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Confucianism: By Cassandra Schellhas and Christina Forgione

A brief look at the belief system known as Confucianism!

Cass Schellhas

on 22 May 2011

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Transcript of Confucianism: By Cassandra Schellhas and Christina Forgione

Confucianism "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."
— Confucius Confucius:
Born in 551B.C.E., Confucius was born to a father of seventy years of age, and a fifteen-year old mother. His father, Kong Shuleang He, was the governor of Tsu, a small city.
As the story goes, Chengzai, Confucius' mother, had a dream before her son was born. Five old men (who represented the five known planets tothe Chinese) led a strange animal to her. It was covered in scales like a dragon, had a horn protruding from its head, the forehead of a wolf, body of a horse, legs of a deer, and the tail of an ox. The Chinese "unicorn" knelt before Chengzai and spit out a piece of jade inscribed with the prediction that her child would be a "king without a crown."
When Chengzai went to a rock grotto by a mullberry tree to give birth, Chinese tradition says two dragons stood guard and two female spirits speayed the grotto with perfume. A spring suddenly came forth to wash the newborn, and as Confucius was born, heavenly music played and a voice said "Moved by your prayers, Heaven has given you a holy child." BIrth of Confucius The real name of Confucius is Kong Fuzi or Master Kung. Confucius is actually the Latinized version of his Chinese name. Confucianism in Itself Confucius taught a moral code based on ethics, humanity, and love. Confucianism has no priests, no sects, no creed for followers to keep to. There is no regular public worship, and no personal relationship with a god. There is no orgainzed church structure. The Confucianists view religion as a form of education. In Confucianism, religion serves as a way to instill moral values in a person. Confucianists believe that men should direct their own destiny rather than spirits. Confucianism in China is and is not a religion in the Western sense. Confucianism is an integral part of just being Chinese, but it lacks a Church structure, and the personal, emotional, and spiritual intensity that is a familiar part of other religious institutions. "When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps."
— Confucius Beliefs of Confucianism Morality Worship Afterlife Sacred Art Common Quotations The Chinese do not believe that a person has to follow one religion. Confucianism has had the most influence out of the many religions that are present in the long history of China. It became a state philosophy, and so the values it kept to became deeply integrated into the ruling class. Confucius did not deny the existence of an afterlife, but he did say that the workings of the divine are beyond human comprehension. Confucius, when asked about spirits, responded; "When still unable to do your duty to men, how can you do your duty to the spirits?" Ancestor worship has been a part of Chinese culture since its beginnings, and Confucius keeps to the practice. He keeps to the moral of respecting elders. Though there are no sermons or churches, there are temples and complicated ceremonies dedicated in the honor of Confucius. These are not to worship him as a god (though many thought he was) but more to honor him as one of the greatest of China's sages. Confucius said that a person should obey their elders and superiors. A person should treat all people with respect. One should respect rituals, cultivate wisdom, be trustworthy, and do the right thing in any situation. "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."
— Confucius The beliefs of Confucius were instrumental in shaping the Chinese relationships and their moral thought. A belief system without deities and a vision of salvation, Confucius created the system based on a moral code of respect and ethics.
Confucius was not famous during his lifetime, and he considered himself to be a failure.
Confucius said heaven and the afterlife were beyond human capacity to understand, and that one should concentrate instead on doing the right thing in their lives. The earliest records from his students show that he taught that people should have an attitude of respect. In particular, respect for one's parents, teachers, and elders. He also encouraged his students to learn from everyone they encountered and to honor others' cultural norms. "If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake."
— Confucius "Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall."
— Confucius "He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions."
— Confucius "Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life."
— Confucius "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."
— Confucius "To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice."
— Confucius "When the wind blows,the grass bends."
— Confucius (The Analects) "The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life."
— Confucius "If what one has to say is not better than silence, then one should keep silent."
