The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East

Charles Francis Horne

Editore: Forgotten Books
Formato: PDF
Testo in en
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Dimensioni: 12,18 MB
  • EAN: 9780243815302
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Unfortunately this higher teaching was accepted as being also a finished teaching. The schools of China have ever since studied the precepts of Confucius; but until just within the present century they studied nothing else. All further progress thus became impossible. All conceivable wisdom was supposed to be bound up within the words of the Master Teacher. The Chinese have never forgotten than Confucius was only a man; but they have thought of him as the perfect man, and extended to him the honors of a god. Within this twentieth century of Ours the Chinese Empress decreed that he should be given equal worship with the highest God. What Confucius taught can best be gathered from his writings and sayings as presented in this volume. For the earthly life his precepts are quite clear: morality, reverence, a calm dignity and clinging to formalities, a turning away from trivial things and fleshly pleasures, constant study and communion with whatever seems best and highest. He preached truthfulness also, but with a practical limitation which has had unfortunate effects upon the Chinese char acter. He declared that truth could not always be followed in actual life. He himself broke a solemn pledge, explain ing that it had been forced upon him. In brief, China has suffered because the precepts of Confucius, while of high human standard, never reached the superhuman, never up held impossible ideals. If man is taught nothing higher than he can achieve, he will soon drag his teachings down to a much more convenient level.