Archnel

Questions On Confucianism

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Lately I've been checking out many books from my school's library about Eastern philosophies, especially those of China.
Taoism has always been the one that has clicked with me the most. It aligns with my beliefs, before and after its introduction in my life. However, in studying Chinese philosophy, there is one I've undoubtedly come across quite often: Confucianism. For me, personally, I've always felt it to be too restrictive and counterproductive for it to help in my life at all. However, there's been this book at the library I've been thinking about getting that is about Confucianism. I'm very reluctant to spend much time to read entire books on the subject, for the reasons stated above. However, surely there must be some merit to it and incorporating aspects of its beliefs into your life. 

So now I get to my question.

Have any of you read much into Confucius, perhaps Analects or other writings on the matter? If so, have you found any of the information or practices useful in your life? What lessons have you learned from it?
As well as, seeing how it seems completely contrary to Taoism, how would you possibly incorporate both into your daily life? I see that Chinese society has done this quite well, but I'm not sure how

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In my understanding, Confucianism teaches living a structured life.  My conservative mentality is comfortable with that.

 

Confucianism teaches respecting authority.  My Anarchist mentality said "No freaking way!"

 

But Confucianism is still a very important philosophy for many Chinese.  Understanding Confucius used to be a key factor for getting accepted into government service.

 

But yes, there are many differences between Confucianism and Daoism.

 

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10 hours ago, Archnel said:

it seems completely contrary to Taoism,

About Lao Tzu : Taoism.net

 
Lao Tzu was the ancient Chinese philosopher who wrote the Tao Te Ching more than ... Many in later generations would regard Confucius as Lao Tzu's disciple.
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I read most of the analects, but finally I admitted to myself I was forcing myself to read really boring stuff. I think there is an important difference with daoism, that being the belief that men at heart are good , and that their essential nature will be asserted as such ,when the disturbances are alleviated. 

I think the Confucian view runs more along the lines that mens views on goodness are ..a blank slate, and unguided , behavior will be unpredictable. 

So I believe thqt Confucius feels that the thing to do is set an artficial standard so that man will be able to be good.

Both feel that men have propensities which may be relied upon. 

.... dont ask for me to back that up, I dont remember what data I used to get there.

;)

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When the Tao is lost .. then you get Confucianism, actually it's a bit downline, you need to lose a couple of other things after Tao before getting to Confucianism; which was authored by Confused Tzu hisself.  All religions/philosophies present various aspects that fill the spectrum all the way from mystic at one end to fundamentalist at the other end.  Confucianism is the fundamentalist aspect of Taoism, to be rejected by those who can appreciate the value of being an uncarved block.  Chuang Tzu rejected that crap as well.

 

They say he was brilliant, and it appears to be so, but it was all in his head, he didn't 'get it' in his heart.

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1.  Therefore, when the Way is lost there is virtue.

2.  When virtue is lost there is benevolence.

3.  When benevolence is lost there is righteousness.

4.  When righteousness is lost there are rituals.

Rituals are the end of fidelity and honesty,

And the beginning of confusion.

 

So this puts Confucianism down around level three and four, where you get righteousness and ritual.

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59 minutes ago, Starjumper said:

2.  When virtue is lost there is benevolence.

 

The character translated here as benevolence is 仁:

 

Quote

失德而後仁 (Dao de Jing Chapter  38, Chinese Text Project)

 

which is the primary virtue of the Confucian Sage, therefore even in Chapter 38, from which you quote Confucianism, would only be third down from Dao, but in Chapter 18, it is only second down.

 

I examine the relationship between Dao and Ren in some detail in my discussion of Chapter 5, here:

 

On 11/7/2014 at 8:03 PM, Zhongyongdaoist said:

Ok, the day was busier than I thought and this is not quite as refined and elegant as I might wish, but here it is:

 

Proof that given Daoist terminology and basic cosmology, neither Heaven and Earth or the Sage could be ren, and they both the Ten Thousand Things and humanity would be worse off if they were.

