DAOISM, CONFUCIANISM RENAISSANCE FOR WORLD HARMONY
Friday, 1. January 2010, 17:31:45
DAOISM, CONFUCIANISM, HARMONY DIPLOMACY, ANTHONY ALEXANDER, HARMONY RENAISSANCE, LAOTZE, TODDE CROWELL, CONFUCIUS, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, President Obama, WESTERN CULTURE, EASTERN CULTURE, YIN YANG, ANCIENT CULTURE, ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY, ASIAN CENTURY, KINDNESS, EQUITY, GENTLENESS, HUMILITY, PATIENCE, ACCEPTANCE, FORGIVENESS, TOLERANCE, GREEN ECOLOGY, CONSERVATION, RESPECT, NONVIOLENCE
DAOISM, CONFUCIANISM RENAISSANCE FOR WORLD HARMONYINTRODUCTIONThe renaissance of Daoism and Confucianism as called for by Anthony Alexander and Todd Crowell (See Appendix A and B) are timely for the East and West to act in unison to avoid global unsustainable development. For over two thousand years these two main stream philosophies kept the Far East in reasonable social harmony as well as harmony with nature. (See Appendix F, Definition of Confucianism). With the onslaught of Western individualism and man’s confidence that mankind can limitlessly exploit and transform nature to our liking these soft philosophies are being overlooked. With the growth of wonton consumption and environmental destruction likely to spread if unchecked the universal question arises, does the world need new paradigm and collective unity in action to avoid self destruction? After the Cold War, the world also seemed to be locked in a new round of religious confrontation that led to endless wars and destruction. What new paradigm can lead us out of this demise and unshackle us from the bondage of religious and ideology strife? (See Appendix BB, “Obama, our Confucian president, goes to China”)
LAOTZE, CONFUCIUS AND THE 21ST CENTURY
Laotze by observation of nature derived his philosophy and left us his 5000 words treatise “Dao De Jing”. Dao as the invisible energy in the firmament that created the universal is also the essence of our individual soul. The meaning of life is for our soul to achieve harmony so it can transcend our body and reach salvation. This he called “Tien Ren Ha Yi”, unity of heaven and man (See Appendix E “Harmony Renaissance Preamble and Declaration”). Man is part of nature and not separate from nature. Thus in life man must harmonize with nature. This philosophy of harmony with nature is reflected in the practice of Chinese medicine, Fengshui and landscaping, Confucius taught family and societal harmony through prevalent order and moral values. For two thousand years Confucianism was adopted by all Chinese dynasties after Qin dynasty and spread through out Far East. Under Confucian teaching, the society is governed by moral value as the bottom line with scant law enforcement. This explains why in today’s Chinese society under modernization despite the enactment of more and more laws the execution of law still needs to catch up. However at the time of Confucius it was said “People did not close doors at night and people did not pocket lost items from the street.” People also practice “Hua Di Wei Lao” meaning people draw a circle on the ground as prison and repent by sitting inside it. As ancient philosophies move towards modernity there are always need to keep what are relevant and discard what are irrelevant. Certain Confucius teachings on women’s societal role that were prevalent values of the time are long gone by the wayside in today’s China. Mao, another thinker of China could not have put it in a better way: “Women hold up half the sky”Of course, under today’s capitalistic materialism and liberal world there are just too many temptations not to enforce law and order beyond the practice of moral values. Today the world is going through major cross currents. The developing world must adopt law and order to keep up with modern materialism progress. The developed world, on the other hand, is finding materialism and greed is growing unchecked as witnessed by the recent financial crisis and the threat of climate change. These calls for East and West cultural convergence to achieve a global win win mutual development. In short, East and west must learn to work together for world harmony to minimize ecology catastrophe, ideology and rigorous strife.
