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Tradition and individual talent in the theory of Chinese painting. Stocking, John Robert 1968

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TRADITION AND INDIVIDUAL TALENT IN THE THEORY OF CHINESE PAINTING (The paradox of Hsieh Ho's F i r s t and S i x t h P r i n c i p l e s ) by' John R. Stocking A Thesis Submitted i n P a r t i a l F u l f i l l m e n t of the Requirements f o r the Degree of MASTER OF ARTS i n the DEPARTMENT of FINE ARTS We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 17 , 1968. In p r e s e n t i n g 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 r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced deg ree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I ag ree t h a t 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 f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r ag ree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y pu rpo se s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n -t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Depa r tment The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumb ia Vancouve r 8, Canada Date Mgj. cj, -Q 2 . / ? £ 8 ABSTRACT This study i s d i r e c t e d at the problem of an apparent co n t r a d i c t i o n within the theory of Chinese painting, between insis t e n c e on the importance of i n d i v i d u a l i t y i n painting on the one hand, by Chinese c r i t i c s , and on the other t h e i r veneration of t r a d i t i o n a l ways and means, subjects, s t y l e s , and the c r i t e r i a used i n judging excel-lence. Since t h i s dichotomy i s c l e a r l y embodied i n the single most important document within the theory of Chinese painting, Hsieh Ho's Six P r i n c i p l e s (the F i r s t and Sixth i n p a r t i c u l a r ) , I have structured the f i r s t three parts of the t h e s i s around an evaluation of Hsieh Ho's reputation, and the l i t e r a l meaning of the F i r s t and Sixth p r i n c i p l e s , r e s p e c t i v e l y . The method i s e s s e n t i a l l y that of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , tempered, hopefully, by a f a m i l i a r i t y with many of the great masterpieces of Chinese painting. In the l a s t two sections I moved from an evaluation of the values and customs of the s o c i a l class which sup-ported the art of painting, back to the theory i t s e l f . Within the s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l c l a s s , as a s o c i a l e n t i t y , a s i m i l a r apparent co n t r a d i c t i o n e x i s t s between the impor-tance placed on i n d i v i d u a l freedom and talent i n l i v i n g , i and the recognized authority of f i x e d t r a d i t i o n . Since t h i s dichotomy i s embodied within the apparently c o n f l i c t i n g ways of Confucianism and Taoism, I have b u i l t my argument around these two s o c i o - r e l i g i o u s t r a d i t i o n s . The method used i s one of socio-philosophical analysis and interpre-t a t i o n . From a consideration of Confucianism and Taoism a set of r e l a t i v e l y a - h i s t o r i c a l constants emerges: f o r Confucianism a moral imperative and the p r a c t i c e of c a l l i -graphy; for Taoism a metaphysical imperative and the prac-t i c e of meditation. In the great l i t e r a r y and a r t i s t i c t r a d i t i o n of China, a f i f t h constant e x i s t s , shared by the Confucian and the Taoist mind a l i k e . My formulation of these constants and evaluation of t h e i r i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and interdependence, i s almost completely philosophical--the i n t u i t i v e and deduc-t i v e construction of a r e s o l u t i o n which seems to adequately explain a l l of the important issues. My actual presupposi-t i o n that the c o n f l i c t (between the i n d i v i d u a l talent and t r a d i t i o n ) i s i l l u s o r y comes, foremost, from my sense of complete u n i t y i n the painting, and, secondly, from the fact that the Chinese themselves were never p a r t i c u l a r l y aware of any such threat to the production of masterpieces of uncompromised s p i r i t u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . In the "Intro-duction" I suggest that the i l l u s i o n of c o n f l i c t or compro-mising c o n f l i c t within the f i e l d - t h e o r y of Chinese painting i s , very l i k e l y , based on a defensive Western c u l t u r a l -egotism, and the s u p e r s t i t i o n that the Orient has always negated the i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t while we i n the new West alone know i t s true value. Once we emphathize with the Chinese scholar-painters, the i l l u s i o n melts away. The conclusion I reach i s that the apparently opposing and c o n f l i c t i n g elements are i n fact complimentary and supportive, within the o v e r a l l u nity of the Chinese s p i r i t . However, a c e r t a i n irony must be admitted i n that an a - h i s t o r i c a l , or u n i v e r s a l l e v e l of being i s a recessary postulate i n order to consumate the r e s o l u t i o n . That the Chinese themselves were convinced of the r e a l i t y of such a metaphysical l e v e l , I have substantiated with quotations; and i t i s on t h i s l e v e l that the r e s u l t of Taoist meditation emerges as the supporting basis of the Confucian moral commitment to the e s s e n t i a l goodness of man. In a s i m i l a r way the Confucian p r a c t i c e of c a l l i -graphy provides the e s s e n t i a l t e c h n i c a l equipment of the painter, and a ready-made audience of experts i n brush work, while the f i n a l c r i t e r i a for judging the excellence i i i of painting i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to the experience of the Taoist mystic. Moralizing on the Confucian side of the coin takes the form of transmission of i d e a l types and subjects i n painting, while the Taoist commitment to spontaneous use of the brush, on the other side, leads toward the unconscious lodging of i n d i v i d u a l moral character—and, conceivably, a l l within the same painting. Individual talent finds i t s freedom to l i v e i n expression p r i m a r i l y through the function of negative c a p a b i l i t y , while t r a d i t i o n , the authority of the sages, i n s t r i c t l y governing the a r t i s t ' s p o s i t i v e invention i r o n i c a l l y preserves the i d e a l conditions under which the painter's negative c a p a b i l i t y may be activated. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1 Chapter I. HSIEH HO . 5 II. THE FIRST PRINCIPLE 15 II I . THE SIXTH PRINCIPLE 26 IV. THE CONFUCIAN CONSTANTS OF CHINESE PAINTING ... 40 V. TAOISM, THE ALTERNATE CONVENTION 67 BIBLIOGRAPHY 79 APPENDIX I (Translations of the Six P r i n c i p l e s of Hsieh Ho) 83 APPENDIX II (Negative C a p a b i l i t y and Formal Values).. 87 v INTRODUCTION In developing a discussion around two of the c e n t r a l themes of aesthetic theory about painting i n China, the themes embodied i n Hsieh Ho's F i r s t and Sixth P r i n c i p l e s , i t has been a l l too easy to speak i n terms of "paradox" and " c o n f l i c t " within a system of thought which probably did not s t r i k e the Chinese as very paradoxical or c o n f l i c -t i n g . Though generated through the experience of something which d e f i n i t e l y e x i s t s , the paradox and tension of which I write i s r e a l only within our minds--our Western minds; and i t i s within the Western mind that I want most to reach a r e s o l u t i o n of the apparent competition between the needs of t r a d i t i o n and the needs of i n d i v i d u a l talent i n Chinese p a i n t i n g . The great t r a d i t i o n of Chinese painting forms a u n i t y of being, a m o r a l - a e s t h e t i c - h i s t o r i c a l continuum, a s e l f - d e f i n i n g wholeness which must be f u l l y r e a l i z e d before just appreciation can be f r e e l y granted to i n d i v i d u a l works. Through t h i s discussion I hope that what f i r s t seemed s u p e r f i c i a l l y a n t i t h e t i c a l w i l l come to reveal i t s e l f as profoundly complementary i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , and that the paradoxical w i l l begin to emerge as s e l f - e v i d e n t l y supporting. Perhaps strength and meaning 1 2 w i l l emerge out of the Eastern mist where we thought we recognized i n f e r i o r i t y and s u p e r s t i t i o n . And the mysterious "mysticism" of the East may take on the curiously f a m i l i a r colors of Dr. Einstein's universe. ° The seeming f a i l u r e of the Chinese gentlemen painters to widely explore new materials, subject matter, and formal p r i n c i p l e s may seem paradoxical to the Westerner, i n view of the emphasis which the Chinese placed on an i n t u i t i v e approach to a r t , and the remarkable i n d i v i d u a l i s m which many of the great Chinese painters displayed i n t h e i r personal ways of l i f e . It i s the paradox between Hsieh Ho 1s F i r s t P r i n c i p l e , which dictates an almost mystical release of completely spontaneous brushwork, and the Sixth P r i n c i p l e , which i n s i s t s on the transmission of past expe-rience through the adherence to formal conventions, leading to a r e l a t i v e l y t i g h t vocabulary of brush strokes and representational modes, and--in the extreme—to the p r a c t i c e of a c t u a l l y copying the works and st y l e s of past masters. In other words, i f a painter values the i n t u i t i v e and spontaneous approach, does the close adherence to t r a d i t i o n , and c e r t a i n l y the act of copying, imply some kind of moral or aesthetic compromise—an hypocrisy, 3 dishonesty, a deviousness? That i s what many Westerners would l i k e to think i s true, and that i s what one hears from not a few academics among us as they c r i t i c i z e the Chinese i n defending Western art i n i t s own terms, i . e . Western art displays more material and te c h n i c a l inventive-ness, v a r i e t y , a more o r i g i n a l and dynamic evolution of meanings, etc. Now, I am sure what i s a c t u a l l y involved i n t h i s sort of defensive a t t i t u d e on the part of the West i s a deep-seated fear of i t s own s p i r i t u a l inadequacy (as expressed i n the materialism and vainglory of much of i t s a r t ) , and a subsequent desire to devaluate i t s natural mirror i n the East—which shows us just what we are — on grounds which are e s s e n t i a l l y based on delusions of r a c i a l and c u l t u r a l s u p e r i o r i t y . Needless to say, we do not fear the East because of some o v e r a l l c u l t u r a l s u p e r i o r i t y to the West, which i t obviously lacks, but because acceptance of the East on i t s own terms reveals much to the Western mind about i t s e l f which i t l i k e s to avoid knowing, and which i t would l i k e to continue to avoid knowing u n t i l the end. What I have attempted to do i n t h i s paper i s to resolve the seeming paradox of t r a d i t i o n and the i n d i -v i d u a l talent i n Chinese p a i n t i n g . And, i n addition, I have also attempted to explain i t i n h i s t o r i c a l terms. The h i s t o r i c a l explanation i s concerned mainly with such matters of fact as the p r a c t i c e of c a l l i g r a p h y , the t r a -d i t i o n a l social-economic r o l e of the Chinese painter, the Chinese a t t i t u d e toward nature, h i s t o r y , and a r t . The r e s o l u t i o n of the paradox depends upon an evaluation of the c e n t r a l control source responsible for the appearance of any phenomenon, meditation or action, within time--i.e. the human mind as a bio-cybernetic information-processing device. D i f f i c u l t i e s have arisen, and w i l l be experienced by the reader, i n the area where the two f a c t o r s — h i s t o r y and the abstract mind—come together, areas of philoso-p h i c a l speculation. Hopefully, the confusion which develops w i l l not be on a communication-blocking l e v e l . I. HSIEH HO Within the East Asian f i e l d of reference i t i s f i t t i n g that the f i r s t known art the o r i s t of major impor-tance came to be accepted as the greatest authority."'" Hsieh Ho did not write h i s famous t r e a t i s e on painting, the Ku hua-p'in l u (The Old C l a s s i f i e d Record of Pain t e r s ) , 2 u n t i l 475 A.D., or quite late i n the h i s t o r y of Chinese philosophy. (The t r a d i t i o n a l dates f o r Confucius are 3 551-479 B.C.). Yet, as the development of a c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e on painting was about 1000 years behind the development of thought i n the areas of p o l i t i c s , morals, and metaphysics, Hsieh Ho could s t i l l be f i r s t . The p a r t i c u l a r s i g n i f i c a n c e of h i s primacy must be emphasized, i f we are to attempt to look at the problem from a Chinese point of view. Edwin 0. Reischauer and John K. Fairbank, East Asia The Great T r a d i t i o n (Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n Com-p a n y ,~~1958), p.~~69 2 Michael S u l l i v a n , The B i r t h of Landscape Painting In China (Berkeley: The Uni v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1962), p. 105. 3 Reischauer, Great T r a d i t i o n , p.. 69. 5 6 Like Confucius, Hsieh Ho never claimed to be 4 an o r i g i n a t o r of the ideas he c o d i f i e d , but rather, a transmitter of ideas already i n e x t r i c a b l y woven into the f a b r i c of the great t r a d i t i o n , as he, himself, says i n introducing the Old Record of the C l a s s i f i c a t i o n of  Painters.^'^ What he had to say had doubtless been said before on countless occasions when scholars met and discussed painting and, more important, the f i n e art of c a l l i g r a p h y . The roots of the famous Six P r i n c i p l e s of Hsieh Ho were deep, grounded, as Acker suggests, not merely i n the c r i t i c i s m of c a l l i g r a p h y , but most l i k e l y also i n a system for judging horses which originated during the previous dynasty.'' It was not so much the o r i g i n a l i t y or newness of what Hsieh Ho wrote that ^William Theodore DeBary, (ed.), Sources of Chinese  T r a d i t i o n (New York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1960), pp. 15-20. ^Osvald Siren, The Chinese on the Art of Painting, (New York: Schocken Books, 1963), p. 18. ^William Reynolds Beal Acker, Some T 1ang and  Pre-T'ang Texts on Chinese Painting (Leiden: E. J . B r i l l , 1954), p. 5. Ibid., L I I I and XXXIV. 7 accounts for h i s fame, but rather i t s u n i v e r s a l accepta-b i l i t y within the great t r a d i t i o n , and the way i n which he expressed i t i n w r i t i n g . It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that, although h i s s t y l e as a painter had much that was i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c or novel, o r i g i n a l and clever, he was always placed i n i n f e r i o r categories by l a t e r c r i t i c s , who seemed to agree that the way i n which he gained h i s e f f e c t s was s u p e r f i c i a l . We may be sure that Hsieh Ho was a painter, and learn a few things about h i s painting, mainly because of information found i n the Hsu Hua P 1 i n by Yao Tsui ( c i r c a . 550), the second oldest major t h e o r e t i c a l - h i s t o r i c a l g work on painting i n Chinese which i s known, and from which I w i l l quote the section on Hsieh Ho, using Acker's t r a n s l a t i o n . In painting people's p o r t r a i t s he (Hsieh Ho) did not have to s i t opposite them and keep looking. A l l he needed was one glance and he would go to work and wield h i s brush. His dots and sweeps are polished and r e f i n e d , and h i s a t t e n t i o n was f i x e d on (getting) a close likeness. (Even to) the expression of the eyes and the least h a i r , a l l was (done) without a single s l i p or omission. (Even) the f e s t i v e robes and the cosmetics (of his g Siren, Art of Painting, p. 9. 