— Confucius Confucius had several temples dedicated to him, the two best are the ones in Qufu (hometown) and Beijing. Qufu Beijing Works Cited Born in 551 B.C.E and died around 479 B.C.E. Historical Information about COnfucius Confucius’ father was Kong Shuleang He, the governor of Tsu, a small city (he died when Confucius was only three years old). Kong Shuleang He fathered nine daughters and a crippled son. He was worried that he did not have a suitable male heir. Kong sought out a new wife, so He went to the head of the Yen family, who had three unmarried daughters. Father Yen, the head of the Yen family, asked his daughters which of them would like to be Kong’s wife. Kong was already seventy years old, and the two eldest daughters remained silent. The youngest sister, Chengzai, spoke though; “Our father has commanded us. I will obey. Why ask questions?” This response was very Confucian in character, because respect for the parents as a keystone of Confucianism Sacred Scriptures There really are no official sacred scriptures for Confucianists to follow. Texts that could be thought of as Sacred Scripture and that Confucius may have studied are:
Shujing (Classic Documents)
Tells of the Zhou dynasty’s rise and fall.
Shijing (Book of Poetry)
Ancient poems extol the ritual and rites of the rulers. Some of the poems are love songs and descriptions of everyday life. Everything in the book was meant to be sung or chanted.
Five Classics
Summarizes the culture of China in Confucius’ time, and Confucius is thought to be the writer or editor.
A collection of Confucius' maxims and anecdotes that were formed and collected by his disciples after Confucius' death Analects Picture:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=analects+of+confucius&cp=15&qe=YW5hbGVjdHMgb2YgY29u&qesig=Uji_lnWw94PcdDckUiJw0g&pkc=AFgZ2tkWlIQcDFqmfT1PMA94MO49k0HizYr3iC5MDBV43eYQer53PF28lAMXO6G24l1k_1YD9RWW_cnF-jPUtGYlNiRx8j6x2w&pq=analects&rlz=1R2GGIE_en&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&wrapid=tljp1304388252250014&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1003&bih=541 Templeof Confucius in Beijing: http://www.google.com/search?um=1&hl=en&rlz=1R2GGIE_en&biw=1003&bih=541&site=search&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=temple+of+confucius+in+beijing&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq= Temple of Confucius in Qufu (hometown): http://www.google.com/search?um=1&hl=en&rlz=1R2GGIE_en&biw=1003&bih=541&site=search&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=temple+of+confucius+in+qufu&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq= Sacred Art Continued... Confucius the documentary: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.movieposterdb.com/posters/09_11/2009/1397498/l_1397498_d528ce3c.jpg&imgrefurl=http://satyamshot.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/confucius-2010-posters-trailers/&usg=__FrXOhfNr7POOi4dxpaHYzMVg_1s=&h=424&w=300&sz=36&hl=en&start=74&sig2=nRvg_uMNc4jmLLG9Bwc7Vg&zoom=0&tbnid=7yXNyviUXR6GZM:&tbnh=108&tbnw=75&ei=L2e_TcCSI8_OiAKH1Z2fAw&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dconfucius%2Band%2Bhis%2Bdisciples%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1R2GGIE_en%26biw%3D1003%26bih%3D541%26site%3Dsearch%26tbm%3Disch0%2C1624&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=438&vpy=302&dur=1000&hovh=126&hovw=89&tx=120&ty=101&page=5&ndsp=21&ved=1t:429,r:11,s:74&biw=1003&bih=541 The Confucius Song: http: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkTUB9vUJGY Confucius Quotations: http: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2DGy9sfyws&feature=fvst Cnfucius and his disciples: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://outernationalist.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/confucius-court.jpg&imgrefurl=http://outernationalist.net/%3Fp%3D836&usg=__C7ojFoVQA473So3CySEztOCYc4U=&h=409&w=610&sz=177&hl=en&start=95&sig2=qEYRvYJUupTfSfCIEXxodw&zoom=1&tbnid=gZv7klGZsiCYsM:&tbnh=114&tbnw=142&ei=vmi_TZq7KubniAKN0ImnAw&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dconfucius%2Band%2Bhis%2Bdisciples%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1R2GGIE_en%26biw%3D1003%26bih%3D541%26site%3Dsearch%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=234&page=6&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:95&tx=83&ty=76 Confucius meeting Laozi: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.seeraa.com/image1/confucius-laozi.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.seeraa.com/china-spirituality/confucius.html&usg=__7-BKzWKQyLO_ppuSbDq7PHDKltE=&h=200&w=200&sz=13&hl=en&start=0&sig2=AGxWwZsK3RLVXVnkxuvXVQ&zoom=1&tbnid=yKmMgCC-OBxdiM:&tbnh=149&tbnw=160&ei=gGm_Tb_5McfLgQeru53WBQ&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dconfucius%2Bmeeting%2Blaozi%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1R2GGIE_en%26biw%3D1003%26bih%3D541%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=171&vpy=236&dur=47&hovh=160&hovw=160&tx=117&ty=88&page=1&ndsp=16&ved=1t:429,r:5,s:0 Neo-Confucian verson of yin yang symbol: http://www.patheos.com/Library/Confucianism/Ritual-Worship-Devotion-Symbolism/Symbolism.html Statue of Confucius: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://s4.hubimg.com/u/2444519_f260.jpg&imgrefurl=http://hubpages.com/hub/Confucius-The-Movie&usg=__9CzAJKK4nlPBmEOpsc96R3ZN9UU=&h=311&w=260&sz=14&hl=en&start=152&zoom=1&tbnid=6N_7N_tuPEfVwM:&tbnh=132&tbnw=110&ei=DGy_Tdn9I8KRgQeQvt30BQ&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dstatue%2Bof%2Bconfucius%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1920%26bih%3D987%26gbv%3D2%26tbm%3Disch0%2C1887&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=279&page=3&ndsp=71&ved=1t:429,r:33,s:152&tx=61&ty=27&biw=1920&bih=987 Confucius wanted to gain a high post to influence a ruler and put his ideas into practice, but that did not happen. Confucius wanted a ruler that would be sincere and virtuous, but no ruler seemed to be what Confucius was looking for. Some of his students did gain appointments as officials though. Confucius thought he was a failure at the end of his life.
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