I am trying to locate a source of a quote. In "China and the Christian Impact" by Jacques Gernet there is a footnote quoting a passage from Zhu Xi (I will provide it below). The bibliographical address for the passage is "Songyuan xue'an, Guoxue jiben edn, II, chapter 12, p. 32". My edition of Songyuan xue'an (宋元学案) is A four volume zhonghuashuju (中华书局). In my version chapter 12 is in the first volume (pp.497-535). Unfortunately I was unable to locate the quote in my edition of songyuan xue'an. I will be greatful for any help.

The quote from Zhu Xi in Gernet's book is: "Every time I look at the trees blossoming with different kinds of flowers lit up by the morning sun, with all the flowers blooming joyously, they seem to me to have a sense of life (shengyi). There is an exploion, a general surge of corollas opening to the sunshine. On the other hand, the dried-up branch with its dead leaves is experiencing a feeling of sadness: that is because its vital energy is gone"

1 Answer 1


Maybe this:
曰:「動物有血氣,故能知;植物雖不可言知,然一般生意,亦可默見。若戕賊之,便枯悴,不復悅澤,亦似有知者。嘗觀一般花樹 ,朝日照曜之時,欣欣向榮,有這生意,皮包不住,自迸出來。若枯枝老葉,便覺憔悴,蓋氣行已過也。

  • Och, yes exactly! This is very helpful, thank you. (also: it seems that there no such passage in chapter 12).
    – McCzajnik
    Aug 20 at 16:10
  • It can be found in chapter 48 though :).
    – McCzajnik
    Aug 20 at 16:16

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