Science is so-called because Science has changed Man's living conditions, promoted the development of world civilization, and sought the real practice of the Truth. Its effects are outstanding and have received people's praise. This pamphlet was written with a scientific attitude and objective spirit.
The function of Philosophy is to understand the whole world, and investigate the world views of Mankind. Its basic questions concern "the relationship of thought to existence, and of the spiritual to the material." Since ancient times, countless philosophers and sects in the world have formulated many theories, which can be divided into two main schools of thought. Those which consider spirituality the primary nature of the source of the world fall under Idealism. Those that define matter as the primary nature of the source in the world fall under Materialism.
The truth is the absolute, universal, eternal, objective, monistic, classless and existent reality. Therefore, philosophy must penetrate to the absolute truth. Only the absolute truth can resolve the questions of the universe and the world; and only by knowing about the universe and the world, can one find that absolute truth. For the most part, modem people consider there to be no such absolute truth, or are not aware that there is absolute truth. Someone said, "The summation of the relative truth is the absolute truth." Actually the result of this summation is still relative. Then, is there really no absolute truth? No. There is absolute truth. Only the absolute truth can solve the questions in the Universal View, World View, Life View and the controversies of philosophers of the ancient and the present, East and West. Therefore, the author has attempted to comment on the dialectic of past philosophers, to analyze the reality of natural phenomena and of the process of human life, and to search for absolute truth by objective methods. In trying to draw general conclusions about the vast cosmos of myriad phenomena and subtle and deep principles, I have always considered myself lacking in knowledge, imperfect in thought, and deficient in expression. Thus, I can only use common language and frequent examples and analogies. Sometimes the commentary may exceed the text and even depart from the outline. To facilitate explanation, I used a question-answer format that has resulted in repetitious statements. The reader's forgiveness and valued comments are requested to make this book more complete and satisfactory.
Since many quotes from the Buddha are used in the text, the readers may formulate a narrow conception of Buddhism. Therefore, an appendix focusing on Buddhism has been included for reference. The criticism and comments of the Venerable Monks and Virtuous Ones and the fourfold assembly are sincerely requested to prevent the author from passing off fish-eyes for pearls.
Ywe Syin-hwa October 1992 Beijing