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|Other Titles: ||The Structural Significance of the Metamorphosis Mythology in Pre-Ch'in-A Study of ＂the Ordinary and the Extraordinary＂|
|Issue Date: ||2014-09-18 13:57:02 (UTC+8)|
In the Ancient Chinese mythology, both the human and the non-human metamorphosis mythologies believe that different kinds or species of beings are interchangeable, such as the decayed grass' transforming into a firefly of Nu-wa's transforming into the Ching-wei bird. Aiming at these metamorphoses, this paper attempts to explore the original meaning of the two key words, chung (species) and lei (kind), from the linguistic point of view, and analyse further that the ”bearing” or ”producing” from the same kind of beings is sheng (bear) or ch'an (produce), and that the ”interchange” between different species of beings are bien (change) or hua (transform). While the former refers to the way of multiplying for the ”ordinary” state of life, the latter designates the extraordinary living state, From Pre-Ch'in to Han, taking the nonhunman metamorphosis as their evidences, the School of Logicians, such as the Schools of Mo-tzu and Hsun-tzu (for example, in the ”Cheng-ming” chapter), interpreted hua as the form of metamorphosis from the epistemological and the logical standpoints, arguing that hua is a life form. On the other, hand, basing on the mythological thinking and the transformation of ch'i (vitality), those who advocated the ch'i-hua (the cosmic process basing on an air-like matter) theory explicated that things may break the limit of species and kinds to transform their bodies into other kinds of forms to continue their lives, However, as an extraordinary condition, that is, an unnatural ending of life like Kun's execution, Yao-chi's remaining unmarried till death, etc., the hua is an ending way different from natural ordinary death. Within this type of mythological thinking, there exist metaphors for the Chinese collective consciousness, men's fear and compensation for the dead, and the belief in reliable body for the wandering wronged soul after death. By the concept of soul and soul's attaching to different lift forms for continuation, this paper explicates the significance of metamorphosis to prove that it is an extraordinary state of life.
|Relation: ||中國文哲研究集刊, 4, 287-318|
|Data Type: ||article|
|Appears in Collections:||[宗教研究所] 期刊論文|
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