Today, the Xiaobian of China story network brings you the legend of “Cangjie coining characters”. Interested readers can follow the Xiaobian to have a look.
As for the invention of Chinese characters, there has been a legend of “Cangjie coining characters” since ancient times. According to Lu’s spring and Autumn Annals, Xi Zhong made a cart and Cangjie made a book. “Xunzi” records: “there are many good books, but Cangjie is the only one.” The Huai Nan Zi Ben Jing even records such a legend: “Cang Jie wrote a book in the past, but the sky rained millet, and the ghost cried at night.”
The description of “rain in the sky, the ghosts cry at night” has equated the legend of Cangjie’s writing with a fairy tale. In the eyes of later generations, it is generally believed that this myth is pure fiction and has no credibility. But is that all that is true?
Language and writing: the “things of God” in ancient China
With regard to Chinese writing, we should pay attention to the phenomenon that writing was closely combined with primitive religion at the beginning.
In fact, it is not only the oracle bone inscriptions of the Yin and Shang Dynasties in China, such as the ancient Egyptian script, the ancient Babylonian script and the Mayan script. Many ancient scripts were originally mastered by wizards and priests as a medium for “communication between God and people”.
If we go back to the more ancient times, we can also see that “language” is something with mysterious power for the ancients – it gives names to various objects and behaviors, and through various permutations and combinations, it achieves the ability to communicate with other people, even with “God”. With the development of human beings, language has been further mystified, and even the supernatural things like “incantations” have been born. With the emergence of the special class of witches, language and religion have been combined. We can see similar phenomena from primitive religions all over the world.
Shamans in ancient China developed their language into incantations, divination, prayers, songs and other forms of expression. In the eyes of the ancients, they were all awe inspiring things. After the appearance of the characters, these originally invisible objects of awe are materialized and displayed on the tangible objects.
The birth of words — the birth of a powerful magic weapon
From the oracle bone inscriptions, we can see that the most written words in the Shang Dynasty are the divination words for fortune telling. The sacred degree of these words in the eyes of the ancients may be difficult for modern people to understand. Today’s modern literacy rate is almost 100%, but the ancient literacy rate is very low. In the early Shang and Zhou dynasties, when the writing was invented, only wizards and priests could read. Later historians and secretaries were actually developed from priests.
From this point of view, the legend of “rain in the sky, ghosts cry at night” is easy to understand. The earliest inventors of writing may have been clergy with high status at that time, such as the high priest who could divine or the great wizard who had “powerful magic power”.
In the words of today’s Xiuzhen novels, every word created by this great wizard is equivalent to a magic weapon that gathers the spirits of heaven and earth. Every word can serve as an artifact that “connects the divine world and the human world”, and it is also a unique existence. Such a magic weapon, a magic weapon constantly created, is of course enough to startle the world and cry ghosts and gods!
Perhaps “Cangjie” is just a name invented by later generations, but in ancient times, there should have been one or several great inventors who were born as witches or priests. The process and result of their invention of characters left a deep impression on the ancients of the same era, and combined with several natural phenomena, they were rendered as extremely exaggerated myths.
Therefore, it is true that “rain in the sky, ghosts cry at night” is a myth, but it is not invented by our ancestors. It is a kind of memory inherited from ancient times and a distorted mapping of historical facts.
The mysterious worship of Chinese characters still remains in the traditional culture of later generations
The myth of Cangjie’s writing reflects the worship of the sacred and mysterious attributes of the characters in ancient times. Moreover, this worship has continued for thousands of years. Even today, we can still see the cultural relics of this mysterious worship.
First of all, in some traditional cultural carriers, words are still endowed with magic power. Including the mantras of the Taoist schools, the scriptures of the Buddhist schools and other text carriers, all continue to develop with the changes of historical times and become intangible cultural relics of ancient inheritance.
In addition, since ancient times, China has always given high respect to the written carrier, which can not be blasphemed. Especially since the invention of paper, the paper with handwriting has been endowed with high intrinsic value, which cannot be stained, especially not used for wiping. This has almost become a tradition in ancient China.
Then, the sacredness of characters has been removed from the supernatural attribute through the art of calligraphy and writing for thousands of years, transformed into a form, and finally become an important spiritual and cultural wealth of mankind. So far, only Chinese characters in the world have been promoted to a high artistic level in the field of writing, and the rich connotation and strong charm are no less than any painting and calligraphy art.
It can be said that when we study ancient legends, we must change our inherent way of thinking, and we can examine these ancient memories with a more primitive world outlook and values. Only in this way can we understand the trace of truth that our ancient ancestors once saw. Disclaimer: the above content is from the Internet, and the copyright belongs to the original author. If your original copyright is infringed, please inform us, and we will delete the relevant content as soon as possible.