Little Brother George Has Gone Ahead

Tribute to My Lilbro George Stephan Hsu, COL
(17 May 1943 – 20 Sep 2015)

George Hsu

Lydia and George Hsu

Kite flying with Lydia

George Hsu was many things to many people. He was and remains first of all father, husband, brother, cousin, uncle, father-in-law and grandpa to his large, far-flung family now gathered at Elgin in profound shock and grief. There was for many days perhaps also some defiance, as many of us found it hard to accept the fact that George has actually been wrenched away from us with such cruel suddenness. For 72 years, 4 months and 3 days, George had lived a full, creative and productive life, bringing joy, comfort and a sense of wellbeing to all those who have known him.
George Super DadGeorge's horse
Walking Jen down the aisle

George walks Jen down the aisle.

It was to be a happy, honeymoon-like trip for Kathy and sister Joyce Bless, this time to be just with their husbands George and Rick to enjoy a romantic visit to Key West Florida in a well deserved celebration of themselves, and of staying together as couple. But on Sunday the 20th September, when they were snorkeling some ways off Key West in eight feet of water watching stunning sea creatures and corals, God gently and silently scooped George up to Heaven. As if lost in a starless night sky, the world darkened around George’s beam, becoming suddenly pitch black for everyone else.
Root hunting with the Hsu clan
Stunned as if hit by a huge lightning thunderbolt, all became speechless, uncomprehending. People vehemently refused to accept the idea that they no longer have George on call. For here on earth still, each one of us in his or her own way had taken for granted that we would meet and hug and joke and laugh together, sharing our love for many, many long years to come. Dearest God in Heaven, forgive us, we are simply not ready to accept this loss. But we do thank Thee for sparing our George the agony of protracted hospitalization. He left earth during one of the happiest times of his life. Bless you, Happy Georgie, you lucky lad.
Doc's Saloon Menu
To myriad others beyond the Hsu clan, George was their best friend, college schoolmate, football team quarterback or tailback, drinking buddy, fellow prankster, chief story teller, unbeatable mechanic, brilliant physician, respected counselor, most trusted and beloved Captain – Colonel, and Community Leader. No one was ready to let him go, as if one had any say in the matter. Dear God, help us heal.

Our early family history

George as a young manWhen he was six, Mother took us three children to America away from China’s Civil War. There we lived with the large and loving family of Stephan Kuttner, Father’s best friend during their Jurisprudence School years in Berlin in the late 1920s. The Hsu children were quickly assimilated into the family, becoming part of the dinner table that pivotal year (1949-1950), where children of the two families fell secretly in love unbeknownst to one another.

When he was twelve, he became a step-uncle to my two young step-sons boys and told them, “Don’t be afraid of your step-mother. She’s only my sister. You don’t have to eat the spinach if you don’t like it.” On our trip to Europe when my baby daughter was found dead in the crib high up in the Alps, it was little George who bent over his infant niece, trying to breathe air into her lifeless body, tears streaming down his agonized face without letup. That was his first encounter with the profound urge to heal, to save, to protect life.

A most caring and insightful gentle man

Nearly thirty years later, in order to protect his own adopted and natural children in a State without public health care, he decided during an outbreak of equine encephalitis in the area, to study Medicine and become a local doctor. Almost forty years old, George was able to enter medical school on an Army grant, becoming the oldest student around.

But his doctor-teachers soon discovered that this Haverford mechanics graduate who designed car-crunching machines for the wide-open countryside, who turned Honda Preludes into super racing cars, who alone appeared in the OR with black fingernails, etc. turned out to be the only man in the cardiac ward to remain cool and calm when they discovered that the bulky pacemaker they were placing in the patient’s gaping cavity was dysfunctional. Sweat poured down the face of doctors and nurses alike as time ticked loudly away.

“Anyone have a screw-driver?” finally came George’s soft voice. And in no time the pacemaker too, began to tick away, in the fortunate patient’s chest. From the beginning, George had excelled at tying good knots with hand in pocket. But when his supervisor suggested he become a heart surgeon, George remarked, “That is a Craft. I wish to become a GP (General Practitioner) for that, Sir, is an Art.”

Eventually George became the most widely respected GP around, and people would drive hundreds of miles to get the opinion of Dr. Hsu. George dedicated his life and skills to medicine out of love of his fellow beings. He refused to prescribe unnecessary medication or order costly lab tests and exams for the many patients in his hard-working but also hard up farming community.
farming community with George
But this was to run squarely against vested interest, not only of private physicians, but of the State whose Board of Medical Examiners comprised of doctors with vested interests. A small group of Bismarck doctors had invested in just such an expensive lab-test service center, and in time came to resent the fact that they were missing out on George’s many patients who did not go for their costly tests and scans. Together they sued the country doctor George Hsu, for “Inappropriate Care” that is, for not doing everything possible for his patients. Our Family had thought nothing of the matter, since each of the city plaintiffs had serious lawsuits against them from mistreated patients whereas George had not a single complaint by any patient in all his more-than-twenty-years’ practice.

But to our dismay, the State of North Dakota Board of Medical Examiners comprising these disgruntled physician-investors, together with the Surgeon General and the State Supreme Court, seemed adamant that Dr Hsu’s Medical License be revoked, and the citizens of North Dakota deprived forever of their favorite country doctor. George’s patients were in shock, and in different areas held fund-raisers to hire a lawyer for George. They wrote to the government and to the newspapers – but all to no avail.

When asked once, “Without taking an MRI, how can you tell if your patient is bleeding in the brain or not?” he replied, “I have known my patients for three generations. You can tell simply by watching them walk.” To George, his patients were like his children. He lived to protect them, to heal them and nurture them, and to share his life and his joy with them. When a patient once let on that he no longer had a particular type of harvester, George drove his own over to that farmer’s ranch the next day. The startled patient found his favorite doc driving up and down in the morning sun working his fields, finishing all his chores by noon. George’s positive, giving nature and contagious good humor brought out the best in all those he met. the best in humanity, and that is Love. Love radiates outward; it is sharing in compassion.
Family at George's funeral
At the funeral, one of George’s nurse practitioners came up the pulpit and told us she had been working with all kinds of doctors on all kinds of jobs for over thirty years. “Never in my entire career have I ever met a doctor who knew more about medicine than George. George cared more for his patients, had such common sense when treating illnesses and wounds. No one was more skilled in diagnostics. He was simply one of a kind, a brilliant, unique man all around. He will be sorely missed.” The legendary Doc Hsu lived in a decaying society during a decadent age. His memorable medical career was sabotaged out of envy and greed, but continues to shine as a beacon of hope for all his patients, his friends and for young medics as an exemplar for the coming Age.
George with friends
George’s idea of a good life was to be able to devote as much time as possible to the people and activities he loved, in as creative and productive a mode as possible. First came the idea of farming. Farming land that the US Government paid farmers to let lie fallow. He amassed 1500 acres in North Dakota, mostly raising hay for horses and beef cattle. He also planted delicious chokecherries, buffalo berries, plums and currants that he would brew into a heavenly wine. To be sure, he grew the shrubs not only as windbreak, but in particular to entice the scrumptious North Dakota pheasants and grouse who would come to fatten themselves in Autumn, and adorn his dinner table in Winter.

On the farm, George did everything from plowing, sowing to harvesting, cutting and bailing, he was also a masterful fence-builder, agile horse-rider able to make his mount shimmy straight down the vertical side of a steep mountain. All the animals loved him, as do his children, making each their happy sounds whenever he’d come near. George was one of the very few people around who could fix tractors, twenty-ton trucks, highway line-painting machines, racing cars, sowing machines, snow-blowers, food blenders or pacemakers but also produces hay-bales on even square fields, keeps his cattle immunized and healthy, hand-delivering their calves. George was cheerful and helpful to anyone who ever came in need of healing, fixing, repairing, lending or feeding, and became a great friend to the farming families as well as the Sioux Indians miles around. If this sounds too good to be true, George indeed was to all of us not only incredible, but indispensable. He loved being admired – but admiring George was always a natural result of knowing him.

George met Kathy in Medical School when they became a valued team, especially in national emergencies. During the Gulf War when George was called to active duty for the second time after Viet Nam, now to the Middle East, Kathy was summoned as well as Army Nurse, and they left their eight children, their fields and cattle behind in Elgin to run the medical unit in what we the family believed was a chemical warfare zone. Our aged parents from urban Washington DC came over in their high seventies to look after George and Kathy’s virtual orphans, ready to remain indefinitely should the field doctor-and-nurse fail to come back. But these Medics eventually returned home to a Hero’s welcome when all Elgin and neighboring towns came out with flowers and flying banners, creating a memorable day near and far.

George PensierosoAs an army doctor in mobile hospital under extreme conditions, or from his quiet clinic in Elgin, North Dakota, George’s priority was always to do the job well. He didn’t care too much for all the formalities and protocol that calcify around institutions as they age, making it hard to distinguish what is more important: to heal or bandage the patient, or to fill out the form. George invariable chose the former, often to the neglect of the latter. For this neglect he was driven out of the medical profession by his peers who felt that failing to fill out all forms was more of a detriment than George’s unusual ability to heal, his pure record of complete trust from all his patients, some who had asked not to be put on tubes and costly equipment. They would rather North Dakota be deprived of one of their best physicians, in order to ensure everyone towed the line and filled out all formal requirements purely administrative in nature.

