The Diary of Anne Ku
23 June 2000 Friday cloudy, colder
CONFUCIUS AND BUDDHISM
After my father retired, he became interested in Buddhist teachings - partly from the free literature at the vegetarian restaurants he frequented. The easily agitated man, around whom we had to tread ever so gently, was a strict parent who brought us up on Confucian teachings. The Confucian doctrine brought order to society by placing people in a well-understood hierarchy. Everyone had a place. It was the epitome of bureaucracy.
Confucius might have said: he, who walks with head in the sky, steps on dog shit. I made this up - for the daydreamers who come to London.
After he retired, Father mellowed out and became a good friend. Whether this was due to Buddhism, vegetarianism, retirement, or all of the above, I'm not sure. I do know, though, that I feel suffocated in a bureaucracy. I do not function well in an organisation with too much protocol and form-filling. If he had brought us up as Buddhists, would I now lean towards Confucianism?
My personal philosophy is that Chinese people are raised on Confucian doctrine. When they are struggling as young adults, they turn to Taoism for it is full of paradox just like life. Searching for meaning, they find only contradictions. Later in life, when they've retired and have more time on their hands, they turn to Buddhism. Does this make any sense at all to the non-Chinese?
9 characters beginning with the letter C
what is the name of a Chinese sage?
C O R I A N D E R
C O N F U C I U S