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History: East Asian Civilization - Essay Example

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Neo-Confucianism philosophy and principles had its origins in Confucianism that was made popular in the fifth century by the Chinese thinker Confucius. The Neo-Confucianism reflected the re-birth or the acceptance of the various teachings of the Confucian philosophy that had a…
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History: East Asian Civilization
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Download file to see previous pages Zhu Xi was the legendary figure responsible for the growth and acceptance of Neo-Confucian theories in China. His contributions to the spread of Neo-Confucian philosophy lay in his ability to synthesize and articulate the ideas put forward by his Song predecessors. His powers and skills in articulating the thoughts with greater clarity to the common man the concepts of supreme ultimate, principle, material force, human nature, and the mind-and-heart (de Bary 351). The political and social regime of China was deeply influenced and guided by Zhu Xi’s teachings that provided the base for subsequent changes in the cultural practices and social beliefs of the people of China. The impacts of his teachings were felt across Chinese borders to Japan and Korea that were deeply influenced by his writings. His commentaries were widely accepted in these countries as the basic tenets of Confucian principles and contributed immensely to the birth and spread of cultural transformations during this period.
Zhu Xi’s teachings were based on practical learning that mirrored realistic human emotions and sentiments guiding his actions in different situations. On his reflections on human nature Zhu Xi observes that “nature is like water. If it flows in a clean channel, it is clear; if it flows in a dirty channel, it becomes turbid” (de Bary 357). Material forces influence the turbidity or cleanliness of human nature and have the potential to obscure one’s power to think and act rationally. Zhu Xi asserted that the brightest of human beings may have clear material forces but their actions may not be in accordance with principles. “The reason is that their material force is not pure. There are others who are respectful, generous, loyal and truthful. Their material force is pure, but their knowledge is not clear” (de Bary 358). The simplistic logic and clarity in reflections formed the key to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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