2018.08.18 TU Weiming’s keynote:  Spiritual Humanism: Self, Community, Earth, and Heaven

2018.08.18 TU Weiming’s keynote: Spiritual Humanism: Self, Community, Earth, and Heaven


It’s my great honor to have a chance to share my ideas still in the process of evolving. Hopefully it will make some sense and I’m sure it will be very strange to a very large group of people and some people who are familiar with my way of thinking may consider this rather common sensical, but in any case make an effort to come up with a coherent view on spiritual humanism. Also I will reserve time for a question and answer and there some more controversial issues can be raised. Confucius offered a comprehensive and integrated way of learning to be human. Confucian philosophy takes the concrete living person here and now as its point of departure. One of the most basic confusion precepts is that learning to be human is to learn to become a person. Becoming a person entails a dynamic process of transformation. Distinctive feature of being human is that despite seeming inevitability of growth we become persons through learning. We learn to acquaint ourselves with our bodies. Each act of eating, sitting, walking, speaking or sleeping requires constant learning. Strictly speaking we do not own our bodies. We become our bodies. Bodies are not given. They are attainments. Indeed amazing achievements. Bodies in all their dimensions: physical, physiological, emotional, psychological, mental, intellectual and spiritual define holistically who we are as “lived concreteness.” We can imagine a concrete person because we have encountered so many of them; from the closest team to casual acquaintances. But here and now refer to the spatial and temporal reality that we must acknowledge for it is not an imagined possibility but oppresses how do we deal with a concrete living person here now this is tantamount to our way of being aware of our own existence surely I can imagine that the concrete living person here now is someone else but most likely I recognize that is myself others may be aware of my presence occasionally but I alone by choice I am always conscious of my presence here now the purpose of stating that Confucian philosophy takes the concrete living person here now as its point of departure is to underscore the importance of self-awareness however if we believe that Confucius real concern is what sort of human beings we ought to become so we can be useful to society indeed social harmony depends upon the persons that were all learn to become real human beings are those humans who have learned to become socially desirable and necessary we may come up with a significantly different understanding of the Confucian project namely human beings are relational situated contextualized and functionally differentiated through learning we assume different social roles if we play our roles adequately effectively and proficiently we will all contribute to the public good and hence the well-being of society on this view the idea of the concrete living prison here now focusing on the centrality of self-awareness seems too self-centered it has the tendency to slip into an individualistic trap a person may become isolated alienated from the others and confined to the domain of a privatized ego the overly psychological reading of the Confucian harder mine as in the case of menses may have departed from a more balanced confusion approach to human flourishing the quest for the inner self at the expense of social engagement is an unfortunate outcome according to this line of thinking Shinzon’s insistence upon the discipline of external constraints through ritual and law is an appropriate corrective I’m not going to burden you with the diverging trends of self-cultivation thought in Confucian tradition my option to follow meshes articulation of the essential difference between human nature and animal nature in general is to establish a solid basis for the primacy of self-awareness I fully acknowledge that there is rich resource in shines’ conception of the mind and that his admonishing on learning is share by measures jinxes theory on human nature is on the surface in conflict with managers broad vision that moral feelings are innate but there are many points of convergence between the two positions mention sessions both had faith in the perfectibility of human nature the transformative power of learning the efficacy of self cultivation the tradition of the sages the good governance through with your propriety they both believe that human beings are never static structures but always dynamic and creative processes of becoming why the insistence on self-awareness as a point of departure – we can certainly come up with the coherent view that other reguar takes precedence over self regard it is because we are aware of others that we become aware of our selves without acknowledging the existence of others may not be aware that I exist at all it is conceivable that my relationship to the others is prior to my self-awareness there are numerous examples in the Confucian tradition they can cite that we can cite to support this field the value of filial piety the obligation of the child to the parent is central to humanity precisely because the love that flows from the parent to the child is natural we learn the value of reciprocity through learning to acknowledge our indebtedness as we grow up we are increasingly aware how much other regarding thought and action we ought to have cultivated to show our gratitude and suddenly for some of us it is too late a person is the central relationships is not possible to conceive of a center as totally isolated from its relationships they give color sound sight and texture to that Center as a concrete living person the lift concreteness of a person necessarily unique involves ethnicity gender language age place of birth social class and faith not to mention personality traits each of them symbolizes an extensive social network encompassing thousands and thousands of people each one of them is meaningful to me in varying degrees of intensity based on circumstances self-awareness does not mean to suggest that we are aware of all these distinctive features we evolved around all our relationships rather it enables us to remain centered without falling into that this ray of total disintegration and fragmentation it gives us a sense of direction a point of orientation it is a compass that helps us to navigate on troubled waters this may have been the reason that Confucius urged us to learn for the sake of the self learning ordinarily means the acquisition of knowledge or the internalization of skills knowledge and skills can be understood as learning for the sake of the self but what Confucius had in mind is significantly different what the purple what he proposed is the knowledge and skills that can transform us from becoming an integral part of