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The concept of the “Focus-Field Self’ obviously aims at avoiding the pitfalls of rationalistic self-identities but, unfortunately, it does so to the point of neglecting the problem of authentic Self altogether.Indeed, we find in Confucianism a strong sense of the inner reality of Self which runs from Confucius’s obscure remark on the “single thread”(yz guan) in his teachings to the theme of the persistent “common Mind” or just “the Mind” (yi ge xin) in the so called “idealistic” trend of Neo- Confucianism.In the Taoist thought the relation between subjectivity and its symbolic source is reproduced in the relation between types of events and the “force of circumstances” mentioned above.This force is but an infinitely efficient activity within every finite action.The latter, of course, has nothing to do with the mere continuation of the past.Its real essence is the creative event or, to be precise, the self-effacing power of time, the irresistible force of forgetfulness that affirms the ever-present but essentially a-temporal reality under the cover of permanent renovation.Suffice is to recall the sets of fixed chords in Chinese music, the sequences of normative gestures in ritual practice as well as in Chinese boxing or theatre, catalogues of esthetic objects in various spheres of life or lists of artistic forms and their elements in painting, calligraphy, architecture etc.

The continuity of tradition presupposes that to affirm one’s true Self one must forget oneself.I prefer to call this reality symbolic because of the following considerations: firstly, this reality cannot be described in terms of the parallelism between thought and being and, therefore, can be expressed only symbolically; secondly, this reality precedes or rather anticipates the being of all things and does not pass after these beings reach their limit, i.e.after they are realized to the full; thirdly, this reality corresponds to the totality of human praxis which can only be referred to allegorically.Learning how to embody these types in one’s practice was a process of heightening one’s awareness, a way of self-cultivation. So the symbolic types come out, as it were, from the undifferentiated, non-thematic wholeness of primordial experience, or No-Limit (wuji), and, having been elaborated to the finest nuances through men’s spiritual effort (this process corresponds to a realization of culture), finally dissolve once again in the seamless web of all-too-subtle differences of experience.Yet this time they melt into a Chaos of another sort — sublimated by human effort and esthetically perceived Chaos of the Great Limit {t ’aiji), a cultural creation par excellence.

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