“Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture (81 pieces)” is an important Book Project disseminated by Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The setting of “Disseminating Key Concepts in Chinese Thoughts and Culture Project” aims to organize key concepts which can reflect the features of Chinese classical culture and the way of national thinking, and can perform Chinese core values, explain and translate objectively and accurately in concise language which is easy to exchange verbally. By this way, chinese voice and stories will be disseminated in international exchanges, that the condition and history of China will be known better by people in the world.
The specialists committee of the project consist of international well-known specialists and scholars. Senior adviser and Art Review Commission of America Arts Research Institute (AARI), Mr. Yu Wentao took part in the review for the final English version. With the authorization, AARI is going to publish the 81 pieces of Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture here.
Xu refers to a state of the cosmos or a state of mind. Basically, it has two different meanings. The first refers to the origin of the universe, indicating that everything originates from xu. Different ancient thinkers have different interpretations of this notion: Some take xu as being devoid of anything; others believe it is the state of existence of qi(气). Because qi is invisible and formless, it is said to be empty, but not a vacuum totally devoid of anything. The second meaning of xu refers to a state of mind that is peaceful, not preoccupied or simply free of any preconceptions.
Xu is formless; it is the original state of qi. (Zhang Zai: Enlightenment Through Confucian Teachings)
Dao gathers and presents itself in an unoccupied and peaceful mind; being unoccupied means the pure state of the mind. (Zhuangzi)