our body for the sake of convenience I would like to define learning for the sake of the self as quote embodied learning let us take the example of learning as skill as an illustration if we willing to play a musical instrument say the violin we need to invest a great deal of time to familiarize ourselves with a bow and fingering so we can produce relatively pleasing science if we are talented and totally committed to an audience tasks or becoming a musician we will then devote our life to it if we become a virtuoso the violin so to speak is an extension of our body we no longer play the violin as an instrument but expresses our in artistic sensibility through it in short we have embodied knowledge of the violin this is cause an exceptional case and only a handful of great musicians can attain it however if we can imagine that instrument we are supposed to learn to play is not the violin but ourselves our bodies holistically comprehended learning for the sake of the self is vitally important because our whole life is at stake the question is not simply what career I would like to have how successful I want to become how I plan to realize my ambition what kind of social role would will be most satisfactory or how I can be rich and famous rather given that I am a concrete living person here now the question is what kind of human being I would like to become self-awareness so understood involves knowledge and skill to be sure but it is primarily a transformative act rooted in our primordial awareness of humanity the uniqueness of being human reveals itself at this level in its pristine form with brilliance and warmth this is what manages to refer to as the gray body the famous story about evoking a sense of a communication upon witnessing a child is about to fall into the well it’s worth noting here it may get the impression that we must be shocked to realize that we are all endowed with the feeling of commiseration or sympathy empathy and compassion the real message is that it is so common that if we are incapable of feeling it then we are no longer human learning for the sake of the self is character building it is totally compatible with our professional aspiration our quest for excellence our drive to improve our Lots our willingness to contribute to social harmony and our desire to be recognized and lived a comfortable life however it addresses a more fundamental dimension of our existence the meaning of life implicit in the idea of the self as a central relationships is subjectivity it is critical that we do not reduce the center to relationships a concrete living person is made of multi-dimensional complex of relationships putting them all together they cannot fully constitute the person we should always take into consideration all the primordial ties our Allah mentioned race gender language and so forth neither can the center of the self be established by them they are all relevant and significant each of them is both a constraint and an enabler they are all enabling constraints this requires an explanation a distinctive feature of Confucian humanism is the recognition that we are all faded to be a particular person or our prime audio ties in a sense given with the determination we may be able to author some of them such as gender and language but by and large they are determined in many great religious traditions this fact of life is considered at least constraining they restrict our choice and freedom of action we hope to change them if not to get rid of them or at the least we are instructed to liberate ourselves from these constraints some instructions are enforced relatively in the Christian tradition adherence to the real fellowship of faith should take precedence over family attachments others are highly restrictive Buddhist monks are often asked to sever all family relationships the Confucian choice is quite different the fact that we are all fated to be a particular person should be accepted and fully acknowledged it may not be a blessing but it calls for positive recognition and even celebration the perceived constraints are at the same time vehicles for instruments or instruments for self-realization therefore they are not simply constrained but enable us as well in fact is these these enabling constraints that make us concrete living persons confusion self-cultivation is a matter of substantially transforming constraints into enablers through personal effort a published a few essays exploring the epidemiological ethical aesthetic and religious implications of self correlation as a mode of knowing. I coined a Chinese term to convey this widely used and yet rarely analyzed idea in traditional Chinese culture. “tǐ zhī”. “Shēntǐ de” tǐ,“zhīdào de” zhī – embodied knowing. It is neither knowing that nor knowing how but a third type of knowing which is necessarily a transformative act. Put figuratively this knowing involves not only the brain and mind but also the body in a holistic integrated sense. Bodily engagement as well as the cognitive function of the mind and an affective response of the heart is required. Among the sports Confucius singled out archery as an example. If we miss the mark we need to adjust our physical position and mental state here and now. To learn out of archery our sense of presence is a prerequisite. Self-awareness is essential for the kind of learning that Confucius recommended. Through self-reflection, self-examination, self-criticism self admonishment and self encouragement we establish ourselves as a central relationships. This selfhood diametrically opposed to the private ego this open, dynamic, creative and transforming. It is forever open to the outside dynamically interacting with people creatively engaging in all things and transforming the world around by transforming itself. As Mencius’ “great body” specifies the myriad things are already equipped in me. This is not an imagined possibility but an achieved or achievable state we can expand our vital energy to enable it to feel the space between heaven and earth. Specific physical disciplines such as breathing technique may have been involved but Mencius avowed that he was able to do it through moral and spiritual exercise. This is not a figure of speech but from his point of view an experienced reality. This reminds us of the 12th century Confucian thinker Lu Xiangshan who said that he got the gist of Confucian learning himself by reading Mencius. The message from Mencius is precisely the idea of human greatness. This idea was so much embodied in Xiangshan that he could not approach it as a hypothesis to be argued for or to be proved. It simply manifested itself from within and as he believed it it should be self-evident to every concrete living person here and now. The anecdote requires an explanation. Lu Xiangshan often refered to Mencius’ instruction to establish that which is great in us when he was asked about learning