The Meaning of Environmental Freedom in Liu Bowen’s Divination Philosophy: The Example of COVID-19
Keywords:COVID-19, environmental freedom, Golden Treatises, Liu Bowen, principle of synchronicity, wǔxíngyì
COVID-19 has brought about reflections on the relationships between people and their governments. Compared to some Westerners' libertarian thinking that the state took advantage of the pandemic to deprive individuals of their freedom, people from countries with Chinese cultural heritage tended to be more collaborative, as they believed the situation was rooted in unseen changes in the environment. This article argues that this thinking characterizes a conceptualization of environmental freedom which was based on the thesis of vital energy, or qi氣. Chinese had developed the classical I Ching to predict the changes of the environment in the form of flowing qi, in order to make informed decisions for political actions. Liu Bowen of the Ming dynasty integrated this. This paper aims to demonstrate its significance in the contemporary world by rethinking its constitution through Carl Jung's theory of the synchronistic principle. Moreover, we illustrate how to conduct and interpret the result of divination predicting the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on how the government can choose to produce the greatest good in the face of such a quandary.