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The Ancient Chinese Super State of Primary Societies: Taoist Philosophy for the 21st Century By You-Sheng

Li Author House, June 2010

BOOK REVIEW By Kevin Brown FROM SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW Amazon Star Rating: 5 out of 5, Â â

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Has the world shrunk? Airlines can get us to places quicker than a dog can get f leas. Phones and computers make connecting to our neighbors faster and more reli able. Even with advancements like this, society and culture, as shared ideals, l ag behind. Even moving to a new state in this country has certain social aspects that take time to learn. This book, The Ancient Chinese Super State of Primary Societies, is a deep personal discussion about the ramifications of Old World ph ilosophy and New World modernism. The book is composed of 14 different essays, a ll centering on the topic of Chinese and European societies. The point, I feel, is not only to help people understand and respect Chinese philosophies more, but to explain why these concepts are still valid in our modern world. The book mainly consists of a compare and contrast of opinions that help prove Y ou-Sheng Li's theses. One part talks about how the Chinese were more of a land-b ased people and Europeans were more oceanic; therefore Europeans were the explor ers. There are interesting little nuggets inside each essay and it fs a treat to re ad them all. Each essay is incredibly well cited, with notes and references list ed at the end. It is always wonderful to see where a book gets its ideas. You-Sh eng Li displays that he is one of the most certifiable person to write on this s ubject. With the writing style as direct as a surgeon, he is able to craft an en gaging and thoughtful experience. The short essay also gives the book a quick an d fun pace to the read. Each essay may be different, but each is as enjoyable as the next. With a wealth of information, this is one of the must-read books on t his topic. Preface

Unlike any other major civilizations, Chinese civilization started with a super state in their isolated world, and this super state functioned as police to keep peace among tribes and vassal states just as the United Nations does in today fs world. If all human societies are divided into genetically coded primary society and man-made secondary society, this relatively peaceful environment allowed the Chinese people to still live in primary society

until the Warring States Period (476-221 BC). Chinese Taoist philosophy or Taoism summarizes the lifestyle of those who lived in the ancient primary society. Taoism sees the world and interprets human experience from the basis of human nature and self enjoyment while modern secondary society is goal-oriented.

The twelve essays in this book provide a further reading along the same line of thought of my previous book A New Interpretation of Chinese Taoist philosophy, which explains this ancient Taoist wisdom in modern terms. Although the two books can each be read alone, it is recommended that the reader read A New Interpretation of Chinese Taoist philosophy fi rst, since it is an introduction to this newly interpreted theory.

Again those essays pursue high originality and academic value, but the author has made every effort to accommodate general readers and their reading interest. In line with the lifestyle of primary society, the author tries to convey information, insights along with emotional experience and images. The author drew the illustrations himself, and he also talks about his own life experience. The four long academic essays, Nos. 3, 5, 7, and 9, all start with a summary, present detailed data to outline the different pathway Chinese civilization took in comparison with the West while the other essays serve as a much lighter reading to bridge the gap between the Taoist ideology and modern daily life of ordinary people, though the first essay gives a more general view to serve as an introduction. The

Appendix includes the revised versions of two previous essays of the same titles that are included in the previous book but they are now almost twice as long.


Preface and Key Terms Including a List of Chinese Dynasties 1

1. Taoist Philosophy for the 21st Century 6

2. Life, Culture, and Religion 43

3. Evidence that Chinese People Lived Essentially in Primary Society Until the Warring States Period (476-221 BC) 58

4. The Vulnerability of Primary Society in Front of Secondary Society 98

5. Julian Jaynes f Theory of the Bicameral Mind and Different Pathways Leading to Subjective Consciousness in Human History 113

6. Serenity: The Lives my Mother and Grandmother Lived 164

7. A Comparison of Confucius with Socrates 180

8. The Cave Men 197

9. The Five Zone Territory and Early literature: Chinese vs. West 208

10. Writing Invented for Different Purposes 236

11. Where is God? 244

12. Confucius and Jesus: Humanism Took Different Pathways in Chinese and Western History 251

Appendix 1. The Movie Hero and Chinese Taoist Philosophy 279 Appendix 2. Taoism and Mao Zedong 293

About the Author

You-Sheng Li graduated from the best medical school in China and received his Ph. D. from University of Cambridge, England. He came from a family of Chinese traditional medicine and spent his childhood in a relatively isolated countryside. As a result, he has been familiar with Taoist philosophy and lifestyle since both Chinese medicine and the life in the Chinese countryside are deeply influenced by Taoism. He was a physician for many years and published more than 30 papers in English and Chinese medical journals. He received two rewards in china for his research work.

You-Sheng Li was fond of social science and literature when he was young. He always found time attending talks and courses in social science when he studied and worked in universities. He started to read extensively on Taoism in 1998, and he has dedicated entirely to social

science after he retired in 2005. His Chinese book, titled An Alternative Way to View Life and the World: Taoist Philosophy for the 21st Century, was published in 2009 by Xianzhuang Book House, Beijing. According to the impact a book has had on readers and society, his book was ranked the first for more than five weeks among more than 5000 religious books on sale in China. You-Sheng Li can be reached at: or his website: Preview from rontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false Or from frontcover&hl=zh-CN#v=onepage&q&f=false