishing Co., 1941), p. 145. 22. I b i d . , p. 148. 23. John B. Vickery, The L i t e r a r y Impact of the Golden Bough ( Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1973), pp. 410-11. 24. W. Y. T i n d a l l , James Joyce: His Way of Interpreting the Modern  World (New York! Charles Scribner's Sons, 1950), p. 103. 25. Adapted from Henry A. Murray, Myth and Mythmaking (New York: G. B r a z i l l e r , 1960), p. 314. 200 V CONCLUSION 201 As Joyce envisioned Dublin as the c i t y which was the progress o f a l l c i t i e s , and i t s c i r c u l a r V i c o Road as the c y c l i c path of c i v i l i z a t i o n , we may now borrow h i s analogy and survey our. own path through the com-p l e x i t i e s of comparative analysis o f Chinese and Western European l i t e r a t u r e — a path which v a r i e s i n i t s emphasis on the c y c l i c or the progressive. At f i r s t the t r a i l seemed barred by the i n s u l a r homogeneity of Chinese Culture, but a key was found i n the r e l a t i v e importance and evolution of the c y c l i c myth i n both c u l t u r e s . We have maintained that archaic man, whether Eastern or Western, shared the archetypal i n s i g h t o f a c y c l i c mentality and p a r t i c i p a t e d i n "functionally s i m i l a r c y c l i c l i t u r g i e s u n t i l the i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n of r e l i g i o n fostered divergent evolutions. The i n i t i a l and e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n was engendered by the influence of Hebraic Messianism i n the development of Judaeo-Christian c u l t u r e . By p r o j e c t i n g the archaic v i c t o r y of the king (in maintaining the p e r i o d i c regeneration of a l l nature) i n t o a Messianic future, Judaeci-Christianity came to perceive time and h i s t o r y l i n e a l l y , and trace the course o f humanity from i n i t i a l F a l l to f i n a l Redemption as a s t r a i g h t l i n e . In t h i s view, h i s t o r y i s seen as the epiphany of God, and man, created to serve and honour t h i s d i v i n i t y , achieves d i v i n e r e c o n c i l i a t i o n only a t the end of time. In succeeding centuries, although c y c l i c naturalism survived i n cosmological symbolism and the cy c l e of the l i t u r g i c a l year with i t s s o l a r r i t e s of incarnation and lunar r i t e s of atonement, death, r e s u r r e c t i o n , and ascension, C h r i s t i a n i t y remained e s s e n t i a l l y a f a i t h of l i n e a r eschatology. This notion was assured since i t s very heart was the paradigmatic l i f e of C h r i s t , a h i s t o r i c a l event not subject to p e r i o d i c i t y . By way of comparison, through i t s maintenance of the o r i g i n a l a n t h r o -202 pocentxic emphasis and consequent lack of r e l i g i o u s i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n , the heart of Chinese r i t e o p o e s i s remained the ever r e c u r r i n g n a t u r a l c y c l e whose p r i n c i p l e i s the Tao which provides l i b e r a t i o n from the anguished temporality of l i n e a r consciousness. In the Myth of Divine Adnunistration the c y c l i c myth i s the di v i n e pattern of the c e l e s t i a l hierarchy, with enlightenment as recogni t i o n of the Supreme Being as the ultimate d i v i n i t y at the centre of a quadrantal universe of incessant regeneration. I d e a l l y , consciousness becomes the envisagement of man's e s s e n t i a l u n i t y with God and h i s homogeneity with the d i v i n e . In the i n s t i t u t i o n of Ming T'ang, the c y c l i c myth i s the pattern of t e r r e s t r i a l bureaucracy with enlightenment as r e c o g n i t i o n of the emperor as the Son of Heaven and the Representative of Earth a t the centre of t h i s tetra-symmetrical universe of perpetual renewal. Again, i d e a l consciousness i s the envisagement of man's i n t e r -mediary r o l e i n the cosmic i n t e r f u s i o n of c e l e s t i a l and t e r r e s t r i a l , and h i s p o s i t i o n i n the harmonious t r i n i t y of Heaven, Earth, and Man. At the centre of Chinese c u l t u r e we f i n d an abiding f a i t h i n t h i s c y c l i c ontology. The d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between l i n e a r eschatology i n Judaeo-Christian c u l t u r e and c y c l i c ontology i n Chinese c u l t u r e i s evident and continued i n the mensopoesis of the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of philosophy. The h i s t o r y of the s u r v i v a l and abstrac t i o n of the c y c l i c mentality i n Western philosophy i s one of changing o r i e n t a t i o n and speculation regarding man's r e l a t i o n s h i p t o , rather than i d e n t i f y with, d i v i n i t y . Thus, allowing p h i l o s o p h i c a l sanction to the H e l l e n i s t i c barbarian myths and mystery r e l i g i o n s , the Neo-Platonists attempted t o replace the h i s t o r i c i t y of C h r i s t with a vulgar s p i r i t u a l i s m which endowed events of h i s t o r i c a l C h r i s t i a n i t y with "meaning" through the importation of non-Christian n a t u r a l and mythological symbolism. While the Middle Ages were dominated by the e s c h a t o l o g i c a l conception of the end 203 of the world, medieval man attempted to moderate t h i s harsh view by incorporating theories of c y c l i c a l undulation. These attempted to . render r e a l i t y , through a l l e g o r y and mimesis, as the operative sphere of d i v i n i t y wherein the archetypes of n a t u r a l c y c l e and mythological quest were subsumed. With the renewed anthropocentrism of the Renaissance, d i v i n e immanence was restored to the human world. Mthough duration beyong ephemerality s t i l l consisted of f a i t h i n God and personal redemption, and nature was seen as a temptation rather than a support, i n the Renaissance d i v i n i t y nevertheless approached the immanent "suchness" of Chinese thought. In the seventeenth century a revived sense of man's l i m i t a t i o n s , h i s e s s e n t i a l l y l i n e a r consciousness, engendered an existence which was alien a t e d from a corrupted nature, and dependent on d i v i n e l y continuous cr e a t i o n f o r duration beyond the moment. In accordance with the reductive p r i n c i p l e s of Descartes, nature and man were fu r t h e r estranged, consciousness became momentary sensations, and d i v i n i t y achieved a mechanical "otherness" which has continued to the present. A l i n e extends through Rousseau, Goethe, and the E n g l i s h