Accents of the World's Philosophies_Huston Smith
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Accents of the World's Philosophies Author(s): Huston Smith Reviewed work(s): Source: Philosophy East and West, Vol. 7, No. 1/2 (Apr. - Jul., 1957), pp. 7-19 Published by: University of Hawai'i Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1396829 . Accessed: 31/01/2012 16:37Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]
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of theWorlds P'WHENA BELGIAN
called the Asian-Africarr
it BandungConference"a conferenceof childrenwithout their fathers," was in straightforward the superiorityover other peomerely voicing language ples which most Westernershave long assumed. But when the Indonesian Foreign Ministrycame back in kind, declaringthat "sucha comment could come only from an underdeveloped mind,"the retortwas evidenceof a new day. East and West are no longer meeting; they are being hurled at each other. But what is really new is that for the first time in the modernworld they face each other as equals. Comparedwith this double fact-East-West depth encounter on the basis of full equality--everything else about the twentieth centuryis likely in time to appearepisodic. The primary problem world-encounter poses for philosophy is that of synthesis, for philosophy is never happy about unintegratedperspectives. to This paper,working in broadstrokesand riskingoversimplification keep the outlines clear, takes its place among other recent attempts to see the philosophiesof East and West in relation. It differsin tone as well as soluWestern thought tion from Arthur Schopenhauer's attempt to subordinate effort to do the reverse. As to the to that of the East and from Schweitzer's existing non-invidiousschemes, of which F. S. C. Northrop's is the most thorough and best known, the purpose of the present statement is not to challenge these but to supplementthem by suggestinga somewhatdifferent we understanding are at the beginapproach.' In this matterof intercultural'It may be helpful as a background for the present discussion to summarize the main lines of several familiar theses. Northrop holds that the West has stressed the theoretical component of knowing, the East the intuitive component (The Meeting of East and West, New York: The Macmillarn Co., 1946). Conger sees Indian culture as basically idealistic, Chinese as naturalistic, and Western as dualistic (Toward the Unification of the Faiths, Calcutta: Calcutta University Press, 1957). Burtt sees India as most interested in the self and its growth toward cosmic maturity, China as preoccupied with society and harmonious interpersonal relations, the West absorbedwith individualism, analysis, and the external world ("How Can the Philosophies of East and West Meet?," The Philosophical Review, LVII, No. 6, Nov. 1948). It will become apparent that the present statement is closer to Burtt's thesis than to the other two. I am also indebted to Gerald Heard, whose lecture series at Washington University during the autumn of 1951 first suggested to the writer a number of ideas here elaborated. Cf. The Human Venture (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1955), chap. 5, coauthoredby Heard and myself.
ning where exclusive claims are presumptuous. What the times demand is a variety of hypotheses which can provide fruitful leads for further explorations.
In New Hopes for a Changing World2 Bertrand Russell points out that man is perennially engaged in three basic conflicts: (1) against Nature, (2) against other men, and (3) against himself. Roughly these may be identified as man's natural, social, and psychological problems. The great surviving cultural traditions are also three-the Chinese, the Indian, and the Western. It helps us to understand and relate the unique perspectives of these three traditions if we think of each as accenting one of man's basic problems. Generally speaking, the West has accented the natural problem, China the social, and India the psychological. If this is true, the question immediately arises: What gave these cultures their distinctive slants? If we reject the racist theory that different peoples are innately endowed with different capacities and temperaments, we should expect to find the answer in environmental differences, both geographical and social. This is the lead we shall follow. The Western tradition's preoccupation with Nature seems traceable to the hospitality of its cradle environment, significantly christened the "Fertile Crescent." Here Nature almost coaxes inquiry and certainly rewards advances. The Nile Valley is conspicuous in this respect. To begin with, it furnishes two invaluable assets: a self-operating transportation system and abundant alluvium. The reliable currents of this amazing river will float one its full length down, while a strong and countering wind, blowing from the comparatively cool Mediterranean into the intense heat of the deserts, will carry one back up if he just lifts his sail. From the beginning, it was possible for the population to be in continuous, almost effortless, circulation. To this blessing the Nile added free fertilizer. Regularly as the monsoon floods broke upon the Abyssinian mountains the river rose, spreading freshly irrigated mud over the fields. After the first cataclysmic floods, caused by the breaking of the morains in the Armenian mountains, much the same circumstances are found in Iraq-the land of the Tigris and Euphrates. In both cases Nature was in her most favorable mood-rich and joyous and treating man as a friend. Western man accepted her overtures. From the first, his primary curiosity2London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1951, p. 18.
