論語 [Lún Yǔ]

論語 [Lún Yǔ][Read] ➭ 論語 [Lún Yǔ] By Confucius – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk کتاب مکالمات، بازتاب آرا و افکار حکیم و فیلسوف بزرگ چینی، کنفوسیوس استكنفوسيوس چنانكه از كتاب مكالمات برمي آي کتاب مکالمات، بازتاب آرا و افکار حکیم و فیلسوف بزرگ چینی، کنفوسیوس استكنفوسيوس چنانكه از كتاب مكالمات برمي آيد، در دوره اي مي زيست كه فضائل اخلاقي نقصان گرفته وشيوه پسنديده پادشاهان باستاني چين در حكومت متروك مانده و قفساد و تباهي در كار جامعه رخنه كرده بود. “Is it not indeed a pleasure to acuire knowledge and constantly to exercise oneself therein?” It really is It’s a noble pursuit forever trying to learn and improve and become the best you possible And in a way that’s the main drive behind these teachings self improvement I’ve met so many people in my life that never reached their potential or realised it So many people don’t dare to try Growing up I had some real intelligent friends who could have gone on to do wonderful things but they were too lazy to exercise themselves physically and mentally to achieve what they ought to have done They uit school or they didn’t put any effort into work They ended up in a dead end job when they could have done so much with themselves had they the will and the drive to succeed and become the best version of themselves People give up all too easy and settle for less It’s sad to see And this book pushes against such a defeatist mindset it argues through strength of virtue that we can become contended with life We can succeed and we can be happy Continued effort is all aspects of life is the key continued effort in maintaining family relationships and mastering abilities are essential for developing strong moral character Education and an exploration of literature are the uintessential ingredients to be able to utilise these effectively All in all knowledge is everything “When everyone hates a person you should investigate thoroughly and when everyone loves a person you should also investigate thoroughly” This gives one the integrity to observe the world in their own personal way and to make their own decisions about the people in it Being guided by others is easy we need the strength of character to make judgements based upon what we see and what we think And that’s rather important because only then can we develop wisdom and come to understand the world The words of Confucius are timeless in this regard they are true and they are very powerful in the right handsFor me this was uite a refreshing read Lately I feel like the world is full of negativity and defeat These ideas give me hope that one day we may be better Confucius held a strong ideal for man and although he didn’t think his ideals were necessarily rewarding I think there’s much to be learnt from them 子曰:「唯上知與下愚不移。」The Master said 'It is only the most intelligent and the most stupid who are not susceptible to change Confucius The Analects XVII3I rarely re read books An exception to this rule are ethical or religious texts I love Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and will read this in dribs and drabs throughout the year The same is true of the New Testament the Wisdom Books Psalms parts of the Book of Mormon and the Analects I am drawn to some of the universal teachings in these books the Golden Rule seems to find a spot everywhere Anyway I'm still trying to avoid thinking too much about Trump by reading a book a day and so I figured this was a good time to read again the Analects I'm working on a longer book so I rely on the help of smaller books to keep me one my 1 per day pace I am not sure if I've come across a translation I prefer but I've read several now Because I don't actually read Chinese I'm not I guess looking for the perfect translation I'm looking for one that seems to dance with the right amount of poetry and truth I'm getting closer and feel as I read the different translations I can circle around some of the truth of what was originally spoken without ever hearing the original text For example consider the opening uoteThe Master said There are only the wise of the highest class and the stupid of the lowest class who cannot be changed James Legge translationConfucius said “Only the most wise and the most foolish do not change” A Charles Muller translationThe Master said It is only the most intelligent and the most stupid who are not susceptible to change Lau translation With Trump's art of the deal I'm expecting us to belong to the Chinese in a year or two so the I understand of the Chinese the better I'll be treated in the reconditioning camps me thinks In a class taught by General George S Patton IV at the George Washington University in the early 80's reflecting on his experience in Vietnam he summarized the failure of US policy in SE Asia as a failure to understand the history and culture of the regionYears later as I prepared to deploy to Afghanistan it struck me that much of our formal education in my lifetime focused on European and Western philosophers and histories only perpetuating the vicious cycle which the son of the famous World War II general observedIn the same sense that reading the ur'an helped me to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Islamic currents that flow through Afghan and