Confucius (551-479 BC, a.k.a. Kong Qiu or Master Kong, is considered to be the father of the Eastern style of thought. His philosophy became official teaching during the Han Dynasty and known as “Confucianism.” In sum we can say (yes Jay!!):
What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.
Confucianism would engage in historic push-pull with the philosophies of Buddhism and Taoism, experiencing ebbs and flows in influence, its high points coming during the Han (206 BCE–220 CE), Tang (618–907 CE), and Song (960–1296 CE) Dynasties. As Buddhism became the dominant spiritual force in China, Confucianism declined in practice. However, it remains a foundational philosophy underlying Asian and Chinese attitudes toward scholarly, legal, and professional pursuits.
Confucius’s Key contributions
- Developed a belief system focused on both personal and governmental morality through qualities such as justice, sincerity, and positive relationships with others;
- Advocated for the importance of strong family bonds, including respect for the elder, veneration of one’s ancestors, and marital loyalty;
- Believed in the value of achieving ethical harmony through skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules, denoting that one should achieve morality through self-cultivation.