Chinese celebrities – Confucius

Confucius (from September 28, 551 BC to April 11, 479 BC) was born in Zouyi (today’s Qufu City, Shandong Province) of the state of Lu. His ancestral home is Liyi (today’s Xinyi County, Henan Province). He is an ancient Chinese thinker, politician, educator, founder of Confucian School, and “the most sage and pioneer of Dacheng”.


Confucius initiated the style of private lectures and advocated benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and faith. There are 3000 disciples, among whom 72 are virtuous. He once led some of his disciples to travel around the world for 14 years and revised the six classics in his later years (poems, books, rites, music, changes, spring, and Autumn). After his death, his disciples and his disciples recorded the words, deeds, quotations, and thoughts of Confucius and his disciples and compiled them into the Analects of Confucius. The book is regarded as a Confucian classic.


Confucius was one of the most erudite people in society at that time. When he was alive, he was revered as “the sage of heaven” and “the wood duo of heaven”. He was also revered by later rulers as the sage of Confucius, the most sage, the most sage’s first teacher, the most sage’s first teacher, the most sage’s first teacher, the most sage’s first teacher, and the model of all ages. His thoughts have a far-reaching influence on China and the world, and he is listed as the first of “the world’s top ten cultural celebrities”. With the expansion of Confucius’ influence, the “Confucius worship ceremony” once became the same level as the Chinese ancestor god worship ceremony.


Main achievements

(1) Moral theory

Confucius founded the moral theory with benevolence as the core. He was also a very kind person, full of compassion, willing to help others, sincere and generous. “Don’t do to others what you don’t want to do to yourself”, “the beauty of being a gentleman, the evil of not being a man”, “bow to others with a thick bow and a thin responsibility” and so on are all his principles of life. “I am determined to learn when I am five out of ten; I am determined to stand at thirty; I am not confused when I am forty; I know heaven’s destiny when I am fifty; I am obedient when I am sixty; I am free when I am seventy; I do not exceed the rules.” This is Confucius’s summary of all stages of his life.


(2) Political theory

The core content of Confucius’ political thought is “propriety” and “benevolence”. In the general plan of governing the country, he advocated “governing the country with morality”. It is the noblest way to govern a country with morality and ethics. This strategy is also called “rule of virtue” or “rule of propriety”. This strategy applies morality and propriety to the people, strictly follows the hierarchy system, and divides the nobles and the common people into the governed and the governed. It broke the original important boundary between aristocracy and common people.


(3) Economic theory

Because of Confucius’ conservative political attitude, the reform of the economic system also reflects his conservative thought. For example, in the 15th year of Xuangong of Lu (594 BC), the implementation of “Chu Shui Mu” was a major economic reform in the spring and Autumn period. However, according to Zuo Zhuan, the purpose of recording “Chu Shui Mu” in the spring and Autumn period was to criticize it as “indecent”. If the people are not rich, the monarch will not be. In the Analects of Confucius Yao Yue, it is also recorded that Confucius advocated “benefiting the people for the benefit of the people”, that is, doing things that are beneficial to the people. On the other hand, he also advocated that taxes should be lighter and that the apportionment of corvee should not delay the farming hours. According to the Analects of Confucius, Confucius also preached to the politicians at that time, asking them not to be extravagant, but to be thrifty. He said: “extravagance is not inferior, frugality is solid. It’s better not to be inferior At the same time, he also advocated “saving and loving”. This includes the application of Confucius’ thought of “benevolence” in the economic field.


(4) Educational thought

Confucius was the first person in Chinese history to point out that people’s natural qualities are similar, and the personality differences are mainly due to the influence of acquired education and social environment (“sex is similar, learning is different”). Therefore, everyone can be educated and everyone should be educated. He advocated “education without discrimination”, founded private schools, and recruited students widely, which broke the monopoly of slave owners and nobles on school education and extended the scope of education to the common people, conforming to the trend of social development at that time. “Learning and knowing” is the main idea of Confucius’ teaching thought. At the same time, he emphasized the combination of learning and thinking (“learning without thinking is useless, thinking without learning is perilous”), he must “learn to apply” and apply the learned knowledge to social practice.


(5) Historiography thought

An important proposition of Confucius’ thought of governing history is “straightness”, that is, to study history should seek truth from facts, not only to attach importance to the basics but also to “know what you know, don’t know what you don’t know” (Analects of Confucius · for politics). He strongly opposes those who are arrogant but not straight, saying: “I don’t know if you are crazy but not straight if you don’t want to if you don’t believe it.” (the Analects of Confucius · Taber) his consistent proposition is also reflected in his attitude towards history.


(6) Aesthetic thought

In the book of changes, Confucius clearly put forward such famous aesthetic propositions as “beauty is in it” and “different people have different opinions”. Tong Zi Wen Yi, published by people’s publishing house, puts forward the aesthetic school based on Yi School: the beauty of masculinity and softness; the beauty of life; the beauty of freedom; the beauty of neutralization. It holds that “the beauty of yin and Yang, the beauty of life, the beauty of freedom, and the beauty of neutralization are the roots of aesthetics”.


Speech works

confucius speaking words

(1) Collection of quotations

Confucius’ speech is mainly recorded in the Analects of Confucius. The Analects of Confucius is one of the classic works of the Confucian school, compiled by Confucius’ disciples and their disciples. It records the words and deeds of Confucius and his disciples and embodies Confucius’ political ideas, ethics, moral concepts, and educational principles.


The Analects of Confucius, the great learning, the doctrine of the mean, and Mencius were called “four books” after the Southern Song Dynasty. The current edition of the Analects consists of 20 chapters. The language of the Analects of Confucius is concise and profound, and many of its remarks are still regarded as “micro words and broad meanings” by the world.


(2) Document arrangement

In his later years, Confucius devoted himself to education, compiling poems, books, rites, music, preface to the book of changes, and spring and Autumn Annals. Later generations collectively called it “Six Classics”.


(3) Poetry creation

It is said that Confucius wrote poems such as song of going to Lu, song of crayfish, Guishancao, Pancho, Yilancao, Jiangguicao, and Hurling. Most of these poems are published in Yuefu Poetry Anthology, which has low credibility.

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