Central Asian culture Confucius provides context that helped in gaining an appreciation of the differences between Asian or Eastern and European or Western thought General Stanley McChrystal famously reported in a classified assessment leaked by Bob Woodward and the Washington Post in August 2009 that the US and our NATO allies had the wrong mindset for our operations in Afghanistan Would suggest that our focus on Plato Aristotle and other European philosophers and their associated political economic and military theorists which suited us for combat and commerce in Europe and with Europeans should be balanced with study of Confucius and Asian philosophers if we hope to succeed in a pivot to the Asia Pacific regionAs the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle emerged during a period of conflict between Greek and Persian power so too did Confucius and Sun Tzu emerge during the Waring States period of Chinese history from roughly 475 221 BCE which interestingly overlaps the emergence of the famous Greek philosophers It’s depressing to think that the teachings of Confucius constituted a religion in most of East Asia – ie they were wise sayings and stories of a great man from a certain time that have been selectively reinterpreted by kings and heads of state force fed to generations of schoolchildren in various eras as a substitute for original thought and generally manipulated out of context to subjugate a nation into obedience over and over againThat’s probably why many Chinese intellectuals and progressives who have not studied The Analects objectively or perhaps cannot abhor Confucius and consider his teachings part of the machinery of imperialism and feudal tyrantsNote that my five star rating is not for The Analects per se but specifically for the edition with Simon Leys’ excellent translation and notes see below for detailsThree Things you need to know about Confucius1 Though he is lauded as China's Supreme Teacher his goal in life was to be a politician and he failed at that He basically believed he was the Hari Seldon of China witnessing the crumbling of the Zhou dynasty his Heavenly mission was to “revive the Duke of Zhou’s grand design restore the world order under a new ethical basis and salvage the entire civilization” That’s why he educated and built up a ‘cabinet’ of disciples around him in order to usher in a new model government2 The Analects are to Confucius as the Gospels are to Jesus not written by him personally but a record of his sayings and deeds compiled by in Confucius’ case a group of his disciples and grand disciples3 Confucius lived and taught in the 6th century BCE To put things in perspective that’s when Buddha and Zoroaster were active and 10 years after Confucius dies Socrates is born That means these teachings in the Analects are old As Mr Leys states in his introduction “no book in the entire history of the world has exerted over a longer period of time a greater influence on a larger number of people than this slim volume Ironically this led to the failure of his political career because Confucius and his disciples threatened the incompetent incumbents and thus were not offered positions in courtIdeas The greatest innovation Confucius devised is inventing his own occupation of the private teacher Confucius’ second most revolutionary idea was redefining the term 君子 junzi meaning nobleman gentleman to mean anyone who was educated and moral so that commoners could aspire to become junzi and join the ruling class even though they were not born to aristocratic familiesSelected uotes from The AnalectsEach of the 20 chapters contains passages on various topics; they are largely not organised thematically For my own records I’ve included one or two sample uotes that represents one of the strong themes from each chapterChapter 1 virtue19 Master Zeng said “When the dead are honored and the memory of remote ancestors is kept alive a people’s virtue is at its fullest116 The Master said “Don’t worry if people don’t recognize your merits; worry that you may not recognize theirsChapter 2 filial piety26 Lord Meng Wu asked about filial piety The Master said “The only time a dutiful son ever makes his parents worry is when he is sickChapter 3 ritual313 Wangsun Jia asked “What does this saying mean ‘Flatter the god of the kitchen rather than the god of the house’? The Master said “Nonsense If you offend Heaven prayer is useless” Translation note Wangsun Jia minister of Duke Ling of Wei to whose court Confucius had come seeking employment The proverbial saying which W is uoting here is an expression of cynical folk wisdom rather ingratiate yourself with the servants who can feed you than with their master whose distant benevolence is of no practical use The exact intention of Wangsun Jia is not clear Either he is asking advice for the advancement of his own career should he court the favour of the duke “the god of the house” or of his favorite “the god of the kitchen”? Or under the guise of a uestion he may be addressing a veiled warning to Confucius Do not trust the duke too much; if you wish to succeed here it is with me you will have to deal The uestion may be ambiguous but the answer is clear Confucius condemns all opportunistic