A Note on The Analects
A Note on The Analects

During their entire life, ducks remain true to their partners. A dug pair. A Chinese painting by Charlotte Kühnert. (Nils Kühnert)
During their entire life, ducks remain true to their partners. A dug pair. A Chinese painting by Charlotte Kühnert. (Nils Kühnert)

The eight analects, also defined as virtues, are principles left behind by Confucius for future generations to follow the cultivation system he taught.

These eight analects include "filial piety, respect to your brothers and sisters, loyalty, keeping promises, courtesy, justice/fairness, being incorrupt and having courage.” It is said that anyone who lacks or disregards these virtues can no longer be considered a human, and has lost the protection of divine entities.

The first among the eight analects is filial piety, or respect a child must give its parents. There are those who claim that the aforementioned is the first among the hundred endearing attributes, and that insincerity is one among the first depraved attributes.

What's the significance of being an animal?

A baby goat kneels down to drink its mother's milk, and a young raven feeds the elder ravens. This is what we talk about when we speak of filial piety.

The rooster crows at the crack of dawn and a wild goose flies to the north in the spring and to the south in the fall. That what is called to "Honor a Promise."

When a wild goose or a duck loses its partner, they will remain single for the rest of their lives. This is what is called loyalty.

If a deer finds a meadow which yields good tasting grass, he will call the rest of his group. He shares the place with the others in his group. When ants find any kind of food, they will call the entire anthill. This is called fairness.

Please remember these examples in your heart, because they show that an animals also know how to practice these virtues. If a human does not have any virtue, he/she will be seen as someone less than an animal. Didn't we just find out that animals also know decency?

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