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[Vol.28 (2017)] The Substance of the Mind and the Immortality of the Self in Zhu Xi: In Relation to the Guishen-hunp
Author : KIM Woo-hyung
Date : 19.03.25
Page : 47-66
Keyword : mind (xin), benti (original substance), self, immortality, guishen (spiritual beings), hunpo (human soul), Zhu Xi
Abstract :

In this article, I discuss the conceptions of the substance of the mind (xin) and the immortality of the self in relation to the guishen-hunpo theory in Zhu Xi’s philosophy. Zhu Xi interprets guishen as the two functions of qi and intelligible natural phenomena. He also explains that hunpo, or human guishen, is the material substance of the mind. Hunpo is the most flourishing state of guishen and performs the cognitive function. However, in the same way as things composed of qi, the mind also experiences birth and death depending on the gathering and scattering of qi. In contrast, the original substance of the mind is equivalent to eternal li (xing) which cannot gather or scatter. Reconstructing the concept of the original substance (benti) on the foundation of cosmological li-qi dualism, Zhu Xi insists that the original self is immortal as it is the original substance of the mind. Zhu Xi recommends cultivating the self from the universe-centered perspective grounded on this understanding. Justifying sacrificial rites for ancestors in his theory of li-qi, Zhu Xi claims that their hunpo can reappear in their descendants’ minds based on the cosmological principle (li); since the cosmological principle contains all the information and history of the ancestors, it can reproduce everything regarding those ancestors. Zhu Xi’s view of the immortal self deserves to be evaluated as a creative thought.

Attachments : KIM Woo-hyung.pdf

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