Confucius: Words of Wisdom

Confucius: Words of Wisdom

2005, Biography  -   48 Comments
Ratings: 6.70/10 from 43 users.

Confucius: Words of WisdomConfucius had a hard life, and he had intimate knowledge of the sufferings of his people. He lived in an era that saw constant warfare between competing warlords and the casting of shadows upon the impressive Chinese civilization that came before.

Confucius wanted above all else to change Chinese society of his time and to rescue his nation and her people from the suffering and misery that stalked the land at that time. He was the son of an elderly great warrior and his concubine, and he apparently inherited the unbecoming looks of his father.

After his father's death, he and his mother were rejected by the family, but great poverty did not stop Confucius from constantly seeking to learn and grow. In time, he started a school and welcomed students of all means, from the sons of leaders to the sons of penniless workers, teaching the importance of hard work, education for all, and a disregard for class and wealth in the measure of a man.

He dreamed of finding a leader who would take him on as his advisor and, in this manner, bring about the great changes to society which he sought. For a time, he served as the governor of his home province and, for a few short years, put his teachings into practice with much success. He attracted enemies, though, and soon found himself wandering the countryside in exile.

He kept seeking a leader who could save China, but Confucius' truth did not appeal to those capable of instituting change in society. He died thinking his great mission was a failure, never knowing just how immense an influence he would have on future generations of men and women, particularly those in Asia.

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48 Comments / User Reviews

  1. kobe

    Wonderful documentary. I enjoyed every second of it!

  2. Sheila Kuna

    I wonder what he would be saying about the current Chinese flu spreading around.

    1. Brady

      hahah I know right

  3. ruthslater

    Well it seems confucius's message didnt take hold , china still has some of the worst human rights violations in the world , Tibet ? would question how much china listens to confucius. not that any other countries are any different.Confucius was a very wise man but as he says at 60 years old he learned to bow to immovable truths , well he should have realized then , and he says again "heaven is in control " . I thnk he realizes then ... we have absolutly no control .

    1. Muhammad Tahir

      The biggest Human Rights violater is USA. It bombs without remorse, It kills and justifies with collateral damage without remorse, it creates conditions of uncertainty, arms groups to topple governments who do not tow line. It attacks countries in the name of Democracy and kills in millions. It is not the member of International Court of Justice. Because he wants violate HUMAN RIGHTS. So stop talking of China! PLEASE

    2. Cofusion

      The current Chinese leaders represent a class rejecting the teaching of Confucius. Imagine BLM or Antifa taking over the US in a revolution. They do not represent the finest of the Americanism.

  4. Angelica Guerrero

    They left the part out in the written introductory of this documentary where he espoused misogynistic ideals.

  5. vastawake

    One very, very commonly repeated mistake is that Lao Tzu is the founder of Taoism. Lao Tzu's work the Tao te Ching was one of the first Taoist texts written around 300BC however, the Taoist principles as well as the I Ching divination system, Taoist alchemy & medicine, and living with the natural order of the universe in nature, Taoist meditation, as well as the Yin and Yang principles were being practiced by Taoist sages as early as 10,000BCE. However, it is understandable that many modern scholars simply misquote a commonly held misconception because of the fact that this spiritual tradition has always been shrouded in mystery. Many of the earlier Taoist sages were hermits and saw no point in keeping records as they were men of magic and the original renaissance men. It seems that many, many, many people including university scholars haven't done their research on this topic very well. If you actually go to Northern China, there are Taoist temples there that predate the supposed life of Lao Tzu, and the writting of his book the Tao te Ching (wonderful work by the way). But since time is actually only perceived as linear by most and is more like an ocean, the debate of which came first, the chicken or the egg can seem a bit futile. Loving the Taoist traditions as I do, I just liked the part where Lao Tzu meets Confuscious and tells him to be careful to not offend so many people with his words. I agree with the last part of the post below mine that you can invade a land and people mind's and hearts without a harsh word, a gun or a bomb... I think the world is ready for this...

    1. Terry Beaton

      10,000 BC, that sounds a bit silly. Are you a proponent of the 25,000 year old Pyramids?

  6. anuragawasthi

    It is Neither the outside wrold nor the chinese themselves know what process they are going throu,It can be termed as a extreme Nationalism on one hand in urban China and extreme feeling of dejection in Rural China.

