Guanzi (text)

Guanzi (text)

The Guanzi is an encyclopedic compilation of Chinese philosolphical materials named after the 7th century BCE philosopher Guan Zhong, Prime Minister to Duke Huan of Qi. The Han Dynasty scholar Liu Xiang edited the received Guanzi text circa 26 BCE, largely from sources associated with the 4th century BCE "Jixia Academy" (稷下, Chi-hsia) in the Qi capital of Linzi.

Although most Guanzi chapters philosophically characterize Legalism, other sections blend doctrines from Confucianism and Daoism. For example, the Neiye (內業 "Inner Enterprise/Training") chapter has some the oldest recorded descriptions of Daoist meditation techniques.

When you enlarge your mind and let go of it,
When you relax your [qi 氣] vital breath and expand it,
When your body is calm and unmoving:
And you can maintain the One and discard the myriad disturbances.
You will see profit and not be enticed by it,
You will see harm and not be frightened by it.
Relaxed and unwound, yet acutely sensitive,
In solitude you delight in your own person.
This is called "revolving the vital breath":
Your thoughts and deeds seem heavenly. (24, tr. Roth 1999:92)

See also


  • Graham, A.C. (1993). Disputers of the Tao: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China. Open Court, p.100. ISBN 0-8126-9087-7.
  • Rickett, W. Allyn. "Kuan tzu 管子." In Early Chinese Texts: A Bibliographical Guide, edited by Michael Loewe. Berkeley: University of California, Institute of East Asian Studies. 1993. pp. 244-251.
  • Rickett, W. Allyn, tr. Guanzi. Princeton University Press. 1998.
  • Roth, Harold. Original Tao: inward training (nei-yeh) and the foundations of Taoist mysticism. Columbia University Press. 1999.

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