The beginning of wisdom is learning to call a thing by its right name.
~Confucius, Chinese social philosopher and politician, 551-479 B.C., whose teachings deeply influenced East Asian life and thought.
This lively new translation with clear explanatory notes by one of the foremost scholars of classical Chinese provides the ideal introduction to the Analects for readers who have no previous knowledge of the Chinese language and philosophical traditions.
Confucius is one of the most humane, rational, and lucid of moral teachers, concerned not with arcane metaphysics but with practical issues of life and conduct. What is virtue? What sort of life is most conducive to happiness? How should the state be ruled? What is the proper relationship between human beings and their environment?
In this classic translation of The Analects by Arthur Waley, the questions Confucius addressed two and a half millennia ago remain as relevant as ever.
Alan Watts asks what is the cause of the illusion that the self is a separate ego, housed in a bag of skin, and which confronts a universe of physical objects that are alien to it. Rather a person’s identity (their ego) binds them to the physical universe, creating a relationship with their environment and other people. The separation of the self and the physical world leads to the misuse of technology and the attempt to violently subjugate man’s natural environment, leading to its destruction.
Explaining man’s role in the universe as a unique expression of the total universe, and interdependent on it, Alan Watts offers a new understanding of personal identity. It reveals the mystery of existence, presenting and alternative to the feelings of alienation that is prevalent in Western society, and a vision of how we can come to understand the cosmic self that is within every living thing.
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