Shaohua Zhang’s Academic Thinking System is depicted in the works of Shaohua Zhang’s New Thinking Series published from 1990 to 2006. The volumes in this series are:
Volume 1: My Understanding of Marxist Dialectics (published in 1991)
Volume 2: Step Out of the Myth of Philosophy – Determine-Counterdeterminism is the paramount principle of dialectics (Part 1, published in 1991)
Volume 3: Pondering after leaving the Kingdom of Philosophy – My philosophical views (Published in 1992)
Volume 4: The Need/Creation Theory (Published in 1992)
Volume 5: The Second Declaration of Humankind – The Naturality-Morality Theory (Part 1 and Part 2, Published in 1993)
Volume 6: The Universe Spirit Theory – The Outlook of Human Life Existence (Part 1, 2, and 3, published in 1995)
Volume 7: Shaohua Zhang’s Thinking System (published in 1999)
Volume 8: On the World (published in 2001)
Volume 9: My concept of the Global Civilization (published in 2001)
Volume 10: The Declaration of Global Civilization (Chinese version published in 2001; English version published in 2006)
Volume 11: The Vision of a United World Government (Published in 2004)
Volume 12: A Study of My Works – Self Analysis of Shaohua Zhang’s Thinking System (published in 2006)
This academic thinking system is established solely by my personal effort. It is constructed and integrated by six interdisciplinary doctrines that are interconnected and mutually supportive. The six academic doctrines include the Science-Philosophy Doctrine, the Human-Race Studies Doctrine, the Life-Science-Cosmology Doctrine, the Divinity-Faith Doctrine, the Mother-Child-Cosmology/Great-One-Spirit Doctrine, and the Global Civilization Doctrine
Let us start from Determine-Counterdeterminism, a doctrine of Science-Philosophy that investigates the nature and reason of all things.
In my view, any scientific or philosophical theory that is single-sided or unilateral, such as materialism, idealism, humanism, capitalism, or socialism, will fall into false ground. This kind of exclusive and selfish thinking gives rise to an antagonistic mentality. Therefore, those concepts that clearly divide everything into parties of mine and others, then maneuver every move accordingly into attempts to fight and exterminate others’ ideas are all antagonistic and false.
The origin of the exclusive and antagonistic way of philosophical thinking, as well as the then derived struggle thinking, factionalist thinking, lies in the failure to grasp the unity between all things and within all elements of any matter, i.e. the failure to grasp the profound and fundamental relation that interconnects all things. If we analyze the universe in which we live, level by level, we finally come to discover that the universe is actually constituted of only two parts: one is “related matter”, the object of scientific investigation, and the other is “relation”, the object of philosophical studies.
Therefore, we first need to establish a scientific way of thinking that emphasizes sufficiently the “related matter” or “intermediate agent”. Every thing seems to be an independent individual by its appearance, but is essentially one intermediate that is related to all other things. Every thing is not only itself but also a related existence, a particular related object in its essence, which makes it the way it is. Therefore, the nature of every thing is its relatedness and interconnectedness. In this sense, any discipline other than philosophy, such as natural science, social science, humanities, and theology, is a study of the related objects in that certain field. Perceiving a scientific object as widely related matter, as opposed to simply treating it as an independent being, creates a fundamental difference in the way of thinking in science. Investigating the studied object as a related matter, on one hand, brings the element of absolute truth to the scientific conclusion by treating the object in connection with all things around it and with the whole universe. On the other hand, this process also provides an element of relative truth by viewing the object as an intermediate of all things around it, and as a factor in the comprehensive cosmos. It is this very approach that gives the scientific nature to science.
Secondly, a relation-oriented way of philosophical thinking needs to be adopted. In other words, the world in which we live is an organic whole, interwoven by the interdependence and interconnection of all things. The inherent, definite, and specific relation between every thing in the web of interconnectedness is the very factor that defines an object. Philosophy, arguably the oldest discipline, specializes in the study of relation. Whenever and wherever any one is examining relation, one is in the territory of philosophical thinking. All disciplines in the system of human knowledge, other than philosophy, aim at discovering specific laws. Only philosophy attempts to provide “reason” for us. Relation is a nexus, a medium, and a field existence rather than a real entity. Relation could not be seen or traced by normal senses. This nature defines the speculative, abstract, and logical nature of philosophy.
Thirdly, the related object and relation need to be unified as a whole as well as to be distinguished clearly. In the unified sense, the relation is all about the object, and the object is defined by the relation. On the other hand, every related object is one concrete physical being while relation is the intermediate agent and structural framework of all existences. Realizing this point has revolutionary significance in the development of science and philosophy – science is then constructed on the foundation of philosophical spirit and this frees scientists and scientific results from the disciplinary separation, specialization, and exclusion that troubled them for centuries. Similarly, the dialectical tree of philosophy and the fruit of philosophical reason are now rooted in the fertile soil of scientific examination and conclusion, which leads philosophy away from its troubled history of separating philosophical pondering from scientific verification.