 

As I have said the trouble is in the first four lines and in particular the second and fourth lines. just a quick fairly literal translation:

 

 

Heaven, Earth, not benevolent

take the 10,000 things like straw dogs

Sage, not benevolent

takes the people like straw dogs.

 

I am pretty much the only one here who has actually made a detailed study of Confucianism going back to 2000, and has a long familiarity with Daoism in its philosophical, meditative and ritual forms, starting in the mid Sixties.  Most people here have no familiarity with Confucianism, but insist on making commenting on it anyway, and what is usually presented as Confucianism is seldom more than a primitive caricature, bearing little resemblance to its original.

 

The whole discussion of Ren in the above mentioned thread is worth a look.  A better idea of what is going on in Confucianism can be gleaned from my posts on Confucian Qigong in this thread:

 

But this only scratches the surface of a very deep subject.

 

Without understanding that translating Ren as benevolence, which is just Latin for Good Will, is only a good translation as it relates to its outer aspect as can be understood by worldly people, but is hardly the full meaning of Ren.  I think of its higher meaning as "human potential", which represents the possibility of realizing our "Heavenly Nature" in our bodily form, and expanding our "Humanity", so that it encompasses and forms a triad of Heaven, Earth and Humanity as embodied in the Confucian Sage.  This triad is then the basis by which the Sage eventually becomes a Shen.  Some of the passages in Mencius and other Confucian works from which these ideas are garnered are examined in the Confucian Qi gong thread.

 

I hope this clears some misunderstanding, and that this had opened people's minds to that idea that there is much more to Confucianism and that the usual mutually exclusive dichotomy drawn between Daoism and Confucianism is superficial at best.  As far as I am concerned they are better seen as complementary, and there is more relation between them and interplay between them then most people realize.

 

I am very busy right now and may not be able to elaborate on any of the above anytime soon.

 

ZYD

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Let's recall that Confucius was making an appeal to the Rites of Zhou; he saw their decline, as a rule and ethical lifestyle.  So to really understand Confucius, I would argue, you should study the Zhou period... but to understand the Zhou, you should understand the Shang... and in this recursive way, Confucianism is a poster child for embracing your histories values.   

 

I always loved the saying (forget where I read it), chinese are confucian by day and daoist by night.   I think there is something to be learned by even this.

 

Whereas Confucius wanted custom and courtesy, relationships defined, and a proper man developed, Laozi felt that if you could strip away all the social contrivances and ego based issues,  you will naturally develop these ways nonetheless.  But you will have done it without 'rules' and 'methods' (the latter was more the legalist, who sometimes overlap daoist ideas). 

 

In this sense, it is then a matter of path, as the outcome should be the same... and why later in time, the 'vinegar tasters' of Laozi, Confucius, and Buddha are shown together as, Three Paths as the Same.

 

I would encourage you, or anyone, to simply find which path seems to strike you as a calling... see where it goes... ask questions... etc.

 

Lastly, let's not forget this is an eastern way were the dead where honor with highest regard... ethics were paramount...  It worked back then...  question is, how to make it work now.

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On 23.12.2017 at 10:42 PM, Starjumper said:

So this puts Confucianism down around level three and four, where you get righteousness and ritual


Confucianism is a very good base for Daoist studies.
I suppose people who has got confusionism principles from the childhood could better understand the Daoism.
However those principles are quite a challenge to follow :ph34r:

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On 1/12/2018 at 8:36 PM, dawei said:

Whereas Confucius wanted custom and courtesy, relationships defined, and a proper man developed, Laozi felt that if you could strip away all the social contrivances and ego based issues,  you will naturally develop these ways nonetheless.  But you will have done it without 'rules' and 'methods'

 

This reminds me of something i was told and then read about.  I had an Ecuadorian worker here, an old man of about 78, and by the way he worked a lot harder than most city people half his age could.  He being a good catholic, told me that he wanted to be honest (by following the rules, or commandments) so that he could go to heaven. Then later I read something that applied to this:  If a person wants to be good so they can go to heaven then that is like being a trained dog, they are 'acting' good but they are not naturally good at a fundamental level.  This person also is likely to slip up at times or 'bend' the rules, which also happened.

