The Great Learning — Forum
The Great Learning was one of the "Four Books" in Confucianism selected by the neo-Confucian, Zhu Xi (Chu Hsi) during the Song Dynasty. It is a foundational introduction to Confucianism and examinations for the state civil service in China. His commentary of the book provided additional support to Confucius' ideals. The Great Learning had come from a chapter in the Classic of Rites and consists of a short main text attributed to the teachings of Confucius. There are also ten commentary chapters accredited to one of Confucius' disciples, Zeng Zi.
The Principal Teachings include:
- Achieving a state of balance and refining one's moral self such that it is a reflection of the Dao (Way).
- Ample rest and reflection such that one achieves peace of mind. When one is calm and reflected, the Way will be revealed to them.
- Setting priorities and knowing what is important is essential in one's quest for moral refinement, for it allows one to focus on that which is of the greatest importance and that which is in line with the Way as outlined in Confucian teachings.
- One must bring one's affairs and relationships into order and harmony. If one hopes to attain order in the state, one must first bring his/her own family and personal life into order through self-cultivation and the expansion of one's knowledge and the "investigation of things."
- Each and every person is capable of learning and self-cultivation regardless of social, economic or political status. This, in turn, means that success in learning is the result of the effort of the individual as opposed to an inability to learn.
- One must treat education as an intricate and interrelated system where one must strive for balance. No one aspect of learning is isolated from the other and failure to cultivate a single aspect of one's learning will lead to the failure of learning as a whole.