to be human. He repeated the statement so often that his critics query that if master Lu had any other important message to convey. Xiangshan responded bluntly that there is no other more important message to offer than to establish that which is great in us. Xiangshan is noted for his commitment to the Mencius line of thinking. He made it explicit that his experiential understanding of Mencius did not come from any other source than reading the Mencius and that he got it himself. To him reading Mencius is not to read an ancient text to understand through interpretation the textual meaning what or what the master meant to say. Rather it is a living encounter with Mencius in person who uttered these words to him and directly. This kind of utterance sounds like a religious injunction that is not subject to discussion debate or verification. That which is great in us is available to every human being there’s greatness in each of us all we need to do is to establish there’s no other condition than our willingness to do so no external forces whatsoever political social or culture can prevent us from establishing that which is grading us nor can we rely on anything else to establish the greatness in us underlying this assertion is the conviction that each one of us not just the human species in its entirety is great the first order of business for every concrete living person is to establish that which is already in us in other words learning to be human is to realize the greatness within by establishing it ourselves it seems on the surface that injunction is not a factual statement nor a proposition but an encouragement strictly speaking however what chance and following images meant to convey was not wishful thinking but the truth indeed a reality about being human the Confucian tradition that Shang Tsung advocated is widely known as the Xin Jie learning of the heart a distinctive feature of this school is the centrality of the heart it is often rendered as mine as well si Han mi is both cognitive and affective it can feel will sense and know the feeling willing sensing and knowing capacities of the heart provide a basis for the great body the first order of business for self-realization is to be aware of the activities of the heart to establish the gray body to underscore the uniqueness of being human the initial step that is to awaken the heart to make it sensitive to the world around us the feeling that can be aroused by stimuli from the outside are only superficial manifestation of the sensitivity of the heart sometimes learning of the heart is to have access to the original heart but she underlined the great body strictly speaking the original heart defines what human nature really is human nature in turn expresses itself through the vitality and dynamism of the original heart it is not only an idea but an activity the Theos will senses and knows in connection with an ever expanding network or relationships it is relational and its potential for connectivity is unlimited but there’s always a call a center that cannot be reduced to its connections no matter how extensive they are the original heart as the core of humanity is the culmination of the evolutionary process it is not a static structure but a continuously becoming activity in this sense human beings should not be conceived as being but becoming human beings as becoming are ceaselessly evolving this has cosmological as well as anthropological significance implicit in this reasoning is the ontological vision of the continuity of being in this vision the human relates to all modalities being minerals plants and animals if we probe deeply to find some linkages we are part of a continuum yet the uniqueness of being human is qualitatively different from all other modalities so be the defining human characteristic are not reducible to any of the properties that have become constitutive parts of the human condition this evolutionary perspective is widely shared in Chinese philosophy an obvious example is found in Shenzhen I quote water and fire I have Qi but are with our life grasses and trees have life but are without awareness birds and beasts have a wellness but without e humans have Chi and life and a wellness and moreover they have E and O coat this idea of the human is the combination of rootedness and emergence the distinctiveness of the human is based on a paradox it is an integral part of the same process that enables water fire grass plants and animals to come into being yet as an emerging property the human is unique it is not reducible to its constitutive parts this of course is true with life and consciousness earlier call it a wellness we cannot adequately understand an emergent property by reducing it to the genetic forces that have made it possible this is not to deny that structurally it is always in decline with all the elements that contribute to this form of this existence in the evolution so to speak nothing is lost the cumulative process that eventually enables the human to emerge is holistic dynamic and continuing in this sense a continually continuty of being does not mean a linear progression but a process of transformation with increasing velocity of coordination collaboration and complexification our argue that in a subtle way it is not incompatible with some versions of creationism the vital energy key that is present at all levels of the evolutionary process is spiritual as well as material the spirit and metric dichotomy is not applicable here but by implication spirituality is embedded in life world it is not defined exclusively by reference to the transcendent but alone radical transcendence it does however evolve a transcendental dimension the sharp contrast between the secular and sacred does not exist Herbert finger adds characterization of Confucius the secular sacred is suggestive but the economy is problematical indeed or exclusive dichotomies such as body mind mental physical flesh soul are alien to the confusion holistic thinking take the example of in Jung they are different conflictual and sometimes tension ridden but in principle and in practice they are complementary more significantly they are Co existent and mutually infiltrated there is no yang with a yin and knowing with a yang is always Jung in the ying of the young and so forth this enables the Confucian to see unity in contradiction and to experience the world as both material and spiritual life Sun symbolizes the emergence of an entirely different stage of coordination collaboration and complexification in modern biological terms it is reflected in an adaptive organizational structure the capacity of the matter matter balsan the ability to maintain homeostasis the potency of growth the potentiality of reproduction and the responsiveness to the environment we can maintain that between that matter and life there is continuty even there’s a discontinuity even rapture