Romantics i n the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: t h i s i s the attempt to restore d i v i n i t y t o the human world, a r e h a b i l i t a t i o n o f the c y c l i c myth whether manifested as i n the Neo-Platonic "world-soul", or i n the imaginative union with the energies of nature. At the r i s k of over-generalizing, the evolution and s r u v i v a l o f the c y c l i c myth i n Western thought presents a r e l i a b l e index t o changing views of man's r e l a t i o n s h i p to d i v i n i t y . Thus during the medieval era the c y c l i c myth i s subsumed w i t h i n a d i v i n e hierarchy with enlightenment as recognit i o n of God-Creator as man's only support, while during the Reformation period i t i s subsumed wit h i n a cosmological pattern with enlightenment as recognition of man's place i n the eschatology of C h r i s t i a n h i s t o r y . Later, 204 i n the Romantic period the c y c l i c myth survives as the d i v i n e " s p i r i t " of the natural world, with enlightenment as the apprehension o f t h i s " s p i r i t " immanent i n the imagination and nature; while i n our modern sampling, we witnessed i t s s u r v i v a l as a e s t h e t i c a l l y p r i v a t e patterns of h i s t o r y . I t would appear that the predominant C h r i s t i a n eschatology has transformed a c y c l i c myth whose various s r u v i v a l s delineate the heterogeneity of Western European c u l t u r e . Within the Chinese mensopoesis of p h i l o s o p h i c a l r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n we do not f i n d such heterogeneous evolution. The Chinese niind d i d never lose s i g h t of an e s s e n t i a l l y anthropocentric c y c l i c construct unto a u n i v e r s a l and perpetual oneness. Indeed Chinese cosmology everywhere r e f l e c t s the tremendous influence of the c y c l i c myth, whether as quadrantal progress o f incessant renewal (in the i n s t i t u t i o n of Ming T'ang), a p e r f e c t harmony o f o n e - i n - a l l and a l l - i n - o n e (in the I Ching), a perpetual succession of f i v e elements i n sequence (in the Yin-Yang school), a great current of spontaneous transformation (in Taoism), or a constant process o f unceasing production and reproduction (in Confucianism), the Chinese universe remains a harmonious and organic whole. While the o n t o l o g i c a l r e a l i t y s h i f t s from the i n f i n i t e oneness and p e r p e t u a l i t y of an absolute d i v i n i t y , to the harmony of change i n the ultimate Tao, to the i n t e g r a l spontaneity of transformation i n Nature, and f i n a l l y to the wholeness of human l i f e and the oneness o f being, the Chinese epistemological b e l i e f of mutual communication and i n -fluence between the cosmos and man, the microcosmos, remains true and r e a l . And as the ontology becomes ever more conceptual yet e x i s t e n t i a l l y anthro-pocentric, man, with h i s r a t i o n a l mind and a f f e c t i o n a l heart, eventually stands a t the centre of the cosmos. Thereat, with a sense o f n o s t a l g i a , or a spontaneous response, or a consciousness o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , he i s able 205 to obtain freedom wi t h i n a world of constant transformation and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with the cosmos as a whole. Despite the above stated and i m p l i c i t contrasts between the homogeneous and fragmented c u l t u r e s , the l i t e r a r y function of the c y c l i c myth i n Chinese and Western l i t e r a t u r e a l l i n a l l proves t o be s i g n i f i c a n t l y s i m i l a r i n being the informing structure of a l i t e r a r y work. In both l i t e r a t u r e s , the c y c l i c myth i s often the underlying pattern of the temporal, s p a t i a l , and thematic structures of a p a r t i c u l a r work. The c y c l i c schema as a l i t e r a r y structure i s nevertheless always po i n t i n g outside or beyond i t s e l f . E s p e c i a l l y i n Chinese l i t e a r t u r e t h i s i n c l i n a t i o n towards transcendency seems o r i g i n a l with the archaic psyche which enlarged or r e c o n c i l e d l i n e a r con-sciousness by ever "pointing" t o the correspondences between macrocosm arid microcosm. In Western l i t e r a t u r e c y c l i c structure i s r a r e l y so transcendental simply because a c y c l i c cosmogony has only r a r e l y been an o n t o l o g i c a l r e a l i t y f o r man. In any e x p l i c i t l y C h r i s t i a n frame of reference a l i t e r a r y work may gain u n i v e r s a l i t y and inclusiveness through c y c l i c schema, but the l i n e a r nature of consciousness and h i s t o r y precludes the involvement of a t r u l y c y c l i c cosmogony i n the work. In i t s Chinese context, the c y c l i c schema evolves through stages of mythical envisagement, r i t u a l manipulation, and p h i l o s o p h i c a l r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n , and f i n d s l i t e r a r y expression most frequently i n the "quest" c y c l e : the c a l l , the quest i t s e l f , and the f u l f i l l m e n t o f the quest through recon-c i l i a t i o n of the u n i t y between man and the cosmos. I t provides a temporal, s p a t i a l , and thematic structure c o n s i s t i n g of the t r i s t i a i n the profane time of the t e r r e s t r i a l world, the subsequent i t i n e r a r i a i n the "great" time of the demonic or underworld, and the eventual r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i n the sacred time of the c e l e s t i a l sphere. As the climax o f the thematic structure, r e -2 0 6 c o n c i l i a t i o n i n d i c a t e s the c e n t r i f u g a l nature of the c y c l i c s p i r i t which always s t r i v e s f o r transcendency i n terms of harmony, i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , or assimilation—accomplished through such l i t e r a r y elaborations as conversion canonization, and i n m o r t a l i z a t i o n . I t i s t h i s transcendental nature o f r e c o n c i l i a t i o n , which moves beyond l o c a l l i t e r a r y reference t o r e - a f f i r m man's uni t y with the cosmos, that r e f l e c t s the c e n t r a l p o s i t i o n of the c y c l schema i n the homogeneity of Chinese mythology, r i t u a l , philosophy, and l i t e r a t u r e . In contrast, the Judaeo-Christian world-view of the Western l i t e r a r y works we have studied permits the s u r v i v a l of the c y c l i c myth i n symbolism of the natural world and the C h r i s