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We know very little for certain about the life of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (a westernised version of his name, which means ‘Master Kong’). According to tradition, he began government service aged 32 and served many roles, including Minister of Crime under Duke Ding in the state of Lu. in China; he may have been a student of the Daoist master Lao Tzu.We understand that certain premeditated, deliberate, and precise gestures stir our emotions deeply.Rituals make our intentions clear, and they help us understand how to behave.Confucius explained, ‘The relation between superiors and inferiors is like that between the wind and the grass.The grass must bend, when the wind blows across it.’ Bending gracefully is, in fact, not a sign of weakness but a gesture of humility and respect.For example, one of the short passages in the analects is: Some of the morals Confucius taught are easily recognisable – most notably his version of the ‘Golden Rule’: ‘Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself’.
Yet Confucius recognised that in many ways moral life begins in the family.
We need his advice all the more for this; it serves as an antidote to the troubles we currently face.
Here are a few examples of what Confucius helps us remember: In the modern world we tend to shun ceremony and see this as a good thing—a sign of intimacy, or a lack of pretension.
)Of course, a burst of inspiration may well be what we need to start our business or redo our rough draft or even reinvent our life.
But if we’re being very honest with ourselves, we’ll have to admit that we also need to devote more energy to slowly changing our habits. He died without reforming the duke and his officials. D.), Confucianism was made the official philosophy of the Chinese government and remained central to its bureaucracy for nearly two thousand years.
This, more than anything else, is what prevents us from becoming truly intelligent, accomplished, and wise. But after his death, his followers created schools and temples in his honour across East Asia, passing his teachings along for over 2,000 years. For a time, his teachings were followed in conjunction with those of Lao Tzu and the Buddha, so that Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism were held as fully compatible spiritual practices.