RLS 131 - JOURNAL #2.2

RLS 131 - JOURNAL #2.2 - Elisa Giordano November 1 2006...

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Elisa Giordano November 1, 2006 Journal #2 The Analects of Confucius INTRODUCTION GENERAL SUMMARY -I did not like when some of Confucius’ students were explained. The names were so similar that I knew I was not going to remember them anyways. -Terms: The one part of the introduction that I liked was when the terms were introduced. It seems like a good way to get to know the major thoughts before reading what Confucius has to say about them. I wrote down the terms at the end of these journal entries. MY THOUGHTS & COMMENTS -The introduction to this book was very long. There were many parts of the introduction that, although educating, did not seem to be too relevant to the upcoming texts. In particular, parts explaining the history of China were wordy and could have definitely been cut down and still have delivered the same message. BOOKS 1-7 GENERAL SUMMARY -Book 1 is mostly about junzi , which is an exemplary person. Xiao is also mentioned often, which is ‘filial piety’. -One statement: “It is a rare thing for someone who has a sense of filial and fraternal responsibility ( xiaodi ) to have a taste for defying authority. And it is unheard of for those who have no taste for defying authority to be keen on rebellion. Exemplary persons ( junzi ) concentrate their efforts on the root, for the root not having taken hold, the way ( dao ) will grow therefrom. As for filial and fraternal responsibility it is, I suspect the root of authoritative conduct ( ren ).” -This excerpt here seems to be relating the importance of all aspects. That one is the foundation of the other and they go hand in hand. Being an exemplary person is the foundation for dao; filial and fraternal responsibility is the root for authoritative conduct ( ren ). -The last statement in book 1: “Don’t worry about being acknowledged by others; worry about failing to acknowledge them.” -This one is sweet and simple. It clearly instructs to be unselfish, to think about others first and not yourself. -Book 2 is the first sign of Confucius giving differing comments about the same term; which happens to be xiao , filial piety or responsibility. He gives four different answers to four different students: 1.) to serve them while living and when dead to bury then and sacrifice to them, 2.) to give them nothing to worry about beyond physical well being, 3.) to provide for them and respect them, and finally 4.) to show the proper countenance.
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-Book 3 looks at authoritative persons, ren , exemplary persons, junzi , and ritual propriety, li . Li can also be translated into “rights”, “customs”, “etiquette”, “morals”, “rules of behavior”, and “worship” (see page 51). In quote number 3.4, Confucius says to his student Lin Fang regarding li , “…In observing ritual propriety, it is better to be modest than extravagant; in mourning, it is better to express real grief than to worry over formal details.” I like this explanation because especially in the time of the death of
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RLS 131 - JOURNAL #2.2 - Elisa Giordano November 1 2006...

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