From Confucius to Mencius
An old man in an ox cart, with his textbook, is staggering towards us. This is the picture in my mind when I picked up the Analects.
Reading the Analects of Confucius, whether in life, in life or in learning, has great inspiration, but personally, what makes me feel most is that the role of “Enlightenment” is too great.
Confucius traveled around the world with his first-class entrepreneurs, diplomats, and strategists at that time, and Datong, who could be called a master of politics, economy, diplomacy, and industry and commerce. You should know that among Confucius’ 3000 disciples, Zi Gong’s knowledge is not the best. Some are better than him, such as Yan Hui, Zeng Zi, Zilu and so on. Confucius traveled around the world. He was poor and unlucky, but every country had to pay for his recommendation. His disciples in various countries, some as military commanders, some as executive heads, so every vassal dare not use him, because he has too many students, millions of people in the world, his students have 3000 people, and the students absolutely listen to him, he moved, the vassal states will shake, who dares to use him?
Confucius regarded himself as a piece of jade, waiting for the king to buy it. He also promoted himself, but he couldn’t sell it. Unfortunately, my way is not good. Although Confucius has always been promising, he cannot find a “position”. Zi Gong said, “if there is a beautiful jade in this place, hide it? Ask for a good Jia and sell it?” Confucius said, “sell it! Sell it! I’ll treat Jia.” (Analects of Confucius, Zihan)
Zigong joked with Confucius one day, teacher, I have a piece of jade. Do you think it’s better for me to hide it in the safe, or to find a merchant to sell it? As soon as the teacher heard it, he understood Zi Gong’s meaning and said with a smile, sell! Sell as long as there is a buyer! I’m waiting for someone to buy it here, but I can’t sell it. No one wants it. One of the most successful peddlers in history was Jiang Taigong, who later became famous and retired; The other is Zhugeliang. Later, he wanted to quit, but he didn’t quit well and successfully. He couldn’t help himself. He wanted to step down but couldn’t get it, so he had to devote himself to it.
After Confucius, Zeng Zi brought out Zisi, a student, and Zisi brought out Mencius… When he came to Xunzi, he brought out a student like Lisi who was too skillful in means. The role of teachers is really too great.
Remember the intellectual Fang Xiaoru in the early Ming Dynasty. When Emperor Yongle wanted to kill him, he was determined to be a loyal minister in order to have a good posthumous title after his death, showing a fearless appearance, hoping that the emperor would fulfill his reputation. He shouted at Yongle Emperor: at best, destroy my nine clans, destroy it. The Emperor Yongle wanted to destroy his ten families, plus the family of his teachers. The logic of Emperor Yongle was that the teachers did not teach well.
Aside from the cruel power struggle, this matter can also read another spirit in Chinese culture: the spirit of teacher morality. In Chinese traditional culture, the way of monarch, the way of minister and the way of teacher are integrated, which is called as the king, the relative and the teacher. Why do teachers call students disciples? Is it not just a “brother”, like a brother, but also a “son”, like his own children, who is a “disciple”? It’s a family, and feelings are connected.
In the inheritance of culture, the role of teachers is too important, and good teachers are too important. From a purely educational point of view, Confucius is a very good teacher.
The intangible heritage that Confucius left to the world can be roughly divided into three parts: being a man, dealing with the world and learning. These ideas meet the needs of the survival and development of human society. “Don’t do to others what you don’t want to do to yourself”, “disciples are filial when they enter, and younger brothers when they leave, sincere and trustworthy, pan love the public, and pro benevolence”, “the use of etiquette, harmony is the most precious”, these have almost become widely accepted norms of conduct in the world for future generations. “Learning from time to time, not to mention”, “reviewing the past and knowing the new”, “hearing more, choose the good and follow it”, “learning without thinking is useless, thinking without learning is dangerous”, these learning experiences and skills are also deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.
