The concept of Confucianism has had a diverse impact on the social and cultural identity of Chinese people. Hence, it appears that its integration in the Chinese mentality has gone wide beyond the religious beliefs but has transformed into “an emotional attitude as well as a body of rational teaching” (Yang 244). It should be pointed out that the tradition of the Confucian School incorporates the postulates from different philosophies and religions.
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Most evidently, the formation of this doctrine has been influenced by the Buddhist system. Confucian principles have penetrated all the levels of Chinese society from family households to governmental structures. As a result, it seems to be critical to examine the key aspects composing Confucianism to acquire a better understanding of the Chinese culture.
The reading revealed that the dominant concepts of the Confucian theory are the spirit, heaven, and fate: from this perspective, it is similar to other religious traditions. According to the Confucian dogma, all these concepts are supernatural so that they should not be analyzed from the rational standpoint. Predeterminism is the core idea that explains the world order and serves as the clue to its events. As a result, harmonious life, according to Confucianism, implies the adjustment of “the social order to the cosmic order” through the right interpretation of their omens (Yang 251).
Another important element of the Confucian paradigm is divination and its subtype, geomancy. It appears that these concepts are particularly important for understanding the mentality of the Chinese as they explain their self-confidence and firmness against the backdrop of the unknown. Therefore, instead of submitting to fate, the Chinese rely on Confucianism to gain support and resist the blows of fortune with the help of the positive spirit and intrinsic “superhumanity” (Yang 274).
Yang, Chuan-Kwang. Religion in Chinese Society: A Study of Contemporary Social Functions of Religion and Some of Their Historical Factors, Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 1961. Print.