A Reflection On Confucius ' Philosophy

1555 Words7 Pages
More than two thousand years ago, Chinese philosopher, Kongzi, also known as Confucius, taught his disciples how to follow the path to goodness. In The Analects, Confucius’s disciples describe the actions of their “Master,” and his journey to achieve goodness by performing rituals in his everyday life in order to break out of patterns. By taking steps to break out of the patterns of everyday life, one can more fully strive for goodness. But Confucius was clear that this journey of self-cultivation was not easy or temporally limited. Indeed, the very first chapter of The Analects highlights the precept of the occasion of practice and perseverance. This paper will focus upon Confucius’s emphasis regarding the process of performing…show more content…
Confucius believed that to achieve goodness, one needed to break out of these patterns. The process of self-cultivation could be achieved by performing rituals. The rituals Confucius advocated can be defined as customs or conventions that aim to create a better world. By “[looking] within yourself” (Book 4, Chapter 17, Page 12), one can break out of these patterns to see the world from a different and better perspective. Achieving goodness, then, would mean the ability to break out of patterns to change oneself as a human being with the result of having the ability to sense one’s own (as well as others’) messy energy. The disciples wrote, “The Master said, ‘Do not look unless it is in accordance with ritual; do not listen unless it is in accordance with ritual; do not speak unless it is in accordance with ritual; do not move unless it is in accordance with ritual’” (Book 12, Chapter 1, Page 34). Confucius taught that when we perform rituals, we are taking steps to be a different and better person, which in turn, creates a better world.
A critical focus of Confucius’s teachings was the difficulty, as well as the effort and perseverance necessary to ascend the path to goodness. In the passage set forth in Book 9, Chapter 19, Confucius likens the journey of self-cultivation to a person building a mountain. This would undoubtedly be a difficult, if not impossible, task. Nonetheless, Confucius emphasized
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