Confucian spirituality consists in the positive development of human desire for meaningfulness, that can be distinguished as desiring desire (能欲) or original desire, which we may call benxin 本心, the original generosity to go outside of oneself towards others; the desirable desire (可欲), which we may call chuxin 初心, the initial direction of desire to the good in many others; and the desired desire (所欲) that men should constantly guard against becoming selfish in the seeking and enjoyment of any specific object. Various artforms may be termed ''inducers of desire''; these induce the positive development of desire for meaningfulness. Arts, with authenticity and sincerity, serve to elicit from us unselfish desire in directing it to order and beauty, fining it, even to the point of seeking poetic wisdom. Then, unselfish desire should come back to itself and form a life of virtue, defined as excellence in the realization of one's natural abilities, and the harmonization of relationships. In the end, we will turn towards Confucius' religiosity, in dealing with his intimate relationship with Heaven as the ultimate reality, to which he prays in gratitude for even a humble meal, trusting his mission given by Heaven, and facing the challenges of life, even dangerous and life-threatening, with the support of Heaven.


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pp. 33-54
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