maneuvers––the only right policy is to follow the dictates of morality – See why Leys is a delightful guide for this voyage?Chapter 4 ren ie humanity benevolence416 The Master said “A gentleman considers what is just; a small man considers what is expedientChapter 5 evaluating the disciples510 Zai Yu was sleeping during the day The Master said “Rotten wood cannot be carved; dung walls cannot be troweled What is the use of scolding him?The Master said “There was a time when I used to listen to what people said and trusted that they would act accordingly but now I listen to what they say and watch what they do It is Zai Yu who made me changeChapter 6 modesty615 The Master said “Meng Zhifan was no boaster In a rout he remained behind to cover the retreat It was only upon reaching the city gate that he spurred his horse and said “It was not courage that kept me at the rear but the slowness of my horseChapter 7 Confucius on himself77 The Master said “I never denied my teaching to anyone who sought it even if he was too poor to offer than a token present for his tuition727 The Master fished with a line not with a net When hunting he never shot a roosting birdChapter 8 cultivation817 “Learning is like a chase in which as you fail to catch up you fear to lose what you have already gainedChapter 9 gentlemen do not specialise97 Lao said “The Master said that his failure in public life forced him to develop various skillsChapter 10 Confucian humanism1017 The stables burned The Master left court and asked “Was anyone hurt?” He did not inuire about the horses Note that in Confucius’s time a horse was much valuable than a stable handChapter 11 moderation is best1116 Zigong asked “Which is the better Zizhang or Zixia?” The Master said “Zizhang overshoots and Zixia falls short” Zigong said “Then Zizhang must be the better?” The Master said “Both miss the markChapter 12 ritual is preferable to laws1213 The Master said “I could adjudicate lawsuits as well as anyone But I would prefer to make lawsuits unnecessaryChapter 13 principles of government131 Zilu asked about government The Master said “Guide them Encourage them” Zilu asked him to develop these precepts The Master said “Untiringly136 The Master said “He is straight things work out by themselves without his having to issue orders He is not straight he has to multiply orders which are not being followed anywayChapter 14 loyalty1422 Zilu asked how to serve a prince The Master said “Tell him the truth even if it offends himChapter 15 discouraging glib talk1541 The Master said Words are merely for communicationChapter 16 learning169 Confucius said “Those who have innate knowledge are the highest Next come those who acuire knowledge through learning Next again come those who learn through the trials of life Lowest are the common people who go through the trials of life without learning anythingChapter 17 polite insult1720 Ru Bei wanted to see Confucius Confucius declined on the grounds of illness As Ru Bei’s messenger was leaving the Master took up his zithern and sang loudly enough for him to hearChapter 18 Confucius withdraws184 The people of i sent to Lu a present of singing and dancing girls Lord Ji Huan accepted them and for three days he did not attend court Confucius leftChapter 19 flexibility1911 Zixia said “Major principles suffer no transgression Minor principles may allow for compromiseChapter 20 meaning and function of language203 Confucius said “He who does not understand fate is incapable of behaving as a gentleman He who does not understand the rites is incapable of taking his stand He who does not understand words is incapable of understanding menMy ReactionsThe first thing I need to remember when thinking about Confucius is the context that he lived in It’s easy to blame him for an East Asian culture where originality and disagreement have been so taboo for so long In the Warring States era a feudal society with a high turnover rate of kings and lords it’s not surprising that harmony was valued perhaps overvalued because it was so rareMaybe one of the most important myths to debunk about Confucianism is that LOYALTY DOES NOT EUAL SUBMISSIVENESS Confucius emphasizes loyalty and teaches disciples to advise kings to do what is right and to correct them when they are wrong 36 1422 and he himself stood up to many monarchs in his time To him loyalty is to stand by your king and advise him and protect him It doesn’t mean to obey orders when those orders are immoral If the foolish king refuses to listen then it’s time to bounce and bounce Confucius did between many kingdoms when he couldn’t get a word in see 184Another notable concept absent from The Analects is the concept of punishment When we today learn about the cruel traditional punishments inflicted by Chinese regimes or the perverse measures that civil service scholars went to in the name of studiousness little do we realise Confucius would cringe at such extremities This punitive culture developed as a result of Legalism which enforced harsh discipline and helped the state of in ascend to empire a couple hundred years after Confucius diedFurther Reading Mencius who unified all the fragmented schools of post Confucianism and advanced the philosophy in the directions