The branch of Confucianism is handed down in this way: Confucius’ most proud student is Yan Hui. Unfortunately, he died at the age of 32. It is said that the main reason is long-term malnutrition, unable to afford meat, and even too poor to eat for a few days. After Yan Hui’s death, Confucius was devastated and helpless. Zeng Zi, 46 years younger than Confucius, was still like a “baby” when he followed Confucius as a student. Among Confucius’ many students, one who is more Lu is clumsy. He is not a person with many minds and quick reactions, nor a person who is able to talk. Knowledge is second only to Yan Hui, and people are also very diligent. Confucius appreciates him very much, so he spread the mind method to Zeng Zi. Later, Zeng Zi passed on the Confucian orthodoxy. Confucius’ grandson Zisi is his student. Therefore, the fourth sentence at the beginning of the Analects is what Zeng Zi said. Zeng Zi said, “I will examine myself three times every day: are you unfaithful to others? Do you make friends but don’t believe? Can you spread it?”
Zeng Zi put forward that being a man should not owe anything to his heart. He has been “trembling” and trembling all his life, and he dare not step on his feet. Moreover, he is “as if facing an abyss and walking on thin ice”, as if standing on the edge of a cliff and having to be extremely cautious. Zeng Zi said with emotion that it is really not easy to be a man for a lifetime, and it takes a lot of effort to cultivate until death. This cultivation and realm is what Mencius said, “you are worthy of heaven, but you are not ashamed of people”.
Zeng Zi wrote a 1753 word report on his experience of listening to the teacher, named “University”. The filial piety sutra was also written by Zeng Zi.
Zengzi also spread the mind method to Confucius’ grandson Zisi, who also wrote an experience report – “the golden mean”, with a total of 3568 words. Zisi sorted out the Tao of his grandfather Confucius and the understanding of his teacher Zeng Zi, and then spread the mind method to his student Mencius.
Mencius was a student of Zisi and a disciple of Confucius’ three biographies. At this time, it was the Warring States period. Mencius’ thought was different from Confucius’ and it was equivalent to carrying forward on the basis of inheritance. Confucius was gentle and elegant, Mencius was a little chivalrous, and he always scolded others as birds and animals, a little tricky
Mencius’ literary talent is very good. He is very good at writing articles. Combined with his own views, he compiled the book Mencius, which is 35377 words long. After Mencius, Confucius’ mental skill was lost. Later, Xunzi wrote a book and reluctantly inherited it. However, Xunzi is suspected of injecting too much water, which is not comparable to Mencius. Moreover, several students brought out by Xunzi, such as Li Si and others, if they eat with Zilu and Zigong, it is estimated that Zilu and Zigong will not look at them at all. As for Su Qin and Zhang Yi, their level is incomparable with that of Confucius’ students, which is getting worse from generation to generation. In the Song Dynasty, Neo Confucianists thought that they had obtained the secret of this heart biography and inherited the heart biography of Confucius and Mencius. Some of them explained that numbness in medical books was called inhumane, which showed that benevolence was about the perception of the heart, so there was “Mind Science”.
How on earth did Confucius spread the mind method to Zeng Zi? It has been impossible to verify, but we can learn some clues from the Analects.
The full text of the Analects of Confucius is 15917 words long, and the three character Scripture says: “the Analects, 20 chapters, a group of disciples, remember good words.” The Analects of Confucius is a book for Confucius’ students to record the words and deeds of Confucius and Confucius’ disciples. It is a quotation style book.
The four books we are talking about now refer to the four books of the University, the doctrine of the mean, the Analects of Confucius and Mencius. The total number of words in these four books is only about 60000 words. However, I don’t know how many words there are in the annotations of these four books. It’s not too much to describe them with a huge number of sweat and a vast sea of smoke. Zhu Xi, a scholar in Song Dynasty, was the first to put forward the concept of “four books”. Zhu Fuzi also made special annotations for the four books, known as the “four book chapters and sentences collection notes”. Since then, from the Song Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty for more than 800 years, no scholar did not read the four books, because the imperial examination was to take the four books. What is eight part essay? It is to draw some sentences from the four books and make an article. This is the so-called “making a statement for the sage”, and specifically take Zhu Fuzi’s comments as the standard answer when revising the volume.