    The Leadership is aware of the danger it faces from the growing young Urban educated population,as all its economy is export oriented its domestic consumption is still very low. so if We go in for a double dip recession there will be uprising in China and given the track history of its politburo they will curtail it with Iron hand on one side and on other hand they may invade India on some pretex to keep country Chinese still cannot digest the fact that their centuries of wisdom and philosophy could not stand the philosophy of Buddhism from India.....................there is a saying

    ""India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border."

    1. Top_Quark

      @anuragawasthi, this is what the Indians think to make themselves feel good. Buddhism and Jainism started in Northern India as peaceful movements against the cruel Caste-based society in India. Buddhism didn’t last long in India as Hinduism absorbed it eventually but it survived by spreading to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and all over East Asia.

      Chinese domestic consumption is low as the economy is controlled to a large extent but still they can feed themselves and don’t have the level of poverty as in India.

    2. anuragawasthi

      The Quote I mentioned was not said by any indian but it was said by Mr.Hu Shih(Ambassador of China to USA),and never did I mentioned that India is better off in terms of economy with China.


  7. Top_Quark

    Some seem to have a beef with China’s recent meteoric economic rise. Just can’t digest it eh…. won’t be long before their Govts too can’t bear it any longer and clash with China to stop it.

    Yes progress comes at a cost; China’s at questionable human rights & pollution mainly due to the use of coal. America’s progress came at the cost of millions of African slaves’ lives over 400 years and still using lives in Iraq to fuel the war machine to feed the greed of 4% of the world’s population that is using 25% of the energy resources and creating a hole in the ozone layer and global warming. Rest of the developed West is not much different to USA in energy consumption/pollution statistics but with slightly better HR records.

    China has had a civilization a thousand years before the Greeks became even literate. And they are an inherently peaceful people; don’t expect them to start invading other countries to pillage their wealth even when they have the power to do so.

    Watch Michael Wood’s "Legacy: The Origins of Civilizations" in the history section here or read the book by the same name.

    1. His Forever

      This topic is too dangerous to even talk about for me. I hope Mr. Razor lets you have it, however. With that said, I loved it there and want to return there again, perhaps soon. Never a boring day there.

    2. Guest

      Actually Charles, I tend to agree with most of @Top_Quark: inclusions.
      Except global warming, and peaceful people only as long as the top brass of the biggest standing army in the world deems it so.

    3. His Forever

      I will be brave and say that I disagree that they are a "peaceful people". The fact that I lived there and I'm fearful to say anything on the internet against them is telling, when I do have much to say. In fact, after you read this, I even want to delete this comment if I can.

      Peace to you.

    4. Guest

      Actually Charles, you are not in China now are you? So no "Great Firewall Of China", for you, would definitely be interested in what you have to say about "China" since you have first hand experience!

    5. His Forever

      Mr. Razor: I plan to go back to China, maybe soon. I really liked it there, but they read my e-mail and I was investigated (but not for religious reasons), I had joked with my brother about some 007 stuff, as well as several other stories I witnessed first hand that I won't talk about. If I went back to china, If I could even watch Topdocs again, I would even change my e-mail and logon name and even then probably never post again. It's that serious. I toe the line when I'm there and never get political, ever!

      Peace to you!

    6. Guest

      Yes, heard a lot of horror stories in that regard, from people I know that periodically go to China, but promised to keep it in anonymity.

      The internet there is completely censored, e=mails and all, if they can have the largest standing army in the world, probably have a large internet monitoring army also.

  8. steamknife

    As a Taiwanese-Australian citizen, I've been travelling between two cultures and know the dramatic differences between the eastern and western world.

    In my point of view, there are people who seem to be less fortunate to the middle class in the west. We must take into account that it is our human nature to focus on negative aspects more than positive ones simply because it's controversial and controversial issues are interesting (interesting things doesn't need to be positive). The media often exploit this nature to influence people's minds and some messages may crossed the line to become the so called "propaganda". I think everyone should very well understand.

    We need to realise that we cannot observe the foreign world with mere personal judgement and media information.

    My family has been influenced by China's Confucianism and the west's individualism. Frankly, we are not confused and am able to automatically determine their benefits. I must say that I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to absorb both cultures.

  9. adilrye

    I don't see how it's's just telling us at the end how Confucius has influenced East Asian societies...
    it's amazing to think, his social philosophy (without even invoking the concept of the divine) has had such a tremendous impact on billions of people.
    Also, propaganda generally isn't one is lying by saying Confucius has had a major impact in East Asia.

