2020-8集团宣传片 改后 2020-8 Group Promotional Video (revised)
English subtitles movie 11:55 minutes
English subtitles movie 11:55 minutes
Confucianism as a religion
One of the first shrines at Dawu Group was a small, open pavilion. If it is recalled correctly it was dedicated to SUN Dawu’s wife. It was a peaceful place where one could reflect and meditate. Nearby was an open military museum which included an artillery piece and tank. They were donations from SUN Dawu’s former military unit. It emphasized the importance of peace, but through military preparedness and strength. This was a place to honour veterans who had served their country. Finally, close-by, there was a shrine dedicated to Confucius. Fruit was placed daily on the altar as a sacrifice to China’s most venerated teacher and philosopher.
These memorials reflected the spiritual side of the small farming community and Dawu Group (河北大午农牧集团有限公司). They stressed family, camaraderie and reverence respectively. The village and farming business expanded with the building of two temples. One temple was Confucian with its orientation to the Sun family clan while the other was Buddhist. With respect to religion, SUN Dawu is a Confucian while his wife is a Buddhist. The large size of both temples was rather out of proportion to the size of the small village. The reason is that it was intended that the village become a city which has been fulfilled.
9月5日 14:41 来自 iPhone 11 Pro Max
14:41 on September 5 from iPhone 11 Pro Max
If you don't deceive yourself internally, and you don't deceive others externally, the Gentleman is cautious. Be sincere or not loyal, or be true or pure. Honesty wins the world, and kindness is with heaven and earth.
Most likely, the Gentleman to whom he refers is either Confucius or himself as a Confucian. As to the author, he is a Buddhist by heart, a Confucian by intellect and a Daoist by spirit.
Dawu Group has had a special relationship with Unirule Institute of Economics which was a leading liberal economic think-tank. One might conjecture that one of the reasons that the institute was founded in July 2003 was due in part to SUN Dawu’s arrest on May 27, 2003. It may be that the institute wished to provide legal support and defence of rules-based governance.
Two founding members of Unirule were SHENG Hong (盛洪) and MAO Yushi (茅于轼). In an essay called Power is Short, Dao is Eternal, Professor Sheng said that “law is first of all the law of heaven or the law of nature”. Furthermore, the law of heaven is basically embodied in the written constitution. On the other hand, in an essay called Property Right is the Moral God, Professor Mao said that “Only when there are clearly defined and universally recognized property rights would there be a moral society”. It seems that together these views represent “heaven and earth”.
In 1992, MAO Yushi and TANG Ming founded Leping Group. A year later they began micro-credit trials for rural villagers. They developed a vocational school and job placement service for rural women specializing in domestic service. It was later registered as Fuping Domestic & Community Service Center. Incidentally, in 2002 the author was undertaking a similar kind of project on behalf of Dawu Group involving a four-star hotel in Dalian, a Japanese company and Red Deer College.
It is a fact that almost all religions are patriarchal. They reinforce a male dominated government and society. The three traditional religions of China are Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism which are known as The Three Teachings (三 教) where Confucius, Buddha and Laozi are worshipped respectively.
However, criticism has been levelled at Confucianism in particular because of restrictions placed on women. The Confucian religion has always meant that a boy is more important than a girl and a grandson more important than a granddaughter. As a result, women have gravitated to both Buddhism and Daoism which seem to be more accommodating with regard to women’s roles and issues. In Buddhism, the goddess, Avalokitesvara or the Bodhisattva of Compassion (觀音), is highly respected by women. She is the central figure of the Buddhist temple at Dawu Group. Modern Daoism has provided alternatives to women in many areas.
If Confucianism as a religion is to survive and thrive it must expand on the role of women. Women must play a more significant role in the Confucian religion with respect to substance and symbolism as they do in the religions of Buddhism and Daoism. Is it so surprising that women are interested in maternal lineage (母系)? Basically, women quietly rebel against the Confucian concept that a son is more important than a daughter and a grandson more important than a granddaughter whether in religion or business.
At Dawu Group women participate in the workforce, vote in democratic elections and run for office. For all intents and purposes, they have achieved equality with men in terms of participation and reward; although, it is unclear to the author if this circumstance is explicitly guaranteed by the Private Entrepreneurial Constitution (首先谁在这里会取得胜利) based in part on Confucian principles.
A brief summary of Chinese history regarding the merchant class and agriculture will be outlined. At the time of the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BCE-249 BCE) in which Confucius lived there was a classification known as the fengjian social structure. It was merely occupational in character rather than a socioeconomic classification. Confucius belonged to the shi (士) or scholar class as opposed to the shang (merchants and traders). The merchant class emerged during the Song Dynasty (960 CE-1270-CE). Basically, merchants desired to build wealth through trade. This period represented the shift from agriculture to commerce. During the period of reform and opening-up (1978 CE-2013 CE) the de-collectivisation of agriculture began. This allowed entrepreneurs to start businesses.
