This article is excerpted from Western Civilization with Chinese Comparisons, by Professor John G. Blair and Professor Jerusha Hull McCormack (2003), Fudan University Press
Zhuangzi: “A path is made by people walking.”
The real originator of Western Civilization with Chinese Comparisons is the revered teacher who introduced me to classical Chinese Civilization. In 1988, during my first experience of China, Prof. Ding Wangdao permitted me to sit in on his course in English on classical Chinese texts. That extraordinary course was designed to help Chinese undergraduates of that generation to become better acquainted with their own heritage. To me as an ignorant outsider, these steps were the first on a path toward an understanding of the deep-rooted Chinese tradition and the possibilities of mutual understanding between Western and Chinese minds.
The Greek: What is the Truth?
The Chinese: Where is the Way?
Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, Till Earth and Sky stand presently, at God’s great Judgment Seat.
He who knows himself and others will also recognize that East and West cannot be separated.
Those who would have right without its correlative, wrong;or good government without its correlative, misrule, they do not apprehend the great principles of the universe nor the condition to which all creation is subject. One might as well talk of the existence of heaven without that of earth, or of the negative principle without the positive, which is clearly absurd.
© Fudan University Press