III. Bronze Age China
The Tao of China

11: Shang dynasty: 1765-1122 BCE

The Original Middle Kingdom

Classic Chinese Middle Kingdom located on the Chung Yuan

First great civilization of China

Extreme Social Stratification

Bronze for military power, not for agriculture

Social Organization needed to produce bronze

12: Bronze & Taoist alchemy

Smelting or refinement, Taoist Alchemical metaphor

Bronze: Synergistic Transformation

Journey to the West: Purification, Integration, and Actualization

13: The Shang, Invaders or Indigenous?

Shang conquers Longshan and Yangshao from the West?

Sacrifice to the Gods

Warrior cultures force fertility cultures underground

Abundance of Evidence for indigenous origination

Longshan vs. Shang ancestor worship: Family vs. State

14: Bronze Age Power vs. Paleolithic Fertility

State Phallus power vs. Taoist Vaginal fertility

Roots of Taoism Paleolithic, not Neolithic

15: Chinese ideograms, the Gods & Divination

Origination of Chinese ideograms, i.e. writing, during the Shang

The Chinese Language?

Wordless message of Journey to the West

16: Prehistoric Southeast Asia's China connection

Shang Bronze work unsurpassed

The Khorat Culture of Southeast Asia: 4000 - 1500 BCE

Influence of Khorat culture on Neolithic China

Influence of Southeast Asia upon the Shang

Serpent Dragons of the Southeast Asia

17: Cultural Diffusion from the West via Lake Baikal

Cultural Diffusion

Military Shang need weaponry

The spread of Bronze Age military technology from the Near East

Bronze military technology from Siberia to China

Post Ice Age reconnection of cultures separated by Lake Baikal rift

18: The Chariot & the Shang

The Wheel and the Chariot

Chariot not indigenous

Importance of the Chariot for the Shang

Secondary advantages of bronze chariots

Training a Warrior Class

Modern reflections

The Charioteer & Wu Wei

Balance and Direction

Turning and Central Equilibrium

Tai Chi Residual

19: The Northern Siberian connection

Animal motifs unique to Shang

Shang similarities with Hunting cultures of Siberia

Beringian woodworking spreads south

Intermediate stages in Siberia, not China

Hunting cultures


Plausible Scenario: Came to help out, stayed and ruled

20:  Ritualization of the Shang culture

Elaborate rituals to maintain cultural stability

Ritualization brings confidence

Confucian vs. Taoist attitude towards ritual

Social stratification and rigidity in the Shang

Mandate of Heaven linked to popular retribution

Ritual and Ceremony substituted for Leadership

Worshipping external form instead of the internal essence

Shang Summary