 

What appeals to me is what I call the Taoist:  'The game of ethics', because trying to do what's best for all involved all the time is not a commandment or requirement, it's a game I like to play just for the sake of the game and because it is a skill that needs to be practiced.  And no one is perfect, not even the immortals.

Edited by Starjumper
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12 hours ago, Starjumper said:

And no one is perfect, not even the immortals


It is believed that immortals are :rolleyes:. However the question is what one mean when saying "perfect"...
Thank you for that story @Starjumper
I believe that for the Heaven it all the same  - it doesn't matter what you belive in God or in Money or in Yourself - actions which you are taking - this is the only thing which will be wheighted on the Doomsday.

In this regards Confucionism - is the good limiter for the people who can't selfcultivate by himself.
After all I believe that the only reason why we have government and why  do we unite into countries - is our selfcultivation boost.
That's what societies are created for and I thnk it would be very useful to have Confucious principles given (planted) from the Childhood.

 

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1 hour ago, DaoKeeper said:


It is believed that immortals are :rolleyes:. However the question is what one mean when saying "perfect"...
Thank you for that story @Starjumper

 

It's just something I heard, an immortal told me this way: "no one is perfect, not even the immortals", however he was only referring to the game of ethics.  So that would mean that even immortals can make a mistake with ethics, however I feel that they would be few and far between, and they are damn near perfect in that regard, or maybe excellent is a better word.  After all they have many centuries or many millennia to practice and 'perfect' themselves.  Maybe when an immortal does become perfect then they become a god, I don't know.

 

Quote

I believe that for the Heaven it all the same  - it doesn't matter what you belive in God or in Money or in Yourself - actions which you are taking - this is the only thing which will be wheighted on the Doomsday.

In this regards Confucionism - is the good limiter for the people who can't selfcultivate by himself.
After all I believe that the only reason why we have government and why  do we unite into countries - is our selfcultivation boost.
That's what societies are created for and I thnk it would be very useful to have Confucious principles given (planted) from the Childhood.

 

Those are very good points that I neglected.  I feel that it has a lot to do with emotional maturity, and so young people need some rules and guidelines to follow to set themselves going in the right direction.  Also some people remain immature as they grow older (particularly these days?) and so they also need the rules to help guide them.  The idea if leaving the rules behind and instead playing the game of ethics would only be for the very mature, and so Taoism is also only for the very mature.

 

There must be some link to intelligence too, because dumb people are the ones that tend to gravitate towards fundamentalism, and fundamentalism is full of rules.  Perhaps intellectual maturity is a good term to use.

Edited by Starjumper
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On 05.04.2018 at 3:41 PM, Starjumper said:

 I feel that it has a lot to do with emotional maturity, and so young people need some rules and guidelines to follow to set themselves going in the right direction.  Also some people remain immature as they grow older (particularly these days?) and so they also need the rules to help guide them.  The idea if leaving the rules behind and instead playing the game of ethics would only be for the very mature, and so Taoism is also only for the very mature.


Agree. Only point to add is that there should be the real power behind the rules. Otherwise, you know, young people tent to break the rules instead of following them...
And after they did break, they build their new homes, become older and realize that those rules of the past were really good :D
I've seen how Chinese people are growing up their children. Well in european taste the words like "harsh" or "cruel" are going to my mind, however all this makes it possible to keep new generation bounded and controlled (at least for the youth time)

For me this is like a miracle, because when I look what is going on with the world nowadays my first thoght is to pack things and go live to China somewhere far-far away of this craziness.

I still guessing how did they manage to build up & keep that system of  succession in China. And guess that Confucianism is far not the last point in the why-list

 

On 05.04.2018 at 3:41 PM, Starjumper said:

and so Taoism is also only for the very mature.


