Thursday, November 13, 2014

Confusing Confusius

Are Confusius and the word confused related?
They should be. The ancient Chinese philosopher, editor, politician, and teacher, who was born 551 BC, was  not always easy to understand. He confuses me with his way of speaking, but I admire the principles he champions; strong family royalty, ancestor worship, respect of elders, and the well known do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself.

Whether he is the source of a religion - Confusianism - is a question in itself. But although it is sometimes discussed as a religion, it is a based on an ethical and philosophical system. Confusius shared many pearls of wisdom, but is also known for believing in astrology.

But being confused is something I know a lot more about than the philospohies of a old-time Chinese thinker. It seems to be a natural trait or talent I have.

The Uncyclopedia has some interesting thoughts about the confusing Confusius:

The idea of confusing was first discovered by a confused Confucian philosopher Confucius in the confounding era of confusion while he was confirming the creationof corn compounds in complimentary condiments. During that time, Confucius's son, Confusedconfused the concept of confusion with the considerably moreconfusing concept of confusing the confused into confusing other confused concepts with connivingly confident cunning conmen until it eventually carried back and confused Confused's career and created confusion in the already confused Confused's confounded father Confucius which caused him to condemn Confusedconsiderably. The confused son of Confused's grandfather's grandson, Confusing, attempted to un-confuse the Confucius family's confusing confusion by re-confusing the yet un-confused by asking Confused to confuse Confusing into confusing Confucius into confusion by further confusing his cousinConfusion, intoconfusion by confusing Confucius with Confused's confused confusion Confusing confused with Confusion's confusion to confuse Confuse's confusion by them allconfusing Confucius into confusion and so consolidating Confused’s confusion into one confidential confederacy through contemporary nuclear fusion but confusesConfused Confucius not into Confusion - since that was his cousin.
And the rest is history.
The page also says that the best method to instill confusion is to constantly contradict yourself. Interesting. I am probably guilty of that.

The etymology of the word confusing is also, well, a bit confusing. Most common is the belief that it originates from the Latinconfundere (to confound).

Similar words:

to bewilder
to mix up
to make unclear
to make higgledy-piggledy
and many more

It is obviously a well used word, having the need of many synonyms.

Confused bird . . .

Goal-oriented bird

Back to Confusius. Here are some of his thoughts:

  • Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
  • The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
  • Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
  • Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
  • To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.
  • You cannot open a book without learning something.
  • To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.
  • The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.
  • When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
  • He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.

Smart man, that Confusius.

Comforting to know, many of us are confused - every day. It happens to the best of us. Especially when it comes to love. Just listen to this 1963 version starring the fabulous Barbra Streisand of the song, Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered. She makes it sound glamorous to be confused.

Pictures today:
Confusius from Wikimedia
Two photographs of bird footprints. For some reason, bird footprints always make me happy.

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