8 women) changed according to the times, and he made straight eyebrows or curved forehead locks, according to the l a t e s t (fashion) i n the world's a f f a i r s . Such refinement i n the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of st y l e s generally speaking began with (Hsieh) Ho, but the consequence i s that he has set a l l the (men from the) back a l l e y s to chasing a f t e r unessentials so that they a l l resemble (the ugly women) who imitated the frown (of the famous beauty). For i n what concerns s p i r i t resonance and the es s e n t i a l soul, he was far from fathoming the meaning of v i t a l i t y . The path of h i s brush was tenuous and weak which i l l accords with a f e e l i n g of vigour and c l a s s i c elegance. W i l l , ever since the Chung Hsing era (501) ^ no one had equalled him i n portraying people. And, according to G i l e s , i t would appear that Huang Po-ssu (the Sung scholar and art c r i t i c ) had access to a copy of a painting by Hsieh Ho, of which he wrote as follows i n a b r i e f note: The p i c t u r e of the Emperor Ming T i of the Chin dynasty (A.D. 323-326) r i d i n g i n h i s wheeled chair, was painted by Hsieh Ho of the Southern Ch'i dynasty. Although t h i s i s only a copy which has been handed down, the concep-t i o n and likeness are those of ancient times; but to place a small table i n the chair, and to display two carrying-poles alongside, i s not^ at a l l i n accordance with t r a d i t i o n . . . Further, at the time of the Eastern Chin dynasty, hats and boots had not come into general fashion, yet i n t h i s picture we see the eunuchs wearing Acker, T 1 ang and Pre-^-T1 ang Texts, p. 45. 9 them. Concerning Hsieh Ho as painter, l i t t l e else of value remains to inform us. Concerning h i s character, there seem to be many legends, but nothing of clear-cut h i s t o r i c a l worth. In evaluating the b r i e f material which has been quoted, i t would seem that, while Hsieh Ho recognized the Six P r i n c i p l e s i n order to record them, he was not able to abide by them i n p r a c t i c e , nor to embody the F i r s t P r i n c i p l e i n h i s painting at a l l . Thus he was condemned as a painter by l a t e r c r i t i c s using the very c r i t e r i a he had established. Apparently, to a man l i k e Yao Tsui, who wrote only f i f t y years a f t e r Hsieh's death, the author of the Six P r i n c i p l e s of Chinese Painting was no immortal or sage, l i k e Confucius, but merely a good c r i t i c who could not paint very w e l l . Since the painting seen by Huang Po-ssu was c l e a r l y a copy, l i t t l e value may be attached to i t , and one must conclude that no paintings by Hsieh Ho have survived, nor reasonable descriptions other than what Yao Tsui has to o f f e r . "^Herbert A. G i l e s , An Introduction to the History  of Chinese P i c t o r i a l Art, (Shanghai: Kelley and Walsh, Ltd., 1905), pp. 27-28. 10 As S u l l i v a n suggests, Yao Tsui's c r i t i c i s m of Hsieh Ho's paintings, that they lacked l i f e movement or s p i r i t resonance—the most important of the " s i x elements," 11 constitutes a "scathing v e r d i c t . " S u l l i v a n , himself, speaks of Hsieh Ho's "mediocrity as a painter," and goes on to conclude that he was "doubtless a pedantic c r i t i c 12 whose taste leaned toward meticulous realism . . . " His p o r t r a i t s must have been more clever than profound, with an i n t e r e s t i n d e t a i l and a l i m i t e d kind of personal c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n overriding the expression of u n i v e r s a l moral and metaphysical p r i n c i p l e s which the Chinese i n t e l l e c t u a l has always valued above t e c h n i c a l f a c i l i t y or o r i g i n a l i t y . And, as a c r i t i c , how could he have looked well at Ku K'ai-chih's paintings and s t i l l placed him (of whose well-established greatness we have considerable 13 evidence),in the t h i r d rank of painters? Why does he place Wang Wei i n the even lower fourth class? These, and other questions about Hsieh*s a b i l i t y as a painter and i n t e g r i t y as a c r i t i c , which tend to support Sullivan's v e r d i c t , must go unanswered. "'"'''Sullivan, B i r t h of Landscape Paint ing, p. 106, 12 Ibid. 13 Acker, T 1ang and Pre-T'ang Texts, p. 17. Hsieh Ho's fame grew s t e a d i l y because he was the f i r s t writer to o f f i c i a l l y , or formally record--to uphold and t r a n s m i t — a set of p r i n c i p l e s which i n and of themselves surround the secret of Chinese painting, the Tao, just as the p o l i t i c a l philosophy of the Duke of Chou (transmitted by Confucius) embodies the Chinese moral and p o l i t i c a l sense. Although he was c e r t a i n l y not a great sage l i k e Confucius, Hsieh Ho's name was attached to the Six P r i n c i p l e s of Chinese Painting because of h i s l i t e r a r y - h i s t o r i c a l contribution. He passed them on i n a written s t y l e which the l a t e r Chinese took as c l a s s i c prose. To quote the s i n o l o g i s t , Acker, "The s t y l e i n which i t (Ku Hua P'in Lu) i s written i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the period, c l o s e l y k n i t , elegant and polished, with nearly a l l the sentences arranged i n c a r e f u l l y balanced 14 p a i r s . This same d e s c r i p t i o n applies c l o s e l y to the Wen-fu of Lu Chi (261-303 A.D.), a remarkable work i n rhymeprose and the f i r s t comprehensive theory of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m i n C h i n a . B u t , unlike the Wen-fu of Lu Chi, i t i s hard to believe that the Six P r i n c i p l e s 1 4 I b i d . , XIV. ^ J o h n L. Bishop (ed.), Studies i n Chinese L i t e r a -ture (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1965) pp. 3-41. of Hsieh Ho contain any of t h e i r author's o r i g i n a l thought It would be better to think i n terms of The Six P r i n c i p l e s of Chinese Painting, which Hsieh Ho transmitted, rather than i n terms of Hsieh Ho's Six P r i n c i p l e s . As anyone who has read The Chinese on the Art of Paint ing w i l l agree, the "Six P r i n c i p l e s . . . " survived and f l o u r i s h e d with great tenacity i n the minds of Chinese scholar painters, c r i t i c s , and art h i s t o r i a n s . " ^ As a r e s u l t , they have also drawn the att e n t i o n of most writers i n English, Japanese, and other foreig n languages, when dealing with questions of the theory of painting i n China. As §oper remarks, "...they s a t i s f i e d the genera requirements of c l a s s i c a l lore by being at once ancient, terse, and s u p e r f i c i a l l y simple about a core of mystery... In t h i s paper, although questions of l i t e r a l meaning and t r a n s l a t i o n of texts are i n t e r e s t i n g and e s s e n t i a l to the understanding of the basic problem, and w i l l be dealt with, the int e r e s t here i s not with Hsieh Ho's "^Siren, Art of Painting. "^Alexander C. Soper, "The F i r s t Two Laws of Hsieh Ho," The Far Eastern Quarterly: Review of Eastern Asia  and the Adjacent P a c i f i c Islands, V o l . 8 ( i t h i c a , New York: C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1948-49), p. 412. 13 r e n d i t i o n f o r i t s own sake, but rather i n i t s function as a v e h i c l e of h i s t o r i c a l and t r a n s - h i s t o r i c , or u n i v e r s a l , meaning. In 1954, William R. B. Acker published an exten-sive t e c h n i c a l study of Some T'ang and Pre-T'ang Texts on Chinese Painting (Leiden, E. J . B r i l l ) , including Hsieh Ho's Ru Hua P 1 i n Lu. In his argument concerning the Six P r i n c i p l e s of Hsieh Ho, he attempts to prove that of the four Chinese characters which were previously thought to make up each p r i n c i p l e , only the f i r s t two comprise the p r i n c i p l e , while the l a s t two provide a d e f i n i t i o n . Thus, i n t r a n s l a t i n g the Six P r i n c i p l e s he presents only the f i r s t two characters of each l i n e , although he provides a t r a n s l a t i o n of the " d e f i n i t i o n s " elsewhere i n hi s text. The r e s u l t i s a t r a n s l a t i o n which I cannot help but f e e l , i n i t s ideogramatic concen-t r a t i o n , i s much closer to the way i n which the Chinese wrote and thought. A comparison of Acker's t r a n s l a t i o n with e a r l i e r readings by men l i k e Laurence Binyon, F r i e d r i c h H i r t h , Shio Sakanishi, Arthur Waley, and to a c e r t a i n extent, Osvald Siren ( i n which the p r i n c i p l e s and the d e f i n i t i o n s tend to be interpreted more as whole sentences or phrases), w i l l i l l u s t r a t e what I mean. 14 (See Appendix I ) . Most leading contemporary.scholars of Chinese painting, such as Alexander Soper, William Cohn, Sherman E. Lee, Michael S u l l i v a n , and Laurence Sickman, base t h e i r t r a n s l a t i o n s at least i n part on Acker's 18 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , although some go on to cast the meaning established by Acker into standard English sentences or phrases. In dealing with the l i t e r a l meaning of the f i r s t and s i x t h p r i n c i p l e s i n the next two sections of t h i s paper, I have r e l i e d heavily on Acker's opinion. Laurence Sickman and Alexander Soper, The Art  and Architecture of China (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1956), p. 65. II. THE FIRST PRINCIPLE Of the Six P r i n c i p l e s of Chinese Painting, the f i r s t has received by f a r the most att e n t i o n from writers i n China and i n the West.''" Its p h i l o s o p h i c a l r a m i f i c a -tions and implications surround a p h i l o s o p h i c a l - r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f , or f a c t , which i n i t s e l f unlocks the door to understanding the other f i v e laws. For the Chinese i t was a concept which expands to touch every area of a c t i o n and meditation i n l i f e , and, l i k e the Indian concept of Brahman or the medieval C h r i s t i a n concept of Light, came to the c r i t i c i s m of art from a p h i l o s o p h i c a l system already complete with morals, metaphysics, l o g i c , and p o l i t i c s . Obviously such a lineage makes the problem of adequate t r a n s l a t i o n into the language of another culture extremely d i f f i c u l t , p a r t i c u l a r l y when the culture and i t s language embody the values of a people at odds with the kind of l i f e s o l u t i o n which the Chinese system i n e v i t a b l y suggests. In t r a n s l a t i n g the f i r s t binome, the f i r s t of Hsieh Ho's Six P r i n c i p l e s ( c h ' i yun), Acker adheres to 1Soper, "The F i r s t Two Laws," p. 412. 16 2 Siren's e a r l i e r rendering as "Spirit-Resonance." Although Alexander Soper eventually decides i n favor of the "less s p e c i f i c " (but also less dynamic) " S p i r i t -Consonance," the argument he uses i s almost i d e n t i c a l to Acker's, and he also considers "Spirit-Resonance" as a f a i r l y adequate d e f i n i t i o n as long as the.English meaning 3 of "Resonance" i s c l e a r l y defined. The general argument of these two t r a n s l a t o r s may be outlined roughly as follows. Before Han times, the character "Ch'i," although already ancient and charged with the implication of r e l i g i o u s - p h i l o s o p h i c a l profundity, was used i n a r e l a t i v e l y undiscriminating way. It could r e f e r to man's actual p h y s i c a l breath, or to a number of v i t a l humours or q u a s i - s c i e n t i f i c f l u i d s generated by the i n t e r n a l organs then thought to con t r o l the personality, or, perhaps by implication, to d e f i n i t e l y psychological concepts, i . e . man's abstract " s p i r i t , " h i s "passion-nature," h i s "presence" or s p i r i t u a l s t y l e . And, i n connection with what we might c a l l the "natural world," 2 Acker, T'ang and Pre-T'ang Texts, XXIX. 3 Soper, "The F i r s t Two Laws," p. 412. 17 i t was also used to express a sense of some primal element or ether, the e s s e n t i a l energy-transmitting element of the whole world continuum, something at once u n i v e r s a l and yet capable of p a r t i c u l a r i z a t i o n under concrete circumstance i n time and space. By Han times, however, the two general uses of the one character — i n reference to nature and i n reference to man as part of nature—had been f a i r l y w e ll fused into a single p h i l o s o p h i c a l system, or cosmology, as the c e n t r a l metaphysical p r i n c i p l e . Soper attempts to explain i n English prose, as follows: A primordial " c h i " had existed at the beginning of time before the appearance of created forms. The f i r s t act of creation had been the separation of t h i s ether into i t s grosser and subtler components, which became the n u c l e i of earth and heaven, res p e c t i v e l y , and the agents i n further cosmic i n t e r a c t i o n and subdivision. In the mature universe were a l l kinds and conditions of " c h ' i " , i n d i v i d u a l or c o l l e c t i v e , grouped about a common q u a l i t y of r e l a t i o n s h i p , parceled out into numerical categories. At the same time, as t h e i r common name suggested, a l l these units and groups, the " c h ' i " of rock, the " c h ' i " of the human s p i r i t , the " c h ' i " of meteorological phenomena and of the d i v i s i o n s of time, were i n some way one. Here, half-formed and s t i l l f u l l of gaps and contradictions, was the kind of tremendous metaphysical concept that i n Indian thought was more systematically presented under the names of Atman and Brahman, or even Buddha. Its p o t e n t i a l value f o r the more mystical side of Chinese painting theory 18 i s s e l f - e v i d e n t . To get s u b s t a n t i a l l y c l o s e r to the c e n t r a l meaning of t h i s idea i n English, i t i s necessary to pass over a l l of the c r i t i c s and l i t e r a r y - p h i l o s o p h i c a l hacks who have waxed eloquent on the subject, and con-sul t a true poet. In the passage I quote from "Lines above T i n t e r n Abbey," Wordsworth speaks of a force d i s t i n c t l y r e l a t e d to the Chinese concept of " c h ' i , " and--what i s most important — does so i n a way which can recreate the f e e l i n g of the experience described, evoking as well as defining the event i t s e l f . And I have f e l t A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime Of something far more deeply interfused, Whose dwelling i s the l i g h t of s e t t i n g suns, And the round ocean and the l i v i n g a i r , And the blue sky, and the mind of man; A motion and a s p i r i t , that impels A l l thinking things, a l l o b j e c t s of a l l thought, And r o l l s through a l l things. The defining binome, or explanatory equivalent of " c h ' i yun" i s "sheng tung" which tra n s l a t e s unequivo-cably as " l i f e - m o t i o n . " ^ The appropriateness of t h i s Soper, "The F i r s t Two Laws," p. 419. Ernest Bernbaum, Anthology of Romanticism (New binome w i l l be apparent at once to anyone who has watched a master c a l l i g r a p h e r or painter i n a c t i o n . Chinese painting i s a performing a r t , not unlike the dance i n i t s requirements, but with the difference that i t i s s e l f - r e c o r d i n g . The c r i t e r i a f o r judging i t s excellence i s i m p l i c i t i n the f i r s t p r i n c i p l e : the record l e f t i n the ink on the paper must be the record of a c t i o n which u n s e l f i s h l y p a r t i c i p a t e s , which f r e e l y becomes a knowing part of the primary processes of c r e a t i o n — p r o c e s s e s which for the Chinese were the impelling forces of l i f e , the source of l i f e * s - m o t i o n i n " a l l thinking things" and " a l l objects of a l l thought." "Yun," the second character of the binome which i s the f i r s t law, poses few problems to the t r a n s l a t o r when compared with the ancient and enigmatic "Ch'i." To quote again from Soper's a r t i c l e : 'Yun,' i n contrast, was for Hsieh Ho a r e l a t i v e l y new character that had had l i t t l e opportunity to grow i n meaning. The K'ang-shi d i c t i o n a r y c i t e s ancient authority to the e f f e c t that i t was a new creation of the post-Han period, a response to the greater i n t e r e s t of York: The Ronald Press Company, 1 9 4 8 ) , p. 1 9 3 . 6Acker, T'ang and Pre-T'ang Texts, XXXII. 