Chapter 1: DIAGRAM OF
THE SUPREME ULTIMATE
|Chou Tun-i's Explanation of the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate||37|
|Chu Hsi's Comments||40|
|On Beginning with the "Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate"||43|
|On the Relationship of Principle and Material Force||43|
|Principle as the Ultimate of Non-Being and the Supreme Ultimate||45|
|The Supreme Ultimate and Material Force||46|
|The One and the Many||49|
This chapter presents Chou Tun-i's Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate and his Explanation of the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate.2 These works, as interpreted by Chu Hsi, became the cornerstone of Neo-Confucian metaphysical thought; here we find the essential framework for understanding both man's place in the universe and the process by which he achieves his ultimate perfection and fulfillment-matters which will be taken up at length in the remainder of this work. Two of the most important Chinese compilations of Neo-Confucian thought, the Chin ssu lu and the Hsing-li ta ch'üan begin in a similar manner;2 this is the natural starting point for a systematic understanding of Chu Hsi's project. T'oegye has abridged Chu Hsi's analysis of the graphics of the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate3 and incorporated it as a gloss into the diagram itself.
Chou Tun-i's Explanation of the Diagram of the
The Indeterminate and also the Supreme Ultimate: The Supreme Ultimate through activity produces yang. Activity having reached its limit, there is quiet. Through quiet [the Supreme Ultimate] produces yin. When quiet reaches its limit there is a return to activity; thus activity and quiet each in turn becomes the source of the other. In this way the distinction
38 Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate
between yin and yang arises and the two modes are established. Yang changes and yin corresponds, and thus are produced Water, Fire, Wood, Metal, and Earth; these Five Agents are harmoniously arrayed and the four seasons proceed in their course.
The Five Agents are the one yin and yang; yin and yang are the one Supreme Ultimate; the Supreme Ultimate is fundamentally the Indeterminate. But in the production of the Five Agents, each has its own nature.
The reality of the Indeterminate and the essence of the two modes [i.e., yin and yang] and the Five Agents wondrously unite and consolidate. Ch'ien (Heaven) constitutes the male element and K'un (Earth) constitutes the female element.4 These two forces by their interaction transform and produce the myriad creatures. The myriad creatures produce and reproduce and so change and transformation go on without end.
Man alone, however, receives [the Five Agents] in their highest excellence and so is endowed with the fullest spiritual potential. His physical form is produced and his spirit manifests intelligence. His five-fold nature is stirred [in response to external phenomena] and acts; thus the distinction of good and evil arises and human affairs take place.5
The Sage properly orders these [affairs] according to the mean, correctness, humanity, and righteousness, taking quiet as the essential; in this way he establishes the ultimate standard for man. Therefore the Sage "with respect to Heaven and Earth is at one with their character, with respect to the sun and moon is at one with their brilliance, with respect to the four seasons is at one with their order and with respect to the spirits is at one with the good fortune and the misfortune [which they mediate]."6 The superior man in cultivating these qualities enjoys good fortune, while the inferior man in violating them suffers misfortune.
Therefore it is said, "In establishing the Tao of Heaven yin and yang are spoken of; in establishing the Tao of Earth the
40 Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate
soft and the hard are spoken of; in establishing the Tao of man humanity and righteousness are spoken of."7 And again, "[The Book of Changes] traces things to their origin in the beginning and back again to their final end; therefore it understands life and death.8 Great indeed is the Book of Changes!9 And herein lies its highest excellence!
