Sinology||Xu Jilin: Where is the lonely soul of Confucianism?

2020-08-03 03:04:29 0 Comment 2087 views

Although several generations of Neo-Confucian scholars have turned the tide and developed their unique knowledge, Confucianism is like a lone soul, wa

This article was originally published in "Southern Weekend"

Reposted from: Tencent article, Don't Eat My Millet

Sinology||Xu Jilin: Where is the lonely soul of Confucianism?

Professor Xu Jilin, Department of History, East China Normal University

Two thousand years of Confucianism was once the public culture of ancient China With the official ideology, under the impact of Western learning a hundred years ago, Confucian culture disintegrated and lost its institutional and social roots. Although several generations of Neo-Confucian scholars have turned the tide and developed a unique knowledge, the Confucianism is like a lone soul. , Wandering over a few elites, and no longer have their bodies on the earth.

The reason why traditional Confucianism is so beautiful is that it has a dual institutional body. One is the Han Dynasty.The five classics doctoral system and the imperial examination system after the Song Dynasty. Confucianism is the official ideology of the imperial power, and Confucian scholar-officials have become the only source of the imperial bureaucracy. The second is the customs, etiquette and folk religion of the patriarchal clan society. Confucianism is a cultural "little tradition" in ancient society. It has deep soil among the people and has become the general ethics of "daily use but not knowing". However, this double body of Confucianism has been uprooted and destroyed in modern society. Although after a century of hardship, Confucianism has hoped for a revival in China in the 21st century, but today's prosperity is more of a boisterous excitement at the academy level. The prosperity of Confucianism in a small number of elites, in turn, sets off the desolation and desolation of institutional Confucianism. . The soul of Confucianism is lingering, without the skin, how will Mao be attached?

How to change the Confucian spirit of being non-possessed in the past century, and let it be attached to the system? Compared with Mou Zongsan, Tang Junyi, Du Weiming, etc.The old generation of new Confucianism, and today's new generation of Confucianists have begun to notice the importance of institutional Confucianism, and the warm and warm air from the upper echelons and the spiritual hunger of the society have provided unprecedented opportunities for the revival of institutional Confucianism. The only question is: where will the soul of Confucianism be attached? Is it to look up and get the way of the monarch; or do you see that the people walk the way down?

The study of royal officials, this way is nowhere

Confucianism is different from Christianity and Buddhism. Confucianism is not only a study of entry into the world, but also has a strong political nature. The achievement is to manage the world for practical purposes, and realize the governance of the country and the world. Although the political ambitions of Confucian scholars are great, they have their own insurmountable weaknesses: Compared with Christianity, they lack an independent establishment that has economic strength and can compete with the royal power; compared with ancient Greek citizens, they have no institutionalized channels to participate in politics. . Although Confucian scholar-bureaucrats remember Confucius’s"Practitioners are committed to Taoism" and firmly believe that the Confucian belief (Tao) respects the power (power). However, in political practice, "Tao" has to rely on "power" and look at the monarch's face and take advantage of "power". The runway practices the ideal of "Tao".

From ancient times to the present, all Confucianists who have a strong desire to use the world, because they cannot get rid of the fate of "Tao" attached to "Power", have always been accustomed to taking the upward path, always looking for Mingjun, hoping to be oneself The study was elevated to the study of royal officials. Confucianism needs Mingjun, and Mingjun also needs Confucianism. The lessons of Qin II’s death made the monarchs below Emperor Wu of the Han understand that it is not enough to govern the country with severe punishments by legalist bureaucrats. Violence deterred the people, but could not conquer the hearts of the people. Confucianism has a people-oriented kingly politics, and Confucianism supplements the law, which can obtain long-term legitimacy for the rule of the dynasty. Therefore, most of the Chinese emperors, from Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty to Emperor Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong, ruled by external Confucianism and internal law, and occasionally benefited from it.Huang Lao’s learning is a three-pronged approach.

The alliance between the royal power and the scholar-officials was a limited and fragile alliance of mutual means. The most superstitious thing about royal power is always Machiavelli's studies. The emperor who is familiar with the classics of Confucianism, as the incarnation of power, determines that what flows in his bones can only be the blood of the legalist. I believe that the "magical power" is a system of governance. Far away. For Confucian scholars, royal politics is where the body lies, and royal power is only its use; but for royal power, no matter how good Confucianism is, it is used, and legalism is the body itself. Take the Westernization, Reform and New Deal in the late Qing Dynasty as examples. Although the literati and the Qing court both defended the country, they actually had ghosts. The scholar-officials used prosperity and power to protect China, and ultimately they wanted to protect the world—the civilization and order desired by Confucianism, but the Qing court to protect China with prosperity and power, ultimately must protect the country—the small river and mountains that the Manchu dignitaries dominate the world. In order to protect the world, scholar-officials can change dynasties;In order to protect the country, the Qing court would rather the world perish first.