20 that age i n problems of poetic form. Out of t h i s need, then, of i n d i c a t i n g a precise sound r e l a t i o n s h i p comes i t s primary trans-l a t i o n , "rhyme." In the "Wen h s i n t i a o lung," ch. 33, i t i s the subject of a valuable d e f i -n i t i o n , contrasting i t with the "ho," normally t r a n s l a t e d as "harmony:" "When d i f f e r i n g sounds are i n mutual accord, one speaks of '"ho." When notes of the same key respond to one another, one speaks of "yun." 7 He goes on to quote from the Book of Changes, perhaps the c l a s s i c most important as a source of aesthetic philosophy to the poet and painter a l i k e , where a "supplementary explanation" of a hexagram, t r a d i t i o n a l l y ascribed to Confucius, speaks of sympathetic v i b r a t i o n of strings i n r e l a t i o n to " c h ' i . " Notes of the same key respond to one another; creatures of the same nature, " c h ' i , " seek one another. Thus water flows down toward wetness, while f i r e aspires toward dryness; clouds follow the dragon, and winds the t i g e r . The sage appears, and a l l things look to him. A l l that has i t s o r i g i n i n Heaven i s drawn upward; a l l that has i t s o r i g i n i n Earth i s drawn downward; for everything follows i t s kind. Developed by the post-Han philosophers under the name of "yun," t h i s metaphor to p h y s i c a l phenomena observable i n musical instruments came to accompany the Soper, "The F i r s t Two Laws," p. 419. Ibid., p. 421. 21 primary concept of " c h ' i . " "Yun" was thus thought of as the condition i n which " a l l thinking things, a l l objects of a l l thought" v i b r a t e or resonate sympa-t h e t i c a l l y , or are impelled or energized by the d i r e c t primal source, gaining self-evident presence by sharing i n i t s authority. It i s a responsiveness, an active or v i t a l cooperation, a submergence within and r e a l i z a t i o n through the e s s e n t i a l currents of cosmic energy at work creating the world, rather than a r e b e l l i n g or struggling against the natural order out of the ignorance of s e l f i s h n e s s . In English, Coleridge comes close to expressing the f e e l i n g and meaning of the Chinese concept, i n these l i n e s from "The E o l i a n Harp." And what i f a l l of animated nature Be but organic harps d i v e r s e l y framed, That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps P l a s t i c and vast, one i n t e l l e c t u a l breeze, 9 At once the soul of each and God of a l l ? Hsieh Ho used the character, "yun," f r e e l y , but he appears to have meant about the same thing by i t i n each case, as one can see from the examples Acker quotes: Bernbaum, Anthology of Romanticism,p. 140. 22 shen yun soul resonance t ' i 1 yun s t y l e tone c h 1 i n g yun emotional resonance yun ya resonance and c l a s s i c elegance 10 He goes on to explain: In a l l these binomes "yun" (resonance) seems to point to a sort of vibrant q u a l i t y i n the works of the painters of whom he uses these terms--lingering resonances or over-tones of the painter's own soul, nervous energy, f e e l i n g , etc. Some scholars have t r i e d to bring out the "rhyme" sense of "yun" by sug-gesting that i t might mean the conveyance of the a r t i s t ' s own emotion to others by means of the work of a r t , and they would, there-fore, explain " c h ' i yun" as sympathetic v i b r a t i o n s of the " s p i r i t " between the painter and the c r i t i c brought about through the medium of the work of a r t . Or, i n other words, the work of art should have the power of evoking i n the c r i t i c the same f e e l i n g s which i n s p i r e d the painter when he created i t . Those who take t h i s view support i t by pointing out that another character, "yun," (to convey, transport) i s often used instead of "yun" (resonance, sympathetic v i b r a t i o n s , etc.) and that the use of t h i s character proves thatts Chang Yen-yuan and the other early writers who substituted i t , must have understood by Hsieh's " c h ' i yun" some sort of transference of emotion from person to person by means of works of a r t . 11 Acker, 1 1 T V , Ibid. T'ang and Pre-T'ang Texts, XXXII. 23 In dealing with the Sixth P r i n c i p l e , and the problem of copying i n p a r t i c u l a r , i t w i l l be important to remember that these early writers emphasized the po s s i -b i l i t y of contact transfer of " c h ' i " or v i t a l s p i r i t , a s p i r i t u a l communication, through completed works of a r t . So much i s cl e a r . However, since the Chinese did not h a b i t u a l l y d i s t i n g u i s h between body and s p i r i t , mind and matter, as we are accustomed to doing i n the West, some confusion i s bound to occur f o r us i n attempting to get at what " c h ' i " a c t u a l l y meant, and what the process of "yun" e n t a i l e d : was "yun" the i n t e l l e c t u a l or mental r e a l i z a t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c (cosmological) f a c t , or was i t a p h y s i c a l (emotional) re a c t i o n to some kind of u n i v e r s a l idea? Were both "yun" and " c h ' i " thought of i n terms of consciousness,or idea, or were they both known purely as p h y s i c a l forces experienced by man? The answer, of course, i s that some form of u n i v e r s a l mind or conscious-ness i s involved, but that t h i s force i s — o r at least was for the Chinese--a r e a l i t y which existed on a l e v e l s i m i l a r to the l e v e l on which we place such s c i e n t i f i c notions as quantum mechanics or magnetic wave t h e o r y -l e v e l s of an a b s t r a c t l y s p i r i t u a l nature, to be sure, butfe also of concrete a c t u a l i t y . We may not understand the 2 4 universe of Dr. E i n s t e i n , but no doubt most of us believe f e r v e n t l y i n i t s existence, and on occasion may even receive intimations concerning i t s nature. With much less recorded data to go on, the Chinese also seem to have had a deep f a i t h i n some primary undernetting, and took t h i s constant and never-changing base as a c a t e g o r i c a l reference point i n dealing with a l l p h i l o s o p h i c a l - s c i e n t i f i c problems--moral, aesthetic, and h i s t o r i c a l . For the ancient Chinese the sage was the man who knows. And, not merely knows, but knows he knows and i s not a f r a i d to speak h i s mind or to act. His absolute knowledge leads to t o t a l commitment and spontaneous ac t i o n based on an i n t u i t i v e grasp of the m o r a l - h i s t o r i c a l -aesthetic s i t u a t i o n . As i n the case of the legendary Duke of Chou, the sage model of Confucian p o l i t i c a l philosophy, action, based on absolute knowledge and cooperation with the pre-ordained order, becomes vibrant with the energy of " c h ' i , " and once charged with the w i l l of the cosmos i s i r r e s i s t a b l y e f f e c t i v e . Yet, i n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, the Chinese Superman i s not amoral. For the Chinese world order was an extremely human v i s i o n , and r a r e l y begins to approach the mechanistic n e u t r a l i t y of our 25 s c i e n t i f i c cosmology. Enlightened action was, a f t e r a l l , nothing more than cooperation with the * w i l l of Heaven." Fortunately, the p o l i t i c a l f e a s i b i l i t y of ch a r i s -matic leadership i s beyond the scope of t h i s paper. The only point i s that s p i r i t resonance, or sympathy-empathy with cosmic energy patterns, was not thought of as a means to enter c e r t a i n s t a t i c r e l i g i o u s - a e s t h e t i c realms of consciousness — realms of disinvolvement—as was so often the case i n India. "Tuning-in" was f i r s t of a l l a way of unlocking an unusual kind of spontaneous action force; and Chinese pain t i n g i s the ultimate form of ac t i o n p a i n t i n g . I I I . THE SIXTH PRINCIPLE As one can see at once from scanning the various renderings of the Sixth P r i n c i p l e ( l i s t e d i n the Appendix), there i s almost no disagreement concerning i t s general meaning. Some kind of transmission and conveying from the t r a d i t i o n of Chinese painting was intended; and, t h i s should occur through a mechanism of formal reproduction such as the learning of models, s t y l e s , and the actual making of copies. Only the t r a n s l a t i o n of Herbert G i l e s (as " F i n i s h " ) , which must have been some kind of joke, c o n f l i c t s with the general consensus. The r e a l issue centers around the question of what kind of "transmission" i s meant, and what kind of "models" or c l a s s i c examples; and, more important, i s p u l l i n g "the great cart of t r a -d i t i o n " compatible with the search for l i f e - b r e a t h at a l l ? If the v i t a l " c h ' i " i s a v a i l a b l e to a l l , at a l l times, to be accepted by anyone who can take i t , why waste time memorizing the s t y l e s of dead masters? Of the f i r s t two characters which, i n Acker's opinion, form Hsieh Ho's Sixth P r i n c i p l e (Ch'uan and i ) , he writes as follows: 26 27 The combination ch'uan 1. which the Ku Hua P'in Lu has for the Sixth Element seems to occur nowhere else, and i s not to be found i n any Chinese or Japanese dicti o n a r y . The f i r s t character, ch'uan, means "to transmit," to "hand on," "continue," etc., and the second, i., means "to s h i f t , " "to change," "to influence," but also "to send," "to transmit," "to convey," etc., i n which i t s meaning i s very close to that of ch'uan. One might render the binome f a i r l y l i t e r a l l y with the words, "transmission and conveying." Hsieh Ho gives as equivalent the binome mu hsieh, mu, meaning "to take as a model," and hsieh, "to render f a i t h f u l l y , " "to copy."-'-Without the defining or "equivalent" binome, a t r a n s l a t o r might conceivably take the f i r s t binome to mean some form of n a r r a t i v e transmission, as i n s t o r y - t e l l i n g , 2 i . e . the l i t e r a l handing on of ideas. However, (Acker f e e l s ) , the second binome makes i t clear that "some sort of copying i s intended, perhaps of a rather free nature, the idea being that one should be able to paint i n a v a r i e t y of s t y l e s , and copy famous masterpieces with f a c i l i t y , thus producing a b e a u t i f u l thing, and at the same 3 time helping to ' p u l l the great cart of t r a d i t i o n ' . " Acker, T'ang and Pre-Tang Texts, XXXIX. 2 I b i d . , XL, 3 I b i d . 28 I r o n i c a l l y , t h i s makes l i t t l e d i f ference; f o r i t was not the older Imperial L i b r a r y manuscript of the Ku Hua P'in Lu (which Acker uses), but Chang Yen-yuan's quotation of the Six P r i n c i p l e s of Hsieh Ho ( i n L i T a i 4 Ming Hua Chi) which most l a t e r Chinese were f a m i l i a r with and tended to use. In t r e a t i n g the Sixth P r i n c i p l e , Chang changes what appears to have been Hsieh Ho's o r i g i n a l wording ("ch'uan i mu hsieh") to "ch'uan mu i hsieh. The binome "ch'uan mu" ("taking as a model") was i n Chang's time, and continued to be, a commonly-used term for copying i n pain t i n g ; ^ although of course i n Chinese ink pai n t i n g there can be no "copying" i n the sense we use the word i n the West. That i s to say, the c o n t r o l l i n g information syndrome responsible f o r the hand movement of the copyist--the c o n t r o l l i n g information within h i s mind--must come close to d u p l i c a t i n g the master's. T h e o r e t i c a l l y , for a perfect copy to be made a near-mystical communication must take place between the master and the copycist, through the 4 Acker, T'ang and Pre-T*ang Texts, p. 61. 5Acker, T'ang and Pre-T'ang Texts, XLI. 6 I b i d . 29 masterpiece—an emphatic t r a n s - h i s t o r i c communication by means of which the copyist "becomes" the master, i n the sense that h i s mind conforms to the thought patterns and le v e l s of consciousness of the master at the time of painting the o r i g i n a l . In the fourth section of the paper i t w i l l be possible to explore t h i s notion further, f o r , though perhaps not altogether f e a s i b l e t a c t i c a l l y , the idea of t r a n s - h i s t o r i c communication by way of art i s quite a l o g i c a l one within the Chinese aesth e t i c . Acker puts i t very w e l l : One reason why copying as d i s t i n c t from t r a c i n g i s not so much looked down upon i n China as i n the West i s no doubt the circum-stance that the average painting was not the c a r e f u l l y elaborated confection th^t the t r a -d i t i o n a l European paintings were, a l l the l i n e s of which could be made as slowly and painstakingly as one wished. The nature of the brush l i n e i s such that i f the copy i s to be any good at a l l the brush must be moved with some speed and considerable c o n t r o l . They should be made at about the same rate of speed which the painter of the o r i g i n a l masterpiece employed, and with as nearly as possible the same vigour and dexterity.. 7 Hsieh Ho, himself, was apparently s k e p t i c a l about the work a b i l i t y of d i r e c t copying as a way to enlightened s t y l e Acker, T'ang and Pre-T'ang Texts, XL. 30 i n p ainting, or, at least understood that copying must come from within as part of a s p i r i t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p with the past, and not merely as a mechanical exercise. In h i s short section on the painter, " L i u Shao-tzu" (placed i n the f i f t h c l a s s ) , he writes as follows: He excelled i n copying but did not study the thought of those (whose works he copied). In (the genre) sparrows and s q u i r r e l s h i s brushwork i s bold and free, and occasionally stands out from the crowd. His contempo-r a r i e s i n speaking of him c a l l e d him "the copyist." But "to transmit without o r i g i -nating" i s not what painting puts f i r s t . ^ Throughout the h i s t o r y of Chinese painting debate over the place of copying i n an a r t i s t ' s education continued unceasingly, as we w i l l see i n the next section. The general concensus appears to be that, given correct models to follow, some copying i s a good thing, although too much i s extraneous or even detrimental. Generally, the c r i t i c s and painters seemed to f e e l that the best models are to be found i n nature--expression born out of impression, not from expression. Yet, the Sixth P r i n c i p l e i t s e l f i s never challenged i n t h i s connection. Its meaning involves much more than the p r a c t i c e of copying, or the Ibid., p. 30. 