Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Confucianism Defined

Confucianism Defined Cover Confucianism is, and has been for over 25 centuries, the dominant Philosophical system in China and the guiding light in almost every aspect of Chinese life. Confucius and his followers traveled throughout the many feudal states of the Chinese Empire, persuading rulers to adopt his social reforms. They did not offer a point-by-point program, but stressed instead the "Way," or "One Thread," Jen (also translated as "humanity or love"), that runs through all Confucius' teachings. They urged individuals to strive for perfect virtue, righteousness (called Yi) and improvement of character. They taught the importance of harmony in the family, order in the state and peace in the Empire, which they saw as inherently interdependent. Teachings emphasize a code of conduct, self-cultivation and propriety -- and thus the attainment of social and national order. Stress is more on human duty and the ideal of the "superior man" than on a divine or supramundane Reality. Still, Confucius fasted, worshiped the ancestors, attended sacrifices and sought to live in harmony with Heaven. Confucianism is now enjoying a Renaissance in China.

FOUNDED: Confucianism began about 2,500 years ago in China.
FOUNDER: Supreme Sage K'ung-fu-tsu (Confucius) and Second Sage Meng-tzu (Mencius).
MAJOR SCRIPTURES: The Analects, Doctrine of the Mean, Great Learning and Mencius.
ADHERENTS: Estimated at 350 million, mostly in China, Japan, Burma and Thailand.
SECTS: There are no formal sects within Confucianism. Followers are free to profess other religions and yet still be Confucianists.

Besides virtue, the five Relationships offer the follower of Confucianism the means for progressing. These five relationships are to his ruler, his father, his wife, his elder brother and his friend. Ancestors are revered in Confucianism, and it is assumed that their spirit survives death. With respect to a Deity, Confucius was himself an agnostic, preferring to place emphasis on the ethical life here rather than to speak of a spiritual life beyond earthly existence, guiding men's minds not to the future, but to the present and the past.

Books in PDF format to read:

Roger Whitaker - Antinomianism
John Dee - Compendium Heptarchia Mystica English Version
Benjamin Rowe - Enochian Magick Reference
Aleister Crowley - Cocaine
Confucius - Confucian Canon