    Anyway, great documentary.

    1. Guest

      The ending of the doc was straightforward propaganda, of how their so called freedoms are making their economy grow, freedoms? as in how they censor their internet by "The great firewall of China"!

    2. adilrye

      Freedoms? He said "teachings". And they're right, his teachings about valuing education, family and hard work is instrumental in the economic growth of South Korea, Japan and China...furthermore, internet freedom isn't the only aspect of freedom; that is a narrow view. What about freedom from want? From hunger? Disease? Poverty? As authoritarian as Beijing is, it has guided China in more positive ways than most liberal governments have...

    3. Guest

      Right, the only thing that is instrumental in the economic growth of China is the subjucation of the poor.
      Substandard wages, atrocious working conditions, they work for pennies on the dollar, what do you think for one that makes all the money for "Walmart"?..." Made in China"!

      Have friends that have been there and are in the know, just go to your library and get current unbiased vids, on how China cares about its poor.

    4. adilrye

      Over 500 million people have been lifted out of poverty over the last 30 or so years. How can you say that isn't an achievement? Of course there's still subjugation and exploitation, it's a developing country...

      So because there is still a large poor population negates the hundreds of millions who have escaped poverty because of generally good governance and economic reforms? They didn't create heaven on earth, China still has a lot of problems the developing world has.

      But from going from one of the poorest countries in the world to a rising power with the second largest economy in the world, a growing middle class, better social conditions for more people, a more stable food can you say there is no achievement here?

    5. Guest

      It is no use to argue, gets nowhere, get your facts in order and then quote some empirical evidence, not just what you think you know. They are just words.

      You are painting a picture of China through rose coloured glasses. Like I said, in lieu of physically going there, go to the library and do some study about China. Get some current unbiased vids, I am done arguing about this.

    6. Guest


      Will give some "facts then will drop it. 300,000,000 destitute and poor in China.
      About 13% of China's population approx 203 million live on less than 1$ a day 42% live on less than 2$ a day.

      Children in textile and garment factories work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week and sleep by their machines.

      I could go on and on, this stuff is easy to find, that's what the internet is for, many reputable websites. on abject poverty in China.

    7. adilrye

      I never denied any of that. You seem to be focused on one aspect of China, totally focused on the negative, without any concern of the positive. 300 million destitute and poor? 203 million live on less than $1 a day and 42% live on less than $2 a day.

      64% of the population USED to live on less than $2 a day in 1980. Now it's 16%. It used to be 900 million poor and now it's 300 million poor. That's a difference. I'm not pulling this out of thin seems like you think I am, but it's a fact from many reputable sources as well. I'm not denying the problems China has and the inequality and exploitation, but surely you can look at the progress as well. It's like complaining because the poverty level has "only" gone from 64% to 16%.

      Also, you seem to be looking through a pair of glasses too. For example, you bring up sweatshops and act like that's indicative of China exclusively. It's not; it's common throughout the developing world. The difference in China (unlike most LDC countries) is that they're a definite minority. Most kids go to school. Looking through an anti-China lens is no better.

      Anyway, I agree to disagree.

    8. Guest

      Progress you say? Fine, will grant some of what you say.
      But at what cost? "Google smog in China"..basically a killer smog that is seeping across to USA...Re: "Greenspace: Smog in the western U.S.: Blame China"
      I know, you will say smog and pollution everywhere, but nothing like in China. So no matter how good you say things are becoming in China, there is a price to pay!

    9. His Forever

      I lived in Wuhan for two years. A blue sky was a shocking rarity. Utterly depressed me. I nearly died of a lung-related illness (not S.A.R.S.) that took over two years to cure once I got back to the U.S.A. breathing clean fresh Oregon air. Lung ailments kill a very large portion of the population where I was teaching. Razor is right. It's surprising but true.

  10. Guest

    An interesting doc. A bit of Chinese propaganda though, at how well china is doing now.

    1. Richard

      I think they are doing better than we are. we are in debt to them!

    2. Guest

      Yes, in debt to them, but what they forgot to mention in the doc, is the millions in China that live in abject poverty, or subside on paupers wages, basically to make products for the western superpowers, and to make the rich, richer in China.
      Don't forget they are still under commie rule. No freedom there at all, no internet freedom.

      The same as in most countries, except in countries such as ours that have at least some unions for the working class.
      And no commie rule. And we still have internet freedom. So we are doing much better then them.