t i a n l i t u r g i c a l year, and i n the heroic quest c y c l e , but i t i s much more r e l u c t a n t t o p o s i t p e r i o d i c i t y and i n -cessant Transformation as the o n t o l o g i c a l b a s i s of man's uni t y with the di v i n e . As a master of mimesis of secular C h r i s t i a n r e a l i t y and an en-cyclopedic symbolist i n the exe g e t i c a l t r a d i t i o n , Dante presents a cos-mogonic hierarchy of concentric c i r c l e s , a heroic quest c y c l e of t r i s t i a , i t i n e r a r i a , and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n , and an o n t o l o g i c a l hierarchy based on the poet-hero's s p i r a l l i n g movement to the s t i l l centre of being. What i s absent i n h i s r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with d i v i n i t y i s the e l e v a t i o n o f c y c l i c Nature, as the iinmediate f i e l d of d i v i n e irtmanence, to a p o s i t i o n of mutual interdependence with Man and God. The Commedia i s c y c l i c i n structure but l i n e a r and progressive insofaras r e c o n c i l i a t i o n l i e s i n the future beyond the corrupted mundane world. Focusing on the t r i s t i a , the l i n e a r and momentaneous consciousness o f man, Milton's Paradise Lost affirms man's p o s i t i o n i n the corrupted world as a consequence of the p a r a l l e l f a l l of Man and Satan. Here, continuous c r e a t i o n i n the present and d i v i n e r e -c o n c i l i a t i o n i n the future become the j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r the l i n e a r i t y o f 207 time and h i s t o r y , and the nat u r a l world i s seen as a r e f l e c t i o n of man's own l i m i t a t i o n s . /Although maintaining the progressive view of h i s t o r y , Goethe challenges the l i m i t a t i o n s o f l i n e a r consciousness by r e h a b i l i t a t i n g c y c l i c nature t o a p o s i t i o n of immanence, h i s "world-soul". Yet so strong i s the Cartesian awareness of s e n s i t i v e momentary consciousness that Faust must deny the p o s s i b i l i t y of permanent value w i t h i n n a t u r a l f l u x even as the "valued" moment appears. Romantic thought o f the l a t e eighteenth and e a r l y nineteenth centuries continues Goethe's d i s s e c t i o n of the moment, and most c l o s e l y approaches the Chinese world-view i n the r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of c y c l i c nature as di v i n e immanence acc e s s i b l e t o and paradigmatic i n the human imagination. But with the r i s e of a s c i e n t i f i c materialism which tended to regard nature as an object f o r a n a l y s i s and e x p l o i t a t i o n rather than a f i e l d of p a r t i c i p a t i o n , the c y c l i c harmony of Man, God, and Nature never achieved any o n t o l o g i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the popular mind—despite the r e -newal of c y c l i c concepts of h i s t o r y i n the modern works of Yeats and Joyce. Considering the incr e a s i n g p o p u l a r i t y of the c y c l i c schema i n recent years, and i t s s u r v i v a l i n China f o r upwards of a millenium, i t may yet prove to be the most s a t i s f a c t o r y o n t o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n f o r the i n d i v i d u a l psyche against the l i n e a r consciousness of a world of change. Even as the c e n t r a l tenet of the homogeneous O r i e n t a l c u l t u r e i t has not remained s t a t i c and i n Chinese thought we have traced the s h i f t i n g o n t o l o g i c a l r e a l i t y from the d i v i n e to the na t u r a l and eventually to the e x i s t e n t i a l . C e r t a i n l y i n the West the r e t r e a t o f the c y c l i c myth seemed i n e v i t a b l e with the abandonment of the archetypes of r e p e t i t i o n , while i n the anthropocentric c u l t u r e of the Chinese world i t s di s p e r s i o n was held i n check By the counterpoise o f the t e r r e s t r i a l and the c e l e s t i a l , and the mediating r o l e of man i n the i n t e r f u s i o n of Heaven and Earth. 208 A student approaching the conparative study of Chinese l i t e r a t u r e must acknowledge the unique homogeneity o f man, nature, and d i v i n i t y i n terms which have only r e c e n t l y been approached by Western l i t e r a t u r e . He must acknowledge the continuing c o n v i c t i o n that there i s a mutual communication or influence between the cosmos and man who stands a t the centre of u n i v e r s a l events. And he must acknowledge tha t man i s then responsible f o r maintaining the cosmic harmony, a f a c t which delineates the notion that the Chinese view not only r e j e c t s the destiny o f human beings as f i n a l and i r r e d u c i b l e , but al s o r e j o i c e s i n the transcendental freedom within a world of perpetual change and u n i v e r s a l wholeness. I t i s t h i s , man's c r e a t i v e a b i l i t y on the cosmic plane as w e l l as the h i s t o r i c a l , which most di s t i n g u i s h e s Chinese man from h i s Western counterpart. 209 VI APPENDIXES 210 APPENDIX I A b b r e v i a t i o n o f T i t l e s o f Source-books o f Ch inese Mythology ABBREVIATION CHINESE ENGLISH ROMANIZATI ON DATE CLMS Matchmaker: Chou R i t u a l Chou L1 M»t Sh ih C. 100 B.C. CSCMP Ch 'ang M a i : Documents o f Chou Chou Shu Ch 'an9 Maf P ' l a n C. 300 8.C. CTCH The Summons o f The Sou): The Songs o f the South Ch ' u T z ' u Chao Hun 342 - 290 B.C. CTSKT KGng Sang C h ' u : Chuang Tzu Chuang Tz u Keng Sang C h ' u 399 - 295 B.C. CTTW The Heavenly Ques t ions : The Songs o f the South Ch ' u T z ' u T ' i e n Wen 342 - 290 B.C. FSTI Genera l I n t r o d u c t i o n to Customs Feng Su T 'ung I C. 150 A.D. HFTSK Ten F a u l t s : Han F e l Tzu Han Fe1 Tzu Sh ih Kuo C. 233 B.C. HFTSL it inte- C o l l e c t e d Pe r sua s i on s : Han F e l Tzu Han F e l Tzu Shuo L i n C. 233 B.C. HNTCSP rn & S p i r i t u a l i t y : Hua1 Nan Tzu Huai Nan Tzu Ching Shen P ' i a n 178 - 122 B.C. HNTHUP A d m i n i s t r a t i o n : Huai Nan Tzu Huai Nan Tzu Hs iu Wu P ' i a n 178 - 122 B.C. HNTLHP I n v e s t i g a t i o n on A n t i q u i t y : Huai Nan Tzu Huai Nan Tzu Lan Meng P ' i a n 178 - 122 B.C. HNTPCP Major T r e a t i e s : Huai Nan Tzu Huai Nan Tzu Pen Ching P ' i a n 178 - 122 B.C. HNTSLP C o l l e c t e d Pe r sua s i on s : Huai Nan Tzu Huai Nan Tzu Shuo L i n P ' i a n 178 - 122 B.C. HNTSTP it fa J fHfl'J % Observances o f Seasons: Huai Nan Tzu Huai Nan Tzu Sh ih Tse P ' i a n 178 - 122 B.C. HNTTHP Geography: Huai Nan Tzu Huai Nan