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was directed outward, toward Nature. It was in Mesopotamiathat man wrung his first pattern from the stars, the signs of the zodiac.3 It was the Kingdom of Sumerthat first dividedthe year into months and the day into hours, launching that measuremental approachto things which was in the end to prove so triumphant.4Before long even the virtueswere being conceived quantitatively:Michael, judge of man's destiny, is pictured blindfolded holding scales in which the soul is weighed against the feather of truth. The growing feeling is that everythingis orderly,exact, measurable, impartial. How this intuition becameconvictionfor the Greeksand issues in Western science needs no retelling here.5 What is less obvious is the way this basic interestin Nature colors the rest of Western cultureincludingphilosophy and religion. There are, of course, many anti-Natureeddies in the stream-Gnosticism, Neo-Platonism, the Mystery religions, Plotinus, and others. But these never take over, and-what is equally instructivefor our thesis-their inspirationusually comes from the East,often from India herself. For India, matteris a barbarian spoiling everythingit touches. Western philosophy in its indigenous orientation respects matter and takes it seriously,meshing thought with things whereverpossible. As a consequence it tends to be: (1) Realistic in ontology. On the whole, it rejects the Platonic identificationof being with intelligible and stable ideas or forms and joins Aristotle in giving purchaseto matter. (2) Hylomorphic in anthropology. Man is composite in nature, constituted of soul and body. Both are real and ultimate aspectsof his nature. (3) Sense-involvedin epistemology. Knowledge originates in sensible things and is, in the main, about sensiblethings. Even in its religion-the aspectof culturewhich always tends to be most otherworldly-the West fits in with Nature as the others do not. "God so loved the world"involves a totally differenttheology than "Godso loved as the souls of the world." "Christianity," ArchbishopTemple used to conof "isthe most avowedlymaterialistic all the great religions."6I would tend, with this enlargement,the statement add Judaismand Islam to the list, and,SCf. Ernst Cassirer, An Essay on Man (Garden City: Doubleday and Co., 1944, 1953), p. 68: "The Babylonians were not only the first to observe the celestial phenomena but the first to lay the foundations for a scientific astronomy and cosmology." 4"The Euphratean valley . . .bequeathed to us a system of weights and measures and the sexagesimal system by which time is still measured." Philip K. Hitt, The Arabs: A Short History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949), p. 6. 6John Burnet's Early Greek Philosophy (London: A. & C. Black, Ltd., 1930) is still the best single treatment of this theme. 'William Temple, Nature, Man and God (London: Macmillan and Co., 1953), p. 478.
is true. Time and again the West seems on the verge of slipping into the view that spirit is good and matter bad, but she always recovers. "In the beginning God createdthe heavens and the earth.... And behold, it was very good." Its goodness lies not only in beholding it but in working with it: man is commissionedto "have dominion ... over all the earth." The incarnationpays matter its highest conceivablecompliment-it can become divine. The Kingdom of Heaven, from Jewish and early Christianapocalypticism down to the social gospel, is to come on earth. Even in death, the West will not desertthe body. If there is to be life after death it, too, must be in some sense physical: "I believe ... in the resurrection the body." of Throughoutthe entire sequenceruns the effort to maintaina sense of kinship between man and Nature which totemismhad earlierpointed up. All creationis in travailas it waits for the decisivemomentin history. An earthquake forms the backdropfor the crucifixion:"Nature also mourns for a lost good." Thus the entire arc of Western thought, from its science through its orientedtoward philosophyto its religion, remainsfirmly and affirmatively Nature. In specialization, Westernman has been,par excellence,the natural philosopher. II China, on the other hand, becamethe social philosopher. Here, too, the environment seems to offer some clue. Chinese culture, like that of the West, is riverine in origin; it was founded on the Yellow River and the Yangtze. But these rivers are not playthings. Mixed blessing and scourge, the northernone particularly an incurablepassion for changing its bed has at infinitecost in life and labor to those who must live by it and on it. Not without reasonhas it been called "China's Sorrow."The superstitious dread embeddedin its other title, "The Lordof the Rivers,""bearswitness to the terror felt by the riverside dwellers of primitive times for this untamed neighbour. In order to propitiatehim they used to offer periodicsacrifices of youths and maidens. In these great tractsof low-lying ground, defenceless against flood or droughtbecauseof the lack of forestation,the peasant was more narrowly dependent on the soil than in any other part of the world."7 Very early in China the rivers came to be symbolizedby the unmanageabledragon,which was also for centuriesher nationalemblem. We should be preparedto find in China, then, a certaindeferencetoward Na7Rene Grousset, The Rise and Splendour of the Chinese Empire (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1953), pp. 12-13.
