In the Forbidden City in China, there are two words written on top of the Qing Emperor's royal seat: wuwei.

(Original image taken from: )

Comparing the Bureaucratic Art of Non-Action and the Classical Chinese Concept of Wuwei (無為)

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In this post, I would like to explore the bureaucratic art of non-action with the classical Chinese concept of 無為 wuwei (often translated as non-action). As this is an informal, yet exploratory post, I will write this in a light-hearted and enjoyable manner. The Art of Bureaucratic Non-Action Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a leading neuro-scientist from …


Some Thoughts on the Classical Chinese Concept of “Wuwei” (Non-Action) and the Concept of Emergent Self-Order in Complexity Science

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The other day, I had a conversation with Andrew Sheng, a Distinguished Fellow of the Fung Global Institute, and Chief Adviser of the China Banking Regulatory Commission. Though he’s trained primarily as an economist, he is well-versed in Chinese philosophy and has a profound understanding and insight of it, complemented also with his knowledge of complexity science. During our conversation, …

Illustration of the relation between the Five Phases. (Image source: Wikipedia, )

Using Classical Chinese Concepts of Pattern Identification and Action to Study and Manage Complex Adaptive Systems?

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In this post, I’d like to explore the Chinese concepts of Yin-Yang and correlative cosmology, and attempt to apply it to the context of the study of complex adaptive systems. [Here’s some background for those who aren’t familiar with complex adaptive systems: Complex adaptive systems are one of two broad categories of complex systems, where the constituents (commonly referred to …

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The History and Idea behind Chinese Paper Offerings and the Variety of Paper Goodies!

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The Chinese festival of Qing Ming (清明節 Qingming Jie) just passed a few days ago. This is the time of the year where Chinese would pay respects to their dearly departed relatives and ancestors by visiting and cleaning up their tombs, and to offer both paper offerings and food. Historically, the ancient Chinese (around the time of Confucius and before) …


Najib the Malay Deity in Chinese Religion

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Here’s something interesting about Chinese folk religion. I call it folk religion because it doesn’t fit into the popularly understood categories of Chinese Buddhism or Chinese Taoism. Now, Chinese shrines are often red in colour, since red is a very auspicious colour. However, if you are in Singapore or Malaysia, you might come across a shrine that’s yellow in colour! …


Why do Chinese Immortals have such Huge Foreheads?

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Chinese New Year is coming. Chances are, one of the homes you visit will have a statue or picture of a Taoist Immortal. Well, here’s something that will be an interesting conversation starter (or, a conversation ender – depending on your relationship with your relatives). If you’ve never seen a Taoist immortal, here’s a sample picture: Source: Look at …


A Trip Back to Medieval China: A Visit to Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery (連山雙林寺)

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Several months ago, I went on a field trip to visit the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery. It’s a very important place in the history of Chinese Buddhism here in Singapore. Why? Because it was the very first Buddhist temple that was set up on this tiny little island. In our contemporary society, there’s been quite a huge split between religion …