Tzu T i Hs ing P ' i a n 178 - 122 B.C. KNTTkP Astronomy: Huai Nan Tzu Huai Nan Tzu T ' i e n Wen P ' i a n 178 - 122 B.C. HTYNCF S t r a t egy o f Goddess o f Dark Mys te ry : Ye l l ow Emperor Huang T i Yiian Nu Chang Fa IS mt The I n t e r p r e t a t i v e H i s t o r y I S h i h 250 A.D. KPHC Grea t Record o f the Marve l lous Kuang Po Wu Ch ih 1607 A.D. KT R e v e r t i n g Depos i t Kui Tsang C. 1766 - 1123 B.C. KYCY Remarks Concern ing Ch 'u S ta te : Remarks Cone.the S t a t e s Kuo yii Ch'u Yii C. 400 B.C. K Y C Y Remarks Concern ing Chin S t a te : Remarks Cone.the S t a t e s Kuo Yii Ch in Vii C. 400 B.C. LCYL Monthly Observances: Book of R i t e s L i Ch i Yueh L i n g C. 100 B.C. LSCCHCC The S p r i n g : Lu Sh ih Ch 'un Ch' ju Lu Sh ih Ch 'un C h ' i u Meng Ch 'un Ch i C. 235 B.C. LSCCYSP Genes i s : Lu Sh ih Ch 'un C h ' i u LU Sh ih Ch 'un C h ' i u Yu Sh ih P ' i a n C. 235 B.C. LSHCSCYC Lu S h i h Ho Chi C h ' i h Yu Chuan LTHTP The Ye l l ow Emperor: L i e h Tzu L i e h Tzu Huang T l P ' i a n C. 314 B.C. LTTW The Quest ions o f T ' a ng : L i eh Tzu L i e h Tzu T ' a ng Wen . C. 314 B.C. LYHT P i c t u r e s C a r r i e d by Dragon - F i s h From the R i v e r Lung yu He T ' u MTFK The Condemnation o f War: Mo Tzu Mo Tzu Fe i Kung 501-416 B.C. HTTC The T r a v e l s o f Emperor Mu Mu T ' i e n Tzu Chuan 408 B.C. PHTWH F i v e E lements: C o l l e c t i o n o f F i v e C l a s s i c s by Confuc ious i n White T i ge r H a l l Pa i Hu T u n g Wu Hs ing 32 - 92 A.D. PT I n s c r i p t i o n on Orac l e Bones Pu T z ' u 1300 B.C. SCLH The P r i n c e o f LU Upon.Punish.nent: Book o f Documents Shu Ching LCI Hs ing C. 300 B.C. SCSCPSHPC Amendments to Records o f H i s t o r y S h i h Ch i Ssu Ma Chen Pu San Huang Pen Chi 145 - 86 B.C. SCTYM The Counsels o f Great Yii: Book o f Documents Shu Ching Ta Vu Mo C. 300 B.C. SCWTPC Anna l s o f F i v e Legendary K ings : Records o f H i s t o r y Sh ih Ch i Wu T i Pen Ch i 145 - 86 B.C. SHC Biography Notes o f Immortals Sh&n Hs ien Chuan 250 - 330 A.D SHC.TT.PC The Mountain-Sea C las s i c ,Commentar ies t o P i c t u r e s and Annota t ions Shan Hai C h i n g , T ' u Tzan Pu Chu 276-324 A.D. SIC C o l l e c t i o n of Notes on the Wonderful Shu I Ch i 550 A.D. SPSHP On Surnames Sh ih Pen Sh ih Hs ing P ' i a n S"CI 31 it. fa £ The E t ymo log i ca l D i c t i o n a r y Shuo Won Ch l ch Tze 100 A.D. SWLC Annals o f Three Myth ic Kings and F i v e Legendary Kings San Wu L i Ch i C. 220-280A.0 TPYL Encyc lopaed ia Royal T ' a i P ing T ' a i P ing y'u Lan 983 A.D. TWSCCC A n n o t a t i o n o f Anna l s o f Kinqs and P r i n c e s I t Wang Sh ih Chi Chi Ch iao TYTt Comprehensive H i s t o r i c a l Records by Tu Vu Tu Vu T 'ung l i e n 735-812 A.D. WCSIC Records o f Mat te r s Omitted in the Anna l s o f the Empire Wang Chia Sh ih I Chi C. 390 A.D. WYINC i-Ahl'^k.. Annals of f i v e Lra imdary Kinns Wu >u'n L i H i eaCh l 211 /Appendix I I I : ^ c o n s t r u c t i o n of Some Chinese Myths i . Myths of Creation A. In the beginning there was Chaos, egg-like and pregant with P'an Ku, the Fathomless /Antiquity. 1 The primal god l a y i n the dark womb of Chaos f o r nearly eighteen thousand 2 years before h i s v i o l e n t b i r t h . Bearing 3 a dragon's head upon a serpent's body, he awoke and fought the darkness with an axe-4 stone. P'an Ku became the medium o f the forming world, growing between the c l e a r and weightless which rose as the sky, and the 5 dark and heavy which descended as the earth. His breathing was the wind and h i s p u f f i n g the storm. The opening and c l o s i n g of h i s eyes caused the turning o f day and night.^ When he was angry the weather was glcomy 7 and when he was happy i t was f i n e . This process continued f o r another eighteen thousand years, u n t i l the sky was extremely g high and the earth tremendously t h i c k . Then the transmogrification began. P'an Ku's gi g a n t i c limbs and e n t r a i l s became the four extremes of the earth and the f i v e greatest mountains; h i s f l e s h turned i n t o f e r t i l e s o i l , h i s h a i r y - s k i n i n t o grasses and trees; h i s 213 sweat became r a i n and marshes, h i s veins and blood formed the r i v e r s and streams; h i s breath was transformed i n t o wind and cloud, h i s voice became the thunder, while h i s l e f t eye became the sun and h i s r i g h t the moon; f i n a l l y , h i s h a i r changed i n t o myriads of s t a r s 9 and c o n s t e l l a t i o n s . Thus the universe was formed from the son o f Chaos. 1. Morohashi T e t s u j i , ed., Dai Kanwa J i t e n (Tokyo: Daishukan Shuten, 1968), V I I I , 113. 2. Adapted from SWLC, quoted by TPYL, I I , c i t e d by Yuan Ke, Chung  Kuo Shang Ku Shen Hua (Peiping: Chung Hua Press, 1960), p. 37. 3. Adapted from WYLNC, quoted by KPWC, IX, c i t e d by Yuan, i b i d . , p. 34. 4. Adapted from Chinese f o l k t a l e c i t e d by Yuan, i b i d . , p. 39. 5. Adapted from SWLC, quoted by TPYL, I I , c i t e d by Yuan, i b i d . , p. 37. 6. Adapted from WYLNC, c i t e d by Ma Su, I Shih, I, (Taipei: Kuang Wen Press, 1969, d u p l i c a t i o n ) . 7. Adapted from SIC, c i t e d by Yuan, op. c i t . , p.-38. 8. Adapted from SWLC, quoted by TPYL, I I , c i t e d by Yuan, i b i d . , p. 37. 9. Adapted from WYLNC, c i t e d by Ma, op. c i t . , I. Also c f Yuan, op. c i t . , p. 38. 10. Shen Yen-ping, Chung Kuo Shen Hua Yen Chiu (Taipei: Hsin Lu Press, 1929), p. 47. Als o c f . Yuan, op. c i t . , p. 37-38. B. The God of the Central Region was c a l l e d Hun Tun ( C h a o s ) 1 — a- primal s i m p l i c i t y i n which myriad things were confounded 2 and not yet separated from each other. I t was undefined 3 and yet complete i n i t s e l f . I t was an i n s u b s t a n t i a l form 4 5 of a round, b i r d - l i k e shape with s i x f e e t and four wings. The God of the South Sea was called Shu (brief, ephemeral) and the god of the North Sea was called Hu (sudden, fleet). From time to time Shu and Hu came together for a meeting in the territory of Hun Tun, and Hun Tun treated them very generously. Shu and Hu discussed how they could repay his kindness. "Ml men" they said "have seven openings so they can see, hear, eat and breathe. But Hun Tun alone doesn't have any. Let's try boring him some! " Every day they g bored another hole, and on the seventh day Hun Tun died. *Chuang Tzu's account of the death of Chaos is amplified with . relative materials from other sources, for better understanding. 1. Burton Watson, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1968), p. 97. 