Kong Qui or Confucius was born in 551 BC in China. He was born of a noble man but his father died when he was young leaving him to help support his family. As he was growing up, China was undergoing major strife with states fighting to achieve supremacy. When diving into the sayings of Confucius it is easy to go deeper into his life. I invite you to continue to learn more about the essential meanings and his life.
He began following older philosophies which touted ethics as being much more valuable in relationships and government than brute force. At a certain point in his life Confucius dissuaded powerful rulers to stop using punishments and use charisma and love to handle issues. He did this by teaching them certain principles of behavior drawn from older sources of Chinese philosophy that he had studied.
His teachings of various philosophical concepts regarding right action in social and political arenas were shared with a group of his disciples. His disciples would later go on to collect his sayings and his teachings into a book that is known in Western countries as the Analects.
Some of his philosophical sayings are still popular around the world. Many of them are, at their very essence, restatements of what Western civilization would consider to be the Golden Rule. His phrasing stated no one should ever impose upon others what they do not choose for themselves.
Another statement was that enlightenment is humankinds liberation from ignorance -ignorance being the greatest cause of human suffering. One of his more famous quotes is, I hear and forget, see and remember, but I do and understand.
This concept can be loosely conveyed to mean that many repetitions will answer all questions. Finally, he bestowed many of these statements on his followers as a means to helping enlighten them. He believed that the philosophies he was teaching came from philosophies that were gleaned from a former Golden Age in China.
His teaching was divided mainly between social teachings dealing with proper individual behavior in society and political teachings. These taught proper ways of governing the Ruler and the people being ruled.
He believed people should follow Five Virtues. These were based on loving each other and treating each other with respect. This concept is part of his wisdom as well. It is also at the core of many of the great religions of the world.
There are many people today who still do not know about Confucius. China is incorporating schools of Confucius wisdom in many universities worldwide to help spread his wisdom, however.