Dreaming Zhou Gong 2

Dear Zhou Gong,

I’m sorry I haven’t written to you for a while. I ‘ve been thinking of you – and meaning to write.

I guess you haven’t noticed my absence, since you’re very busy appearing in half the nations’ dreams. Since Dreaming Zhou Gong means the dreamer will experience something lucky the next day, the other half of the nation probably wished they’d dreamed of you.

Zhou Gong, its been a while since you graced this earth – over 3000 year from all accounts – yet so many people still remember you – or remember your name.

I have so many thing’s I’d like to ask you, if you can hear me from wherever you currently are.

Did you know when you spent so much time establishing codes and regulations for just about everything in governance – from building codes, to town planning, to the function of music in ritual – that your ideas would send shock waves down the timelines, lasting, indeed, to the present day, in China?

Did you know that someone called Kong Que, later to be known as Kong Fuzi, -Master Kong – latinised as Confucius, would spend his life reminding people of your example of ethical conduct, and would have temples built to him and copious books written about his thoughts, also still functioning and relevant to the present day?

Maybe you were just trying to build a brave new world, after the despotic and depraved last king of the Shang dyasty.

Undoubtedly you were attempting to live the concept of Trinity – Heaven, Earth, and Humankind – and following messages from heaven. Zhou Gong, they say it was you who first used the term Mandate of Heaven, when you spoke of how your dead father watched the heavens to determine the time of battle.

King Wu’s military advisors and all the assembled allies ordered a strike, but your father, Zhou Gong, said ‘wait.’ The generals were angry but they followed their King, who was waiting for  the alignment of Jupiter in Quail Fire.

How did we all know when to arrive on time? When the geese came flocking together, who was it who made them gather? says an ancient Chinese song. The geese were the stars that your father was following, Zhou Gong.

Did you know that this concept,   Mandate of Heaven, would remain so fixed in Chinese thought that even rulers without regal blood would be influenced but its gravity?

Dear Zhou Gong, how could one man have such a lasting influence?

Are you too busy in heaven dropping down to people’s dreams to consider answering my presumptuous questions?

If you are listening, somewhere, Zhou Gong, could you pop down to my dreams also? so i too, can

梦 周公

mèng Zhōu gōng

 

the featured image is a bronze bell inscription from the Western Zhou dynasty    taken from http://www.npm.gov.tw/exh99/bell/2_en.htm

for more astronomical information about the ‘signs of heaven’ during the Zhou dynasty, see David Pankenier‘s work  

Reciprocity

 

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孔夫子 Kong Fuzi’s lasting legacy in not only Chinese but global culture is his deep commitment to civil society.

Whilst his ideas about the correct relations between mothers and children, emperors and subjects, fathers and sons, certainly date the time he lived in, the underlying concept of social cohesion based on individual respect and social harmony is as important today as it was 2500 years ago.

It’s easy to dismiss Confucian thought as a dated legacy of a bygone era. It’s much harder to search for eternal truths masked by prevailing attitudes during the time he lived.

Sure, his concept of filial piety echoed with patriarchal attitudes. But let’s consider the time – 500 years BC. England at the time was populated by tribal groups ruled by chieftains, often at war with each other – the Iron Age.

Wikipedia has a list of philosophers alive at a similar time – but I don’t recognize many of them, do you? Plato came almost a hundred years after Confucius and Aristotle, another hundred years again.

Confucius’ most famous book, the Analects, was not actually written by the Master. Instead, it is a collection of his teachings, recalled by his disciple Mengzi, Mencius.

 

Confucius was asked, if there is one word that was important in guiding one’s life.

His answer…..

 

Reciprocity and the “Golden Rule

Zigong asked, “Is there one word that one can act upon throughout the course of one’s life?”  The Master said, “Reciprocity (shu)—what you would not want for yourself, do not do to others.” [15:23]

 

 

Confucius on the Bund

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孔夫子 Kong Fuzi, or Master Kong, Latinized as Confucius , is probably the most well known name in the field of Chinese philosophy. In this category, we use the Master’s name and situate him on Shanghai’s European-style building-studded river-front promenade, the Bund.

It’s a metaphor for how the ancient Chinese philosophers might think about today’s world.

What would they say? What would they contribute? How does their words and thoughts, echoing down through the ages, help us make sense of the modern age?

 

Spaceship China explores Confucius, Confucian thought, Daoists and Daoist philosophy, and an eclectic mix of Chinese sages throughout the ages…..  and wonders what the ancients have to contribute to today’s issues…

 

Confucius on the Bund is a metaphor for the implications of classical Chinese thought in the 21st Century.

 

scroll or click on the submenu to read more… fasten your seatbelts… ready for the countdown….

 

Dear Zhou Gong

Dear Zhou Gong

perhaps it is useless to write. Perhaps you can’t hear me any more. After all, you did live…. how many thousands of years ago was it?

Would it be better if I just threw the yarrow sticks or the coins, to hear your famous words?

Zhou Gong, everyone knows you here, everyone’s heard of you – they dream you regularly, and consult dream interpretation books that bears your name – what in the heavens would you think of that? But others – perhaps some of the readers here – don’t know you.

Did you know your name has become synonymous with boredom in classrooms? Zhou Gong online, they say, meaning they are dreaming Zhou Gong whilst researching online….

Zhou Gong, you became so famous even Confucius dreamed of you. Regularly, from all accounts. He dreamed of you to ask for advice, no doubt, to follow your guidance and example. Everyone remembers the name of Confucius, but who, outside of China, has heard of you, Uncle Dan?

Zhou Gong, how did you write the commentaries on the hexagram lines? What heavens inspired you to interpret the ba gua? How did you take the illustrious Yi,  the Yi Jing, the I Ching, and make it that of your father and you?

Confucius thought of you as a role-model, Uncle Dan. So that’s good enough for me.

What would you think of the world today? How would you modify your behaviour and thoughts, to deal with this crazy place?

And the pollution, Uncle Dan, what to do about that? 350 on the PM index – “extremely unhealthy” – and we go about our daily business breathing in hazardous air.

Zhou Gong, Confucius said

Extreme is my decay. For a long time, I have not dreamed, as I was wont to do, that I saw the duke of Zhou.

I must be really decayed. I haven’t dreamt of you at all. Ever. Not even when a good-luck thing happened last week. A very good luck thing, some extreme good fortune. They say that we should dream of you, Zhou Gong, before the good luck happens… but I didn’t….are you still there, watching over us all?

Would you mind so much to listen, if I talk? I know its been a long time…. 3000 odd years.. since you walked this Earth, but we need you know, Zhou Gong, we really do….

Confucius’ quote taken from the Chinese Text Project, the Analects of Confucius

子曰:「甚矣吾衰也!久矣吾不復夢見周公

The Master said, “Extreme is my decay. For a long time, I have not dreamed, as I was wont to do, that I saw the duke of Zhou.”

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