of both politics opining that the common people were important than rulers and legitimising tyrannicide if necessary and human nature believing that all people were inherently born goodTranslationI highly recommend the W W Norton edition with translation and notes by Simon Leys Most of these sayings are actually responses to certain events and reading the responses without understanding the events will leave you scratching your head or wanting to rageuit Leys' extensive notes are excellent; they tell us the stories and explain his rationale as well as what DC Lau Arthur Waley and other previous translators have thoughtIt helped that prior to this I had primed myself with a picture book version of his life and stories Confucius – Sage of the Orient by Singaporean publisher Canfonian I loved these books growing up Must buy for future children Confucius has a lot of wisdom Anyone who is serious about living life well would do well to read the AnalectsPoignant uotesIf you try to guide the common people with coercive regulations and keep them in line with punishments the common people will become evasive and will have no sense of shame If however you guide them with Virtue and keep them in line by means of ritual the people will have a sense of shame and will rectify themselvesGive your parents no cause for anxiety other than the possibility that they might fall illBoth keeping past teachings alive and understanding the present someone able to do this is worthy of being a teacherIf you learn without thinking about what you have learned you will be lost If you think without learning however you will fall into dangerThis is wisdom to recognize what you know as what you know and recognize what you do not know as what you do not knowWhen you see someone who is worthy concentrate upon becoming their eual; when you see someone who is unworthy use this as an opportunity to look within yourselfPeople in ancient times were not eager to speak because they would be ashamed if their actions did not measure up to their wordsZigong said What I do not wish others to do unto me I also wish not to do unto others The Master said Ah Zigong That is something uite beyond youWhen Zilu learned something but had not yet been able to put it into practice his only fear was that he would learn something newHe was diligent and loved learning and was not ashamed to ask advice from his inferiors This is why he was accorded the title CulturedI should just give up I have yet to meet someone who is able to perceive his own faults and then take himself to task inwardlyOne who knows it is not eual to one who loves it and one who loves it is not the eual of one who takes joy in itWhen walking with two other people I will always find a teacher among them I focus on those who are good and seek to emulate them and focus on those who are bad in order to be reminded of what needs to be changed in myselfThe gentleman is self possessed and relaxed while the petty man is perpetually full of worryThe Master was affable yet firm awe inspiring without being severe simultaneously respectful and relaxedLearn as if you will never catch up and as if you feared losing what you have already attainedWhen a man is rebuked with exemplary words after having made a mistake he cannot help but agree with them However what is important is that he change himself in order to accord with them When a man is praised with words of respect he cannot help but be pleased with them However what is important is that he actually live up to themYan Hui is of no help to me he is pleased with everything that I sayThe Master said The Good person is hesitant to speak When being Good is so difficult how can one not be hesitant to speak about it?The Master said The gentleman is free of anxiety and fear If you look inside yourself and find no faults what cause is there for anxiety or fear?A gentleman helps others to realize their good ualities rather than their bad A petty person does the oppositeImagine a person who can recite the several hundred odes by heart but when delegated a governmental task is unable to carry it out or when sent abroad as an envoy is unable to engage in repartee No matter how many odes he might have memorized what good are they to him?Those who possess Virtue will inevitably have something to say whereas those who have something to say do not necessarily possess Virtue Those who are Good will necessarily display courage but those who display courage are not necessarily GoodDo not worry that you are not recognized by others; worry rather that you yourself lack abilityYuan Rang sat casually with his legs sprawled out waiting for Confucius On seeing him the Master remarked A young man devoid of humility and respect for his elders will grow into an adult who contributes nothing to his community Growing older and older without the dignity to pass away he becomes a burden on society He then rapped him on the shin with his staffThe gentleman does not promote someone solely based upon their words nor does he dismiss words simply on account of the person who uttered themTo make a mistake and yet to not change your ways that is what is called truly making a mistakeWhen attending a gentleman there are three types of errors one may