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Concept Of Religion And Spirituality

According to Confucians, spiritual development comes after physical, emotional, and mental development. One must first learn to know oneself and to respect and honor oneself as one goes about daily business. As Confucius said, "If you don't know how to live as a person, how can you serve the spirit?" (Confucian Analects, Confucius 1971 [500 B.C.E.]). Confucius avoided talking about extraordinary things, feats of strength (violence), disorder, and religious gods (Confucian Analects, Confucius 1971 [500 B.C.E.]). Confucianism stresses being spiritual, but not religious.

Concept of Jen as loving relationship. Jen is a proper relationship between two parties, a loving and caring relationship to reach humanity. Meditation is considered a cornerstone to search for self, find truth, and achieve individual and collective goals.

Concept of harmony. A central feature of Confucianism is harmony between people and their environment, Nature, or Tao. The Tao Chi (Yin-Yang diagram) is an example of the value of harmony with the environment. It is also applied to the concept of health for energy (qi/chi), balance for disease prevention, healing, and the development of human potential. Meditation is a way of managing energy that is applied to reach physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual harmony for individual holistic health.

This core value of Confucianism has had positive and negative effects on Chinese history; it became quite detrimental to women and children. Contemporary Confucians prescribe family conflict resolution to remedy this. The younger generations are not allowed to express their opinions before their elders. According to social standards, women and children who were abused are still expected to be submissive. Social workers and helping professionals must understand the hidden cultural dynamics to deal with the root philosophies and beliefs as they try to help people.

Family conflict resolution. Based on the Yin Yang theory from the Tai Chi diagram, contemporary Confucians such as Douglas K. Chung (1993a) prescribe the family conflict resolution model. It is an example of innovation of Confucianism in redefining the image of Tao through daily practice. In the model, any systems' solutions to conflict resolutions and goals for development aim to integrate love ( Jen), justice, freedom, and fidelity (the image of Tao) in the dynamics. The approach aims to fulfill human needs (love). Justice is seen by the end of the cycle under perfectly equal treatment. Freedom is practiced by volunteer choice and participation in negotiation and compromise—the flexibility of mean line and possibility of forming new systems. Faithfulness is reached by the stability, repeatability, and accountability of leadership and/or revealed by the natural laws. Role equity and role change, therefore, are the core implication of the Yin-Yang Theory.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsConfucianism - History Of Confucianism, Confucian Worldview, Confucian Meditation And Family Integration, Confucian Family Teaching, Stages And Rituals Of Life Transformation