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Thread: Books that matter: Analects of Confucius

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    Default Books that matter: Analects of Confucius

    Almost everyone has heard of Confucius, and yet relatively few people in the West know much about him or why the one little book attributed to him-he didn't write a word of it, actually- has changed the world. At times ambiguous, contradictory, and even maddening, the Analects of Confucius is also filled with priceless wisdom and is deeply rewarding to explore. This provocative text that has shaped China and vast territories beyond it for millennia.

    Imagination.
    That one word sums up Confucius, the Analects, and the influence of his teachings.

    Confucius's critics dismissed him as a narrow-minded pedant, but he was anything but that. He offers invaluable insights on how to live your life. Don't just earn your keep and rest on your days off, he urges; look, learn, imagine, teach. Live your work (and certainly don't just work to live, if you can help it). Think about it, ponder it, and find elements of lasting reflection even in the simplest of daily activities. This course will show you why and how to make Confucius's text into a lifetime teaching tool for yourself, your family, your community, and the larger world, just as Confucius intended.

    Westerners tend to think about big questions through one of two lenses. Sometimes we contemplate the great structures of the universe or the vast sweep of human history, and other times we study the tiny structures that shape our knowledge, from DNA to subatomic particles. Both lenses embody the Western emphasis on logic, rationality, and a highly individualistic view of the world.

    Confucius certainly doesn't seem to be looking at the world through those lenses, nor does he seem to be asking the big questions Immanuel Kant asked about how we know what we think we know. He asked about our aesthetic standards. Kant argued for uncompromising ethical standards. How could Confucius ever compete with that?

    In fact, Confucius's Analects does deal with the big questions. Questions don't get any bigger than how we should live our lives with and among others.




    Source credit: Professor Robert André LaFleur, Beloit College

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    Almost everyone has heard of Confucius, and yet relatively few people in the West know much about him or why the one little book attributed to him-he didn't write a word of it, actually- has changed the world. At times ambiguous, contradictory, and even maddening, the Analects of Confucius is also filled with priceless wisdom and is deeply rewarding to explore. This provocative text that has shaped China and vast territories beyond it for millennia.

    Imagination.
    That one word sums up Confucius, the Analects, and the influence of his teachings.

    Confucius's critics dismissed him as a narrow-minded pedant, but he was anything but that. He offers invaluable insights on how to live your life. Don't just earn your keep and rest on your days off, he urges; look, learn, imagine, teach. Live your work (and certainly don't just work to live, if you can help it). Think about it, ponder it, and find elements of lasting reflection even in the simplest of daily activities. This course will show you why and how to make Confucius's text into a lifetime teaching tool for yourself, your family, your community, and the larger world, just as Confucius intended.

    Westerners tend to think about big questions through one of two lenses. Sometimes we contemplate the great structures of the universe or the vast sweep of human history, and other times we study the tiny structures that shape our knowledge, from DNA to subatomic particles. Both lenses embody the Western emphasis on logic, rationality, and a highly individualistic view of the world.

    Confucius certainly doesn't seem to be looking at the world through those lenses, nor does he seem to be asking the big questions Immanuel Kant asked about how we know what we think we know. He asked about our aesthetic standards. Kant argued for uncompromising ethical standards. How could Confucius ever compete with that?

    In fact, Confucius's Analects does deal with the big questions. Questions don't get any bigger than how we should live our lives with and among others.

    Source credit: Professor Robert André LaFleur, Beloit College
    Thanks for the reference. No doubt Confucius was as important to Eastern thought that Socrates and Plato were to Western thought. Notice that all existed about the same time frame 2500 years ago.

    Someone had to be first, at least the first to be remembered. While Confucius is thought to have existed, Sun Tzu is thought to be a compilation of military leaders. Regardless, both were the most prominent to write down collected wisdom and pass it along. A very important step to higher learning.
    Stripping Americans of their rights, regardless if unalienable or unenumerated, is against American ideals

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch Uncle View Post
    Thanks for the reference. No doubt Confucius was as important to Eastern thought that Socrates and Plato were to Western thought. Notice that all existed about the same time frame 2500 years ago.
    Some scholars call it the Axial Age. A period of human history when self introspection and an abiding concern with individual ethical conduct and spiritual salvation emerged contemporaneously and independently across east Asia, South Asia, near east, and Europe.

    Someone had to be first, at least the first to be remembered. While Confucius is thought to have existed, Sun Tzu is thought to be a compilation of military leaders. Regardless, both were the most prominent to write down collected wisdom and pass it along. A very important step to higher learning.
    Nice work tying in Sun Tzu.

