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Origin of Ru 儒 or Scholars (Confucian)

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#1 dawei


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Posted 25 May 2014 - 04:54 PM

I have said else where,

"The origin of the word is, like Xu, from Shaman divination.  These shaman clergy were later referred to as Scholars."


Let's get to the dirty origins... Ru 儒




"Origins of Confucianism" by Professor Xu Shan 徐山 (Department of Chinese Studies in Suzhou university), whereby he mentioned that "Confucianism originated from prehistoric reverence or worship of lightning god"

He explained it from etymology (i.e. historic origin of words) aspects of the Chinese character for Confucianism "Ru " . In its initial form it was using the character "需". If one decipher the Shang oracle inscription for 需, one will realize that this characters formed by a "rain 雨" on top and a 'person 而' below





Etymologically, the character ru 儒 (Confucian) is made up a semantic element person, and the character xu, which is defined as “waiting in the rain,” or “waiting for” in the early dictionaries. In turn, the character xu depicts a person in rain. Xu, also stated in I Ching as “clouds ascending in the sky,” was the ritual of rainmaking. A number of Chinese scholars contend that the original meaning of ru is wu 巫 or shaman, namely the shaman who makes rain. (Ge, 171) This notion apparently resonates in Confucius's own claim: “I am on the same way with wu and shi史, but to different destinies.” (Silk Scroll Texts of Mawangdui Han Tomb, Yichuan, Yao) In this light, Confucius is “secular as sacred.” (Fingarette, 3)

On the other hand, it is well known that Laozi was shi, a librarian or keeper of the Archives of the Zhou Court. The recent unearthed texts indicate that the term shi characterizes the person in the court, who is in charge of noting down histories and events, and seeking to understand tiandao 天道, or “the way of heaven” by consulting oracle, divination, and astrological calculation. The conclusion, or rather the question, may be: Were Confucius and Laozi from the same origin wu and shi, or shamans? Then again, wu and shi, or the early Chinese shamans were the shamanic officials, or what Mircea Eliade calls “priest-shaman.”



  • Marblehead said thanks for this

#2 Marblehead


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Posted 26 May 2014 - 12:26 AM

Were Confucius and Laozi from the same origin wu and shi, or shamans?

As to Confucius I would say no but he likely read a lot about it.  A good possibility as to Lao Tzu though. 

I reserve the right to be wrong.

YIN-YANG.jpg I reserve the right to change my mind. Anarchy4.jpg

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