commit To speak when it is not yet time to speak this is called being rash To not speak when it is time to speak this is called being secretive to speak without taking into account the countenance of one's lord this is called being blindLearning broadly and firmly retaining what one has learned being incisive in one's uestioning and able to reflect upon what is near at hand Goodness is to found in thisLove GodKnow GodLove othersBecome like Christ humbly observe others to emulate the holy and discard the unrulyMake Disciplemakers There are two things that are commonly labeled ‘philosophy’ The first is philosophy sensu strictu which deals with technical problems in its various branches such as epistemology metaphysics ethics etc The other is what one could call a “philosophy of life” a vague category that one encounters in religious texts works of literature poetry and also intermingled with formal philosophy Confucianism insofar as I understand it mostly falls into the latter category The Analects mainly takes the form of aphorisms that are interspersed in conversation between Confucius and his various disciples I suppose the closest parallel I can think of would be Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations although at times the Analects reads like the Gospels There are some fine maxims in here but also many sections that are alternately baffling or boring Why must I wade through descriptions of ‘the Master’s’ clothing style? There is no narrative or didactic drive to the book; it just floats along from parable to aphorism with no apparent connection If there were not some interesting uotes it would be a very dry read If I were asked to shoehorn Confucius’s thinking into Western philosophy I would say that he is propounding a form of virtue ethics with a special emphasis on social life Although the final goal is to become a ‘superior man’ this is accomplished through the fulfillment of various duties in accordance with custom and etiuette Propriety is key here If it is considered proper to do something one should do it provided that it does not conflict with basic morality This will seem very strange and perhaps servile to some modern readers I expect but I can see the logical kernel behind this idea Abiding by custom and performing social rituals could have the effect of realigning one’s own personal interests with the interests of the community leading to harmonious social relationships I especially appreciate Confucius’s emphasis on action instead of speculation A person can be the world’s foremost expert on Kantian and utilitarian ethics and still be a serial killer But be that as it may I would have appreciated a focused organized and didactic treatment In Western works the reasons for accepting arguments are usually made very explicit In this book by contrast the maxims appeal for their apparent prudence and wisdom than from the weight of reasoning Still I do appreciate the way that the lessons are put forward because they beg the reader to figure out the reasoning behind the arguments for themselves rather than being spoon fed by the author For a book that I found rather dull when I was working through it I have spent a lot of time thinking about its contents afterwards So kudos to you Confucius your reputation is well deserved When Confucius was asked what he thought about the idea of being kind to someone who does you wrong he pointed out that this would be unfair to people who treat you right who deserve to be treated better than people who do you wrong Confucius was therefore an advocate of justice was Aristotle Jesus on the other hand said turn the other cheek and love your enemies which is not justice I also liked the suggestion of Confucius that one should not serve in government when evil people dominated the government Confucius thought that good government should resemble a good family The parents should treat the children fairly and the children should in return be loyal to their government There is very little that is mystical or other worldly in Confucianism which gives it a great advantage over Christianity and Islam The political sayings of a Chinese master22 June 2011 While I have credited the writing of this work to Confucius it was not actually written by him but rather by his disciples Thus Confucius joins Socrates and Jesus Christ of having an enormous influence upon the world without actually writing anything down though this is not correct as I further outline below Further like Jesus Christ and Socrates the books are a record of his sayings though unlike Jesus Christ he did not perform any miracles nor did he speak of salvation An interesting point the phrase 'Confucius says' appears only once in the book most of the time his sayings are introduced with the phrase 'the master says' Like Jesus and Socrates these writings were collected years after his death though it does appear that there are some books attributed to him though there is no hard evidence that he actually wrote anything though it might be best to suggest that we have no works authored by Confucius only books attributed to him Further since he was in politics for a time it is than possible that he did write things and bureaucratic writing does tend to