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K’ung-fu-tzu: Creative Spiral or Stylized Living?



K’ung-fu-tzu or Confucius (as was translated into a Latin form) it is known, was a philosopher, a poet and a statesman.

His biography has been pieced together by a number of sources, such that there seems to be a bit of variance to certain aspects of his life, though much is known to be true.

The world state of affairs in China was in turmoil at the time of his birth, in 551 B.C. (479-551BC), his father was known to be a great warrior who retired into a position of statesmanship for the State of Lu; his mother a young teenager who born the babe out of wedlock, and seemingly beyond the means for his father’s wealth to reach him. It appears that there were other official wives who were in receipt of his estate.

During this time, what was once a stable source of power through the government to the people was changing and as in the methods of the world, the change, the vying for power among the contenders was brought about by violence and war.

If we were to listen to how Nature moves through changes and works in congruence with the seasons and cycles, there seems to be an element of constant letting go as well as a constant moving towards growth, while the appearance in the world seems to have a way of holding onto things far past the time of small changes and then in a violent thrust, lets go of the same when it is apparent that it is beyond repair.

It could be said, that Confucius was feeling and sensing that life could be expressed in a different manner, a more refined interpretation, through an attitude that melded with the understanding and gracefulness that worked with the forces of Nature and not against it. This strong conviction moved him to from an early age to move away from even his family and into a position of teaching to those who would respond to his sense of direction, and in fact it was the local body of men that began to listen to him.

As we know, we cannot transport ourselves except through our imaginations, anywhere but where we are, and in the times that we are in, so that the experience that we entertain here and now is encompassed directly from the atmosphere in which we live and breathe. We are a part of that experience of the whole of the body of man on Earth at this time, and are included in the whole of the atmosphere which surrounds this specific place in the Universe, and we are making choices about what we are establishing as a continuum of life on the face of this planet.

During Confucius’s time the violence about him brought him to realization of certain directions that if taken would mean death, not in the physical sense only but by and large in a way of ending a cycle of continuing growth to which he was drawn:

“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves”. Confucius

In beginning to realize that one has the responsibility for one’s true perspective one also begins to understand that not everyone is willing to utilize their perspective, that is their talents and capacities to grow, to develop, to allow the faculties of understanding to continue to expand:

“Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it”. Confucius

As this man moved closer toward a fulfillment of his capacities, we could suppose that there were times when things did not work out (imagine that!) in a way of growth, so that again, he had to look at the situation that he was in, and interpret for himself what would be the new direction at this point:

“Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes”. Confucius

In the end, as it has been said by many before us, no one can strike us out except ourselves, and it is the attitude with which we move on that brings us up out of the abyss of a situation and into the light of something clear.

For the town of Lu, where Confucius was, an opportunity of growth started to occur and it was seen and interpreted by others around the area as a threat to their ways of life. In a move that brought agreement with other things and took the state of Lu away from their focus, the neighboring state offered gifts of their horses and… beautiful women, of course!

Not that either was good or bad, just that those gifts at that time stirred a change in direction for the town as the agreement for comfort became more important than growth and introspection. This essentially nullified the efforts of Confucius and as it was, he left the town and his position, traveling to other cities.

What occurs to me is that this original thinker, philosopher and statesman, was pointing to something that is available to each one of us if we chose, though as others heard only the words and not the spirit behind the words, his voice became not the conduit for real change as he intended, but a religion of sorts, words to be followed in a stylized kind of fashion, do this and not that, eat with a fork and not your hands…

Which brings us to the point of wondering, what things do we follow in kind of ritualistic way without thinking about their implications? Are we attempting to live by stylizing our lives or by the actual living of our lives?

Ah those questions…!

Stay tuned for more adventures! Your perspective and comments are appreciated!

Sources: Notable Biographies.com http://www.notablebiographies.com/Co-Da/Confucius.html

The Famous People.com http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/confucius-84.php

Biography.com http://www.biography.com/articles/Confucius-9254926