Confucianism And The Chinese View Of Life

3806 words - 15 pages

"The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.”

– Confucius --

Confucianism created the Chinese view of life. The Confucian view is based on the ancient Chinese tradition. It can be stated that the view of Confucius and that of the Chinese began in the same place ( Bush, 15). In subsequent centuries Confucius’ teachings exerted a powerful influence on the Chinese nation. Therefore, the history that surrounds both Confucius as well as Confucianism is relevant to how many eastern people live their life today.
Confucius was born in 551B.C., to the noble K’ung family. He was born in the state of Lu, which is present day the Shandong in the Shantung Province. Confucius’ real name was Ch’iu, which means a hill. This was because there was a noticeable bump on his head. His literary name however is Chung-ni. These names have been rarely used because of the Chinese practice of showing reverence by avoidance. K’ung Futzu which means the Great Master has been his most popular name (DeVous and Slote 9).
Confucius was born into an impoverished noble family. At the time of his birth, the imperial court of the Chou dynasty had lost its power and the empire virtually disintegrated into a number of feudal states. Confucius’ father who was the commander of a district in Lu died three years after Confucius was born. This left the family in poverty (DeVous and Slote 12). Nevertheless, Confucius received an upscale education. Even in his childhood, Confucius liked to play ceremonies, which are a valued expression of the religious and cultural traditions. Confucius was married at the age of nineteen and had one son and two daughters. During the four years immediately after his marriage, poverty forced him to perform unskilled labors for the chief of the district in which he lived (Mungello 78).
Then in 527 B.C., Confucius’ mother died. After a period of mourning he began his career as a teacher. He usually traveled and instructed the small body of disciples that gathered around him. His reputation as a man of learning and character and his reverence for Chinese ideals and customs soon spread through the principality of Lu ( Bush, 23).
Confucius was a master teacher, who was concerned with thought and action that could be potentially bring order and harmony. Confucius was said to have attracted three thousand students, of who seventy-two of which were his closest disciples. Together they mastered the six rituals including music, archery, charioteering, literature, and mathematics (DeVous and Slote, 9).
Living as he did in the second half of the Chou dynasty, Confucius deplored the contemporary disorder and lack of moral standards. He came to believe that the only remedy was to convert people once...

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