Basics of Chinese Characters

by Jess Suen

Following are some approaches to Chinese character formation:

1. Pictorial. It is the simplest and most basic method. The character is based on a pictogram or form. For example,

  • 人 is human, the upper part is made of head and body and the lower part has the two legs.
  • 口is mouth.
  • 羊is sheep. The sheep character is seen with the two horns on its head, then face and feet.
  • 馬is horse.
  • 手is hand.
  • 木is wood. When it is 林, it’s woods. 森 means forest. Normally, forest can be written as 森林, i.e. combined with so many woods. Very interesting.

2. Action Based. These are based on some action. For example,

  • 皿 is dish but something in the dish is blood 血.
  • 男is man, which is a combination of 田 and 力, 田is field or farm. 力 is work force; meaning men need to work with energy as Adam.
  • 婪is greedy, which is a combination of 林and 女. 林is forest, 女 is woman. She is greedy as Eve.

3. Combination of Symbols. Some characters are formed from symbols. For example,

  • 一is one. 二is two. 三is three.
  • 上is upper (human in the upper),下is lower (human in the lower).

4. Combination of Characters. Some words are combined of two characters: left and right or upper and lower. For example,

  • 忙 is “busy”: on the left hand side is heart and on the right hand side is death. You can explain that being busy will let our heart to death.
  • 忘 means “to forget)” and is related to a heart that has died.
  • 打(手+丁) is a verb. We use the hand 手 to beat something down (low). It can be read as “to beat” or “to fight.”

5. Left-hand Characters. Some characters have meaning on left hand side only, but no meaning or no relative meaning on-the right side. The right side is used for pronunciation only. For example,

  • 指(手+旨) is finger/fingers. Normally, we call 手指. I think this is quite difficult to recognize.

There are some characters that are not included in the above points. Some words cannot be explained except by specialists. We also need to memorize it compulsorily.


Philosophy of Medicine Vs Medical Philosophies

It’s proper to understand the difference between “Philosphy of…” and “…philosophies”. For instance, philosophy of religion refers to the philosophical study of the epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical aspects of the phenomenon and concept of religion, including questions raised by it; whereas a religious philosophy is a particular philosophical viewpoint of a particular religious tradition–examples include samkhya, yoga, advaita, shunyavada. There are religious philosophies in the same manner that there are secular philosophies. While the start point of the former is revelation, tradition, or faith, the start point of the latter is reason. Following are some examples of the above distinctions:

1. Philosophy of Religion – Existence of God, Essence of Divinity, Death and Afterlife, Knowlege of God, etc.
Religious Philosophy – Calvinist Epistemology, Advaita, Yoga, Zen

2. Theology of Religion – Essence of Religion, Goal of Religion, Salvation
Religious Theology – Catholic Theology, Hindu Doctrine of Rebirth, Sikh Theology
Secular Theology – Panentheism, Deism, Existential Theology, Political Theology

3. Philosophy of Science – Epistemology of Scientific Method, Matter and Mind, Definition of Life
Scientific Philosophy – Darwinism, Utopianism, Scientism

4. Philosophy of Medicine – Epistemology of Medical Research, Mind and Matter, Ethics of Medical Practice
Medical Philosophy- Allopathy, Homeopathy, Taoist Medical Philosophy, Chi Philosophy, Ayurvedic Philosophy, Yoga

Skeptical Fideism

The Enlightenment thinkers felt that reason had come to age and elevated it above faith. But, mathematics is not the book of life. It is impossible to expel faith. As the wise sage Pascal observed, reason has to be find support on something, and that something can’t be reason itself, to avoid circular reasoning. Reason is also based upon faith. Again, he showed that reason cannot irrefutably prove God, but it can neither disprove His existence. It proves nothing.

Spiritual skepticism is the willingness to concede that our minds cannot have certainty alone by themselves. This is not to deny certain certainties that are axiomatic and undeniable. For instance, one can’t contradict the law of non-contradiction. However, it certainly means that one has no confidence in his own reasoning and wisdom. Only this form of skepticism regarding self can truly set us free to find our fullness and certainty only in Him.

Laying on of Hands – Derek Prince

Four Purposes
1. To recognize but not appoint the persons of God’s choice
2. To set apart a person for a particular task or ministry
3. To endorse a person with authority
4. To equip, that is to transmit the spiritual gift or spiritual authority or whatever else is needed by the person to carry out his God-appointed task

Abounding Grace

“But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” (Rom 5:20)
– Creeps undetected
– Convinces of being received
– Controls our thoughts, feelings, attitude
– Cuts off our relationship with God

– Abounds much more than our sin
– Accepts us as we are
– Administers unto us abundant gifts of forgiveness, healing, eternal life, ministry, enablements, strength, the Holy Spirit
– Available always at the Throne of His Grace. He calls us to Draw near, Humble self, Submit, Receive.