Well, immediately!  This is to the quotes!

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On 24.12.2017 at 12:38 AM, Zhongyongdaoist said:

I am pretty much the only one here who has actually made a detailed study of Confucianism going back to 2000, and has a long familiarity with Daoism in its philosophical, meditative and ritual forms, starting in the mid Sixties.  Most people here have no familiarity with Confucianism, but insist on making commenting on it anyway, and what is usually presented as Confucianism is seldom more than a primitive caricature, bearing little resemblance to its original.


Hello,
I greatly appreciate your efforts! And as far as you seem to be the most expert in Confucianism, could you please say if it is corect to say that Confucianism might be considered as base of Daoism?
Thank you.
 

On 24.10.2017 at 1:52 AM, Marblehead said:

Confucianism teaches respecting authority.  My Anarchist mentality said "No freaking way!"


In Anarchy, doesn't one have authorities at all?

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23 minutes ago, DaoKeeper said:

In Anarchy, doesn't one have authorities at all?

That is an excellent question but it is also almost impossible to answer simply.

 

The ideal of Anarchy is that everyone does the right thing, respects all others who do the same.  But wait.  What of those who do not do the right thing?  Are they allowed to do so?  Well, not really.  So this is the creation of authority.  Judgement.

 

There are angry Anarchists who attack authority.  I'm not one of those.

 

I just don't want others telling me how I should live my life if while living my life the way I wish I am causing no harm to any one or any thing that belongs to some one else.

 

Realistically, an Anarchist understands that not all are going to do the right thing.  Therefore there must be authority to tell these people what they are not allowed to do.  But as with nearly all authorities, they feed on them selves.  The authorities grow and take more and more control of what is allowable by the individual as well as making laws as to what the individual must do according to "their" laws.

 

I have stated here before that the Christian "Ten Commandments" should be enough for the average person.  (Remember, I am an Atheist.)  

 

I have concluded that it is only within an anarchist society one can follow one's own true nature.  And this brings up the question of what about those who's true nature is evil?  Can our society allow such behavior?  I suggest that it cannot.  Once again, the need for authority in some form.

 

So in today's world what with so many "authorities" we behave in a manner such that these "authorities" have no reason to observe our actions and live our true nature within the bounds of those "authorities" that have placed limits on how we interact with other members of society and the environment in general.

 

 Edit to add:

 

And recall that it is said that the more laws a society has the more criminals that society will have.

 

Edited by Marblehead
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2 hours ago, DaoKeeper said:

it is corect to say that Confucianism might be considered as base of Daoism?

Yes it is

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13 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:
3 hours ago, DaoKeeper said:

it is corect to say that Confucianism might be considered as base of Daoism?

Yes it is

 

Good, simple straightforward answer there Taoist Texts, but not enough for pigs and fishes.

 

2 hours ago, DaoKeeper said:

Hello,
I greatly appreciate your efforts! And as far as you seem to be the most expert in Confucianism, could you please say if it is corect to say that Confucianism might be considered as base of Daoism?
Thank you.

 

I can only do so much, but I can try.

 

On 10/23/2017 at 3:52 PM, Marblehead said:

In my understanding, Confucianism teaches living a structured life.  My conservative mentality is comfortable with that.

 

Confucianism teaches respecting authority.  My Anarchist mentality said "No freaking way!" (Emphasis mine, ZYD)

 

With all due respect to Marblehead, or any of the others who make comments about Confucianism here, If I asked any of them to quote a single Confucian text to back up their assertions about Confucianism, how many could reply off the top of their heads?  All I see around here are "Taoists" attacking Confucianism on the the authority of Laozi and Zhuangzi.  So who are the respecters of "authority" around here?  Why should Laozi and Zhuangzi be the considered authoritative at all?  In the whole decade from the mid Sixties to the mid Seventies, as much as I loved Laozi I couldn't find any good reason to say, "everything you need to know is in the Daodejing", so I widened my search, but that is another story in itself.

