Statue of Confucius - An Autobiography of Confucius

Autobiography of Confucius – Confucius Analects – 孔子论语 – 孔子一生

This is an autobiography of Confucius.  There were three stages in Confucius life, first stage begins on learning (age 15) and establishing oneself (age 30) in the world.  Second stages consolidates and refine one’s life until there is no internal doubt (age 40) and one knows one’s role in the world (age 50).  The results were that Confucius was at peace with the world (age 60), and arrived at internal freedom without crossing the morality line of what is right and wrong (age 70).

The Master said, ‘At fifteen, I set my mind on learning.

-> studying classics, to learn about the laws of the society and the universe.

At thirty, I stood firm.

-> established goal of life, and stood firm on it.

At forty, I had no doubts.

-> about himself and the world.

At fifty, I knew the decrees of Heaven.

-> he was clear about what the universe had arranged for him, and could feel and align with by moment.

At sixty, no sound irritates me.

-> he was able to embrace the world without internally getting irritated.

At seventy, I could follow what my heart desired, without transgressing what was right.

-> with morality firmly established and practiced within himself, he was able to live life freely without committing wrong.

Autobiography of Confucius – Discussion:

This chapter brings out the characteristics of a Chinese scholar and practitioner, which requires a life-time of dedication.  It took Confucius himself 15 years of learning before he found and established his position in the world;  another 10 years before he was sure about his life beyond doubt.  After mastering his mind, it took him another 10 years to establish a proper relationship and connection with the universe, and another 10 years before he could embrace all situations in the world.  Confucius was truly a hero in personal development, who had dedicated his entire lifetime in the pursue of and practice of knowledge.  He represented a role model that had affected practitioners for years to come.

Finally, he brought out the important relationship between freedom and morality:  Elementary freedom seeks to live life selfishly without consideration of others, whereas advanced state of freedom is achieved without committing what is wrong for oneself or for the world.  The acceptance of yet non-alignment to negativity is a common teachings among all major religions in the world.  It would be an error to think that one could do anything to anyone under the name of freedom.

子曰、吾十有五而志于學 。

-> 学习经典,学习有关社会和宇宙的法则。


-> 建立人生的目标。


-> 关于自己和世界。


-> 他很清楚宇宙什么安排他,并能时刻的感应和遵循。


-> 他是能够接受世界而不生气。


-> 道德已牢固的树立并实践在生活之中,能在不违反道德的情况下自由自在的生活。

* * *




最后,他带出了自由和道德之间的重要关系:初级的自由是自私,并不会考虑别人;  高级的自由,根孔子一样,能在不犯错的情况下体现自由。世界主流的宗教都提倡接受但不跟随负面。如果我们认为,可以在自由的名义下做任何的事情(包括负面的事情),这将是一个大的错误。


4 responses to “Autobiography of Confucius – Confucius Analects – 孔子论语 – 孔子一生”

  1. sight Avatar

    At sixty, no sound irritates me.

    -> he was able to embrace the world without internally getting irritated.

    This is very inspiring and gives one some peace knowing this state can be known through life practice. Just think if the practice is wholeheartedly embraced when young what the elder years ccan be.

    1. derek Avatar

      Indeed. Confucius illustrated what one can become with a life-time of dedication. A true hero in personal development and social service.

      It also suggests that we need patience and steadfastness in our effort of personal and spiritual cultivation. It took years for even genius like Confucius to perfect his wisdom, life, and dedication!

  2. […] virtue without contradicting with propriety and prevailing social standards, e.g. final stage of life of Confucius.Therefore, first level practitioners are scholars, second level practitioners are hermits and […]

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