This is just the beginning, however, of realizing the true understanding of the issue. It is essential that we need to be relation-oriented, need to distinguish various relations (such as essential relation versus phenomenal relation, principal relation versus non-principal relation, etc.), but more importantly, we need to understand the basis, condition, structure, and essence of the relation, as well as the significance of the relation to the developing process and the developing outcome of the object. Thus, I further propose that relation is neither a passive mutual connectedness, a collective conflict, nor is it a disorderly interconnection, a random relatedness. The interwoven and interdependent relation between all matter is neither mutually restrictive, nor mutually consuming, but it follows a definite law. This definite law is neither the law of the familiar determinism, with apparent one-sidedness, nor is it the law of indeterminism with equal one-sidedness; rather, it is the law of Determine-Counterdeterminism that reveals the fundamental cause, the basic structure, and the universal nature of all relations. All things present the vivid picture of mutual generating, mutual complementing, mutual prosperity and unity only because every relation has the Determine-Counterdeterministic nature. Based on this realization, I thus developed the concept of Determine-Counterdeterminism into an academic doctrine. The fact that any matter is intrinsically integrated with relation determines that Determine-Counterdeterminism must be a doctrine with science-philosophy duality.
Let us then come to the Naturality-Morality theory, a doctrine of Human-Race Studies that investigates the Human Nature and the Race Nature of humankind.
In my view, those concepts that define humankind as a tailless monkey, an animal being, or as the lord of the nature, a divine being, or as half angel and half beast, a monster are all one-sided and false claims. Similarly, many popular concepts derived from these definitions are playing a harmful role in human society today. Examples of these destructive ideas include social Darwinism, hegemonism, a mentality embracing the law the jungle, worshipping the power of force and violence, or addiction to the struggle and revolutionary thinking. Needless to say, these wrongful ideas must be replaced by the concept that all humanity shares one nature. The definition of humanity as an animal being, a divine being, or a monster needs to be corrected by the true comprehension of the essence of humanity.
There is a great progress from concepts emphasizing human difference (such as racism, sexism, social classification, and genetic classification) to ideas emphasizing the commonality of all humans. Thoughts based on the universal human nature are much more scientific than ideas of society-oriented, material-oriented, mind-oriented, and of superficial “people-orientated”. Merely stressing the significance of the common human nature, however, would not make a fundamental difference. The essential issue concerns what kind of outlook on humanity should be adopted since the most likely view from many would be that wrongful ideas, barbaric acts, and evil social behavior all originated from human nature - the effect of the humanity cause. In order to avoid the pitfall of this conception and dismantle the marketplace that provides theoretical reason for criminal acts, I have proposed the view of humanity named the Naturality-Morality Theory. It is a view of humanity that intrinsically unifies the naturality and morality of humankind. This view defines humanity’s morality by its naturality, and defines humanity’s naturality by its morality. Equipped with this view of humanity, humankind will not derail from its morality when realizing its naturality, and conversely, humankind will not depart from its natural foundation when realizing its morality. It has provided guidance and measurement for a full spectrum of human activities, including thinking, laboring, living, and social interaction.
The issue of humanity’s Race Nature has a greater significance. I hold the view that the duality of human race – its Human Nature and Race Nature – defines humanity. Human Nature reflects its human desire and need, its spiritual aspect, and its laboring characteristics. It is the origin of humanity’s three major desires: labor, liberty, and happiness. The reflection of the Race Nature is humanity’s sociality, morality, and responsibility etc. It is the basis of humanity’s three key characteristics: emotion, conscience, and responsibility. Thus, on the one hand, humanity can realize its true Race Existence only through elevating its spiritual level and upgrading its forms of living and laboring. On the other hand, the whole human race can live as true humanity only through improving its social mechanism and abiding by human principle strictly, such as by adopting a universal legal standard, universal values, ethical standard, market rule, or religious concept that are applicable for all human beings.
The common origin of countless crimes committed and disasters manufactured by human beings throughout history, consciously, or unconsciously, is that humanity failed to accomplish the mission of transforming from “Group Existence” to Race Existence after finishing the evolution from apes to humans. Looking back in history, it was these individual-oriented or group-oriented ideas that bred clan-centered, tribe-centered, nation-centered, state-centered, and ethnic-centered concepts. It was these ideas that bred concepts of social class, religious factionalism, and partisan factionalism. It was these ideas that bred self-centered sentiments and antagonistic mentality.