2. A.C. Graham, The Book of Lieh Tzu (London: John Murray, 1960), pp. 18-19. 3. John CH. Wu, Lao Tzu (New York: St. John University Press, 1961), p. 32. 4. David Hawkes, Ch'u Tz'u: The Songs of the South (Boston: Beacon Press, 1962), pp. 46-47. 5. Shan Hai Ching, T'u Tsan, Pu Chu (Taipei: Chung Hua Press, 1960, duplication), p. 34. 6. Watson, op. ci t . , p. 34. C. Before Heaven and Earth took shape, there was only undif-ferentiated formlessness. From this vacuity emerged two gods, who produced the universe (of space and time) . 1 The universe produced material force, which was extremely secure. Everything clear and light drifted up to become heaven; everything heavy and t u r b i d s o l i d i f i e d t o form earth. I t was e s p e c i a l l y easy f o r the c l e a r and r e f i n e d to unite but extremely d i f f i c u l t f o r the heavy and t u r b i d to s o l i d i f y . Therefore, heaven was formed f i r s t and the earth became def-i n i t e l a t e r . The material forces of Heaven and Earth com-bined to form Y i n and Yang. The concentrated forces o f Y i n and Yang became the four seasons, and the scattered forces of the four seasons became myriad things. When the hot force of Yang accumulated, f i r e was produced and the essence o f the material force o f f i r e became the sun. When the c o l d force of Y i n accumulated, water was produced and the essence of the m a t e r i a l force o f water became the moon. The excessive essence of sun and moon became the s t a r s and planets. Heaven received the sun, moon and s t a r s , while 2 Earth received water and s o i l . Adapted from HNTCSP, c i t e d by Yuan, op. c i t . , p. 31. Chan Wing-tsit, A Source Book i n Chinese Philosophy (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1972), pp. 307-08. The Myth of the Creation of Man A f t e r P'an Ku, Father of a l l Gods, came a succession of d e i t i e s : several supernal mother-goddesses and two super-l a t i v e g ods—the Supremacy o f Heaven and the Supremacy of Earth."'" One supernal goddess,-Nu Wa, was overcome by the barrenness of the earth and while s i t t i n g by a lake 2 she modelled her own images from c l a y and water. Sur-p r i s i n g l y , the c l a y models came t d l i f e with her l a s t 3 touch, and began t o s i n g and dance around her. She was 216 so w e l l pleased that she formed many more images and 4 matched them to engender future generations. Thus man's crea t i o n by Nu Wa, the goddess with a dragon 5 body, heralded the a r r i v a l o f the t h i r d s u p e r l a t i v e god, the Supremacy of Man. Nu Wa became the Mother of Mothers and the Goddess of Music and Marriage.^ 1. Cf. TPYL, (Peiping: Chung Hua Press, 1960, d u p l i c a t i o n ) , I, 78-a,b. /Also c f A Jen Ying-ts'ang, Chung Kuo Yuan Ku Shih Shu Yao (Taipei: P'a-Mi-Er Press, 1954), p. 160. 2. Yuan, op. c i t . , p. 55. 3. Adapted from FSTI, c i t e d by TPYL, I, 78-4b. 4. Adapted from FSTI, c i t e d by Ma, op. c i t . , 3. Al s o Yuan, op. c i t . , p. 55. A l s o adapted from LCYL, c i t e d by Yuan, i b i d . , pp. 56, 59. Cf. Wen I-t'uo, Kao T'ang Shen  Nu Ch'uan Shuo Chih Fen H s i : Shen Hua Yii Shih (Peiping: Chung Hua Press, 1956), pp. 81-117. 5. SHC, TT, PC, p. 189. 6. Adapted from CWCT, c i t e d by Yuan, op. c i t . , p. 59. Adapted from HNTSLP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , pp. 45, 59. Al s o c f . Yiian, i b i d . , p. 40. Seme Chinese legends profess that Nii Wa i s a s i s t e r of Fu H s i , the Supernal God o f the East. They are the only two human creatures l e f t a f t e r the Great Deluge, so they get married and become the f i r s t ancestors of human beings. i i i . The Myth o f the Great Deluge: the Destruction of the Universe Sometime a f t e r the c r e a t i o n o f Man, intolerance between 1 2 Kung Kung (the God of Water) and h i s father, Chu Jung 3 (the God of Fire) prompted the former t o r i s e against 4 Chu Jung i n a great b a t t l e . With the help of Hsiang 5 L i u , a l e s s e r god with nine heads and a serpent's t a i l , Kung Kung (who himself had a serpent-body and red h a i r ) ^ r a i s e d t e r r i b l e storms and v i o l e n t floods against h i s father. The b a t t l e was fought from Heaven to Earth and d i s a s t e r was u n i v e r s a l . Kung Kung was scon de-feated and i n angry despair he knocked h i s head on Mount Pu Chou, the P i l l a r of Heaven, with such force that the four extremes of Earth collapsed. Accordingly, the dome of the sky was broken and the various f i r e s of Heaven rained upon the Earth; great chasms appeared and floods poured f o r t h , devastating most l i f e on E a r t h . 7 Adapted from SCSCPSHPC, c i t e d by Yuan, op. c i t . , pp. 56, 59. John Er-wei Tu, The Mythological System o f the Mountain-Sea  C l a s s i c (Taipei: Hua Ming Press, 1960), p. 32. Ib i d . , p. 32 SHC, TT, PC, pp. 137, 211. Ib i d . , p. 137 Adapted from SCSCPSHPC, c i t e d Yiian, op. c i t . , pp. 56, 59. SHC, TT, PC, op. c i t . , p. 189. Adapted from HNTTWP, c i t e d by Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 67. Adapted from HNTLMP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 60. Shen, op. c i t . , p. 9-10. Graham, op. c i t . , p. 96. SHC, TT, PC, p. 144. Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 56. Ib i d . , p. 56. SHC, TT, PC, p. 189. Tu, op. c i t . , p. 32. Adapted from SCSCPSHPC, c i t e d by Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 59. SHC, TT, PC, op. c i t . , pp. 36, 189. Cf. Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 58. Adapted from HNTLMP, c i t e d by-Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 60. Adapted from HNTTWP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 67. Shen, op. c i t . , pp. 9-10. 218 Figure , Nu Wa and Fu Hsi This sketch of a funerary sculpture from a Han tomb of 1^7 A.D. i l l u s t r a t e s the myth of the b r o t h e r - s i s t e r or husband-wife r e l a t i o n s h i p of the two supernal gods, with t h e i r mingled bodies. ( Index of 3ronzes and Sculpture of Ancient China, Chin Shih Suo Shih Suo I I I & IV.) 219 Iv. The Myth of Paradise R e b u i l t and the Golden Age The Supernal Mother, Nii Wa, assumed the task of r e b u i l d i n g the universe and the e a r t h l y p a r a d i s e . 