 

Here I support my position about Confucianism by actually quoting from a text:

 

On 11/2/2014 at 4:40 PM, Zhongyongdaoist said:

If only this was more than a caricature founded on a parody, it might be possible to learn something of Ren. This is from one of the Fundamental Texts of ConFucianism the Zhonyong:

 

Quote

自誠明、謂之性。自明誠、謂之教。誠則明矣、明則誠矣。唯天下至誠、爲能盡其性。能盡其性、則能盡人之性。能盡人之性、則能盡物之性。能盡物之性、則可以贊天地之化育。可以贊天地之化育、則可以與天地參矣。其次致曲。曲能有誠、誠則形、形則著、著則明、明則動、動則變、變則化。唯天下至誠爲能化。至誠之道、可以前知。國家將興、必有禎祥。國家將亡、必有妖孽。見乎蓍龜、動乎四體。禍福將至。善、必先知之。不善、必先知之。故至誠如神。

 

21. The enlightenment that comes from sincerity is our own nature. The sincerity that comes from enlightenment is called “education.” If you are sincere you will be enlightened. If you are enlightened, you will be sincere.

 

22. Only the perfectly sincere person can actualize his own essence. Actualizing his own essence, he can fully actualize the essence of others. Fully actualizing the essence of others, he can fully actualize the essence of all things. Being able to fully actualize the essence of all things, he can assist Heaven and Earth in their transformation and sustenance. Able to assist in Heaven and Earth's transformation and sustenance, he forms a trinity with Heaven and Earth.

 

23. Those of the next level straighten out their own twistedness. Being straightened they can possess sincerity. Having sincerity, they can give form to their character. Their character having form, their sincerity becomes manifest. Being manifest it is luminous, being luminous it can function. Functioning, it changes; changing, it transforms. Only the most fully actualized sincerity is able to transform people and things.

 

24. Once you are in the Path of fully actualized sincerity, you have foreknowledge of things. When a nation or clan is about to rise up, there are always omens of their fortune. When a nation or clan is about to fall, there are always omens of their misfortune. It can be seen in the milfoil stalks, 3 tortoise shells 4 and in the movements of the body. When good or evil fortune is imminent, the perfectly sincere person will know without obstruction. With fully actualized sincerity, you are like a god. (Emphasis mine, ZYD, A. Charles Muller, Zhongyong, or Doctrine of the mean 21-24)

 

Only the person who has truly realized chéng, 诚, usually rendered as "sincerity", but in this case "authentic" is a better translation, can be truly Ren and then 仁 refers to the trinity of Heaven, Earth and the Sage.

 

Only a person who takes the conduct of a Sage as his example can achieve this, not a nonperson who lives solely to the expectations of others. A Confucian will always be mindful of the expectations of others, but will always look to his Heaven conferred nature as his model, and thus transforms the expectations of others, by living true (another meaning of chéng) to himself (herself too, of course).  (Corrected spelling of person, ZYD)

 

and point out that Confucianism teaches respecting the conduct of sages and looking to ones Heaven conferred nature as a model, where in this is "respect for authority"?  The only thing that is being respected above is "our own nature", how is that not the basis for a good life?  How is that not a good basis for Daoism?  One could even ask what do Laozi and Zhuangzi add to this that is so wonderful?

 

In my discussion of Chapter Five of the the DaodeJing that I cite above:

 

 

I actually cite from the Daodejing.  I also demonstrate a skill in textual analysis that is completely lacking in just about every other discussion of Chapter Five on the Dao Bums.  In dealing with Zhuangzi's ambiguous treatment of Confucius, do I say stuff like "come on, the guys a frickin butterfly dreaming he's a human, what a load of crap!", no instead I create an amusing drama about Zhuangzi being deposed in a legal case:

 

On 11/5/2014 at 12:15 PM, Zhongyongdaoist said:

That Confucius was a Sage is part of the Confucian tradition. I have summoned and deposed a hostile witness and obtained the following account:

Hostile Witness name: Zhuangzi

Deposition summary:

Would you please state your name for the record?

