Confucianism is a system of thought based on the teachings of a Chinese man
named Kung Fuzi. Which is latinized as Confucius, he lived from 551 to 479 b.c.e.
Confucius claimed that he was not original and neither were his teachings, but believed
himself to be a creative transmitter of wisdom from the past. He created a moral code
on based on ethics, humanity and love. Confucius philosophies emphasize the ideals of
order and harmony. With the idea that people should live in harmony both with each other
and with nature. To achieve this, Confucius created a system of human relationships and
good government. Government to Confucius was the highest profession. He believed that
if one had a good government everyone would be happy. In addition, Confucius esteemed
education in high regards believing that through it, one could reach the high standard of a
For a religion Confucianism is very different from any other. Due to the fact that
the Chinese see religion as a form of education. The purpose of Confucianism was mainly
to instill moral values in a person. There is no organized church or structure, no priests, no
sects, and no creed for any follow. There is no worshipping or personal relationship with
god but did recognize heaven as a force of human concern. Confucius did believe that men
should direct their own destiny. Confucius taught that harmony begins in the family, which
was a minuet of society. In which the man of the house was like the emperor or Priest.
Confucius believed in a male dominated society were only males could lead the
government service. Confucius believe in ancestor devotion. The Ancestors names are
usually kept in shrines. The duty of the father was to make sacrifices and to report any
Confucius emphasized five virtues, which are the the ideals of Confucianism. The
Confucian virtues are something that should reflect sincerity and inner spirit. The most
important one was ren which means humanity he thought that should be the ideal for
everyone to follow. Then came up with yi, honesty zhi, knowledge xin faithfulness
and li; correct behavior. Confucinism also refers to basic texts which are called the five
classics. The book of poetry which contains the oldest of Chinese poetry that describe
common experiences such as love, work, and war. The book of rites, consists of three
separate ritual texts. That contains descriptions of how one must behave when attending
events, such as weddings, funerals, banquets and sacrifices. The book of history includes
decrees, speeches, advice from counselors, and reports on similar government affairs. The
Spring and Autumn annals is a brief chronicle of events in Confucius home state. The
book of change is a book that consists of divination, or helps the follower to foretell future
events and understand the existence of humans and natural happenings.
The Chinese always believed that the universe has always been influenced by two
opposing forces the Yin and the Yang. The two forces are always changing in power but
each are necessary in order to maintain a balance. Related to this concept also comes the
idea that all things are made up of of five elements. Wood, metal, fire, water and earth,
like the yin and yang this elements are always influencing each other in the balance of
nature. Using this foundation Confucius came to determine how things work together.
Later believing that this was the key for living, and maintaining harmony. This way
anyone would be able to correct imbalances or disharmony. This idea was used in
medicine, nutrition, agriculture, art and literature, becoming part of Confucianism.
Although Confucianism has evolved and changed, most of its social and
governmental ideals have prevailed to remain. They have been useful, and have become
the building blocks that have helped the Chinese civilization be such a stable force.