31 following of models, f o r that matter. Its importance i s grounded i n a whole a t t i t u d e toward learning, toward "transmission and conveying" of knowledge, which may best be understood within the context of the f i n e art of c a l l i g r a p h y , the great and encompassing te c h n i c a l constant most responsible for s o l i d a r i t y of s t y l e i n Chinese painting through the centuries. The formal ae s t h e t i c behind Hsieh Ho's "Ku Hua P'in Lu" was not developed i n connection with painting, and, of course, not i n connection with any of the " c r a f t s " such as sculpture or ceramics which were to remain far 9 below the brush art s i n the minds of the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . The f i r s t l i t e r a t u r e containing theories relevant to the s o - c a l l e d " p l a s t i c " or v i s u a l arts concerned i t s e l f s o l e l y with the f i n e art of c a l l i g r a p h y , and, since t h i s l i t e r a -ture served as a model for the ~^ Ku Hua P'in Lu" and sub-sequent works of painting, i t should be viewed as the primary source of aesthetic dealing with the f i n e arts i n China. Although i t i s impossible to deal with any of these early works i n the context of t h i s paper, i t w i l l be 9 I b i d . , XII. 32 necessary to review the e a s i l y forgotten facts about how the Chinese painter learned h i s a r t . For to get close to the meaning of the Sixth P r i n c i p l e , and to fathom the nature of i t s tremendous authority, we must t r y to put ourselves i n the place of the Chinese painter as he f i r s t begins to learn to manage brush and ink* "Unlike the old masters of the West we were never fated f o r membership i n a g u i l d - c l a s s of craftsmen, i n i t i a t e d from early childhood i n the expectation of devoting l i f e to the s p e c i a l i z e d task of manufacturing luxury objects to s e l l . As our fathers, we began by a s p i r i n g toward careers i n the government s e r v i c e — t h e profession of r u l i n g men, c o n t r o l l i n g lands and waters, educating and evaluating minds through the vast examination system, tempering the w i l l of the Emperor with the wisdom of the sages, or recording dynastic h i s t o r y i n the service of future r u l e r s . The other choice i s retirement from p u b l i c l i f e , on an independent income or i n poverty, to perfect the s p i r i t i n communication with nature and the past. How could we plan to be p r o f e s s i o n a l a r t i s t s ? That "profession" has never existed i n our land, only the craftsman-peddler's way, f a r below the l e v e l of our 33 expectations--a way i n which a gentleman might be driven to bend, but never the way of h i s choice. Yet, to win e i t h e r of the two honorable p r i z e s of life--enlightenment or worldly p o w e r — i t i s necessary from the st a r t to develop the s e n s i b i l i t i e s of an a r t i s t , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the use of the language. Given a good r u l e r , the worthy scholar w i l l i n e v i t a b l y be recognized i f he has developed the accomplishments necessary to express h i s understanding. If unrecognized, the enlightened mind i s i t s own reward and the accomplishments serve well to sustain i t i n e x i l e , or i n the seclusion of a mountain r e t r e a t . Given the w i l l of heaven, enlighten-ment and secular power w i l l come together i n one l i f e t i m e , transmitted down the ages through the minds of the sages. A r t i s t i c s o p h i s t i c a t i o n i s c a l l e d upon to transmit and convey i t to the future from the l i v i n g past, and thus to make a name for a l l time. Many are c a l l e d ; i f chosen, the mind and brush must be we l l tuned to accept the v i t a l energy of the great t r a d i t i o n and speed i t on i t s way. The brush and ink, inkstone and s i l k , are not l i k e common t o o l s — n o t l i k e Western q u i l l and inkpot, the count-less s p e c i a l i z e d brushes and paints, spatulas, scrapers, 34 p a l e t t e s and palette knives, p l a s t e r s and canvasses, panels and papers and parchments. They are rather l i k e the sword. They are the key to secular power and a l i n k with the knowledge of the past, not merely the means to a common l i v i n g * Not everyone can aspire to use them: a d i f f i c u l t r i t u a l i s required* The way to mastery i s long and for most i t i s very expensive: an independent income i s a near p r e r e q u i s i t e . Thus, f o r centuries brush and ink have served not merely as a means of communication, but as the sing l e most important u n i f y i n g bond and weapon of the s o c i a l - i n t e l l e c t u a l class of s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l - - a free-masonry of music, l i t e r a t u r e , painting, c a l l i g r a p h y , and power. Holding together the structure of the Empire, l i n k i n g past and future, conveying knowledge between i n d i v i d u a l s and ages, the brush has proved mightier than the sword. Its apprenticeship has remained a p r i v i l e g e which i s the basis of p r i v i l e g e . Yet, unlike the sword, the c a l l i g r a p h i c brush simultaneously records a h i s t o r y of i t s own history-making action, and mysteriously deposits a p o r t r a i t of the mind which controls i t s l i f e movement. As c h i l d r e n we began learning to write with the brush by copying from stone rubbings of ancient texts, the 35 texts of the great past masters of the brush. If f o r -tunate, we eventually study from o r i g i n a l s c r o l l s . Against these models we learn to measure our progress and correct our habits, along with the i n s t r u c t o r with hi s more experienced and committed v i s i o n , who provides bodily punishment to embody the mind's desire for excel-lence. The method i s an i n d o c t r i n a t i n g r i t u a l of memorizing and conforming to requirements set by an absolute h i s t o r i c a l standard. As i n the dancer's or fencer's a r t , a vocabu-l a r y of t r a d i t i o n a l moves or strokes i s established with which to execute the i n d i v i d u a l characters. Strangely, these movements must be made completely habitual; a f u l l y automatic system of control information must be b u i l t w ithin the mind to unquestionably guide the brush within r i g i d l i m i t a t i o n s — a l l i n order to create a condition of freedom i n the art of w r i t i n g . If poor models are used, or i f the i n s t r u c t i o n allows f o r the incorporation of inappropriate or i l l - d e f i n e d movements within the vocabulary, a l l i s l o s t . For bad habits so deeply ingrained during^frhe formative years are most d i f f i c u l t to unlearn, more d i f f i -c u l t to replace without v i o l a t i n g the organic u n i t y of the mind-hand-brush system. 36 A double standard of excellence governs the compo-s i t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l characters — the measure of prac-t i c a l l e g i b i l i t y , and the measure of taste. The l a s t i s a serious matter, since we w i l l be judged as men according to the sense of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n and decorum, moral f i b r e and personal energy which any page of characters displays to the knowing eye. And, of course, i f the great t r a d i t i o n of China i s to l i v e , the c l a s s i c l i t e r a t u r e which surrounds the spark of i t s l i f e must be copied and recopied with objective c l a r i t y f o r absolute l e g i b i l i t y , i n order to preserve the p u r i t y of i t s meaning. The s u r v i v a l of a c l a s s i c c i v i l i z a t i o n , w ithin a c l a s s i c t r a d i t i o n , demands the maintenance of a standard c l a s s i c method of idea-transmission and storage, f o r reasons which are at once both p r a c t i c a l and r e l i g i o u s . In a near mystical union the double standard becomes a monolithic moral-aesthetic p r i n c i p l e . The idea from the f i r s t was, subsequently, not to influence the set nature of the i n d i v i d u a l characters but to conform with t h e i r independent existence as c l a s s i c forms. We were to be influenced by them. A gentleman does not need to invent: he transmits. And the influence 37 of the c l a s s i c c h a r a c t e r s , and our a t t i t u d e toward them, has p r o f o u n d l y shaped our o v e r a l l approach t o f o r m . The exact n a t u r e of the i n f l u e n c e d i f f e r s from man to man, and i n the aspect of t ime and p l a c e i s c o m p l i c a t e d t o the p o i n t of i n d e c i p h e r a b l e h e t e r o g e n e i t y . B u t - - i n the a b s t r a c t — i t i s c l e a r t h a t the r i t u a l of l e a r n i n g to w r i t e and the p r i n c i p l e s and a t t i t u d e s thus generated have s t r o n g l y l i m i t e d , or c o n t a i n e d , our use of the b r u s h i n p a i n t i n g . T h i s i s not t o say t h a t the l i m i t s and c o n -t a i n m e n t s have been of a s i m p l e , a b s o l u t e , i n f l e x i b l e , or i n any way f i x e d n a t u r e . I t i s more a mat ter of e x p e c t a t i o n s w h i c h are too p r i m a r y , g e n e r a l i z e d , and a u t o m a t i c a l l y a c c e p t e d to be c o n s c i o u s l y c o n t r o l l e d or m a n i p u l a t e d at a l l ; not so much a matter of d e l i b e r a t e c r i t i c a l d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g , but of c o n d i t i o n e d r e f l e x a c t i o n . F o r example, the b r u s h and i n k — f i r s t known to us and o r i g i n a l l y p e r f e c t e d i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h c a l l i g r a p h y -are u n q u e s t i o n i n g l y a c c e p t e d as the c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r -g i v i n g m a t e r i a l elements of p a i n t i n g i n the Chinese manner. As we l e a r n e d t o w r i t e , we are i n c l i n e d to l e a r n to p a i n t , by f i r s t s u b m i t t i n g t o the a u t h o r i t y of c l a s s i c models , and a t t e m p t i n g t o t r a n s m i t and p r e s e r v e t h e i r meaning. 38 Why do we take such pains i n adopting the s p i r i t of our invention to the r e s t r i c t i o n s of the d i f f e r e n t established modes or st y l e s of painting? The d i f f e r e n t modes and sty l e s are each appropriate and u s e f u l within given aesthetic-emotional s i t u a t i o n s , j u s t as the d i f f e r e n t s t y l e s of w r i t i n g — t h e " l i , " the "ts'as" e t c . — a r e appropriate and u s e f u l within s p e c i f i c s o c i a l - p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n s . Why i s the expressive q u a l i t y of the swift, free c a l l i g r a p h i c l i n e i n e v i t a b l y the prime c r i t e r i a used i n judging the worth of a painting? It i s because of the i n t r i n s i c nature of the l i n e instrument used, and because of aesthetic expectations deeply ingrained by the evalua-t i o n and judgment of c a l l i g r a p h y during the formative childhood years." Not a l l scholar o f f i c i a l s went on to learn to paint i n the Chinese manner, and few, indeed, attained high l e v e l s of excellence i n such a d i f f i c u l t and time-consuming d i s c i p l i n e . But a l l came equipped with a highly-developed c r i t i c a l system with which to evaluate brush work. This freemasonry of taste was doubtless one of the most f o r -midable mechanisms through which the c a l l i g r a p h i c l i m i t s to Chinese painting made themselves f e l t . It i s not 3 9 reasonable to speak of "patronage" i n respect to an art which i s e s s e n t i a l l y amateur, but one may c e r t a i n l y speak of the painter's audience; and, i n t h i s regard the common lineage of a c a l l i g r a p h i c education cannot be overempha-sized. Although many forms of r e b e l l i o n and r e j e c t i o n i n e v i t a b l y manifest themselves on an i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l , and as symptoms of individ u a l i s m p a r t i c u l a r l y during times of s o c i a l i n s o l i d a r i t y , the act of denial or repulsion i s i t s e l f a form of recognition and a sign of a more funda-mental influence. IV. THE CONFUCIAN CONSTANTS OF CHINESE PAINTING The creative act does not occur i n i s o l a t i o n . In the course of the previous sections a number of constants have emerged—generalized ever-present forces which influenced the Chinese gentleman painters i n t h e i r a r t ; and, although these forces are a l l r e l a t e d within a single r e l a t i v i s t i c continuum, i t i s only possible to deal with them r a t i o n a l l y one at a time. Throughout the h i s t o r y of Chinese painting, and i n d i f f e r e n t places within the Empire, c e r t a i n of the constants exercised greater influence than the re s t , creating an h i s t o r i c a l pattern of s t y l e , a pattern i n which the i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t s provide the d e t a i l . Because of the obvious u n i t y which the art has maintained throughout i t s long h i s t o r y , i t i s c l e a r that some kind of e quilibrium must have existed between the constants with t h e i r endless f l u c t u a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l importance. I would l i k e to propose that the Confucian way of l i f e or theme i n Chinese i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e was the single most important factor i n e s t a b l i s h i n g and maintaining t h i s equilibrium. But, before dealing with Confucianism and i t s a lternate convention, i t w i l l be necessary to enumerate 40 41 and b r i e f l y review the constants. The primary and c e n t r a l constant i s the i n d i v i d u a l mind of the a r t i s t , the only possible source of i n d i v i d u a l talent i f i t may be said to ex i s t at a l l . The a r t i s t ' s mind creates r e a l i t y i n i n t e r a c t i o n with the natural world and mankind, i n thought and action, modifying sense i n f o r -mation through re a c t i o n with the h i s t o r i c a l sense or memory. If the painter's mind i s to conform with the Sixth P r i n c i p l e , the a c t i o n i t generates i n painting w i l l have been f u l l y formed by the h i s t o r i c a l s ense—a knowledge of the Great T r a d i t i o n — a n d w i l l therefore produce a s t y l e i n harmony and agreement with the c l a s s i c models of Chinese painting and c a l l i g r a p h y . If i t i s to be i n harmony with the F i r s t P r i n c i p l e , the character of i t s i n t e r a c t i o n with the natural world (and society, a part of nature f o r the Chinese) w i l l be one of v i t a l c o o p e r a t i o n — l e a d i n g to a s t y l e which i s charged with spirit-resonance and a brush which i s impelled by the force of l i f e ' s motion. Since i n d i v i d u a l talent c l e a r l y has l i t t l e place within the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the Sixth P r i n c i p l e , and would rather tend to i n t e r f e r e with the i d e a l transmission or conveying of h i s t o r i c a l knowledge, 42 we w i l l be i n c l i n e d to look more c l o s e l y for i t s r i g h t f u l place w i t h i n the approach to painting necessitated by the F i r s t P r i n c i p l e , although, of course, l i k e the rules to any game, t r a d i t i o n i t s e l f must somehow be r e l i e d upon to create the condition of i n d i v i d u a l freedom. The next (and i n a metaphysical sense, the p e r i -pheral) constant i s the t o t a l i t y outside of the mind of the i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t , a t o t a l i t y which for the Chinese included both the humanized and the s o - c a l l e d "natural" world as a v a i l a b l e to the s e n s e s — a true "universe" i n a s u r p r i s i n g l y modern and s c i e n t i f i c sense. Obviously, t h i s i s a primal source of q u a l i t a t i v e r e a l i t y , although as a thing i t can exist for us only within the i n d i v i d u a l mind, a fact of which the Chinese were sharply aware. L i u Hsieh, the eminent 6th century l i t e r a r y c r i t i c , has put i t very w e l l : And as one sees above the sparkling heavenly bodies, and below the manifold forms of earth, there i s established a difference between high and low estate, giving r i s e to the two archetypal forms (Yin and Yang). Man and man alone forms with these the Great T r i n i t y , and he does so because he, alone, i s endowed with s p i r i t u a l i t y . He i s the r e f i n e d essence of the fj.ve elements — indeed, the mind of the universe. 43 It i s the Thi r d and Fourth Laws of Chinese painting (as recorded by Hsieh Ho) which have most bearing on the a t t i t u d e of mind which the painter should take toward the world i n representing i t on h i s paper or s i l k . They are (3) "Ref l e c t i n g the Object," and (4) "Appropriateness to Type," by Acker's t r a n s l a t i o n . Sherman Lee gives us (3) " F i d e l i t y to the object i n portraying forms," and (4) "Conformity to kind i n applying c o l o r s . " The implication here i s c l e a r , that i t should be the objects, themselves, which determine the nature of the representation i n the painting, and not the i n d i v i d u a l talent or independent imagination of the a r t i s t , himself. Through the mind of the a r t i s t , p ainting should not merely erect a mirror " r e f l e c t i n g the object" but as reasonably objective and undistorted a mirror as circumstance permits.. Put i n metaphysical terms, t h i s i s simply the d i s c i p l i n e of allowing the world to l i v e within the mind as i t s own idea, to determine i t s own embodiment i n idea form and a c t i o n the process which Coleridge has named "negative c a p a b i l i t y , " Vince Y. C. Shih (tr a n s . ) , The L i t e r a r y Mind and  the Carving of Dragons (New York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1959). 