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Notes on video lecture:
Confucius and the Art of Self-Cultivation
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
Bach, exerting, strategy, car, moral, automatic, deceiving, virtue, instincts, Western, self, control, unshaped, after, muscle, prescribed, effortlessly, spontaneity, horse, doubts, improv, master, frugal, honesty, flexibility, spontaneous, compassion, Romantic, natural, Enlightenment, centrifugal, ganglia, contemporary, new, tool, humor, kayak, permissible, transformation, polishing, external, cognition, instincts, hot, domestication, unnatural, last, wild, train, intensely, physical, Carroll, classics
strength of the Confucian                 
taking cold, abstract system 2 knowledge and build it into our hot system, so it becomes                   
creating            skills
give you flexibility and autonomy
don' need to rely on your system 2                   
cultivating the self
ritual
the                 
archery
music
various arts
you learn these culture forms
you train yourself                    in them
the result if you do this long enough is a                             
taking the meaning of these                  forms and making them a part of your hot cognition
the goal is to be morally perfect, yet                         
Confucian vision of wu-wei
                       and naturalness resulting from learnedness
a naturalness when you have internally completely        ways of being in the world
Analects 2.4
"At age fifteen I set my mind upon learning, at thirty I took my place in society, at forty I became free of             , at fifty I understood Heaven's Mandate, at sixty my ear was attuned, and at age seventy I could follow my heart's desires without overstepping the bounds of propriety"
at 70, he can do whatever comes into his heart and mind, follow it, be                       , and yet everything is ritually perfect
he has trained his        cognition so that it perfectly accords with the demands of Confucian culture
the model is one of                           
taking something that was          and shaping it into something new and more tame
skill acquisition
             memory
basal                memory
practicing things, using cold cognition
becomes part of your automatic hot systems
what Confucius wanted to do with moral skills parallels what we know about how                  skills are required
the two get melded
cold cultural knowledge
hot bodily dispositions
                  
desires
metaphor of carving and                   
what we are born with is not what we need
it is a raw, ugly,                  thing
we apply a new thing from the outside, a         , which reshapes this material
but once it's reshaped, we have a perfect artifact, reshaped raw material
this tends to make sense to us from a                          perspective
e.g. how to learn how to roll a           
the kayaking equivalent of Confucius in action
it's potentially                    because it seems so easy
the reason it is hard is you are having to do about six or seven completely                    moves
you have to suppress perfectly normal                    such as
flipping upside down
submerging yourself in water
panicking when you are upside down under water
have to keep your head in the water till the          moment
if you pick your head up you have a                        force, the weight of your submerged body will pull you back down again
so you have to suppress the normal instinct to get your head out of the water
so there are a number of things that are completely counter-intuitive
you have to keep doing them until they become               
how to drive a       
had to learn many movements then put them all together
we aren't born knowing how to do these things
contrasting with dominant                models of being civilized
Western model
conscious cognitive control
metaphor: your are constantly trying to                wild horses
you are the conscious mind trying to reign them in
cold cognition trying to control hot cognition
dominant                            approach
strategies for socialization
always                  cognitive control
Chinese model
hot cognition gets domesticated
metaphor: you riding on a well-trained           
strategies for socialization
domestication
commitment strategies
fast,             , reliable, and automatic (wu-wei)
you have new new values and virtues that you didn't have before
virtue
a stable disposition to act in a proper way
a normitively desirable habit
involves specific domains and situations
self-activating
when                is required it is called forth automatically
train people's perception
what is involved in                      is seeing opportunities for compassion
acquiring a              requires seeing the world in a different way
appeal
fast, frugal
gives you a degree of                        and autonomy
you can go beyond your training since you can go beyond it and use it in new ways
example
Jazz             : "I'll be Bach"
plays          but then starts messing with it
it's a compelling performance because he can play Bach
you have to              it first, and then bend and twist it in certain ways
language use
you typically can't employ            or make jokes in a language until you have mastered it to quite a degree
one of the last things you are able to do is twist language in various ways
e.g. Lewis               
"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in teh wabe, all mimsy were teh borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe"
Confucius as a true master
Analects 9.3
a ceremonial cap made of linen is                      by the rites, but these days people use silk. This is frugal, adn I follow the majority.
to bow before ascending the stairs is what is prescribed by the rites, but these days people bow            ascending, this is arrogant, and, though it goes against the majority, I continue to bow before ascending
two alterations of ritual
one is fine
one is not
he is a master of ritual and so he can tell when a change is ok and when it is not
In Analects 9.3, Confucius states that an alteration in a rite is                        if it will not, in the opinion of one who has mastered it, alter its essential meaning. Some people look at this passage and conclude that Confucius was about freedom and innovation. I don't know how one can interpret Confucius in this way, this is a guy who would not sit if his mat wasn't straight.
So we don't want to turn Confucius into a kind of existential         -making person, or import to many                  ideas of creativity into the Analects, as Confucius was an very conservative person. But he does emphasize the importance of flexibility and understanding the tradition in a flexible way, and unless you have this flexibility, you haven't really learned the tradition properly.
the goal of Confucian self-cultivation is to            people so that they have internalized the Confucian way to the point that it is spontaneous, it's natural, it's not self-conscious, and that means they have a flexibility and an ability to adapt to situations in a manner that someone who hasn't internalized it can't