this is a challenge to the continuty of being but it is at least mitigated by the subtle observation that from the perspective of the vital energy chi the idea of that matter itself is inappropriate take the example of the stones to the confusion so Chinese in general a piece of jade is not necessarily lifeless this figurative expression does not negate the fundamental difference between life and death but it is profoundly significant if we if we reject the notion that all in animal things are simply that matter I’m reminded of the heated debate in the drafting of the Earth Charter that case ago when the representatives of the scientific community eventually were persuaded by the elders of many indigenous traditions to inscribe the flay the phrase the earth is alive into the final text in other words even so called that matter it’s not merely materiality devoid of any spirituality the issue of consciousness and feeling and wellness is much more intriguing this virtual agreement that animals have feelings whether or not they have consciousness is controversial some animal lovers believe that they particularly dogs and horses do a few veterinarians insisted they also have self-consciousness shinza uses the term e rightness to differentiate humans from other animals he underscores the cognitive function of the mind especially its ability to analyze and differentiate as the basis for building stable social organizations in this lecture I follow mensches line of thinking or inquiry he makes it explicit that the difference between human nature and animal nature is slight for example like animals the desire for food and sex survival reproduction is inevitably human nature the uniqueness of being human lies in a totally different magnitude it does not want us to forget that human beings are animals these strategies would be the case on the slight difference we can say that the slight difference is that human beings are the kind of animal that is capable of self-consciousness of a particular kind despite the necessity of food and sacks which prerequisites for our physical existence the small body self-consciousness enables us to realize the full orientation the full potentiality of humanity the great body from the perspective of the continuity of being the Emergencies of life and consciousness indicate the trajectory of the Advan of the human one can well imagine that human beings are interconnected not only with the human world but with all members of the animal kingdom the live world the earth and beyond this connectedness the neighbors in human to develop a vision of wholeness or holism there’s nothing in the cosmos that is totally irrelevant to the feeding capacity of the heart neither a distant star nor a blade of grass not to mention human affairs is outside the scope of the sensitivity of the heart in principle and in practice its capacity for responding to all things is unlimited it is not the result of a wire imagination but of immediate recognition that mentions asserts that all the ten thousand things are there in me through the mansion spirit somehow and later one army maintained that humanity forms one body with heaven earth and the myriad things they insisted that forming one body with heaven and earth and the myriad things is the human is a human capacity realizable by every person being ordinary daily existence why are mean try to demonstrate this capacity by a series of illustrations our reactions to a child about to fall into well animals trembling with fear before they are slaughtered trees Caban and mountains denuded may vary in emotional intensity in evoking our responses but they all in diverse ways affect us we are conscious consciously or unconsciously can to family community nation nature and the cosmos by implication he maintained that a full realization of the humanity requires that we overcome not only egoism nepotism parochialism at no centrism and nationalism but anthropocentrism as well this move from the concrete to the universal rejects both clothes particularism and abstract universalism the negotiation is between personal rudeness and public spiritedness the authentic possibility of such negotiation is predicated on their mutual intelligibility and potential complementarity to be person to be personal is not to be private why I normally choose not to close through our disclosed my private thoughts I often feel impaired to share values that I personally cherished I’m rooted in my primordial ties admittedly and the language plays datas Asian faith but I have no difficulty in recognize it that they are contextualized and historicized to an extent they are they represent a unique configuration that defines in the concrete my own singularity however my self understanding dictates that I appreciate what I am in the broad social gender linguistic economic political social cultural and religious contexts this enables me to know that there are other singularities that are equally complex I know that I can never fully understand the singularity that I recognized as myself and I know for sure that it is my privilege and responsibility to try to do so by analogy I’m aware that numerous singularities like me in the same boat this is the human condition that is rare irrelevant that that is relevant to all spiritual traditions the confusion path simply put is that I’m not what I ought to be and yet I’m aware that I must work through the structure and function of what I am to live up to the highest standard of self-realization the logic of great learning can be stated as follows my self is the point of departure from Emperor to the common people each should regard self cultivation as a route in concrete terms self cultivation is to transcend privatize self-centeredness in preference for the public good we may even say that I’m private my family’s public my family is private but the community is public the community is private the nation is public the nation is private the global village is public the global village is private the cosmos is public public spiritedness can only be realized through self cultivation this move from the rooted private private ego to the public spirited relational self is open to all human beings human greatness lies in the infinite capacity of the human heart to embody the cosmos this embodiment occurs through biological communication the dialogical mode is a defining characteristic of the confusion way of life it is manifested in four inseparable dimensions of Confucian humanism self community nature and heaven only through dialogue can integration of the body of mine fruitful interaction between the self and community harmony between humankind nature and mutuality or mutual responsiveness between the human heart and mind and the weight of heaven we attend biological and country rather than dialectic overcoming enables the refinement and enlargement of the feeding of commiseration