Cangjie was sent down to China from the heavens to create Chinese writing, he was born with four eyes. This portrait of Cangjie is an 18th century painting held in the National Library of France. (Public domain, combination image compiled by Epoch Times)Cangjie was sent down to China from the heavens to create Chinese writing, he was born with four eyes. This portrait of Cangjie is an 18th century painting held in the National Library of France. (Public domain, combination image compiled by Epoch Times)

Perhaps you currently have someone who is in conflict with your own interests, and you refer to him or her as your enemy. You may be surprised to learn the hidden meaning in the Chinese character 仇 (chou), meaning hatred, enmity, or enemy.

On the left side is the radical 亻, which refers to man. When seeing this radical in a Chinese character, even illiterate people could guess that it relates to a human.

On the right side is 九. This radical doubles as a full character meaning the number nine, but sometimes it refers to a general term for plentiful or numerous.

chou-bone-script

In Oracle bone script, the earliest ancient Chinese writing, the character 九 represents a force pushing upwards:

Thus the meaning of the character 仇, enemy, is a person who helps uplift you to higher levels.

People around us all have different moral standards, and we recognize a person with a higher moral level as a good person. During a conflict with an enemy, if a person handles the situation well, he or she can become a better person in the process.

Both Eastern and Western cultures believe that if a good person keeps improving and uplifting himself, becoming a better and better person, he or she can go to heaven and become a heavenly being.

Legend has it that when Cangjie created Chinese writing 5,000 years ago, heavenly secrets were revealed. It was so moving that the deities and spirits cried, and their tears dropped like millet from the heavens.

 After learning the secret in this Chinese character, we can also understand why Jesus, living in the Middle East 2,000 years ago, told his disciples to love their enemies, though he did not explain the reason.

Edited by Sally Appert.

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Cangjie was sent down to China from the heavens to create Chinese writing, he was born with four eyes. This portrait of Cangjie is an 18th century painting held in the National Library of France. (Public domain, combination image compiled by Epoch Times)Cangjie was sent down to China from the heavens to create Chinese writing, he was born with four eyes. This portrait of Cangjie is an 18th century painting held in the National Library of France. (Public domain, combination image compiled by Epoch Times)

One of the Chinese characters I like most is 安 (an), which refers to safety, peace, serenity, comfort, and consolation.

安 (an) is simple, but it has philosophy within. It brings resonance to people from all backgrounds and cultures.

In the lower part of the character sits a female, the character 女, in a traditional Chinese kneeling and sitting posture. The upper part is the radical 宀, symbolizing the roof of a house.

The woman is sitting comfortably in her own home. Perhaps that is the moment when she feels safest and most serene.

<a href="http://img.theepochtimes.com/n3/eet-content/uploads/2017/03/29/Courtesy-of-NTD.jpg" class="light-box" data-lightbox="58dbb22c180a1" data-title="The image on the left is the Chinese Character 安 (an) in oracle bone script.
(Courtesy of NTD Television)”>The image on the left is the Chinese Character 安 (an) in oracle bone script.  (Courtesy of NTD Television)

The image on the left is the Chinese Character 安 (an) in oracle bone script.
(Courtesy of NTD Television)

However old we are, when we recall coming home from school in our childhood, we remember Mom at home awaiting our return. It was a comforting image that gave us peace of mind.

In the character 安 (an) written in oracle bone script, we see the classic posture and demeanor of a woman in the eyes of ancient Chinese people, with both hands resting on the knees, transmitting peace and a message of ease.

Modern Chinese women, however, carry a very different disposition and bearing. If Cangjie, the inventor of Chinese script, were still alive, I don’t know how he would describe a woman.

The theory of equality for both sexes went to the extreme in China after the communists took power.

Through systematic job assignments all controlled by the government, women have been forced to pick up professions which were traditionally dominated by men, such as butchering, mining, construction work, and truck driving, to name a few. The workloads of these jobs have far exceeded women’s natural abilities, both physically and mentally.

 Edited by Sally Appert

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In a conflict, 
when you take a step back, you will find the sea and the sky boundless. (Fotolia)In a conflict, 
when you take a step back, you will find the sea and the sky boundless. (Fotolia)

There is an old saying in China: In a conflict, when you hold your temper, you will avoid a tempest; when you take a step back, you will find the sea and the sky boundless.

This saying was illustrated by Zhai Fangjin, who lived during the end of the Western Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago.

Zhai’s hometown was in Shangcai County, Henan Province. The county still carries the same name today, but this ancient place is unfortunately now known for its AIDS villages.

Zhai was fatherless since he was young. He was very diligent and went to study at the capital city, Chang’an (the modern city of Xi’an), when he was in his teens. Pitying him for being too young, his stepmother accompanied him in Chang’an. She crafted hand-made shoes to support his study.

Zhai was keen in studying the Spring and Autumn Annals, an ancient Chinese chronicle that was counted as one of the Five Classics in Chinese literature.

With over ten years’ hard study, Zhai advanced greatly in knowledge, acquired a top grade in archery, and was appointed as an advisor in his 20s.

Zhai was thorough in his study of the classics. Gradually he gained fame among the scholars in the capital, and he had more and more students.

An old scholar, Hu Chang, also studied the classics and held a higher position than Zhai’s. Although he had started earlier than Zhai, his fame was inferior to Zhai’s, so Hu was jealous of Zhai’s talents and showed disrespect when referring to him.

Zhai did not retaliate when he learned about this. Instead, he behaved humbly. Whenever Hu assembled students to give lectures, Zhai would send his students to Hu’s place to ask about queries in a most sincere manner, making notes seriously. This persisted for quite some time.

Later, when Hu knew that Zhai’s modesty was to show him respect, he felt very ashamed. After that, he stopped humiliating Zhai and began to show appreciation for him instead.

Zhai’s wisdom in his intentional modesty turned an antagonist into a friend.

Edited by Sally Appert

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