English Entries in Mid-May

Why I think Confucianism is not a religion

A few days ago, a friend from Mexico said that he believed Confucianism was a religion.

I disagreed and gave him a few reasons why.

First, there are no supernatural beliefs.

Confucian thoughts do not rest on belief in supernatural deities. Confucius himself focused on earthly matters, emphasizing moral ethics and social responsibility rather than supernatural intervention. He once taught his disciples to stay away from ghosts and gods and keep the path in mind.

While Confucian practices include ancestor worship, these are more about respect for ancestors and societal order than divine worship.

Second, Confucianism emphasizes humanistic cultivation and moral rectitude.

The core of Confucianism revolves around self-cultivation, harmonious family relations, effective governance, and universal peace – all grounded in practical reason and aimed at this world, distinct from religious pursuits of salvation or liberation.

In other words, Confucianism focuses on improving oneself, having a happy family, and creating worldwide harmony. It’s about doing good and making sense of our daily lives.

When things go wrong, Confucius said that as a person of virtue, we need to find our own reasons and fix ourselves.

Thirdly, Confucianism is not exclusive.

I don’t know much about religion because I’m not a religious person, even though I admire the buildings, rituals, and cultures. Still, in history or recent news, I find that every religion seems exclusive.

Confucianism is not exclusive in two ways. The first one is to learn from others, no matter who he or she is. Confucious once said, “Among any three people walking, I will find something to learn from them”.

The second one is to teach without distinction among students. It means everyone can learn from Confucianism, no matter who you are or your religion.

In conclusion, I think Confucianism is not a religion. If you have other opinions, feel free to let me know. I really like to discuss it with you.


Went to a museum today

I went to the Shanghai Museum to see an exhibition today. The exhibition was about an ancient civilization called Shu.

I really like this exhibition, because it not only exhibits a wealth of cultural relics but also gives a lot of historical background and related cultural relics.

So much new knowledge went through my brain that I felt exhausted when I got home.

The relic in the picture is my favorite from this exhibition. It’s a bronze deity beast discovered in 2021, cast earlier than 1,000 BC. I think it’s a little cute.

My home tea set

I bought myself a tea set this Chinese New Year as a gift.

This one in the picture is a gaiwan, consisting of a bowl and a lid. I use it to brew the tea leaves first.

I have a sharing pitcher to distribute the brewed tea among the drinkers. Sometimes they are my friends, sometimes my family, and sometimes I just brew tea for myself. It’s called gongdaobei in Chinese. I’m sorry I didn’t take a photo of it.

This one is my private teacup. I love the flowers painted on it.