Chu Hsi's Comments
Chu Hsi says: "In [Chou Tun-i's] explanation of the Diagram, first he describes the origin of yin and yang, change and transformation; then he clarifies the matter, namely in terms of [the corresponding] endowment and constitution of human beings. When he says, `Man alone receives [the Five Agents] in their highest excellence and so is endowed with the fullest spiritual potential,' [a reference to] man's pure and perfectly good nature, what he is speaking of is the Supreme Ultimate. `His physical form is produced and his spirit manifests [intelligence]' is the doing of the activity of yang and the quiet of yin. `His five-fold nature is stirred and acts' is the nature of Water, Fire, Wood, Metal, and Earth produced when yang changes and yin corresponds. `The distinction of good and evil arises' is the likeness of the male and the female elements. `Human affairs take place' is the likeness of the production and transformation of the myriad creatures. And finally when we come to, `The Sage properly orders these [affairs] according to the mean, correctness, humanity, and righteousness, taking quiet as the essential; in this way he establishes the ultimate standard for man.' This again refers to man's having received the integral substance of the Supreme Ultimate, with the result that he is conjoined with Heaven and Earth in a perfect unity. Therefore the text goes on to say that with regard to Heaven and Earth, the sun and
Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate 41
moon, the four seasons, and the spirits, there is none with which he is not at one."10
And again [Chu Hsi] says: "The sage has no need to cultivate these qualities but possesses them naturally. Not yet having attained such perfection but cultivating it is that wherein the superior man finds his good fortune; being ignorant of this [perfection] and violating it is that wherein the inferior man suffers misfortune. Whether one cultivates it or violates it is simply a matter of the difference between practicing mindfulness and licentiousness. If one is mindful one's desires will be few and principle will be clear. If one reduces one's desires and then reduces them yet further until he approaches the condition in which they are totally absent, then in quiet [one's mind and heart] will be empty [of self-centered impulses] and in activity [one's conduct] will be correct; one will thus be fit to learn to become a sage."11
This diagram and its accompanying explanation are both the work of Chou Lien-hsi [Tun-i]. Yeh Ping-yen12 spoke of this diagram as follows: "It takes the words of the Appended Remarks [of the Book of Changes], 'The Book of Changes has the Supreme Ultimate; this produced the Two Modes; the Two Modes produced the Four Forms,"13 and expands and clarifies its meaning. The only difference is that the Book of Changes speaks in terms of the hexagrams and their lines, while the Diagram speaks in terms of the creation and transformation [of the physical universe]."14 Master Chu called it, "the great fountainhead of moral principle,"15 and again referred to it as "the source of proper understanding of the Tao through all ages."16
This diagram has been placed at the very beginning of
42 Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate
this work for the same reason that its explanation was placed at the beginning of [Chu Hsi's] Reflections on Things at Hand. That is, one who would learn to be a sage should seek the beginning here in this [diagram] and apply his efforts to the practice of [what is presented in] such works as the Elementary Learning and the Great Learning.17
When the day of reaping the fruits arrives and one completely returns to the Single Origin, he will have arrived at the condition described as having "exhaustively comprehended principle, fully realized his nature, and so completely fulfilled the Mandate";18 he will have become "the person of perfectly accomplished virtue who exhaustively comprehends the realm of the spirit and understands the transformations [of the universe]."19
Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate 43
On Beginning with the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate
When T'oegye was nineteen years old he first obtained a copy of the first chüan of the Hsing-li to ch'iian, which presents this material along with Chu Hsi's commentary on it and extensive annotations from other sources; this, he says, first opened his eyes and provided him a real entree to the Neo-Confucian path.20 Although he was criticized by some for engaging his students in such lofty matters rather than concentrating on the basics of moral cultivation such as are found in the Elementary Learning (see below, ch. 3), he considered this material as basic and frequently lectured his students on it.21 We shall see that fundamental moral cultivation rather than philosophical theory is the essence of his approach to learning; but his own mind needed the support of grasping the overall framework, and he assumed the same for others:
[T'oegye] said: "Studying things on the lower level to arrive at the higher is certainly the constant order [of learning]. Nevertheless if those who pursue Teaming practice for a long time without attaining much, they easily reach the point of giving up in the middle. It is better to show them the basic foundation [of this whole endeavor]." Thus in guiding his students he showed them the fundamental well-springs. (ŎHN 1.21a,B, p. 799)
