The Analects of Confucius
The Analects is one of the most influential texts in Chinese philosophy that was compiled by the disciples of Confucius. The main goal of the Analects is to guide a person to achieve a high moral sufficiency and strive for self-improvement. The main principles of Confucianism are highlighted in the Analects. These are Ren (benevolence), Yi (righteousness), Li (rituals), Hsiao (filial piety) and Jun-Zi (gentleman). Every line in the book has a hidden concept that we as readers, should find for ourselves. One of my favorite concepts of Confucianism is Hsiao, a reverence towards your parents and friend: “Yu Tzu said, ‘It is rare for a man whose character is such that he is good as a son and obedient as a young man to have the inclination to transgress against his superiors… The gentleman devotes his efforts to the roots, for ones the roots are established…Being good as a son and obedient as young is perhaps, the root of a man’s character.” (Book 1.2) For Confucius reverence towards parents is vitally important, because he values the importance of family and respect for those, who older than himself. This verse is from the section on filial piety, which means a devotion to and reverence for parents and family. To Confucius, the highest and deepest respect for parents and elders should take precedence over everything else. One of the cores of Confucius teaching is a Ren concept, which means benevolence or a goodness. Ren concept can be represented by a Golden Rule of Confucius: “Don’t do to others what you would not like them to do to you.” For Confucius relationships between people should be built on sincerity and kindness. People should not wait for reciprocity from people. Everything they do has to come out form heart and with the best intentions. “Chung-kung asked about benevolence. The master said, ‘When abroad behave as though you were receiving an important guest. When employing the services of the common people...
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