The Study of the Saint Theory of Liezi and the Relevant Issues
For the research issues in Liezi, previously published results usually focus on either its authenticity or the concept of the metaphysics and cosmology. Unfortunately, few of the previous researches undertake the theory of saints in Liezi. In the fact, the philosophic merit of a scripture would not be shattered whether the scripture is authentic or not. In addition, the criterion of the authenticity is relative and none absolute measure could be used to evaluate it. Further, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism are the three mainstream cultures of Chinese philosophic and the essence of them is performed by the practice of the live. In the other words, the profound and outstanding parts of the above three mainstream cultures are carried out by demonstrating the practice of the live, and so is that in Liezi, which is one of the scriptures of Taoism the same as Lao-tzu and Zhuangzi. Thus, in this thesis, we attempt to undertake the research on the theory of saints preformed in Liezi. The theory of saints consists of the following three parts: the characteristics of saints, the stages towards the becoming of saints, and the exercises towards the becoming of saints. Further, in order to manifest the theory of saints in Liezi truly, in this thesis, the contexts of the two writings, namely Yang Zhu and Li Ming, respectively, are criticized by pointing out where the two writings disobey the theory of saints. Finally, although this thesis does not focus on the authenticity of Liezi, based on some opinions proposed by the previous publications, the conceptions about the authenticity of Liezi are still stated slightly and some related questions to think deeply are addressed further.
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