Review Questions for the Mid-Term Exam
(9th March 2015)
I. Review questions for short-answer questions
1. Briefly characterize the following terms:
a. Hexagram-The I Ching book consists of 64 hexagrams.  A hexagram is a figure composed of six stacked horizontal lines (爻 yáo), where each line is either Yang (an unbroken, or solid line), or Yin (broken, an open line with a gap in the center). The hexagram lines are traditionally counted from the bottom up, so the lowest line is considered line one while the top line is line six. Hexagrams are formed by combining the original eight trigrams in different combinations. Each hexagram is accompanied with a description, often cryptic, akin to parables. Each line in every hexagram is also given a similar description.
b. yin-yang-In its broad sense, the term ‘yin-yang’ means the unity of two mutually-opposed but correlative and complementary forces existing within anything in the universe: the yang is considered to be the positive, active, and (manifestly) strong force, while the yin the negative, passive, yielding force. In a narrow sense, it means two complementary fluid-force elements within qi whose mix determines the existence of all things in the universe. The yin and yang are inter-dependent, inter-penetrating, inter-transformational, and harmoniously balanced; these features are represented by the dot at the heart of each half of the flowing circle in the yin-yang diagram: . In some conventional accounts, the yang is depicted in terms of the sun, light male, summer, dry, dominant, upper, active, etc., while the yin in terms of the moon, dark, female, winter, moist, receptive, submissive, lower, passive, etc.
c. yin-yang metaphysical vision-The yin-yang metaphysical vision concerning the relation between changing/becoming and unchanging/being, as delivered in the Yi-Jing (I Ching) text takes neither priority of changing/becoming over unchanging/being nor priority of unchanging/being over changing/becoming, but regards changing/becoming and unchanging/being as complementary yin-yang opposites in an organic unity. The yin-yang metaphysical vision has a strong methodological implication and suggests the yin-yang way of thinking or, in more theoretical terms, the yin-yang model of interaction and transformation, which reflects the collective wisdom of ancient Chinese people on how to understand the fundamental way of the world and how to look at happenings around us. It has profoundly influenced the orientation of mentality, and methodological strategies, of subsequent Chinese thinkers in various schools or movements. According to the yin-yang way of thinking, anything in the universe intrinsically contains two mutually opposed but correlative and complementary forces, yin and yang. The constitution and interaction between yin and yang is considered to have the following characteristics: (1) universal: yin and yang co-exist within everything in the universe; (2) fundamental: their interaction within is the ultimate source or pushing force for everything's becoming-process (forming, developing, altering, and changing); (3) complementary: they are interdependent, mutually supportive, and supplementary; (4) holistic: they are united into one thing within rather than separate without; (5) dynamic: they are not in a static state but in changing process and transform into each other; and (6) harmonious equilibrium: they seek balance through cooperation and in accord. d. jun-zi (in the Analects) Behind Confucius' pursuit of the ideal moral character lies the unspoken presupposition that the ultimate concern a person should have and also the primary worthwhile thing a person should do is to strive to become a jun-zi/ 君子 morally superior person--gentlemen with the ideal moral character.
One’s morality or moral cultivation has to be pursued for its own sake and for its intrinsic value, with complete indifference to one’s secular success or failure and to one’s rewards...
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