This explanation of part of Confucian belief may be found on this page.
Confucius stated that divine realms are beyond human comprehension, so there is no Confucian concept of a sacred space outside of the realm of life on earth. The focus of Confucianism is ordinary human interactions, and thus, in a sense, the ordinary space of daily life becomes sacred space.
I've never lived in a country where Confucian principles hold sway. Can anyone talk about how they play out in modern life?
It has always seemed to me that Confucianism has the same drawbacks as Buddhism, which I suppose was the only way to try to control people in the overpopulated areas of Asia: learn to accept that life is hard and do not complain.
I find the concept of Confucian belief far more attractive than God-centred religions. There is much more of a feeling of "live and let live" to me.
k2, what are the drawbacks you see? I find Buddhism to be negative - the ultimate is to lose yourself in the infinite. I'm too much of a Westerner to go for that. Confucianism simply seems to be a way to get along in this world.
I know so little about Buddhism, and even less about Confucianism. However, I think it's important when discussing any belief system that has solidified into a religion(s) to explore the base beliefs as much as possible.
Concentrating on the official-religion aspects of certain beliefs can certainly obscure what is spiritually or philosophically valuable about the core around which the religion grew.
This said, there is such a bulk of other things contained in every religion that one can always find something to which you can subscribe. You might hate Islam, but some of what it says is true. Catholicism might have some hard set stupid ideas, but some of the rest of it is totally acceptable. Buddhism might antagonise you with its defeatism, but a lot of it is a lovely view of the world... None of the religions could continue to exist if they were just all about suffering/submitting/accepting tragedy. Always a few crumbs for the faithful...
I am going to pound home my point about base beliefs again. If one wants to discuss Confucius or Mohammad or anyone around whose teachings a religion grew up, the first thing is to forget about that religion entirely. Start from the premise that the religion is what was grafted on later, by others, to the teachings or inspiration of the person for whom the religion was named.
The small amount I've read about the teachings of Confucius make it very difficult for me to understand how a whole belief system grew up around those teachings, which must mean there is far more to learn about it.
I understand what you mean, Bixabella, however, my point of view is totally different. I believe that the base of (a) religion/how it is practised in a defined place, depends on the locals' way of life. Almost as if the religion they chose is part of the air they breathe. So I would belive that the basic principles would come to the mind of the locals and maybe one - more so enclined, would write it down in stone? if that makes sense? I cannot see religion as a solitary excercise.
Dans les grandes choses, les hommes se montrent comme il leur convient de se montrer; dans les petites, ils se montrent comme ils sont.
Yes, Annie, but if one is discussing the person around whose teachings a religion grew up, the religion must be left out of account because it so often obscures the original teachings or philosophy. Many of those teachers never actually founded a religion themselves, it was grafted on to their teachings by others, then grew and grew and changed over time.
I live in a country where the most prevalent religion was violently forced on the population almost 500 years ago and in the intervening time has interwoven itself into native beliefs and mutated in other ways. That is just one example of how a religion can differ hugely from one country where its practiced to another which supposedly is practicing the same religion/.
Your point is completely valid and extremely interesting -- that is why I asked how Confucianism manifests itself in modern times.