The concept of Race in the term human race refers to social ideas of a universal brotherhood and sisterhood, a commonwealth society, and one human family, the view of humanity that all humans share one nature, all humans are equal, and the human rights of all must be respected. It also includes the human life concept of ecological protection and environmental optimization, and a broader habitat concept such as a universal perspective, care for the space, protection of the earth, and cherishing all things. Therefore, if humankind failed to make a crucial shift in social concept, cultural spirit, and ethical stature, if it failed to be a true Race Existence of all humans, and failed to create a living environment and living principle for its Race Existence, then on the land of human existence, it is impossible to cultivate the olive tree of peace that defines humanity, impossible to grow juicy civilization fruits of equality, liberty, democracy, philanthropy, human rights, conscience, justice, and responsibility. If so, humankind would be the “animal beings” who were walking upright, wearing clothes, eating bread, and watching television and who were labeling themselves as human. In the end, it is precisely the other aspect of humanity’s duality- human nature- that suffers the damage.
Based on this consideration, I embarked on the difficult journey to promote the spirit of Global Civilization and advocate the establishment of United World Government by walking the walk with scholars from dozens of countries, soon after this series was published, and immediately after helping several scholars finalize the textbook Shaohua Zhang’s Thinking System.
In short, it is this Race Existence nature that makes humankind human; conversely, it is the nature of the Homo Sapiens species, the nature of this special biological being that makes humankind a Race Existence. Just as Human Existence defines the Race Nature of the human race from biological classification and individual perspectives, Race Existence defines human race from biological form and collective perspectives. Human race has Human Nature, therefore the evolution of the human race shows the development of human intelligence and the evolution of modes of production. Human race has Race Nature, therefore the evolution of the human race demonstrates the progress of civilization and the progress of human society, a growth pattern of Race Existence from clan to nation, from nation to state, from state to region, then from region to the global world. This is precisely the reason I name this doctrine as Human-Race Studies.
Let us further look at the Universe-Spirit Theory, a doctrine of life science and cosmology that examines the unity and the process of the universe.
In my view, any cosmological theory or universe model from one single perspective (for example, from one perspective of Physics, Astronomy, or Creationism), or any process and life theory with a single emphasis on naturalism, mysticism, or fatalism, is a theory confined to one single field and is unlikely to reveal the truth.
In fact, the universe in which we live is not only material and mechanical, but also spiritual and supernatural. It is a celestial system and cosmic process that seems to have nothing to do with human existence, but it is also a unified system of human-matter, and a mutually generating process of matter and spirit that has great influence on human life. Furthermore, the essence of the universe is not material or motion but rather energy. Energy can be categorized into three basic forms of cosmic energy – material energy, field energy, and spiritual energy. The spiritual energy is the highest and the most fundamental of these three states. Thus the real essence of the universe is its spirit: the Universe Spirit.
The problem is that a profound and comprehensive knowledge of the universe cannot be reached merely through the instruments and formulas of astronomers. Humanity reflection, emotional realization, spiritual sensation, and moral pursuit are also necessary. That is to say, discovering the truth of the universe is not just the astronomers’ business, but it is also the mission of the whole human race including philosophers, theologians, and scientists in other fields than astronomy. For example, numerous scientists have reached great heights in their particular fields of research from the ground of their theological thinking; while many theologians have arrived at outstanding levels in their religion based on the foundation of their scientific knowledge.
Logically, we can arrive at the same conclusion - any subject in philosophy, theology, and science, or any issue regarding life, family, or society, is the result of the universe evolution, an issue raised by the universe force. So the key to unlocking the secret of the issue can be found only on the foundation of a definite, all-inclusive universe outlook. Therefore, we should pursue the truth from a new perspective of a holistic human knowledge system and of the actual human sensation/intuition system. It is the perspective that I proposed in my work of On The Universe, one of the Civilization Series, as “proceeding from a human civilization system”, a perspective of “civilization cosmology.” Although it is still too difficult to integrate science, philosophy, humanities, and theology in one unified whole by today’s knowledge level, it is the only path towards truth.
Further, to comprehend the unity of the universe, the law of evolution, and the purpose of life, particularly the purpose of human life through the cognitive method of “civilization cosmology” will certainly bring rich new knowledge, but in the mean time, cause a series of new challenges. For instance, all issues I encountered in my research, including issues in my investigation on the Science-Philosophy Doctrine, the Human-Race Studies Doctrine, and the Divinity-Faith Doctrine, led to one key point: the understanding of the relations between the Universe, Energy, and Consciousness, between Material, Field, and Spirit, and between Matter, Humanity, and the Divinity. In essence, many key issues in the unity and the process of the universe will eventually lead to one key point - the relation between the universe and its spirit, between Universe Spirit and Human Spirit.
Astronomers and other scientists in the past could only see the matter, energy, and force of the universe as a lifeless silent cosmos; the theologians and scholars of humanities in the past could only see the mystic divinity, the spiritual power separated from the medium of Material Energy and Field Energy. In the first case, they failed to see the Universe Spirit or divinity when studying the universe, and in the other case, they failed to see the material and field existence when studying the spirit and divinity. To avoid this, we need to unify the universe with its spirit, that is, to break down the concrete wall that was solidly built throughout history that separated the nature of the universe, the nature of God, the nature of humanity, and the nature of spirit. By doing so, the underlying division between thinking and being, between unity and diversity, between existence and non-existence, and between life and death will be removed.