Zhuangzi.

And I understand that you have written a great deal on the subject of Chinese Philosophy, and in particular, what has come to be know as "Taoism", is that correct?

Well, that was a long time ago and it was mostly about "Dao", I don't know much about these Taoists, though apparently they do like to refer to me as an authority.

Is it or is it not true that in writings published under your name you have given a very positive account of Confucius?

Yes

Bearing in mind that negative accounts of Confucius also appear in your published writings, do you have an explanation for this seeming contradiction?

Well, I may have been dreaming I was a Confucian when wrote it, you know, sometimes a man sometimes a butterfly, sometimes a Confucian.


and then proceed to actually quote from Zhuangzi.  I haven't read Zhuangzi since the seventies, and I still remembered enough of him to cite this.  When was the last time that any of you critics of Confucianism read Mencius, or the Zhongyong?  I realize that to fundamentalists all one does is quote from ones own scriptures about the evils of the "other", but to be honest with you, if all that your studies of "Taoism" have done is left you in a position that I can run circles around you, I don't find it not much of a recommendation for what you have learned.

 

I will finish as I did before:

 

On 12/23/2017 at 1:38 PM, Zhongyongdaoist said:

I hope this clears some misunderstanding, and that this had opened people's minds to that idea that there is much more to Confucianism and that the usual mutually exclusive dichotomy drawn between Daoism and Confucianism is superficial at best.  As far as I am concerned they are better seen as complementary, and there is more relation between them and interplay between them then most people realize.

 

Even though it is obvious that it did nothing to stop:

 

On 12/23/2017 at 1:38 PM, Zhongyongdaoist said:

people here have no familiarity with Confucianism, but insist on making comments on it anyway, and what is usually presented as Confucianism is seldom more than a primitive caricature, bearing little resemblance to its original.  (Corrected grammar, changing "commenting" to "comments", ZYD)

 

perhaps the great Taoist sages here should try wordless teaching of their criticisms of Confucianism and shut up, since it seems that they are completely unable to put up, and if they are as advanced as they say they are, then on the authority of their own holy scripture, as I even reference in my discussion of Ren in Chapter Five cited above, all of us poor Confucians will surely convert and say "we did it on our own", and the great sages won't even have to write another word on the subject.  Yes, wuwei is the way after all, well, at least the way to avoid looking like a fool.

 

ZYD

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33 minutes ago, Zhongyongdaoist said:

With all due respect to Marblehead, or any of the others who make comments about Confucianism here, If I asked any of them to quote a single Confucian text to back up their assertions about Confucianism, how many could reply off the top of their heads?  All I see around here are "Taoists" attacking Confucianism on the the authority of Laozi and Zhuangzi.  So who are the respecters of "authority" around here?  Why should Laozi and Zhuangzi be the considered authoritative at all?  In the whole decade from the mid Sixties to the mid Seventies, as much as I loved Laozi I couldn't find any good reason to say, "everything you need to know is in the Daodejing", so I widened my search, but that is another story in itself.

 

It's not my intention to negate the value of Confucian teachings.  Most of us know that I am an admirer of Chuang Tzu.  Those two were very different people with very different philosophies.

 

Sure, it is safe to say that Confucius was aware of what was or what was to become the Tao Te Ching.  At least he was aware of the teachings of the Way an did incorporate many of the teachings in his philosophy.  Chuang Tzu wasn't born yet so he could not consider anything Chuang Tzu said.

 

Perhaps I come off as attacking Confucius because I am an Anarchist and this philosophy is nearly 180 degrees removed from Confucian ideals.

 

Apologies to anyone who feels I am attacking Confucius.  And I will admit that I have read only a small amount of the writings attributed to him.  So sure, if anyone feels I am attacking Confucius then they can consider that I am doing it out of ignorance.  But then, I do the same thing with Buddhism.  I'm just that kind of a guy.