Ideas and Concepts:

Milestones of life according to Confucius via tonight's Ancient Chinese Philosophy class: "At age fifteen I set my mind upon learning, at thirty I took my place in society, at forty I became free of doubts, at fifty I understood Heaven's Mandate, at sixty my ear was attuned, and at age seventy I could follow my heart's desires without overstepping the bounds of propriety. (Analects 2.4)"
The wu-wei of kayak rolling via today's Ancient Chinese Philosophy class: "Confucius' concept of wu-wei literally means non-action or non-doing which in contemporary terms is very close to how we understand internalizing new skills in sports, i.e. the process of learning individual movements consciously and separately and then practicing them in unison to such an extent that we can perform them in aggregated and complex forms without consciously thinking or being conscious of them, reaching a point of simply being in the flow. For instance, watching someone perform a kayak roll is potentially deceiving because it seems so easy, yet the reason it is difficult to master is that you have to perform a number of unnatural moves and suppress normal instincts all at one, e.g. flipping upside down, submerging yourself in water while your legs are not free, the panic you feel of being upside down under water, the challenge of keeping yourself three-dimensionally orientated, and having to keep your head in the water until all other parts of your body have emerged above water, since if you pick your head up too early, the weight of your submerged body will pull you back down. Once you have learned to perform these unnatural actions and suppress these natural fears in unison without having to think of them individually, you have attained the ability to roll a kayak with one pure bodily motion, in the flow, your consciousness in a state of non-action and non-doing, the state of wu-wei."
On the importance of both ritual and flexibility via tonight's Chinese Philosophy class: "In Analects 9.3, Confucius states that an alteration in a rite is permissible if it will not, in the opinion of one who has mastered it, alter its essential meaning. Some people look at this passage and conclude that Confucius was about freedom and innovation. I don't know how one can interpret Confucius in this way, as this was a guy who would not sit if his mat was not straight. So we don't want to turn Confucius into a kind of existential self-making person, or import too many Romantic ideas of creativity into the Analects. Confucius was a very conservative person. But he does emphasize the importance of, after the mastering of a skill, a ritual, or a tradition, to maintain a subtlety to be able to adapt this skill, ritual, or tradition appropriately in a flexible way as necessary without altering its core intention, and unless you have this flexibility, you haven't really learned the tradition properly."
The Definition of Religion
Mind/Body Dualism and Cognitive Control
Deontology, Utilitarianism, and Virtue Ethics
Wu-Wei, Dao, Tien and De
The Shang Dynasty (1554-1045 BC)
The Beginnings of Written Chinese History
Eastern Holistic Thinking and the Paradox of Virtue
The Golden Age of the Western Zhou (1046–771 BCE)
Philosophical and Conceptual Innovations in Zhou Thought
Confucius and the Analects
Confucius: I Transmit, I Do Not Innovate
Confucius' Use of Ritual as a Tool
Confucius' View on Learning vs. The Enlightenment
Confucius and Holistic Education
Confucius and the Art of Self-Cultivation
At Home in Virtue
Non-Coercive Comportment, Virtue, and Charisma of the Zhou
The Transition to Becoming Sincere
The Primitivists in the Analects
Laozi and the Daodejing
Laozi: Stop the Journey and Return Home
Laozi and The Desires of the Eye
Laozi: He Who Speaks Does Not Know
The Concept of Reversion
Laozi on Shutting Down the Prefrontal Cortex
The Guodian Laozi
Mozi and Materialist State Consequentialism
Mozi's Idea of Ideological Unity
Mozi's Doctrine of Impartial Caring
Mozi's Anti-Confucian Chapters
Mozi's Religious Fundamentalism and Organized Activism
The Language Crisis in the Warring States Period