I had an idea.
Interesting enough that I came up with this idea when I was watching a series about meditation and while I was supposed to be meditating. I could not help but use this time for an action rather than just focusing on my breath and it turned into planning my next article about Tao and Confucius and reflecting about myself in the light of these philosophies.
I think, knowing oneself is an important journey and it is sometimes good to stop and reflect about oneself. I would like to share my reflections while giving you some tips to do it for yourself.
My husband and me have a sarcastic ongoing discussion about me whether I am closer to Confucius or Tao as mindset. I feel closer to Tao way, but Alp insists that I am closer to Confucius. Maybe you would like to also explore yourself considering these ancient and influential doctrines.
Taoism (sometimes called Daoism) is a Chinese philosophy attributed to Lao Tzu (c. 500 BCE)*. He talks about going with the flow and doing what is close to the nature. According to Tao, you do not enforce things or grasp them but live-in harmony with processes of nature. The mystery of life is not to be solved but to be experienced. In nature, we see messages of Tao, if we listen to it, we start grasping the way of Tao.
I perceive nature as my temple and I love to observe nature, watching birds, hugging trees, touching at flowers. I get so much inner peace and great inspiration from nature. These are attributes mainly personal to me but they also has an impact on my work life.
The philosophy of Confucius, also known as Confucianism is also a Chinese philosophy that effected Chinese society a lot and still influences many people. “Master Kǒng”, who we know as Confucius, was an impactful politician and philosopher lived at 551–479 BC. Confucius is more about principles, order & harmony and emphasized personal and governmental morality. You might already know his famous saying, the Golden Rule “Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself”. Family and respect to elders, authority & tradition, compliance to rules are very important in Confucianism.
I like to bring structures to whatever I do at work. I am good at building processes and bringing actions down to process steps. From this perspective, I might be perceived closer to Confucius.
In fact, people who know me in my personal life would disagree, because I do not like to build or follow even the simple procedures in my personal life. I do not follow recipes, I make my own, I like to explore and improvise, so go with the flow.
Now I will again contradict myself by going back and reading the first paragraph :0 when I could not let it go and simply meditate but actively plan this project. So I might really be closer to Confucius mindset?
It looks like, our sarcastic discussion with Alp is an inner speech that I am continuously having with myself.
I will end my first article here and I will elaborate more about how you can evaluate yourself in my next article. I hope this one created a foundation and curiosity towards these doctrines :).
What is Tao (Tao Nedir)? / Alan Watts