On the Relationship of Principe and Material Force
Li and ki (Chinese: li and ch'i,) principle and material force, are the two essential constituents of existence. They are ex
Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate
plained in the Appendix on Terminology. The following passage summarizes the basic aspects of their relationship that are critical in the interpretation of this diagram:
Someone asked Master Chu, "What is the meaning of saying there must be principle and only then can there be material force?" [Master Chu] replied: "Fundamentally this cannot be spoken of in terms of prior and posterior; nonetheless if one must pursue the question of whence comes material force, then it is necessary to say that first there is this principle. But principle is not a separate thing: it exists in the midst of material force, and without this material force principle would have nothing to which to adhere."22 Now if one considers the matter in terms of these three statements, then principle and material force fundamentally are not mixed together and likewise are not separate from each other. If one does not speak of them separately, they flow together as a single thing and one fails to understand that they are not mixed; if one does not speak of them together, they become divided as two things and one fails to realize that they are not separate. (ŎHN 4.5a, B, p. 838)
The emphasis upon the separateness but inseparability of principle and material force reflects a critical balance necessary to a vision which might be described as a dualistic monism. In the monistic direction, there is a tendency to a monism of material force in which principle is reduced to the order inherent in material force, an interpretation instanced by the philosophies of Chang Tsai and Lo Chin-shun (1465-1547)23 in China and Sŏ Kyŏngdok24 in Korea. T'oegye was acutely aware of this tendency and criticized it strongly;25 the dualism which he defends separates principle and gives it priority, as reflected in this passage. As the inborn norm of everything in the universe principle has a clear value priority; as the inborn nature of things it has a logical priority over any concrete instance of that nature. A third kind of priority, priority in the existential order of causality, is a vexatious issue in Chu Hsi's writings that has led historically to quite varied interpretations and developments of his thought. 26
Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate 45
Principle as the Indeterminate and the Supreme Ultimate
Chou's diagram was derived from Taoist sources. The phrase, wu-chi, in the first line of his Explanation would be translated as "the Ultimate of Non-Being" in a Taoist context, a reflection of that tradition's derivation of being from non-being. Chu Hsi, in adapting this work to his own purposes, could not accept such an interpretation and strongly argued against it in his famous debate with Lu Hsiang-shan.27 He disarms the Taoist implications of wu-chi by interpreting the phrase as a qualification of the Supreme Ultimate clarifying its unlimited and non-concrete nature. Thus I have rendered wu-chi as "the Indeterminate." T'oegye presents the rationale of this interpretation as follows:
Master Chu in discussing the Indeterminate and the Supreme Ultimate says: "If one does not say `the Indeterminate,' then the Supreme Ultimate would become the same as a single thing and would not suffice as the root of the ten thousand transformations; if one does not say `supreme ultimate' then the Indeterminate would be confused with a quiescent emptiness and would not be able to serve as the root of the ten thousand transformations."28 Ah! Ah! This saying can be said to perfectly encompass the matter in every respect. (A, 16.40b, p. 421, Letter to Ki Myŏngŏn)
The Supreme Ultimate is identified as principle, or the total sum of all specific principles. As the above passage indicates, it is in itself nonspecific, not concrete, not a thing, but nonetheless real. In the following discussion of principle T'oegye elaborates further on these qualities:
The differences between the ancients and people nowadays with regard to the learning and understanding of the Tao are simply due to the fact that the word "principle" is hard to understand. What I mean by saying the word "principle" is hard to understand is not that a general understanding is difficult, but that truly knowing it with a wondrous understanding that reaches 100 percent is difficult. If one is able to exhaustively investigate all principle with 100 percent penetration, he will clearly perceive that it is perfectly empty but perfectly real, perfectly nonbeing but perfectly being; it acts but
46 Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate
does not act, it is quiescent but not quiescent; it is so pure and clear that not the slightest bit could be added to it nor the slightest bit taken from it; it is able to be the foundation of yin and yang, the Five Agents, and of all things and all affairs, and yet it is not encompassed within yin and yang, the Five Agents, or all things and affairs. How could one mix it with material force and consider them as a single substance or see them as just one thing? (A, 16.46b, p. 424, Letter to Ki Myŏngŏn).