sympathy empathy and compassion inherent in all humans to be extended and extended from the self family community nation world nature and beyond learning to be human is for the sake of the self the dignity independence and autonomy of the self are cherished values self-knowledge is necessary for political responsibility social engagement and cultural sensitivity Confucius disciple since remarked that an educated person must be bro minded and resolute for the burden is heavy and the role as long he carries humanity as his personal task how can we say that burden is not heavy the Anson’s journey only with death how can we say that the role is not long measures used the metaphor of digging a well to convey this sense of precedence of the desire to establish relationship in western terms the idea of being in the well is getting it oneself as a proper way of learning only if we deeply immersed ourselves in self understanding where we benefit from the flowing stream it needs to enrich our way of life the ability to accumulate rich poetic political social historical and metaphysical resources within us is the precondition for embodying and ever expanding network of relationships without since the confusion self is never an isolated individual by the dynamics and the relationships it cannot but interact with other centers through dialogue the recognition and respect for the other is a point of departure for entering a fruitful relationship all five basic relationships are reciprocal the father is compassionate and son is video the ruler is benevolent the minister is loyal the older brother is friendly the younger brother is respectful trust my friends and division of labour between husband and wife the spirit of reciprocity pervades all relationships the Golden Rule stated in the negative do not do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you is based on the self-awareness that integrity of the other takes precedence over the desire to establish a relationship in one’s own term the passive injunction must be augmented by a positive charge in order to establish myself I must help others to establish themselves in order to enlarge myself I must help others to lodge themselves this biological mode is applied to nature and heaven as well in the spirit of nature is in Thomas Berry’s for the felicitous expression of nature is a communion of subjects rather than a collection of objects nature so conceived is in the mother earth enabling us to survive grow and flourish. Similarly our relationship to heaven is based on mutual responsiveness. In the Confucian perception heaven is omnipresent and omniscient but not omnipotent. It may have created all things, but it relies upon human participation to complete the magnificent work. Humans are supposed to appreciate all that the cosmic flow has engendered and to create a peaceful and harmonious abode for themselves and their environment. The dictum that Heaven engenders and humans complete suggests that human beings as Heaven’s partners are co-creators of their universe. By implication there are also powerful destroyers. An old Chinese proverb says humans can survive all disasters except man-made catastrophes. The Han Confucian thinker Dong Zhongshu identify three great routes: Heaven is the route of creativity, Earth is the route of nourishment and human, humanity is the route of completion. Zhang Zai’s “Western Inscription” a foundational text in neo-confucianism begins with a similar idea I quote “Heaven is my father and Earth is my mother. Even such a tiny creature existence as I finds an intimate niche in their midst that which feels the universe I take as my body and that which directs the universe I take as my nature all people are my brothers and sisters and all things are my companions” end of quote. We learn to return to our human nature by discovering our interconnectedness with Heaven, Earth and the myriad things. We also learned that our great body is great because of its capacity for its kind for this kind of interconnectedness. Mencius maintained that if we fully realize our own hearts and minds we will know our nature. Through knowing our nature we will know Heaven. They further contended that if we reflect it upon ourselves and realize that we are sincere were true and authentic to humanity this is the greatest joy in life. In short, we simply simply expounded the anthropocosmic vision Antonio the doctor Lamine which now we know from archeological finding it predated measures I quote only those who are the most sincere true authentic can realize their own nature if they can realize their own nature they can realize the nature of things of others if they can realize their nature of others they can realize the nature of things if they can realize the nature of things they can take part in the transforming and nourishing process of heaven and earth if they can take part in the transforming and nourishing process of heaven and earth they can form a Trinity with heaven and earth heaven human earth and of course this is a reason that Confucius stated that humanity can make the way great the way cannot make the humans rate this this be construed as a kind of anthropocentric assertion of our human Huber’s what Confucius believed in his human potential promise and responsibility a salient feature of Confucian humanism unlike the secular and the presenter a rational humanism of the vitamin is this necessary connection with heaven and nature humanism as Confucius who have it is neither dispirited nor denatured it is a in theory and practice rooted in a spiritual realm and grounded in a natural world or in the sense in a sense our being connected in a sympathetic resonance with heaven earth and mirror things may very well be the deepest and common as source for human greatness the faith in the continuity indeed the counseling quality of all modalities being as an integral part of the human is not only anthropological but cosmological it has the great ecological implication of making the earth our proper home the continuty of being in a deeper sense is not merely a horizontal idea the Emergencies of life and consciousness strictly speaking are not ruptures but they strongly indicate profound transformations evoking a sense of transcendence at least self transcendence this symbolizes that evolutionary process also entails a vertical trajectory the sensitivity of the heart has depth as well as breadth it’s all embracing wholeness is an inherent human capacity therefore the original heart rather than the consciousness and feeling we share with animals and life we share with plans and grasses it’s distinctively human it is an original heart that makes human beings great enables us to have the great body what is the verdict ality of the evolutionary process somehow already cited him confidently asserted that his learning in general was indebted to his predecessors but the true import