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By Lu Zhouxiang, Peter Herrmann

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Additional resources for Conflict and Communication: A Changing Asia in a Globalizing World - Social and Political Perspectives

Sample text

Levinas remarks: [T]his is the century that in thirty years has known two world wars, the totalitarianisms of right and left, Hitlerism and Stalinism, Hiroshima, the Gulag, and the genocides of Auschwitz and Cambodia. This is the century that is drawing to a close in the obsessive fear of the return of everything these barbaric names stood for: suffering and evil inflicted deliberately, but in a manner no reason set limits to, in the exasperation of a reason become political and detached from all ethics (Levinas, 2000, p.

Second, this process of selfcultivation is ceaseless. Tu (1997) also points out that the dimension of transcendent reality is problematic for East Asian thought, and the roots of this problem can be found in the dichotomies that lie behind the Western and Chinese philosophical traditions. And these traditions directly determine the difference of perspective and methodology in Western and Chinese thinking on the examination of the self and its relation to the other. Compared with the dichotomies of body and mind, sacred and profane, creator and creature in Neo-Confucian Theory on the Self-Other Relationship 25 Western tradition, Chinese tradition makes much of the dichotomies of inner and outer, substance and function, and heaven and humanity (Tu, 1997).

This is why the Confucian tradition seeks the substantial foundation of the self as a first step towards apprehending the other. ’ Wang holds that the ‘no-self’ can be regarded as the reality of the non-self-possessing as well as the self-cultivation of the diminishing (Chen, 2007). The purpose of seeking the state of ‘having no self’ is, however, to achieve an unconstrained mind through diminishing self-centredness. Thus far, the unconstrained mind with an attitude of ‘no-self’ has the inner freedom to welcome the other and, simultaneously, to be true to one’s self.

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