Thursday, October 7, 2010

Humanity in Daily Life

Confucius' goal was to open the way, to transmit, the culture of the ancient sage kings into his time. The ancient ruler Duke Chou established the system of music and propriety to benefit the inner and outer lives of the people. Propriety stabilized people's outer lives while music enriched people's minds.
Previous posts described humanity; loyalty to one's self and empathy with others, which was nourished under the system of Duke Chou. Confucius sought to enhance ethics and spirituality in the most common affairs of daily life. Confucius set up the virtue of filial piety. Confucius told his students to follow the spirit of filial piety which requires not empty ritual but sincerity and reverence. Sincerity and reverence are the natural feelings that emerge from a deeper understanding of daily life.
Confucius said that the great virtue of heaven was giving life which can be seen as embedded in the daily activities of the family. Confucius encouraged imitating the way of heaven. Parents give physical life to their children. They support and nourish them. Parents have this great responsibility to nourish and enhance the lives of the children. The most ordinary, family life, becomes the most sacred.
Honoring the life-giving principle, showing sincerity and reverence in fulfilling the responsibilities of daily life is the most embodied and lasting form of spirituality. Understanding the depth of daily life, the importance of continuing the natural harmony underlying all things is the work of humanity. It is the work of emphasizing and restoring harmony in all our relationships that gives spiritual life to the world.

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