The negations reflect what is implicit in the "indeterminate" side of principle and establish its transcendence; the affirmations indicate the reality of the "supreme ultimate" side, based upon its function as immanent within the concrete beings of the universe. One cannot seek it out as a thing in itself apart from its manifestation in concrete existence, and yet it transcends any of its particular manifestations. The essential message to be drawn from this vision is not mystical absorption in the Supreme Ultimate, which in itself is nothing, but concentration on responsiveness to principle as it is immanent and real in the affairs of daily life. Thus T'oegye says:
In the Explanation of the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate, two phrases are the most important points for application by one who pursues teaming: "The superior man in cultivating these qualities enjoys good fortune. The inferior man in violating them suffers misfortune." It is only the difference between being mindful and being licentious; can one but be fearful! (ŎHN, 1.20b, B, p. 798)
The Supreme Ultimate and Material Force
Yin and yang, representing quiet and activity, are the most fundamental characteristics of concreteness, i.e., material force. When Chou Tun-i said in his explanation, "The Supreme Ultimate through movement produces yang .... Through quiet [the Supreme Ultimate] produces yin," the statement was not problematic, for his thought was not formed in the context of the philosophy of principle
Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate 47
elaborated by his younger contemporaries, the Ch'eng brothers (especially Ch'eng I), and he was probably thinking of the Supreme Ultimate in terms of material force. But when the statement is viewed in the light of the assumption that the Supreme Ultimate is principle, it becomes exceedingly problematic: it seems to indicate that material force is produced by principle and to attribute a kind of activity to principle that belies its condition of being above all concreteness and hence action. On a deeper level, it poses the question of how one can conceive the causal function of principle at all, since material force is the single concretizing and energizing element in the universe.
Chu Hsi responds to this problem in a variety of ways which have in common the tendency to avoid giving existential independence to principle while at the same time giving it some kind of non-temporal priority. T'oegye picks up one of his main leads in this matter as follows:
Master Chu once said: "Principle has motion and quiet and therefore material force has motion and quiet; if principle did not have motion and quiet, whence would material force have motion and quiet?"29 For principle moves and material force accordingly arises (saeng); material force moves and principle accordingly is manifested. Lien-hsi [Chow tun-i] says, "The Supreme Ultimate through movement produces (saeng) yang." This means principle moves and yang arises (saeng). (A, 25.35a, p. 608, Letter to Chŏng Chajung)
Logically and causally there must be a principle of motion before there can be motion. T'oegye's analysis addresses the casual question by moving the verb "saeng" (Chinese, `sheng') from the SVO position where it reads subject "produces" object, to an SV position where it may mean subject "arises," i.e., arises of itself in accord with, but not actually produced by, what is contained in principle. In the last years of his life T'oegye accepted a current of thought among the younger generation of Korean scholars that made him feel this rearrangement to be somehow superfluous:
[Question:] The Supreme Ultimate through movement produces yang and through quiet produces yin. Master Chu says, "Principle has no feelings or intent, no productive activity."30 If it has no feelings or intent, no productive activity, then I fear it could not produce yin and yang. And if one says it
48 Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate
can produce them, would it not mean that at the beginning originally there was no material force-that there would be material force only after the Supreme Ultimate produced yin and yang? [Huang] Mien-tsai3l says, "producing yang, producing yin" is the same [as saying] "yang arises, yin arises";32 but is this not also going too far in disliking [any attribution of] activity [to principle]?
T'oegye replies as follows:
Master Chu once said: "Principle has motion and quiet and therefore material force has motion and quiet; if principle did not have motion and quiet whence would material force have motion and quiet ?"33 If you understood this you would not have this question. For the "having no feelings or intent" passage refers to [principle's] original substance; being able to activate and being able to produce is its extremely wondrous function. [Huang] Mien-tsai's explanation need not be like that, for principle itself has function and therefore naturally (spontaneously) there is the production of yang and the production of yin. (A, 39.28a-b, p. 889, Letter to Yi Kongho)
There are ambiguities in this passage that call for more discussion than would be appropriate here. Suffice to say that two of the leading contemporary Korean scholars who have devoted lengthy analyses to this aspect of T'oegye's thought concur in the opinion that he ultimately still assumed a material force that is self-originating and hence without beginning.34 But it is notable that he now dispenses with Huang's interpretation, which is virtually identical with his own earlier position. One can only conclude that he is now seeing in principle's "extremely wondrous function" a more active sort of role for principle than he had hitherto envisioned, and hence sees a more dependent role for material force which leads him to want to avoid expressions that too clearly point to its self-origination. While it is still a matter of material force naturally originating itself in dependence upon principle, he is now seeing the casual function of principle in a way that is leading him to stress the dependence side and play down the self aspect of that origination.
