Thinking Backwards

No pictures but instead a curious bit of Chinese history:

For a man to think forwards he must first look from where he came“, or so wrote the renowned philosopher Da Wei (literal translation: “Hungry Stomach”) in his letter to the fourth Emperor of the Wang Dynasty (A.D. 1279-1368). In his letter, Da Wei lays out a controversial new theory of cognitive thought, later to become the foundation of neoclassical culture in China. Whilst it was not unusual for the royal family to consult established members of intelligentsia this was almost exclusively a one-way process – they went to you, you never went to them.

Enraged by his indiscretion Emperor Yan declared the work as “Foreign Devilry” and ordered her imperial guard to assassinate Da Wei. This select detachment of cavalry officers consisted of around 400 guards but of real note were the 4000 specially trained dogs that terrorized the local population during this period; hence the proverb “Killing the dog does not heal the bite“. Forewarned by Hmong-Mien sympathizers (an ethnic minority) of the impending ambush Da Wei fled Nanjing (the former capital of China) to what is now Beijing.

After pursuing Da Wei for over 900km the dogs were said to become weary and many died of exhaustion. At this point, the trail goes cold and Da Wei disappears into the fog of history. Later rumours report that he became a Buddhist monk whilst others suggest that he lost his mind and spent the rest of his days wandering the Mentougou Mountains incoherently muttering to himself. Whatever the truth of his demise escaping 4000 killer canines was quite a feat!

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