The kingship and Confucian scholars use each other to form an alliance. Because the ultimate goal is different, there will be a day when they will break. For the Confucian scholar-officials, companionship is like companionship of tiger; the moment of happiness, anger, sorrow, and joy of a person is enough to destroy his life's hard work. During the Western Han dynasty, a generation of heroes of the Han Wudi "deposed a hundred schools and respected Confucianism", and the great scholar Dong Zhongshu who provided yin and yang and five elements cosmology for the empire was favored. However, what the emperor wanted was only the side of Dong's cosmology to prove the legitimacy of the empire, and he hated Dong's use of "heaven and man induction theory" to place a higher "destiny" above the imperial power. In the 6th year of the founding of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, there was a fire in the Liaodong Gaomiao, the place where the emperor worshipped his ancestors. The bookish Dong Zhongshu thought it was God's anger against the ruling party, and wrote "The Story of Disaster". Before the memorial was published, he was secretly reported to the court. , Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty was furious and decided to behead Dong Zhongshu. Later, he pityed his talent and issued an edict for pardon, but was removed from office.Since then, Dong Zhongshu has never dared to make any trouble, intervening in political affairs, and staying at home in his later years to study and write books.

The cooperative alliance of Confucianism and Legalism seems to be the rule of the king and the scholar-officials, but this alliance is not equal in strength and lacks institutional guarantees. The kingship is the active side, and the scholar-bureaucrat is the passive side. How much space Confucianism has in politics depends on whether the emperor is a king and whether he has the confidence to adopt the words of Confucian students. There have been prosperous and declining times in Chinese dynasties, and there has been a cycle of governance and chaos. The reason is not based on the system, but whether there is a Ming Dynasty ruler. Regardless of the rule of Wenjing, the prosperity of Kaiyuan, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, and Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty, as Mr. Qian Mu said, it is only good personnel and no good system has been established. In the first dynasty, the king was dazzling, and there was a lot of weather. What is lacking is the long-term institutional setting.

Mr. Mou Zongsan has an insight. He believed that ancient Chinese politics had only governance, but no governance.Confucianism provides a set of people-oriented metaphysical principles. Legalists have mature governance techniques to control society and control bureaucracy. However, the Confucianism and Legalism, one is too sparse in theory, the other is just a meticulous effort to govern. Neither of them can develop a political way that surpasses the ruler and has the highest legislative will, that is, a rigid constitutional structure.

Traditional Confucian politics is not entirely undesirable. Through thousands of years of historical practice of uniting and struggling with royal power, it has accumulated rich political wisdom: the dual authority of Taoism and political system, scholar-bureaucrats and The rule of the world by the monarchs, the traditions of clear discussions among the people, the civil service examinations and the system of imperial history, etc., these political wisdom and institutional practices are based on the will of the people, the principle of heaven is the highest value, and the Confucian scholar-bureaucrats are the backbone of the society, to a considerable extent Limiting the imperial power to dominate the world, making Chinese politics clear, rational and orderly in a number of dynasties and historical periods, making the ancient Chinese empireA land with a vast territory, a large population, and a diverse culture has a civilization history that lasted for more than two thousand years.

However, Confucian politics has its own insurmountable internal limitations. It has metaphysical principles and skills at the governance level. However, what it lacks is the fundamental law at the political level. Even though the design is perfect, it ultimately depends on The personal virtues of sages and virtuous persons cannot fundamentally solve the three core issues of modern politics: the legitimacy of rule, the effective restriction of power, and the orderly replacement of power. In this sense, political Confucianism no longer has an independent restoration value in modern society, and whether its future value depends on the system with whom Confucianism is combined and blended. If we continue to use Confucianism and internal law, and the ancient Qin and Han system, the old road has not been followed for two thousand years, how can we expect that in the 21st century, dead trees will bloom in spring and diseased trees will bloom?

The real hope of political Confucianism lies in the relationship with the modern rule of law andThe democratic system is carefully grafted, and the populist politics of one person, one vote is balanced with the wisdom of elites that transcend self-interest, and the public will of the world as the public focuses on the struggle for the supremacy of rights and private interests. Confucian politics itself is not as good or bad as abstract, it depends on whom it makes friends and alliances with. If you can, like Mou Zongsan and Tang Junyi's older generation of new Confucianism, play the remaining enthusiasm in the modern political framework of rule of law and democracy, then it will be possible to achieve their own creative transformation.