    The take away for me is that Eastern thought tends to be focused the communal, the cultivation of virtue, and the individuals responsibility in the broader community. While western thought tends to focus on individualism and cultivation of reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    Some scholars call it the Axial Age. A period of human history when self introspection and an abiding concern with individual ethical conduct and spiritual salvation emerged contemporaneously and independently across east Asia, South Asia, near east, and Europe.

    Nice work tying in Sun Tzu.

    The take away for me is that Eastern thought tends to be focused the communal, the cultivation of virtue, and the individuals responsibility in the broader community. While western thought tends to focus on individualism and cultivation of reason.
    I recall you mentioning Axial Age before and I did a little reading on it. Let me look it up more.

    Sun Tzu is a great book, but so are a lot of other old Eastern texts like "The Book of Five Rings" and "Hagakure". Both are only about 500 years old IIRC, but compile even more ancient ideas. Definitely a different viewpoint than the West's linear way of thinking.
    Stripping Americans of their rights, regardless if unalienable or unenumerated, is against American ideals

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch Uncle View Post
    I recall you mentioning Axial Age before and I did a little reading on it. Let me look it up more.

    Sun Tzu is a great book, but so are a lot of other old Eastern texts like "The Book of Five Rings" and "Hagakure". Both are only about 500 years old IIRC, but compile even more ancient ideas. Definitely a different viewpoint than the West's linear way of thinking.
    I am convinced one cannot understand East Asia without having a working knowlege of their philosophical and religious traditions.

    I am going to try to slog my way through the Daodejing. Supposedly it is not very long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    I am convinced one cannot understand East Asia without having a working knowlege of their philosophical and religious traditions.

    I am going to try to slog my way through the Daodejing. Supposedly it is not very long.
    Agreed. It's a different mindset than Western ideology.

    When I was taking a course in International Relations, one of the first classes was International geography. We studied how borders matter, how borders change and why that matters. The main thing I remember from that class in 1989 was "If you want to understand a different culture, study their history and their geography."

    The whole Israeli/Arab Wars thing is some history but mainly geography. The Arabs want the Dome of the Rock. Killing all the Jews is a bonus for them.

    Had to look up Daodejing but it made sense when I read Lao Tzu and Tao.

    The Dao de jing, Americanized. I haven't read it myself. I've been sitting on a copy of "The Tao of Physics" for too many years. I'd like to slog through that. LOL
    Stripping Americans of their rights, regardless if unalienable or unenumerated, is against American ideals

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch Uncle View Post
    <snip>

    I've been sitting on a copy of "The Tao of Physics" for too many years. I'd like to slog through that. LOL
    I am only vaguely aware of that book, but the premise sounds interesting: the parallels between western theoretical physics and Eastern mysticism.

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    "The Confucius Institutes and CCP Propaganda"
    https://capitalresearch.org/article/...lege-campuses/

    Well, it looks like Dutch and Cypress have both outed themselves as Chinese Operatives here in the States. It's good to know who is who here at JPP.

    "So what are the Confucius Institutes? InfluenceWatch notes they are ostensible Chinese language and cultural events programs at universities and schools that were founded in 2012 as “the Washington, D.C.-based think-tank arm of the network of Confucius Institutes across the globe [whose] sole member and funder is the Chinese Office of Chinese Language Council International. The organization, known colloquially as Hanban, is overseen by a branch of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of Education.” "

    'Ministry of Education' ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch Uncle View Post
    Agreed. It's a different mindset than Western ideology.

    When I was taking a course in International Relations, one of the first classes was International geography. We studied how borders matter, how borders change and why that matters. The main thing I remember from that class in 1989 was "If you want to understand a different culture, study their history and their geography."

    The whole Israeli/Arab Wars thing is some history but mainly geography. The Arabs want the Dome of the Rock. Killing all the Jews is a bonus for them.
    They want The Dome of The Rock because it was built on top of and to obfuscate and to some, hold in the power..of The Temple of Solomon.

    IMO, The Dome of the Rock should be blasted into itty bitty pieces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    Almost everyone has heard of Confucius, and yet relatively few people in the West know much about him or why the one little book attributed to him-he didn't write a word of it, actually- has changed the world. At times ambiguous, contradictory, and even maddening, the Analects of Confucius is also filled with priceless wisdom and is deeply rewarding to explore. This provocative text that has shaped China and vast territories beyond it for millennia.

    Imagination.
    That one word sums up Confucius, the Analects, and the influence of his teachings.

