system of government in taoism and confucianism
If the sage would guide the people, he must serve with humility.
If he would lead them, he must follow behind.
In this way when the sage rules, the people will not feel oppressed (66)
Certainly Lao Tzu addresses the problem of leadership and calls for the true sage to act with the people and not above them. The best ruler leaves his people alone to follow their peaceful and productive activities. He must trust their good faith for ‘He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.’ (l 7) If a ruler interferes with his people rather than letting them follow their own devices, then disorder will follow: ‘When the country is confused and in chaos, Loyal ministers appear.’ (l 8) In a well-ordered society,
The painting is an allegory, describing the differences in the core philosophy of the three great teachers. Benjamin Hoff writes in The Tao of Pooh:
Vinegar Tasters is a common subject in traditional Chinese religious painting. It shows the Buddha, Confucius and Lao-Tse (aka Laozi, the author of Tao Te Ching) around a vat of vinegar. All three men have tasted the vinegar but react differently to it. Confucius finds it sour, Buddha finds it bitter and Lao-tse finds it sweet.
Religion, Social Studies, Ancient Civilizations, World History
Confucianism: to gain harmony with society
One myth narrated that around 604 B.C.E., Lao Tzu was born as an old man, already white-haired and full of wisdom. Eventually, Lao Tzu worked for the Imperial Archives as head librarian. It was said though that because he was dismayed at society’s lack of goodness, Lao Tzu chose to leave his home in Luoyong to become a recluse.
A lover of antiquity, Confucius broadly attempted to revive the learning, cultural values, and ritual practices of the early Zhou kingdom (beginning in the 11th century BCE) as a means of morally renewing the violent and chaotic society of his day (that of the Spring and Autumn Period) and of promoting individual self-cultivation—the task of acquiring virtue (ren, or “humaneness”) and of becoming a moral exemplar (junzi, or “gentleman”). According to Confucius, all people, no matter their station, are capable of possessing ren, which is manifested when one’s social interactions demonstrate humaneness and benevolence toward others. Self-cultivated junzi possess ethical maturity and self-knowledge, attained through years of study, reflection, and practice; they are thus contrasted with petty people (xiaoren; literally “small person”), who are morally like children.
Daoism and Confucianism arose as philosophical worldviews and ways of life. Unlike Confucianism, however, Daoism eventually developed into a self-conscious religion, with an organized doctrine, cultic practices, and institutional leadership. In part, because the doctrines of religious Daoism inevitably differed from the philosophy from which they arose, it became customary among later scholars to distinguish between the philosophical and the religious versions of Daoism, some taking the latter to represent a superstitious misinterpretation or adulteration of the original philosophy. That critical view, however, is now generally rejected as simplistic, and most contemporary scholars regard the philosophical and religious interpretations of Daoism as informing and mutually influencing each other.