Transform to spiritual religion, can be desired but not desired

The upward path of the scholarship of the king is a dead end. Confucianism has another option, which is to go downward. Route, to the development of the people, transform Confucianism into Confucianism and become spiritual religions like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Taoism.

In the past few years, the process of secularization of Chinese society has hollowed out the hearts of Chinese people.Under the predicament, Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and various folk religions have developed rapidly. With the crisis of spiritual order caused by secularization, religious revival is showing an irreversible trend. In this general trend order, where is the position of Confucianism? Is it possible to transform into a spiritual religion like Buddhism, Taoism and Yahui, and have its own place among the people?

There have been attempts in history to transform Confucianism into Confucianism. The leftist Yangming school of Taizhou at the end of the Ming Dynasty changed Zhu Zixue’s tradition of royal officials. He turned his eyes down and gave lectures to the people. He believed that everyone with a conscience in his heart can become a saint. They enlighten themselves among the common people and traffickers. Preaching and developing believers are only one step away from spiritual religion. The most thorough religiousization of Confucianism is naturally the Confucian Church founded by Kang Youwei and Chen Huanzhang in the early years of the Republic of China. Kang Youwei is only the spiritual leader, and the true head of the Confucian Church is Chen Huanzhang, Ph.D. of Columbia.. He not only designed Confucianism in accordance with the Christian model, but also gave it some modern contents and rituals. But in the end it couldn't help but fail. The most important reason is that Kang Youwei and Chen Huanzhang are among the people and they are attached to the temple. They cannot keep the loneliness of the people. They always want to promote Confucianism to the state religion through the operation of state power. Surrounding the Confucian Church, there are mostly the survivors of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, frustrated politicians, and traditional country gentry, with outdated knowledge, lustful desires, no interest in salvation, and full of ambitions to save the world. The Confucian Church is not even as good as the leftist Wang Xue in the late Ming Dynasty. It is severely separated from society and has nothing to do with the common people. They took the form of Christianity, but did not have the spirit of Jesus. They lacked the true religious temperament of competing with the king's power, diligently planting seeds among the people, and changing the world by saving people's souls.

In the past few years, the new Confucianists with Jiang Qing as their leader are also repeating the same mistakes of the Confucian Church.Li academies and academies, but uneasy about the grassroots society, always want to return to the temple, let Confucianism become the national religion, let the Four Books and Five Classics become the designated education model, and even included in the scope of the national examination. If one day Confucianism really becomes the national religion and the Four Books and Five Classics return to the college entrance examination, then the life of Confucianism will be over. It will not become a dominant ideology, or a stepping stone for students who both value and hate.

My personal observations and feelings are that there are great differences in folk Confucian teaching on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Confucianism in Taiwan has a grass-roots and human touch. It is at ease in civil society, cares about the suffering of the people, and is committed to the reconstruction of spiritual order Although some Confucians in mainland China are among the people, they are contaminated with the atmosphere of the world and officialdom. The two positions are different, but they are in fact similar in spirit: they both want to be the boss of the world.

Mr. Huang Jinxing, a famous Taiwan scholar who studies Confucianism and Confucian temples, has analyzed that traditional Confucian temples areA sanctuary where state power is closely integrated, the sacrifice of Confucian Temple is a manifestation of state power, and it is an awe-inspiring closed space that ordinary people dare not enter. The greatest wish of many great Confucian scholars in their lives was to obtain the emperor's canonization and to have their place in the Confucian Temple. There is a Confucian student with the pen name "Meng Xingzi" who wants to eat a piece of cold pork in the Confucian Temple in his dreams. He sighed and said: "Life, don't eat a piece of cold pork, I am ashamed of my life!" The master is respecting but not relative. Confucianism is "basically a national religion, not a private religion; it is a public religion, not a personal religion." The basic character of Confucianism is too elitist. It is concerned with the major issues of governing the country and the world. In a society lacking democracy, Confucianism has no other way to achieve the ideal of salvation other than to move closer to the power of the state.