    3. sorin

      to Razor.. China has nothing to do with communism. Is pure dictatorship - capitalism aka fascism. Is capitalism controlled by state, the wet dream of any corporation in this world. Real commies where not born yet in this world. I was born in an ex "commie" country, i know what is about. Just a different name to a dictatorship, or absolutist power.
      As for a country that have more freedoms that others, but this is going to end sometimes, as corporate power gain more and more vantage and people become more and more dumb an uneducated.
      Technological ,the west go forward , but social-politico-anthropological is gong backward. Like G.Carlin says : you still have the freedom of choice between 18 colors of the same candy. But not for long , if you continue to trust the polit(rick). In a real democracy people control the politics and not politics control the people.
      As for the so called unions. Today they are a useless piece of nomenclature. I live in west, now. and i had some direct experience with some unions here. Pointless. As corporations have more power, unions start to become only the servile speaker of them. Money talks! The past is maybe a glorious past for some unions, the present is a shameless one.
      Best regards.S

    4. Guest

      We have to stop measuring happiness with dollar signs!
      Let's learn from the best they have to show us, and let them learn the best of what we have to show them.
      Wonder what that would be if you take the $$$ out of the equation.

    5. Gwayne Li

      @ Achems. Srsly.. that's just plain cherry picking and is off subject of the point of the whole documentary... Are you basing your argument on this documentary on the issue of Propaganda from the 2-3 sentences at the conclusion?

      No seriously, I don't know how old you are or how long it's been for you since you wrote an essay or official text and had to do a complete conclusion. But either way... most of the time, stay in the topic but open up to a wider subject, and which summarizes / confirms the content of the said essay. Therefore, you have to continue proving your point. If however you end on the thesis saying that despite Confusianism's teachings and go on with the idea contrary to the ''virtues'' of Confusianism's teachings.. then what's the use of the said documentary?

    6. Guest

      Like I have said cannot go further on this because promised anonymity to people I know that have lived there many years.

      So no use to persist on this topic with me.

    7. Sieben Stern

      So if speaking well of Confucius and saying that some Chinese still follow his teaching and prosper is propaganda, what do you say about speaking well of Nelson Mandela and South Africans that follow his words? South African propaganda? Or what about the people who follow Mohammad or Jesus, just Christian propaganda? I prefer Dawkins, myself. Atheist propaganda!?

      Just because a system isn't perfect, followed perfectly, or creating ultimate perfection doesn't make speaking well of it propaganda (you might want to look that word up before using it). 95% of the docu was about his life and teaching, while the last 5% at the end was how his teaching is reflected on today. There was nothing in this docu that even felt that way - there's more American propaganda in pop culture war movies than this XD

      Hardly what should be considered propaganda.

    8. Gwayne Li

      @ Achems. Hey Fellow Canadian/s or W/e. (especially you Achems.

      One piece of Advice, just as Az said. You should really go look at it with your own 2 eyes before blabbering in front of loads of statistics. I read a bit of stuffs in this ''Debate'' And I am however surprised at people getting their emails jammed/bugged or w/e. Either way... Never Happened to me.. And I've done quite a few stupid things these multiple times when i was in China... pf nobody really cares unless you you're deliberately perturbing the propaganda. Otherwise, you get to go pretty much anywhere. And IMO, the government is the least of your problems compared to crooks or I-Pod / Passport thieves. Oh and another thing, at least they don'T cut alcohol with water. And muslim food there is great. And people get a liking to you if you pass by the same lil restaurant 7 days a week and even discounts mehahah.

      Oh of course there are social and/or political unrest. Let's just say, that's part of the consequences you face. If you think the risk is worth it, go on. And I must say, there has been much improvements over the years. Much more to come obviously. It's much better than Canadians voting for Harper.. We just Consciously chose to go back 50 years. hurray.

      Starting another debate: I'm a Quebecer seperatist. SO if people think Tibet should be independant, same should go for Quebec. Especially now.

    9. Guest

      I think your view comes from looking with visors.
      Been to China or are you basing these ideas on what you heard?
      You would be surprised to see how advanced they are in many fields. Poverty is real all over the world, and i see it here in Van on Hastings, and i am sure you see it in your neck of the woods. Our poor people have stopped working because they cannot get ahead and welfare makes it sort of easy. Their poor people continue to work even though sometimes not in the best conditions (thanks to our demands for stuff). I spent a lot of time near Dali and in the south of China and saw many peasants going about their life in very basic dwellings, they were as happy as can be. Now most people here would thingk this is abject poverty and unhappiness but in my opinion, and i have seen what you call poverty in many countries, poverty is not only related to STUFF, it sometimes has more to do with lack of love and lack of family support. Something they are not short of in most situation.

