Chinese Philosophy

I have a huge homework in The History of Chinese. I have to read about 70 pages about Chinese Philosophy. It's about Confucius, Mo Zi, Mencius, The Great Learning, The Doctrine of Mean and so on an so forth. I am now somewhere in the middle. And again I must admit how intrigued I am about all this. Chinese philosophy is actually quite simple, but that's why it is so genius.

One of my favorite things is the Doctrine of Mean (Zhongyong), which has been transmitted for centuries as one of the chapters in a compendium known as the Book of Rites (Liji). It is also one of the four most important books in the Confucian corpus. It is a substantial work and includes a classical discussion of the concept of [my so-loved-word] "perfection" (cheng). The Doctrine of Mean teaches that we must "perfect" ourselves by fulfilling our potential as moral paragons.

Some of my favorites from the Doctrine of Mean:

-There is nothing more apparent than what is hidden. There is nothing more manifest than what is subtle.

-Equilibrium is the great foundation of the world.

-Knowledge, humanity and courage - these three are the far-reaching virtues in the world.

-Only the most perfect people in the world are able to fulfill their xing ("human nature").

-A person of utmost perfection is like a spirit.

-"Perfection" is self-completion.

-Perfection is the beginning and the end of things. Without perfection, there are no things.

-One who is perfect does not simply complete himself; he uses his perfection to complete other things. Completing the self is humanity; completing other things is knowledge.

Mo Zi, whose school of Mohism was the first intellectual response to Confucianism, developed his doctrine of "Universal Love" which believed that "Disorder arises from a lack of mutual love". "The Will of Heaven" says: "Who is it who kills innocent people? It is mankind."

The following is an exerpt from the Zhuang Zi text, "Inner Chapters" - Essentials for Nurturing Life. I really enjoyed this one.
Sir Motely of Southunc made an excursion to the Hillock of Shang. There he saw an unusual tree so big that a thousand four-horse chariots could be shaded by its leaves.
"Goodness! What tree is this?" asked Sir Motley. "It must have unusual timber." Looking upward at the smaller branches, however, he saw that they were all twisted and unfit to be beams. Looking downward at the massive trunk, he saw that it was so gnarled as to be unfit for making coffins. If you lick one of its leaves, your mouth will develop unlcerous sores. If you smell its foliage, you fall into a drunken delirium that last for three days.
"This tree is truly worthless," said Sir Motley, "and that is why it has grown so large. Ah! the spiritual man is also worthless like this." ...

Well, although such homework can be exhausting and frustrating, at those moments I realize that I like what I do. Of course I still have no idea what I'm going to do after I graduate, but for now I am satisfied. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I'll have one of my hysterics again and I won't like anything. If I do, I know what the cure is - read the Chinese philosophy and most importantly - start living up to it.

It seems amazing that so much that we live up today comes from the 6th to 2nd century B.C.E. China. Like, the Golden Rule of Confucius, that my mom used to recite daily to me when I was a little girl: "What you yourself not desire, do not do to others." Living a righteous and virtuous life could be so easy, if only we'd want to do that. But as the Master has said: "I have never seen anyone who loves virtue as much as sex."

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