We can go deeper into this understanding. The quest to find the relation of the universe and its spirit would eventually come to two issues: one is the unity of the universe, that is, the wholeness of the universe. It includes (1) is the universe a unified whole? (2) where is the universe unified? (3) how does it unify? The other one is the process of the universe, that is, the nature of the universe. It includes (1) the origin of the universe (2) the process and direction of its evolution (3) the ultimate fate of the universe. Furthermore, the relation between the wholeness of the universe and the nature of the universe is mutually corroborating and mutually promoting. When one studies the wholeness of the universe, one investigates the process of the universe profoundly. When one discusses the process of the universe, he or she is examining the wholeness of the universe profoundly.
It was in the pondering of these issues that I found the key to the secret of the universe and the secret of life. The evolution of the universe has reached the advanced level of the human existence stage; human life is then the best manifestation of the wholeness of the universe, the most advanced embodiment of the process of the universe. In other words, human life existence needs to be interpreted from the cosmological perspective (which I presented in the “mutual constructing of body/society/mind theory”). It is actually rationalizing the universe. In the mean time, the universe needs to be interpreted from the perspective of biological existence, particularly, human existence (which I presented in the “four states of the universe” theory). It is actually rationalizing biological life and human existence. In short, Cosmology or life science can lead us to the truth only by unifying the wholeness and the nature of the universe.
For this reason, I established the theory of energy-essence universe that connects the universe with its spirit through “energy”, that is, considering material, field and spirit as three “energy states”. It reveals the wholeness and the process of the universe through the theory of the trinity of material energy, field energy, and spiritual energy, and through the theory of “four states of the universe”. It interlinks the relation between the evolution of the universe and the human existence through the theory of mutual constructing body/society/mind. After achieving this, these theories are integrated, distilled, and extracted to a systematic school of the Universe Spirit Theory, which is defined as the doctrine of life science, and Cosmology. It therefore provides a new way of thinking in the human quest of the truth of the universe, the knowledge of God, the secret of life, the essence of humanity, and the code of spiritual existence.
Let us new look at the Supernatural-Ultimate Theory, a doctrine of Divinity-Faith studies that examines the nature of the Divinity and faith/belief.
I believe that the deity of any ethnic group, nation, or region, as well as self-conceit rigid religious ideas, and religious acts of terror, violence, and war, are products of human existence in certain times when societies were isolated. They were inevitable phases in the development of religion. In today’s global age, these beliefs and acts can no longer be justified. Similarly, any faith or belief that intends to deify a human being, whether the person is a hero, a monarch king, a religious leader, a saint, a prophet, or even an ancestor, is simply the product of the limitation of human knowledge, a necessary phase on the way to know God. It is not difficult to realize that the concept of a personal God is groundless today after people have acquired profound knowledge of the essence of the universe, of humanity, and of the relation between humanity and God.
In today’s global age with its current level of civilization, any religion needs to adapt and promote a spirit of faith and belief that manifests the nature of a global time – the spirit of the Oneness of All Faiths. God for all humans needs to be established as our common faith, otherwise the global age will go in the opposite direction and become the unprecedented breeding base for religious expansion, religious war, and religious hegemony. If we could not establish a common faith, humankind today would go back to prehistory and provide further proof of how crude religious believers could be, how primitive faiths could be, and how crazy religions could be, through endless of barbaric acts of terror, violence, and destruction.
In today’s world with the God of various religions seen as being different and incompatible, how does one find a God which could be universally accepted by all humans? I propose that a universal God would embody the fundamental principles of every religion, reflect the common nature of every God worshipped, echo the original meaning and common purpose of every religious founder; manifest the latest development of science, philosophy, humanities, theology, demonstrate the current developing direction of every religion, and exhibit the common demand of religious solidarity from all religions. For this reason, I clearly propose the theory on the nature of the Divinity, the Supernatural/Ultimate/Spiritual Theory, as well as the theory on faith and belief, the Creation/Teaching/Blessing Theory. In order to establish the concept in these theories, I suggest setting up a World Religions Organization and organizing peoples from every world religion working together to establish a common principle, ritual, and dogma for all. It is my belief that only in this way can the concept of faith and religion in the global age be opened up to a new opportunity to advance forward.