44 and one which d e f i n i t e l y connects the u n i v e r s a l constant of Chinese painting with i t s F i r s t Law. Of i n d i v i d u a l talent--as opposed to negative c a p a b i l i t y or depersonalised t a l e n t — w e may again r i g h t l y ask, what place does i t have? The p r a c t i c e of c a l l i g r a p h y together with i t s materials forms another of the constants already con-sidered, an element which was established e a r l y and which has survived with i n c r e d i b l e t e n a c i t y . L i t t l e f u rther explanation of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between c a l l i g r a p h y and the c e n t r a l constant (of the i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t ' s mind) i s necessary: within the aspect of time we have seen how the c a l l i g r a p h i c education, or i n d o c t r i n a t i o n , conditions the motor ref l e x e s of the c h i l d during h i s formative years, not only e s t a b l i s h i n g the implements he w i l l use, but also molding the very motor reflexes with which he w i l l use them. Outside of the aspect of time, i . e . within the context of the creative act as an abstract idea, the importance of the p r a c t i c e of c a l l i g r a p h y becomes manifest f o r the painter. He may draw at w i l l upon a large vocabu-l a r y of spontaneous strokes or moves, as does a dancer— combining, connecting, j o i n i n g , and composing elements i n automatic response to representational-symbolic r e f l e c t i o n s 45 without having to burden conscious consideration with these t e c h n i c a l matters. And (again because of calligraphy) the brush he has i n h i s hand i s i n i t s e l f such a simple, hyper-responsive and adaptable l i n e instrument that a r e a l condition of freedom i s created, d e a r l y , i t i s i n connection with the r e s u l t s of t h i s freedom that we may look for evidence of i n d i v i d u a l talent within the main-stream of Chinese p a i n t i n g . L a s t l y , there i s the simple fact of other human beings with minds of t h e i r own—the constant of Chinese society and the Great T r a d i t i o n . For, while undergoing continual change, society and t r a d i t i o n i n China also maintained enough of a continuing e s s e n t i a l form to be considered a constant during the great centuries of painting, at least f o r c e r t a i n l e v e l s of the population. Around the time of Confucius an unusual s o c i a l class 2 began to emerge. F i r s t securing a permanent place f o r i t s e l f i n the economic and p o l i t i c a l l i f e of the country, i t went on to completely dominate the i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e 2 H. G. Creel, Chinese Thought! From Confucius to  Mao Tse-Tung (London: Un i v e r s i t y Paperbacks, 1954), pp. 25-59. 46 of China, serving as the primary l o g i s t i c support for c a l l i g r a p h y and painting down to the present time. Exactly how did the s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l c lass come into existence? Traveling from state to state i n search of s c h o l a r l y or administrative employment from the feudal r u l e r s , i t i s clear that the founding members of the class could not have come from among the peasants. For, l i k e Confucius himself, they were highly l i t e r a t e and w e l l -acquainted with matters of court protocol. But, unlike the nobles, they found i t necessary to support themselves on t h e i r own moving from court to court, and taking with them l i t t l e more than the accomplishments and knowledge they could display when facing the m i l i t a r i s t i c a r i s t o -crats who employed them.. By acting as educators, accountants, o f f i c i a l administrators, or p r o f e s s i o n a l diplomats and consultants, they were able to exist on a l e v e l well above the only other a l t e r n a t i v e — t h e ever-present threat of serfdom or slavery as a peasant. Some became pr o f e s s i o n a l s o l d i e r s , no doubt. In the C h r i s t i a n West most of the others would have been p r i e s t s . But i n feudal China, where r e l i g i o n remained predominantly an i n d i v i d u a l or family involvement, and 47 where monasticism was not a s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r , the handy-r o l e of s p i r i t u a l caretaker was not a v a i l a b l e . Without k i l l i n g f o r the r u l e r , the only way to remain and survive within society—above the l e v e l of a serf—was to f i n d some other valuable secular service with which to provide the r u l i n g c l a s s . Any a c t i v i t y i nvolving hand labor i n the manufacture of objects for use i n material exchange was out of the question, for to the Chinese the only a c t i o n worthy of a gentleman within society was the exercise of power. But the exercise of power even i n the administra-t i v e sense i s a dangerous occupation, indeed, e s p e c i a l l y for those who have no material or h e r e d i t a r y - r e l i g i o u s support within the establishment. I think, i f we put our-selves i n the place of those wandering scholar o f f i c i a l s of Chou times, as the d i s i n h e r i t e d bastard or youngest sons of rulers—well-educated:^, but l e f t without an independent income—the r a t i o n a l e behind the Confucian ethic w i l l become self - e v i d e n t , as w i l l the social-moral emphasis of the Confucian aesthetic regarding the p r a c t i c e both of painting and c a l l i g r a p h y . They became the s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l class o r i g i n a l l y because they i n h e r i t e d no material grounds f o r the exercise 48 of power--the one action, the only suitable action of a gentleman. It was necessary to somehow borrow or appropriate some of the worldly power of the r u l i n g c l a s s . The only way open—outside of p r o f e s s i o n a l s o l d i e r ing—was through the performance of administrative duties, and i n a d i s i n t e r e s -ted and thus extremely e f f i c i e n t manner which made them more u s e f u l than the r u l e r ' s own k i n . But such service was c l e a r l y not enough i n i t s e l f — t h e serf and the common s o l -dier provide invaluable material services, and are rewarded accordingly. The problem was to develop some i d e o l o g i c a l bulwark or j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r the secular power they exer-c i s e d — a n independent and c a t e g o r i c a l moral imperative, or r e l i g i o u s - s o c i a l super-ego with which to protect t h e i r independent status from both those above and below. Around the man, and the man's name--Confucius--such an i d e o l o g i c a l weapon was forged, with consummate s k i l l from ways of thought already deeply rooted i n the Chinese way of l i f e . Thus were the brush and ink f i r s t r a i s e d against the sword. Raised against the sword, but not i n the manner of the sword, the brush became the instrument of moral judgment— the judgment of h i s t o r y , of the " r e c t i f i c a t i o n of names." In a land where ancestors l i v e on for centuries as i f r e a l 49 i n the minds of the l i v i n g , i t i s possible to punish and even to k i l l - - a n d therefore to c o n t r o l — w i t h the brush, as i f a judgment i n a h i s t o r y book were the judgment of Heaven. The w i l l of Heaven, of course, was the ultimate source of the "Way" as Confucius and Mencius defined i t — l i k e the r u l e r s these early o f f i c i a l s grounded t h e i r authority i n the Ultimate, but not through the hereditary argument of divine r i g h t . Their p r i v i l e g e could not be based on heredity, i n any c a s e — t h e y had a l l been cut o f f from that; rather, i t was to be "academic" or "sc h o l a r l y " as b e f i t t i n g men of the pen. Instead of receiving the mandate of power as an ancestral g i f t , they would claim knowledge of the w i l l of Heaven through voluntary study of h i s t o r y and through meditation. Since few others could read the ancient texts, or made claim to interpret them; and since the scholar-o f f i c i a l s copied, edited, annotated, and created a l l of the books which were made new; and since the knowledge gained through meditation must pass through the brush' to be communicated; and because they were also to control the education of the sons of the r u l e r s , i t was only a matter of time u n t i l "The Way" of Confucius became the accepted way of gentlemen throughout China. 50 C l e a r l y , corruption and i n e f f i c i e n c y of government brought about by family f a v o r i t i s m and quarreling, and through the amateurish power-seeking of hereditary despots — the object of Confucian moralizing—formed and continued to form one of the two great supporting factors of the scholar-o f f i c i a l c l a s s . Throughout Chinese h i s t o r y the breakdown of government con t r o l through cla n and family entanglements, leading to flood, famine, and for e i g n invasion, demanded a countering f o r c e — a n objective, moral, e f f i c i e n t , and p a t r i o -t i c element--in order for the nation to survive or grow at a l l . With the f i r m entrenchment of the examination system— the second great coup of the s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l i n assuring his c lass long-term s u r v i v a l — t h e ground was W e l l l a i d for a r e l a t i v e l y objective, though a r b i t r a r y , means of supplying the manpower needs of the c e n t r a l bureaucracy, and providing a countering force against the standard p r a c t i c e s of f a v o r i -tism and nepotism i n making appointments. Thus, for example, a highly l u c r a t i v e o f f i c i a l post could be given as a bribe by the r u l e r to another noble or a family member, regard-less of the low c a p a b i l i t y or i n t e r e s t of the appointee, and without endangering the effectiveness of the o f f i c e i t s e l f ? for a highly capable and industrious assistant 51 could always be supplied to a c t u a l l y administer the post, from the t r i e d and true ranks of the s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l c l a s s . The second great supporting f a c t o r of the scholar-o f f i c i a l c l ass was the c l a s s i c a l education system, the great h i s t o r i c a l - l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n and—most important — the matter of l i t e r a c y i t s e l f . In a land where the class which controls education has a vested inter e s t i n l i m i t i n g the general l e v e l of l i t e r a c y throughout the population, i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g to f i n d a language which, d i f f i c u l t from the s t a r t , became more and more so as characters and meanings accumulated over the years. When one considers the number of accomplishments which were also expected of a gentleman and a scholar, i n order to be accepted as a member i n good s t a n d i n g - - a r t i s t i c accomplishments over and above mere l i t e r a c y , such as poetry, music and p a i n t i n g — the importance of the time (and i t s cost) to learn them becomes evident. Needless to say, the examination system supported t h i s sort of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n most e f f e c t i v e l y , as well as giving the scholar some sort of tangible evidence of time well spent. Thus separated from the masses by h i s expensive education and the manners and accomplishments of a gentleman, 52 and from the decadent r u l i n g classes by h i s r e l a t i v e l y p u r i t a n i c a l and not overly ambitious mind, hi s industry and dedication, the s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l held the other two classes together while separating them, l i k e a marvelous e l a s t i c s o c i a l cement. One can imagine the kind of pres-sures which must have res u l t e d for the poor o f f i c i a l , par-t i c u l a r l y during times of political-economic duress, crushed between the other two segments of society--each powerful i n i t s own way—or else p u l l e d apart by the dual commit-ment which i n v a r i a b l y entangles a bureaucrat. The monopoly which h i s c l a s s held was ingenious i n i t s effectiveness as an o v e r a l l structure, but to hold i t i n the concrete c i r -cumstances of h i s t o r y from day to day required the scholar-o f f i c i a l ' s absolute commitment, and a degree of conformity i n behalf of c l a s s s o l i d a r i t y which often amounted to a genuine act of s a c r i f i c e leading to martyrdom. To c a l l Confucianism a r e l i g i o n i s not as misleading as we have been led to believe; and, i n t h i s sense, much of Chinese painting i s not as secular as i t appears to be at f i r s t glance. Although the most transcendental or e s o t e r i c ideas and emotions of the c l a s s — m a t t e r s which we normally think 53 of as re l i g i o u s - - f o u n d expression within the context of Confucianism's a l t e r n a t i v e convention, the Taoist Way, i t i s surely a mistake to draw a sharp l i n e between that way and the Confucian Way; for the same men, the same minds, were nearly always involved with both, depending, among other things, on the political-economic climate. Of course the Confucian r e l i g i o s i t y must be described by the word, "piety," but p i e t y i s not n e c e s s a r i l y unknowing or mechani-c a l i n i t s motivation. The Confucian constants of painting, c a l l i g r a p h y and the moral imperative of the s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l c l a s s , may be seen as thoroughly dependent on, and compli-mentary to, the Taoist constants of the i n d i v i d u a l mind within the Universal object of i t s meditation. And the p i e t y with which the Confucian a r t i s t i c r i t u a l was regarded, was, I am sure, u l t i m a t e l y derived or rooted i n the r e l i g i o u s experience of Taoist meditation, at least f o r many of the greatest masters. But what, a c t u a l l y , i s the philosophic content of the Confucian moral imperative? The premise i s simply that man--or, rather, the abstract idea of man outside of the aspects of time and space (man's e s s e n t i a l P l a t o n i c form)--i s good. E v i l r e s u l t s because of the confusion, short-54 sightedness, and wrongly interpreted s e l f - i n t e r e s t which develops under concrete circumstances, and not from any p o s i t i v e source. E v i l i s not the absence of good, f o r the e s s e n t i a l man i s always good, but rather the f a i l u r e of i n d i v i d u a l man i n time and space to recognize and conform with h i s own e s s e n t i a l nature. From t h i s premise two depen-dent tenents follow: you must know man, and thus r e a l i z e his and your own goodness; and you must "know your game" (to use the modern slang), i . e . you must know what your r e a l r o l e i n l i f e i s , and thus avoid the errors of inap-propriate goals and as p i r a t i o n s , of i n f l a t e d , deflated, or i n any way inappropriate self-image. In other words, know man (and thus, yourself) outside of time and space; and, i n order to c o r r e c t l y manifest t h i s knowledge i n action, understand the l i f e of man (and thus, your own) within time and space, i . e . within h i s t o r y . As a method, the study of h i s t o r y i s recommended above a l l others. The alternate Taoist convention, of course, emphasizes the act of meditation leading to self-knowledge, and from s e l f -knowledge to u n i v e r s a l wisdom. The d i r e c t i o n of t r a v e l i s d i f f e r e n t , but the destination i s r e a l l y the same. The a s s e r t i o n which i s commonly made or implied by writers (H. G. Creel, f o r one) that Confucianism i s simply 3 morals without a metaphysical side, i s simply not the case. As with any complete philosophy or world view, which Con-fucianism c e r t a i n l y became by the time of Mencius, metaphysics and morals are i n e x t r i c a b l y linked and i n t e r -dependent l y supported. Any absolute (such as an abstract idea of goodness of man), to be applied within the concrete circumstances of time and place (within h i s t o r y ) implies metaphysical change. The f a l s e assumption that Confucianism i s a s t r i c t l y p o l i t i c a l philosophy—opposed to Taoism which i s supposedly amoral and m e t a p h y s i c a l — l i e s at the roots of the f a i l u r e to f u l l y appreciate the Confucian current at the mainstream of Chinese painting. The way i n which the i d e a l forms of human behaviour are to be promulgated—forms such as the " l i " or r ttao" which exist as native inheritance within the c o l l e c t i v e c o n c i o u s n e s s — i s a case i n point, and one of great impor-tance f o r p a i n t i n g . Because within the Confucian way these e s s e n t i a l forms are known as basic, or more natural and fundamental than deviation from them, i t follows that 3 Creel, Chinese Thought,pp. 45, 52. 