Confucius Life Philosiphy Essay

This essay has a total of 1528 words and 5 pages.

Confucius Life Philosiphy


Confucius became famous as a sage, or wise man, of China during the Age of Philosophers.
His Five Classics have influenced the civilizations of most of eastern Asia. Confucius was
born in the state of Lu when local rulers refused to pay homage to the emperor of a
failing Chou dynasty. Confucius hated the disorder that ensued and looked back on a time
when things like that were not even thought of. He studied the teachings of the sage's
whose teachings and influences had made China one whole nation at one time. He decided
that he was the one who should restore the faith and practices of the old emperors and
wise men. Since Confucius was not able to gain an official position in China, he spent
most of his life teaching a core group of disciples. The main idea of Confucius'
philosophy was to provide rules and traditions for every conceivable situation in every
day life. He was concerned with all the misery in the world, and he hoped that making men
noble would bring about a noble world. Confucius' ideas of being benevolent to one's
fellow man, closely following set rituals, and acting in a manner proper and befitting
one's social class became the state followed ideology during the Han dynasty.1

When studying the religion and philosophy of Confucius, one must have a clear
understanding of the books he wrote. The Five Classics were from the period preceding the
Warring States Period. They were brought together and edited by the members of Confucius'
original school. Once Confucianism was made China's official philosophy, a person had to
study these five books in order to gain a prized governmental position. Saying that there
are only five classics is a bit of a misstatement. There are five classics and an extra
book written by Confucius that is usually lumped in with the traditional Five Classics.
That book is Lunyu, or The Analects. The Analects is a collection of little bits of wisdom
that Confucius gave his disciples. However, the book is not a comprehensive 'bible'; of
Confucianism. It is a collection of quotations, anecdotes, and wisdoms. Due to this fact,
Confucianism, at least according to Confucius, is open to interpretation. The Analects is
still an interesting book, in that it provides a direct view of the thoughts and feelings
of Confucius. The first of the Five Classics is the Yi Jing, which is translated as I
Ching. It is more commonly called The Book of Changes. During the Zhou dynasty this book
was used as an oracle to predict the outcome of a certain situation. It contains 64
designs, or hexagrams, which represent a stage in the universal cycle. This also brought
about the idea of the universe having a cycle. Since there are only 64 hexagrams, the
universe must start over at the end of the cycle when it reaches the end. This is also
where the book gets its name. These cycles became an integral part of Chinese culture. The
idea was applied to their concepts of time, life, and people. The dynastic rulers moved in
a cycle that began with the mythologically good first ruler and ended with the degenerate
final ruler. Life followed a cycle from birth to a peak and a final descent into death.
This also led to the idea and awareness that all things in the universe are related. Since
there are only 64 states of being, all things must share these states and be related to
each other.2 The second book is the Shu Jing, which is translated as The Book of
Documents. The Shu Jing is a collection of documents that allegedly go back to the Shang
dynasty, the first historical dynasty of China. This can be disputed, but that is not the
Continues for 3 more pages >>