Jen: Source of Power and Morality in Confusionism?

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by Gunner, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    Im having troble locating the source of power and morality within confusionism. My reasearch has lead me to the concept of "jen", one that I am afraid I am having trouble grasping. I was wondering if anyone knows if, a) I am on the right path and b) what is jen?:confused:

    Thank you in advance
     
  2. lucius

    lucius New Member

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    As far as my understanding goes, jen is the principle thing, the underlying virtue which make the others possible. It is variously traslated as 'human-heartetness' 'kindness' 'love' 'benevolence'
    It is also the goal - it represents a kind of perfect attainment which confucius saw as emodied completely only in the Sheng Jen, the ancient sages of chinese tradition. It is more like a goal towards which one should strive, a kind of self-perfecing.
     
  3. jiii

    jiii ...

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    As a matter of fact, Gunner, Confucius always refused to define 'jen', in much the same way as Lao-Tzu never really defined 'te'. The reason that such sages never set these in stone is because both qualities were known as things that could not be verbally conveyed.

    Even though Confucius is usually seen as the rigid, moral preacher in comparison to Lao-Tzu and his very subtle way, even Confucius recognized that the lifeblood of his doctrine was not his teachings. Confucius knew that a man could cleverly deceive people for his entire life...seem to be perfectly and honestly and genuinely moral and righteous...yet, he still would be little more than a fraud, and he would not be an example of 'jen'. 'Jen', like 'te', is a term that cannot really be defined because it appears very mundane or even completely illogical and paradoxical when expressed as an impoverished, literary abstraction. You could say that part of the reason they are not defined is because the very sensation of blood flowing through one's veins is just as much a necessary component of the definition as any and all words.
     
  4. Caimanson

    Caimanson Mind or spirit?

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    I struggled a long time trying to understand what Te really means, until I came across Gia-Fu Feng's translation of the Tao-Te Ching, which includes a brief introduction to the basic concepts.
    According to the GFF, although Te is usually translated as Virtue, it has nothing to do with the moralistic virtue created by humans and imposed by culture.

    Quoting GGF:

    "Te refers to nothing less than the quality of human action that allows the central, creative power of the universe to manifest through it"

    "Virtue is an opening rather than a 'doing' "

    "For the point is not only what we do but the source from which we do it."


    I know this is not Confucianism, but I hope it may help.:)
     

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