Since the death of Confucius in 333 BC, in 146 BC, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty “deposed a hundred schools of thought and respected Confucianism alone”, Confucianism has always occupied a dominant and dominant position in China. During this period, although the struggle against Confucius and respect Confucius continued, it has not been able to shake the situation of Confucian domination.
After talking for a long time, what is “Confucianism”? This has to start with the source of Chinese culture. In Confucius’ time, there was a very fashionable word: “Ranger”. “Records of the historian” said: “their words will be believed, their actions will be fruit, their promises will be sincere, do not love their bodies, go to the plight of scholars.”. Is it a bit similar to the samurai morality today? In the Zhou Dynasty, emperors, princes and other dignitaries had their own military experts – these people were hereditary warriors and the backbone of the army at that time. In the late Zhou Dynasty, the ruling power disintegrated, and these militarists were laid off. With the loss of their original power and titles, they looked everywhere for opportunities to work, otherwise, they could not eat. These once hereditary warriors are called “Xia” or “Ranger”. Among the Mohist army, some of them are such warriors. In “Mozi · Gongshu”, Mozi finally said to the king of Chu, “like a Gongshu, he wants to murder me. However, 300 people, including my disciple Qin Huali, have been armed with the weapons I designed, waiting for the attack of the Chu army on the city wall of the Song Dynasty. I can be murdered, but the Chu army can’t kill them all.”—— In this sentence, the “300 disciples, such as qihuali”, are “Rangers”.
So what is “Confucianism”? The source of Confucianism is situ Guan. Situ Guan is to help the king “Shun Yin and Yang, mingjiaohua”. What is “Shun Yin and Yang”? It is to publicize the etiquette system and educate, which is called etiquette for short. “Shuowen Jiezi”: “Confucianism, softness, said the magician.”
Are “Confucianism” and “Xia” in the same class? no, it isn’t. It turned out that in Chinese history, “Confucianism” and “Chivalry” were professionals attached to the aristocracy, and they themselves belonged to the upper class of society. Later, Confucian scholars continued to come from the upper or middle class, while swordsmen came more from the lower class.
Tell you a real Confucius
“How can you cut a chicken with an ox knife”, “when you are an official, you will learn, and when you learn, you will be an official”, “it is tolerable, which can’t be tolerated”, “when you smell Shao in Qi, you don’t know the taste of meat in March”, these idioms, which are well-known to women and children, come from the Analects of Confucius, which come from Yang Huo Pian, Zi Zhang Pian, Ba Yi Pian and Shu Er Pian respectively. Mountains are not high, but immortals are famous; If the water is not deep, the dragon is the spirit. If a book is not thick, it tastes sweet; If you don’t talk much, wake up and learn.
Not only is the Confucian culture represented in the Analects of Confucius almost synonymous with Chinese culture (let’s say so), but it has also had a far-reaching impact. Specifically, its language is simple and elegant, its chapters are short and concise, and it has the aphorism system, which is easy to read and recite. The content involved all aspects of life cultivation, which was quite enlightening on how to behave and how to deal with things. This is of great benefit to young people.
Confucius’ fate changed from being gentle to being sent to the altar. He rose and fell several times. Confucius once summed up himself: “I am determined to learn at five out of ten, stand at thirty, know my destiny at fifty, be obedient at sixty, follow my heart at seventy, and do not exceed the rules.”
Confucius, who was once “panicked like a dog without a family” and cut off food, founded Confucianism. He was lonely for hundreds of years. In the era of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, fortune changed and received unexpected attention, so that he “deposed hundreds of schools and respected Confucianism alone”. From Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty to Emperor Kangxi of the Kangxi Dynasty, successive emperors gave Confucius the titles of “king of Wen Xuan” to “king of Wen Xuan, the supreme sage of Dacheng”, and successively became the Supreme Master of teachers in the Five Dynasties. Confucius became a real aristocrat, the only aristocrat, because his identity was not affected by the change of dynasties. How high is Confucius’ historical status? In the words of his fan Zhu Xi, it is called “heaven does not give birth to Confucius, and all ages are like a long night”.
