Confucius

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Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2008 11:07 am
Full Text of Lun Yun - English

Thought I would drop a link to the Analects.

Confucius was an ethical and political philosopher of a sort not seen in the west until Aristotle, some 200 years later. His imprint on eastern thought compares to that of Lao Tzu and the Buddha.

Before we devote ourselves to the intense study of some western tradition, shouldn't we at least acquaint ourselves with the equally significant traditions found in the east? I think so, and Confucius is a great place for westerners to begin their study of eastern thought.

Confucius is insightful, original and witty.
 
Ron C de Weijze
 
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2008 11:31 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Quote:
Before we devote ourselves to the intense study of some western tradition, shouldn't we at least acquaint ourselves with the equally significant traditions found in the east?


Sure we must, but not until we need to do so in studying our own heritage.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2008 12:39 pm
@Ron C de Weijze,
Quote:
Sure we must, but not until we need to do so in studying our own heritage.


That's the thing, though - we get caught up in 'our heritage' that we ignore other cultures and other perspectives. We are all human, thus the work of Confucius is part of our heritage.

I see absolutely no sense in these cultural blinders we keep for ourselves. Unless there is value in divisiveness, cultural exclusion and cultural elitism, we have an obligation to look outside of our own culture for ideas and perspectives.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2008 03:01 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
I think westerners would be much more well rounded were they to study Lao Tsu and Confucius
 
Ron C de Weijze
 
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2008 02:42 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
That's the thing, though - we get caught up in 'our heritage' that we ignore other cultures and other perspectives. We are all human, thus the work of Confucius is part of our heritage.

I see absolutely no sense in these cultural blinders we keep for ourselves. Unless there is value in divisiveness, cultural exclusion and cultural elitism, we have an obligation to look outside of our own culture for ideas and perspectives.

Getting caught up and blinders are not the same as being inspired by and enlightenment. If you want to become Chinese, then by all means study Confucius. Division is different from differentiation and analysis after integration and synthesis where one must be so humble as to know one's own place in the scheme of things (cultural history).
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 10:36 am
@Ron C de Weijze,
Quote:
Getting caught up and blinders are not the same as being inspired by and enlightenment. If you want to become Chinese, then by all means study Confucius. Division is different from differentiation and analysis after integration and synthesis where one must be so humble as to know one's own place in the scheme of things (cultural history).


I don't see the logic here. Why should we be Chinese to study Confucius? Does Confucius, along with any non-western thinker, offer nothing to westerners?

And how far do we go with this idea you present? Should I only study American thinkers because I'm an American?

I really have a hard time buying into being humble enough to not study eastern philosophy. Takes a great deal of arrogance to suggest we ignore the philosophy of other cultures in favor of our own culture. I'm not French, but I have read Descartes. I'm not Greek, but I've read Aristotle and Plato.

Especially consider the vast spread of people from all parts of the world. Chinese live in my country, and I'm sure there are Chinese in your country. So lets be humble enough to study other cultures instead of elevating our own culture as the only one worth our study.
 
Ron C de Weijze
 
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 07:12 am
@Didymos Thomas,
We should not be Chinese to study Confucius, but study Confucius to be Chinese.
You should study American beliefs to confidently respond to other cultures.
Know thyself it says above the Temple of Delphi. First know you own place in this world, then learn about others'. That is arrogance nor cultural and moral nihilism/pessimism.
 
urangutan
 
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 08:20 am
@Ron C de Weijze,
By the same token Ron C. de Weijze, did you know all the history of your family before you found the reasoning for the borders that seperate Holland from the rest of the world. The advent of the wheel spread from one place do you know its history, would you still use it if you found it was not of this world, are you an ancient Athenean, that you can claim of their Gods and their culture to expunge the opinion of another. I am of a lonely corner of the globe. Our history is a page in the light of other worlds, we have no conflictive borders, so what should I study, European history, Asiain as we are part there of or something else all together.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 01:11 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:
I think westerners would be much more well rounded were they to study Lao Tsu and Confucius
And the Lotus Sutra, and the Dhammapada, and the Bhagavad Gita, and the Upanishads, just to name a few!
 
Ron C de Weijze
 
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 01:31 pm
@urangutan,
Urangutan, if you mean that we can learn from each other and assimilate each others' habits, then sure I agree. The problem is just how to omit and stay far away from contagious copying behavior for the sake of power accumulation and the spread of dogmatism across the globe (fascism, communism, socialism, islamism).
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 01:53 pm
@Ron C de Weijze,
Ron C. de Weijze wrote:
The problem is just how to omit and stay far away from contagious copying behavior for the sake of power accumulation and the spread of dogmatism across the globe (fascism, communism, socialism, islamism).
Add ethnocentrism to the list. THAT is why we need to study other traditions.
 
