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Comparative Between Confucius and Daoism Essay

Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)111 Please cite as Low K. C. P. (2011) ‘Confucianism Versus Taoism’, Conflict Resolution & Negotiation Journal, Volume 2011, Issue 4, p. 111 – 127 Confucianism Versus Taoism Prof. Dr. Patrick Low Kim Cheng Ph. D. & Chartered Marketer, Certified MBTI Administrator, & Certified Behavioral Consultant/ Universiti Brunei Darussalam; Associate, University of South Australia About the Author Prof. Dr. Patrick Low Kim Cheng, Ph. D.

(South Australia), Chartered Marketer, Certified MBTI Administrator, & Certified Behavioral Consultant (IML, USA), brings with him more than 20 years of combined experience from sectors as diverse as the electronics, civil service, academia, banking, human resource development and consulting. His MNC and local corporate clients from ASEAN, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan are in manufacturing, electronics, IT, retail, engineering services, hospitals, hotels, banks & financial institutions as well as the public sector.

The once Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Business, Universiti of Malaya (Jan to Feb 2007), Prof. Dr. Low was the Deputy Dean, Postgraduate Studies & Research, teaching in Universiti Brunei Darussalam (2009). He teaches the graduate students/ MBA in Organisational Behavior, Managing Negotiations, Leadership and Change Management, and the undergraduates in Leadership Basics, Challenging Leadership, Business and Society, Issues in Organizational Leadership, Organization Analysis & Design; and Organization Development & Change.

The former Associate Dean, Director of Career Services and Chair of the Management and Marketing Department of a University in Kazakhstan (2004 to 2006) focuses on human resource management and behavioral skills training covering areas like negotiation/ influencing, leadership and behavioral modification. An academician-practitioner, a prolific author (author of twelve books including bestsellers (Strategic Customer Management, 2006, 2002, 2000 – one of Borders’ top ten in 2001/2, Sales Success, 2006, 2003; Team Success, 2003 and The Power of Relationships, 2001).

His most recent books include Successfully Negotiating In Asia (Springer, 2010) and Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn. com/abstract=1982271 Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)112 Corporate Culture and Values – Perceptions of Corporate Leaders of Cooperatives in Singapore (VDM-Verlag, 2009). A business coach, Prof. Dr. Low is the founder of BusinesscrAFT™ Consultancy and he previously served as an Examiner for University of South Australia’s DBA and Ph. D. candidates (2003 to October 2006); presently, he has been appointed as the supervisor for its DBA candidates.

Besides his experience in academia, training and consulting, Prof. Dr. Patrick Low has held positions in regional human resource development (HRD). He has been the Senior Training Manager (Asia Pacific Region) in Standard Chartered Bank where he was responsible for regional management training and development, marketing of HRD services and management succession. He can be contacted at [email protected] com Confucianism Versus Taoism Abstract: In this paper, the practitioner-academician makes comparisons and contrasts between the two great philosophical bodies (or oldest religious traditions) of China, that is, Confucianism and Taoism.

Among other things, the key commonalities of Confucianism and Taoism include being in pursuit of the Tao, close to nature and harmony, and taking the right actions are critical than just the belief(s). The key differences are also examined here, and these, among other things, include human living and spirituality, and filial piety and nature as well as rites and beyond rites. 1 Introduction Confucianism and Taoism do not have a specific founder or date of founding, even though one of them (Confucianism) appears to be named after an individual, K’ung Fu Tzu or Confucius in English.

Confucius was born in 551 BC in China in what is presently Shantung Province. He lived during the Zhou dynasty, known for its ethical laxity. For Taoism, its texts include the Tao de ching (The Way of Power) which is believed to have been written by Lao Tzu. The text describes the nature of life, the way to peace and how a ruler should lead his life. The Chuang Tzu contains additional teachings of Taoism. Franklin Publishing Company www. franklinpublishing. net Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn. com/abstract=1982271

Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)113 1. 1 Paper’s Aim And Objectives The aim and objectives of the paper are to make comparisons and examine the contrasts between the two great philosophical bodies (or oldest religious traditions) in China, that is, Confucianism and Taoism, and with that, it is hoped to logically get a better understanding of the two philosophical bodies. 2 2. 1 Commonalities Of Confucianism And Taoism In Pursuit of the Tao Both show that the non-religious state of existence is unsatisfying and non-harmonious.