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ture. There is a naturalismin Chinese thought, but it is the naturalismof the artist and the romanticist instead of the scientist, the naturalism of Thoreau and Wordsworthratherthan Galileo or Bacon.8 Nature is someintuited, communedwith, reverenced;there is no thing to be appreciated, sustainedthought of using it or suggestionthat it might be mastered. Those who would take over the earth And shape it to their will Never, I notice, succeed. The earth is like a vessel so sacred That at the mere approachof the profane It is marred And when they reachout their fingersit is gone.9 Chinese science,as a consequence,does not develop. For a field of constructiveexperimentation and action the Chinese turned instead to society. Chinese philosophy was forged in the social furnace of her "Time ofTroubles," those five convulsive centuries between 700 and 200 B.C. cul-
minating in the terrible epoch of the "Warring Kingdoms,"a period of endemicwarfarein which anarchywas the orderof the day. In this context the burning question facing every philosopherwas: How can we live together without destroyingone another? As Waley has said, "All Chinese philosophy is essentially the study of how men can best be helped to live together in harmonyand good order."'0The answersdiffered,but the problem was always the same. The solution finally reached gathered together many strandsbut bears the distinctivestamp of Confucius'genius. It centers in a number of key and related concepts,chief among which isjen, the ideal human relationship usually translated as benevolence, man-
to-manness,or simply goodness. Practiceof jen producesthe chiin-tzi, or gentleman in the best sense of the term; the man who is completelypoised, competent, confident, and adequate to every social occasion, the man of perfect address,who is always at ease with himself and therefore can putothers at their ease, whose approach to others is always the perfect courtesysThe major exception here was Hsiin Tzi, but his contention-that everything of value is the result of human effort-did not prevail. "The Chinese people," as Chiang Mon-lin has said, "are devoted to nature, not in the sense of finding the natural laws but in the sense of cultivating the poetic, artistic, or moral sense of lovers of nature." From Chiang Mon-lin, Tides from the West (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1947), p. 257. 9Tao Te Ching, chap. 29; Witter Bynner, trans., The Way of Life According to Laotzu (New York: John Day Co., 1944), p. 43. "?The Way and Its Power (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1934), p. 64. Cf. also Fung Yulan, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1948), pp. 7, 9: "Chinese philosophy . . . regardless of its different schools of thought, is directly or indirectly concerned with government and ethics. . . . [It is] inseparable from political thought. . . . Metaphysics . . . ethics . . . logic . . . all . . . are connected with political thought in one way or another."
and openness of "What may I do for you?" Under this constant gentlemanliness, his appropriateapproachesto persons of different stations are indicated in the Five Great Relationships-father and son, elder brother and younger brother,husband and wife, friend and friend, ruler and subin ject. In the end, all these fitting responsesare summarized the concept of li, meaning proprietyor ritual, since it amountsto a complete ordering and ritualizationof all life-processes,from the offering of sacrificesto heaven to the way one entertainsthe humblest guest and serves him tea. Politicallythis adds up to a societybeing held togetherinternallyby te, the of power of moral example. It is the responsibility the rulers,acting with cultivatedwisdom, benevolence,and savoir faire, to establish a pattern of prestige which holds the communitytogether by inspiring the populace to want to live together decently and in harmony. A society which is thus orderedhas a te or prestigefactorwhich leavens the cultureas a whole and renders it secure against destructionfrom without. Outsidersmay knock one down, but, if one really has a more polished, adequate,satisfyingway of life, in the end it will of necessitycommenditself to those who are less and assured,less self-sufficient, less wise in the ways of living. In the long run the invisible but invincible factor in imperial success is not military force but cultural and moral prestige (wen). How successfulthis social solution was seems amply evidenced by history. Chineseculturehas a flavorall its own. It is a compoundof subtlety, brilliance,and reticencethat producesan effect that can be describedonly as good taste. The Chinese have exalted the life of reasonableenjoyment and despisedthe destructive.As a consequence they have been able to unite an immense area of fertility and to create-if we multiply durationby size of population included-the most extensive civilization man has ever achieved,one which at its height includedone-thirdof the humanrace. The of political structure this civilizationalone, the ChineseEmpire,lastedundervarious dynasties for 2133 years (from 221 B.C. to A.D. 1912)-a period