 

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1 hour ago, 9th said:

BLAH BLAH BLAH (Emphasis added, ZYD)

 

Thanks 9th, I always appreciate your clear and lucid contributions.

 

43 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

It's not my intention to negate the value of Confucian teachings.  Most of us know that I am an admirer of Chuang Tzu.  Those two were very different people with very different philosophies.

 

Sure, it is safe to say that Confucius was aware of what was or what was to become the Tao Te Ching.  At least he was aware of the teachings of the Way an did incorporate many of the teachings in his philosophy.  Chuang Tzu wasn't born yet so he could not consider anything Chuang Tzu said.

 

Perhaps I come off as attacking Confucius because I am an Anarchist and this philosophy is nearly 180 degrees removed from Confucian ideals.

 

Apologies to anyone who feels I am attacking Confucius.  And I will admit that I have read only a small amount of the writings attributed to him.  So sure, if anyone feels I am attacking Confucius then they can consider that I am doing it out of ignorance.  But then, I do the same thing with Buddhism.  I'm just that kind of a guy. (Emphasis added, ZYD)

 

Thank you Marblehead, your reply is part of the reason why I prefaced my comments with the phrase "with all due respect", because I believe that there is a lot of respect to you as a person who has put a lot of thought into what you espouse and in many ways seem to have grown significantly as a person because of it.  However, your own answer brings up part of the problem, which is the reduction of Confucian and Confucianism to the surviving writings still attributed to Confucius, in this case probably limited to the Analects, and the totality of Confucian literature, that existed even in the pre-Qin period, much less the later aspects of the tradition.

 

I have not merely read the Analects, I have studied them, and I wouldn't blame anyone for not being positively impressed by them.  When I became interested in Confucianism back in 2000, it was after 35 or so years of neglect, and neglect for pretty much the same reasons that everyone else on the Dao Bums ignores them, the popular opinions about and conceptions of, Confucianism.  When I read Tu Wei-ming's Humanity and Self-Cultivation, I was frankly amazed at the reality versus the misconceptions about Confucianism, and based on my readings of later works in the classical Confucian canon, such as Mencius and the Zhongyong, what relation they had to what Confucius really thought and whether the Analects, as basically "the collected sayings", was any fair indicator of what he might have thought.

 

After several years of reading and reflecting on the Analects I decided that a convincing answer to the question of how much of the Analects is really what Confucius thought is not possible, and I can only say that I think at best, parts of the Analects may be representative of his thinking, but that it is hard to tell which ones and how you could judge the authentic ones from those attributed to him.  At this time, I tend to think that the more mystical and deeper levels of later Confucianism have a very real connection to what he thought and believed, however, I couldn't even begin to justify that belief in any short discussion, nor do I find it more than a strong probability, and therefore will not even attempt to now.

 

ZYD

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We may need a thread which at least attempts to make fitting sense of Confucian ideals and virtues.   I'm glad ZYD brought up the other thread as it was good to read through it again.

 

I cannot think of a word (Ren) that I struggled more with and mainly due to my lack of knowing how Confucius would even use it, then to suggest what Laozi meant by saying 'not Ren'...    but I like this below point:

 

2 hours ago, Zhongyongdaoist said:

and point out that Confucianism teaches respecting the conduct of sages and looking to ones Heaven conferred nature as a model, where in this is "respect for authority"?  The only thing that is being respected above is "our own nature", how is that not the basis for a good life?  How is that not a good basis for Daoism?  One could even ask what do Laozi and Zhuangzi add to this that is so wonderful?

 

In some ways, Confucius was like Jesus...  "Truly I tell you," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown." -NIV

 

As MH stated (somewhere), Confucius knew/talked of Dao...  Even the Buddhists did... and maybe why the Three Vinegar tasters moment makes a lot of sense (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar_tasters). 

 

There is much truth in the fact that Confucianism is very important in the life of chinese and is historically the fabric that has held its people and government together in some ways... although the entrance exams were based on Confucian classics to a large degree, the more modern community part tried to dismantle the leverage that Confucianism had over people... almost like treating it along side Fulan Gong.    I might say that at least in terms of Confucianism, the government simply didn't understand the positive aspects.

