The Chinese Gate: A Unique Void for Inner Transformation.

Submitted by James Miller on Wed, 09/11/2013 - 16:57
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TitleThe Chinese Gate: A Unique Void for Inner Transformation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsDOR, G. A. L. I. A.
JournalJournal of Daoist Studies
Pagination1 - 28
Date Published2013/02//
ISBN Number19415516
KeywordsARCHITECTURE -- Taoist influences, BUDDHIST art & symbolism, China, CHINESE architecture, CHINESE language, Meditation, SYMBOLISM in architecture, TAOIST art & symbolism

The gate, a conspicuous element in the Chinese architectural landscape, appears as the character men ... in ancient Daoist philosophers as well as in later religious Daoist and Buddhist texts, works on Chinese medicine, and more. Its many, varied occurrences notwithstanding, this paper focuses on the symbolic meaning and significance of the gate in the first chapter of the Daode jing and its medieval expansions in combination with an analysis of the gate's role in architecture. Gates in architecture differ according to structural type, and their symbolic meanings vary accordingly. Nevertheless, they all constitute a powerful locus that conveys diverse messages and connects two different realms -- inside and outside. I suggest taking the Chinese gate as a significant, multi-layered symbol that constitutes a "potentiality gap," in which a rite of passage takes place. It also offers a unique opportunity for any human being to take a quantum-leap of the mind and internal transformation. Earthly and textual gates can be named and discussed in ordinary language, yet they carry the potential of opening to the way to the world of absolute truth (i.e., take part in the creation of Dao), which cannot be named or talked about. Special emphasize will be given to one specific type of 'transformative gate', namely, texts (Or books). [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]Copyright of Journal of Daoist Studies is the property of Three Pines Press and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)