View Full Version : The excaltation of inactivity (european vs chinese thought)

24-05-2013, 16:51:51
There are some books that make an serious impact. One was straw dogs but it was sinister and energy draining).

The excaltation of inactivity by french writer francua jyllien (SP? - maybe the title is different in english) is hugely interesting.

It puts face to face european and chinese life philophy.

This francoua guy wanted to go as far away from greek thought (which he considers the foundation of european thought) to something enterely different.

This book is not about inactivity but about the chinese way of thinking about life (and its extension to religion).

I am nowhere near to know the appropriate words in english to describe the philosophical nuances in this book but it is fascinating. I learned as much about greek.european thought as i did about the chinese one.
It nevered dawned on me how we thought. I took it for granted.

Turns out there are solid foundations in ancient greek thinking that have completely soaked european realities and there are very very significant antithesis betwwen european and chinese thought.

Whereas in europe action is glorified, intervention, often violent, is praised as glorified, in china it is the subtle indirect cultivation of surrounding circumstances that is what is being done. An action, a clear discerning and/or violent action is seen as failure in chinese thought (and religion). It means that you have failed to naturally and indirectly, in harmony with natural laws, make about so that the result would come.

And that can also been seen at the fact that china doesnt even have prototypical homiric epics like greece has.

Its civilization wasnt born out of violent, imposing on nature intervantion.

There is no platonic ideal in chinese thought to which we should strive often violently, fast and regardless of the natural harmony to achieve.

The book is filled with examples and sayings.

The writer even dwelved deep in pre-socratic greece, hell pre archaic greece to find something equivalant.
And he did find it. In supoernatural greece before the golden years there was "Mytis" (Ididnt even know this word existed) a word that after the coming of classical philosophy dissapeared from the vocabulaty!!

What is mytis?
The favor of the circumstances.
Zeus apparenyl married her and then ate her to make the world/nature favorable circumstances his one for ever.

To that it's what the chinese thought strive.
I found it very interesting and much more in harmony and much less violent.

26-05-2013, 23:50:48
I found her!
In english, it's not mytis, it's metis.

I adore how metis and eros are painted as the primal cosmogenic forces of the universe.
the pursuit of favorable circumstances and love.