Samsung Case - Confucius - World Teacher, Political and Spiritual Master - Confucianism - China
Confucius - World Teacher, Political and Spiritual Master - Confucianism - China
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Confucius - World Teacher, Political and Spiritual Master - Confucianism - China
Confucius (or Kongzi) was a Chinese Teacher, philosopher and Spiritual Master who lived in the 6th century BCE and whose thoughts, expressed in the philosophy of Confucianism, have influenced Chinese culture right up to the present day.
His school was revolutionary as it was the 1st to accept students from all classes, with no concern for status (noble, wealthy etc.). Before school was only for the Noble classes.
Authors Note - Raul: One key point is that rarely have such elevated Masters teaching reach the masses. But Confucius teachings and example did reach the masses in China and all over the world. His emphasis on LEARNING, morality and the virtues is surely a basis of the economic progress in these countries as it became a guiding light for many businessmen, intellectual and the so-called common man. When the opposite happens and corruption and illiteracy abound, then poverty abounds.
In between the lines we can see of man of extreme sensibility, humility and love for all beings. He was revolutionary is his statement that Noble deeds not Noble birth give one honor, the Mothers and family Love of more value than gold! So true even today.
Physically he suffered a lot due to poverty, rejection due to a large body (6-9 feet tall) with some rare traits, and he was an illegitimate child. He loved his Mother deeply, but she died early in his life, and he became an orphan.
Confucius was educated at schools for commoners, where he studied and learned the Six Arts: Rites (禮),Music (樂),Archery (射),Charioteering (御) Calligraphy (書) and Mathematics (數).
He is considered the FIRST teacher and his teachings are usually expressed in short phrases which are open to various interpretations. Chief among his philosophical ideas are the importance of a virtuous life, filial piety and ancestor worship.
The Importance of Study - his main lesson: In the Analects, Confucius presents himself as a "transmitter who invented nothing". He puts the greatest emphasis on the importance of study, and it is the Chinese character for study (學) that opens the text.
Far from trying to build a systematic or formalist theory, he wanted his disciples to master and internalize older classics, so that their deep thought and thorough study would allow them to relate the moral problems of the present to past political events. This was a very similar preparation to Lao Tzu - the study of the classics.
Key Meeting: Confucius seeks Lao Tzu Confucius and Lao Tzu were both seekers of spiritual truth and were also contemporaries. Lao Tzu was 20 years Confucius' senior. In his early 30s Confucius paid a visit to Lao Tzu, who was the famous author (later on) of the "Tao Te Ching" and a renowned philosopher in China.
At the time of the visit, Lao Tzu was the curator of the National Archives in the bustling Chinese capital of Luoyang. The two men shared concerns about their country's crumbling social order, but offered very different solutions.
When their legendary meeting took place, Lao Tzu cautioned Confucius, "Get rid of your arrogance and your ambition." Confucius was so impressed by Lao Tzu, he described him as "a dragon riding the winds and clouds in the sky." Thus, we can conclude that here Confucius met his Master.
His teachings emphasized is the necessity for benevolent and frugal rulers, the importance of inner moral harmony and its direct connection with harmony in the physical world and that rulers and teachers are important role models for wider society.
He led a very active political life, influencing kings and leaders via his immense reputation to educate their followers, and thus increase their value. This was revolutionary and it is so today.
Confucius' Early life Confucius is believed to have lived from c. 551 to c. 479 BCE in the state of Lu (now Shandong or Shantung). It was whilst he was teaching in his school that Confucius started to write.
Confucianism Chinese philosophy, and particularly Confucianism, has always been concerned with practical questions of morality and ethics. How should man live in order to master his environment, provide suitable government and achieve moral harmony?
Central to Confucianism is that the moral harmony of the individual is directly related to cosmic harmony; what one does, affects the other.
Mencius & Xunzi The thoughts of Confucius were further developed and codified by two important philosophers, Mencius (or Mengzi) and Xunzi (or Hsun Tzu). Whilst both believed that man’s sense of morality and justice separated him from the other animals, Mencius expounded the belief that human nature is essentially good whilst Xunzi, although not of an opposite position, was slightly more pessimistic about human nature and he, therefore, stressed the importance of education and ritual to keep people on the right moral track.
Confucianism expounded the importance of four virtues which we all possess: benevolence (jen), righteousness (i), observance of rites (li) and moral wisdom (te). A fifth was later added - faith.
According to the Zuozhuan, Confucius returned home to his native Lu when he was 68, after he was invited to do so by Ji Kangzi, the chief minister of Lu. The Analects depict him spending his last years teaching 72 or 77 disciples and transmitting the old wisdom via a set of texts called the Five Classics.
During his return, Confucius sometimes acted as an advisor to several government officials in Lu, including Ji Kangzi, on matters including governance and crime. Burdened by the loss of both his son and his favorite disciples, he died at the age of 71 or 72. He died from natural causes. He had crossed China several times - probably over 2,000 miles, in his quest to unify China and end corruption.
He had before his death over 2,000 disciples of which about 100 were advanced. They must have a great devotion to him since his teachings spread far and wide, while in his life rulers tended to ignore him as a form of protection.
Following his death in 479 BCE, Confucius was buried in his family’s tomb in Qufu (in Shandong) and, over the following centuries, his stature grew so that he became the subject of worship in schools during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) and temples were established in his name at all administrative capitals during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE).
Throughout the imperial period an extensive knowledge of the fundamental texts of Confucianism was a necessity in order to pass the civil service selection examinations. Educated people often had a tablet of Confucius’ writings prominently displayed in their houses and sometimes also statues, most often seated and dressed in imperial costume to symbolize his status as ‘the king without a throne’.
Authors note - Raul: Together with Chinese Philosophy and Lao Tzu i studied Confucius early in life. I preferred Lao Tzu teachings as more universal in todays life, but no doubt Confucius extended Lao Tzu wisdom far in time and space. Morality seems outdated but in fact experience shows that without this foundation there will be no lasting achievement.
Very similar to Ramakrishna and Vivekananda or Christ and Peter, the original Masters were not into building religions or changing the world - but more focused on changing hearts. But one item that is paramount is Confucius emphasize on LEARNING! That was true then and is true now.
There are endless resources on the web and print and videos on Confucius.
Some powerful videos of his life:
Biography (Bio) - Vimeo - Confucius: Words of Wisdom (1998) https://binged.it/2K2JGND
https://youtu.be/x0ToLOSqvVQ BBC: https://youtu.be/gdzbgW_ueNw Words of Wisdom - audiobook (3hrs): https://youtu.be/WzX8p37bL74
Summarized from the Ancient History Encyclopedia https://www.ancient.eu/Confucius/ by Mark Cartwright - published on 2012 and Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucius and https://www.theclassroom.com/similarities-confucius-lao-tzu-10034866.html By Susie Zappia