But this only freed George to turn his attention to his other beloved activities, Mechanics. Together with son Stevie a company was formed to do road-striping, providing the white, yellow, red, solid and broken lines we see on the highways – a rather lucrative job under Union Pay. This does not deprive any patient of their wherewithal, but brought in surprising income, and challenged George’s ingenuity to his great delight. He designed and put together from spare parts by hand, an entire truck-cum-device that mixed and spread paint on the road, and so began happy outdoor days working together with his beloved family. When the State approached him saying they would give him back his license to practice medicine provided he signed a paper admitting to “inadequate care of his patients” and/or paid the Board a fee of $50,000, George gave his wry smile and declined. He refused to cooperate with a world that cared more for protocol than for the practice of medicine.

George did not consider himself to have lost any self, aside from his Colonel’s uniform, to be shifting from a white gown to the proverbial blue collar – because to him all jobs carried out with his whole heart and mind bring satisfaction and joy. And the blue collar he had come to know harbored less hypocrisy or hidden greed. In time he opened up Doc’s Saloon in Glen Ullen that served all his favorite foods and drinks, delighting one and all. When we entered the place the local people immediately recognized us as George’s family; staff from Chef to waitresses came to us to hug us, one after the other each weeping tears of deep personal loss. George had given them the sense of self-worth, had appreciated and admired each of them for their special contributions. Their love for George was no less than that of nurse practitioners.

For George, no one was ever unimportant. He never entertained sentiments like, “Wait, I have something more urgent to do first.” He helped his kids with home-work, his grandchildren with kite-flying or buggy rides. He adopted and reared the children born to his wives from their former marriages, never saying to any child, “You are not of my blood. You are not my family.” He adopted them all, giving them the Hsu name, and cared for them with the same love and pride with which he reared all his own progeny. Later he took in our mother and step-father, caring them for years through their dying days. He took in and gave employment to his nephew, offered permanent shelter to his oldest retired sister and opened his home to his nieces each time any should face homelessness. George helped all who came to him, laughingly solving problems academic, chemical, emotional, financial, mechanical, medical, military or psychological.
Colonel George Hsu
In the Armed service, he earned the love of all his men as their platoon leader, captain or colonel, since he cared more about his men than anyone else. Throughout all the years in the Army rising from rank to rank, George never, ever had a gun in the house. He did not believe problems are solved by killing others. He even gave his mind to politics in the hope that this great nation to which he’d dedicated his life energies, would one day rise above mediocrity and fill its potential for genuine world leadership.

To this end, George gave tirelessly to the National Democratic Committee, even trying once for a seat in the State Senate to fight the growing corruption then directly harming ND’s own people. But he never let defeat of any sort dampen his own Spirit. There was always burning inside his heart a huge and compassionate store of love and of service. It is with this selfless spirit that he sailed through his colorful and multilayered life, earning the love of countless people of different persuasions and from all walks of life. He was always there for us. For anyone, actually.

Now George has taken this rare but eternal harvest of universal Love with him to Heaven. For unlike earthly riches or power, Love is what we can take with us. The outpouring of overwhelming love for George we have heard in Church and in the Community Center these past three days will in turn spawn new streams of inspiring and uplifting memories, gratitude and emulation. Although these rare and precious gifts are invisible, they are divine.

Go in Peace, beloved Lilbro, I came to America this month because of your urging, and promise to come and visit. Maybe you had some inkling, Georgie, about playing this last prank to stun the world around you. Before going on this last vacation you’d called up all old friends for long chats and, for once, you’d paid all your bills, ahead of time. You shed your body without a moment’s illness or struggle doing a most enjoyable watersport, sparing your family the draining anguish of protracted hospitalization. What a beautiful and carefree way to live, George, and to die. You are very, very blessed indeed. Let us give thinks to your Guardian Angels who have even made the Funeral Gathering in Elgin, a most Memorable Three-day Family Blast.
George Hsu at ease
Keeping him in their fondest loving memories are his wife, Kathy, Elgin, ND; 4 sons and daughters-in-law, Michael Hsu, in Texas, Stephen and Jody Hsu, Bismarck, ND; Anthony Hsu, Seattle, WA; Charles Hsu, Elgin, ND; 4 daughters and sons-in-law, Theresa Hsu, Elgin, ND; Jennifer and Casey Bettenhausen, Bismarck, ND; Sarah and John Bonvini, Gloucester, Virginia and Barbara Hsu, Mandan, ND; 8 grandchildren, two older sisters, Joan in Nepal, and Katherine in Annapolis, MD; step-mother Nancy Hsu, Seattle, WA; half-brother Alex Hsu and half-sister Barbara Hsu, both married and living in California. There is a still-growing number of nieces and nephews around the world as well as grandchildren to most of whom beloved Uncle George is already Legend.

The Puja at Lamjung

February 22-27, 2014, Lamjung Maitri Puja for World Peace

From the village of Khudi at the foot of the Himalayas, the eye can reach directly onto the snowcapped peaks of Manasulu, towering 8163 metres above sea level, giving an illusion of being only three or four kilometres away.
This is the view from the site of the last puja of the Nepali year 2070, held in the District of Lamjung in northwest Nepal, on the border of Tibet. People had come from everywhere. Nepalese devotees had arrived from Manang, Pokhara Lake, Kaski, Gorkha, Tanau, Dading, Kathmandu, Kirtipur, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavry, Nuwakot, Sindupalchowk, Ramechhap, Makwanpur, Chitwan, Parsa, Bara, Sarlahi, Sindhuli; and from the far distant mountain region of Mustang they had travelled across the great ranges, taking more than three days for the journey. There were also Indian devotees from Sikkim and Darjeeling, Europe, East Asia and the Americas.LamjungFrgnSangha
The air throughout the highlands of Nepal is cold in the morning and evening, with sun during the day warming the breeze. But, here in Khudi, the air seems especially fresh, brushing down from the highest peaks of the world, and quickening the heart with a strong feeling of being in the presence of the divine. Devotees who have attended many of the Maitri Guru’s Pujas, agree that there was something rather special about the Lamjung Puja.

The Maitri Guru had left his mountain retreat in Thodkebar of Badegaun Township in Sindhupalchowk Disctrict, on the morning of February 19th, to travel with his immediate entourage for ten hours by jeep to Lamjung. From the very beginning atop the tiny mountain village, there were already twenty cars filled with neighbouring devotees waiting to follow Guru’s car and, when they reached the town of Sipaghad below, thirty more cars were there with motors running, along with untold numbers of motorcycles, ready to brave the long journey over the bumpy and dusty Nepali roads. 15
Along the way, motorcycles and private cars, seemingly out of nowhere, continued to join the motorcade, their numbers growing at an alarming rate, with offerings of flowers, candles and incense, khatas and fruit, waiting patiently for the Guru. At times, in certain populated towns, the road ahead became completely blocked by devotees to the point that nothing could pass, often requiring the gentle assistance of the local police. The vehicles continued to multiply as the day wore on. The roaring wheeled assemblage came to stretch long and wide for kilometers, creating a memorable sight along the roads leading to the large town of Chabel where an additional 700 devotees were waiting. There was a joyous celebratory mood among them, one and all. Whenever the caravan passed villages and towns, there were groups of devotees gathered along the road with flowers and other offerings to greet Guru’s passage, hoping for a glimpse of the beloved face, and possibly even a blessing.
Throughout the day, devotees continued to appear along the 180 kilometers between the districts of Sindhupalchowk and Lamjung. In the darkness past sunset, they stood on the roads holding offerings of flowers, incense, khatas, and now also flickering candles. The reverent devotion shown by the tens of thousands of devotees was overwhelming to the observers. There were spontaneous local receptions all along the way during the ten hours of travel, giving the travellers an unforgettable sight. Guru’s journey was attended throughout by waiting devotees from town to town, and in between. There seemed to be more people, more new faces, and more crowds than ever before.
By nightfall when the convoy reached Besishsahar, the largest town at the foothills, devotees stood there still, holding lights or candles in the darkness, their hearts aglow like their flames, eyes glistening for a glimpse of the Maitri Guru.
25Already for some years, he has ruled their hearts in loving compassion. But now was the chance for them to be there, even for a fleeting moment, close to Guru’s actual aura, to feel the Maitri Presence.
Ten hours after setting out, Guru’s party arrived at the Lamjung site where accommodations had been already prepared by the local Sangha. After a good night’s sleep, everyone rose to work on the preparations for the Puja itself. The great tarps were laid over the bamboo foundations, and flags in the Maitri order of blue, white, yellow, red and green were stretched in long strings in all eight directions from the pole-top, announcing the event. On the newly made platform, the Maitri Guru’s dais was placed, and on the surrounding fabric walls were hung thangkas of the Great Deities uniquely related to Maitreya. For two days feverish work joined all the fervent devotees in one large workforce, as people hitherto unknown to each other worked side by side for the same purpose. and with the same joyous dedication.
“Rain blesses the beginning and the end of the Maitri Guru’s every puja,” a long-time assistant of Guru said. It will always rain when Guru arrives, and again when Guru leaves. Sometimes the rain may be big, sometimes so subtle that people may not be aware of it, while at other times it is loud and wet. But for sure there will always be rain…. followed by the rainbow.” This time the rainbow was unmistakable for all to see and marvel. A huge ring of a rainbow appeared around the sun, glowing in the mid-heavens and forming a complete and perfect circle. There was a smaller ring immediately around the sun, a rim of red and yellow filaments surrounding a relatively bluish sun in the middle, much like the pupil of a huge round eye. This phenomenon hovered continuously, suspended exactly above the Puja mandala holding the tent and blessing program. The rainbow was so large, so clear, and so perfectly centered overhead that onlookers were awestruck with wonder at the surprising and inspiring manifestation.
For three days the haloed sun-eye hovered overhead, enveloping the sacred precinct. Passersby and devotees both were awed at the sight of such auspiciousness and benevolence. And for the last three days many devotees saw a bright light emanating from the middle of the Maitri Guru’s forehead, with a startlingly warm and gentle glow. Many such unforgettable manifestations around the Maitri Guru were recounted by eye-witnesses and spread across the world.
The Lamjung site is situated at the base of the famous trekking paths leading up to Annapurna in the Himalayas. It is a stop for mountaineers. During those days many hikers passing by were drawn irresistibly to the Puja. Here they received unexpected blessing of unbounded love and compassion that flowed unceasingly from the Maitri Guru for more than eight hours each day. It has been estimated that several hundred thousand people received Guru’s blessing during the six days.
There were many familiar faces among the foreign sangha, as well as new ones here for the first time, together representing more than thirty nations. There were two Italian couples, one having brought along their children. Many Buddhist and Chan monks came from monasteries in Korea and Thailand, among others. About seventy Nepali Buddhist monks from diverse monasteries, dressed in crimson and orange, came to join the chanting of prayers and mantras and to participate proactively in all proceedings.
When devotees saw the Maitri Guru in a white robe with blue trim coming with his monks in blue robes and white tops, there was a gasp of surprise and awe.
This was the first time that Guru’s Maitri colors were worn at a public event, and they presented a startling contrast to the traditional clerical colors of crimson and orange, brown, black or grey. Gradually, devotees began to realize that something was rather different about this timespace. They found themselves under a new banner, witnessing a new Order and, in their hearts, many knew that the world would be listening to a new language and hear a new Message.
Guru ascended his dais and dropped into lotus position in one graceful move. In due course, he gave his Teaching. Without quoting from the as yet unpublished Official Translation to be issued direct from Guru’s headquarters, a strictly personal interpretation follows here in the paragraph below:

As ever, Guru instructed humanity to abstain from harmful actions. Now he explained how in cosmic oneness in there being no separation whatever between the countless life cycles of all beings of all categories in all worlds or between the atma, paramatma and anatma: all seemingly disparate energies are in fact inseparably part of One. Rather than enquiring about religions or techniques of meditation, Guru asked us to reflect first of all on what we have gained from our habitual passions and worldly attachments. He seemed to be addressing humanity from a unique perspective of being in human form with feet on the earth yet with cosmic consciousness remaining in the sky, above and beyond the myriad illusions that since primordial times have imprisoned humanity inside illusions. From this cosmic perspective, the Maitri Guru pointed out that whilst all other life forms already thrive in Maitriyan Dharma, human beings alone remain in the ignorance and suffering created by the misdirected dogmata they have been perpetuating since primordial times. By simply surrendering in complete trust and faith to the GuruMarga – the Way of (all) Gurus – human beings, too, can quickly experience true Dharma. Bringing Maitri Dharma closer to home, Guru said that the drive and goal of all religions in their primordial stage had been to attain Maitri Dharma – the Way of Maitriya – ; that in the beginning, all religions had been on the same all comprehending Maitri Path. And now the GuruMarga has descended to bring all humanity, with all religions, back onto the Maitri Dharma of universal loving compassion that had been here since the beginning.

Marking the Fourth Year of Maitreya, the New Age following upon the long preceding Kali Yuga or Age of Darkness, the Maitri Guru in this way revealed yet a little more of the special attributes of the world to come, providing a hint of the peace and happiness that shall bloom forth once the basic precepts of universal respect, compassion, equality and true faith are revived in our hearts.

On the morning of departure, rain began to fall gently over the land, smiling on the convoy like a blessing. Again, villagers from nearby stood along the streets in the morning sprinkle to bid Guru farewell. But, once the motorcade left the district of Lamjung, the rain intensified, falling loudly, and soon filled the streets with small rivulets. By the time they reached the Naubisey highway going to Kathmandu, the road was congested for a full kilometer with cars that had been there for nearly ten hours. The passage became inundated and water covered the tires of Guru’s Jeep. Motorcyclists had water coming up to their waists. Miraculously, local sangha members appeared, and managed in groups to open up a pass way for Guru’s convoy of about thirty cars, busses and cyclists to go through. Curiously, throughout this stretch, the towns to the left or right of their journey remained dry, without the least rain. By this time, close followers have become used to certain manifestations of the unusual. ##

James Cahill

Jim has left the world. Yesterday on Valentine’s Day, it is reported today, James Cahill put aside his long ailing body, his ever proactive service to the world of Chinese art history, his huge legacy books, papers, online lectures, mountains of indexes, photographs, slides many of which he’d taken himself, for us, and the thousands of other blessings and gifts to his field, his friends and family too numerous to assess, a legacy that will continue to nourish the coming students of Chinese painting for generations. But his indefatigable energy, his unbounded passion for his work, his singular generosity will remain a standard hard to match.
At last free from disease and suffering, dear Jim, lift off in joy to explore the wonderous realms beyond our present ken to which we’ll all return. Good night, sweet Prince.

Maitriya Dharma Centre at Badegaun


On October 19th, Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sanga Guru launched his new Maitriya Dharma Centre located in the remote wilderness of Badegaun in the mountainous Sindhupalchok District of Nepal. The Guru called for an official photo session, surrounded by his monks and nuns, and issued a press release announcing the new headquarters. This heralds a significant new phase in the spread of Maitriya Dharma across the world. Since the time of Shakyamuni Buddha 2500 years ago, Nepal is poised to become, once more, the centre of world-wide Dharmic effulgence.

There is a new banner that is the Maitriya Guru’s Standard, differing from traditional Buddhist flags. The colors are, in descending order, of blue, white, yellow, red and green. Instead of Nepali or Sanskrit, writing on the individual banners will be in Maitri, the language of Maitriya (often spelled as “Maitreya”).1911

The Bodhi Shravan Dharma Sangha Centre has been reorganized and is now headed by a small central committee directly under the Guru’s personal command. Henceforth announcements and decisions will be issued directly from his Office, through Jyampa Topchen and Jyampa Ninchenmo. The Maitriya nuns and monks now wear robes hitherto unknown in Buddhist monasteries or convents, of blue and white instead of the traditional crimson, orange, yellow or shades of brown or grey.

Dharma Sangha Guru announced that spreading of the new Marga (Path) of Maitriya Dharma “begins from zero.” This statement implies that no Maitriyan Teachings have yet been received in the preceding Age of Shakyamuni Buddha, and that a brand new Age has begun, the Age of Maitriya. The Guru will devote the foreseeable future to writing the New Teachings in the seclusion of his new kajopa (small house) now in construction and near completion.
A waterfall and a spring here provide pure fresh water, and a river running at the base of the mountain can be heard at night, as cicadas and wild birds sing during the day. In this remote and relatively uninhabited terrain stretching from the valley river up over 1500 metres above, there are wild deer as well as leopards, cougars and other fauna. For human visitors it is a stunning environment with clear sunny skies and dappled shade beneath deciduous trees. Views of mountains in echelon across the valley include small terraced farms and a few earthen houses. From higher vantage points one can see the snow capped Himalayas reaching into blue skies. There is a sense of flowing unity and joy where energies of trees, breezes, grasses and animal life flow into each other the way water moves in and around fishes in the ocean. There are ants and bees here, as well as mosquitoes and other insects. It is as if all nature’s creatures are content here, their vibrations in harmony bloom into pervasive tolerance and respect for one another. Walking in these mountains the visitor becomes easily immersed in the overwhelming peace and tranquillity.

Reading over the Teachings Guru has given the world since 2007, it is clear that the Maitriyan world is singularly, comprehensively egalitarian and in Oneness, free from the slightest hint of anthropocentrism where Man holds dominion over all creation. Rather, Creation and All Creatures are one and of the same essence, inextricably part of one another. Once absorbed in Maitri, human beings can begin to shed, like wornout snake skin, their millennia-old habit of separation, of I and Thou, of all conceptual (illusory) boundaries. And once human consciousness tunes into Maitriyan Loving Compassion, that is total identification with all things, everything becomes Maitri. Everything becomes bliss. Humans can thus be freed from the crippling shackles of greed or envy, to flow effortlessly like fish in the unbounded ocean, in the unbounded space-time of Peace. Everything still looks the same, but one’s relationship to all takes a cosmic leap, because now the universe is one, and one is the universe.

At the last Teaching given at the Chitwan Puja last June, Guru had said that in order to know True Dharma and True Essence, one must be one’s own essential self. This simple statement may be seen to be stressing the need to recover one’s own true, pristine nature. This requires shedding of the thickly encrusted layers of “human nature” built up over thousands of years of cerebral divisiveness, to return to human beings’ essential nature that is of one and the same essence as the universe, and its Way. Statements of such revolutionary nature fill the Guru’s Teachings, but are often overlooked or misunderstood by the bounded mind long habituated to separation.

These days on the mountain workers carry 100 kg bags of cement, stone or beams up and down the steep and often slippery winding mountain paths to finish Guru’s kajopa. Everything locally available is being used in the construction of this modest dwelling-cum-study. Workers will then embark on enlarging the 2 km path down this mountain and up to the next village across the river, in preparation for vehicle transport of construction materials for a sizable Dharma Hall. It is here that this new phase in the Maitri flowering on earth will commence, where the Maitriya Guru will personally train monks and nuns in the future universal language of Maitri. Centuries down the road, these early years of Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sangha Guru’s advent may indeed seem remarkable by their peculiarly humble and obscure beginnings.