T'oegye's application of "the extremely wondrous function" of principle to this question is related to a discussion which was really focused on seeing a more active role for principle in "the investigation
Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate 49
of things" as presented in the Great Learning. This will be taken up in our discussion of the fourth diagram.
Although the emphasis on the active function of principle comes only at the very end of T'oegye's life-instigated by Ki Taesüng,35 his friend and disciple-it is congruent with an emphasis on principle that is present in all of his thought. At the same time, in Ki's generation, which succeeded T'oegye's, there was present Yi I (Yulgok),36 who came to stand with T'oegye as one of the two greatest Korean Neo-Confucian thinkers. While T'oegye and his disciples tend to grant ever more priority to principle, Yulgok emphasizes more the strict interdependence and mutuality of principle and material force and, by contrast to T'oegye's school, the school of Yulgok is often characterized as "the school of material force." These differing emphases become the source of the two major currents which run throughout the remainder of Yi dynasty Neo-Confucian thought.
The One and the Many
The multiple circles of the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate are really an analysis of a single phenomenon, the universe. Read from the top down it is an unfolding of the Supreme Ultimate to its diversified manifestation in the many creatures; considered from the bottom up, it is a revelation of the ultimate unity within the manifest plurality of those creatures. In Chu Hsi's analysis of the graphics of the Diagram which T'oegye has added to it, the final sentence deals with the bottom-most circle, which represents the multiple creatures of the universe. It says: "Each has its own nature and all things are the one Supreme Ultimate." The following passage addresses the basic question implicit in this statement:
Question: In the commentary on the Diagram an annotation containing the explanation of Huang Mien-tsai says that the expressions, "the total sum of all principles" and "the fundamental origin of all transformations" refer to the Supreme Ultimate.37 As for the statement that all creatures are each endowed with the one Supreme Ultimate, can one then also say [each is endowed with] the total sum of all principles and the fundamental origin of
50 Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate
all transformations? Persons indeed are endowed with all principles; but as for things, each is endowed with the single principle suited to its use and that is all. How could they be fully endowed with all principles?
[T'oegye] said: In the case of a single thing, it seems one could not call it the total sum of all principles. Nevertheless, that with which it is endowed is the principle of the Supreme Ultimate, so why can one not say that each is endowed with the one Supreme Ultimate? How could [one regard] the Supreme Ultimate as a collection of the total sum of all principles, [as if] it cuts off single principles and applies each to one thing? It is like a single ray of moonlight which shines all around: whether it be the vastness of a river or the sea, or a single cup of water, it shines in all. In the case of the moonlight in a single cup, how could one, because of the small amount of water, go on to say it is not the moon shining? (ŎHN, l.llb-12a, B, p. 794)
This is further clarified when one is reminded not to transfer the specificity of principle as encountered in the nature of concrete beings to considerations related to principle as such, which transcends form and specificity:
Question: The principles of ruler and subject are certainly endowed in my person; but are the principles of plants and trees likewise the same as [the principle of my] person? [T'oegye] said: One should not use the word "same": it is just one and that is all. In the case of things which have form, there is necessarily a difference between this and that. But principle is something without form, so how could it ever be divided as this and that? Tzu Ssu in the Doctrine of the Mean [ch. 1] only speaks of "the great foundation of the world." Among all those seated here, I have the great foundation, you have the great foundation, and besides us however many millions of persons there may be, they all have the great foundation. They do not borrow it from me and I do not borrow it from them. In the case of things with form, one having more of something means another is lacking; if I have it then you do not have it. But this is a thing without form; how could there be distinctions between this and that, others and myself? (ŎHN, 4.5a-b, B, p. 838)
The one principle, then, transcends distinctions; its diverse manifestation as the specific natures of different creatures is due rather to differentiations, typically expressed in terms of purity and fineness versus turbidity and coarseness, that arise in material force, the vehicle of its manifestation.38
Notes to pp. 37-41 225
1. Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate
1. The Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate (T'ai chi t'u), and Explanation of the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate (T'ai chi t'u shuo) may be found, together with Chu Hsi's commentary and a lengthy compilation of further annotation, in the Hsing-li ta-ch'üan (hereafter, HLTC, ) ch. 1. The Diagram and Explanation have been translated by Derk Bodde in History of Chinese Philosophy, by Feng Yu-lan, vol. 2, pp. 435-438. A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, by Wing-tsit Chan, pp. 463-464> contains a translation of the Explanation. Both translations are in substantial agreement, and my own owes much to theirs. For a further discussion of the origin and nature of the Diagram, see Feng Yu-lan, ibid., pp. 438-442.
