;The thesis focused on the Dingjing thought in Four Classics of the Yellow Emperor to probe into the spiritual cultivation skill of Huang-Lao Daoist School. It is exactly as Ying-Shih Yu once said, ancient Chinese philosophers had an extremely noticeable phenomenon: the thoughts of different schools emphasized spiritual cultivation, and they developed an approach to “cultivating one′s moral character” to build their distinctive thoughts about “Dao.” Among the thoughts of all schools, one was specially valued by the academic circles for the past few years, especially a great number of ancient books copied on silk unearthed from Mawangdui Tomb in 1973, making research into the thought of Huang-Lao Daoist School become popular. The thought of Huang-Lao Daoist School contended that cultivating one′s moral character was the same as administering a country. In other words, one who could cultivate his moral character was able to administer his country. The thesis is presented with two contexts of thought: the first one is to make a general observation of Huang-Lao Daoist School′s viewpoint for “Dao;” the second one is to crosscut to match the methods of “cultivating one′s moral character” proposed by each school with their argumentation on “Dao.” By viewing this from two different angles, the spiritual cultivation skill of Huang-Lao Daoist School is thus presented. The thesis has been divided into six chapters, and the content and outlines are as follows. In Chapter One, “Introduction” illustrates the research motivation, objectives, methods and steps and outlines the research results of related issues over the years. In Chapter Two, “Fundamental Questions of Four Classics of the Yellow Emperor Copied on Silk” first discusses the publication of Four Classics of the Yellow Emperor which is currently regarded as the earliest publication of the Huang-Lao School, but each sect held different views about the era of its publication. Upon textual research by scholars, there were roughly three stands: prior to mid Warring States Period, mid Warring States Period and at the end of Warring States Period. However, whether the book was published during the early, middle or late Warring States Period, it is certain that the book was published during the Warring States Period. Additionally, the author investigated the possible locations of the publication and made an integral introduction to Jixia Academy where numerous talents gathered at that time.
In Chapter Three, “Thought Inheritance of Four Classics of the Yellow Emperor Copied on Silk” probes into the theory that could possibly construct the perspective on spiritual cultivation of Four Classics of the Yellow Emperor. It found that the philosophical thought of Laozi could be seen everywhere in the book. Additionally, the number of quotes from Laozi showed that Four Classics of the Yellow Emperor was profoundly influenced by the thought of Laozi. Therefore, the chapter begins with the issue of managing desires in Laozi and proposes innate physiological needs. However, Laozi persisted in creation which deteriorated to harm the spirit that later turned into a battlefield of the self. Additionally, in the process of the research, the author found that Wenzi had a significant influence on Four Classics of the Yellow Emperor. Wenzi held that “Dao” could not be seen and heard. It was silent and intangible, and it was “ultimately godly.” The view influenced Four Classics of the Yellow Emperor which clearly defined “Dao is where gods originate from.” Wenzi clearly interpreted “Dao” and transformed features describing “Dao” such as void, easy, quiet, delicate, pure, simple and other concepts into the cultivation skill of saints, which was almost absorbed by Huang-Lao Daoist School. In Chapter Four, “Meanings of “Ding” and “Tranquility” in Four Classics of the Yellow Emperor Copied on Silk” probes into the thought of “Ding” from the three levels of Ding in unison, Ding in a position and Ding at heart. Last but not the least, the chapter concludes that the “Ding” skill as “being composed and with a tranquil temperament; being tender and moderate with a well-thought-out plan.” Additionally, the author proposes that if one could take the three levels into consideration at the same time, one would be able to reach the genuine “Ding.” On the other hand, the author probes into the thought of “tranquility” in Four Classics of the Yellow Emperor from the three aspects of sincere tranquility, elusive tranquility and tranquility at heart without being irritable. In Chapter Five, “Influence of Four Classics of the Yellow Emperor Copied on Silk on Documents being handed down for Generations” discusses the influence of Four Classics of the Yellow Emperor on the four chapters of Guanzi, Heguanzi and Huainanzi respectively. When the thought of Huang-Lao Daoist School passed down to Huainanzi, a complete ideology was almost constructed. Individually speaking, the thought emphasized the skill of spiritual cultivation and united with “Dao.” Politically speaking, the thought hoped to reach the so-called governance of a saint. In other words, it is an ideal state where the heart of a sovereign king is like that of a god, with his form adjusting to nature. Although the king lets things take their own course, the world is harmonious, and although there is no desire, people are humble. This ideal state is the skill of spiritual cultivation of Huang-Lao Daoist School, and it is an ideal goal of “cultivating one’s moral character as administering a country” that the Daoist School intended to establish—one not only cultivated his moral character, but also administered his country. That is to say, the perspective on spiritual cultivation was their theory of administering a country. Last but not the least, Chapter Six is the conclusion of the thesis.