of the two characters tenley heavenly principle was intimately Ambar in him by himself in other words somehow experienced the full meaning of the heavenly principle by personally getting it himself his subjectivity enables him to realize that the heavenly principle in his original heart it was not revealed to him by an authoritative force from outside he really got it himself to him and indeed all the thinkers in the learning of the heart the heavenly principle is within our nature this is in perfect accord with the opening statement of the doctrine of mean I already cited human nature is endow I haven’t since human nature is endowed by heaven the heavenly way presumably how they have any principle functions is encoded encoded in human nature heaven makes humans human but humanity ought to be responsive to heaven as well having our nature confirmed by heaven it is our obligation to enlarge it this implies that humans have the capacity and responsibility to bring the way to fruition in the world the highest manifestation of humanity is cosmological as well as anthropological ensure it is anthropocosmic predicated on a holistic and integrated humanism with the provide very profound reverence for heaven in the book of change the cosmos is always a dynamic process generating new realities I creatively transforming the existing order the message is for us is that we ought to emulate this heavenly vitality by a continuous effort of self strengthening our reverence for heaven is not a worship of a holy other it’s not worship and authority totally beyond our comprehension but we express the deep sense of all for the source of life and creativity in yourself the uniqueness of being human is our inner ability to learn to become worthy partners of the cosmic process this is predicated on the assumption that we are empowered to comprehend heaven through our self-knowledge as men she’s allowed we can realize the full measure of our heart we can know our nature if we know our nature we know heaven understandably the highest manifestation of self-realization is the unity of heaven and humanity yet we must acknowledge the asymmetry in the heaven human relationship although heaven is creativity in itself human beings learn to be creative through personal effort heaven is heavens genuineness it’s naturally brilliant whereas human beings struggle to become true to themselves by means of self knowledge and wisdom but as co-creators human beings can carry the way in the world on behalf of heaven they are obligated by their own nature to realize the way in their life world in so – in the way is no longer out there as mere transcendence with no intimate relationship to human existence here now rather it is embodied in the common experience of everyday life making ordinary people without necessarily being aware of his far-reaching implications personally connected with heaven there’s transcendent dimension of heaven beyond human comprehension but heaven is also imminent in human nature measures articulated inside our body and complexity complexion are given to us by heaven only a sage can give his body completion thus the way to say to her is a process of authenticating our body or mine our soul or spirit are all embodied in the deep structure of ourselves they are refined manifestations of selfhood because they radiate from the core of our nature which is inherent in our body in other words the human body is a microcosm of the cosmos through the cultivation of the heart the body can open itself to the world and the entire cosmos this is succinctly captured by Wyoming in this brilliant comprehension of mensches idea of Benji primordial awareness this primordial wellness is precisely what Louise Johnson identified as an original heart they all took it for granted that it is the greatness of being human and the potential expensiveness of human nature to the learners of the heart primordial awareness is embodied knowledge it is both cognition and affection it is feeling with intrinsic reasonableness it is knowing that entails a transformative act the activity involves three trajectories it purifies the quality of the body it affects the world and it fulfills the heavenly decree the self-discovery and self conscious activation of primordial our wellness cause for joy and celebration all humans at the moment exhibit saintliness to say that people in the street are all sages as several one several of our means followers were found of saying it’s an encouragement we should all learn to emulate the sages and an ontological truth all human beings are not only potentially but really sages at the same time it is easily understandable that every person Confucius included always fall short of attending sensual and essentially Confucius made it explicit that it was far from being able to attend it therefore learning to be human requires a ceaseless process of self-cultivation in light of the discussion of human greatness family principle and primordial wellness I would like to reiterate the centrality of subjectivity in confusion humanism while it seems reasonable to define Confucianism as form of social ethics it is vitally important not to reduce subjectivity to a set of social roles one can argue that human relationships is implicit in confusion subjectivity that without the social dimension the distinctiveness of Confucian subjectivity is lost indeed the Confucian person is always enriched by a connectivity we learn from the thesis the continuty being forming one body with heaven and earth and mirror things is not only an imagined ideal but an experienced reality it is not through rational calculation or empirical proof that we know it it’s true it is through a profound feeling embodied in our original ha that we know intimately and immediately that it is so the feeling so conceived is not separable from ordinary feelings and emotions such as joy anger sadness and happiness yet it is fundamentally different because it is a constitutive part of our humanity it expresses itself specifically as empathy sympathy compassion or invention term commiseration it’s a very reason that human beings are great for it evokes the great body in us of course this feeling is not simply an topological this anthropocosmic feeling to reiterate Shankar’s reference to the heavenly principle his ecstasy ecstasy of experiencing through intimate embodiment suggests a personal realization of the transcendent reality they got it himself because it has always been latent in his original heart we can imagine that for some how and it’s precisely the embodied knowledge of the heavenly principle that enabled him to articulate the conviction humanity so conceived is a wellness it is an internally generated awareness they may be a response to an external stimulus but it’s not merely the consequence of an outside force it has its own autonomous and independent agency unlike ordinary feelings