Suddenly, during the May 4th movement, people everywhere shouted “down with kongjiadian”. When I was a child, I also learned the song: “Kong Laoer, is a bad thing.” Decades later, Sinology became hot again, and began to become the “experience” and “perception” of all kinds of people. Miscellaneous “master classes” were also held to bring profits to the University and certificates to the bosses. In the foreseeable future, his old man will continue to be hot, and his high fever will not subside.
Is it normal? abnormal. The hotter it is, the harder it is to see the truth. So what is Confucius’ true face of Mount Lushan?
Let’s see what the authoritative book says first. In the historical records of Confucius family, there are detailed records of Confucius’ life. The historical position of Confucius can be seen from Sima Qian’s arrangement. The “aristocratic family” in the historical records originally recorded the affairs of princes and ministers, but Confucius was not a vassal, but was included in the aristocratic family. Why? Sima Qian meant that Confucius taught all his life, especially after he returned from traveling around the world, and devoted himself to cultivating and educating the next generation. Most of the elites in various countries were cultivated by Confucius. Confucius did a career that would benefit thousands of generations. His words and deeds will also affect future generations, so he was included in the aristocratic family. According to the records of the historical records of Confucius family: Confucius, named Qiu, was born in the late spring and Autumn period. Born in 551 BC (the 21st year of King Zhou Ling and the 22nd year of Duke Lu Xiang), he died in 479 BC (the 41st year of King Zhou Jing and the 16th year of Duke Lu AI).
There are 3000 Confucius disciples and 72 sages. They are scattered in various vassal states and become the elite of all countries. Confucius was not only the most knowledgeable at that time, but also the spiritual leader of the elite.
Confucius’ “ancestral home” is the state of song. His ancestor is uncle Kong Fang, an aristocrat of the state of song. When Confucius was born, his father uncle Liang he was 66 years old. Three years later, his father died. Later, because of the civil strife in the state of song, the portable son of Confucius’ mother Yan moved to Qufu que Li and lived a hard life. Confucius later recalled, “I’m cheap when I’m young, so I can despise things.”
Confucius was an idle official in the state of Lu when he was in his twenties, managing warehouses, cattle and sheep. Later, he was never put in an important position. Until he was almost 50, he was appointed as the local chief executive by Duke Ding of Lu; In the third year, he was promoted to Sikong, equivalent to the Minister of engineering construction; In the fourth year, Confucius, at the age of 51, became the general secretary of the state of Lu, equivalent to today’s minister of justice, and acted as Lu Xiang. This was the biggest official Confucius had ever served in his life – filming Lu Xiang, the acting premier, but it was only three months before he was expelled from office by Ji Shi and others.
After the dismissal, in 496 BC, the 14th year of Duke Ding of Lu, the 54 year old Confucius had to leave the state of Lu because he was repeatedly excluded. He began to travel around the countries, with his disciples, to preach his political thoughts to the ministers, doctors and princes of various countries. He ran around for 14 years, but he was either excluded, expelled, or even chased, and almost starved to death on the road. At the age of 68, he returned to the state of Lu and began to write books and compile the six classics.
After the age of 40, Confucius gave lectures under an apricot tree. He was the first person to set up folk education. Some scholars commented that Confucius is a great master for all ages and a symbol of Chinese culture for thousands of years. He has established an ideological system that has influenced thousands of years and the East. The Chinese culture of 2000 years is profound and powerful because of Confucius’ thought. Today’s Oriental culture is brilliant because of Chinese culture. A person who integrates 2000 years of Chinese culture and thought, and later generations worship him, not only has piety, but also should have a cultural and spiritual induction.
Confucius is a great contributor to the inheritance of Chinese cultural heritage. With extensive knowledge, he worked hard all his life to collect and sort out his previous ancient cultural heritage, revise poetry and books, determine rites and music, preface Zhouyi, and write spring and autumn. It is hard to imagine how much blank the ancient Chinese culture would have left without the fruits of Confucius’ labor. On this point alone, our descendants should pay tribute and gratitude to Confucius. Tan Dun said that I am very disgusted with sniffing at classics and noble things. I call Confucius Confucius Confucius the second son of Confucius and overthrow all classics. I think this is forgetting our ancestors.
