Faces for places

In bed, he did not lie stiffly like a corpse; at home, he was informal and relaxed.

When he saw someone in mourning clothes, he adopted a solemn expression on his face and remained distant even if he knew them well. When he saw someone wearing a ceremonial cap or a blind person, he was courteous even if they were in an agitated state. When riding in his carriage, he expressed his condolences to anyone he passed who was in mourning, even if they were a mere street hawker. When offered rich delicacies at a banquet, he showed his deep appreciation. When he heard a sudden clap of thunder or a ferocious wind an expression of awe came over his face.

When climbing into his carriage, he stood and faced it squarely and then grasped the hand strap. Once in the carriage, he didn’t turn to look at those standing behind him, talk loudly, or point with his finger.

More examples of ritual etiquette: the key point is that this means acting appropriately depending on the needs of each particular situation Confucius finds himself in.

At home and in repose, it is perfectly fine for him to be informal and relaxed. Indeed, that is correct way for him to act in order refresh his energy and get some rest. It is only when he is out and about and encounters a person in mourning or attends a feast that he becomes more formal and serious.

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