For ordinary people, the emperor is far away, the reason why they need religion is to save their hearts, The spirit is dependent, the fate is entrusted, and life and death are arranged. Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, and Islam all have this promise, so they can become the personal beliefs of the common people. Although Confucianism is religious, it is after all the religion of scholars and pays more attention to the world, humanities and rationality. Jiang Qing established Yangming Abode in Guizhou and led a group of disciples to study sages and sages, but they had nothing to do with the surrounding villagers and were not recognized by the locals. The villagers also removed the special tiles made by the Jingshe to build a Guanyin Temple that the village needs more. It shows that today's Confucian revival is still an internal matter of a small number of elites, completely separated from the bottom of society.

It’s no wonder that Confucianism is a non-revelatory religion. Belief is not the top priority. Confucianism emphasizes personal self-cultivation, knowledge awareness, and moral practice to become a model for everyone Gentlemen and saints. But the requirements for knowledge and virtue are too high, and it can only be the ideal of a few scholars. For ordinary people,They only need to "believe", to be more precise, through simple religious rituals, to obtain the protection of the gods. Whether it is the shelter of the transcendent god, or a simplified religious ceremony. These two points are precisely the shortcomings of Confucianism. The transformation of Confucianism into a spiritual religion like Christianity and Buddhism among the people does not conform to the original character of Confucianism, and it lacks its own historical tradition and practical space. The Confucian traditions in South Korea and Taiwan have been kept so intact. So far, Confucianism in the sense of personal religion has not been developed. What's more, mainland China where the Confucian tradition has been interrupted?

As a "culture and education" Confucian, hope to be among the people

The Confucian in history is a whole in terms of soul, but it has three bodies or Existence forms, one is the national religion as the study of royal officials, and the other is the spiritual religion as the study of xinxing. Both of these have quite obvious religious characteristics.It is an order religion of ethics and morality. Confucianism at this level is not so much a religion as it is the "culture and education" proposed by Qiufeng.

The so-called "culture and education", according to my understanding, refers to Confucianism is not a religion in the Western sense, but the unique "humanization" of Confucianism, forming a "culture and education" corresponding to religion. It contains four meanings. First, as "culture and education", Confucianism does not appeal to belief and enlightenment like ordinary religions, but through rational consciousness and moral practice, it can be used as a "culture and education". ", Confucianism does not communicate with God through religious rituals such as prayer and worship to gain the protection of God in order to obtain the eternity of life in another transcendental world. Instead, Confucianism focuses on real life, through humanization, in the secular In daily rituals, Confucian justice is transformed into human minds, creating beauty and vulgarity. Third, as "culture and education", Confucianism is not mainly for personal spiritual order.Preface provides peace and life and ultimate value, but based on "benevolence" turned into "ritual", to establish a public ethical and moral order for the entire society. Fourth, as "culture and education", the ethical and moral values ​​and norms of Confucianism are internalized into other formal religions, folk religions, ancestor worship, and daily sacrifices, that is, the so-called "Shintoism". Confucianism can be said to be a kind of "underlying religion", which is imperceptibly permeated by the people, and the people use it daily without knowing it.

In the history of the three bodies of Confucianism, in modern society, the scholarship of the royal officials who sought a honeymoon with the state power is a dead end, and the scholarship of mind and nature that focuses on self-cultivation is only a matter for a small number of elites. Nothing. The most important function of Confucianism in China in the future, in my opinion, should be to develop "culture and education" with public ethics as the core, and to rebuild the Chinese people's social order.

So, as the "culture and education" of ethical and moral order, Confucianism and other religions and selfWhat kind of relationship is Yuism?

China is different from the West in that it is a polytheistic country. Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism are united. Tao and Buddhism are religions, while Confucianism is "culture and education", each with its own functions and underpinnings. Qiu Feng believes that China is "one culture and education, multiple religions", and it tells the truth about the relationship between Confucianism and other religions. Because Confucianism is only a kind of "culture and education" dedicated to public order, it is open and tolerant towards other religions that focus on personal spiritual order. Although Confucianism has transformed Buddhism into Confucianism since Song and Ming Confucianism, it has its own xinxing, self-cultivation method, and has its own place to settle down, but after all, it is too rational, and Chen Yi is too high. It is just the religion of scholars, and the general public cannot absorb it. . Even among scholars, Confucianism, as a study of the nature of mind, has its limitations. Because it only talks about the present world, regardless of the future life, it has more than humanity and lack of divinity. Therefore, it pays special attention to the reincarnation of life and death and has divinity.For those seeking Confucian scholars, in addition to Confucianism, they also talk about Buddhist faith or conversion to Jesus.

