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(Chinese: "simple," "in primordial condition"), in Chinese Taoism, metaphorical expression often translated as "uncarved block" and signifying the primordial condition of the mind before it has been affected by experiences. In the state of p'u there are no distinctions between right and wrong, black and white, beautiful and ugly. Taoists desire to return to this state of childhood by abandoning conventional knowledge and by suppressing desires that bind them to the world. Because truth becomes relative, ideas have no value and all contradictions are resolved. The goal is thus to restore the human mind to the state of an "uncarved block." Individuals who achieve this state of mental unity thereby align their existence with the unity of the Absolute Tao, the mysterious, undefinable, transcendent reality that, according to Taoists, produces all things.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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