lead to other literary creations Confucius married had children and died a natural death it appears as opposed to being executed like Jesus and Socrates The Analects is a book of wisdom which has created a lot of controversy over the centuries While Confucius is held in high regard he has a lot to say about our relations to the sovereign and does suggest that submission to the sovereign is the best which brings him in line with Jesus' political teachings Confucius holds education in high regard and this is where I will uote my favourite analect 'to study without thinking is futile to think without studying is dangerous' While one could sit down and explore these analects one to the best ways to approach them is to consider each one on their merit While there is a lot of context to consider many of these sayings like the book of Proverbs are timeless Confucius is also a big supporter of election by merit That is a person should hold a managerial position because of his or her skill and ability rather than simply through family or friends Our society and indeed the British Empire does consider merit in a lot of managerial roles that exist though due to our human nature it is always the case that we will tend to look over somebody much ualified in favour of somebody that we tend to like However the days of generals and lords being appointed by family are long gone and those entities that end up running on familial benefits end up not lasting all that long This version of the book is full of footnotes and that can be uite annoying when one is constantly flicking back and forth to read the footnotes Granted many of us don't even bother reading them however with a book like the Analects it is reuired because it was written so long ago in a society that was completely foreign to us As such these footnotes tend to identify the characters in the Analects as well as comment on the difficulty of the translation Further this was written in the pre imperial age when China was little than a collection of feudal states Confucius did not have an immediate impact upon China however after his disciples commemorated him by writing down his sayings his style of politics ended up becoming the dominant Some have suggested that Confucius was an Atheist however the Analects do not seem to suggest that this is the case he pays due respect to heaven and there is no indication that he did not believe in a spiritual world What he is interested in though is how to effectively rule the physical world You can't review the Analects But you can review editions of the Analects and this one translated and commented upon by Annping Chin is one of the great editions of any philosophy book I've ever come across The translation clear without being condescending and Chin includes the Chinese text at the back of the book Her comments are fascinating; best of all she includes references to and uotes from the many traditional commentaries on the book so you know not only what eg one random American translator thinks about a given passage but what one random American professor thinks about it and one to four of the best known Confucians and scholars of Confucius' thought It's almost a history of Confucian thought and scholarship in itself Eg in 622 Fan Chi asks about wisdom and humaneness We get information about who Fan Chi was and learn that the Song statesman and general Fan Zhongyan many centuries later rephrased what Confucius says 'To be first in worrying about the world's worries and last to enjoy its pleasures' is to be truly committed to public service It's hard to express my enthusiasm for this edition really One small thought about the Analects themselves Chin's translation than others I've read helped me understand the importance Confucius places on education and tradition tradition ie the rites holds us back while education ie literature lets us broaden ourselves To have either without the other produces a vicious person; to have them both in perfect balance produces the best person Were I still a scholar I'd love to write a paper about Confucius as negative dialectician Thankfully I'm not From my 5 day study tour in South Korea August 5 9 I read a bit about Korean history in English according to Prof Han Young Woo 2010 7 Confucius said Learning is a joy of life This is an interestingly philosophical psychological and educational uote as well as a groundbreaking one Just imagine Confucius said this some 2500 years ago Of course we still need to read him to learn even in this 21st century and beyondI've just posted this uote in my Facebook so that my students can see and read it think and take action That means for those good and great students of mine in the past at present and in the years to come Here's what Confucius said in Book I 1 The Master said To learn and at due times to repeat what one has learnt is that not after all a pleasure? p 75I think Prof Han Young Woo might have paraphrased from Chinese into Korean first However I understand the original Chinese is highly subtle therefore it depends on each translator to interpret as close as the heart of the matter as possibleNoteHan Young Woo 2010 A Review of Korean History Vol 1 AncientGoryeo Era Hahm Chaibong trans Pajubookcity KYONGSAEWON