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Life and teaching of Lu Hsiang Shan


Lu Hsiang Shan : Biography

Lu's courtesy name was Tzu-ching. He obtained the "presented scholar" degree in 1172 and in 1174 served as a district keeper of records (assistant magistrate). Three years later he and Chu engaged in one of the most famous debates in Chinese history (see sec. 3 1 ). In 1179 he was district keeper of records again and in 1182 he became a- professor of the national university. For four years he lectured there and attracted much following. Minor posts followed. After he resigned he returned to his home in Kiangsi and lived in Hsiang-shan (Elephant Mountain) to teach and lecture. Hence the honorary title "Master Hsiang-shan." In 1190 he was appointed a magistrate and gave an excellent account of himself. He died while he was in office. Throughout his life he mostly taught and lectured. He wrote no books, for his emphasis was not on them. Even the Classics, he said, were his footnotes only. (See sec. 20.) He died in the third year of the Shao-hsi period, which is ordinarily equated with 1192. But he died on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month, which happened to fall on January 10, 1193. This fact has been pointed out in Siu-chi Huang, Lu Hsiang-shan, p. 9, n.2.

As a man, he led a simple life, devoting much of it to lecturing on moral principles. In methodology, he rejected details and superfluous writing and advocated the concentration on the most essential. In both moral cultivation and intellectual pursuit, he simply relied on the mind.
The mind is conceived by him to be morally self-sufficient, and endowed with innate knowledge of the good and innate ability to do good. It is one and indissoluble. It fills the whole universe. As such it is identical with principle (1i). The investigation of things means nothing more than to investigate this mind.

Source : Wing-Tsit Chan, in Chinese Philosophy

Lu Hsiang Shan : Links

Confucianism, Chang Tsai, Cheng Yi, Chow Tun-i, Lu Hsiang Shan, Shao Yong, Su Shi , Wang Fuzhi, Wang Yangming, etc.