The teachings of Confucius form the basis of many political and social systems in China. In addition, other Asian countries have embraced the teachings of Confucius or Confucianism. In these readings, an overview of Confucius as a citizen, teacher, and politician is offered. These readings explore the most relevant teachings according to Confucianism.
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The readings reveal that Confucius and his teachings became prominent in China and abroad even in the midst of other contrasting philosophies. In addition, the readings point out the fact that the teachings of Confucius have withstood the test of time several centuries after they were first propagated. This paper is a reflection on the readings about Confucius.
One of the things that are interestingly revealed by these readings is that the teachings of Confucius were able to rise above his personality. In most occasions, the teachings of philosophers are not able to go beyond their founding personalities. For instance, the philosophy of Confucius was later known as Confucianism. Confucianism is a philosophy that offers guidelines concerning people’s lifestyle and way of thinking.
These two aspects have little to do with Confucius’ personal traits and preferences. As a teacher, Confucius taught about a way of life that was feasible to people from all walks of life. According to the teachings, Confucianism does not alienate any social class or gender. Consequently, ‘Confucius the teacher’ rises above ‘Confucius the former aristocrat’. In the course of Confucian philosophy, the teachings rise above the core abilities/inabilities of human beings.
The readings on Confucius also reveal that he was adamant about the attainment of virtue. For instance, Confucius used virtue to rank and categorize his students and disciples. Henceforth, Confucianism and virtue are intertwined. Almost all religions that are operational around the world today lean towards the element of virtue. However, unlike most religions Confucianism is built on the premise of human beings attaining virtue. In this regard, these readings place Confucius in the league of other famous prophets and philosophers in history.
It is important to note that Confucius’ teachings on virtue were later echoed in Christianity through Jesus Christ. Confucius summarized his teachings into two aspects; loyalty and reciprocity. On the other hand, Jesus summarized Christianity into two commandments; love and loyalty to God and love and respect to fellow human beings. Although Confucianism is several centuries older than Christianity, and both systems existed thousands of miles apart, there are striking resemblances between the two orders.
The simplicity of Confucianism underlines the superiority of Confucius as a teacher. From the readings on Confucius, it is apparent that the philosopher was able to simplify complex aspects of human life. For example, Confucius outlined that his teachings were not to be memorized but they were a matter of principal. This sentiment means that the teachings of Confucius are more understandable than debatable. In one instance, Confucius said that no person should “seek life at the expense of humanity” (Last name 27).
This simple statement underlines the role ‘voluntary virtue’ plays in the life of human beings. In another instance, Confucius described a wholesome human being as one who is humane, wise, and brave. Therefore, the humaneness will eliminate anxieties, the wisdom gets rid of perplexities, and the braveness eliminates fear from human existence.
These readings offer insight into the life and teachings of one of the most relevant philosophers in the history of human existence. Confucius as the founder of Confucianism taught about a social, natural, and moral order. The readings also highlight the place of Confucianism among other global religions and philosophies.
Last name, First name. “Confucius.” Book Title, City of Publication: Publisher, Year Published. 15-33. Print.