that makesthe empiresof Alexanderthe Greatand Caesarlook insignificant. Its power of assimilationwas equally impressive. Having the most open frontier of all great civilizations,China was subjectto wave after wave of invasions by cavalried barbarianswho were always ready to fall on the earthboundagriculturalists.Always at their gates were the very Tartars whose one long-rangeraid inflicteda mortal wound on the Roman Empire. But what the Chinese could not exclude they absorbed. Each wave of invasion tends quickly to lose its identity. As the great Sinologist Arthur there is scarcelya barbarian Waley has remarked, conquerorwho came in purely for profit who within twenty years was not attemptingto write a
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copy of Chinese verse which his master, who is also his conquered slave, might say was not wholly unworthy of a gentleman. And already he is hoping to be mistaken for Chinese. Kublai Khan, of course, is the most striking instance. He conquered China, but was "himself conquered by Chinese civilization. His victory enabled him to realize his lasting ambition: to become a real Son of Heaven."l1 Here is a cultural furnace with enough heat to effect a real melting pot. There is no evidence that these barbarians were ever as impressed with what they found in Europe. When the entire stretch of her civilization is remembered, one is tempted to say that in social philosophy China has nowhere been surpassed. III Turning last to the third great tradition-the Indian-we find neither the natural nor the social environment looking promising to her. India's natural environment is different but no more friendly than China's. The tropical region of the Ganges with its thick vegetation, unbearable humidity, and burning heat, the parching dryness of other regions, where for ten months of the year there is nothing but the nightly dew to quench the thirst of the ground-the Indian environment is one of fierce extremes. Humbled by the overpowering forces of Nature, Indian man surrendered his initiative and turned away from Nature. His outlook becomes unrealistic in the technical sense. The desert, particularly, must have discouraged him.12 Facing Nature in this form, gaunt, bleak, desiccated, dangling its haunting mirages-no wonder the Indian began to think: Nature is ungovernable and, in some strange way, unreal."1 She is shadowy, ever-shifting, mysterious, horrible if you will, but what is the use of trying to find out her laws.14 It is all nzmya.It is all magic, a trick, the play of a mysterious cosmic illusion.1 Even the invasions China does not formally absorb, like Islam, she transforms in spirit. "The most noticeable thing is that, compared with the adherents of Islam in other countries, the Mohammedans of China seem always to have been content to be a community apart, living among the Chinese, and marrying Chinese women . . . without apparently any urge to extend their faith and political influence by the warlike methods usually associated with their creed. Can it have been that the original Arab temperament was affected by the prevailing Confucianist atmosphere of peace-loving compromise?" (E. R. and K. Hughes, Religion in China, London: Hutchison House, 1950, p. 98). of India is either semi-desert or for months in the year parched land." Horace ""Two-thirds Alexander, New Citizens of India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1952), p. 118. ""There are, assuredly, two forms of Brahman, the formed and the formless. Now that which is formed is unreal (asatyam); that which is formless is the real (satyam)... ." Maitri Upanisad VII. 3, in S. Radhakrishnan, The Principal Upanisads (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1953), p. 817. Also the Dhammapada XIII: "Look upon this world as you would on a bubble, look upon it as you would on a mirage"; F. Max Muller, trans., The Dhamma-Pada: A Collection of Verses, The Sacred Books of the East, Vol. X, Pt. 1. 4Cf. Heinrich Zimmer, The Philosophies of India, Joseph Campbell, ed. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1951): "Here is no bending of cosmic forces to the will of man, but on the contrary, a relentless shelling off of cosmic forces."