And it is precisely the Guru’s gentle loving compassion amidst the skepticism, rejection and man-made obstacles that has drawn from all corners of the world the many very special souls that now form His early International Sangha. In waves they come, as if drawn from the core of their being to the familiar scent of a deep-rooted fragrance lost eons ago. As observed in previous reports, they comprise largely of the types of new beings populating the world over the past few decades, identified by scholars as Indigo Children, and more recently Crystal Children, beings from higher civilizations in distant planets who dedicate themselves to the rescue work needed to help lift Planet Earth from its current course of certain self-destruction. Gathering at Guru’s Pujas around Nepal, they teach yoga, give herbal or psychic healing, make music, cook raw foods, give massages and otherwise dedicate life-energy to the well-being of others. Here on the mountain without a Puja, devotees continue to trickle in. A group from China have come to offer assistance whilst from eastern Europe, India, New Zealand devotees participate in the construction efforts, or spend most waking hours absorbed in meditation or chanting.

Metaphorically, Guru’s large Dharma Drum has already sounded, its wakening thunder echoes across mountains and valleys reverberating in the hearts of all sentient beings ready to welcome the Maitriyan Age.

香港明珠HKSTV《文化风情》2013年 王明青徐小虎在杭州象山王澍新招待所聊古怀旧(1+2/2)HKSTV Interview with Wang Mingqing

This link leads to a TV interview (part 1 of 2) with the Hong Kong HKSTV’s beautiful and talented hostess Ms Wang Mingqing, in Hangzhou late June. During interludes Ms Wang plays the ancient qin zither, with a clarity and force belying her gentle mien, bringing out a depth of feeling hidden from ages past. The visit took place in the just completed Visiting Faculty Lodge by Dean Wang Shu of the School of Architecture,China Academy of Arts, and 2012 winner of the distinguished Pritzker Prize. Link to Part 2 of 2.



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Art History Without Names 沒有大師的藝術史 (2003 Tainan)


在此所秉持的 不是絕對的威權

Disclaimer and Invitation

Most Chinese paintings and calligraphy works are not as dated
But Months to Centuries Later
Here we share research results
not often found elsewhere
Fearless of New Findings
witih no claim to Absolute Authority
but only Absolute Honesty
and the right to err as seekers err
but now in untried ways
let us lift off where Rowley’d left it
and clear our minefield with method
to let in light where darkness looms


This Web-Paper is an attempt to explore the visual features or Period Style of an era in Chinese landscape painting rather than proceeding from attributed works clustered under the name of a single Master. Here we explore the perceptual characteristics that seem to be unique to Qing painting around the reign of the Qianlong emperor (r.1736-1796) Hongli. This period has left much unspoiled authentic testimony in its Court-commissioned paintings, scrolls and copper-plate engravings that have not been subject to retouching, cropping or resizing and, in the context of imperial paraphernalia, garments and utensils from the same period, makes it possible to attempt to describe in an orderly manner the changes in painting then or recently manifested. Much has been brilliantly studied on the meeting of East and West, notably by Michael Sullivan, James Cahill and Richard Vinograd. Here we explore only the formal aspects, with the hope of becoming better acquainted with the zeitgeist and image of this period.

It is also a first attempt to present in web-page format an academic ‘paper’ with the unique advantages of the internet. Now we can, and should, proceed from the visual evidence as our first point of departure, being able to enlarge details for close-up examination as rarely possible before on such a wide scale. And the text, like a children’s book, only follows the images with enquiries, hypotheses or exegeses.

Riegl’s notion of an ‘History without Names’ frees art historical scholarship from its traditional bondage to ‘signed and dated’ attributions. For the past century or more it has been this stifling bondage that has confined the student to works attributed to a certain Master and to line up his attributed oeuvre in a fictitious ‘chronology’ based on purported ‘dates’ rather than an in-depth investigation of the works themselves. This passive method has obliged countless scholars to concoct lame explanations for a Master’s evident ‘change in style’ when confronting what in effect are works from different hands and usually different periods.

Here we can depart from the approach of studying a famous Master through whose works light may be shed upon his person, his thoughts or his age. Instead, we first examine authentic visual evidence drawn from Qing Court collections, and these collectively and in context of the furnishings, architecture, lacquer and ceramics present enough parallels to form hypotheses about prevailing perceptual tendencies.

Qing Court-based works have revealed unmistakable characteristics that distinguish this period from all previous ones. These features bear a strong relationship, not by accident, with contemporary tendencies in Baroque Europe. Incidentally, these features appear also in paintings bearing names of ancient masters as well. In this essay some though by no means all of these interesting period features are highlighted in chapters and by sections. In many, corresponding details are cropped from their respective paintings and placed side by side to show the similarity. When an individual detail is clicked, the name of the painting as well as the total view should pop up in a separate window, which can be closed to return to the discussion, Qing-dated and also forgeries ascribed to ancient masters appear side by side to highlight in each section the particular period feature in the heading, and in the context of similar features appearing on contemporary Qing works.

In the first ‘chapter’ we begin with an examination of the copperplate engraving of a scene from the Yuanmingyuan Western Compound, to study the ways in which this work differs from works of previous centuries. The analysis proceeds in logical order, beginning with identification of distinctive characteristics in general structure, in morphology, and in brushwork behaviour. Having outlined the general characteristics, we proceed to the identification of particular themes that seem ‘new’.

The ‘Index’ to our left indicates the organization of this illustration-cum-text paper. There are eight ‘chapters’, most comprising sections, each to illustrate a particular observation. Thus under changes in morphology, for instance, we find two (among doubtless many more) changes illustrated, one being a more rational interrelationship of formal elements within a single composition, the other being the schematisation and reduction of forms, as well as their decorative proliferation. The chapter on new brushwork behaviour, for instance, shows how Qing brushwork has become linear, uniform and unchanging, as well as decorative in its execution and in its dispersal. The second section shows how brushwork, and the larger units of brushwork in the form of minor motifs, are dispersed for a decorative effect. A third section presents the finding that the traditional ‘modelling stroke’ used for rough surfaces, the oblique axe stroke or fupicun 斧劈皴has disappeared entirely from view. Instead, they are replaced by an awkward application of L-shaped hooks and lines – all in the very same unswerving unified ‘line’.

Qing examples are used from the beginning to the end of the eighteenth century, their common features of newness identified. Together with these are the same manifestations from ‘ancient’ attributions illustrated. This helps us clear out a great deal of the erstwhile inexplicable gaps in stylistic continuity from Tang to Qing. It explains why we could not find anything from archaeological or more securely datable Song and Yuan examples from Japanese collections that correspond in style in structure or in brushwork. This is I believe because the Tang, Song, Yuan, and even Ming attributions introduced in these ‘pages’ are all products of the eighteenth century Qing, as we identify their Qing characteristics. Such is the advantage of approaching the history of Chinese painting without resorting first to labels, but depending first to last on the eye, and using texts and sources only in the second stage.

Such a presentation may seem unfriendly to those new to Chinese painting. I hope that to the seasoned student it may open another dimension to seeing. The hyper-linked names or terms need not be clicked during your first reading. Rather, click it only if you are curious, and click ‘close’ to return to the discussion. I hope you enjoy this experience, and since this is an experimental website with an open forum, don’t forget to visit the discussion area and make your contribution. It is only with corrections and additions and re-corrections that we can eventually be delivered from the seemingly everlasting ‘middle ages’ of Chinese painting studies where scholars are evidently hard put to date a painting within a thousand years.

徐小虎 謹識 Joan Stanley-Baker, Tainan, October 2003


乾隆朝的歐式銅版畫 圓明園西洋樓系列之一
Qianlong Court Engraving Yuanmingyuan Western Complex

This is one in the series of twenty copper engravings by European and Chinese Court artists depicting the various buildings, gardens and mansions built in the European compounds northwest of the Imperial Palace, begun by Kangxi era (r.1662-1723) completed under Qianlong (r.1723-1796). They testify not only to the original appearance of these complexes, but to the thoroughly hybrid fruit of this period of intense artistic exchange between East and West. In this example of the Yuanmingyuan 圓明園 Court for instance, artists trained in European architecture and painting techniques incorporate certain Chinese elements into their modern creations, including the curved bridge and gate either side of the mote-stream, and the earthen hillocks beyond the compound wall with their Chinese-style open pavillion. In painting the master for this copper engraving, they have created layered hills with rounded outline and gentle ‘shading’ interspersed with trees. These ‘hills’ are rendered with a ‘Chinese’ feel in shape and modeling – but executed in largely identical fashion, as everything else in the print, without individuation, contributing to the sense of overall unity that Wolfflin had observed in Baroque painting in Europe.

Striking is the Baroque expression of visual values in an amazing number of features that must have seemed new to the Chinese eye but yet have been almost instantly and masterfully absorbed into eighteenth century Chinese arts. In motifs these include wisteria (here organized into four European trellis clumps), the ornamental shrubs shaped like poodles, the flat-surfaced stone facade or wall, and in following images the Roman pine, the sculpture-like oblong rocks built in angular upward thrusts, the thickened, ornate and expressive clouds that thread their way horizontally through woods and mountains, as well shading of the underside of objects in European fashion seen in other Court works below, etc. Morphological novelties include the almost compulsive parallelism of lines (even without labyrinth), the regimented, equidistant disposition of linear elements, the half-realistic half-abstract depiction of natural forms arranged with decorative intention.

