Superior Man

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Confucius (551-479 BC) priorities were with human society, government, customs and personal virtues. He was a down to earth philosopher that reasoned that we should not waste our time thinking about what is outside our realm of human existence. Life and death and other metaphysical concerns were simply irrelevant to Confucius and he felt our focus should be on just living. Much of our own democratic government today is in thanks to Confucius ways of thinking. He made bold ideas for reform which was mostly ignored by the rules of his time. So he spent most of his time teaching and discussing his ideas with students. The book of Analects could be considered the bible of Confucianism as it contains the wisdom of Confucius as written by his students. Confucius’ idea of the Chun Tzu or superior man is described in the Analects. This concept of a superior man is an ideal to which his followers are striving to become.

To Confucius Chun Tzu meant a morally superior man that had a great and noble soul. This superior man followed (Li) which meaning is striving for the good life. By being a superior man you were always thinking about what was best for humanity and not yourself. The Chun Tzu does not seek to put his self above or below others but only wants is to help out others. The superior man would be concerned about justice and would want those around him to live in a happy and harmonious place. The Chun Tzu is quiet and serene man and only speaks about what he actually knows not what he thinks might be right or wrong. He is an independent individual that can live in poverty or prosperity as noted in Book II #13 of the Analects when Tzu-Kung asked about the true gentleman, and Confucius said “He does not preach what he practices till he has practiced what he preaches”. In other words to Confucius a Chun Tzu was such a person that had great integrity.

Confucius believed that the Chu Tzu was not a lone individual but a member both of the human...
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