Confucianism : Ziran And Wuwei

Decent Essays

Like Confucianism, Daoists offer two principles to cultivate oneself: ziran (自然) and wuwei (无为). Ziran has been widely translated to mean self-so. Laozi explains what self-so may mean when he tells his followers to “open yourself to the Tao, then trust your natural responses; and everything will fall into place.” As Robert Eno, Associate Professor of Early Chinese History and Thought at Indiana University, puts it, “The inhabitants of the Natural world are ‘self-so,’ they simply are as they are, without any intention to be so.” Simply put, in civil society, humans have no choice but to be driven by some purpose or action. To connect with the Dao, one must return to the State of Nature and act without effort or intention. This …show more content…

The Buddha makes clear that there are Four Noble Truths (四圣谛). Life is suffering; the cause of suffering is desire; to get rid of suffering get rid of desire; and to get rid of desire practice the Eight Fold Paths (八正道).
Essentially, following the Eight Fold Paths will, much like Confucianism and Daoism attempt to, cultivate oneself to the point at which one can finally attain nirvana and escape the endless cycle of rebirth and suffering. The Eight Fold Paths demand that adherents focus on proper view, resolve, speech, conduct, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and meditation. Together, these tenets ought to help one realize a lack of self. Bodhi Dharma (483-540 A.D.) furthers this idea positing that one has only a consciousness. He elaborates that all men are enlightened, but living in delusion. Focusing on meditation in particular, he argued, will ensure one realizes his state of enlightenment. He introduced Buddhism to China where it found unexpected popular acclaim. In fact, Keay asserts that “if Daoism then prospered, Buddhism triumphed. China became a Buddhist country and would remain so for centuries, its Buddhist community outnumbering even India’s.”
With the basic background of these three beliefs in mind, the interactions between them can be investigated. There are a couple of levels of interaction to explore. First, there is the introduction of Buddhism and its subsequent combination with Daoism. Buddhism was initially viewed as an

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