 

Confucius liked to look back in time... he extolled the Sage-Kings (Yao, Shun, Yu) which the Daoist saw as evidence of the decline of the Way...  and he sought to restore the Rites of Zhou as the ideal Way to live... in this sense, Confucius was trying to restore the Way to live.  

 

The Sage-kings have an  interesting mention as 'Sagely within and Kingly without' ;  Governing by not governing, acting by not acting.  Sounds very familiar to my daoist inclined ears...

 

The only quote of Confucius I can recall is to respect ghosts but keep them at a distance :)

 

Seems sensible advice... but just words until one knows the background of why he would even say that.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, dawei said:

We may need a thread which at least attempts to make fitting sense of Confucian ideals and virtues.   I'm glad ZYD brought up the other thread as it was good to read through it again.

 

I cannot think of a word (Ren) that I struggled more with and mainly due to my lack of knowing how Confucius would even use it, then to suggest what Laozi meant by saying 'not Ren'...    but I like this below point:

 

 

In some ways, Confucius was like Jesus...  "Truly I tell you," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown." -NIV

 

As MH stated (somewhere), Confucius knew/talked of Dao...  Even the Buddhists did... and maybe why the Three Vinegar tasters moment makes a lot of sense (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar_tasters). 

 

There is much truth in the fact that Confucianism is very important in the life of chinese and is historically the fabric that has held its people and government together in some ways... although the entrance exams were based on Confucian classics to a large degree, the more modern community part tried to dismantle the leverage that Confucianism had over people... almost like treating it along side Fulan Gong.    I might say that at least in terms of Confucianism, the government simply didn't understand the positive aspects.

 

Confucius liked to look back in time... he extolled the Sage-Kings (Yao, Shun, Yu) which the Daoist saw as evidence of the decline of the Way...  and he sought to restore the Rites of Zhou as the ideal Way to live... in this sense, Confucius was trying to restore the Way to live.  

 

The Sage-kings have an  interesting mention as 'Sagely within and Kingly without' ;  Governing by not governing, acting by not acting.  Sounds very familiar to my daoist inclined ears...

 

The only quote of Confucius I can recall is to respect ghosts but keep them at a distance :)

 

Seems sensible advice... but just words until one knows the background of why he would even say that.

 

 

 

 

I'm not so sure living Confucius was accepted in any town . 

But , lets hear a nice juicy analect ! 

Edited by Stosh
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3 hours ago, Stosh said:

I'm not so sure living Confucius was accepted in any town . 

 

I watched a documentary about Confucius a while back and it was  stated that one prince accepted Confucius into his counsel but the "good old boys" didn't like that and they connived against Confucius and he finally had to leave.

 

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Not quite a shining success, to counsel the prince himself, and the riff raff get you booted anyway. ;)

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On 12.04.2018 at 7:06 PM, Zhongyongdaoist said:

The only thing that is being respected above is "our own nature", how is that not the basis for a good life?  How is that not a good basis for Daoism?

 

Thank you @Zhongyongdaoist  for your contribution, It was really interesting because you showed up the aspects of Confucianism I (and probably someone else here) was not aware of.
 

This fully answers my question (Could the Confucionism be the good base for the Daoism - so YEAH!)
And also it says that Confucianism is a complete knowledge.
 

We all know that time is going in the circles and for each time there is only one key perfectly fit.
So I guess Confucianism was really a requirement for the time it was at the TOP.
 

Considering that and recognizing the Confucianism as complete system.
Shall we elaborate alittle on how can we apply the principles of Confucionism to our lives/practice. So everyone can benefit from it?

 

Sorry for my ignorance  but I'd like to ask how this principle 仁 could be reflected in human/practicioner life?
Or shall we maybe start with something more simple like 礼 (ritual)?

 

Thank you

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