2. The Chin ssu lu, compiled by Chu Hsi and Lü Tsu-Ch'ien, is the earliest compilation of the thought of the early masters and has been extremely influential. It has been translated by Wing-tsit Chan as Reflections on Things at Hand. On the HLTC, see above, Introduction, n.26.
3. See HLTC, l.lb-3a.
4. Ch'ien and K'un are the names of the first two hexagrams of the Book of Changes (hereafter, Hsing-li ta-ch'üan). Ch'ien is entirely composed of yang lines and symbolizes Heaven and the male; K'un is composed entirely of yin lines and symbolizes Earth and the female.
5. For a complete elaboration of the correlation of the Five Agents and the constituent principles of human nature as well as the psychological theory developed on this basis, see below, ch. 6.
6. Changes, commentary on Ch'ien hexagram.
7. Ibid., Remarks on Certain Trigrams, ch. 2.
8. Ibid., Appended Remarks, pt. 1, ch. 4.
9. The Book of Changes was an ancient divination text held in high esteem by both Confucians and Taoists. It is based upon eight trigrams which represent the possible combinations of unbroken (yang) lines and broken (yin) lines; these in turn were combined into hexagrams, thus making a total of 64 symbolic graphs representing different combinations of yin and yang. The 8 trigrams were attributed to the lengendary sage Fu Hsi, while the hexagrams were held to be the work of King Wen (1171-1122 B.C.); the texts accompanying the hexagrams were attributed to King Wen and the Duke of Chou (d. 1094 B.C.). As important as the text itself were seven commentaries which were incorporated into the work and ascribed to Confucius (551-479 B.C.). Originally a divination text, the Book of Changes came to be used as the fundamental source for virtually all Chinese cosmological speculation and was also an important source of ethical teachings. Modem scholars generally hold the commentaries to be the work of diverse authors and composed sometime between the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.
10. Chu-tzu Yü-lei (hereafter, YL), 94.17b-18a.
11. HLTC, 1.45b-46a, slightly abridged. T'oegye sees the doctrine of mindfulness as a central theme running throughout his Ten Diagrams and deliberately introduces this comment to show how Chu Hsi supplements Chows more one-sided emphasis on tranquility with the doctrine of mindfulness (see the annotation he appends to ch. 4).
12. The honorific name of Yeh Ts'ai (fl. 1248). Yeh was a disciple of Chu Hsi's pupil, Ch'en Ch'un (1153-1217) and the author of the earliest commentary on the Chin ssu lu.
13. Changes, Appended Remarks, pt. 1, ch. 11.
14. A slight paraphrase of Yeh's remark as found in HLTC, 1.59b-60a.
15. HLTC, 1. 596-60a.
16. Chu-tzu ta ch'üan (The Complete Works of Chu Hsi, hereafter CTTC), 71.4b (Chi Lien-hsi ch'uan).
17. The Elementary Learning (Hsiao hsüeh) and the Great Learning (Ta hsieh) are the subjects of the third and fourth chapters of the Ten Diagrams.
18. Changes, Remarks on Certain Trigrams, ch. 1.
19. Changes, Appended Remarks, pt. 2, ch. 3.
20. ŎHN, l.lb, B, p. 789; 1.20b, B, p. 798.
