Geography Reference
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Confucius. (Sofiaworld/
Furthermore, Confucius did not tell his disciples how to get ren.He
dwelled on its importance and sometimes linked it with li,buthe
never assigned a specific cause-and-effect relationship between the
two. At one point in the Analects (an incomplete record of Confucius's
discussions with his disciples), he indicates that proper performance
of li will lead to ren, but in other places he seems to say that ren is
necessary in the first instance for li to teach its performers what they
need to know about their roles in society. Confucius may well have
viewed li and ren as so interrelated, so much the parts of an organic
whole, that any attempt to divide or define them or assign causal
priority to one over the other might have seemed artificial or con-
trived. Any man who thoroughly grasped the interrelationship
between the two and knew their importance for social and political
order he called a junzi, which has been translated variously as “gentle-
man” or “princeling” or “evolved man.” His ultimate aim was to have
many junzi in the world who would transform it and recover the lost
golden age of the early Zhou.
Confucius sincerely believed in the superiority of antiquity over the
present. He harked back to the lost golden age rather than looking
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