This is a very sensitive and extremely difficult task. Looking at the past, within the same religion, there were always contradictions between the God worshipped and the worshippers, between theology and faith, not to mention inter-religious conflicts. Theologians and religious leaders often criticized their believers for not having a conscious faith, while the followers often complained that the theologians and religious leaders did not provide a definite God for them to follow. In order to resolve the contradiction, the theologians set up examples of heroes, kings, saints, and prophets and told their followers that the acts and behavior of their examples were the acts of God; their spirit was the spirit of God, their conscience was the conscience of God, and their wisdom was the wisdom of God. Thus these real humans with human flesh and human emotions have been converted to the Divinity or the God’s messengers by the theologians. The believers tried to express their faith by pure formalist practices, such as temple building, idol enthroning, ritual invention, scripture creation, and dogma making. Apparently, acts from both sides cannot resolve the contradiction but only cause more conflicts.
In fact, the reason both sides were in the doubtful territory in which their solutions seemed reasonable but unable to resolve any problem for any party, was that both sides of the issue had blocked their way of thinking by their own paradox. Think about it, if the followers could only have true faith after they acquired matured knowledge of God, there would never be faith and belief and they would never find the Divinity they were searching for. If theologians defined God by deifying human beings, such as prophets, saints, kings, or governing officials, that is nothing less than blocking the way to know God and blocking the way towards God by using these powerful human beings as barriers, so there would never be devout faith and belief.
In order to resolve the contradiction and to step out of the paradox, that is, to distinguish and unify theology and faith, the Divinity and humanity, I first initiated the theory of the nature of the Divinity: the “Supernatural/Ultimate/Spirit theory. This theory clearly states that the Divinity is the “supernatural, ultimate, spiritual reality in and behind the universe which can be perceived and comprehended by humankind”. Thus the Divinity has been clearly defined, which blocks ways of converting the Divinity to humanity, and deifying humanity to the Divinity, hence the boundary between the Divinity and humanity is clearly established. Secondly, I initiated a theory of faith and belief: the “Creation/Teaching/Blessing” theory. This theory explicitly states that the Divinity is the creator of humanity and all things. The Divinity teaches and guides humankind towards higher conscience and blesses all beings in the universe. Humankind can be freed from various kinds of disasters, such as war, ignorance, and poverty, and human life can be freed from various evil ideas, such as greed, desire, and atrocity, only by abiding by the principles assigned by God and following the direction guided by God. We should follow the way developed by the great individuals and prophets from all religions, strive to deepen our understanding of God through firm faith just like they did, and gradually reach the in-depth knowledge of God. In other words, we should believe in God while learn to know God. Only in this way can we have the right faith and firm belief in God. This is precisely the reason that I define this doctrine as the Divinity-Faith Doctrine.
Lastly, in order to give people a direct and easy grasp of this new theological concept, I have done the following two things: First, I created a vision of faith and belief in the global age (see page 195). The “three-color/six-dimension universe model” from my theory was used as the background of the image. Ten figures, including five prophets (Zarathustra, Deutero-Isaiah, Gautama, Confucius, and Pythagoras) identified by Arnold Toynbee, the most famous historian of last century, and another five that I believe should be included, Mohamed of Islam, Virgin Mary embracing the Holy Son from Western religion, and the Goddess of Mercy embracing the Infant as the microcosm of humankind from Eastern religions were joining together in front a round table with a globe, in a hall of Parthenon temple from the Sumerian Civilization, one of the earliest civilizations. They just finished a successful round-table conference to reconcile faiths and beliefs in the global age, and were taking a group photo. A sign representing Atum, the Egyptian God of the Creator of the universe (thought its worship has faded away), is shining at the top of the temple, showering its light into the temple and making the hall bright. On the lintel of the temple, signs of the three major world religions (Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism) are engraved. Looking at the image, pondering and interpreting it, we can all clearly feel the spirit of the times – The Oneness of All Matter, the Oneness of All Humans, the Oneness of All Faiths, and all is one in the Universe. We can all feel the emotional baptism and spiritual uplifting that the great Divinity of the Universe Spirit has given to us.
Second, in order to explain this vision briefly in language and writing, in order to achieve a unified human understanding in the Oneness of All Matter, Oneness of All Humans, Oneness of All Faiths, All is One in the Universe, in order to let people to have a basic and quick grasp of the faith concept of the global age, I created nine poetries and named them Nine Poetries of Replying to Heaven, matching the above-mentioned vision (see page 200). I also gave another name to the Nine Poetries – Poetries for Faith and Belief in the Global Age. This poetry has expounded the basic principles and fundamental concepts that people should adopt in the global age, from nine aspects – regarding self/other relation, human/human relation, humanity/Divinity relation, thinking, emotion, faith/belief, soul, mind, and body.
Let us look at the Self-Conscious-Self-Enabling Theory, a doctrine includes the Mother-Child Cosmological Theory and the Great One Spirit Theory that investigates the essence and the spiritual nature of all things.