Faced with a seemingly intractableNature, China (as we have seen) turned her attention to society. But here India found herself facing the most devilish of social problems-a color-culturebarrier. The distinction between Aryan and Dravidianwas clear, and to this day-3500 yearslater -the line persists.'5 No Indian ingenuity was adequate to break this curse. Caste tried to do so, but, instead of caste's remedying the evil, in the end the evil took over caste, turning it into a device for perpetuating social distance. Relatively early, India abandonedhope of solving life's problem on the social plane. Instead, she turned inward, centering her attention on the psychologicalproblem. Nature? No, there is no hope of governing the physicalworld. Society? As long as men are men there will always be hopeless social inequitiesand blockage. But the individuallooks who we truly are we might win promising.16If we could only understand an inner freedom beyond the oppositeswhich block both Nature and society. The following lines from the Katha Upanisadwill be recognizedat once as typical of the Indian theme: "... The senses turn outward. Accordingly, man looks toward what is without, and sees not what is within. [The wise man) shuts his eyes to what is without and beholdsthe Self.""7For the Indian,the sensesare false witnesses. "The world is not what it appearsto be. Behind this surface life, where we experiencethe play of life and death, there is a deeper life which knows no death; behind our apparent consciousness,which gives us the knowledge of objectsand things . . . there is ... pure ... consciousness .... Truth ... is experiencedonly by those who turn their gaze inward."'8 As this conviction spreads,"such intellectual energy as had formerly been devoted to the study and developmentof a machineryfor the masteryof the ... forces of the cosmos . . . was ... divertedinward.... The cosmic energy was being taken at its fountain head ... all secondary, merelyderivativestreamsof energy... being left behind. In Indianthought . .the whole outer world was dwindling in importance."'9 India, then, became the psychologicalphilosopher.20One evidence of' Note, e.g., the rise of the Dravidian party in South India today. "Cf. Heinrich Zimmer, op. cit., p. 356. "They turned their backs on the external universe . . . because they were discovering something more interesting. They had found the interior world, the inward universe of man himself, and within that the mystery of the Self." Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester, trans., The Upanishads (Hollywood: 7II.i.l. Vedanta Press, 1947), pp. 30-31. in Christopher Isherwood, ed., and Other-Worldliness," "sSwami Prabhavananda, "Religion Vedanta for Modern Man (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1951), p. 200. 1 Heinrich Zimmer, op. cit., p. 357. The life 20Cf. S. Radhakrishnan: "In India the interest of philosophy is in the self of man.. of mind is depicted in all its mobile variety and subtle play of light and shade .... Metaphysical schemes are based on the data of the psychological science." Indian Philosophy (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1923), Vol. I, p. 28.
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in her preoccupation this areais found in the elaborateness her psychologof ical vocabulary. Coomaraswamy, while he was curator of the Oriental Museum in Boston, used to say that for every psychologicalterm in English there are four in Greek and forty in Sanskrit. Mrs. Rhys Davids lists twenty Pali words whose subtle distinctionsof meaning are obscuredby Prolifsingle, indiscriminate English rendition as "desire"or "desires."21 erated terminologyin itself is no test of acumen. That Bakairi (an idiom of Central Brazil), for example, has individual names for each species of or parrotand palm tree but no name to expressthe genus "parrot" "palm" indicate low powers of abstractionas readily as high powers of dismay crimination. The same might be claimed of Arabic with its five to six thousand terms for describingcamels but none that provides a general biological concept.22 But, granting this general point, two observations must be added: (1) Proliferatedvocabularyis at least a sign of interest in the area to which the vocabularyrefers. (2) When, as in Indian psychology, it is developedin additionto general concepts,not in lieu of them, in language pushing simultaneously the directionsof both the idiosyncratic and the universal,the result escapesthe charge implied by examples such as those just cited. What India actually developedof continuingworth in psychologyis, of course, a moot question. Leaving the more controversialtopics aside, I should like to suggest that at least the following insights are remarkably to and exploredin detail over two thoucontemporary have been discovered sand years ago: 1. That our consciousness not all on the surfacebut includeslayersof is subconsciousness.(Compare Freud, the whole psychoanalyticmovement, and age regressionunderhypnosis.) 2. That the human being is a psycho-physical whole with interaction between its two aspectsfar more subtle than most people suppose. (Compare the startling mind-body connections which have come to light in medicine.) hypnosisand psychosomatic 3. That in additionto the obvious gross body (sth2la sarira) there is a sheath of vital force (prana-maya-kosa) which, while still physical,is much discoveriesabout the more subtle and is invisible. (Comparecontemporary electricalfield of the body and brain waves.)21The Birth of Indian Psychology and Its Development in Buddhism (London: Luzac and Co., 1936), p. 279. 22Cf. Hammer-Purgstall and Karl von den Steinen's studies on language as described by Ernst Cassirer, op. cit., pp. 174-175.