Conversely speaking, Buddhists, Taoists, Christians and Muslims living in the Confucian world will also respect secular Confucian ethics, honor their parents, sacrifice to ancestors, and follow the customs in the countryside, thus appearing Confucianism Christians, Confucian Buddhists, Confucian Muslims, Confucian Taoists, etc. As a "culture and education", Confucianism has a soft body, moisturizing things silently, and is embedded in various foreign and local religious traditions. On the one hand, it localizes and Confucianizes foreign religions. On the other hand, it also obtains new ideas from other religious traditions. Nourishment, further solidify one's "culture and education" status above all religions.

The character of Confucianism that transcends all religions is a bit like liberalism in modern society. Then, does Confucianism as "culture and education" conflict with liberalism that also pursues public good order?shield? Although both Confucianism and Liberalism are secular doctrines, they also have their own emphasis and chassis. Although liberalism also has its own ethical values, it is a set of political philosophy at its core, pursuing a political philosophy that conforms to its own ethical values. As a "culture and education" Confucianism, although it has its own political ideas, is essentially a set of ethics Philosophy pursues the ritual order of daily life. What truly conflicts with liberal political philosophy is not Confucianism as "culture and education", but political Confucianism as the study of royal officials. Of course, this conflict is not absolute. As I said earlier, some of the wisdom in political Confucianism can also be used. Make up for the shortcomings of liberal politics.

As "culture and education", Confucianism and liberalism should not be confronted. Otherwise, they will succumb to each other and make their common enemy Legalism. The best way for two families to get along is through weekend couples. According to HabermasIn theory, modern society is divided into the system world and the life world. The system world is a world centered on the market and power. Liberalism should be the master of the system world, regulating the market with rights and contracts, and restricting power with the rule of law and democracy. In addition to the system world, there is also a non-utilitarian life world where people interact with each other emotionally. For many countries, this world is dominated by their respective religions. For China, Confucianism should obviously become the life world. The owner.

Habermas especially emphasized that the system world and the life world have their own axis of value, so long as they don’t cross the boundary and build roads, they are all reasonable. The problem lies in today’s society. The system world colonizes the life world and extends the principles of market and power to the life world, so that the natural interactions between people are full of depersonal, de-emotional, and de-ethical. Utilitarian smell is not hierarchical power control, or market transaction money in command. In China, there is the opposite situation, that is, the decolonization of the system world by the life world. As the ethical principles of the life world, Confucianism has invaded the market space and the political realm, pulling relations in an equal contract space, and emphasizing human sentiments in a serious legal order. This is Confucian arrogance of not keeping its duty, and its harm is not at all harmful. No less than the colonization of the life world by the system world.

In the 21st century, the system world is becoming more and more globalized and universal. It is a civilized world; while the life world is different, it is a cultural space, different countries, different nations, Different ethnic groups should have their own unique culture and life world. Civilization is universal, and culture is special. The reason why Confucianism is important to China is that the Chinese not only live in a systematic world dominated by universal civilization, but also have a living world with its own historical traditions and cultural characteristics. "The end of history"There is nothing terrible about the traditional world. The terrible thing is that the world of life is also brought to an end, forming the "universally homogenized" world that Kojeff worries about. In this sense, China needs Confucianism and a "cultural and educational" Confucianism who has the duty to guard the world of life.

The future Chinese cultural order should have three levels. The first level is the political and cultural level, which involves what is the legitimacy in the public political order, what is the public political good, and political freedom. Doctrine will play a central role, and the Confucian tradition and the socialist tradition will also contribute their respective wisdom. The second level is the level of public ethics, which involves what is public ethical goodness and what is the way of communication between people. This will be the territory of Confucianism as "culture and education", and ethical liberalism and various religions Tradition will also complement it. The third level is the spiritual level of the individual, which involves what is virtue, what is the meaning of life in this world, and how to transcend life and death.To obtain salvation or salvation, this will be a diverse space for various religions, including Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Christianity. China’s unique polytheistic tradition will allow people to have their own choice, even inclusiveness, and integration of multiple religions.

Where is the lonely soul of Confucianism? The study of royal officials has proved to be a dead end, and the study of xinxing is only an elite religion. The broadest vision of Confucianism in China in the future is "culture and education" to create public ethical order. This "culture and education" hopes not to promote the power of the state, but to integrate with civil society and grow spontaneously and naturally among the people. Since Confucius, Confucianism originated in the countryside and developed among the people. Although it once entered the temple and became an official school, it eventually declined with the disintegration of the royal power and became a lone soul who wandered for a century. If Confucianism wants to regain its vigorous life, the only way out is to return to the original point and return to the people.