Ron C de Weijze
 
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 02:46 pm
@Aedes,
There is nothing wrong with pride about your own roots and holding on to the values and norms developed from it. Just don't export them globally in multicultural dogmatism, cultural and moral pessimism and relativism, that we are just about killed by in our habitats these days by the politically correct leftist elites of this world.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 02:49 pm
@Ron C de Weijze,
Ron C. de Weijze wrote:
There is nothing wrong with pride about your own roots and holding on to the values and norms developed from it.
There is something wrong with assumption of superiority, though. No one in the modern world has the right to be sanctimonious. All our cultures, all our societies, all our countries have things to be ashamed about just as we all have things to be proud of. So let's learn from the best of other cultures.

Quote:
Just don't export them globally in multicultural dogmatism, cultural and moral pessimism and relativism, that we are just about killed by in our habitats these days by the politically correct leftist elites of this world.
We've tried it the opposite way before -- you'd be wise to remember what blind patriotism brought Europe in 1914 and what ultranationalism and ideology brought it in the 1930s and 1940s.
 
Ron C de Weijze
 
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 02:59 pm
@Aedes,
As you surely know, that was exactly the movement I described before: the group polarization of national socialism, where votes are counted as individually independent confirmations, democratically correct, while they really were 'wir haben es nicht gewusst' simplistic copies of one another, contagiously mimed, to gain power and implement the dogmatism of communism and socialism (Hitler: "national socialism is exactly like communism"), just like the multiculturalism international socialist elites are spinning and group polarizing now 60 years later. They have learned nothing.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 04:13 pm
@Ron C de Weijze,
Interesting, you are perhaps the first person in history to conclude that Naziism is just like modern liberalism. Perhaps we could devote a thread to exploring the differences.

Ron C. de Weijze wrote:
just like the multiculturalism international socialist elites are spinning and group polarizing...
You'd do well to be analytical about this rather than throwing labels around as if you're Karl Rove. Multiculturalism, socialism, and elitism are different things and heterogeneous unto themselves. So when you use phrases like this in two consecutive threads, it's not clear to me that you even know what you mean because you're casting such a wide net.
 
Ron C de Weijze
 
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 07:01 pm
@Aedes,
Sure, I was just being on the defensive trying to prevent even more people blissfully ignorant moving to one side making the ship capsize.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 07:36 pm
@Ron C de Weijze,
Well, I don't think it's fair for you to assume that ignorance is of necessity responsible for liberalism, political correctness, socialism, or multiculturalism -- any more than it would be fair for me to blame ignorance for patriotism, nationalism, conservatism, tradition, etc.

It's easy to oversimplify political views with which one disagrees. But let's assume that there are intelligent, thoughtful, well-intentioned people with all but the most extreme and antagonistic views. That's the only way to keep these conversations from falling apart!
 
Ron C de Weijze
 
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 02:44 am
@Aedes,
Absolutely, as long as these moderates tend to include self-accommodation and self-assimilation of those moving into their backyards and not cast that burden onto the untouchables of their own cultures, in spite of their interdependent Brahman politeness to one another.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 04:23 pm
@Ron C de Weijze,
Lieh Tzu learned archery and, when he was able to hit the target, he asked the opinion of
Kuan Yin Tzu on his shooting. 'Do you know why you hit the target?' said Kuan Yin Tzu.
'No, I do not,' was the reply. 'Then you are not good enough yet,' rejoined Kuan Yin Tzu.
Lieh Tzu withdrew and practised for three years after which he again presented himself.
Kuan Yin Tzu asked, as before: 'Do you know why you hit the target? 'Yes,' said Lieh
Tzu, 'I do.' 'In that case, all is well. Hold that knowledge fast, and do not let it slip.'
'Mental and bodily equilibrium are to be sought within oneself. Once you know the
causal process which makes you hit the target, you will be able to determine the operation
of Destiny beforehand, and when you let fly you will make no mistake.'
The above principle does not apply only to shooting, but also to the government of a
State and to personal conduct. Therefore the Sage investigates not the mere facts of
preservation and destruction, but rather the causes which bring them about.
From the Book of Lieh Tzu.

If you are adverse to learning non western traditions from a non-western source, at least appreciate western traditions developed independently of the west.
 
Ron C de Weijze
 
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 03:07 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:
If you are adverse to learning non western traditions from a non-western source, at least appreciate western traditions developed independently of the west.

I'd rather say, I appreciate anyone's tradition developed independently, for those are the only ones that can validate (independently confirm or deny) mine so that I know what I can rely on.
 
 

 
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