儒敎經典의 孝 考察
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- Confucianism seeks to find a harmonious way of living between human beings as well as between humans and nature. It seeks to understand the way how everyone lives in love, comfort, and harmony, the way of Heaven, out of which it pursues to find out humanity, a desirable way of living as humans. Confucianism believes that human nature is given by Heaven. Therefore, it tries to figure out how human nature is formed; what is needed for humans to build character, or the way to cultivate the mind.
In Confucianism, In, the perfect virtue of selflessness, is promoted as the first and foremost virtue of all. They say that In is accompanied with Hyo, filial duty, because Hyo is the source of all virtues. Hence, Hyo is the basis for the practice of In and the fundamental basis for the consideration of others. The phrase, Hyo is the beginning of all behaviors, expresses such a point very well. The phrase from Noneo, Hyo is the basis for practicing In, emphasizes the fact that the most fundamental is the love between parents and children in practicing In. As such, since Hyo is the root of In, it is the source of all virtues in that it is voluntary disposition of humanity. Thus, Confucianism which lays stress on the way of Heaven, makes all of teachings to begin from Hyo.
We have to cultivate Hyo before we develop In. That is why Confucianism always talks about Hyo when it comes to In. In is the love for others and can be extended to philanthropy. Then, it is said that the root of the love for others traces back to Hyo. Eventually, the true meaning of Confucianism is to establish the right social ethics with the spirit of love by starting from Hyo and expanding Hyo to philanthropy. Consequently, Hyo is the starting point of all ethics and all ethics are the expansion of Hyo.
Hyo is a concept. But when you analyze its practices in terms of its intrinsic values, it can be summarized as follows: Hyo is the spirit of love, respect and affection; of not forgetting the root of ones life; and of appreciating ones life and returning the favor.
The first personal relationship in life is between parents and children. The morality between parents and children is the way of Heaven. It precedes any other personal relationships and is the most valuable and intimate relationship. Therefore, parents and children are supposed to love each other by the innate nature and the law of nature. Such love is Hyo, or the love of moral laws.
So, both love and respect should be included in the intrinsic values of Hyo. Hyo is the return of love and there should be love and respect. Confucius said, Hyo is to provide well. But animals also raise and provide their family. Without respect, there is no difference between humans and animals. Mencius also said, If you feed but not love, it is like getting acquainted as pigs. If you love not respect, it is to raise an animal. It means that if you dont respect you parents it is not righteous filial duty.
Hyo is children obligation to their parents. It is based on love and respect for parents. In addition, the intrinsic values of Hyo lie in the cultivation of morals and gratitude. The most concrete way of practicing Hyo is to take care of ourselves. Confucius said that our body came from parents so that Hyo begins when you try not to get your body hurt. According to Yegi Hyo means that parents gave birth to you in perfect shape so that you have to complete your filial duty by some day returning your body in perfect shape to the earth. It means that you have to respect and love the root of life. It is translated as that my life came from my parents so that to care for my life is to love and respect my parents who are the root of my life. In that sense, Hyo is said to be the awe of live and the respect of life.
Moreover, the intrinsic value of Hyo can be found in the gratitude for the love of parents and the spirit of returning it. It is natural that children feel grateful to their parents for giving life and return the love. Hyo is children return of parents love for them. In other words, the relationship between parents and children is to do favors and return them. The true filial duty starts when children realize parents love and favor from the bottom of the heart.
You received from parents your body which is the most important thing in the world. So, that cannot be comparable to anything else. If you feel grateful for that, you cannot help doing filial duty. Therefore, Hyo is the gratitude for parents love and its practice.
Lastly, without parents and ancestors, I cannot live here to enjoy culture. A human being who fails to do his filial duty is tantamount to animals. For animals, death is the end of all. Only humans have mourning, funeral, and religious ceremonies. In mourning and funeral, thing more important than having all equipped is that you have to grieve from the bottom of the heart, to serve with sorrow and solemn, to be courteous in ceremonies as if ancestors were in front of you, and to be pious. That is the most desirable way of doing filial duty which stresses taking initiative and setting an example of filial duty after parents die.
Confucius said, A filial son must do as much respect as he can when he is with parents; serves as much as possible when he supports parents; worries when parents are sick; grieves when parents die; and be pious when performing religious ceremonies. Although there are many steps in serving parents, you deserve to be called a filial son after completing those five steps.
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