I believe that the viewpoint throughout history that comprehended the universe as an isolated island is wrong. Physicists say that the universe comes from the explosion of the energy particle, the tiniest singularity out of an extremely dense and hot state, about 15 to 20 billion years ago. If so, where did this energy particle come from and why could it turn into the current universe and bring about humanity – the product of the universe evolution? Theologians have their own explanation – God is the creator of our universe. If so, then what is God? Why and how did God create the universe in which we live? It is apparent that the Universe Spirit Theory cannot answer these questions. I did not have a complete answer to these issues when I proposed the Universe Spirit Theory, so I suggested a “Super-Universe Spirit” as part of the solution, and in the mean time, patiently waited for new scientific development in Physics, Astronomy and other fields that would help me find a right answer.
Ten years later, inspired by the Black Hole theory, String Theory, Brane Theory, M-Theory, and 11-Dimensional Space-Time Theory, I finally have found a satisfactory answer. Our universe is just one of many universes created by the Mother Universe, who has been creating universes. The Mother Universe, with the nature of pure energy, is the universe determined by the motion of pure energy and its forces in accordance with Determine-Counterdeterministic order. The relation between various pure energy elements, between pure energy and forces, and between various forces is Determine-Counterdeterministic. This gradually turns a certain small field of the Mother Universe into a relatively independent “Pure Energy Being” that continuously absorbs different kinds of energy from the Mother Universe. When this process reaches a point that the mother nature of the Mother Universe and the child nature of the embryo of the Child Universe exposed and completed, the Child Universe then leaves the body of the Mother Universe at an extremely high speed. The Child Universe, after leaving the mother’s body, changes its nature from pure energy to matter. This Matter, with its carried-forward extremely high energy, then explodes in the new material world, and “our universe”, as referred to by theoretical physicists, is born.
From the above analysis, we can see that the Mother Universe and the Child Universe have two differences with many similarities. The first difference is that the Mother Universe is a pure energy universe while the Child Universe is a material universe. The second difference is that, in the Mother Universe, the gravity determines the tension and the tension counter-determines the gravity. In the Child Universe, the tension determines the gravity and the gravity counter-determines the tension. These two kinds of universe have many similarities, such as having the same form of energy, similar forces, and the same Determine-Counterdeterministic order.
It is the Determine-Counterdeterminacy in and behind the Mother and Child Universe, and the interconnected Determine-Counterdeterministic relations that have the most significance. This has determined that the Mother and the Child Universe each has its form of existence, but also determines that the energy to material development of the Mother Universe, the continuous expanding evolution of the Child Universe without “evaporating away”, up to a point that humanity with mind-body structure and social-civilization nature was created on the planet earth of the solar system, in the Milky Way Galaxy in the vast universe.
Then what is the nature of the force that directs and determines the conscious existence, motion, and orderly evolution of the Mother Universe behind the scene? It is a spiritual force with primitivism and consciousness, a force that gives the self-conscious and self-enabling nature to the Mother Universe: the Great One Spirit. It is this Great One Spirit that makes the Mother Universe the way it is. The Great One Sprit is the profound origin of the Universe Spirit of our universe. Shaohua Zhang’s spiritual theory, named as the Self-Conscious-Self-Enabling Theory, is precisely based on this idea.
Following this way of thinking, I further propose a theory on the essence of spirit (a theory that reveals the primitive and conscious nature of spirit), a theory on category of spirit (a theory that categorizes spirit into forms of Human Spirit, Nature Spirit, Universe Spirit, and Great One Spirit), and a theory on the outcome of spirit (a theory that explicates the outcome of the spirit as the unification of perpetual-motion and perpetual-elevation). We will not go into the details of these theories here. The publishing of these theories is still underway and its table of contents is included in the appendix of this book.
Lastly, let us look at the Global Civilization Theory, a doctrine of global studies and civilization studies resulting from applying the previous five doctrines in the real world.
In my view, any human suffering or achievement since the beginning of civilization is the product of the civilization force. In other words, the true origin of all disasters and tragedies throughout history, including conflicts between states, nations, and religions, as well as between humanity and its environment, between one individual and the whole human race, lies in the civilization itself – humankind often promoted so-called “civilization” by non-civilized or anti-civilizational means. Therefore, the purpose of this theory is to examine the global issues from civilization’s perspective and resolve civilizational conflicts from a global perspective, thus harmonizing various civilizations and elevating all civilizations.
Before the global age, civilization normally referred to the common mode of human existence within the complexity of distinct societies. Thus all civilizations that have occurred in history so far, including indigenous civilizations (such as tribes, nations, and sovereign states), regional civilizations (such as European, African, Eastern, or Western), and field civilizations (such as agricultural, industrial, scientific, or ethical), are essentially Territorial Civilizations. Territorial Civilization is self-contained and civilized, but partial and exclusive. It has a strong instinct to reject, demolish, or fuse other civilizations, thus showing non-civilized and anti-civilized defects. This is the common characteristic and fatal flaw of all Territorial Civilizations.
