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Abstract

Sung-Hae Kim asserts that mysticism can lead to action rather than just contemplation. For her, apostolic mysticism leads to “freedom of the heart,” which is “‘indifference’ in Christianity, ‘absence of private mind’ in Confucianism, and ‘equitable and constant ordinary mind’ in Daoism.” Practitioners of this virtue representing these three traditions respectively are Vincent de Paul, Cheng Yi, and Yin Zhiping. For Vincent, indifference was the total freedom from desires and attachments that enabled one to follow God’s will in all things. Vincent primarily characterized indifference as obedience, a willingness to be sent anywhere and to undertake any work to serve God. For Cheng Yi, absence of private mind meant an absence of individual selfish desires. The virtue of benevolence, obtained through sharing with others and listening to them, would overcome the private mind in favor of the public mind or greater good, which is the principle of Heaven. In absence of private mind, one would naturally recognize and carry out the good without making it an act of self-will. For Yin Zhiping, the constant ordinary mind meant facing all situations with moderation. Kim explains how the ordinary mind “integrates contemplation and action into one.”

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