It would therefore seem logical if a member of the merchant class of the reform and opening-up period wished to reform and open up the Confucian religion that he/she would look to the Tang and Song Dynasties for guidance and inspiration rather than the Zhou Dynasty where there was no merchant class. Of course, it was also a time of Neo-Confucianism in the Song Dynasty where Confucian classics were used to support the legitimacy of the Emperor regarding heaven and earth. During the Song Dynasty (960 CE-1279 CE) women were allowed to establish businesses. They were also given large dowries and could legally acquire property. In terms of inheritance they were treated equally with men.
With respect to religion in the Song Dynasty, Taoism flourished at the time and Buddhism was also popular. With respect to Buddhism, Guanyin who had transformed from a male to a female attained buddhaship, but refrained from nirvana. Inner Alchemy Daoism refined qi “by interchanging male and female characters (represented by the hexagrams kan 坎 and li 離) to a "holy embryo" to finally dissolve in nothing (the non-extreme).”
However, it was under the earlier Tang Dynasty (618 CE-907 CE) where women formed one-third of the clergy (Despeux 2008: 171). “According to official statistics there were 1,687 Daoist temples in the 8th century: 1,137 for men and 550 for women.” By the early Song Dynasty, the number of women Daoists had declined; nevertheless, cults of women continued to flourish. The Daoist practitioner Cao Wenyi (曹文逸 1119 CE-1125 CE) was the first woman to practice neidan inner alchemy. As a poet she wrote Song of the Great Dao which extols the virtue of perfect breathing. At the end of the Song Dynasty the role of women rose with the Quanzhen School where they served as abbesses of major temples and leaders of local associations.
One might though ask why Confucian religion restricts equality based on gender? Confucianism has inappropriately interpreted and distorted the yin-yang of Daoism with respect to “gender essentialism” (性别本质主义) according to Chan Sin Yee. The distortion or untruth was done by Confucians in the Han Dynasty (202 BCE-220 CE. It was at this time that Daoism which had been the oldest religion was officially organized. During the Han, the Confucians identified Yang with the male and Yin with the female in a hierarchical structure. This structure is not implicit in Daoism which emphasizes the principle of complementarity or polarity (互补性或极性).
In his observation of The Selden Map (circa 1618 CE) of the Ming Dynasty, the author associated the Kun 鯤 with the darkness (Moon) and the Peng 鹏 with the lightness (Sun) in a polarized way. However, he also observed that they transform in a balanced, harmonized way throughout the year. It was observed that the Peng had both male-female characteristics and it was surmised that this was also true of the Kun. These were Daoist expressions.
It may be difficult for traditional Confucianism as a religion to accept the equality of male and female genders; however. it is possible under the guidance of a fully “enlightened sage” (开明的圣人). Under Communism which embraces an atheistic state--although in reality it mimics organized religion with idolization and devotion to a Supreme Leader who preaches that his One Thought fits like the fist of his glove--it is an impossibility. The choice that Confucianism faces is between more gentleness and kindness which tends to be a feminine trait or to continue an unnatural order of male domination and subjugation. By empowering women, Confucianism could advance an evolutionary revolution (进化革命) in religion.
The author though has not been to Dawu City for several years. Perhaps a Daoist temple has already been erected in his absence with its focal point as a goddess. A Daoist women’s temple representing the oldest, indigenous religion would go a long way in recognizing the importance of the role of women in religion and society, counter gender essentialism in the Confucian religion, serve as a means to harmonize the Confucian, Buddhist and Daoist religions and modernize the definition of family.
Confucianism needs to move forward to future generations through female worshippers and abbesses rather than be mired in a past of ancestor worship and rituals emphasizing male lineage. It would balance the Confucian ideal of a “Gentleman” with a “Gentlewoman” or rather make the distinction unimportant. Confucianism has had a Gentleman (绅士). It is now time for it also to have a Gentlewoman (淑女).
China’s greatest victory of the Han over the nomadic Xiongnu Confederacy was recorded in the Yanran Inscription by Ban Gu 89 CE. It read “Who first is here will be victorious” 首先谁在这里会取得胜利. If women are treated equally to men in The Three Teachings (三 教) then one might say “Who first is here will be victorious and virtuous“ (首先谁在这里将是胜利和贤惠的).
D. Carlton Rossi
SUN TEMPLE PARK
Lily Sun (Grand daughter of Sun Yatsen)
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