21. ŎHN, 1.20b, p. 798.
22. YL, 1.2b.
23. There were sharp differences in the orientations underlying the monistic philosophies of Chang and Lo. For an excellent study of Lo's thought that clearly distinguishes him from Chang, see Irene Bloom, "On the `Abstraction' of Ming Thought: Some Concrete Evidence from the Philosophy of Lo Chin-shun," in Principle and Practicality, ed. by Wm. Theodore deBary and Irene Bloom, pp. 69-125.
24. The courtesy name of Sŏ Kyŏngdŏk (1489-1546) was Kagu, but in Korea he is best known by his honorific name, Hwadam; he is popularly regarded, along with T'oegye and Yulgok (Yi I), as one of the three outstanding philosophers of the Yi dynasty. He strongly asserted the absolute independence and originality of his ideas, though they bear a close resemblance to the monistic philosophy of ch'i developed in China by Chang Tsai, to whom his followers constantly likened him. He refused to take office and lived an impoverished life in retirement devoted to study and teaching. T'oegye had contact with a number of Hwadam's students, and frequently expressed his impatience with what he regarded as their misplaced enthusiasm and exaggerated claims for their master. Hwadam claimed his teaching and insights would endure through the ages, but unfortunately the slim volume of his writing which survived-perhaps his only writing-the Hwadamjip, contains only a sketchy exposition of his philosophy, making it impossible, in spite of his high repute, to assess the full range and depth of his ideas.
25. See, for example, his Pi i ki wi il mui pyŏnjung (An Evidenced Argument That Li and Ki Are Not One Thing), TGCS, A, 41.20b-23a, pp. 920-922, in which he attacks the monism of Lo Chin-shun and Sŏ Kyŏngdŏk.
26. For T'oegye's handling of this question and its ramifications See below, Commentary, "The Supreme Ultimate and Material Force," and chapter 4, Commentary, "Can Principle `Approach'?"
27. On Chu Hsi's adopting and interpreting Chou's Diagram, which was before that relatively unknown, see Wing-tsit Chan, "Chu Hsi's Completion of Neo-Confucianisml," pp. 67-72.
28. This remark appears among the passages appended to Chu Hsi's commentary on the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate, HLTC, 1.4a; I have not been able to locate its original source.
29. CTTC, 56.33b (Letter to Ch'eng Tzu-shang)
30. YL, 1.3a.
31. Mien-tsai was the honorific name of Huang Kan (1152-1221), Chu Hsi's son-in-law and one of his leading disciples. He has generally been considered the orthodox interpreter and transmitter of Chu Hsi's thought.
32. HLTC, 1.23b.
33. See above, n. 27.
34. See Yun Sasun, T'oegyeŭi ch'ŏrhak yŏn'gu (Research on T'oegye's Philosophy), pp. 59-66, and Chŏn Tuha, "T'oegyeŭi ch'ŏrhagui haeksim," (The Heart of T'oegye's Philosophy), pp. 135-170, (esp. pp. 135-145). The two scholars differ insofar as Yun is inclined to emphasize the implicit contradictions in this monistic dualism while Chŏn, who is deeply influenced by Hegel, is inclined to see it in a dialectical framework.
35. On Ki Taesŭng, see above, Introduction, n. 32. He is famous for his role in the Four-Seven Debate with T'oegye, the most famous and important intellectual controversy in the history of Yi Dynasty thought (see below, chapter 6, for a discussion of the debate).
36. The courtesy name of Yi I (1536-1584) was Sukhŏn, but he is universally known in Korea by his honorific name, Yulgok. He rivals T'oegye for the title of the finest thinker of the Yi Dynasty, and the Korean intellectual world became permanently divided into schools which trace their intellectual descent from one or the other. Yulgok had an illustrious official career, holding posts such as Censor General, Inspector General, and Minister of the Board of Personnel, and has a high reputation not only as a philosopher but as a man of practical affairs.
37. Cf. HLTC, p.106.
38. On the differentiation of principle according to the relative purity or turbidity of material force, see below, chapter 3, Commentary, "Material Force and the Difference Between the Sage and the Ordinary Man."