Confucian School #2 - Choose Who You Will Become
Copyright ©2021 December 21, 2021
Confucian School - Choose Who You Will Become
Everything in the three-dimensional universe is composed of specific ingredients and specific sequences within specific cycles. If an individual uses the wrong ingredients and wrong sequences when baking bread, then the bread will either taste bad, or not become bread at all. If an individual uses the wrong ingredients and wrong sequences when planting crops, then the crops will die and not grow. If an individual uses the wrong ingredients and wrong sequences when building a house, then the house will fall. If an individual uses the wrong ingredients and wrong sequences when putting on clothes, then the individual will be judged as having a mental problem. If an individual uses the wrong ingredients and wrong sequences when learning and living, then the individual's life will fail.
Nature rules man, and Nature dictates that the ingredients that an individual puts into their mind, so will become the individual. It is each individual's own choice of who and what they will become.
Everyone is born with their own species' unique preferences and tendencies of behavior, but still, when young, everyone had the choice to choose who and what they would become. The choices of youth have now been fulfilled in one's current life.
Some infants exert great effort to self-learn things that are difficult to understand, but when the things are learned, the infants then carry that learning, effort, and mental talent into adulthood. Some infants exert no effort to self-learn, and they carry their own chosen lack of learning and talent into adulthood. The differences between the individuals who self-learned, and the individuals who did not self-learn, are very obvious in adults.
An individual today may ask: what choices are there? And how can we be confident that a choice is right or wrong? One's own hindsight is the best teacher of which choices are best for oneself, but when the lesson is learned, it is then too late to have made a better choice. Some individuals have purposefully lived many different lifestyles for the purpose of self-learning the values and disvalues of each lifestyle. To have spent fifty years living different lifestyles, it enables an individual to understand what the lifestyles are, but the understanding alone does not make the person better, nor does the understanding quench the zeal to find the right choice. Therefore, there must be a better choice, one that is higher, topmost, a choice that is the core foundation of all other choices.
Perhaps the best answer today, is to ask which ideal rests most firmly within one's heart. What does the individual value most high? What is the absolute most important thing in one's life? Honesty? Greed? Selfishness? Kindness? Marriage? Finding the core foundational goal in life, requires self-thinking, self-analyzing, self-observing, and self-critiquing. Few individuals choose to care to exert the effort to self-learn of their own core foundation, and the chosen absence of the self-learning results in a disquality life.
'Zi [Confucius] say: Junzi bosom virtue-goodness, tiny people bosom earthen-products. Junzi bosom fairness, tiny people bosom favoritism.' (word-per-word draft translation of 里仁 Li Ren - Inner Benevolence #11)
The phrase 君子 junzi is composed of two words: 君 jun (which implies govern, lord, noble, prince) and 子 zi (which implies child, egg, first earthly branch, master, son). 君 jun is itself composed of two concepts: 尹 (control, govern), and 口 (mouth). Junzi is given several different common modern interpretations, including superior man, noble child, and quality man.
The general underlying concept is that a junzi is an individual of inner qualities as well as being of quality outward behaviors. If the phrase jun zi were to merely be interpreted literally, then that alone would be a good and sufficient enough description: 'he who has control over his own mouth'. Not many people have control over their own mouths.
And there is the choice to choose: to be as a junzi, who caringly and mindfully bosoms heart-felt virtue and fairness, or to be a tiny person who uncaringly and unmindfully bosoms cold materialism and favoritism. It is everyone's choice. Which choice that was made, was each individual's own choice; no one else made the choice for them.
Each choice has an inside and an outside. Inner ingredients make bread; bread does not make the ingredients. If a man strives to become righteous, then his aim will be of his outer behavior, and thus his behavior will not be an honest expression of the heart. But if the man's goal were to simply become a good man on the inside, then he will automatically fulfill the ideal of righteousness. Choosing the correct ingredients and sequences, is each person's own choice.
If a man reasons to himself that becoming love is his highest topmost goal in life, and he then chooses to become love, and he exerts the years of effort to achieve the love, he will in time find himself to be absent of material possessions. Minimalism does not make a man loving, but loving does make the man minimalist. Choices therefore begin with the heart, and from there, all outward behavior follows.
Correctness of Choice
Nature rules man, man does not rule Nature. Creativity is the ultimate value, for without creativity there would be no Creation. An ingredient of creativity is harmony. Correct choices are always harmonious with the laws and way of Nature.
If a choice is not harmonious, then the result will be negative. Also, each choice is formed upon previous choices: regardless of whether the previous choices were right or wrong , they will always remain to be a permanent ingredient of the final creation. Like a song, or building a pyramid of tones, the final creation is not a thing of itself, but rather it is the accumulation of the many previous choices flowing together as one.
'Topmost virtue not virtue, correct because have virtue underneath virtue. Not lose virtue, correct because nothing virtue.' (word-per-word draft translation of 道德經 Dao De Jing - Way Virtue Weave #38)
Music relies upon the musical instruments and notes to be played in harmony. The thing named virtue is the expression of many quality inner traits built one upon the other within harmony. The thing named love is similarly composed of ingredients, but the tone, amplitude, and direction of love is different than the tone, amplitude, and direction of virtue. Similarly, good choices in life become the composition of one's inner song in harmony.
Correct choices are formed upon top of the many correct choices below. Therefore, each individual choice requires many accompanying choices to compose the harmony, and each of the many choices require self-thinking, self-analyses, self-observation, and self-critiquing. Yes, effort is a necessary ingredient for good choices; without the effort, there can be no good choices.
Fulfillment of Correct Choices
Countless tiny people spend their lives grabbing for material objects, but never find an object that pacifies the desire to hoard. Many people spend their lives attempting to fit-in with different lifestyles, but never find the greener grass. Some individuals stop, self-think, self-analyze, self-observe, and self-critique themselves while with the goal of finding their own personal core foundational goal in life: when the goal is discovered, then the future choices become easy.
'Zi say: Morning hear way, evening die certain.' (word-per-word draft translation of 里仁 Li Ren - Inner Benevolence #8)
Having found one's core foundational goal, and to be living it, then the whole remainder of one's life is favored, with no regrets. A great knowing of one's choice having been correct, is to lie down on one's death bed, fully expecting to expire within moments, and to glow with the happiness and love of having achieved one's goal.
Each individual becomes that which they chose, whether it be a junzi, or to be tiny.
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