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Confucius puzzled by kids

Jan 9, 2009

Storyteller: Around 2,500 years ago, in ancient China, it was the time of Spring and Autumn period and Warring States period.  Although it was wrought with chaos and bloody battles, it is also known as the Golden Age of Chinese philosophy because various thoughts and ideas were developed and discussed freely, an era of great cultural and intellectual expansion in China.  There are “Hundred Schools of Thought”, and some of them don’t respect the Confucius as others do.  Here is one example.

Confucius puzzled by kids – by LieZi

Confucius was traveling around the east, encountered two children in the discussion of issues related to the sun.

Confucius was traveling around the East to lobby the governors.  One day, on the road he encountered two children arguing.  He stepped forward and asked: “What are you debating for?”

A child said: “I think the morning sun is closer to us, and  by noon, the sun is then far away from us.”

Confucius is very interested and asked: “Can you talk about your reasons for it?”

confucious_puzzled_by_kids

Confucius_puzzled_by_kids

One child replied: “The morning sun is as big as a tent or an umbrella; by noon, it is only a plate, or a bowl size. Isn’t this correct that things look big when close and small when far? “

The other child argued: “The morning sun feels cool; by noon, it feels like soaking in hot soup.  Isn’t this correct that flame feels cooler when far and hotter when close? “

Confucius was puzzled, and could not judge who was right by the moment.

Two children smiled: “Aren’t you a very knowledgeable scholar?”

This story tells: The knowledge is infinite. Even a very profound knowledgeable saint as the Confucius, there are still many things that he does not know.

[Reference]
1. Hundred schools of thought: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_Schools_of_Thought
2. 《列子 – 汤问》<LieZi – The Questions of Tang>

[Recommended reading]
1. Amazon Bestseller Book on LieZi: The Book of Lieh-Tzu
2. Another Book:  Taoist Teachings from the Book of Lieh Tzü

[Chinese Keyword]
孔子与两小儿辩日

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