Most remarkable is the curious ‘brushwork behavior’ seen here in a new, Baroque linearity that dominates painting, where lines of all elements are largely reduced to equal value (inspired perhaps by the novelty of engraving, where linear uniformity is of course a direct result of the hard engraving tool or stylus?). The following segments explore these new features that, by the eighteenth century, are richly and deeply incorporated into Chinese Court and literati painting alike. And because of their common Baroque quality, it is easy to recognize these features as they appear also in the many forgeries evidently produced at this time.

This space on this Website is dedicated to a preliminary exploration of features that characterise this fascinating period. Readers are asked to realise that statements here are not final, but result of observations and comparisons that await refinement with your help. Please do not hesitate to query what you see, or to add your own observations and comments to what is hoped to become an open FORUM which hopefully will help turn a new leaf in our common pursuit.





結構特徵分析 New Features in Structure
Wang Hui (1632-1717) and Baroque Tendencies in the Yongzheng Era.


The various Baroque manifestations we shall examine in works the mid-eighteenth century by Tangdai 唐岱(1673-1752+), Huang Ding黃鼎 (1650~60–1730), Sun Hu孫祜 (active mid 18 c), or Wu Hong吳宏 (active 1750s), or indeed the Court commissioned paintings of consorts at leisure, copper engravings of Qianlong’s constructions or military campaigns, are mostly foreshadowed here in the later works of Wang Hui. These works by Wang Hui illustrate the encroaching parallelism of contour lines in the rounded ‘Southern school’ mountain forms that were already evident in the Yongzheng era. Most of the ‘European Baroque’ elements seen in the Qianlong–period paintings and engravings are already in formative process here. Wang’s own dynamic gathering and folding of concentric mountain forms rise and writhe as the proverbial “Dragon Arteries” advocated by Dong Qichang (1555-1636). Now adding opaque, ornamental ‘designer’ clouds to silhouette decorative tree foliage, increases rhythmic abstraction. This hallmark Qing feature becomes formulaic, regimented and decorative through the Yongzheng and Qianlong eras.

Here, in this first decade of the eighteenth century bracketed by Wang Hui’s three works, of 1702, 1706 and 1708 we see landscape evolving toward this new textural homogeneity. Now smoothly repeated mountain folds are whipped up like heavy cream, resembling the skin of the sharpei dog 沙皮狗. The overall linear parallelism, the surface or textural smoothness and uniformity anticipate the same characteristics in Europe-derived copper engravings, and may explain why Qing Court painters were so ready to embrace their introduction to Chinese painting with such ready acceptance.



在這十年間,我們看到王翬的山水畫逐步向一種新的、質感上的和諧發展,他重覆的柔滑山肌摺疊、像被攪打得發泡的奶油,或者像沙皮狗的皮膚。 王翬畫中線條的全面平行趨向,、其表面與質感上的柔膩感、皴筆線條化和一致性…等現象都和歐洲銅版畫懷著相同的美感趨勢,這或許可以解釋為什麼清代宮廷畫家好像早己為新形式的到來臨作好了準備,能充份地去擁抱和透入地吸收消化、運用、甚至於「漢化」歐洲神父們介紹給宮廷的個種巴洛克形式。


北宋之崇高元朝之深曠 Northern Song Magnitude, Yuan Clarity

Qing landscape paintings often evoke Northern Song painting in their grandeur, in the stunning height of their mountain forms, and actually surpassing the Northern Song in depth – because Qing painters have mastered Yuan recession into deep space as well. In spatial recessional consistency they also surpass the Yuan, for more than in Yuan painting they hint at incidents ‘beyond’ the clearly visible horizons. Thus ghost-like peaks or flat marshlands may loom pale in mists barely discernable, wafting up in the upper half of hanging scrolls, sighing from impossible distances. All the while, Qing monumental landscapes witness a sharp increase in human and structural incidents. Painters following Wang Hui ( 1632-1717), like Tangdai (1673-1752+), Sun Hu (Sun You, fl. 1750s) and Huang Ding (1650~60 – 1730) among others, all developed their own distinctive personal styles. In structure however they share common period characteristics.

At the same time, there is marked decrease in both motif variation and brushwork typology as well as in geological credibility. On the other hand, this reductionist development in Qing painting is amply compensated by stunning skills in draftsmanship and in its often hair-raising spatial aerobatics that lead the eye to soar and tumble from breathtaking heights and with dramatic ‘speed’.

Each of these painters has his individual stylistic preferences, but they collectively maintain the basic unitary principles outlined above. Walled compounds in dense woods are rendered skillfully to be seen clearly ‘from above’ as tucked hidden within dense woods or hills. The practice in and production of such rich and high-angled perspective like the Yuanmingyuan series depicting the ‘owner’s favourite retreat’ facilitated the creation of eremitic mountain villa-type compositions ascribed to beloved literati titans like Wang Wei, Lu Hong of the Tang, Guo Zhongshu and Li Gonglin of the Song plus their alleged imitations, as well as countless hand scrolls with close-up observations of human activity within pavilions or garden settings ascribed to Wen Zhengming and Qiu Ying (omitted in this discussion). Painters of the time perfected the bird’s eye view of mountain hideouts amidst dense foliage, with wall-enclosed complexes with manor houses and courtyards, all spied from above.

This fashion is seen in scrolls depicting mountain manors, courtyards bounded by moat and walls or fence, under the names of Li Sixun, Wang Wei or Li Gonglin. Mountain villa scenes and other hermitages all affording perfect visibility into the shenyuan 深遠deep- space interiors. This bird’s eye perspective also afforded many scenes of scholars or monks socializing or contemplating in outdoor settings that require the viewer to search through masses of woodland foliage before these are ‘discovered’, increasing the pleasure of viewing in this anecdotal ambience. This penchant echoes the Baroque fascination with skillfully crafted tiny drawers within drawers, all carved like gorgeous hollow ivory spheres within each other so highly prized at the time.



王翬之後的典型畫家如唐岱(1673-1752+) 仿范寬山水, 孫祜 (或祐, 約1750年代) 關山行旅圖,黃鼎 (1650~60-1730)群峰雪霽軸(1729)都有個別的風格偏好,但仍保有著上述基本的統一原則。在描繪密林中被牆垣包圍的住宅時,常相當技巧性地將視點提高以便清晰地看到藏在林木、山岳間的景物。這種隱居的意象和透視技巧的普遍化,由類似主人公之別墅如同「圓明園」圖等系列的繪畫及銅版圖畫之興起,促進了古人隱居之山莊畫類─如唐人王維的「輞川圖」,盧鴻的「草堂」,宋人李公麟的「山莊」─等主題的發展及作偽的能力和意圖。我們也可以在數不清以明朝大畫家文徵明或仇英命名的手卷中,像近距離觀察般,看見美麗典雅的人物在遠方涼亭、庭園或屋內活動的清晰景象(在本文略)。當時畫家都能完美地表現鳥瞰的視角,俯瞰隱蔽於繁密簇葉間,有籬笆、土牆環繞的莊園宅第與庭院。


形態特徵分析 New Features in Morphology: Interrelationships Rationalised

For the art historian, motifs and morphology are different aspects of investigation. Similar motifs appear in Chinese painting throughout its history: mountains, streams, trees, people and buildings. How these forms or motifs relate to each other – constitutes the morphological study that has proven unrivalled in dating art works, especially Chinese paintings that more than any other society tend to ‘follow the ancients’ and, as we see here, have in each age encouraged the major industry of forgery-production. Here we line up four sections of horizontal prints comprising landscape and figures.

For Song period landscape composition. structure and morphology, the Korean Mizangquan carved in the late tenth century (高麗成宗十年 991 CE) sutra Bizangquan 祕藏詮 – Secondc row left) together with the Liao dynasty sutra illustration 《遼藏/契丹藏》遼重熙七年(北宋景佑五年1038 CE, right, second row) provide ideally illustrate mediaeval perception that characterise structure and morphology of the early late10th-11th-century on the one hand, and those of the eighteenth century (below) on the other. The Korean and Liao works show a subjective approach to spatial extension into the background that has continued from Tang practice, where mountains even when rather tall, are depicted as viewer from the foreground, and especially in the Liao work, emphasis on ‘principal subjects’ makes them ‘larger than life’ – as here in the foreground worshippers standing, rather outsized, in the ‘rough’ waters.

In contrast, the woodcut from the Sackler Collection from the Bizangquan allegedly from a block dated to 1108 ( far right) 傳1108年木刻佛經插圖《秘藏詮》 , shows eighteenth century perception in its largely rational scale, where recession into depth is logical and consistent, and where mountains as they recede toward the farthest background are seen from a high vantage point and gradually diminishing in size along the way – but always pellucid even in the farthest distance, like the two copper engravings of the 1760s depicting Hongli’s martial exploits. In Qing rendering, although man-made structures are emphasised, as the thatched huts in the Bizangquan illustration, or the fortified stone structures in Hongli’s battlegrounds, the relationship of buildings to their contexts are clearly far more ‘rational’.

Unlike Song morphology, motifs become decorative in the eighteenth, and are distributed throughout the painting surface with the artistic intention to increase visual pleasure with carpet-like decorative spacing, regardless of subject matter. This is true of Buddhist as well as martial images, it would seem, and characterise this age.

In brushwork, major changes characterise the eighteenth century. Outlines become refined, and modelling of rocky surfaces with their hard, jagged texture is done in equally ‘refined’ and uniform linearity.

