confuciUS - Karlyn Cotlow Does Individualization survive...

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Karlyn Cotlow Does Individualization survive Socialization? Born around 551 B.C.E., a philosopher by the name of Kongzi (“Confucius”) introduced a new methodology, which would later be identified as Confucianism. This new societal framework was designed and implemented with the intent of instilling a sense of meaning and purpose into the lives of all practicing Confucians. As time and the geographical and/or cultural environments of an era continually change and evolve, likewise do the individuals that constitute the society at that specific point in time. In order for each individual to obtain a personal state of self-actualization and possess the raw “truth” of life, he or she must integrate the knowledge that he or she has acquired throughout life, together with the consistency of his or her practice in order to develop certain traits of character. (*C) Through adherence to the principles dictated by the Odes and by striving diligently to practice and promote good virtue one is lead closer to the “truth”. In this paper I will address Confucius’s position on “self” survivability in the context of socialization, provide information on the various theoretical viewpoints of other Self Cultivating programs and their views on self survivability, and finally conclude by asserting my reasoning in supporting and/or refuting any of the central assumptions sustaining those different programs. The foundation of Kongzi’s (“Confucius’s”) Self Cultivating Program, also referred to as the Acquisition Model of Moral Self Cultivation, is based on the gradual transition from the initial act of learning (by observing rituals) to the reflection (or focus of attention) of the
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individual on the goal or ideal that he or she desires. Kongzi’s program advocates the necessity of continual self-refinement and emphasizes the importance in preserving the need and aspiration to better oneself throughout the entirety of a lifetime. Kongzi’s regime, prior to the interjection of public scrutiny, involved studying the Odes, practicing the “rites”, and by recognizing the few general overriding rules essential in maintaining a cooperative society. Practicing of the “rites” contributed to the formation of a cultivated “self” by developing the character of those adhering to the Confucian practices, by refining that which defines a “virtue” and through the influence an active practitioner’s observation of the “rites” had on uninvolved, third parties. (*C) It was Kongzi’s belief that even the most trivial modifications in one’s behavior could stunt or reverse the development of
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confuciUS - Karlyn Cotlow Does Individualization survive...

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