The thoughts and teachings of Confucius are systematized into a school of thought known as Confucianism or as Ruism. According to tradition, Confucius was considered as the author or editor of the Five Classics, the basic texts of Confucianism. 

The Unity of Heaven and Humanity

Confucianism pursues the unity of the relationship between Tiān and humanity. Tiān could be referred to as heaven, or the God of Heaven. In the Analects, he wrote that Tiān gave him life and Tiān watched and judged.

Five Constants and Relationships

Confucian ethics are characterized by the promotion of virtues, encompassed by the Five Constants, namely humaneness, justice, proper rite, knowledge and integrity. These are followed by four virtues which are called “the classical” 四字(Sìzì): loyalty, filial piety, contingency and righteousness. Another aspect is social harmony in relationships. Each one should be aware of his own role and responsibilities in society and fulfill them well. The tennet of mutuality is emphasized to this day. 

Jūnzǐ-the ideal man with virtues

A very important term in Confucianism is 君子(Jūnzǐ), which means “the ideal man with many virtues”. Confucius created the model of Jūnzǐ with the thought that it may be achieved by any individual. A Jūnzǐ may live in poverty, but he is loyal, full of integrity, focusing more on his actions than merely his words. Any righteous man has the potential to become a Jūnzǐ as long as he is willing to improve himself.

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