Cultivation

16.  Five Virtues:  Respect, Generosity,  Sincerity,  Agility, and Kindness.

17.  It is not worth rushing because too many mistakes will be made.  Being greedy for small profits will prevent big projects from being accomplished.

18.  Wealth and honor obtained by unjust means are like the floating clouds to me.

19.  The craftsman who wishes to gain recognition for his work must first sharpen his tools.  One needs to do his home work and prepare himself  if he wishes to achieve his goals.

20. A man of virtue wishes not only to accomplish his own goals, but also wishes to help others  accomplish their goals.  He wishes not only to achieve success, but also wishes others to achieve success.

21.  See no evil; hear no evil; speak no evil; and act no evil.

22,  To be poor without grumble is difficult.  To be rich without arrogance is easy.

23.  Only the most wise and the hopelessly stupid can not be changed.

Only the wisest and the dumbest never change.

24.  Do not worry about having few resources, but worry about resources available not being distributed fairly.  Do not worry about being poor, but worry about having no peace and harmony.

25.  One word or one single sentence can prosper a nation; one word or one single sentence can ruin a nation. The public figures should be cautious about their words and manners.

One word can save a country.  One word can also destroy a country.  It depends on whether you know how to use your tongue.

26.  Without knowing the mystery of life, how can one know about the death?

If you can’t even really understand life, how can you understand death?

27.  Life and death are in the hand of Fate; wealth and honor are held by Heaven.

28.  A gentleman should be cautious about three things.  In youth, when  physical and mental stages  are not stable, guard against lust.  In adulthood, when  in the fullness of strength, guard against quarrelsome.  In old age, when  strength decreasing gradually, guard against greed.

29.  When there is light in the child, there will be beauty in the soul.  When there is beauty in the soul, there will be harmony in the home.  When there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.  When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

First there must be order and harmony within your own mind.  Then this order will spread to your family, then to the community, and finally to your entire kindgom.  Only then can you have peace and harmony.

30.   

30.  “Make offerings to celestial beings, as if they were present.”  Whether the spirits of heaven will come to accept the offerings is not important.  What is important is that we, ourselves, have come to accept them.

 

31.  

31.  If one immerses oneself in one’s work as to forget one’s meals, and one’s mind is carefree without worries, then one will not feel that he or she is getting old.

My life is so busy  and  I simply have no time to grow old.

 

32.  

32.  Before Heaven entrusts people with great tasks, their will power must first be tested, their bones and muscles fatigued, and their body starved.

If Heaven will assign you a great task, he will first distort your will, torture your body, starve you, exhaust you and mislead you to make you be more patient and to improve your ability.

33.  

33.  Until you know about life how can you know about death?

If you can’t even really understand life, how can you understand death?

(4/23/07, Spring Liao)

Summary

Confucius (Sept 28, 551 BC – April 11, 479 BC) is a famous Chinese philosopher,  a great educator, and a dedicated historian.  His concept of moral and social order is called “Li,” which symbolizes a perfect world with everything in its correct place.  It also symbolizes righteousness, good manners, fairness, and even faith.  Confucianism is a philosophy that includes personal ethics, empathy, and a deep compassion for others. Confucius believed that by training men to be honest and compassionate the world would be a much happier and more harmonious place.  He called these honest and compassionate people “the perfect gentlemen (or  noble people),” who possess all Confucian virtues. A perfect gentleman is a combination of three different types of man: a true man, a wise man and a brave man.

Cooperation and loyalty within the family unit, and a strong social concern benefit everyone and hurt no one.  If we care for family and friends, continue learning all the way through life, work hard, and have a strict code of integrity, we will be happy, successful, and lead worthwhile lives.

The following are the important terms and concepts of Confucianism:

1. Heaven, Fate: Objective law; law of nature.

2. Human Nature: The nature of mankind as determined by objective law.  Confucius believed in the innate goodness of human nature.  Although the original human goodness can become corrupted through contact with an evil environment, it can be restored through moral cultivation.

3. The Way, Path:  The way of human life as endowed by the law of nature, corresponding to the modern term “justice.”

4. Benevolence, Kindness:  Kind-heartedness, the innate goodness of human nature. The concept of benevolence is the keynote of Confucian ethics.

5. Wisdom, Intelligence:  The ability to understand the objective laws and make correct moral judgment.

6. Know:  The ability to understand specific knowledge.

7. Righteousness, Justice:  The courage to fulfil one’s moral duty.

8. Loyal, Devoted::  Being faithful to the duties to oneself and others.

9. Forgiveness:  Pardon; be generous toward others; altruism.

10. Sincerity:  Trust; honesty; keeping one’s promise.

11. Good Deed:  Being benevolent, good and honest.

12. Etiquette, Courtesy, Good Manners:  The code of correct conduct.  It’s out of respect and concern for others.  It is the outward manifestation and function of benevolence.  Etiquette should be observed according to one’s role and situation.

13. The Actualization of Names:  To make actions be in harmony with what the role prescribes.  To fulfil one’s duties, especially moral responsibilities, as the role prescribes.

14. The Perfect Gentlemen:  People who possess all Confucian virtues.

15. The Middle Way:  In realization of the true way, it’s necessary to give consideration to all moral characters and real  situations.  The ideal is to be just right, no exaggeration, no inadequacy.  It also should be followed persistently.

16. Harmony, Peace:  Being in harmony with the law of nature.

17. Respectful, reverent:  Feeling or expression of profound respect.

18. Filial Duty:  Be dutiful to one’s parents, appropriate feeling and acting toward one’s parents; family loyalty.