it is not merely passively responding but also actively probing however it does not function at an empirical level alone its connectivity is all-embracing it connects by making contacts and forming linkages in a deeper sense it connects by participation and transformation it is a cognitive function to be sure but it is also effective indeed in all our bodily sensations seeing hearing smelling tasting and touching there are all both cognitive and affective humanity as a wellness in the case of sympathy for example is a transformative act it is knowledge and at the same time action the spontaneity in which it expresses itself makes action an integral part of knowledge unlike ordinary sensations it naturally emanates from the heart with our reflection or intention it is empirical and transcendental we can experience it as ordinary sensation but we cannot sense the step and breadth at that level we should recognize that our original heart defines our true nature it is of course the quality that we are born with but more importantly it is conferred by Heather as the opening statement of the dome will specify that human nature is decreed by heaven in other words the original heart our true nature is where the heavenly principle resides the heavenly principle is omnipresent it is present in humans animals plants and rocks indeed all beings in the evolutionary process there is the ultimate reason for their existence however some house personal experience of embodying the heavenly principle is significant in two senses it is a vision of humanity that it is a confirmation of subjectivity humanity as somehow a mission is not merely an idea about an activity dynamic transformative and productive that is how the heavenly principle functions in human life its dynamism is ceases it is always in the process of becoming a displaced tremendous transformative potency like the power of world in nature it produces and reproduces with inexhaustible inner strength as an activity humanity express itself in feelings especially sympathy empathy and compassion and of course commiseration in short a feeling of love there are several attempts to define more precisely the meaning of love in this connection a prevalent position is to love people or to love others the etymology of Ren professor Hans Ling talked about it yesterday humanity containing the graph of to certainly lend strong support to this reading the eminent Berkeley sinologist Peter Cooper strongly argues that the proper translation of learn should be Co humanity however I prefer the rendering of run in the reason that he discovered the bamboo strips from oh them body on top and heart below indicating the inseparability of body and heart I do not wish to enter an elaborate phenological debate here suffice it now to point out that the two different readings have profound philosophical implications if one is rendered as Co humanity human relatedness is a constituent constitutive element and sociality is an integral part of humanity if humanity is made of body and heart we can well conceive of it as individuality indeed singularity according to this reading the primacy of love can very well be self love which may serve as the basis for making others love me and loving others this actually is precisely in order or priority Confucius preferred as cited by shinzen self love takes precedence over loving others which takes precedence over making others love me what is wrong with defining Humanity in social terms alone I can appreciate the effort to define Humanity in social terms but the danger of defining humanity exclusively in social terms is to miss an essential feature of the Confucian project of learning to be human let me continue with the discussion on love Confucian humanity expresses itself in differentiated rather than undifferentiated love in family ethics the practice of a humanity must be gained from parents and expand outward this is true with sympathy empathy and compassion the sequence is not a platoon but the pattern is established as a practical guy the parent-child relationship is often cited to show the centrality of the family in confusion ethics filial love is the first step in cultivating it by emphasizing family relations the rectification amends dictates that fathers be fathers and that son be sons in concrete terms the teaching of filial piety is to instruct the son to behave as son towards his father this requires that the son is aware of his role as a son this awareness present precedes the sons ability to perform his role properly if he is willing to obey his father or to submit himself passively to the orders of the father without being critically aware of what a proper father-son relationship ought to be he has already abandoned his responsibilities as a son therefore Confucius was furious when tinsel asked him how about following the orders of the father confucius stated that the son of heaven is surrounded by surrounded with seven senses a law with five and sub law with three their sole responsibility is to remonstrate with their rulers if the son does not remonstrate with the father he is appliqué ting his duty as a son this is 10th among two setting a trap for his father to fall into the unfunny behavior obeying the father’s blindly is diametrically opposed to filial of underlying the reasoning is that the sons self-cultivation demands that is aware of his obligation to see to it that his father behaves in a fatherly way the father-son relationship is mutually beneficial the centrality of self-awareness is obvious humanity is also communication I’ve already mentioned that humanity’s connectivity is positive engagement and active transformation it communicates not I was i observer but as an inside participant implicit in subjectivity is also intersubjectivity or intra subjectivity the recognition of the other is not an imposition of myself whole on the other nor is it an appropriation of the other into my self hood the other is not only tolerated or recognized but also respected the integrity of the other cannot be compromised even if I strongly believe what I do is for his benefit or her benefit I need to first understand his or her wishes as a precondition to persuade him or her to follow my way I do not prematurely do to him or her what I hope that he or she would do to me it is after I have fully appreciated his or her situation that I began to interact with him or her positive this may sound therapeutic in a doctor-patient relationship but the ethical reason is considerable mmus the golden rule stated in the negative precedes the active charge doing unto others what you want others do unto you observing the rule do not unto do not do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you may avoid a necessary clash of faiths interfaith dialogue challenges conversion as the only purpose of missionary work this does not mean that one is one is no longer