DAOISM, CONFUCIANISM AND HARMONY RENAISSANCE
Renaissance simply means revival of old common values that has been neglected. In the past we have European Renaissance to lead us to the 20th Century liberal democratic government and modern science. In the future multilateral world we need the world to come together in harmony to avoid conflicts and confrontations. We need to revive the harmony components of Daoism and Confucianism. Both Daoism and Confucianism taught harmony without invoking the fear of the creator. Confucius said “Respect the supernatural and keep a distance. As much as religion also preaches harmony, but the cultural specific man made creators of each religion is inherently divisive. Bahai Faith, the latest religion with a Christian-Islam tradition, 300 years ago, taught unity of mankind, unity of all religions and unity of science and religion. That is long before Dalai Lama’ statement that religion must defer to science. Harmony Faith and Daoism with the concept of invisible energy in the firmament that created the universe is in unity with modern quantum physics observations. (See attached Appendix C, “Harmony Faith, Order of the Universe” and Appendix E “Harmony Renaissance Preamble and Declaration”)
According to Crowell, “One of the major criticisms of Confucianism is that he tended to relegate women to the margins of public affairs, though he may merely have been reflecting the prevalent values of his time. Today, a nation shortchanges itself if it does not follow a saying of another Chinese thinker, Mao Zedong, "women hold up half the sky". Of course, just because Mao upheld women and men equality dose not say he is of the same station as Confucius in teaching harmony. Mao was a revolutionary leader that led China out of colonial subjugation and male dominated society. Today Confucius teaching extended education to the poor and he pioneered universal education. His harmony teaching is sublime. But in moving any ancient common value to modernity we must selectively keep what is relevant and discard what is not relevant.Harmony Renaissance is simply reviving harmony teaching in all cultures so the movement will release us from the bondage of religious and ideology strife. Thus mankind can reach a higher level of accomplishment beyond European Renaissance. We learned from past history that negativism and judgmental of fellow countries hinter progress. Harmony virtues include tolerance, acceptance, equality, humility and forgiveness means dynamic balance of difference to forge world win win progress. (See Appendix D, Twelve Virtues of Harmony Renaissance)
EAST IS EAST, WEST IS WEST
Peace is a static end state in its conception. The universe and life is not static. The universe is ever expanding according to modern physics. Our soul is eternal. There will not be lasting peace when there is no harmony. Harmony is dynamic balance and is not an end state. It is about eternity. It is the constant action and growth.East and West culture represent two opposites. Just like male and female, electron and positron, Yin and Yang. Harmony is the invisible hand that keeps the opposites in dynamic balance but never equal. When there are no opposites the universe will not grow and there will be no life. Please see following attached "Harmony Faith, Order of Universe" in English and Chinese translation. English is the original.Western culture is more confrontational. But in Yin there is Yang and vice verse. The best representation is the Tai Chi double fish symbol. However, according to Laotze, ultimately the Yin contains the Yang. In the universe, invisible energy contains the Yang (visible matters). This is testified by modern physics.Yang being more confrontational, aggressive, less patient tendS to use hard power. When this tendency is not in check, it will more likely to wear itself out. For dynamic balance between Yin and Yang within or without, Western culture ultimately must contain more Yin. This is the truth.
Right now Western culture has more system engineering and modern organizational infrastructure. But Eastern culture as Yin, tends to be more patient, use more innate soft power. Confucianism taught the practice of soft power. Laotze advocated the truth that soft overcomes the hard when aggression is over extended. East and West must attempt to reach harmony to avoid self destruction. They will ultimately not merge. Yin and Yang will coexist as unity in diversity. That guarantees life and continuing growth. In the same rational thinking mankind must reach harmony with nature. Mankind is part of nature and will never conquer nature according to Laotze. East and West have a lot to learn from each other. That is what world harmony is all about. As modernized as Japan and Korea are, their societies are still more Confucian than Christian and Western. China will be more Confucian than Marxism. East and West can approach harmony but will never completely merge. The universe and life is about Yin Yang balance and growth.
•The search for harmony must rely on broad vision. Christ taught many harmony virtues to his disciples including love. What makes Confucius teaching more culturally attractive to the developing world is his teaching is not linked to fear of a cultural specific creator. He said “respect the supernormal and keep a distance”.
•Most liberal governments believe in the separation of religion from government. There is also a lot to say about the separation of moral teaching from the fear of the creator. The society is a lot better if we can do good out of our belief without the fear of the creator or the law. That is the ideal of the perfect gentleman in Confucius teaching.
•America has over 300 years of industrial experience. China only has 60 years. Based on today’s rate of development no one can predict what happens in another 60 years. Hopefully by then both nations will reach harmony consensus.
•The ills of today’s Chinese society can be fixed by a heavy dose of Confucian teaching. In fact Confucianism is doing well and fine in many Asian nations, such as Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. In fact, Confucian Renaissance in Taiwan and Singapore is nothing new but alive and kicking for many years. Japan often said that Confucian ethics is flourishing in Japan better than at the master’s birth place.
•If 21st Century is going to be Asian Century than the West needs to reach harmony consensus with the Asian nations in the balance of “Eastern moral Values” and Western Liberal Democracy and Values” for a harmonious world.
Francis C W Fung, PH.D.
World Harmony Organization