The main reason for my interest in the Analects and the Daodejing is that they focus on providing practical solutions to real-world problems.
Unlike many of the works in the Western philosophical cannon, they don’t feature any agonized searches for a universal “truth” or any promises of eternal salvation for ascribing to the “right” set of values or behaving in the “correct” manner. Instead, they are concerned with dealing with the challenges of the here and now, exploring how you can improve your character to make a greater contribution to the stability and prosperity of your family, community, and society overall.
Continue reading Situational leadership in the Analects and the Daodejing
Although Book 3 of the Analects is dominated by the subject of rites, it does also touch on a few other themes, most notably leadership and the glories of ancient Chinese culture. Click on the links below for the full story. Continue reading Analects Book 3: Resources
Confucius never defines exactly what he means by the rites in Book 3 of the Analects. Instead, he spends most of his energy on criticizing others, most notably members of the Three Families, for their violations of the unwritten rules governing important ritual ceremonies that had presumably existed since at least the beginnings of the Zhou dynasty in the early 11th century and probably even before that. Continue reading Analects Book 3: fighting for the rites
With civilization collapsing around him as multiple states and factions within them fought for control of China, Confucius looked back to the “golden age” at the beginning of the Zhou dynasty in the 11th century BC as the model for restoring stability and culture to the country. Continue reading Analects Book 3 on culture: I follow the Zhou!
“If a man has no goodness, what can he have to do with the rites?” This is the rhetorical question that Confucius asks in Chapter III of Book 3 of the Analects. Continue reading Analects Book 3: on goodness
Book 3 of the Analects features some quite astonishing tirades from Confucius against the Three Families, the real power behind the throne of his home state of Lu, for what he saw as their shameless violations of the ancient ritual ceremonies and proprieties that he believed were essential for a civilized society. Continue reading Analects Book 3: Overview
The rites can be best understood as a behavioral language that provides the grammar, syntax, and standard usage patterns that enable people to act in an appropriate way in any given situation – whether at a wedding or a funeral or at a formal dinner or a casual lunch. Continue reading Analects Book 2: on the rites
The rites (禮/lǐ) is a flexible term that describes the loosely connected web of formal religious, political, and cultural ceremonies and unwritten rules of behavior that govern smooth interactions between people and ensure social stability. Continue reading Analects Book 1: on the rites
As in the previous book, Confucius is featured in all the chapters of Book 3 of the Analects. Three new disciples also appear in the form of the rather dim-witted Lin Fang, the grasping Ran Qiu, and the clever but arrogant Zai Yu, along with Zixia and Zigong. Continue reading Analects Book 3 by numbers
My new translation of Book 3 of the Analects is now available for download from SlideShare. This features some memorable rants from Confucius attacking his political foes for attempting to boost their social prestige by holding ritual ceremonies that should by right have been the exclusive preserve of the Son of Heaven and other hereditary rulers. Continue reading Book 3 of the Analects in presentation format