obligated to share the good news immediately recommends more expedient way or skillful means to convey the message the crucial point is that the interest of the other is already in my self awareness humanity as a wellness assumes a transcendent significance since we are inseparable and holistic interconnected with all things we find a common source it is not the objective reality of the common source alone but the human awareness and capacity of participating in you that enabled us to assert greatness of human beings subkick subjectivity is critical in this connection no relationship can generate the light and warmth of self-awareness every form of vital energy that makes a thing embodies a principle all principles Emily from the heavenly principle they are endowed with the original heart it is imperfect a core with dimensions claim that all mirror things are it could be me he’s following a statement that the greatest joy in life is that upon reflection I find that I’m true to myself and thus be interpreted to imply that ultimate happiness is a realization that I’m an authentic human being forming one body with heaven earth and mirrored things we should act that there is subtlety in this seemingly Thoreau moment namely oneness of principle and multiplicity of its manifestation for example humanity as universal love should be encouraged but the actual practice different are actually practiced differentiating love because it’s practicality beginning with the closest king and extending our is an appropriate method or realizing in humanity in family community nation and beyond from the perspective for spirit of humanism each human being as endowed by the heavenly decree is intrinsically free equal and valuable to realize that which is creating us our dignity is guaranteed by our subjectivity it is a noble mission to cherish our individuality or singularity no outside authority should or can take the original heart heavenly principle or promote awareness prAna’s to quote the authority of the commander of the three armies can be taken away but the wheel of a commoner cannot be taken away and equally crucial print premise in spiritual humanism is sanctity of the earth our universe is saturated with intrinsic value in numinous beauty this reality cannot be proved by empirical data nor can it be grasped by deductive logic or reductive logic from Natural Sciences such as neurobiology rather it is a commitment indeed a faith which you may or may not be theistic the critical issue is recognized that it has taken billions of years with fine-tuning of all the elements air water soil and numerous other factors for us to emerge for so brief a moment we can dismiss the whole story as senseless we can follow major and minor creation stories to accept the thesis that there is teleology in our existence of course there are numerous other options they on top theological idea underlying Spinoza’s philosophy which was a source of inspiration for Einstein seems to be an excellent candidate for articulating such an idea also for Tillich and Costigan as mentioned by wrong twerking also supported this thesis that we should have faith in the quote objective reality that there is meaning in life and that nature has intrinsic value however I do not accept his all right rejection of materialism and naturalism and I am strongly opposed to his anti theistic position I agreed with Ron Osborn that the Anto theology as talking talked about Lacs deeply humanizing community or life sustaining joy even though it has the : and dignity the grammar or theism strikes a sympathetic resonance in spirit of humanism sacred places cathedrals churches temples mosques synagogues means songs prayers dances festivals are beyond pretensions to scientific philosophical or theological control all three great theistic religions have spiritual resources and intellectual depth to inspire us to sing songs of hope and express our gratitude to divine love they have made profound contributions to human religiosity nevertheless spiritual humanism may be theistic or pantheistic and it embraces atheism and a variety of vitalism characteristic of most indigenous traditions as well it differs from monotheistic religions in several essential ways it takes the sanctity of the earth for granted it subscribes to the idea of the continuity of being by implication that’s not believe in radical transcendence such as the holy other which alone is the numinous; the numinous in Rudolf Otto sense. To quote Fingarette’s felicitous phrase again “the secular are sacred”. In other words the live world is intrinsically meaningful. It is well the ultimate meaning of life is realizable and ought to be realized. To a spiritual humanist we are rooted in Earth and community, especially the family. Our body is the proper home for our mind, soul and spirit. We learn to be fully human through Earth, community and body. Our spiritual transformation is not a departure from where we are, but a journey to the interiorality of our being. Paradoxically the innermost core of being, the source of our self-knowledge, is none other than the macrocosm or macrocosmic reality ingrained in our existence. Surely Earth, community and body constrain us, they shape us into concrete forms. We are inescapable earthly communal and bodily. In the two spiritual traditions in general have instructed us to free ourselves from these constraints. A great human aspiration is to be liberated from mundane bondage, to escape from the prison house of the soul. In spiritual humanism these are enabling constraints, the vehicles that carry us forward to our destiny. They are instrumental in offering each of us that unique path of self-realization. Without them we cannot exist in any concrete sense. They are our incarnations. A human being so conceived is not a creature but an active aging in the cosmic transformation as an observer, participant, indeed a co-creator. Even though there may be a creator, the creativity since the Big Bang has never been lost, but accumulated in every segment of the evolutionary story: Sun, Earth, life, animal and human. We are the inheritors of this cosmic energy. We are charged with the responsibility to see to it that what has been endowed in our nature continues to give generative power to new realities and life forms. Spiritual humanism believes that human life has transcendent meaning. That there is always a mystery to be comprehended and that theism, as well as other manifestations of human religiosity teach us to rise above secularism. We are finite beings, but in our finite you there is a constant presence of infinite divinity. Spiritual humanism is a faith in humanity the task of learning to be fully human is to form one body with Heaven, Earth and mirror things for this intrinsic unity between eminence and transcendence. Thank you for your patience you

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *