A Brief History of China (1): Editor’s Note
[PureInsight.org] The Chinese civilization is one of the oldest in the world. From ancient times to the present day, it is the only integrated and continuous civilization. Today’s Chinese people can learn about their ancestors’ culture by reading writings that date back thousands of years. Many other civilizations are unable to understand their ancestors’ writings, and therefore, it is hard for them to know the whole story of their civilization. This is what makes the Chinese civilization unique in the history of human civilization.
Over the long march of time, when we look back at history, we may be surprised to discover that the unfolding of history merely follows an established track. Many prophecies by ancient sages later became reality. We can’t help asking, “Is history really arranged? Is it arranged by gods? If so, what is the purpose of the arrangements?” When we research the civilization that our ancestors left behind, we once again are surprised that in the ancient times, Chinese civilization was closely tied to gods. It seems that so many mythological stories are telling us this: the truth of history is not what is often described today; our ancestors held an unusual reverence toward gods.
Whether in the East or the West, many historic artifacts and ancient books and records show that ancient people really did respect gods. They observed the principles of conduct that gods taught them and passed these down from generation to generation.
However, as our material science and technology move forward, the meaning of mythology can no longer be understood by modern generations. They think that these myths are just the vivid imagination of the ancients. The five thousand year-old Chinese civilization seems so complex to people today.
Although many historical truths have been covered by the dust of time, after going through the Qin Dynasty, Han Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, Song Dynasty, and arriving at today, it is not hard to detect that there is an invisible thread which links this history together.
In order to restore the truth of history as much as possible, we must first interpret history from a new, objective, and succinct perspective. By telling about the origin and development of the Chinese nation and the changes of the dynasties; listing primary historical facts, incidents and personages; and detailing people’s lives and giving an overview of culture, we can inspire people to have a new understanding about Chinese history.
Translated from: http://zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2008/11/16/56001.html