Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Confucius To Overheating, Out Of Balance Chinese [World] Economy: "It Does Not Matter How Slowly You Go, As Long As You Do Not Stop"

"At first, the Web site director and his schoolteacher wife sent their 5-year-old son to a Confucian school in this central Chinese city simply because it was two minutes from home. But the more they learned about the school, the more they liked what they saw.

Children as young as 3 were memorizing and reciting ancient Chinese classics, notably the works of Confucius, the philosopher best remembered for promoting filial piety in the 6th century B.C. Even if students didn't understand all the words, they grasped the concepts of treating their elders with respect and their classmates with care.

"Nowadays society is very superficial," said the Web administrator, Guan Tao, explaining why he continued to enroll his son at the school. "As a Chinese, you must know something about your own culture and literature."

Confucianism is enjoying a resurgence in this country, as more and more Chinese like Guan seek ways to adapt to a culture in which corruption has spread and materialism has become a driving value. For many Chinese, a system of ethical teachings that stresses the importance of avoiding conflict and respecting hierarchy makes perfect sense, even if it was first in vogue centuries ago." ...

Maureen Fan "Confucius Making a Comeback In Money-Driven Modern China" Washington Post, July 24, 2007


"Hearing of Lao Tzu's wisdom, Confucius travelled to meet him. Confucius put a lot of emphasis on traditional rituals, customs and rites.

Confucius asked Lao Tzu about performing rites and rituals. Lao Tzu replied: "The bones of the people you are talking about have long since turned to dust! Only their words linger on. If a man's time comes, he will be successful; if not, he will not be successful. A successful merchant hides his wealth and a noble person of character will feign foolishness. Therefore, you should give up your proud airs, your desires, vanity and extravagant claims! They are useless to you.

Much later, Lao Tzu perceived that the kingdom's affairs were disintegrating , so it was time to leave. He was travelling West on a buffalo when he came to the Han Gu Pass, which was guarded. The keeper of the pass realised Lao Tzu was leaving permanently, so he requested that Lao Tzu write out some of his wisdom so that it could be preserved once he was gone.

Lao Tzu climbed down from his buffalo and immediately wrote the Tao Te Ching. He then left and was never heard of again."

Source: www.thetao.info/tao/laotzu.htm

Around the 6th century B.C.E. Greece had Plato and Socrates; India had the Buddha and China had Confucius and Lao Tzu (pictured together, above. Lao Tzu is seated, and Confucius kneels respectfully before him.)

Image credit: www.thetao.info. With thanks.


Fourth Forbes Symposium on Scientific Research
in the Field of Asian Art

Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
September 27–29, 2007

Studies of Historic Asian Ceramics using Scientific Methods

Symposium Program

The symposium will be published. Support for the symposium is provided by the Edward W. Forbes Fund.

For those interested in attending the symposium, there will be no conference fee, but registration is necessary. Preconference registration is available until September 14, 2007.

Policy on Provenance
The Smithsonian Institution adopted the UNESCO convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property on May 9, 1973. Objects discussed in the papers must have an ownership that complies with this SI policy.


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