    Confucius's critics dismissed him as a narrow-minded pedant, but he was anything but that. He offers invaluable insights on how to live your life. Don't just earn your keep and rest on your days off, he urges; look, learn, imagine, teach. Live your work (and certainly don't just work to live, if you can help it). Think about it, ponder it, and find elements of lasting reflection even in the simplest of daily activities. This course will show you why and how to make Confucius's text into a lifetime teaching tool for yourself, your family, your community, and the larger world, just as Confucius intended.

    Westerners tend to think about big questions through one of two lenses. Sometimes we contemplate the great structures of the universe or the vast sweep of human history, and other times we study the tiny structures that shape our knowledge, from DNA to subatomic particles. Both lenses embody the Western emphasis on logic, rationality, and a highly individualistic view of the world.

    Confucius certainly doesn't seem to be looking at the world through those lenses, nor does he seem to be asking the big questions Immanuel Kant asked about how we know what we think we know. He asked about our aesthetic standards. Kant argued for uncompromising ethical standards. How could Confucius ever compete with that?

    In fact, Confucius's Analects does deal with the big questions. Questions don't get any bigger than how we should live our lives with and among others.




    Source credit: Professor Robert André LaFleur, Beloit College
    Thanks for this, Cypress. I confess that I know zero about this wise man, and even worse... thought of him mostly in terms of those childhood "Confucius say ___ " jokes.
    “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” -- Gandhi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    "The Confucius Institutes and CCP Propaganda"
    https://capitalresearch.org/article/...lege-campuses/

    Well, it looks like Dutch and Cypress have both outed themselves as Chinese Operatives here in the States. It's good to know who is who here at JPP.

    "So what are the Confucius Institutes? InfluenceWatch notes they are ostensible Chinese language and cultural events programs at universities and schools that were founded in 2012 as “the Washington, D.C.-based think-tank arm of the network of Confucius Institutes across the globe [whose] sole member and funder is the Chinese Office of Chinese Language Council International. The organization, known colloquially as Hanban, is overseen by a branch of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of Education.” "

    'Ministry of Education' ?
    Funny how often tin pot dictators coopt the name of cultural icons in an attempt to invoke some measure of credibility.

    Hitler and Richard Wagner
    Stalin and Shastokovich
    CCP and Confucius.

    I hear Donald Trump even compared himself favorably to Abraham Lincoln

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOwlWoman View Post
    Thanks for this, Cypress. I confess that I know zero about this wise man, and even worse... thought of him mostly in terms of those childhood "Confucius say ___ " jokes.
    Welcome to the club!! Four years ago I knew nothing of substance about Confucius. I am convinced only about twenty thousand Americans actually really know anything substantive about him. Our public education pretty much ignores East Asia, at least when I was growing up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    "The Confucius Institutes and CCP Propaganda"
    https://capitalresearch.org/article/...lege-campuses/

    Well, it looks like Dutch and Cypress have both outed themselves as Chinese Operatives here in the States. It's good to know who is who here at JPP.

    "So what are the Confucius Institutes? InfluenceWatch notes they are ostensible Chinese language and cultural events programs at universities and schools that were founded in 2012 as “the Washington, D.C.-based think-tank arm of the network of Confucius Institutes across the globe [whose] sole member and funder is the Chinese Office of Chinese Language Council International. The organization, known colloquially as Hanban, is overseen by a branch of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of Education.” "

    'Ministry of Education' ?
    Relax. We'll have you eating rice with chopsticks in no time, comrade Jack. LOL

    I really am enjoying the post-Trump conspiracy theory era. It was easy to predict which way Trump would go, but when the massive mob of idiots who make up the Internet's community of conspiracy theorists are leaderless, it's not easy to see which way they were going to go. The China thing is legit because it's true. True enough for Biden to speak about it at G7 and all the other G7 leaders to be concerned about. Russia is a minor enemy in comparison and, if Putin is willing, become a neutral trading partner sharing common interests.
    Stripping Americans of their rights, regardless if unalienable or unenumerated, is against American ideals

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    Funny how often tin pot dictators coopt the name of cultural icons in an attempt to invoke some measure of credibility.

    Hitler and Richard Wagner
    Stalin and Shastokovich
    CCP and Confucius.

    I hear Donald Trump even compared himself favorably to Abraham Lincoln
    Donnie J and Pharrell Williams's "Happy"
    Stripping Americans of their rights, regardless if unalienable or unenumerated, is against American ideals

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Dillon View Post
    They want The Dome of The Rock because it was built on top of and to obfuscate and to some, hold in the power..of The Temple of Solomon.

    IMO, The Dome of the Rock should be blasted into itty bitty pieces.
    Which is what the Evangelicals want to do to fulfill prophecy for the Second Coming.
    Stripping Americans of their rights, regardless if unalienable or unenumerated, is against American ideals

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