During the era that Buddha was teaching enlightenment and interior peace and contentment in India, Confucius was giving practical advice to the Chinese people in successful relationships and practical living. His key precepts were honesty with others and remaining true to themselves for successful conduct in everyday affairs.
He was itinerate and spread his teachings in unique ways using history, poetry and music. His wisdom was spread throughout the country. Perhaps one of his regrets was that he was not able to put his ideas about politics and the government into action, even though he started in government service in his early twenties. He had aspirations to become Prime Minister and set a good example of proper government. The times were too troubled, however and even though his advice was often sought out by dukes and kings and held several official positions, he lost favor at times and was obliged to leave his own state of Lu, in exile.
You see, Confucius taught that no government can be better than the character of its rulers, and that except and unless politics grows out of moral truth it has no true foundation. Students of philosophy throughout the world still use his teachings and aphorisms as a valuable source of theses and the basis of other philosophies by comparison or collation. Best known for his adages, he led the world in showing proper character in brilliant flashes of word economy and wisdom. They are as relevant today as they were 2500 years ago.
Interestingly enough, Confucius’s life followed a pattern not unlike that of Jesus, not in sacrifice necessarily, but definitely in events leveled at him and his followers by the rulers of his day. His disciples worshipped him and spread his teachings in the same way that Jesus disciples did and they were also persecuted, out of fear, by new emperors who feared the politics coming out of the wisdom. Confucius’s books were burned and often his devoted followers were thrown into the flames along with these teachings. Being a visionary (or what is now considered a "seer" ) he encouraged his disciples to commit these works to memory so that those who escaped death would be able to reproduce the writings and hand them down to posterity. He, himself, inscribed many of his writings on bamboo strips making it possible for scholars many centuries later to reproduce and restore his original meanings.
After his death at the age of seventy-three, a temple was built in his honor on the site of his tomb.
Information taken from "The Wisdom of China and India" by Lin Yutang
copyright 1942 by Random House
Proverbs from Confucius:
To repay evil with kindness is the sign of a generous character. To repay kindness with evil is the sign of a criminal.
(Bible equivalent: Proverbs 17:13)
To know what you know and know what you don’t know is the characteristic of one who knows.
(Bible equivalent: 1 Corinthians 8:2) compare the two for awhile- they are the same.
The superior man is always candid and at ease; the inferior man is always worried about something.
(Bible equivalent: Titus 1:15 A person who is pure of heart sees goodness and purity in everything, but a person whose own heart is evil and untrusting finds evil in everything. )
The Castle Lady shoots kisses straight to your heart!