Life Through The Eyes Of Confucius

2078 words - 8 pages

K'ung-fu-tzu, better known as Confucius, was an ancient Chinese thinker and philosopher. His ideals were used to create the religion and philosophy known as Confucianism, which has influenced the lives of the majority of people in China, as well as many other Eastern Asia countries. He lived a life of both wealth and poverty, and became more legendary after his death. Despite that, his life was still very eventful.
According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “the sources for Confucius’ life are later and do not carefully separate fiction and fact. Thus it is wise to regard much of what is known of him as le g0endary.” Although his life may have been only a legend, his mere existence, still shaped the moral decisions of many, whether he was fictional or not. Without him, Eastern Asian culture, and possibly world-wide culture, would not be the same as it is today.
A lot of Confucius’ life has been depicted in the Records of the Grand Historian, written by Sima Qian, who was a Han dynasty court historian. He identified Confucius’ ancestors as part of the Royal State of Song. Issues were going on in Song, so his great-grandfather had to flee, traveling to a place called Lu, located in Southeast Shandong. That is where his great-grandfather raised a family and where Confucius was born. He and his family were struck with poverty, now without aid from what could be deemed as “royalty.” To start out with basically nothing other than family and to conform into someone known throughout the world is implausible (Riegel).
He would have truly suffered at an early age, if he could fully comprehend what had happened. At the age of three, his father passed away, and his mother was forced to raise him on her own. Twenty years later, while at the age of 23, his mother finally passed. However, Confucius also lived in harmony. He married at the age of 19 to a girl named Qi Guan, who bore his child, Kong Li, a year later (“Biography of Confucius“). While indeed enduring calamity and sorrow, Confucius also faced a sense of joy.
Confucius’ was born and raised in the Zhou dynasty of China. The majority of it was in the Spring and Autumn Period of the Zhou dynasty, but the last three years of his life were in the Warring States Period. Nobles struggled for power and authority diminished, leading to formed coalitions and civil war(“Spring and Autumn Period“). Dozens of China states turned to only about ten, so Confucius was forced to see a nation-wide dilemma as smaller states were taken over, proving that they were too incompetent to last (Watkins). In the time after Confucius passed away, China entered a point in history known for the constant brutality of war.
While the Warring States Period is known for a time of anger and death, it also helped China conform into what it is today. During this time, two Confucian philosophers, Mencius and Hsun-Tzu, taught many and wrote scriptures that depicted Confucius’ teachings. This enabled the initial spread...

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