It is impossible to overcome these weaknesses and defects by means of cultural confrontation or of returning to the root of civilization. These approaches are anti-civilization. It is also not possible to resolve the fatal flaw by means of civilization dialogue or cultural pluralism. These approaches are not realistic. The only workable way is to discover the commonality among all Territorial Civilizations that makes them humankind, then through that commonality, understand and interpret the individuality of each civilization, thus reconcile the difference and resolve the conflict. For this reason, I propose that we should take globalization and modernization as a basis, use the common humanity and the collective welfare of humankind as parameters, extract the beneficial element from all civilizations, and cultivate these elements into a new universal and modern civilization that transcends all local civilizations – Global Civilization.
Upon this basis, I further propose that Global Civilization has two meanings: one, it implies the civilization for the global world. Second, it implies to establish a civilization with a global nature. To be specific, the meaning of Global Civilization has three aspects: first, it is the unity of Human Civilization and Race Civilization; second, it is the unity of Individual Civilization and Collective Civilization; third, it is the unity of human existence and human habitat.
Then what is the origin and framework of Global Civilization? My answer is that Global Civilization has the following origin with three elements: 1. Western Civilization originated from the prehistoric Aegean, was shaped by ancient Greece and Rome, and matured through modern European and North American Civilizations. This is a civilization system that emphasizes the relation between humans and nature, a model that promotes material well-being, respects the law of nature, and values science. 2. Eastern Civilization originated from the Yellow River Civilization, was shaped by Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, and matured through modern East Asian and South-East Asian Civilizations. This civilization system emphasizes the social relation in human society, a model that promotes virtue and justice, pursues the unity of all peoples, and values humanities. 3. Middle Civilization originated from ancient Egypt, was shaped by ancient Hebrew and Babylon Civilizations, and matured through modern Judaism, Christianity, and Islamic Civilizations. It is a civilization system that emphasizes the relation between humans and the Divinity, a model that promotes faith, reveres God, and values theology. It is the strengths of these three civilizations that construct the system of Global Civilization. In this system, the Western element emphasizes the natural, physical, and scientific needs of humanity; the Eastern element emphasizes the social, value-based, and moral needs of humanity; the Middle element emphasizes the spiritual, faith-based, and self-actualization needs of humanity. Each element plays a vital role through distinct levels, mutually interconnected and reciprocally supportive. Together, they constitute the solid framework of Global Civilization.
In order to reveal the concept of Global Civilization sooner to people in the world and to scholars in particular, it is necessary for me to do two things. The first is seeking attention and support for the concept from scholars around the world. Hence I wrote The Declaration of Global Civilization. This declaration was passed and adopted in the First Congress of Global Civilization held in the Hilton Hotel, Sydney, Australia from July 16 to 18th 2001. The second is advocating the establishing a United World Government as soon as possible. It not only because the establishment of a World Government is an integrated part of the Global Civilization concept, but also because only a World Government has the power to promote the concept of Global Civilization in the global scale. Hence I wrote the book The Vision of United World Government, and the Open Letter to the United Nations General Assembly: A Discussion on the Establishment of a United World Government on behalf of the preparatory committee of The Second World Congress of Global Civilization. The Vision and the Open Letter were passed and adopted in The Second World Congress of Global Civilization held in the United Nations Millennium Plaza Hotel, New York, USA from November 14 to 16th 2005.
The logic of my academic thinking system is obvious. I started from investigating scientific and philosophical issues that puzzled me the most, and found Determine-Counterdeterminism. I then applied this theory directly to human existence and human activity, and thus established the Naturality-Morality Theory. Humanity is essentially a product of the evolution of the universe in a certain stage, and there must be a rationale behind the physical-biological-human direction of the evolution of the universe. Therefore, I established the Universe Spirit Theory. Wondering why our universe exists, why our universe manifests its Universe Spirit, what the origin and essence of the Universe Spirit is, and how humankind should comprehend this Super-Universe Spirit, I led the issue into the field of faith and the Divinity studies and established the Supernatural-Ultimate Theory. At this point, I confronted a greater issue – throughout history, the universe in which we live has been considered as the only universe. If so, how was our universe created? How does it have the universe nature and thus creates human intelligence? After long pondering, I proposed the Mother-Child Cosmological Theory. This considers that our universe is one of many Child Universes created by the Mother Universe. Therefore, the spirit of our universe is actually the spiritual reflection of the Great One Spirit of the Mother Universe upon our universe. Up to this point, I believe that I have completed building my academic thinking system. It is completed, satisfactory, and consistent. For example, through the Great One Spirit, I again found the subject of Determine-Counterdeterminism, and realized that the essence of the Great One Spirit is Determine-Counterdeterminacy.
