A Rediscovery of Heaven-Human Oneness
The history of Chinese intelligence witnesses a constant probe into the chiasmic encounters between the heaven (tian) and the human (ren). It is therefore conducive to a core conception of heaven-human oneness as the general ethos of Chinese philosophy. The polysemy of the conception is extended along with the passage of time according to the sociocultural context. This discussion attempts to look into the essential bearings and relevance of heaven-human oneness by tracing back to its historical line of thought with reference to updated reinterpretations. It covers the trifold significance regarding tiandi (heaven and earth) and its naturalistic aspects, tiandao (the Heavenly Way) and its moralistic expectations, and tianxia (all under heaven) and its cosmopolitan ideal; the two-dimensional orientation concerning the humanization of Nature and the naturalization of humanity; a pragmatic alternative involving a set of specific and constructive stances toward the world and human affairs at large.