From Human-Spirit Resonance to Correlative Modes: The Shaping of Chinese Correlative Thinking Jinhua Jia


From the Shang-Zhou period to the Han dynasty, the ritual of human-spirit resonance, a major exercise of the ancient Chinese wu-shamanistic tradition with a strong emotional component, had evolved into various modes of resonance and correlation. Together these correlative modes explain the social, political, ethical, medical, psychological, aesthetic, and cosmological processes. Classical Chinese thinkers used the term gan 感or resonance to connote the motivating and connecting force for correlation, interaction, and interpenetration in a world of ever-changing relations. This motivating and connecting force is based on human emotional energy and enhanced with the ethical and rational strength of humanity and the functioning power of a correlative, symbiotic, and harmonious cosmos.