4. That with respect to the mind we must distinguishbetween manas and buddhi,i.e., between rational,critical,analyticthought and what Radhakrishnan calls integral thought. (Compare the distinctivenessof the hypothecatingfaculty as described,e.g., by Descartes, by Hamilton, and Creation."23) by Poincarein his essay on "Mathematical 5. That the basic emotions are controlled not by the surfacemind but by a deeperpart. (CompareFreud;also the discoverythat the seat of the emotions is in the thalamus.) 6. That human temperamentsare differentand not indefinitelymalleable. (Compare the theory of personalitytypes in the philosophicalconception of caste and the four yogas with the work of William Sheldon, CharlesMorris,and other workersin contemporary characterology.) 7. That what we see is not a simple mirroringof the external world but in part a function or projectionof the perceivingorganism. (Compare the doctrineof maya-defined not as illusion but as psychologicalconstruct -with most contemporary theoriesof perception.) 8. That most life is dislocatedor out of joint (duhkha) and that the cause of this is taiha, the will for private existence or individual fulfillment. (Compare the Buddha's Four Noble Truths with contemporary psychotherapy generally.) Neither China nor the West has given a fractionof India'sattention to the mind. Historically, then, Indiarightlydeservesthe title of the psychological philosopher. IV We have suggestedthat each of the three great living civilizationsshows a unique specialization the culturallevel-the West in naturalwisdom, on China in social wisdom,India in psychologicalwisdom. It remainsto point out the inevitable price of specialization:ineptness in the subjects neglected. "Nothing fails like success"-in the end all three cultures are broughtto disasteror its brink becauseeach succeededso well on one front that it felt safe in neglecting the other two. China and India have both neglected the naturalproblem;consequently science has not developed, and the standardof living remains impossibly low. In China, the problem periodicallyproved too much even for social genius. Between dynastiesthere was regularlya long period of civil strife, with "populawhich, as Shu-ChingLee points out, can alwaysbe correlated tion pressureon cultivated land" which failed to increasein productivity'In Foundations of Science (Lancaster, Pa.: Science Press, 1913).
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because "improvementof agriculturaltechnique was negligible."24At the beginning of the Ming Dynasty (1368) China and the West were on generally the same level with respectto technicaland mechanicalskill. At the end of that dynasty (1644), Europe was in possession of modern science and China was still in her Middle Ages. As for India, her only to scientificcontributions the world at large have been in pure mathematics, where she was dealing not with the outer world but with the resourcesof the mind.25In additionto this ineptnesstowardNature,26 India adds social clumsiness (vividly illustratedby the presentstate of the caste system) and we China addspsychologicalnaivete. Occasionally catch a glimpse in China of an interest in the mind as such and what it can do, as in the quietistic movement in the Chou Dynasty, the Tao Te Ching's esotericrenderingof the idea of te, Mencius'passage on "the dawn breath,"and Chu Hsi's discussion of "silent sitting." But these are never systematically pursued,and the interestin them usually takes a social turn; the mind is being inspected not for itself but for what it can contributeto social stability. One gets the impressionthat when China does concern itself with psychologyit is only social psychologythat really interestsher. Her deficienciesin this field are seen most clearly in her failure to recognizethe dangersof repression.The Chinese scheme had no place for emotional catharsis,spontaneity,and unrepression. Consequently,negative emotions got dammed up until eventually the dam gave way and the emotions came forth in terrifyingform. Examplesof this are found in the Mongolian capacityfor torture and the frequencyof those homicidal outburstsknown as "runningamok" which, as Sorokin points out, mark the Far Eastern tradition more than others. It carriedover to Japan,where, as RobertGuillain has pointed out, a youth "receiveda Spartantraining which developed his aggressiveinstincts and, at the same time, screweddown over his violent naturea sort of lid of blind obedience and perfect politeness. This made him an explosive creature, readyto burstlike a bomb."27a""Administrators and Bureaucracy: The Power Structure in Chinese Society," in Transactions of the Second World Congress of Sociology (London: International Sociological Association, 1954), p. 12. "2Cf. Laplace's tribute: "It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position as well as an absolute value. e shall appreciate the grandeur of this achievement the more when we remember that it escaped . . . the genius of Archimedes and Appolonius, two of the greatest men produced by antiquity." Quoted in Tobian Dantzig, Number: The Language of Science (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1930), p. 19. To this Dantzig adds: "The achievement of the unknown Hindu who sometime in the first centuries In the of our era discovered the principle of position assumes the proportions of a world-event. ... history of culture the discovery of zero will always stand out as one of the greatest single achievements of the human race." 26Cf. Zimmer, op. cit., p. 31: "Nothing in Hindu physics, biology or zoology can compare with the mature achievements of Aristotle, Theophrastus, Eratosthenes, and the scientists in Hellenistic The Indian natural sciences cannot be said ever to have equaled those known to Alexandria.... Europe."