56 they are s e l f-evident to a l l who experience them through the good example of another i n d i v i d u a l who "knows." And to "know" _is to conform, when the appropriateness of a mode of a c t i o n i s self-evident--although i t i s always possible to forget. Now, as we a l l know, self-evident knowledge d i f f e r s metaphysically from l i n g u i s t i c or h i s t o r i c a l f a c t -just as the d i r e c t r e a l i z a t i o n of a s i t u a t i o n d i f f e r s from th e o r i z i n g or l e c t u r i n g concerning i t . The Confucian element i n Chinese p a i n t i n g i s ce/rtainly moralizing; but, at i t s best, i t i s always a moral communication at the l e v e l of self-evident example. In t h i s sense i t exi s t s on very much the same metaphysical l e v e l as the art rooted i n the Taoist p r a c t i c e of meditation, which, of course, i s moralizing i n i t s own way. The sort of moral e f f e c t which paintings were supposed to have, i n early times, i s well demonstrated by the famous passage from Chang Yen-yuan i n which he discusses t h e i r b e n e f i c i a l e f f e c t on the onlooker: Loyal and f i l i a l men were a l l represented on the Yun t ' a i (Cloud t e r r a c e ) . Brave and meritorious men were entered i n the L i n k'o ( C h i - l i n p a v i l i o n ) . The contemplation of good men became a reason to avoid e v i l , and to look at the e v i l men was enough to make people turn to the sages of the past. The painted records 57 of the old manners and miens became models f o r exercising v i r t u e . The representations of the successes and f a i l u r e s transmitted the events of the past. The written records t e l l about the acts of men, but they cannot convey t h e i r appearan-ces. The poems and ballads sing about t h e i r v i r t u e s , but they cannot represent t h e i r images. By the art of painting the two (sides) may be combined.^" Chang then goes on to quote from the e a r l i e r c r i t i c , Ts'ao Chih (192-232), whose words r e f l e c t a si m i l a r a t t i t u d e : When one sees pictures of the three kings and the f i v e emperors, one cannot but look at them with respect and veneration, and when one sees pictures of the San Chi (the bad la s t r u l e r s of the Hsia, Shan and Chou), one cannot but f e e l sad. When one sees pictures of rebels and u n f i l i a l sons, one cannot but grind the teeth. When one sees pictures representing men of high p r i n c i p l e s and wonderful sages, one cannot but forget one's meals. When one sees pictures of f a i t h f u l subjects who died at the c a l l of duty, one cannot but f e e l exalted. When one sees p i c -tures of e x i l e d c i t i z e n s and expelled sons one cannot help sighing. When one sees p i c -tures of v i c i o u s men and jealous women, one cannot but look askance. When one sees pictures of obedient empresses and good secon-dary wives, one cannot but f e e l the deepest admiration. By t h i s we may r e a l i z e that paintings serve as moral examples or mirrors of conduct. Siren, The Chinese, p. 225. Ibid., p. 226. 58 This "elevated subject matter" moralism, as C a h i l l a p t l y dubs i t , ^ remained (with important modi-f i c a t i o n s ) throughout the h i s t o r y of Chinese painting: and, as C a h i l l f a i l s to point out, i t i s one of a num-ber of reasonable explanations of the l i m i t e d subject range of the a r t . With the exception of a few highly i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c a r t i s t s , such as Wu Wei and L i Sung, most of the painters with whom we are concerned r e l i e d h e a v i l y upon l o f t y or elevated subject matter, such as landscape, bamboo and flowers, i n order to express par-t i c u l a r l y d i g n i f i e d and life-enhancing mental states — ei t h e r Taoist or Confucian, both moralizing and metaphysical i n holding up an example of self-evident force. One can-not help but question C a h i l l ' s a s s e r t i o n that the Con-fucia n scholar-painter and c r i t i c , of Han times was somehow torn between art f o r art's sake (an aesthetic approach) and the moralizing one just mentioned.'7 More l i k e l y , the Good and the Be a u t i f u l were considered—at kjames F. C a h i l l , "Confucian Elements i n the Theory of Painting," Confucianism and Chinese C i v i l i z a t i o n , Arthur F. Wright (ed.), (New York: Atheneum, 1964), p. 84. 7 I b i d . , p. 80. 59 least i d e a l l y — a s inseparably fused; and the "innovations of s t y l e " which C a h i l l r e c i t e s as examples of "aesthetic" i n t e r e s t , most l i k e l y f e l l under the category of what we would consider mere "technique," of i n t e r e s t as a way to reproduce the good and the b e a u t i f u l , but of no r e a l "aesthetic" importance on t h e i r own. ,; And, just as the Confucian i d e a l of elevated sub-je c t matter would influence the so-called Taoist approach to subject matter i n nature, another Confucian c r i t i c a l concept—the unconscious or spontaneous lodging of moral character—would deeply influence the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of meaning. The notion of the lodging of moral character of the a r t i s t , through h i s s t y l e i n the formal elements of a painting, i s a l o g i c a l extension of the Confucian preoc-cupation with example. For the Confucian, the good man— the man who "knows"--inevitably a t t r a c t s other good men, and weak and e r r i n g men around him turn to v i r t u e : auto-m a t i c a l l y and spontaneously the charismatic force of h i s example brings the l i g h t of goodness to everything he touches, i f h i s knowledgeable character i s strong enough i n i t s resolve. Just being near him i s enough! Thus, one may expect a painting by a good man, and e s p e c i a l l y a sage, 60 to embody on some formal level--say, i n the q u a l i t y of the brush stroke--the exact moral nature of the a r t i s t himself, h i s e s s e n t i a l humanity. Now here, c l e a r l y , i s a point where i n d i v i d u a l talent--although i t i s not a narrowly a r t i s t i c talent--may be seen to enter the main-stream of Chinese painting. By lodging h i s i n d i v i d u a l moral character, as a concrete and actual p e r s o n a l i t y within h i s t o r y , the painter may l i v e as an i n d i v i d u a l w ithin h i s painting, although subject, materials, brush technique and formal conventions remain completely con-f o r m i s t — e v e n though representation i s determined s o l e l y by the nature of the object depicted (as i t s own idea). While the "what" of the painting remains conventional, the "way i n which" can emerge as d i s t i n c t l y personal and i n d i v i d u a l i z i n g . Again, one must note that a metaphysical s h i f t i s involved, f o r , while the Confucian v i r t u e s were known to derive u l t i m a t e l y from absolute p r i n c i p l e s or forms within man's nature (beyond time and space), no one expected them to be embodied homogeneously or m o n o l i t h i c a l l y within a given h i s t o r i c a l s i t u a t i o n . Rather, they were thought to 'manifest themselves through "changes," and i n a s p e c i f i c 61 and concrete manner f o r each unique personality, through s p e c i f i c personal a c t i o n such as painting, and by means of a process which though u n i v e r s a l i n t o t a l i t y remains i n d i v i d u a l i z e d i n d e t a i l . C l e a r l y , an important element within the system of s o c i a l s o l i d a r i t y of the s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l c l a s s , both painting and c a l l i g r a p h y served as tests of the man. The a s p i r i n g scholar who was asked to compose a poem or paint a p i c t u r e at a gathering was very d e f i n i t e l y put up for judgment, since e i t h e r act comprised a t o t a l moral-aesthetic commitment, and the r e s u l t i n g work of art (or artlessness) would stand bare as a yardstick of both the l e v e l of taste and the moral f i b r e of the mind which brought i t f o r t h . If i t stood strongly, appropriately, r i g h t l y and l o f t i l y — and f o r the moral-aesthetic values which the class continued to value — i t would stand the test of h i s t o r y . That i s , i t would l i v e on as a yardstick against which other men could be measured i n t h e i r time; and yet, more than that, i t would also function as an example or source of p o s i t i v e influence for the good—an icon to guide the mind, not toward transcendence, but toward a well-balanced and morally enlightened stance within time. Far from being 62 a purely u t i l i t a r i a n - mechanism by which the class protected i t s hierarchy of scholarship and taste (although that was involved), the masterpiece of moral-lodging served a t r u l y r e l i g i o u s function. As C a h i l l points out, Chang Yen-yuan 1s comments on the landscape painter, Yang Yen ( l a t e eighth century), comprise the f i r s t example of seeing the a r t i s t ' s moral character i n h i s works, which has come down to us within the l i t e r a t u r e on painting. He quotes Chang as follows: He was polished and elegant i n h i s bearing, vigorous and energetic i n his s p i r i t and f e e l i n g . He was good at landscapes; h i s works were l o f t y and unusual, r e f i n e d and strong. . . . When I look at the late Mr. Yang's landscape pi c t u r e s , I see i n imagination what he was as a man—his imposing stature and unconventionality.^ Kuo Jo-hsu ( l a t e eleventh century) develops Chang's idea further, with s p e c i a l reference to the scholar-o f f i c i a l c l a s s , i n h i s Mti' 'u-hua Chien-wen Chih: I have . . . observed that the majority of the rare paintings of the past are the work of high o f f i c i a l s , talented worthies, superior scholars, or recluses l i v i n g i n c l i f f s and caves; of persons, that i s , who "followed the C a h i l l , "Confucian Elements," p. 84 d i c t a t e s of loving kindness and sought delight i n the a r t s . " . . . Their elevated and r e f i n e d f e e l i n g s were a l l lodged i n t h e i r paintings. Since t h e i r personal q u a l i t y was l o f t y , the " s p i r i t consonance" (df t h e i r paintings) could not be but lofty.'' In t h i s l i g h t , the p r a c t i c e of making copies comes into sharper and more meaningful focus. The notion that s p i r i t u a l goodness, wellbeing, enlightenment, could somehow be contacted or communicated spontaneously— on the l e v e l of self-evident example--reinforced the habit of making copies established by the c a l l i g r a p h i c education, there can be l i t t l e doubt. Our very r e a l Western materialism i n c l i n e s us to think of any e f f o r t at d u p l i c a t i o n as a way to obtain, to own, the object which w i l l r e s u l t , and by i m p l i c a t i o n to s e l l , display, or i n some way p r o f i t economi-c a l l y or e g o t i s t i c a l l y from i t s material presence. That forgers existed i n China, we may be sure; but i t i s not with men of t h i s l e v e l that we are concerned, but rather with the masters of the a r t . Why did they copy, i f not to own the object for the object's sake? As I have suggested, a process of s p i r i t u a l communication (or, rather "trans-mission") was involved. If the "great cart of t r a d i t i o n " i s heavy not with dead learning but with the l i v i n g wisdom of u n i v e r s a l truth, i t i s well worth the e f f o r t of p u l l i n g . 64 To r e t r a c e the brush strokes of the master—presumably an e n l i g h t e n e d s a g e — i s e s s e n t i a l l y the same as to r e t r a c e h i s f o o t s t e p s . To copy i n t h i s sense i s a d e v o t i o n a l a c t , an act of p i l g r i m a g e or prayer. Indeed, what i s the d i f -ference between chanting the words of some s p i r i t u a l leader of the past and r h y t h m i c a l l y and l o v i n g l y r e t r a c i n g h i s p a i n t i n g s ? The idea of t r a n s m i s s i o n of i d e a l h i s t o r i c a l types as s o c i a l i c o n s , and the r e l a t e d n o t i o n of communication of a b s t r a c t s p i r i t u a l q u a l i t i e s through the p r a c t i c e of copying both make sense i n e x a c t l y the same way that the t r a n s m i s s i o n of r e l i g i o u s symbols and r e l i g i o u s essence through r i t u a l s has made sense to so many s e r i o u s t h e o l o -g i a n s . I t i s a l l based on the same k i n d of l o g i c . An i d e a l type (such as a "good f i r s t emperor") was perpetuated by p a i n t e r s who copied h i s p o r t r a i t , as w e l l as by s c h o l a r s who passed on h i s biography i n w r i t i n g , and, indeed, the s c h o l a r and the p a i n t e r were o f t e n one i n the same. However, does communication of the second l e v e l of m o r a l i z i n g power make sense w i t h i n the context of d i r e c t copying i . e . the t r a n s m i s s i o n of the a r t i s t ' s moral ch a r a c t e r lodged i n h i s p a i n t i n g s ? No, i t does not. And I am sure that most of 65 the Chinese c r i t i c s and painters would have emphasized the use of free or i n d i v i d u a l treatment i n making copies dir e c t e d toward t h i s end. Again, we must remind ourselves that the great painters of China were not held i n high esteem, were not copied, so much because of the i n d i v i d u a l q u a l i t y of the s p i r i t u a l representation; rather, they were valued as i n d i v i d u a l s because of the u n i v e r s a l nature of the moral essence, or goodness, which they managed to lodge i n t h e i r brushwork. It i s something primordial and formless, to be picked up by contact and passed on l i k e a spark of e l e c t r i c i t y . So that, although the accu-racy of laborious copying was no doubt c r i t i c a l to the success of transmission on the f i r s t l e v e l ( i d e a l h i s t o r i -c a l types), free copying was u s u a l l y chosen as the most reasonable way i n which to increase contact with the s p i r i t of a master of the past, without destroying the all-important spontaneous approach. In f a c t , the act of making a free copy obviously contributed to a spontaneous use of the brush by freeing the mind from the task of deliberate composition. The Confucian elements required d i r e c t copying, the Taoist a free contact motivated and i n s p i r e d reproduction. This was a very r e a l c o n f l i c t , one 66 of means rather than ends, and one which the Chinese, themselves, were never able to resolve. For learning to paint, to paint as one's s e l f , d i r e c t copying was seldom recommended by the respected c r i t i c s , although a c e r t a i n amount of free copying was nearly always suggested as one means for improving s t y l e . Hsieh Ho was the f i r s t of a long l i n e of c r i t i c s who were well aware of i t s l i m i t s , p r e f e r r i n g nature to art as a source of impressions with which to charge the painter's mind. The e s s e n t i a l union was that of nature and cal l i g r a p h y . V. TAOISM, THE ALTERNATE CONVENTION Thev: Taoist c o n s t a n t s — t h e i n d i v i d u a l and the w o r l d -may be seen as complementary and supporting i n r e l a t i o n to the Confucian constants, a l l of which involve the r e l a t i o n -ship of the i n d i v i d u a l and society. The d e f i n i t i v e expe-rience of the Taoist way, of course, was the act, or, rather, the inac t i o n , of meditation. And a l l i n the Taoist way of l i f e i s seen to lead or somehow grow out of the knowledge gained through metaphysical enlightenment. As we have observed, the dominating experience of the Con-fucian way of l i f e was the p o l i t i c a l act, an involvement to which a l l other aspects of Confucian existence were seen to contribute i n preparation. C l e a r l y , a broad s i m i l a r i t y e x i s t s , along with a point of agreement, between Taoism and Confucianism i n t h i s respect; f o r , as Taoist medi-t a t i o n involves a devotional giving back of the s e l f , consciously, to the world, the Confucian p o l i t i c a l act involves a r i t u a l g i v i n g back of the s e l f to the society or c i v i l i z a t i o n . And, i n a strange way, a c e r t a i n very r e a l enhancement of i n d i v i d u a l i t y through s e l f l e s s n e s s may be p o s t u l a t e d — p a r a d o x i c a l only within the aspect of 68 time. Given the p o s s i b i l i t y that the order of society might conform to the w i l l of Heaven (or u n i v e r s a l order), the p o s s i b i l i t y was always open to the Chinese that a complete agreement or r e s o l u t i o n might be reached i n which no c o n f l i c t could exist between the enlightened mystic's mind, the w i l l of Heaven, and the necessity of moral ac t i o n within society. The imp l i c a t i o n of such a r e s o l u t i o n should be cle a r , to a l l who have