    10. Guest

      Everybody looks through visors initially, is there any other way?, In China, the law is "guilty until proven innocent."

      In China if the police themselves think you are innocent of a crime, will not pursue, but if they think you are guilty, then "guilty until proven innocent"
      That alone makes me happy to be where am at. Even though never commit anything resembling a crime, Cough, cough!

      And you are always going on about all this love stuff, in China, as elsewhere, it is always about MONEY! and more MONEY!

    11. Guest

      You bring ideas from Quantum physics in most of your comments and now you tell me that love is just stuff. I am curious as to how you describe love, again keep your pants on for this one. Even atoms show love in their world.
      Money is an illusion, just a piece of paper you can burn and soon just an idea to keep you in shackles.

      In North America, many people are considered guilty until proven innocent by new laws (just look at the pot situation).
      I am not saying our situation is like theirs, but we would gain a lot by fixing our own shite and letting them fix theirs, we would gain even more if we copied what works well there and allow them to copy what works well here.

      Now what do you think works well here?
      The only think that works well anywhere is motored by love, because love is synonyme with order.

    12. Guest

      See, again you are referring love as to horny things, as with the pants, shame!

      How do I describe "love"? Love is nothing more than a electro-chemical reaction in the Brain firing 100-500 trillion synapses to the 10 billion neurons releasing the feel good endorphines, that gives the illusion of "love".

      This doc of course is not the one to discuss such matters, not that I am particularly interested.

    13. Guest

      You are talking like a robot.

      Actually this would be a very good doc to discuss love,
      Confucius wrote a lot about humaneness as love.

      Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
      I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the center of your being.
      To love a thing means wanting it to live.
      Things that accord in tone vibrate together. Things that have affinity in their inmost natures seek one another. Water flows to what is wet, fire turns to what is dry ... What is born of heaven feels related to what is above. What is born of earth feels related to what is below. Each follows its kind."

      For me Love is a way to see positive polarity in actions and reactions all around me in nature and in relationships.

      The lowest form of love is "often" felt in sexual relationship because the heart is a clinger, it hoards, it possess, it dominates.

      Love is the greatess alchemical force in the world, those who know how to use it reach the highest peak.


    14. Guest

      You are talking like a robot.

      Actually this would be a very good doc to discuss love,
      Confucius wrote a lot about humaneness as love.

      Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
      I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the center of your being.
      To love a thing means wanting it to live.
      Things that accord in tone vibrate together. Things that have affinity in their inmost natures seek one another. Water flows to what is wet, fire turns to what is dry ... What is born of heaven feels related to what is above. What is born of earth feels related to what is below. Each follows its kind."

      For me Love is a way to say positive polarity and i see that in actions and reactions all around me in nature.

      The lowest form of love is "often" felt in sexual relationship because the heart is a clinger, it hoards, it possess, it dominates.

      Love is the greatess alchemical for in the world, those who know how to use it reach the highest peak.


    15. Guest

      I see it is not possible to cancel a comment...Don't know why but this one showed twice!
      Love will do that!

    16. Guest

      Robot am I? see you are doing your love stuff again.

      Will give some Confucius sayings on your love stuff! as follows.
      *Man with athletic finger make broad jump.
      *Panties not best thing on Earth, but next to it.
      *Woman who wear g-string, high on crack.
      *Man who suck woman's tit make clean breast of things.
      *Virginity like bubble. One prick-all gone.
      *Man with tool in woman's mouth not necessarily a dentist.
      *Secretary not permanent fixture until screwed on top of desk.

    17. Guest

      There's one thing i will never condem you for ...your humour, i love it, specially this early in the morning!

      we wonder while we wander
      things have not changed that much
      over the centuries
      women in all countries want their men
      to have the dogliness of a god
      while men want their women
      to have the godliness of a dog
      a goddame for a dogman
      the union of two beautiful inspirations
      can create 1 masterpiece
      or destroy two masterpieces in progress
      consider doing your magnum opus alone
      before inviting an assistant
      consider your assistant if you have 1
      1i plus 1i may equal three
      associate in harmony
      disassociate the same way
      sunflower and corn can grow well
      together in the same plot