The deficienciesof the West have been in psychology and sociology. but in sociology Psychologicallythe West has been merely inconspicuous, her record has been definitely bad. At least four facts must be faced as evidences of the West's ineptitude in social relations and lack of perceptivenessas to the forceswhich make for social cohesionand group harmony. 1. Whereas Chinese civilizationhad the power to expand, uniting more and more people in a common heritage, and whereas Indian civilization could at least hold its own, the recordof the West has been one of continuous secession. After the union of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms in Egypt, there is no further fusion in the Fertile Crescent. Instead, fission sets in. The Hebrews divide into Israel and Judah. "The fatal danger of Greece," writes Gilbert Murray in The Five Stages of Greek Religion, "wasdisunionas many see it in Europenow."28The churchsplits into East and West, and the Western Churchinto Protestantand Catholic. The Medieval Empireshattersinto nations. And the process is still going on. Norway, Denmark,and Sweden,originally a homogeneousunity, have split. Belgium and Holland, originally a single viable unit, are apart, and Belgium in danger of splitting again. The British Isles have been in conmovementsstill in evidence. The United stant fission with strong separatist States has its Civil War and continuingNorth-Southanimosity. What has enfeebled and discreditedus in our own day, writes Aronld Toynbee, "is the atrociousfratricidalwarfare,within the bosom of our Western Society, since 1914.... We Westernershave fought among ourselvesanotherbout as and discreditable our earlier of wars that have been as savage,destructive wars of religion."29Western history since the Middle Ages is one long story of inability to inspire embracingloyalties strong enough to outweigh provincial attachments. 2. Western religion, sharing its culture'sinterest in Nature, shares its social ineptitude as well. The only large-scalepersecutingreligions have been those of the West-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Since the Middle Ages, Christianityhas been divisive by itself. To continue with Toynbee: "For 400 years and more, from the outbreakof the struggle between the Papacy and FrederickII in the thirteenthcenturydown to the end of Western wars of religion in the seventeenth centhe Catholic-Protestant the ChristianChurch.in the Western World was a force that made tury,V'Werner Bishoff, Japan (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1955), p. 7. Cf. also Frank Gibney, Five Gentlemen of Japan (Tokyo: Chas. E. Tuttle, 1954), p. 33: "It has so often been Japan's tragedy that cruelty and atrocities have formed the one escape valve for the freer human feelings which a ruthlessly tight society did its unconscious best to inhibit or suppress." "London: Watts & Co., 1935, p. 81. ""Man Owes his Freedom to God," Colliers, 137, No. 7 (March 30, 1956), 78.
ACCENTS THE WORLD'S OF PHILOSOPHIES
not for gentleness and peace and concord,but for violence and war and dissension.... Before the end of the seventeenthcentury,the hatred,strife and atrocitiesinflictedon the Western World by Christianodium theologicum had become a scandaland menace to the Western Civilization."80 3. The West has conceived the problem of interculturalrelations in physical rather than in anthropologicalterms. Time after time, nations of the West seem to behave as if the only attitudeto take towardstrangers is one of belligerencyand domination. The Easternidea of te, of the ultimate victory'sbeing decided in terms not of physical might but of moral and cultural prestige, seems utterly lacking. 4. Eventually (one almost says inevitably) there emerges in Europe a social theory which pushes the Western emphasis to its logical extreme. Parallelingthe West's inclinationto reducepsychologyto physiology,Marx reduces sociology to economics. In the end, there is no social problem: once the material problem is solved, the social problem will automatically take care of itself. We have suggested that each of the world's three great traditionshas achieved notable results with one of man's basic problems, but has been brought to the brink of ruin by not attendingsufficientlyto the other two. The obvious conclusion is that an adequateculture must strike all three notes as a chord. In developing this chord of an adequateworld-culture the three traditionscome as equals. Each has something of importanceto contributeand something to learn.
30Ibid., p. 82.