Living Color - Astor Court Peter Arvanitis

Taoist Principles

  • Dao- A path or road. Being on this road is the ultimate goal of Taoism.
  • Wu wei- To act as nature does, spontaneously and erratically. Action within inaction. You need to move with the current and follow your path.
  • Yin and Yang- Two opposing forces that coexist in harmony. They each have a small piece inside the other.
  • Pu- The Uncarved Block, human nature in its most natural form

Connection Between Scholar's Garden and Taoism

The Garden was what related the most toward the principles of Taoism.

A person can be reminded of Wu Wei when around the garden and the flowing water. It could remind people that they need to act with spontaneity and flow with the stream.

Yin and Yang is seen in Astor's Court because of the dualism between the garden and scholar's room. There is a balance between nature and education.

The garden also reminds a person to act as an uncarved block and be themselves.

Confucian Principles

  • Junzi- An aristocratic person, someone who is refined and has his morales and ethics in tact.
  • Self-cultivation- The act of improving yourself by studying ancient relics and learning proper etiquette.
  • Rectification of Names- If each person in a society betters themselves, the whole society will be harmonious
  • Five Virtues- Human-heartedness, justice, propriety, wisdom, and faithfulness
  • Li- Etiquette, manners, customs

Connection Between Scholar's Study and Confucianism

At Astor's Court, the Scholar's room was what most related to the principles of Confucianism

That court would have belonged to a Junzi who was studying.

The Junzi was practicing self-cultivation by studying and becoming well educated

If everyone acted like the Junzi, then society would be harmonious.

Astor's Court dates back to the Ming Dynasty. The legacies of Confucianism and Taoism are large influencers in this space. This court includes a garden and a study room, representing the two main belief systems of Ancient China. While the garden represents the natural essence of Taoism, the study room represents the importance of culturedness in Confucianism.

I suggest visiting the Astor Court because it takes the principles of Confucianism and Taoism and merges them into one experience which strongly verifies all of the terms we learned in class. It applies our knowledge of Chinese traditions into one space.

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