Instead, both Confucianism and Taoism stress on the pursuit of the Tao, and that the Tao is the ultimate. Similar to Shakespeare’s “have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest”, in Taoism, it is said that those who know do not speak and those who speak do not know. Tao, the first cause, can be roughly translated into English as “path”, or “the way”, referring to a power which envelops, surrounds and flows through all things, living and non-living. Tao is the Oneness of everything; “Tao is always without a name and that it is the origin of heaven and earth.

Tao can also be said to be the “Absolute” that it can be said to be the movement and a stillness without a beginning, Yin and Yang (also known as Tai Chi) are things that can be said to be without a beginning” (Cleary 2003, cited in Low and Ang, 2010: 85; Wu, 1990: 1). 2. 2 Close to Nature And Harmony Both Confucianism and Taoism are close to nature, very much reflected in Chinese culture. Most Chinese gates or traditional Chinese gardens display a pair of lions, one male and one female. The female mother lion, usually with its young, represents Mother Nature.

From Confucius – The Analects, Chapter VII verse 17, we learn that “The Master used a fishing line but not a cable; attached to a net, he used a corded arrow but not to shoot at roosting birds. ” Both Taoism and Confucianism believe that the two opposing and complementary forces Franklin Publishing Company www. franklinpublishing. net Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)114 (chi) of yin and yang should be maintained in a harmonious condition no matter what level they are operating on, such as universe, nature, society, or an individual (Li, 1996).

“Everything will be accomplished smoothly in a harmonious family,” Confucius encouraged that internal harmony should also be treasured as the highest value within a family, just as it is essential to the smooth functioning of a system at any other level. Both schools preach that humans live in harmony with nature, and such a way is compatible with humankind’s taking care of nature and the surrounding environment of the communities they live and work (Low and Ang, forthcoming; Low, forthcoming).

In Lao Tzu’s mind, the people should be encouraged to embrace simplicity, diminishing self interest and curbing one’s desires (Tao Te Ching, Verse 49); in this way, one can then create a peaceful and harmonious environmental attitude towards people and nature, and there is overall happiness between and among all. Detaching ourselves and not getting caught with the great number of things in our mind, we also slow down, pay attention to our breathing, move slowly and deeply, and we reach new understandings about ourselves and the world around us.

In Taoism, peace is treasured (“The best way of conquering an enemy is to win him over by not antagonizing him…” – Tao Te Ching, verse 68; Wu, 1990: 101). War is no good and only results in sufferings of the people; rulers need to find and seek peace for his or her people. With harmony, trade, business and profits can be made, and the countries make progress – as the Chinese saying goes, “Harmony grows profits” (Hanyu Pinyin: he chi sen chai). It can thus be said that the Chinese prize harmony above all things. A large part of Chinese literature is based on the idea of harmony (Tao Te Ching – McDonald, 2009; Mitchell, 1995; Towler, 2002).

For both Confucianism and Taoism, a sage is a person who is in total harmony with their world – the world around them as well as the world within them. 2. 3 Wanting to Be Happy And Being Positive Franklin Publishing Company www. franklinpublishing. net Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)115 One of the basic facts of life is that all of us want to be happy. Each of us does not wish to suffer; and yet, suffering is a part of life, just as happiness is. It can be taken that both Confucianism and Taoism, being positive, appear to urge people to pursue happiness.

If we are negative, then we spend too much time searching for ways to avoid suffering; indeed so, we will also miss out much of the happiness that is possible in our lives. In Confucianism, with the Rectification of Names and roles fulfilled, a father does the father’s role, a mother the mother’s role, the son the son’s role and so on; then there will be harmonious relationships and happiness. If there were peace, harmony and happiness in the family and since a nation is essentially made of families, then the nation would also enjoy peace, harmony and happiness.

Confucius also highlighted that having an independent, truly calm, steady, down-to-earth mind and heart that one can avoid being swayed by the rises and falls, gains and loses of life. Free from worries and fears (Confucius – The Analects, Chapter XII, verse 4), a person of high integrity and morality (a gentleperson, junzi) would be happy; (s)he would sleep well. In these ways, one can thus be more or less, contented or happy. In Taoism, as in Yin-Yang, it is taken that the seed of suffering is inherent in each moment of happiness. In this way we should remain centered during moments of great happiness.

In life, if we build our happiness on simple things like love, friendship, good health, and spirit, we can build a sense of happiness that will endure the challenges and changes that life gives us (Towler, 2002a; http://ancienthistory. mrdonn. org/Taoism. html). Thus, in both Confucianism and Taoism call for people to live happily. 2. 4 Right Actions Are Critical Both generally see religious beliefs as having less importance than religious practices. In fact, both Confucianism and Taoism stress on orthopraxy (right actions) over orthodoxy (right beliefs).

Franklin Publishing Company www. franklinpublishing. net Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)116 In The Analects, Book II verse 13, it is said that Tzu-kung asked about the gentleman. The Master said, ‘He puts his words into action before allowing his words to follow his action. ’” Low (2008: 33) speaks of the “message Confucius impresses on us is that: As leaders, we need to act and behave as gentlemen. ” And what more, he has added that “when virtue is practised, one enjoys a clear conscience” (Low, 2008: 33).

Confucianism also stresses on humanism, and more importantly on the value of love and compassion (Low, 2010). In a person’s personal conduct, (s)he is respectful. In his or her dealings with his or her staff, (s)he is considerate; in caring for the common people’s welfare, (s)he is generously kind; and in dealing with all, (s)he is just (Low, 2008). Like Confucianism, Taoism also stresses on compassion (a typical right action), underscoring the fact that “weapons of war augur evil. Even things seem to hate them”; besides, “to achieve more for others, enlarge your heart” (Low, 2009: 33).

2. 5 Open And Continuing Canons Each does not have a closed canon, each continues to be interpreted, written and included in their respective canons. However, unlike Taoism, familiarity with the Confucian canon was one of the main requirements of the civil service examinations in traditional China. 2. 6 No Fixed Religious Services But Anywhere At Anytime, It Can Be Practiced Interestingly too or in fact, very convenient, both have no fixed religious services and can be practiced anywhere, from shrines and temples to private studies and mountain peaks.

Seen from this angle, there is much freedom and it is life and in living, praying and living in oneness (life itself is a prayer! ). The good thing is that they are without rituals or strict conformity of attending masses or prayer sessions in fixed days as evident in some of the other major religions. Franklin Publishing Company www. franklinpublishing. net Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)117 2. 7 Benevolence And Compassion Interestingly, Low (2008a: 67) has highlighted that one of the classic leadership sins or mistakes is that of “being callous to the needs of the others” or lacking in empathy or worse, compassion.

For both Confucius and Lao Tzu, leaders need to be benevolent. Low (2008b) has highlighted that the Confucian business owner/leadership, with its high task and high relationship, is seen as caring and the leader builds the bond with the employees. In the Confucian sense, being benevolent or kind, a characteristic element of humanity, is an part of an individual’s talents. Like Confucianism, Taoism also considers a worthy person as a benevolent person, and in the former, a benevolent person enjoys longevity (ren cher shou).

Leaders need to be compassionate and empathetic. Both Confucianism and Taoism preach and stress on compassion. Compassion is, in fact, one of Lao Tzu’s three treasures (Low, 2009; Wu, 1990). Such a belief and action is particularly vital. And it is, in fact, excellent when it comes to leading people since the compassionate leaders practice servant leadership, desiring overall little or nothing for themselves, but empathetically showing and acting with care and concern more for the people and their needs (Low, 2010, 2009; 2008).

Figure 1: A List of Commonalities Of Confucianism And Taoism In Pursuit of the Tao Close to Nature And Harmony Wanting to Be Happy And Being Positive Right Actions Are Critical Open And Continuing Canons No Fixed Religious Services But Anywhere At Anytime, It Can Be Practiced Benevolence And Compassion Franklin Publishing Company www. franklinpublishing. net Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)118 3 3. 1 The Key Differences Human Living and Spirituality Confucianism, on one hand, stresses on attaining Tao in human living. The writings of Confucius deal primarily with individual morality and ethics.

(also see Low, 2008c – Confucian ethics and business responsibility to the various stakeholders), and the proper exercise of political power by the rulers. Confucianism is not, properly speaking, a religion but it is more of a way of behaving so that one does the right things (http://ancienthistory. mrdonn. org/Confucius. html). Confucianism stresses on the Rectification of Names, and each needs to fulfill each person’s respective roles and responsibilities. For Confucius, “therefore, the superior man examines his heart that there may be nothing wrong there, and that he may have no cause for dissatisfaction with himself.

” (Doctrine of the Mean, Chapter XXXIII. , Verse 2, cited in Confucius, 1915). A Confucian thus believes that an ordered society is what people should strive for. In that sense, it is more this-worldly, and is a way of life rather than a religion. Nonetheless, the wisdom of the Old Master can (still) help us to obtain spiritual happiness in the modern world, to get used to the daily routine of our lives, and to find the personal bearings that tell us where we are (Yu Dan, 2009: 11). Taoism, on the other hand, focuses on achieving the Tao, basically on the spiritual aspects of life; and it is other-worldly and can be considered as a religion.

[Some have, however, argued that Taoism is not a religion. Taoism is a philosophy, a way of looking at life and a way of thinking about things. Taoists believe if one looks at life and think about things in the right way, one will be much happier -http://ancienthistory. mrdonn. org/Taoism. html. ] This author however feels that Taoism stresses on the spiritual aspects of life and it is mystical too – “Tao can be talked about, but not the Eternal Tao, Names can be named, but not the Eternal Name.

As the origin of heaven-and-earth, it is nameless. As ‘the Mother’ of all things, it is nameable. ” (Tao te ching, verse 1, Wu, 1990: 1). It is also said that one of the head-twisty things about the Tao de ching is that it never specifically defines The Way. The book itself is a series of verses, poems, Franklin Publishing Company www. franklinpublishing. net Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)119 and riddles, stressing on control but not dominance, fluidity but not ambivalence, and mystery but not confusion.

Nonetheless, it is full of wise, helpful nuggets to assist human beings in living and attaining spiritual contentment; examples include “embrace simplicity, put others first. Desire little”, and “weapons are the bearers of bad news; all people should detest them” (Lao Tzu, Verses 19 and 31, Tao de ching; McDonald; 2009). To elaborate, one should live simply while being healthily aware and refusing greed and lust. After all, as in the Chinese proverb, one should not “add legs to the snake after one has finished drawing it”.

And not to complicate things, simplicity indeed makes one’s life easier, more convenient and pleasant. And next, all of us should value or treasure peace and harmony. Confucius’ The Analects, depending heavily on analogy and metaphor, is, on the other hand, very clear and concrete on attaining the way in terms of human living, and for the overall good of humankind. For Confucius, there is to be good family living; and peace and harmony as well as the attainment of good community living. For Lao Tzu, there is to be oneness with nature and the Universe or Heaven. 3. 2 Practicality And Esotericism.

Confucianism is very practical, suited for pragmatic human living. In The Analects, Book XI, verse 12: “Chi-lu asked how the spirits of the dead and the gods should be served. The Master said, ‘You are not able even to serve man. How can you serve the spirits? ’ ‘May I ask about death? ’ ‘You do not understand even life. How can you understand death? ’ For Confucianism, in business, corporate social responsibility (CSR) should always be there: what is taken from the community is returned through donations, charity and other assistances rendered to the poor and needy.

In his study, Low (2008c) has indicated that the Confucian Golden Rule and Confucian ethics in the context of the stakeholder theory, showing how businesses can be ethical while being caring and compassionate for its stakeholders. Franklin Publishing Company www. franklinpublishing. net Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)120 In Taoism, the goal of each believer is to become one with the Tao, a force that flows through all life. The concept of a personified deity is foreign to them; perhaps there is the concept of an impersonal god.

The practitioners do not pray because there is no god to hear the prayers or to act upon them; believers seek answers to life’s problems through inner meditation and outer observation. [In that sense, Taoism can be seen as esoteric, abstract or not easy to be understood. ] Taoists believe in the duality of the universe, symbolized by yin-yang, but oneness is to be attained through inner meditation, balance and harmony. Taoist practitioners believe in nourishing life and the spirit by energizing or getting chi (energy), meditating and being in oneness with the Tao. 3. 3.

Groupings, Categorization and Non-Categorization/ Dualities And Oneness Because of Confucius’ Rectifications of Names (Fung, 1948), the role each person needs to play appears to have a lot of categorization (groupings); and love starts from loving one’s parents and family members first; and then extend out to love one’s neighbors and further extend to one’s community and society. In Taoism, there is this seeking or search for Oneness and no dualities or differentiation between animals and humans or humans and nature. Let me explain. First of all, humans need to widen their mind and horizons.

Humans often live and experience reality conceptually. We do not see things afresh and anew every time we look at them; instead, we create categories and let things fall into them, which is an easy and more convenient way of dealing with the world.

Apart from the smaller things, such as defining a flower as a rose, a vase as a Chinese Ming vase, an antique, or a person as a teacher, there are wider categories (groupings or types) under which everyone lives, including religions, beliefs, ideologies, and systems of government. Each category or type supplies us a level of psychological certainty and saves us from the effort of constantly challenging our own beliefs.

Take for example, humans often divide animals into ‘favorites’ or ‘pets’ and ‘domestic/ farm animals’ so that we can feel alright loving one and eating or consuming the other. Franklin Publishing Company www. franklinpublishing. net Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)121 Mindlessness, on one hand, is when there is no focus and occurs when humans are conditioned or at least not know that the categories to which they subscribe are categories and have accepted them as their own without really thinking, understanding and/or experiencing it.

Breaking away from, reassessing old groupings and being able to see outside one’s (individual/ in-box) subjective context (seeing the wider, collective/ out-of-the-box/ objective context) is mindfulness. We should indeed be perceiving things in un-habitual ways, and thus we’ll grow. On the other hand, when we are mindful, we will not be stereotyping and boxing things up, we’ll be in line with nature as things are transient and they also change. When we are mindful, we are breaking away from our egos and categories and in fact get closer to nature or Tao, the Universe.

Then again, one can also argue that both Confucianism and Taoism are, in a way, common in terms of the pursuits of the Tao (as said under the Commonalities of Confucianism and Taoism section), and the differences lies in their starting points, from subjectivity to universality for Confucianism and from mindlessness to mindfulness for Taoism. 3. 4 Filial Piety And Nature Confucianism urges the people to respect their parents and the old. They are to take care of their parents, maintaining good links with them while upholding the value of filial piety (xiao).

In the Confucian language, filial piety (xiao) means serving one’s living parents, and thus, resulting in the five (5) vital relationships in the Confucian Teaching, that is, the relationships between: i. ii. iii. iv. v. the royalty/prince and subject. father and son. older and younger brother. husband and wife. friend and friend. Filial piety embraces those attitudes of respect for one’s seniors and a reciprocal attitude of love and affection on the senior’s part to the junior. After the death of one’s parents, it involves religious obligations in ceremonial worship. Franklin Publishing Company www.

franklinpublishing. net Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)122 Taoism, on the other hand, emphasizes ‘going with the flow’, maintaining good links and in oneness with the Nature, Heaven or the Universe. In Taoism, we learn from nature – a flower falls even though we love it, and weed grows even though we do not love it. We love the animals and creatures around us. And we do not interfere yet we are contented; after all, there is a season and reason for everything; and everything has its place; just let it be. By accepting things as they are, we become impartial or unaffected.

It is good to follow the natural order (Low, 2010b). In following nature, we are in harmony with nature. There is no or little stress. We sit quietly… do nothing. Spring comes and grass grows by itself. Besides, a known yet significant point to note is that nature does not hurry yet everything is achieved. 3. 5 Rites And Beyond Rites Or Rigidity Versus Flexibility Confucius introduced rites/terms of reference to ensure people comply with the system. This is somewhat rigid; however, on many occasions, he would allow people to modify, change and improve the rites accordingly.

For example, on one occasion, Confucius highlighted that according to the traditional rites, ceremonial hats were made out of hemp; these days people make them out of silk, he approved of the common practice since this, after all, is more economical… ” (Confucius – The Analects, Chapter IX, verse 3). Lao Tzu was flexible in his teachings, and he did not introduce or follow any system such as the rites proposed by Confucius. He instead encouraged people to lead a simple life, following the natural ways of living and remain detached to the world like a newly born infant who has not yet learnt to smile.

(Tao Te Ching, Verse 20). To analyze further, we can say that people in the world consists of different personalities, and some people are so used to or prefer a structure, a sort of checklist or a religious (structured) approach to doing things (In Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: MBTI terms: Thinking; Judging Franklin Publishing Company www. franklinpublishing. net Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)123 Types) while others may prefer a less structured approach to doing things (In Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: MBTI terms: Feeling; Intuitive/ Perceiving Types).

They like to move, adjusting along the way, rather than an immediate structured, ordered way, all the way through till the end or completion. In Confucianism, rites give structure, stability and continuity. Rites are necessary since they provide the basis of practices as well as more importantly, standards. Confucius also stressed the need for rituals and music. For Confucius, ‘sacrifice as if present’ is taken to mean ‘sacrifice to the gods as if the gods were present. ’ The Master, however, said, ‘Unless I take part in a sacrifice, it is as if I did not sacrifice.

’ (Confucius –The Analects, Chapter III verse 12). Taoism goes beyond rites, ‘going with the flow’; and like the quality of water, flexibility is also applied. Chairman Mao Zedong once quoted Lao Tzu, “Fortune lies in misfortune and vice versa. ” In other words, the Taoist practitioner is often mindful of the fact that in every misfortune lies the seed of fortune, and in every fortune lies the seed of misfortune; and given a situation, (s)he is to flexibly apply the ‘right’ approach. 3. 6 Learning And Unlearning.

In Confucianism, learning and education is indeed critical (Low, 2010; 2010a). Confucius stressed very much on learning and he himself set an example of continuous learning throughout his life. “The Master said, ‘At fifteen, I set my heart on learning; at thirty I took my stand; at forty I came to be free from doubts; at fifty I understood the Decree of Heaven; at sixty my ear was attuned; at seventy I followed my heart’s desire without overstepping the line. ’” (Confucius – The Analects, Chapter II, verse 4).

Confucius stressed on learning; learning prevents one from being narrow-minded. For Confucius, it is important for individuals to learn. He used learning to correct his mistakes and improve himself, and he in fact considered Junzi (a gentleman/lady) as a person eager to study. Confucius said, “The gentleman seeks neither a full belly nor a comfortable home. He is quick in Franklin Publishing Company www. franklinpublishing. net Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)124 action but cautious in speech. He goes to men possessed of the Way to be put right.

Such a man can be described as eager to learn. ” Overall then, the Confucians see it as bad to eat one’s fill all day long, and do nothing to nourish the mind. ” (Low, 2010, 2008). On the other hand, Taoism stresses on unlearning (perhaps even undoing bureaucracy or procedures), and here it can be seen as being simple is both wise and good. Lao Tzu encouraged people to unlearn their learning for then they would not have any anxiety (Tao Te Ching, Verse 20). Simplicity is indeed embraced and it is wise not to overemphasize or complicate things (Low, 2009).

To the Taoists, the Confucian’s pursuit of knowledge has divided people and things (creating distinctions and differences between men and animals/ other creatures) as well as having complicated life; they also argue that it can also cause contention for profits and fame. Life is indeed simple, and it is good not to over do things; when eating just eat and when sleeping, just sleep; and in living, just live. More so, one cannot learn with an occupied mind, one cannot fill a full cup unless it’s emptied; one should not overanalyze too. Lao Tzu speaks of “stop thinking and end your problems” (Verse 20, Tao de ching).

Figure 2: shows a summary of key differences between Confucianism and Taoism Human Living and Spirituality Practicality And Esotericism Groupings, Categorization and Non-Categorization/ Dualities And Oneness Filial Piety And Nature Rites And Beyond Rites Or Rigidity Versus Flexibility Learning And Unlearning 4 Conclusion Both Confucianism and Taoism, having been home-grown in China and developed in almost total isolation from the rest of the world, have played a major role in the country’s three thousand Franklin Publishing Company www. franklinpublishing. net.

Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)125 years of history. And perhaps the world and the people can learn, apply and adapt the finer points and wisdom of Confucianism and Taoism into their lives. And to paraphrase Yu Dan (2009: 187), wherever we are, we can let the spiritual power of Confucianism and/or Taoism combine with our present laws and rules, fusing seamlessly together to become an essential part of our lives, to let each of us build for ourselves a truly worthwhile life. This is surely the ultimate significance of Confucius and/or Taoism in our lives today.

References Confucius (1915) (Contributors: Dawson, Miles Menander) The ethics of Confucius: The sayings of the Master and his disciples upon the conduct of “The Superior Man”. G. P. Putnam’s Sons: New York. Fung, Y. L. (1948) A short history of Chinese philosophy, The Free Press: New York. Lau, D. C. (1979) Confucius – The Analects (Lun Yu), The Penguin Books: England. Li, Y. Y. (1996) Chinese traditional values and characteristics of Chinese health behavior. (in Chinese) Chinese psychology and therapy, Laureate Book Co. : Taipei. Low, K. C. P.

(forthcoming) ‘Confucian ethics’ in Idowu, S. O. (ed. ), (2011) Encyclopedia of corporate social responsibility, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag Low, K. C. P. (2010) ‘Values make a leader, the Confucian perspective’, Insights to a changing world journal, Volume 2010 Issue 2, p. 13 – 28. Low, K. C. P. (2010a) ‘Teaching and Education: the ways of Confucius’, Educational research, December 2010 Special issues, p. 681- 686. Franklin Publishing Company www. franklinpublishing. net Conflict Resolution & Negotiation (Volume 2011 Issue 4)126 Low, K. C. P.

(2010b) “Zen and leadership – Growing one’s leadership excellence”, Insights to a changing world, Volume 2010 Issue 1, p. 1 – 10. Low, K. C. P. (2009) ‘Lao Tzu’s three treasures, leadership & organizational growth’, Leadership & organizational management journal, Volume 2009, Issue 3, p 27 – 36. Low, K. C. P. (2008) ‘Value-based leadership: Leading, the Confucian way’, Leadership & organizational management journal, Volume 2008 Issue 3, p. 32 – 41. Low, K. C. P. (2008a) ‘Leadership thoughts to ponder – Some classic sins of leadership’, Leadership & organizational management journal, Volume 2008 Issue 4, p.

65 – 75. Low, K. C. P. (2008b) ‘Father leadership and small businesses in Singapore – Case revisited’, Leadership and organization management journal (LOM), Vol. 2008 Issue 3, p. 68 – 82. Low, K. C. P. (2008c) ‘Confucian ethics & social responsibility – The golden rule & responsibility to the stakeholders’, Ethics & critical thinking journal, Volume 2008 Issue 4, p. 46 – 54. Low, K. C. P. and Ang, S. L. (2010), ‘Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)’, Chinese Medicine, Vol. 1 No. 3 (Dec 2010) p. 84 – 90, (Published Online http://www. SciRP. org/journal/cm). Low, K.


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