contemplated the coming of Heaven to earth. Unfortunately, i t i s only possible to have such knowledge on the l e v e l of d i r e c t experience i . e . as s e l f -evident s i t u a t i o n consciousness. For the r e a l i z a t i o n of the r e a l s e l f does not involve any idea of the s e l f , but, rather, the d i r e c t consciousness of being. Likewise, to know the world as i t s own idea i n our minds i t i s neces-sary to consciously become the world process, something from which we are separated only by the idea of separation. If e i t h e r l i f e - b r e a t h or the lodging of i n d i v i d u a l moral character i s to be r e a l i z e d i n any action, i t must be r e a l i z e d on the l e v e l of self-evident s i t u a t i o n response. When does one act most l i k e oneself? I r o n i c a l l y , i t i s when one "forgets himself." Within an habitual 69 environment, surrounded by f a m i l i a r faces, and engaged i n an automatic or near-automatic a c t i v i t y , self-consciousness may dissolve and movements become spontaneous. Thus, the way i n which a man t i e s h is shoe may be more i n d i c a t i v e of h i s inner nature than the speech he prepares i n accor-dance with what he s e l f c o n s c i o u s l y thinks he i s (or should be) i n the eyes of others. It was a kind.of spontaneous a c t i o n i n painting--painting which "accomplishes i t s e l f " e f f o r t l e s s l y - - t h a t the Chinese f e l t to be the way to the q u a l i t y of spirit-resonance i n brush work, and which they subsequently c u l t i v a t e d . The problem i s to d i s t i n g u i s h between spontaneous ac t i o n which i s habitual, and that which involves not only complex conditioned-reflex action, but involves decision-making s i t u a t i o n s as well. Wielding the Chinese brush and tying a shoe are q u a n t i t a t i v e l y leagues apart, i n the amount of conditioned-reflex i n f o r -mation required; and, more important, tying the shoe i s an act without representational (external) reference or symbolic meaning. In a t h l e t i c s , the dance, and the musical performing arts we often witness the function of highly-involved conditioned-reflex complexes, as the master of the d i s c i p l i n e , 1 70 be i t tennis or b a l l e t , progresses through a sequence of actions which astound us as unimagineably d i f f i c u l t , and with the mindless grace of spontaneous action. It i s the old f a m i l i a r matter of "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" On the l e v e l of spontaneous or i n t u i t i v e action, the dancer, of course, becomes the dance i n an inseparable union. It i s a matter of "negative c a p a b i l i t y " i n reference to themedium i t s e l f , or media-language ( c o n t r o l l i n g information system) unity, something which i s obviously necessary for peak performance i n any action a r t . C l e a r l y , i t would be rather hard to reach the heights of poetic composition i n French, i f one could not d i r e c t l y "think i n French," and were therefore forced to compose i n Eng l i s h and t r a n s l a t e consciously into French before e x t e r n a l i z i n g the verbal media o r a l l y or with the pen. This i s the most obvious example I can construct of a lack of "media-language" unity, leading i n e v i t a b l y to a s t i l t e d or mechanical e f f e c t . The proper media of French l i t e r a t u r e i s the French language, and every art has i t s own media-language or c o n t r o l l i n g information system. The point which i s hard to f u l l y digest and 7 1 remember i s that i t w i l l not be a verbal or l i t e r a l language (such as Eng l i s h or French) unless the art involved i s l i t e r a t u r e . The language-media system of Chinese painting i s not C l a s s i c a l Chinese, nor the vernacular, nor are these the language-media of c a l l i g r a p h y as a f i n e a r t , except i n a rather distant sense. The r e a l language of c a l l i -graphy and painting i s the language of the brush (or, rather, the idea of the p o t e n t i a l brush) i n mental time and space, j u s t as the r e a l language of fencing is the language of the f o i l within the r e l a t i v i s t i c time-space syndrome of the fencer's c o n t r o l l i n g mind. If one i s to reach any degree of freedom i n the use of either f o i l or brush, one must be able to think automatically—spontaneously and i n t u i t i v e l y - - i n the language of the brush or f o i l , and "fence or paint one's mind" i n the same sense that the charismatic orator "speaks h i s mind." The kind of metaphysical change which i s involved i n "becoming the media" should be clear when the s i t u a t i o n i s viewed i n another way, or from a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n . Normal mind commitment i s n e c e s s a r i l y made to the i n d i v i d u a l ego (the s e l f ' s idea of i t s e l f ) , so that the mind's concern i n discriminating i s always with the s u r v i v a l and l i f e of the ego-mind establishment within society, the universe, and the i n t e r n a l world of the mind. As a r e s u l t , the processing of mental information i s nor-mally dominated or strongly influenced by a set of sub-j e c t i v e i n t e r e s t investments of the ego--polarized between what i s supportive and what i s detrimental to the ego's securi t y . Now, i f the a r t i s t is to mobilize h i s t o t a l c o n t r o l l i n g mental powers to t h e i r f u l l e s t p o t e n t i a l , within a given creative s i t u a t i o n , and i n solving problems which may or may not have anything to do with h i s ego's subjective s u r v i v a l commitment to i t s e l f - - w h i c h may i n fact threaten i t - - t h e disadvantages of normal mind posture become obvious. The masterpiece i s generally considered to have a u n i t y of i t s own, a being of i t s own. In i t s independent power to act, to survive within the minds of men throughout h i s t o r y , i t may also be said to have a kind of l i f e . If i t i s to have u n i v e r s a l meaning (not merely subjective meaning as an extension of the person who made i t ) , i t must have a l i f e o_f i t s own. It must have been set free. In order to free the work of a r t , the a r t i s t must achieve 73 undivided ego commitment to the work of art i t s e l f as i t grows, to i t s l i f e , which he nurtures and l i v e s as i f i t were h i s own. He gives himseilf to the work of a r t , and i n becoming i t makes i t . Otherwise, the energy-sapping needs of the: subjective ego w i l l v i o l a t e the u n i t y of the work of art and compromise i t s l i f e - i n t e g r i t y . Paradoxi-c a l l y and i r o n i c a l l y , i t i s only by giving up one's i n d i v i d u a l i t y to the work of art that one may lodge or imprint the deeper i n d i v i d u a l i t y of the "'real s e l f " w ithin the structure of i t s formal being. For the " r e a l s e l f " (being the p l a t o n i c or i d e a l form of the human i n t e l l e c t or s p i r i t ) i s u n i v e r s a l i n i t s authority f o r man no matter whenever, wherever, or whoever i t may be. It can appear concretely i n d i v i d u a l i z e d — a s i n the essen-t i a l moral character of a given man--only because of the formalizing e f f e c t s of time-space within the mind. This much could be true f o r both the f i n e arts of c a l l i g r a p h y and painting, although painting d i f f e r s even from c a l l i g r a p h y i n that i t has a representational reference within the measurable material world. Calligraphy, although i t e x i s t s i n models and sometimes r e f e r s a b s t r a c t l y to objects, i s e s s e n t i a l l y i d e a — l i k e the i d e a l i z e d examples 74 of kings and consorts held up and transmitted by the moralizing Confucian painter as self-evident within h i s given society. But the h i l l s and mountains, streams and fo r e s t s — o r whatever i s "out there" to make trees and water within a l l of our minds — existed before the coming of man. Calligraphy i s the mirror of man, and thus, the most e s s e n t i a l l y Confucian of the s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l ' s p l a s t i c a r t s ; but, holding up the mirror to r e f l e c t both man and the universe, painting i s Taoist as w e l l — y e t , Taoist without ceasing to be Confucian. In becoming h i s subject the Chinese sage-painter of landscape, such as L i Ch'eng, was able to lodge h i s i n d i v i d u a l moral charac-t e r i n the r e f l e c t i o n of the natural world at the same time that he a c t i v a t e d the conditioned r e f l e x movements of the c a l l i g r a p h i c mind. The kind of unity which may be r e a l i z e d somewhere between the needs of spirit-resonance and those of the lodging of moral character should not be so d i f f i c u l t f o r the Westerner to accept. As we have already seen i n considering the F i r s t P r i n c i p l e , spirit-resonance may be thought of as r e s u l t i n g from action painting which cooperates or somehow works through the laws, p r i n c i p l e s , 75 and processes of u n i v e r s a l f l u x i . e . without the deadening w i l l to r e s i s t the i n e v i t a b l e . The so - c a l l e d " r e a l s e l f " or e s s e n t i a l character of man--of i n d i v i d u a l men, when i n d i v i d u a l i z e d i n the aspect of time and space—must also be regarded as one with and dynamically energized through the w i l l of Heaven. When i t (the r e a l man) expresses i t s e l f i n a r t , spirit-resonance r e s u l t s auto-m a t i c a l l y within the record of the formal values of the paintin g (as an h i s t o r i c a l statement of the act i o n ) ; and t h i s w i l l take place spontaneously and e f f o r t l e s s l y i n the absence of the deadening defensive a n t i - f o r c e of the s e l f i s h subjective ego. When spirit-resonance i s lodged i n the formal values of the painting, moral character must simultaneously j o i n i t ; f o r the two are the same. According to the primary tenet of the Confucian way, the " r e a l s e l f " or e s s e n t i a l character of man i s good. The r o l e of meditation may thus be seen as contribu-t i n g to the art of painting i n a way which i s not at a l l contradictory to the Confucian value system; f o r , c e r t a i n l y , meditation i s one of the most d i r e c t and e f f e c t i v e avenues to r e a l i z a t i o n of the " r e a l s e l f " and i t s basic r e l a t i o n s h i p to the cosmic processes of the world i . e . to 76 r e l i g i o u s e x p e r i e n c e . And, a l t h o u g h i t i s h a r d t o a c c e p t l a n d s c a p e p a i n t i n g as a f o r m of d i r e c t p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n , t h e p r o d u c t i o n of a m a s t e r p i e c e of m o r a l c h a r a c t e r l o d g i n g ( and s p i r i t r e s o n a n c e ) must be r e c o g n i z e d ( i f we a r e t o see m a t t e r s i n a C o n f u c i a n l i g h t ) as p o t e n t i a l l y c o n t r i b u -t i n g t o a s t a t e of mind o r s p i r i t u a l c o n d i t i o n p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r t h e s e l f l e s s o b j e c t i v e s o c i a l - p o l i t i c a l c o n t r i b u t i o n . The m a n u f a c t u r e of examples of m o r a l s t a t u r e and s t r e n g t h i s a l w a y s a s o c i a l c o n t r i b u t i o n of t h e h i g h e s t o r d e r . One may now r e a s o n a b l y c o n s i d e r t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p of t h e s e m a t t e r s ( e s s e n t i a l l y r e l i g i o u s ) t o t h e p r a c t i c e of " T r a n s m i s s i o n by C o p y i n g , t h a t i s t o say, t h e c o p y i n g of models" ( S u l l i v a n ) , o r , i n Soper's t r a n s l a t i o n , t h e " t r a n s m i s s i o n ( o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e of t h e p a s t ) i n making c o p i e s " i . e . t o t h e C o n f u c i a n a u t h o r i t y of H s i e h Ho's S i x t h P r i n c i p l e w i t h i t s e c l e c t i c - p e d a n t i c i m p l i c a t i o n s . Now as soon as we put o u r s e l v e s i n t o t h e C o n f u c i a n frame of mind, t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s h o u l d become s e l f - e v i d e n t ; f o r i t must be remembered t h a t t h e C o n f u c i a n d i d n o t s h a r e our h i s t o r i c a l s k e p t i c i s m and t a l e n t f o r d i s b e l i e f . The i d e a l forms o r models of c a l l i g r a p h y , t o g i v e one example, were b e l i e v e d t o have o r i g i n a t e d as a r e s u l t of d i r e c t t r a n s -77 mission from Heaven. And i n i t s long h i s t o r i c a l develop-ment the writ t e n language was not r e f i n e d and perfected by common pedants, but by the sages of h i s t o r y , poetry, and a r t . It should not be necessary to add at t h i s time that the sages ( i n China) were i n e v i t a b l y tuned i n to the w i l l of Heaven, and therefore functioned r o u t i n e l y as "the r e a l man." Models or examples--whole paintings, or a p a r t i c u l a r method of representing natural objects or space, or even a type of brush stroke derived from i n d i v i d u a l s t y l e s of masters—were very l i k e l y viewed i n a r e l i g i o - m o r a l perspective, so that to conform was to obey the w i l l of Heaven as we l l as the customs of the s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l c l a s s . Through, meditation i n a r u s t i c or wilderness s e t t i n g the Confucian s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l , acting through the a l t e r -nate convention of Taoist mysticism, was able to sharpen h i s soul f o r tasks ahead. P a r t i c u l a r l y i n times when h i s services were not wanted,or could not be given i n good conscience t h i s was the accepted way; although the hope of a chance to serve at some time i n l i f e seldom died. And, yet, art i t s e l f could always serve as a way i n which a man might give himself back to society. Through the lodging of spirit-resonance and moral painter was, i r o n i c a l l y , also able to to himself, and to the T o t a l i t y . 78 character the scholar-give himself back BIBLIOGRAPHY Acker, William Reynolds Beal. Some T'ang and Pre-T'ang  Texts on Chinese Painting. Leyden, E. J . B r i l l , 1954. Bernbaum, Ernest. Anthology of Romanticism. New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1948. Binyon, Laurence. Painting i n the Far East. 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F i t z g e r a l d , C. P. China: A Short C u l t u r a l History. 3rd. e d i t i o n . New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1961. G i l e s , Herbert A. An Introduction to the History of Chinese P i c t o r i a l Art. Shanghai: Kelley and Walsh, Ltd., 1905"; Grousset, Rene. The Rise and Splendour of the Chinese Empire. Berkeley: The Un i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1964. Hirt h , F r i e d r i c h . Scraps from a C o l l e c t o r 1 s Notebook. Leyden, 1905. 81 Kuo, Wei-ch'u. Sung Yuan Ming Ch'ing Shu Hua Chia Mien  Piao. Peking: Chung-kuo ku t i e n i shu ch'u pnn she, 1958. Ming, L a i . A History of Chinese L i t e r a t u r e . New York: Capricorn Books, 1964. Lancman, E l i . Chinese Portraiture. Rutland, Vermont: The Charles E. T u t t l e Company, 1966. Lee, Sherman E. A History of Far Eastern Art. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1964. Reischauer, Edwin 0. and Fairbank, John K. East Asia  The Great T r a d i t i o n . Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n Company, 1958. Sakanishi, Shio. The S p i r i t of the Brush. London: Wisdom of the East Series, 1939. Schopenhauer, Arthur. The World as W i l l and Idea. Translated by R. B. Haldane and J . Kemp. New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1961. Shih, Vince Y. C., trans. The L i t e r a r y Mind and the Carving of Dragons. New York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1959" Sickman, Laurence, and Soper, Alexander. The Art and Architecture of China. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1956. Siren, Osvald. A History of Ea r l y Chinese Painting. London: The Medici Society, 1933. Siren, Osvald. The Chinese on the Art of Painting. New York: Schocken Books, 1963. Siren, Osvald. Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and P r i n c i p l e s . New York: The Ronald Press Company, l956\ 82 Soper, Alexander C. ""The F i r s t Two Laws of Hsieh Ho." The Far Eastern Quarterly; Review of Eastern Asia and the Adjacent P a c i f i c Islands. V o l . 