Lin Zhao’en’s Ge-Wu Moral Cultivation Theory, and its Psychological Interpretation
Download PDF


Lin Zhao‘en
Ge Wu
Moral Cultivation
Cognitive Fusion



Submitted : 2022-04-30
Accepted : 2022-05-15
Published : 2022-05-30


Lin Zhao’en is a folk religionist and ideologist in the late Ming Dynasty, who is influenced by Yangmingism. His practical theory on spiritual cultivation is widely influential, where he has thousands of followers up to now. He emphasis on the practice of Ge Wu, the concept of ‘The Great Learning,’ where the word ‘wu’ in ge-wu refers to ‘things in mind’ meaning the turn of wills. The ‘turn of wills’ refers to the psychological phenomenon of cognitive fusion, describing the relationship between an agent and their wills. The negative impact of the turn of wills, lies in the cognitive fusion between the people and their self-concept (conceptualized self), especially when dealing with external objects, which makes the perceptual function of the mind challenging to operate normally, further reduces the psychological flexibility of the mind. He also classifies ‘things in mind’ into three types, which are desires, biases, and the practice of deliberately doing good. This paper will discuss on the Lin Zhao’en practical theory and the concept of Ge Wu.


Zhiming Z, 1988, On the Founder of Three in One Religion, Student Publishing House, Taipei, 4.

Jingqin T, 2009, On Lin Zhaoen’s Ge Wustudy, Contemporary Confucian Studies, 2009(06): 149-174.

Jingqin T, 2009, The Research on Lin Chaoen’s View of Xin Ti. Legion Semi-Annual Journal, 2009(06): 115-138.

Jingqin T, 2010, On the Views of Xin Ti were Based on Confucian Thought to Merge with Buddhism and Taoism by Wang Long-Xi and Lin Chao-En in the Late Ming Dynasty. Legion Semi-Annual Journal, 2010(06): 85-133.

Jingqin T, 2012, On Chieo Hung’s Thought of Merging Three-Doctrine and Comparing the Thought of Mergence between Chieo Hung and Lin Chao-En. National Central University Journal of Humanity, 2012(01): 54-57.

Xuan Z, 1981, Zhengyi of Rites in the Thirteen Classics Series. Shanghai Classics Publishing House, Shanghai, 1167.

Yi C, Hao C, 1981, Collections of Two Brothers. Zhonghua Book Company, Beijing, 365.

Xi Z, 1983, A Collection of Four Books. Zhonghua Book Company, Beijing, 4.

Shouren W, 2011, Complete Works of Wang Yangming. Shanghai Classics Publishing House, Shanghai, 1071.

Maguang S, 2010, A Collection of Sima Guang. Sichuan University Press, Chengdu, 1450.

Zai Z, 2014, Collections of Zhang Zai. Northwest University Press, Xi’an, 403.

Lechang L, 2014, Published in Collections of Zhang Zai. Northwest University Press, Xi’an, Preface 15.

Gen W, 2001, Complete Works of Wang Xinzhai. Jiangsu Education Press, Nanjing, 3.

Legge J, 1865, The Books of Historical Documents. Trubner, London, 159.

Zhaoen L, 2016, On the Orthodoxy of the Three Religions in Linzi. Religious Culture Press, Beijing, 68-69, 172-173, 268-269, 466, 652, 707, 708, 711, 741-742, 759, 765, 809, 866, 1025-1026.

Hayes, Steven, Lillis, et al., 2020, Translated by Zhu Zhuohong. Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Chongqing University Press, Chongqing, 167.

Qi Z, Shu-Juan W, Zhuohong Z, 2012, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): Psychopathological Model and Processes of Change. Chinese Mental Health Journal, 2012(5): 377-381.

Mingming H, Tonglin J, Shouying Z, 2019, The Influence of College Students’ Psychological Inflexibility on Depression: The Role of Ruminative Responses and Mindfulness, Psychological Research, 2019(5): 469.

Harris R, 2016, Translated by Zhu Zhuohong, Act, That’s it! A Concise Practical Manual of Acceptance Commitment Therapy. China Machine Press, Beijing, 38-39.

Steven C, Hayes, Victoria M, et al., 2011, Mindfulness and Acceptance, The Guilford Press, New York, 1-29.