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[Vol.29 (2018)] How Is It Possible for the Sage to Know by Listening?
Author : SHENG Xia
Date : 19.03.25
Page : 113-132
Keyword : to know by listening, listening to the Way, listening to the Mandate, asking rite, listening to music
Abstract :


To know by listening is the sage’s way of perceiving external things. This knowledge not only includes objective knowledge of external things, but also contributes to developing the sagely personality and renewing the society. Confucius thinks that this knowledge needs to be acquired by listening; however, this listening is differentiated from listening in daily life, which is easily affected by objects and desires. Listening for knowledge is associated with the Way of Heaven. Through understanding the Way by listening, each part achieves the whole, the false is eliminated and the true is retained, and the world is transformed to be better. The perceiving model of listening for knowledge is revealed by Confucius’s asking rite and listening to music. First, put oneself and other objects in the empty state by asking and listen to the Way of Heaven echoing here from far distance. Through this process, we can directly acquire the knowledge of the sage without any distinction between subject and object. Second, with reliance on the sound of Jade, understand the Mandate of Heaven, which arranges myriad things in an orderly manner. That is to say, as if everything exists in our right and left sides, we should fulfill the nature of ourselves and preserve that of myriad things. Listening to the Way and listening to the Mandate can transform us and societies. Listening for knowledge not only has inter-subjectivity but also retains social practical ability.

 

Attachments : 6. SHENG.pdf


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