8, 1948-49. T t h i c a , New York: Cor n e l l U n i v e r s i t y Press. S u l l i v a n , Michael. The B i r t h of Landscape Painting i n China. Berkeley: The U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1962. S u l l i v a n , Michael. An Introduction to Chinese A r t . Berkeley and Los Angeles: U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1961. Sze, Mai-mai. The Tao of Painting: A Study i n the R i t u a l D i s p o s i t i o n of Chinese Painting. New York: Pantheon Books, Inc., 1956. Van Briessen, F r i t z . The Way of the Brush. Rutland, Vermont: The Charles E. T u t t l e Company, 1962. Waley, Arthur. An Introduction to the Study of Chinese  Painting. New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1923. W i l l e t t s , William. Foundations of Chinese Art: From  N e o l i t h i c Pottery to Modem Architecture. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1965. W i l l e t t s , William. Chinese Art. Harmondsworth, Middle-sex: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1958. Wilson, John A. The Culture of Ancient Egypt. Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1951. APPENDIX I Translations of 'The Six P r i n c i p l e s of Hsieh Ho. Spirit-Resonance. Bone Method. R e f l e c t i n g the Object. Appropriateness to Type. D i v i s i o n and Planning Transmission and Conveying. William Acker. Some T'ang and Pre-T'ang Texts on  Chinese Painting, p. XLI. Rythmic V i t a l i t y , or S p i r i t u a l Rhythm expressed i n the movonent of l i f e . The art of rendering the bones or anatomical struc-ture by means of the brush. The drawing of forms, which answer the natural forms. Appropriate d i s t r i b u t i o n of the co l o r s . Composition and subordination, or grouping according to hierarchy of things. The transmission of c l a s s i c models. Laurence Binyon. The F l i g h t of the Dragon, p. 12. Rhythm and v i t a l i t y . S i g n i f i c a n t brushwork. R e a l i s t i c form. Right colour. Good composition. Study of good models. William Cohn. Chinese Painting, p. 35. Rhythmic v i t a l i t y . Anatomical structure. 83 84 Conformity with nature. S u i t a b i l i t y of colouring. A r t i s t i c composition. F i n i s h . Herbert A. G i l e s . Introduction to the History of Chinese P i c t o r i a l Art, p. 29. S p i r i t u a l Element, L i f e ' s Motion. Skeleton-drawing with the brush. Correctness of o u t l i n e s . Colouring to correspond to nature of object. The correct d i v i s i o n of space. Copying models. F r i e d r i c h H i r t h . Scraps from a C o l l e c t o r ' s Notebook, p. 58. Animation through s p i r i t consonance, sympathetic responsiveness of the v i t a l s p i r i t . S t r u c t u r a l method i n the use of the brush. F i d e l i t y to the object i n portraying forms. Conformity to kind i n applying co l o r s . Proper planning i n the placing of elements. Transmission of the experience of the past i n making copies. Sherman E. Lee, A History of Far Eastern Art, p. 253. A p i c t u r e should be i n s p i r e d and possess l i f e i t s e l f . The framework should be c a l l i g r a p h i c a l l y established. In drawing the forms of things one should conform to t h e i r natural proportions. Color should be applied i n accordance with the nature of the subject. In planning the composition one should observe con-sistency and propriety i n the r e a l i z a t i o n of things The drawing should be guided by former masters. Benjamin March, "Linear Perspective i n Chinese P a i n t i n Eastern Art, 1931, p. 131. (Quoted by F r i t z Van 85 Briessen, The Way of the Brush, p. 110). That through a v i t a l i z i n g s p i r i t , a painting should possess the movement of l i f e . That by means of the brush, the s t r u c t u r a l basis should be established. That the representation should so conform with the objects as to give t h e i r likeness. That the co l o r i n g should be applied according to t h e i r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . That, through organization, place and p o s i t i o n should be determined. That by copying, the ancient models should be perpetuated. Shio Sakanishi, The S p i r i t of the Brush, p. 50. S p i r i t u a l Tone and Life-movement. Manner of brushwork i n drawing l i n e s . Form i n i t s r e l a t i o n to objects. Choice of color appropriate to the objects. Composition and grouping. The copying of c l a s s i c masterpieces. Taki S e i i c h i , Kokka; No. 244. (Quoted by F r i t z Van Briessen, The Way of the Brush, p. 110). Resonance of the s p i r i t ; movement of l i f e . Bone manner ( i . e . , s t r u c t u r a l ) use of the brush. Conform with the objects (to obtain) t h e i r likeness. According to the species, apply the colours. Plan and design; place and p o s i t i o n (composition). To transmit models by drawing. Osvald Siren, E a r l y Chinese Painting, V o l . 1, p. 32. The f i r s t i s "animation through s p i r i t consonance." The second i s " s t r u c t u r a l method i n use of the brush." The t h i r d i s " f i d e l i t y to the object i n portraying forms. " 86 The fourth i s "conformity to kind i n applying c o l o r s . " The f i f t h i s "proper planning i n placing (of elements). The s i x t h i s "transmission (of the experience of the past) i n making copies.™ Alexander Soper, "The F i r s t Two Laws of Hsieh Ho." The Far Eastern Quarterly, Vol. 8, 1948-49, p. 412. F i r s t , S p i r i t Resonance, which means v i t a l i t y . Second, Bone Method, which i s (a way of) using the brush. Third, Correspondence to the Object, which means the depicting of forms. Fourth, S u i t a b i l i t y to Type, which has to do with the laying on of colours. F i f t h , D i v i s i o n and Planning, i . e . , placing and arrangement. Sixth, Transmission by Copying, that i s to say, the copying of models. Michael S u l l i v a n , The B i r t h of Landscape Painting i n China, 1962. S p i r i t Harmony--life's motion. Bone-means--use brush. According to the object, depict i t s shape. According to the species, apply color . Planning and disposing degrees and places. By handing on and copying, to transmit designs. Arthur Waley, An Introduction to the Study of Chinese  Painting, p. 72. APPENDIX II Negative C a p a b i l i t y and Formal Values The c r i t i c a l question which remains i s t h i s : exactly what i s the physical difference, i n terms of formal values, between a painting which has l i f e - b r e a t h or moral-lodging and one which does not? And i f i t does exist on t h i s l e v e l , i . e . , i f i t i s perceivable through the senses at a l l , i s the p h y s i c a l evidence i n a painting of moral lodging of the a r t i s t ' s e s s e n t i a l being i d e n t i c a l to the evidence of l i f e - b r e a t h or spirit-resonance? From what has already been said, the case f o r moral-lodging should be c l e a r . The Confucian moral impera-t i v e i n s i s t s upon the p s y c h o l o g i c a l - i n t e l l e c t u a l n e u t r a l i t y of the s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l ; a gentleman does not invent, he transmits. Ideally, he becomes the neutral v e h i c l e , as u n i v e r s a l or a - p r i o r i mind, i n order to pass on the wisdom of the sages uncontaminated and uncolored by i n d i v i d u a l p e r s o n a l i t y . To do so he must, obviously, leave himself out — out of thought and out of action, i n l i t e r a r y trans-mission or i n painting. In other words, he must not l e t h i s own personal c o n d i t i o n i n g — h i s i n d i v i d u a l p o s i t i v e h i s t o r y — i n t e r f e r e with the c l a s s i c a l pattern of u n i v e r s a l 87 88 wisdom. But, as anyone who i s sharply aware of the presence of negative space w i l l be quick to admit, an omission can be as important as an i n c l u s i o n . Obviously—perhaps too obviously for the academic mind to r e a d i l y a c c e p t — b y leaving himself out of a painting, out of i t s p o s i t i v e space, the Chinese painter i r o n i c a l l y (and i n an astonishingly straight-'forward way) was able to deposit or embody himself i n terms of anthropomorphic negative space (or spaces) within the painting. As soon as one can make the perceptual r e v e r s a l , from consciousness of p o s i t i v e space to the consciousness of negative space, the negative space i n the painting w i l l become v i s u a l l y active i n a formal way, and the anthropomorphic voids which I j u s t mentioned w i l l magically snap into focus. The painter takes o f f h i s clothes and s i t s cross-legged: no less i s required of the serious viewer. In order to a p p r e c i a t e -indeed, i n order to p e r c e i v e — t h e evidence of moral-lodging i n Chinese painting, which i s an art of negative c a p a b i l i t y , the viewer must ac t i v a t e h i s own negative c a p a b i l i t y — a matter of meditation, of s e l f - d e n i a l , a supression of the c r i t i c i z i n g , l i t e r a l i z i n g , judging f a c i l i t i e s of the p o s i t i v e mind. For those who are un-tuned to the r e a l i t y 89 o f negative space, who deny negative c a p a b i l i t y , t h i s door w i l l remain t i g h t l y c l o s e d — u n l e s s , of course, some purely t e c h n i c a l means i s employed to force the gap—some technological t r i c k or device, supplied by science. I am thinking here of the free-running stroboscopic inspec-t i o n l i g h t , which has been used for many years now i n modifying the perceptual c a p a c i t i e s of workers on inspection l i n e s i n f a c t o r i e s . Be that as i t may, what do these negative-space s e l f - p o r t r a i t s r e a l l y look l i k e to one who can see them? Obviously, the i n d i v i d u a l characteristics d i f f e r g r e a t l y according to the i n d i v i d u a l nature of the a r t i s t ' s mind, although the way i n which they appear i s remarkably con-stant. Even so, i t i s extremely d i f f i c u l t to put t h e i r nature into exact words. They appear i n a manner s i m i l a r to that of moral patterns, e i t h e r singly, or as a morie of f i g u r a t i v e representations, dynamically interpene-t r a t i n g p o s i t i v e form—be i t the representation of rock, tree, f o r e s t , mountain, water, mist, or bamboo. Unlike the pattern of p o s i t i v e brush work, they are very genera-l i z e d ; but, at the same t i m e — i n evocative power — t h e y are very concrete, and homogeneously r e l a t e d to the i n d i -v i d u a l character of the painter i n question. For example, 9 0 those of L i Ch'eng seem very erect and v i r i l e , v i t a l and energetic i n a pure super-human way, and t h e i r evocative e f f e c t i s one of pure 1ife-enhancement. Those i n Kung Hsien are paranoid—although nobly so —seeming crushed, trapped, confined, and suffocating under the pressure of his p o s i t i v e brush—but, nevertheless, holding t h e i r space. Such anthropomorphic forms i n Chinese painting are never s t a t i c or fix e d , but tend to breathe or pulsate (as experienced i n the viewer's mind) within the l i m i t s set upon them by the p o s i t i v e elements of the composition. Although they r e s u l t as the negative embodiment of what the painter has d i s c i p l i n e d himself to omit, the way i n which they appear i s c l e a r l y the r e s u l t of automatic and unconscious formative powers within the a - p r i o r i mind. As a moral-aesthetic c r i t e r i o n f o r judgment, I would suggest that anthropomorphic negative space which seems to expand i n an e f f o r t l e s s , a f f i r m a t i v e way—as i n L i Ch'eng—is superior to that which, as i n the case of Kung Hsien, labours to exist or appears to shrink defensively. I am sure the Chinese would agree. What, then, i s s p i r i t -resonance? This i s a term which the Chinese always seem to apply to the p o s i t i v e q u a l i t i e s of painting, the brush work i n p a r t i c u l a r . In general, i t may be described as a process q u a l i t y i n which every d e t a i l i n the whole ac t i o n seems to be caught up or supported by the same o v e r a l l force f i e l d . It i s , quite frankly, as i f every d e t a i l i n the complex ac t i o n of executing a painting had been rendered at exactly the same moment, the work of ten thousand brushes c o n t r o l l e d simultaneously by one mind. There i s no begin-ning and no end: every stroke and every image i s right (where every stroke i s at home, taking i t s place to support the others, the stroke neither d i f f i d e n t nor ostentatious, the common stroke exact without v u l g a r i t y , the formal stroke precise but not pedantic, the complete consort dancing together) every passage and image i s an end and a beginning, every painting an epitaph."*" C l e a r l y , for t h i s to be, ordinary time-space control must give way to some constant a - h i s t o r i c a l control force. But what i s i t ? Again, the only reasonable answer l i e s with the a - p r i o r i mind, the primordial under-netting of h i s t o r i c a l time-space r e a l i t y . The creator of time and space, and of form, i t s e l f formless, i t must give form such as a mir-ror gives form by r e f l e c t i n g ; but, as we know, there are T. S. E l l i o t , The Complete Poems and Plays, (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company, 1952), p. 144. 92 many kinds of mirrors. Here, we must think i n terms of a cybernetic mirror. And, although we can have no idea of i t s r e a l i t y — i t i s the very substance of the idea we would have--we may not discount i t s presence which we may experience but cannot know. The Chinese at t h i s point, might, I think, be i n c l i n e d to argue that t h i s presence i s part and parcel of a much grander mind system—indeed, the mind of Heaven. In any case, the most reasonable explanation for the formal q u a l i t y of spirit-resonance i n paintings, i s that they present some kind of resemblance between t h e i r own mode of being and the way i n which the primordial cybernetic mirror has i t s being--i.e., a painting with spirit-resonance represents and symbolizes the primordial mind process, i f only i n a l i m i t e d way. Consciousness i t s e l f , being the product of cybernetic action, must surely have a pe c u l i a r and t y p i c a l rhythm—a process-tone charac-t e r i s t i c of our species. And i n i t s a b i l i t y to support impression o b j e c t i v e l y within a transparent cybernetic medium—to nourishingly bathe impression with the trans-parent f l u i d of consciousness, or the pure vacuum of consciousness—the u n i v e r s a l mind must be said to have some i n t r i n s i c being of i t s own which might conceivably be represented or symbolized i n a painting, or a l l e g o r i z e d , 9 3 on the deepest i c o n o l o g i c a l l e v e l . Here, again, the c r i t e r i a of judgment which emerges i s e s s e n t i a l l y i c o n o l o g i c a l . The way i n which the ink exis t s i n r e l a t i o n to the paper must somehow adequately symbolize the way i n which impression ex i s t s i n r e l a t i o n to the u n i v e r s a l mind p o t e n t i a l which supports i t , i n the mind of the painter and of a l l men, f o r otherwise there can be no s p i r i t resonance when we are i n turn impressed by the pain t i n g . The representational surface must seem to r i d e upon a f l u i d p o t e n t i a l of l i g h t — or pure s p i r i t u a l energy--which supports i t from beneath, once the painting i s recreated i n the viewer's mind. As i n the case of a l l of the greatest landscape paintings, anthropomorphic nega-tive-space forms must appear to emerge from a deeper and more intense formless p o t e n t i a l to support the f a b r i c of the world. In bamboo painting, the a - p r i o r i negative image of a man i s often lodged i n the pattern of l i g h t between the leaves and branches, i r o n i c a l l y set apart from the surrounding ether out of which the plant has c r y s t a l i z e d . The space has been l e f t empty, there i s room, i t has been transmitted so that the viewer too may l i v e within the painting as h i s own i d e a — a s long as i t i s also the univer-s a l concept of man. Like the painter who takes off h i s 94 clothes and s i t s cross-legged, the viewer must take off h i s p e r s o n a l i t y and move into the painting. 

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