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His father died when he was very young and Confucius's mother was persecuted his father's legal wives, who resented her for having borne him a son and heir. Confucius and his mother were forced to flee their home and lived in poverty. However at the age of 19, Confucius married and entered into government service for the state of Lu. He held many posts of increasing responsibility, eventually rising to the rank of Minister to the Duke of Lu, and also began acquiring a band of disciples who were drawn to his teachings about personal behaviour and morality.
Confucius said," Remember this my child.
The diviner does not really know the Tao of heavens, and heis right only by chance.” Confucius held a similar attitude towards thespiritual world. Upon the question of spirits, Confucius’ reply was, “We evendo not know enough about what happens when we are alive. How can we know whatwill happen after we die?”
Duke Zhao frequently came to him for advice, but upon counsel of one of his ministers, he decided against granting land to Confucius and gradually stopped seeking his counsel.
Confucius (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Book X of the Analects consists of personalobservations of how Confucius comported himself as a thinker, teacher,and official. Some have argued that these passages were originally moregeneral prescriptions on how a gentleman should dress and behave thatwere relabelled as descriptions of Confucius. Traditionally, Book X hasbeen regarded as providing an intimate portrait of Confucius and hasbeen read as a biographical sketch. The following passages provide afew examples of why, more generally, it is difficult to glean from theAnalects a genuinely biographical, let alone intimate,portrait of the Master.
Confucius, K'ung-fu-tzu - Friesian School
Unfortunately, although Confucius himself says, "Wealth and high station are what men desire" (, ), later Confucians (beginning no later than Mencius) turned warnings against the of profit () into a of profit, which meant that their influence was often turned against the development of Chinese industry and commerce.
CONFUCIUS: Biography, Teachings, Quotes
Thus, Confucians themselves were perfectly happy to seek "high station," while stiffling the ability of ordinary Chinese to produce "wealth." Over time, this was an evil influence in Chinese history .
While the essence of is the limitation of self-interest, Confucius is clear that this does not mean complete denial of self.
Confucius - His Life and Teachings
Confucius thought that government by laws and punishments could keep people in line, but government by example of virtue () and good manners () would enable them to control themselves ( ).
Information about Confucius, his teachings, and historical influence.
Nowadays we usually summarize a man’s life by hisachievements, and his devotion to his family and his friends in a chronologicalorder. That is a typical life in a modern secondary society. Confucius lived inthe ending years of the ancient Chinese super state of primary society, and hesummarized his life differently. From a study of almost 500 societies, ErikaBourguignon concludes that the frequency, accessibility and quality ofreligious experiences correlate inversely with the complexity of socialstructure. In the simplest and most egalitarian primary societies, ritualtrance states tend to be voluntary, conscious and accessible to most people whodesire them. The life in a primary society is always mingled with emotional andpsychological exchanges, and the life in a secondary society is built withrational abstract concepts and concrete measurable achievements or merits. Inhis late years, Confucius gave us a summary of his psychological journey whicheveryone can still relate to today. Some expressions from Confucius summaryhave entered the vocabulary of Chinese daily life.