“A leader avoids competing with others.” This is the advice that Confucius gives in Chapter VII of Book 3 of the Analects. He forges his own path rather than just trying to outdo other people. Continue reading Analects Book 3: on leadership and archery
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
Confucius said: “In archery, it does not matter whether you pierce the target, because some archers are stronger than others. This was the view of the ancients.”
While Confucius may have taken archery seriously as a ritual practice, there were no doubt many others who saw it as a trial of power and strength even when practiced as part of a ceremony. By repeating this ancient saying, he is calling – no doubt in vain – for participants to observe the true spirit of the ritual rather than treat it as a contest of manliness. Continue reading A trial of strength?