In contrast to the three Qing works, ‘brushwork’ even in the carved block of the Liao reflects painting of the time and the carved ‘strokes’ are more ‘realistically’ rendered, much as such rough surfaces were done in the eighth-century. Note the changing width of the strokes in the foreground wave curls, the mixed angular protrusions that model the central rocky mountain both along its vertical plane, and built up in front of it and to its right to suggest craggy ledges. These have entirely disappeared in the Qing Sutra example where instead a series of L- or 4-shaped lines represent the stony ledge beneath the three-story building between the two other thatched structures. (In other examples of craggy rocks we shall see elsewhere, they are ‘refined’ to become meaningless L-shaped gestures. The disappearance of the axe stroke, the avoidance(?) of visual references to rough surfaces suggest that perhaps Qing Court aesthetics found them harsh or ‘unsightly’ remnants from the downgraded ‘Northern School’ Tradition?)

形態特徵分析: 形式減化、係組化、繁複化
New Features in Morphology: Reduction, Schematisation and Proliferation



In eighteenth century painting, forms are reduced in type and simplified in structure. Rather than empirically-based texture modelling cunfa [皴法」for volume and surface roughage, artists now assume viewer-familiarity with subtleties of Chinese landscape painting. Tis can be seen (moving right from top left) in a mid-Qing handscroll for the Qianlong emperor describing aboriginal life in Taiwan, in a Hongli (Qianlong) battle copper engraving, in a snow landscape ascribed to Ming dynasty Master Wen Zhengming, and (below) in a Festivities scroll ascribed to 17th century painter Wu Bin, to Yuan master Qian Xuan, (further down), to Sui dynasty master Zhen Ziqian, yet another Qian Xuan handscroll, and Northern Song master Li Gonglin. In a dramatic move toward the decorative and evocative, and in keeping with Baroque tendencies prevailing in Palace objects like Europe-introduced clocks, Chinese painted ceramics, metals, lacquerware and textiles as well as painting also moves toward dramatic reduction and symmetrical arrangement of motif-types achieving in all a pleasing, harmonious, balanced and decorative effect. Not surprisingly, this is accompanied with a dramatic reduction in brushwork types, affecting the rendering of motifs which as a result become ‘cloned’.

A good example of this development are the symmetrical triangles that now appear as mountain forms. They indicate a new tendency toward brushwork linearity, here displayed in repeated echelons, as in the eighteenth-century anonymous work depicting Aboriginal life in Taiwan and the copper engraving of one of Hongli’s battles. The device is deployed with special effectiveness in coloured decorative painting – affecting most of all the ‘ancient’ works in the ‘Tang’ or fugu 復古 mode. And this is most apparent in forgeries done in blue-and-green paintings with fine-lined contours bearing ancient authorships like Qian Xuan ( b.1235, jinshi 進士1260-64) here seen in two spurious but attractive examples: Wang Xizhi Admiring Geese, and Homecoming from Office 傳錢選 歸去來圖卷). We see this practiced also in a landscape scroll ascribed to Wang Shen (ca. 1048 – ca. 1103) Yingshantu 傳王詵 瀛山圖, and in a lovely work ascribed to Zhan Ziqian (c.591-618), Spring Outing 傳展子虔 春遊圖 , and in an attractive album ascribed to Ming master Wu Bin 吳彬 (fl. 1568-1627) called Annual Festivities: Escaping Summer Heat 傳吳彬 歲華紀勝圖冊- 避暑. All the spurious works, like genuine works of the Qing, are founded on easily repeated simple formulae that when grouped in echelons produce a pleasing harmonious effect, without structural complications to tire the weary imperial eye.

Another hallmark is the high-angled grand perspective that takes in whole temple compounds, hermitages or villas, spread wide amidst mountains. The brushwork of the contour outlines, although on the whole even and unchanging in width, do repeat themselves in a sensuous manner displaying elegant ‘gestures’ 「姿態」in the execution of a single attenuated draw. This subtle tendency reveals a self-conscious self-display that had resulted perhaps from the overwhelming adoration of Yuan literati brushwork by Ming painters in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. We see this even in the engravings and prints, where the loss of descriptive function of contour lines are clearly evident. A good contrast of this shift in artistic intention is seen in the two Buddhist illustrations, one found in a Liao (980-1012) site, the other in the Fogg Museum purporting an improbable Song date that we have just seen.

Structure and morphology of the new ‘antiques’ tally with Court productions of the time. In effect we may consider the possibility that the blue-and-green style we have regarded as the artistic pinnacle of the Sui-Tang period, may in fact not have emerged till a millennium later. That is, we may posit that the Qing painting industry literally ‘invented’ this Sui-Tang style, based on glimpses of that style as it had been ‘refined’ over the centuries, in particular the in the late-Ming echoes of Wen Zhengming attributions in myriad elegant garden settings and courtly gatherings.

Highlighted in this selection is the regularised, virtually even spacing of the outlines. Morphological significance is given, not to the volume of each mountain, but to the elegant parallel brushwork in attenuated, languid lines that echo each other across gentle stretches of pale colours. That is, a subtly expressive, almost emotive quality in decorative brushwork has become the artistic intention. In such outlines they are further adorned with over-sized black ‘moss dots’ 苔點 that, in the eighteenth century, are often even further embellished with a bright mineral green centre.

Now blue-green mountain ranges are pacified, submissive, decorous like handmaidens. They are not distant, impenetrable, offering difficulties as did their Tang and Song forebears, as in this eighth-century Dunhuang image. The rolling hills do not form regimented symmetrical echelons, the artistic intention is to indicate distances between mountains by means of the ochre shading beneath each, separating it from the one in front. Trees, ornamental as they are for an expression of springtime, are not disposed at equidistant points as in the Yuanmingyuan engraving or the forged antique paintings. Technical stress is not on linear brushwork, but on the shading that differs from range to range for a sense of volume, and distance. The same general function and purpose continue in Japan into the thirteenth century, in a handscroll depicting the life of Monk Honen where the layers, albeit decorative, are built up of repeated applications of wash, graduating in tonal intensity for descriptive purposes. Not until the Qing do outlines become so obvious, so self-conscious and ‘alluring’.

The same brushwork-and-surface relation prevails on silk or paper. Except for monochrome works, colours in general are softly brushed onto clean surfaces that permit a characteristic transparency. Tonal shifts are typically gradual and colouring covers the entire surface, as in oil painting. Brushwork is notable for its elegant and elegiac movements that repeat themselves as do the motifs, in characteristic linear series or motif clusters. This elegant courtly manner was transferred to antique green-and-blue style painting that, on the one hand evolved from (genuine) narrative painting of the late Ming where compositions increasingly resembled ‘book illustrations’, expertly showing interior details, in concert with the rising popular genre of the novel and romance. On the other hand, however, it developed an ‘antique’ style then much in demand, and perfectly suited the ambience of the times as we see in the forged antiques selected here ascribed to legendary Masters of the Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties. For the more ancient works, the choice and disposition of motifs necessarily underwent modification for an effect of distance and mystery to eighteenth-century eyes, albeit leaving telltale residues of current fashion.

梧桐雨 2007.11.04

Always intrigued by innovative cooperative new productions this reviewer eagerly accepts invitations from friends to see new productions like 梧桐雨, 快雪時晴, 王心心’s-霓裳羽衣. But first of all, is 梧桐雨 worth it? Absolutely YES!


Can 梧桐雨 be improved? Well, also YES! in several ways.

First though, top marks for the staging, the costumes and the lighting! A!

The innovative orchestration incorporating Oriental instruments was SUPERB! It is successful and marvellous. Double A! (One might add that the reedy 笙and嗩吶 – especially for the Hu- ethnic dancing passage – was very spicy!)

Second, the acting (that is, the directing) for the singers (under the condition of singing in Western opera style) B – B+

The story, including a visit to the Moon and a sort of cathartic ending – makes TOP opera material – A+

The lyrics: slightly mixed and forced, lacking in consistency – B

The singing was thankless: singers with excellent voices and training, singing difficult passages… But as it was they could not realize what they can do with their skills – because the opportunity for dramatic, moving, heart-rending expression was not in the music! And that is due, methinks, to the lack of harmonic foundations. Relying merely on modern serial music does not make for aural drama.

I may have heard a wisp of kunqu 崑曲 here and there – but don’t remember where. Thus, one could say its inclusion failed to elicit the desired effect of surprise or nostalgia.

I do remember being delighted – and relieved (sic) – upon hearing beiguan 北管in the gezaixi 歌仔戲passages. I was not alone. Each time the poet Li Bo came on stage the theatre was charged with excitement and the audience came back to life.

Unfortunately even here, the beautiful orchestration was not in support of the beiguan drift but rather was forcing its own modern mode through it – This was harmful to the overall effect.

This music has proven that it is eminently possible – and marvelous – to interweave non-western passages into “modern classical” music. After all, modern music, especially this one being often atonal – has no roots and no gravity. This is at the same time a defect in the overall concept. And here I feel strongly that: Love or other passion – of a romantic kind as in the Song of Everlasting Sorrow 長恨歌 variety – if not delivered in traditional Chinese operatic strains (or ban 板) which have long been already identified with certain emotions, – should be written in some sort of tonal, music with a harmonic foundation – music with the potential of having dramatic dissonances and clearly harmonic resolutions (Arvo Pärt is a great example.) Only this way can an audience feel the dramatic tensions one expects to experience in a passion of such magnitude as that between the emperor Tang Minghuang and his ill-fated consort Yang guifei. Setting the music in a cold, intellectual modern music that in itself has no built-in consonance and dissonance will lack root and base; and the listener does not feel departures and returns to tranquility in the music material itself. And that was a basic flaw in the new opera, the Firmiana Tree, to my mind.

