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Sun Wukong learns of the Three Calamities

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In chapter 2, Sun Wukong learns the 72 transformations to escape the three heaven-sent calamities (三災) of lightning, fire, and wind. I wrote this piece suggesting the novel borrowed from Buddhist cosmology. 

journeytothewestresearch.wordp…
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TheAtomicDog's avatar
This hypothesis is correct.
Journey To The West is a long-ass allegory about achieving enlightment, wherein Sun Wukong represents the uncontrolled human mind, which arrives at the conclusion that Buddhism is the way to go, since neither the patriarchal rigors of Confucianism (the Kingdom of Heaven) nor the dicipline of the Tao (the efforts of the Sages) can control Sun Wukong, but Buddha tricks and finally imprisons Son Wukong with ease.