“Confucius sought order and social harmony, he believed the answers to maintaining both lay in understanding the lessons of history, learning and study. He wasn’t at all big on introspection or trusting intuition. But study would help us to understand how the past affects the present and help us to plan for the future.”
“Very left brain,” I said.
“There are many virtues discussed in Confucianism, but the most important is the virtue of ren, it’s more than just benevolence, it’s oh –“ She waved her hands in the air as if trying to shape her thoughts like dough.
“It’s not only wanting to be the best you can be but to help others be the best they can be, too.”
“And then there’s Daoism,” she said as we walked through the gardens. “Dao is The Way to understanding the pattern and rhythm of universe. It says we need to empty ourselves of the restrictions of artificial rules and rituals, and return to a more natural state, in tune with our inner world. Use our intuition rather than forced learning.
I wanted to say ‘very right-brain’, but instead ventured an uncertain, “Very yin?”
“Exactly,” she beamed. “So, our two key philosophies differ in profound and meaningful ways. Confucianism is all about learning. Confucians put their arguments in logical, rational, language and human beings above all other creatures. This is the state you need to be in when dealing with the outer world - as a student, a worker a family member. "
“The key to inner harmony,” she concluded. “Is not to follow only one philosophy but to hold them simultaneously and to know when to apply each. To hold the two in perfect balance, yin and yang.”
Original Artwork: Stasia Dukova