However, the true mission of a real thinker is not the establishment of an academic thinking system but applying it to the real world for verification, making a difference, and changing the world for the better. Hence my sixth theory, The Global Civilization Theory has been created; the international organization which I chaired – the Organization for Promoting Global Civilization (OPGC) has been founded; and The First World Congress of Global Civilization (Sydney 2001), the Second World Congress of Global Civilization (New York, 2005), both chaired by me, have been organized …
In summary, my academic thinking system attempts to realize a critical paradigm shift in the six aspects of thinking, values, cognition, faith, origin, and civilization through the establishment of the six doctrines. The first (Determine-Counterdeterminism) is a doctrine of Science-Philosophy. It denies the unilateralist and antagonistic logic and establishes the relation-oriented Determine-Counterdeterministic logic thus providing a whole new perspective to natural science and philosophy. The second (the Naturality-Morality Theory) is a doctrine of Human-Race Studies. It abandons the one-sidedness and evolutionistic logic in humanities and sociology, establishes the Naturality-Morality concept of human nature thus providing a new value orientation for humanities and social science. The third (the Universe Spirit Theory) is a doctrine of Life-Science-Cosmology. It changes the disciplinary and positivistic logic in life science and cosmology, discovers the unified life logic of the Universe Spirit concept thus providing a new pathway for the development of life science and cosmology. The fourth (the Supernatural-Ultimate Theory) is a doctrine of the Divinity-Faith Studies. It departs from the traditional concepts of religion-oriented faith and a personal God, establishes the spiritual faith rationale of Supernatural-Ultimate concept, thus providing a whole new framework for studies in Divinity, faith, and religion. The fifth doctrine (the Self-Conscious-Self-Enabling Theory) includes the Mother-Child Cosmological spiritual theory and the Great One Spirit theory. It shifts from the essentialist and ontological logic (such as the concept of a limited universe, the concept of an isolated universe without an origin), and enters into a universal origin logic of Mother-Child Universes and the Great One Spirit theories, thus providing a new foundation for the study of the origin of the universe and spirituality. The sixth (the Global Civilization Theory) is a doctrine of civilization and the global nature of the current world. It ends the spontaneousness and self-centered political and cultural logic, and reaches the Race Existence civilization logic of the Global Civilization Theory, thus providing a new direction for the realization of political governance and contemporary culture. It is also the basic conclusion of applying the Shaohua Zhang’s academic thinking system to the real world.
The crucial paradigm shift in the above six aspects is the essence and the purpose of this academic thinking system.
In order to give our readers a brief, but accurate grasp of this academic thinking system, I have drawn a diagram of “The Tree of Shaohua Zhang’s Thinking System” (see page 239).
Illustration 1: The Tree of Shaohua Zhang Thinking System
After reviewing this diagram, I believe that readers will understand my purpose in creating this thinking system. I want to express my understanding and interpretation of the whole picture of existence, including the Mother Universe and its essence. [The theory of super spirituality, i.e. the theory of transcending existence and transcending spirit, has not been finalized so it is not included in this system for the time being – author] I also drew a diagram for the fifth doctrine (the Self-Conscious-Self-Enabling Theory) as follows:
Illustration 2: The Picture of Existence in the Shaohua Zhang’s Academic Thinking System and Pictures of Existence in Science, Theology, Philosophy, Spirituality, and Super-Spirituality.
I do not know whether my understanding of the picture of existence and the interpretation of the picture through the academic thinking system is correct or not. This is the reason that I label it as “academic.” Since the publishing of Shaohua Zhang’s New Thinking Series and the publishing of the textbook version Shaohua Zhang’s Thinking System (compiled and edited in Beijing in 1999, by a group of scholars from universities and academic institutes, ISBN 981-04-0390-9), I have read and heard numerous articles, conference speeches, and academic publishing from home and abroad that commented upon, reviewed, and introduced my academic viewpoints.
Any comment, introduction, or interpretation is the understanding by the person who makes it. It is unlikely for any understanding to be free from misinterpretation. Any interpretation, however, brings new perspective and opportunity to developing, elevating, and constructing the thinking system. I do not think that any of the interpretations is the only correct one, nor is any version a total misinterpretation. Any understanding is not a fixed one but is due to change in accordance with all things and time.
It should be stated that misunderstanding or misinterpretation is inevitable. Such misunderstanding and misinterpretation will occur more often in the future. For an academic thinking system that developed over 40 years, and related over 100 disciplinary fields, it is even impossible for the author to keep strict consistency from the beginning to the end. Other researchers, commentators, and promoters are expected to have similar problems. Although a serious academic thinking system is a process of causal linked consistency in its profound level, it often appears to be inconsistent in a contradictory sequence. Scholars are normal human beings. There is no miracle in any academic field.
In recent years, more and more Chinese entrepreneurs and scholars have been registering cultural entities, media centers, and international groups spontaneously in attempts to advocate and promote Shaohua Zhang’s Academic Thinking System. Facing this situation, I feel obligated to have a brief introduction of the purpose and the process of creating this academic thinking system, as well as a clear explanation of these doctrines in this system. It is the demand of reality, a responsibility that I feel it is an honor to shoulder.