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University of Toronto St. George
Andre Maintenay

World Religions Confucianism Reading: Ch. 9 Chinese Religions, pp. 467-498 th March 25 , 2011. Jen Meaning human heartedness, optimizing ones self as a human being Has all associations of benevolence, kindness, virtue, love Has broader metaphysical associations suggestions much bigger concept of virtue as defining the nature of heaven and therefore the idea of Jen as being the purpose of human existence is cultivation of these virtues YinYang All things in universe are maybe understood as operating in a set of interdependent and oppositional categories, e.g. concepts of good and bad, hard and soft, cold and hot All elements in universe are composed of some sort of negotiation of these oppositional categories Cannot have one without the other East Asian world view interprets universe as being composed of these mutually interdependent qualities The yingyang symbol is a circle represented wholeness, 2 elements of dark and light and hard line in middle suggesting these are fluid qualities blending this way and that accommodating one and the other, and also the dark element is not completely dark and light is not completely light containing qualities of the other within itself Major symbol of East Asian worldview with understanding universe as harmonious whole composed of elements that seem to be oppositional but are at the same time interdependent and fluid in accommodation with each other Ying more submissive quality gentle, receptive, fluid quality Yang light, hard, dominant If applied to human realm, one element dominates and the other submits, one takes the initiative and the other is receptive, and the two of them working in this way, recognizing their position, working to actualize their particular qualities in the most benevolent way possible, this is what goes to serve the purpose of harmony in the whole circle Tao The way Has associations with the way heaven works, interactions bw heaven and earth emerge and what were trying to do in our human interaction is to replicate the way that we observe enacting itself in the larger cosmic relationship bw heaven and earth
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