Thursday, June 28, 2007

What is the Timeless Way?

The Timeless Way is an American interpretation of Confucianism. As soon as we look at Confucianism through American eyes and start applying Confucianism within American society, we begin to differ from classical Confucianism.

One example of American Confucianism differing from classical Confucianism would be an American Confucian aspiring to join the ruling class rather than serve the ruling class.

In ancient China, Confucians worked to become ministers or administrators in service to the Emperor. In America we can run for office and become the leader instead of the administrator.

As a practical example, instead of going to School Board meetings and trying to persuade the School Board to correct its errors I ran for a seat on the School Board. I have not won a seat yet, but I expect to win in the future.

Wm. Theodore de Bary wrote a book, The Trouble with Confucianism, where he considered why Confucianism did not make more of a positive impact in Chinese leadership. One thought he had, if I remember the book correctly, is that Confucians were never the leaders.

In America a Confucian can become a political leader. It would be good for America if some leaders were Confucians. We might then make headway in reducing our leadership crisis.


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