To become a sage-king in Huainanzi
Sou, Daniel Sungbin
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This paper explains the method for becoming a sage-king in Huainanzi, which is the main purpose of the text according to its editor, King Liu An. The authors of Huainanzi present two methods of self-cultivation: (a) nourishing the physical body by breath-cultivation and stretching techniques and (b) cultivating the heart-mind, which leads one to shenming, spiritual brightness, a state in which one’s psychological state is identical to the Dao. Along with self-cultivation, non-action or non-government is also required. As the process of inner cultivation aligns oneself with the Dao, non-action or non-government emulates the Dao. Yin, adaptability, is the main method for the latter and is practiced based on self-cultivation. According to Huainanzi, one must achieve both to become the ideal leader.