These words are too big, a bit like the speech of leaders at the conference. Let’s look at the details: among the seventy-two disciples of Confucius, Zilu has always been the most reckless and straightforward. One day, he asked Confucius what he should do first for politics. Confucius answered without hesitation, “correct your name!” Zilu didn’t think so. He said that your talk about “rectifying your name” is too pedantic these days, isn’t it? Is it too nerdy?
Confucius became serious, but he didn’t get angry, and still didn’t lose his teacher’s true colors. There came a famous “Confucius”: “if the name is not right, the words are not right; if the words are not right, the things are not successful; if the things are not successful, the rites and music are not prosperous; if the rites and music are not prosperous, the punishment is not appropriate; if the punishment is not appropriate, the people have nothing to do. Therefore, the name of a gentleman must be said, and the words must be feasible. A gentleman has nothing to do with his words.” If the name is not correct or not named, it will be soft spoken, guilty, disorganized, and get around. If not, the parties will be at a loss. Therefore, we must draw a line between what can be done and what can not be done, so that people can follow it orderly.
A few words are like an argumentative paper with complete structure and no fault. Zilu is satisfied. Not satisfied, because the teacher’s words are very macro and comprehensive, and what he thinks is the major event of stabilizing the country and governing the world by herdsmen. It’s easy to say. What is foresight? Just listen to Confucius.
Confucius had a keen observation on social fairness and justice, and he could immediately feel it through a small thing. I remember reading a story about Confucius in the magazine “thinking and wisdom” to the effect that in the spring and Autumn period, the state of Lu had such a law: anyone who travels to other countries and sees a person of the state of Lu become a slave can pay for himself to redeem him first, and then go to the government for reimbursement after returning to the state of Lu. The government paid the ransom with the money from the national treasury and gave a certain reward.
Zi Gong, a student of Confucius, went abroad and happened to meet a man from the state of Lu who was a slave there, so he paid for him. After returning home, the student neither publicized nor went to the government to reimburse the ransom advanced. The redeemed man told the people the situation, and they all praised Zi Gong for his justice and noble personality. For a time, the streets and alleys regarded this matter as a good talk.
Knowing this, Confucius not only failed to show his gratitude to Yangzi, but also severely criticized him, accusing him of making a mistake against the social road, ignoring the road only for petty righteousness. Confucius pointed out that because this student was praised as having a noble character because he did not go to the government to reimburse the ransom, other people would hesitate to pay for his redemption when they saw that the Lu people had become slaves abroad, because people would say that they were not righteous and noble if they paid him out and then went to the government to reimburse and receive the prize; If you don’t go to the government for reimbursement, who will compensate for your losses? So, it’s better to do one thing less than one more thing, so I have to pretend not to see it. Objectively speaking, Zigong’s behavior prevented more Lu people who were slaves in foreign countries from being redeemed. Confucius Saw far-reaching negative effects through seemingly noble phenomena and hidden dangers from the cheers.
This is the real Confucius. However, successive emperors after the Han Dynasty took Confucius as a memorial tablet and offered him as a God. Later dynasties made the four books a compulsory subject. Those who passed the imperial examination and passed the imperial examination and were admitted to the imperial examination and Jinshi had to go to the temple to worship Confucius. According to relevant historical records, after obtaining the title of “No. 1 scholar” in ancient times, scholars all went to the Dacheng Hall of the Confucius Temple to pay homage to Kong Sheng, read the classic quotations of Kong Sheng, remember the admonitions of Kong Sheng, and so on. Over time, a handed down ritual system, known as “No. 1 scholar ritual”, was formed. If anyone deserts in the process of worship and whispers, the light ones will be disqualified from admission, and the heavy ones will be jailed.
Confucius was solemnized and offered as a God. An old man who was originally flesh and blood was turned into a rigid clay sculpture, and was elevated into an old man who replaced the ruler to instruct the people, and became a person who could no longer be close to.
This is really a historical misunderstanding. Confucius had never been happy, nor could he have such a feeling.