Confucianism-1 - Chapter 6 Confucianism: The Way of Heaven...

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C hapter 6 Confucianism: The Way of Heaven The Chinese refer to Confucianism as a school or teaching and it is considered considered one of the three main religions of China, the other two are Taoism and Buddhism. Where Taoism is mystical and Confucianism is pragmatic, Buddhism Flls the remaining needs. It is also noted that while the general populace of China is aware of these religions, they are also largely animistic in their thinking, and look for ethical codes of conduct that regulate actions and powers in this life without much concern for underlying metaphysics or the next life. Confucius was born in 551 B.C., living at the same time as Gautama and just before Socrates. He was born into an aristocratic but impoverished family during a time when the political power of the Chou dynasty was distributed among feudal lords. It was a time of division and questions about the decline of the empire, and it is this problem that Confucius sought to solve. It is said that at 15 he set his heart to learning. He married at 19 and had a son and daughter, although he divorced his wife and was aloof from his children. At 22 he became a teacher. At 30 he stood Frm and had settled opinions, and at 40 he “had no doubts.” The story is told that he went to the court of Chou to study ceremonies where he met Lao-Tzu. The latter was concerned with harmony of the universe and intuitive living, and rejected the strict adherence to ceremony and fastidious nature of Confucius. At 50 Confucius was appointed as Minister of Justice in his home province by the prince of Lu. It is said that under his care the state ±ourished, and that this sparked the
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jealousy of neighboring rulers. One of these sent the prince a gift of dancing girls to distract him from his duty. Although Confucius encouraged the prince to return the gift, he did not, and Confucius resigned. He spent the next 30 years as a traveling teacher, encouraging a return to the
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Confucianism-1 - Chapter 6 Confucianism: The Way of Heaven...

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