1 Out of her deep love f o r mankind, she melted c o l o r f u l stones t o glue the broken sky, used the legs of a g i a n t t u r t l e ' t o support the four posts of the Earth's extremes, and stored reed 2 ashes t o f i l l the chasms and stop the t e r r i b l e floods. As the p h y s i c a l universe was mended, she k i l l e d the de-vouring beasts, enabling the people o f Earth to enjoy a peaceful l i f e again. Eventually, l i f e became j o y f u l and happy, and men were freed from need and worry. Food was p l e n t i f u l ; a l l creatures l i v e d j u b i l a n t l y together—even the t i g e r ' s head and serpent's t a i l were p l a y f u l . In f a c t , men r e a l i z e d no d i s t i n c t i o n between themselves and 3 4 nature. I t was the Golden Age. 1. Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 58. 2. I b i d . , p. 58. Graham, op. c i t . , p. 96. Adapted from HNTLMP, c i t e d by Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 60. Shen, op. c i t . , p. 9. Adapted from SCSCPSHPC, c i t e d by Shen, i b i d . , p. 10 3. Adapted from HNTLMP, c i t e d by Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 68. Adapted from HNTPCP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 68. Cf. Yiian, i b i d . , pp. 65-67. 4. I b i d . , p. 65. v. The Myth of the S i l v e r Age Long a f t e r the passing of Nii Wa, there l i v e d an almighty god who was loved and respected by a l l d i v i n e beings. 220 Huang T i was the f i r s t god t o be enthroned as the Supremacy o f the Universe. 1 During h i s long r u l e the universe was i n a f i n e s tate o f f l u x and r e f l u x . This was the S i l v e r Age, i n which the day and night, and the 2 four seasons entered permanent r o t a t i o n . There was no conscious d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between god, man, and nature. Divine beings were welcome passengers o f earth, the winged gods and goddesses enjoying r e s o r t s provided by f i v e g i a n t t u r t l e s who bore the f i v e divinde mountains 3 on the Ocean-Valley of Void. But human beings were the 4 . happiest creatures. For example, i n Hua Hsu country, famous f o r i t s splendid flowers, they l i v e d i n paradise and f e l t no i n f e c t i o n i n l i f e hor sorrow f o r death during 5 t h e i r l i f e s p a n of some hundred years. The t i t a n s , o f f -spring of the gods, f l o u r i s h e d immortally and t r a v e l l e d f r e e l y between Heaven and Earth through various d i v i n e trees or s p i r a l roads on d i v i n e mountains. 1. Adapted from SCLH, c i t e d by Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 104. Adapted from PT, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 104. A l s o c f . Yiian, i b i d . , p. 98. 2. Adapted from PHTWH, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 74. A l s o c f . Yiian, i b i d . , p. 70. Adapted from HSrTLMP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 68. A l s o c f . Yiian, i b i d . , p. 65. 3. Adapted from LTTW, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 68. A l s o c f . Yiian, i b i d . , pp. 61-63. Graham, op. c i t . , p. 97 Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 67. I b i d . , p. 68. I b i d . , p. 81. I b i d . , p. 77. 4. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 135, 141, 177, 185, 192, 206, 80 (TT). 221 5. I b i d . , p. 81. Ib i d . , pp. 76-77. SHC, TT, PC, p. 177. Ib i d . , pp. 135, 141, 185, 192, 206, 80 (TT). Yuan, op. c i t . , p. 47. /Adapted from LTHTP, c i t e d by Yuan, i b i d . , p. 52. Graham, op. c i t . , p. 34. 6. SCH, TT, PC, pp. 206-07; 71, 74, 80 (TT). v i . The Myth of Passageways t o Heaven Chinese mythology mentions many passageways t o Heaven; the most 1 2 famous are the s p i r a l roads of Mount K'un Lun, Mount Chao, and Mount Teng Pao,"^ and the stairway of the Chien, the di v i n e 4 tree . Lying i n some mysterious region f a r above a l l mountains, Mount K'un Lun i s held to be the second highest mountain i n China. Although not as high as Mount Pu Chou, the P i l l a r of 5 Heaven, legend describes i t as l o s t i n the clouds. An abode o f pe r f e c t blessedness, i t c o n s i s t s of f i v e c i r c u l a r regions con-6 nected by a s p i r a l road. The f i r s t c i r c l e , the Mount of F i r e , 7 burns forever, making human passage impossible. An Abyss o f Sinking Water upon which nothing w i l l f l o a t forms the second g c i r c l e , while the t h i r d i s the d i v i n e palace K'un Lun, formed 9 from f i v e solemn c a s t l e s and twelve towers. Here the immortals f e a s t on ambrosia and hold conferences. I t i s entered through a great eastern gate f a c i n g the dawn, and guarded by K'ai Ming (the daybreak), a d i v i n e being with a t i g e r ' s body and nine heads with human faces."'"1 In the fourth c i r c l e i s the Mount of the Cool Wind. This i s the realm of immortalization, the River of Clearness flows i n t o the Lake o f P u r i t y , which provides the water of l i f e f o r immortals' t h i r s t . This sacred water i s kept by a l e s s e r god i n the shape of a b u l l with the t a i l s of horses, eight legs, and two human faces. But he i s a l s o the god of war—when he appears there w i l l be war and 12 d i s a s t e r . The uppermost c i r c l e i s the Hanging Garden, so high above the clouds th a t i t appears to hang from Heaven. I t i s the realm of s p i r i t u a l i z a t i o n , and by as-13 cending t h i s c i r c l e one may command the wind and r a i n . The f i f t h c i r c l e i s di s t i n g u i s h e d as the home o f magical trees of Sapphire, Nephrite, Jasper, Jade, Amethyst, C o r a l , Agate, Amber Garnet, and P e a r l . They provide ambrosia 14 and nectar f o r the d i v i n e beings. The gate t o the l a s t c i r c l e i s guarded by Y i n Chao, a mightly god with a t i g e r ' s 15 body, human face, and two tremendous wings. w i t h i n the garden several precious trees o f l i f e are guarded by L i Chu, a powerful god who has three heads and s i x eyes. Each head sleeps and watches i n t u r n . 1 ^ Beyond the f i f t h c i r c l e i s the d i v i n e dwelling o f Huang T i , the realm of d i v i n i t y and the d i v i d e r between the Nine Heavens and the the Nine Earths. Here the gate i s kept by Lu Wu, who a l s o has a t i g e r ' s body and a human head, as w e l l as nine t a i l s . Lu Wu 17 i s a s l o the Superintendent of the Nine Heavens. As a whole the s p i r a l road of Mount K'un Lun i s the most solemn and d i f f i c u l t passageway between Heaven and Earth. I t i s mainly f o r d i v i n e beings and i s forbidden to human beings 18 who would surely succumb to i t s obstacles. With the ex-ception of Mount K'un Lun, the other passageways are at l e a s t humanly accessible—however d i f f i c u l t . The s p i r a l roads of Mount Chao and Mount Teng Pao are of t h i s kind. 223 19 I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note that i n many o f the mythical paradises a d i v i n e t r e e bridges Heaven and Earth with num-20 erous branches f o r the various seekers. The legend of the d i v i n e tree, Chien, i s a pe r f e c t example. This tr e e grows i n the centre of Tu Kuang p l a i n , the c e n t r a l p l a i n of e a r t h l y paradise. The land i s ever green, ever blooming, and f u l l of singing b i r d s and dancing phoenixes; a land where hundreds of grains r i p e n i n a l l seasons. The tree i t s e l f i s very large, i t s nine s p i r a l branches and nine 21 crooked roots form a stairway to Heaven. I t i s s a i d that the Sovereign God of the East i s the f i r s t one to walk 22 through i t . 1. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 40-41, 158. Cf. Yiian, op. c i t . , pp. 48, 52. 2. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 160, 206. Cf. Yuan, op. c i t . , pp. 48, 52. 3. SHC, TT, PC, p. 140 Cf. Yiian, op. c i t . , pp. 48, 52 4. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 150, 206-07; 71, 74, 79, 80 (TT). Als o c f . Yiian, op. c i t . , pp. 48-49, 53. 5. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 36, 189. Adapted from SCSCPSHPC, c i t e d by Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 59. Adapted from HNTTWP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 67. Yiian, i b i d . , p. 58. 6. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 40-41, 158-60. Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 101. Adapted from HNTTHP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 52. 7. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 193-94. Yuan, op. c i t . , p. 101. Adapted from SSC, XIII, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 105. 224 8. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 159, 193-94; 77 (TT). Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 101. Mapted from SSC, V. 13, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 105. 9. Yiian, i b i d . , p. 99. Adapted from HNTTHP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 105. Adapted from HNTTHP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 104. 10. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 37, 40, 103. 11. I b i d . , p. 99. Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 101. 12. I b i d . , p. 99. SHC, TT, PC, p. 39. Adapted from HNTTHP, c i t e d by Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 52. 13. Adapted from HNTTHP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 52 Yiian, i b i d . , p. 98. SHC, TT, PC, p. 39 14. I b i d . , pp. 39, 160; 71, 76 (TT). Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 99. Adapted from HNTTHP, c i t e d by Yuan, i b i d , p. 104. 15. I b i d . , p. 99. SHC, TT, PC, p. 39. 16. I b i d . , p. 160. Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 100. 17. I b i d . , p. 98. Adapted from HNTTHP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p.52. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 40-43. 18. I b i d . , pp. 158; 71 (TT). 19. I b i d . , pp. 140. 206. 20. I b i d . , pp. 140-50, 177, 185, 188, 206. 21. I b i d . , pp. 206-07; 74, 80 (TT). 22. I b i d . , p. 207. v i i . The Jfyth of the Divine Conference and the Rebellion of Ch'ih Yu During the S i l v e r Age, when Huang T i was.-; at the height of h i s power, the f i r s t d i v i n e conference of gods and s p i r i t s was called."'" I t was held atop Mount T ' a i (the great peace) and the Supremacy o f the Universe a r r i v e d i n a sacred elephant 2 c h a r i o t driven by the holy b i r d , P i F a n g — a r e d - s t r i p e d green i b i s with a white beak on a human face and a s i n g l e 3 4 l e g . His attendant was the T i t a n , Ch'ih Yu , who was des-cended from Yen T i , ^ one o f the sun-gods.^ Ch'ih Yu possessed a human body, a b u f f a l o horn, four eyes, e i g h t hands and 7 eight cloven-hoofed legs. He commanded a heard of wolves g and t i g e r s t o c l e a r the road f o r the Supreme Being. Existing the road a f t e r Ch'ih Yu were the E l d e r o f the Rain, who boasted 9 the body of a silkworm, and the Chief o f the Wind, who had a deer's body with leopard spots and a snake's t a i l , but a sparrow's head with twin deer horns."'"0 Huang T i examined and punished or rewarded a l l the gods and s p i r i t s before r e c e i v i n g t h e i r p r a i s e and respects. 1"'" Unfortunately, the gl o r y of Huang T i provoked a strong d e s i r e f o r power i n Ch'ih Yu's heart. Following the Divine Conference, each of Ch'ih Yu's eighty-one 13 brothers also became ambitious f o r power. Ch'ih Yu's craving f i n a l l y r e s u l t e d i n a conspiracy against h i s grand-14 father, Yen T i , the Superlative Sun-God i n the south. Under Ch'ih Yu's malicious persuasion h i s t i t a n brothers, the Chief of the Wind and the E l d e r o f the Rain, numerous 15 16 monsters and e v i l s p i r i t s , the brave people of the south, 17 and the warriors of Miao (o f f s p r i n g of the Supreme Being) a l l joined the r e b e l l i o n . In order t o avoid a disastrous war 18 with h i s beloved human beings, Yen T i withdrew northwards. Thus Ch'ih Yu occupied the south, but, h i s d e s i r e f o r power u n f u l f i l l e d , he persuaded the T i t a n , Kua Fu, and h i s followers 19 (offspring of the God of the S o i l ) to j o i n him i n h i s r e -20 b e l l i o n against the Supremacy o f the Universe. The Supreme Being c a l l e d out a l l the mysteriously powerful s p i r i t s and sacred animals and the gods and goddesses i n a l l 21 realms to suppress the growing r e b e l l i o n . The b a t t l e was ferocious and i t was not u n t i l the Goddess o f Dark Mystery i n the Nine Heaven deused a mysterious strategy that the Supreme 22 Being was assured of v i c t o r y and the capture of Ch'ih Yu. M l the e v i l s p i r i t s and malicious gods were e i t h e r k i l l e d or deprived of d i v i n i t y , and t h e i r o f f s p r i n g were forever banished 23 from Heaven. Ch'ih Yu di e d i n a s e t of sacred manacles which were afterward cast upon a vast p l a i n where they turned i n t o a maple f o r e s t . The red leaves s i g n i f y Ch'ih Yu's anger 24 and plead h i s u n f u l f i l l e d dream. Yuan, op. c i t . , p. 109. Adapted from HFTSK, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 111. I b i d . , p. 111. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 43, 134. Adapted from HFTSK, c i t e d by Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 111. Yuan, i b i d . , p. 112. Adapted from IS, v. 5, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 74. Adapted from LSHCSCYC, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 118. Adapted from PHTWH, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 74. Adapted from HNTSTP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 74. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 210-11. Shen, op. c i t . , pp. 66-67. Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 112. 227 /Adapted from LYHT, quoted by TPYL, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 118. Adapted from LYHT, quoted by TPYL, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 118. Adapted from KT, 'quoted by IS, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 118. Cf. Yiian, i b i d . , p. 118. 8. Yiian, i b i d . , p. 109. Adapted from HFTSK, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 111. 9. Adapted from HFTSK, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 111. Adapted from CTTW, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 111. 10. Adapted from HFTSK, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 111. Adapted from CTLS, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 111. 1 1 • SHC, TT, PC, pp. 38, 57. Yiian, op. c i t . , pp. 106-07. 12. I b i d . , p. 112. Adapted from CSCMP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 118. 13. Shen, op. c i t . , pp. 66-67. Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 112. Adapted from LYHT, quoted by TPYL, c i t e d by Yuan, i b i d . , p. 118. 14. Yiian, i b i d . , p. 113. Adapted from CSCMP, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 118. 15. Shen, op. c i t . , pp. 66-67. Yiian, op. c i t . , pp. 113, 116. SHC, TT, PC, p. 201. 16. Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 115. SHC, TT, PC, p. 49. Adapted from TYTT, c i t e d by Yuan, I b i d . , p. 119. Cf. Yiian, i b i d . , p. 119. 17. Yiian, i b i d . , pp. 84, 109. Adapted from SCLH, c i t e d by Yuan, i b i d . , p. 89. SHC, TT, PC, p. 202. 18. Yuan, op. c i t . , p. 113. Adapted from CSCMP, c i t e d by Yuan, i b i d . , p. 118. 19. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 145, 199, 210-11. Yiian, op. c i t . , pp. 119-20. 20. I b i d . , pp. 118, 121. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 145, 182, 201. Cf. Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 119. 21. I b i d . , pp. 116-17. Shen, op. c i t . , pp. 66-67. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 182, 201. 228 Ting Ying, Chung Kuo Shang Ku Shen Hua Ku Shih (Hong Kong: The Shanghai Book Co., 1960), pp. 48-56. Adapted from CSCMP, c i t e d by Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 118. Adapted from LYHT, quoted by TPYL, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 118. Adapted from SCWTPC, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 119. 22. Yiian, i b i d . , p. 122. Adapted from HTYNCF, quoted by TPYL, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 125. Cf. Yiian, i b i d . , p. 119. 23. Shen, op. c i t . , pp. 66-67. SHC, TT, PC, pp. 182, 201. Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 122. Adapted from SCWTPC, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 125. Adapted from SCLH, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 126. Adapted from SCTYM, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d , p. 126. Adapted from TWSCCC, c i t e d by_Yuan, i b i d , p. 126. Adapted from MTFK, c i t e d by Yuan, i b i d . , p. 126. 24. SHC, TT, PC, p. 186. Yiian, op. c i t . , pp. 122-23. Cf. Yiian, ibTd., p. 126. i i . The Myth of the Estrangement of Earth from Heaven A f t e r the suppression o f Ch'ih Yu's r e b e l l i o n , the Supremacy of the Universe r e l u c t a n t l y ordered h i s great grandson, Chuan Hsu, 1 t o supervise the estrangement of Earth from Heaven and thus prevent furt h e r e v i l conspiracies between 2 the human and the di v i n e . Upon t h i s order Chuan Hsu despatched h i s two mighty grandsons: Ch'ung, the God of Wood, was sent t o close the s p i r a l passageways between Earth and Heaven, and thence superintend the boundary o f the F i r s t Heaven; L i was sent t o block the stairwasys to Heaven that were provided by the d i v i n e trees i n various paradises and thence superintend the great ground and be the God o f the Earth. Thus the great r e b e l l i o n r e s u l t e d i n the separation of the mortal from the d i v i n e and the 4 furthe r remoteness between Earth and Heaven. 229 1- SHC, TT, PC, pp. 192, 205-06. Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 83. 2. Adapted from SCLH, c i t e d by Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 89. 3. SHC, TT, PC, p. 192. Adapted from KYCY, c i t e d by Yuan, op. c i t . , p. 89. Yiian, i b i d . , p. 84-85. 4. Adapted from SCLH, c i t e d by Yiian, op. c i t . , p. 89. Adapted from KYCY, c i t e d by Yiian, i b i d . , p. 89. i x . The Myth of Disasters on Earth A f t e r the Estrangement A f t e r the estrangement from Heaven, the Earth was damned with f a l l e n gods, t i t a n s , and warriors, as w e l l as numerous cursed animals. They occupied deserted mountains, f o r e s t s and marshes to haunt nearby t r i b e s or v i l l a g e s . Mankind suffer e d not only from m o r t a l i t y , but a l s o from the miseries i n f l i c t e d by these f a l l e n creatures."'" To name a few: droughts were the curse o f the six-legged 2 four-winged F e i I snake; floods, the legacy o f the 3 Li n g Ling B e a s t — a bull-body, with t i g e r s t r i p e s ; the F e i Beast with h i s ox-body, white head, s i n g l e eye and 4 snake t a i l caused plagues; while the snake bodied (four-winged, three-legged, six-eyed) Suan Yu B i r d brought famines. Tempests were the curse o f Chi Meng, a dragon's head upon a human body; and f i n a l l y the f a l l e n god, A 7 Keng Fu, brought d e s t r u c t i o n wherever he v i s i t e d . 1. Yiian, op. c i t . , pp. 91-94. Adapted from SCLH, c i t e d by Yuan, i b i d . , p. 89. 2. SHC, TT, PC, p. 25. 230 3. Ibid., p. 78. 4. Ibid., p. 84. 5. Ibid., p. 66. 6. Ibid., p. 109. 7. Ibid., p. 119. The Myths of the God of Time and the Journey of the Sun Following the Earth's estrangement from Heaven, and the appointment of L i as God of the Earth, L i descended to Earth and begot I (or I Ming), a son whom he assigned to be God of Time. I Ming dwelled on the top of the Sun-Moon Mountain in the extreme western region and guarded the sacred Wu Chi door to heaven; this was the final earthly station of the journeys of sun and moon. Hi