Please Note: The author will sign the book for you if you request his signature by an email to youshengli@aol.

 

 

 

 

 

The Ancient Chinese

Super State of Primary

Societies

Taoist Philosophy for the 21st

Century

You-Sheng Li

Author House, June 2010

 

BOOK REVIEW

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

Has the world shrunk? Airlines can get us to places quicker than a dog can get fleas. Phones and computers make connecting to our neighbors faster and more reliable. Even with advancements like this, society and culture, as shared ideals, lag 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 philosophy and New World modernism. The book is composed of 14 different essays, all 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 You-Sheng Li's theses. One part talks about how the Chinese were more of a land-based people and Europeans were more oceanic; therefore Europeans were the explorers. There are interesting little nuggets inside each essay and itfs a treat to read them all. Each essay is incredibly well cited, with notes and references listed at the end. It is always wonderful to see where a book gets its ideas. You-Sheng Li displays that he is one of the most certifiable person to write on this subject. With the writing style as direct as a surgeon, he is able to craft an engaging and thoughtful experience. The short essay also gives the book a quick and 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 this 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 todayfs 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.

 

Contents

 

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 Jaynesf 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: youshengli@aol.com or his website:

http://taoism21cen.com.