‘The Analects of Confucius” depicts the moral philosopher who was concerned with societies lack of virtue. Viewing the ethical quarrels of the world he lived in and wanting to reform man himself he created the concept of Chun-tzu. Chun-tzu translated means ‘son of a ruler’ and evolved to simply ‘gentleman’ or the ‘superior man’, that being superior in every way to the ‘small man’; which has no relation to ones aristocratic measures. The Chun-tzu is one whom is “bound by a particular code of morals and manners” and relates to ones “superiority of character and behaviour” (34). I will be discussing the many aspects to becoming the Chun-tzu; As well as tying in the other main concepts of Chun-tzu being that they follow the Tao (way), have te (moral character) and embody jen (goodness).
The Chun-tzu must not display violent or arrogant tendencies. and must also be sincere in his activities. Master Tseng stressed that over ritual, inner sincerity is more important, “There are three things that a gentleman, in following the Way, places above all the rest: from every attitude, every gesture that he employs he must remove all trace of violence or arrogance; every look that he composes in his face must betoken good faith; from every word that he utters, from every intonation, he must remove all trace of coarseness or impropriety” (VIII, 4.). Being accountable for ones intentions and actions and leaving ritual matters to others seems to be the message for the Chun-tzu.
The Chun-tzu only associates with others whom are ‘superior’. The gentleman must attain the standard of jen not only for himself but for those he surrounds himself with, “He must learn to be faithful to his superiors, to keep promises, to refuse the friendship of all who are not like him” (I, 8.) In the attempt to further build up his education, one will also admit when he has made a mistake concerning a ‘common’ man, always pursuing the best in oneself and promoting goodness.
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