How wonderful to have had real kunqu 崑曲(anachronistic it would be, though), even real Peking opera as well as Taiwanese (perfectly wonderful to bring out Tang rhyme schemes) beiguan 北管and go’ahi 歌仔戲in modern music!! And how very rich! But one needn’t virtually cancel them out with grating modernistic dissonances that run counter to the Li Bo singing, as if to be insisting “don’t forget ladies and gents we are doing 21st century modern music here!”

The Central Asian passages for the dance was marvelous and pure. I had been several times in Tashkent, and once at a local wedding heard them perform traditional music from ancient sites: Ferghana (where Zhang Qian 張騫found horses for Han Wudi漢武帝), Khorasmia and other parts, still enticing, playing instruments like(ly the progenitors of) the erhu, the clapper, as well as a hollow reeded instrument.

The Firmiana Tree program notes tell us that sections from Japanese Gagaku 雅樂and from Dunhuang music had been incorporated : I wish these could have been more obvious. I was so very keen to hear strains from these ancient times but left the theatre rather disappointed.

Is this the first time such daring combinations had been attempted? It is the first time I am going to theatres in Taipei with such frequency now that I have moved up here. As you know all these past years I’ve been in Xinzhu and Tainan and have remained not at all au courant with the Taipei cultural scene.

I am deeply impressed by the possibility such innovative work offers, and terribly excited it has started. (BTW There is no need for a barbarian – An Lushan – to sing in German, full of such difficult, closed sounds. If anything foreign, he might sing in east-Persian – from Sogdiana – the modern Uzbekistan – or, even Korean, Mongolian or Japanese – one of the Altaic languages related to the ancient Turkic family of An Lushan’s tribe?)

Sunlight After Quick Snow 快雪時晴

This production to my mind was much more successful in music and as a stage event. Although the music was not so innovative – it served perfectly to support the dramatic story! Here is where composer and dramatists should cooperate.

Here the dramaturgy wins high marks. Travelling through time can dramatically highlight certain aspects – and here in this work we see the feminine hand behind it – the Mother Eternal and her (so far still futile) opposition to wars and killings, epoch after epoch.

The scenery with the revolving stage, and calligraphy specimens so marvelously enlarged, were all plusses.

My greatest complaint comes again to the music – where the composer for some reason closes certain phrases on what in diatonic scale harmony would be a tonic triad, turning an otherwise Chinese polyphonic phrase into a Western do-mi-sol harmony block. This is like throwing a lump of vanilla ice cream into a cup of fresh hot jasmine tea. Incongruous and somewhat shocking, such a change in basic aural structure or musical modes serves only to stop the original flow and to take the audience out into the cold.

This same syndrome surfaced the last two nights at the “Mulian Saves His Mother (from Hell)” 泉州打城戲《木連救母》 performed by the visiting folk opera troupe from Quanzhou, where a silly ‘cello line emerged beneath the Chinese erhu and sanxian and cymbal music, making curious, unfitting do- mi- sols- in an accompaniment reminiscent of Renaissance or Baroque cembalo-and-continuo plucking the dominant and tonic up and down, sometimes running an arpeggio. This is a terrible mistake, and often caused the ending of lilting, melodic Chinese phrases to come bang up against a chunky “chord”, (with often the baseline resting on the lower third!!)

It is patently clear that Chinese opera phrases (of any style, Nanguan to Peking Opera) all end as “trailing, floating energy” that continue into the silences, whereas a triad chord is an abrupt cesura to that subtle movement, a STOP sign that blocks further breathing.

That baseline truly was irritating throughout, and to me proved conclusively that Chinese theatre music does not need the base support that has been the solid foundation to Western music. (The reason I think, is that Western music since becoming harmonic with the Renaissance, used in their melodies notes that are overtones to their given base strings. Thus the base line fortifies the tonality and the modality. But this is not the case in Chinese music and composers or musicians should not make this basic confusion!!)

But for Chinese Peking opera music to be supported with a Western symphonic orchestra, I think, can be quite acceptable and, as long as the music “behaves,” in not going contrary to the style, the orchestra may help Western audiences to get used to the relative naïveté and simplicity (i.e. the lack of harmonic substance) of Chinese music, as well as its high-pitched gut- and guttural vocal environment.

The addition of the Chinese cymbals and wooden clappers used traditionally to indicate and/or start off certain gestures, movements or emotions, turned out in this orchestra to be simply marvelous! They added so much richness and historic content to this modern blend!

The Story Line of Sunlight After Quick Snow: the pointed stress on the fugitive from civil warfare fleeing to “the south” was moving, and especially poignant to all the Chinese in the audience who are not native to Taiwan. Although here for already fifty years, they and their children are still called waishengren 外省人 and many have in recent years suffered sometimes brutal slings and arrows of DPP provincialism and parochialism. The dramatic import and the music combined in this work struck home, and many in the audience wept.

Lastly, 霓裳羽衣 proved a strange disappointment in the first part. The music and the musicianship of Wang Xinxin 王心心 were, as usual, unique and superlative. But like the disruptive ‘cello accompaniment in the Quanzhou folk opera “Mulian Saves His Mother (from Hell)”, the vocal centerpiece of Wang’s performance was disturbed and disrupted by the addition of a dumb-play where Tang Minghuang’s consort Yang guifei sits at her boudoir primping herself, attended by slow-motion ladies-in-waiting. To be sure, Wang’s lyrics describe the Lady Yang getting ready for her meeting with the emperor, the details of her garments etc. – but there was no need for the stage to be set in motion with that sort of meaningless pantomiming of the lyrics.

Wang Xinxin herself has a huge presence. She alone can fill the whole stage and far beyond, and her singing is enough to keep the audience entranced throughout. The superfluous mime-passages proved to serve as competition to the music, and caused the audience much distraction as they sought to get a better view of the actors, to see the details of their dress and hairdo – and thus lose the whole-hearted concentration on the music that should have been the sole object of attention. Wang’s music and her musicianship are both subtle and yet penetrating, and should be absorbed with one’s whole being down to one’s breathing.

The second part involved singing on the part of both Tang Minghuang and Yang guifei, in a lovely sequence where the couple wrote music and instructed court musicians in the performance of this their collaborative opus, and culminated in a very charming rendition of the new instrumental piece that ended the evening on a very positive note.

It looks from these exciting experimentations that our traditional arts have every chance of surviving into the future. The above examples of Taiwan’s musicians and dramatists today will go far in bridging the gulf from our forebears to our space-age descendants. Care must be taken however, when integrating traditional music with Western music, to preserve the basic aspects, or essential qualities of Chinese music whenever it may be invoked, and never to make the mistake of dressing it in a harmonic frame. Then we have the blessing of the ancient Chinese language (usually displayed with flash-cards on both sides of the stage). This is full of nuances and virtually any phrase can evoke even more ancient references and so, with this multi-layered linguistic base, Chinese musical theatre will certainly have a most brilliant future.




上雲藝術中心2008.12.27 – 2009.03.15


宇宙能量同源 萬物本為一體
成了彼此 就有了愛與所愛


灌溉了半睡半驚醒的 夜山
紅火泥湯 望大海流著 涼著

或浮雲腫腫 灰白的蒸汽
慢慢地往山頂飄著 途中忽然
被山頂吸引住了 往下沈降
緊緊地撫抱著樹木 花草 混亂為一

木炭煙的墨 草本的紙
筆沾飽了濃墨 沾飽了清水
緊緊地擁抱著 撫擦著各種角落作愛
一層再一層的墨吻 黑上焦 焦上漆
混亂中 原來細細的裂縫 扯開了
擴大了 吼轟著
露出了心裡最深處 那無限 永恆的白 無底的傷痕



Musing Planet: Li Ancheng Inkwash Painting Exhibition

Soaring Cloud Art Center 2008.12.27 – 2009.03.15
7 Fl, 11 Dayong Road, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung

by Joan Stanley-Baker (28 Dec. 2009)

Universal energy informs all beings and all things
Once I and Thou merge, Love and life are born

Love radiates all of the lover
onto the beloved
losing its self
as the beloved is transformed
into new life absorbing the lover

like magma roiling from the bowels of the earth
spewing up roaring flowers of fire
pouring down over the night hill, half asleep half startled
incandescent flushing lava rushing seaward red cooling
scribing a new landscape of black rocks and pumice stones

or white clouds swollen in their passage
floating gently toward the peak and abruptly
caught by the mountain’s cavernous fire descend
embracing the trees their branches and leaves
rocks and grasses all mixed into one
never again to be parted
and so as wafting clouds disappear
the new mountain top
breathes deep with black and white sparkles

and so in his painting, Li Ancheng
pours himself entirely into brush ink water and paper
with ink of charcoal, paper of fibres
bamboo brush large and small of various hairs
each one of them drunk on clear fresh water

Ancheng grips the brush
love grips Ancheng
as the universe grips love
the brushtip bursts with dark ink, the seeping water
plunging down into the half sleeping half startled paper
passionately embracing, caressing various zones in wordless love
spewing bursts of ink flowers into the skies
layer on layer of ink kissing jet black on black,
when suddenly
out of chaos the thin white seam bursts
stretching growing
howling anguish
from the depth of the heart
freeing the infinite scar
of eternal white

releasing agony that has no words
a life force without bounds






國立台南藝術學院 10.25-~26





  但是許多文獻是統治者基於自我膨脹、自我永恒化的心態和目的,命令代書在青銅、竹片或羊皮上撰寫而成的,其中常出現他們如何光榮地毀滅了他人的片面記載,導致被壓迫、被統治的無辜大衆都如羔羊般地認為那些記載就是他們最關心的「人民史」。數百代以來史學家所撰寫的「歷史紀錄」,幾乎都是從舊「統治者觀念」的文獻中衍生而出的新統治者觀念的文獻。那些文獻却不曾探討人民所關注的事情在時空中如何衍變。[1] 這種紀錄者可能足不出戶─亦即從來未在現場進行過搜尋、檢視各種原始史遺、出土文物與相關資料,而僅僅以史料為第一線索。



