Gan Bao’s Aim in Writing the Soushen ji and His Theory of Changes in the Five Pneumata
31 , 2015-12 , 東京大学東洋文化研究所
With the aim of dif ferentiating between auspicious omens and calamities as manifestations of the correlation between Heaven and the human realm, such as might suppor t the legitimacy of the Eastern Jin, and auspicious omens and calamities unrelated to any correlation between Heaven and the human realm, such as had been unable to predict the fall of the Western Jin, Gan Bao 干寶 wrote the Soushen ji 捜神記 with the aim of elucidating the principle behind the occurrence of the latter. Gan Bao constructed his logic by combining the contents of existing works. One example of this was his formulation of the logic behind the genesis of malevolent spirits ( yaoguai 妖怪) on the basis of the genesis of calamities attributed to evil influences (yaozai 妖災) in the Chunqiu Zuoshi zhuan 春秋左氏傳 and the genesis of ghosts or spirits (gui 鬼) in the Lunheng 論衡. The theor y of changes in the five pneumata (wuqi 五氣) is representative of these theories of Gan Bao. Normal changes (shunchang 順常) are divided into four kinds, and the mutability or immutability of “pneuma” (qi 氣), “form” (xing 形), and “nature” (xing 性) during these changes is explained. In addition, abnormal changes (yaosheng 妖眚) cor respond to changes in people due to “inversion” ( fan 反), “confusion” (luan 亂), or “change” (mao 貿) in pneuma, and it is these changes that ought to be placed at the centre of the theory of a correlation between Heaven and the human realm. Further, through his demonstration that only abnormal changes are targeted by the theory of a correlation between Heaven and the human realm, Gan Bao resolved any doubts concerning the equivocation of the Supreme Thearch (Shangdi 上帝) that had been voiced in his introduction to the Jinji 晉紀. The Soushen ji represented a record of the nature of the “way of spirits” (shendao 神道) with a focus on concrete events in line with the Chunqiu Zuoshi zhuan.