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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


The Theory of Trauma-healing in Zhuangzi ’s “The Sign of Virtue Complete”

Vol. 46 No. 1   3/2016  


The Theory of Trauma-healing in Zhuangzi ’s “The Sign of Virtue Complete”


Ho, Ju-yu









Key words

Zhuangzi, “The Sign of Virtue Complete,” trauma-healing, narrative therapy


  This study examines the theory of trauma-healing advanced in “The Sign of Virtue Complete” (De chongfu 德充符) chapter of the Zhuangzi 莊子. In the first part of the article, I analyze descriptions of prisoners who experienced mental and physical trauma as the result of social pressure in both chutu 出土 texts and traditional sources.

  In the second part, I discuss the concepts of “whole power” (caiquan 才全) and “formless virtue” (de buxing 德不形) from “The Sign of Virtue Complete.” Following an analysis of three interpretive frameworks used by contemporary scholars of Taoism, I turn to the problems of how man realizes Dao via mystic process, and how a person who preserves formless virtue can engage in self-healing.

  In the final part of the article, I investigate how prisoners who have realized Dao employ the external transformation of “narrative therapy” to describe the trauma in their lives. The metaphors the prisoners use reveal a novel means of interpreting the circumstances of their trauma.



Author: Ho, Ju-yu
Genre: Article
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