  我們可以參考不同時代的歐洲、甚至於希臘作者在撰寫關於銅器時代的克里特島(Crete)之「迷諾」(Minos)王朝文化所傳達的不同訊息,在看此等訊息與二十世紀英國考古對所挖掘出來的時在的情況。再來檢驗依賴著文獻而詮釋出土文物,這種「學術方法」之不妥。來看最近的訊息,參考大英辭典Encyclopaedia Britannica, 讀者會發現此迷諾王是被描寫為Knossos城堡的殘酷霸王。 他

─ 與歐洲神牛Europa交,生了人面牛身之猛獸Minotaur
─ 於是命雅典建築師 Daedalus及其兒子 Icarus 為這猛獸蓋造一個迷宮Labyrinth
─ 又強迫雅典市每九年送貢給此猛獸少男少女各七位
─ 後來因為雅典王子Theseus 前往克諾蒐斯(Knossos),殺死了猛獸、救回了雅典市的自主權


─ 迷諾為克諾蒐斯(Knossos)市一位攻擊雅典的霸王,Daedalus子Icarus紀元前4世紀(圖源:網路)
─ 古代(即神話時代的)希臘王Theseus 之敵
─ 也就是說就迷諾王是希臘人之敵
─ 如同當代(紀元前5世紀)波斯之霸君Darius 於紀元前488 及 480年進行海攻雅典之戰
─ 迷諾王曾掌握著海洋上的霸權 (thalassocracy) (如同當代波斯王所欲)

  在這個時候,此傳說普遍畫成神話了,藝術品也被製造出來,如同羅馬時代對雅典建築師 Daedalus與其而兒子Icarus的「肖像」。


  這兩千多年,全盤依賴文獻的人都對克里特島迷諾王有極壞的印象與成見。在廿世紀初1900年,當英國探險家Arthur Evans挖掘到了克里特島東北部的克諾蒐斯(Knossos)市遺址時,它們發現的證據都是一個極溫和、極度平等的社會:沒有任何如同當代商朝華人或同時鄰近埃及王朝那種大規模的殉葬墓,沒有都市的圍牆,沒有大量的軍器,也根本沒有如同迷宮labyrinth的設施。但因為過渡依賴文獻的學術界,堅持要把此文化歸納到它們所讀到又相信的「暴君、慘酷」印象裡,英國考古學家們多數跟著這位帝國主義時代活躍的Evans,至今還稱著Knossos遺址所反射的文化為Minoan即(暴君、迷宮的)迷諾王朝時代。

  諷刺的是,考古出土文物完全推反了希臘古典時代(紀元前5~4世紀)以來錯誤文獻的誤導:Knossos之宮神殿及同文化的Santorini (Akrotiri)島上的Thera遺址裡的若干大規模宮神殿類所發現的壁畫都充滿著歌頌大自然的圖案,清楚地實現了一個驚人的、世界文化史裡獨一無二的最高等的文明證據:指出一個極有美感、愛自然、有群眾進行儀式與神靈溝通的社會,一個和平、平等、富有、又尊重所有生物(不論它們多麼的普通)的文化與社會機制。但是目前歷史還沒有改正波斯─希海戰時代Thucydides為激動民眾的抗爭心而造出的假「歷史」。



- 克里特島曾為一個公正與美麗的海島
- 人口極高
- 有九個大都市
- 用多種不同的語言
- 有一個偉大之城市 Knossos
- 迷諾王是祖神Zeus之子
- 每九年與父Zeus會議審定公正的政策 [2]   

〔圖〕迷諾文化象牙雕? – 兩愛人(筆者拍照於Heraklion博物館)


〔圖〕迷諾時代海豚母題陶容器 筆者拍作於雅典國立考古博物館
〔圖〕迷諾時代雙蜂金佩 (筆者拍照於Heraklion博物館)



  在此我們也可以提出藝術史學者與純歷史學者之不同。因為前者(應)依靠實物證據來做分析來形容某一個時代、地區或人物,他們的「故事」很可能與後者只依靠「文獻」而研究出來的「史事」有差異。這是因為藝術史學者能從容器的造型和裝飾對其時代、社會、人情都會找出一些線索。我們只要比較迷諾時代和商朝的容器, 就可以看到前者的繪圖完全配配合了陶器的外型的事實,它左右不對稱、繪圖自由,卻達到整個構圖的內在平衡,所表達的氣氛是自在、和平與善良。 後者不然:把器型分成上下四層,各以不同的母題來布置,圖面分成重要、次要、邊界等不同價值的層次,又以嚴謹的左右對稱、可充滿威脅性的饕餮來呈現物主的權威,明顯地反射著一個不平等、多階級層次的暴君機制,與銅器時代克里特島的開朗文明截然不同。

  即使一百年前大英帝國的考古家堅持他們挖掘的是迷宮暴君的宮殿,從以上的實物來看的話,很多現代考古學者很難應證大英辭典Encyclopaedia Britannica典或歷史家Thucydides「文獻」中所埋伏的謠言。但如果極小心地從河馬名子下經過數百年編輯者增減後的Illiad 與Odyssey去篩選出可能與真實有關的句子, 又大量地檢驗發掘的實物,我們還可以獲得點滴的訊索。這也是為什麼在中國文獻的世界,版本學是那麼一個不可忽略的大門檻!


  以上的例子是「大騙子」冰山的極小顛峰而已。各種「歷史」記載,尤其關於聖人的傳記,(如同耶穌或佛陀之生平歷史)都是為後來執政者的方便或需求而完全製造出來的。可惜的是:幾千年的各種信者都一代一代地位這些偽造歷史犧牲了無數的生命。嗚呼哀哉!在此我強力建議年輕學者視「古代文獻」如同佈雷區,搖及小心地進行「應證」。 最好先檢驗實物,加上不同的比較以便獲得直接的訊息,進而能一步一步地對拿實物、其實帶風格、習俗等來建構一個較可靠的假設或推論。如果我一代一代繼續重複(某時代的)古人所製造出的謠言或更變的「歷史」,我們到今天還相信謠言而真史則永遠埋在「假作」之下。的確,至今還有許多人相信迷諾王及其王朝曾是一個如同埃及、兩河或商朝那種暴君制度。





  宇宙包括人類心靈現像是無限的,活的,它會引起我們「體驗性的感知」(Φαινομαι,phenomenon)。文字則是有限,無生命,不啟發經驗的。我們必須再透過思考和概念來獲得「頭腦性的瞭解」(Νουμενο, noumenon)。二者之差異是絕對的。

  人類當經驗生命中最密切─進入永恒無限領域─的精神現象時,不用思考模式,而透過以無形的直感。如同萬物,都用各自的感官去體會宇宙共用的「全通」震動,而由直接體會、立刻反應的自然能量來表現與傳達形而上、只能從感官出發幷只能由感官吸收的「一手經驗」(primary experience)。換句話說,心靈世界無侷限的感受是不能用文字來傳達的。

  文字能充分地叙述二手、三手「概念」,但不能取代一手「體會」與一手「經驗」。因此心靈的感通經驗都以直接的方式來表達:音樂、舞蹈、繪畫和塑形的「左腦」世界所形成的「無言詩」。 [3] 直接啟動聽覺、視覺、感覺來體會啟發共同感知的一手心靈經驗。這些元素被文明社會歸納成「宗教」與「藝術」,也就是本次研討會所立基的考古學與藝術史之所在。考古出土墓葬品與公私收藏中的傳世品既是我們研究的對象,同時也是精神世界與自然現象的交流經驗幷且最形而上却最具體的精神表現。







[1]即使我們承認,《史記》到今天的國家白皮書或媒體報導─那些被撰寫、被發行、上檔的歷史著作─幾乎全部代表統治者的看法與記憶。也就是說,世界上大部分名為「某國歷史」的著作,充其量只是「占某國人民極小比例的少數統治階層」之紀錄。我們不知道紀錄者所記錄的內容是否都言之有據,或是在仔細研究、探討之後才忠實地記錄下來。因此,完全基於文獻資料的歷史著作未必能夠名實相符。司馬遷雖然為後世讀者留下了他那本驚人的偉大啓蒙之作(seminal work)《史記》,然而它的內容主要是《古今諸家奪權記錄》,因此顯非華夏廣大人民的共同歷史。然而因為司馬氏書名之誤導,以致兩千年來華夏民族史一直無法擺脫「從各代霸主的角度詮釋一切」的迷思。

[2] “There is a fair and fruitful island in mid-ocean called Crete; it is thickly peopled and there are nine cities in it: the people speak many different languages which overlap one another, for there are Achaeans, brave Eteocretans, Dorians of three-fold race, and noble Pelasgi. There is a great town there, Cnossus, where Minos reigned who every nine years had a conference with Jove himself.” Homer (紀元前8世紀),The Odyssey, Book XIX, trans. Samuel Butler. 註:英譯者還是用時代較近羅馬人的拉丁文稱呼Jove,而與原來希臘文的名字Zeus已表現(太長的文化)距離。

[3] 唯一能表達宇宙心靈經驗幷具有絕對、永恒價值的人造符號,只有數學與音樂符號。它們在二度空間「寫出」宇宙的N度空間之無限能量及其無限的運作,因此直接蘊含絕對、不走樣也不會被誤解的「全通」價值。