It would have been more possible to start on painting, today, if it weren’t for the fact that I got up late and then — for some reason — had to go back to bed. I say, “had to,” because after having gone back to bed, I was chilled. This rarely ever happens unless my body is very tired (and I, say, stay up past midnight). To be frank with myself, I was up until after midnight yesterday: and hardly got anything done that I had planned to work on, today.
I’ve gotten to the “Confucius” section of Ray Billington’s Eastern Philosophy text…and have totally lost interest. The previous sections (orthodox Hindu philosophy, unorthodox Hindu philosophy [including Buddhism and its later variants, particularly Mahayana], and Philosophical Taoism [I’ll just use Wade-Giles romanization instead of Pinyin, as Billington uses the former]) were useful for confirming to myself that I don’t follow any of those paths — at least, not exclusively, not religiously, and not at this time. It also pointed out logical flaws in, at least, Billington’s understanding of the doctrines…and the consistent masculine bias in all of them except tao chia, or Philosophical Taoism.
The coverage of those areas was also light enough that I could tell where things were being glossed over — though Billington’s text assumes no previous experience in studying Eastern Philosophy. Things were very simplified, as I suppose they had to be, if we’re spanning four-some-odd millennia over a number of different schools and geographical regions. Even studying Buddhism in-depth could itself take a lifetime — and still, one wouldn’t be able to cover all of it!
Confucianism…at least in my understanding of it, essentially tells people how they should live their lives. To be frank, I despise reading Confucius — and it’s largely due to his stance on women. If this were a class, maybe I would plow through the rest of this chapter (simply because Confucianism is still relevant)…but the book is a library text. I don’t have to finish it. There is the question of what I will do if, when studying toward my own ends, I run across another one of these really off-putting realms of thought…but I have other off-putting realms of thought, which are more relevant to me today than filial piety.
As for getting into the off-putting thoughts…I may be introducing this topic a little prematurely. I’ve found a number of texts on the subject, however. I did start looking up various texts on the history of religious concepts (for example, “God” or “the Devil”), but to be honest, a bunch of it is largely relevant only to those who hold the beliefs and possess the pre-existing knowledge giving rise to the concepts in question. As much as I’m not Buddhist or Daoist, I’m seriously not anything Abrahamic. In essence, I’m further from it.
There is then the question of what the rest of us do in attempted coexistence and tolerance with the people who clearly believe the concepts (and their applicability to daily life)…which is more along the lines of what I’m struggling to grapple with in the history of the concepts of race, eugenics, Social Darwinism, intolerance to LGBTQIA+ people, and attempts to repress gender diversity.
A history of the concept of race, itself — could you imagine majoring in that?
Of course, this study is based on the fundamentals of Sociology that I picked up in Undergrad. I really still don’t know quite what University major (or maybe more to the point, what University, which faculty) would give this its due diligence. The reason I got out of Sociology — well, one of them, anyway — was the fact that I did not see any attention at all directed towards minority groups and their experiences (Holocaust survivors, excepted: although even that, I largely found out about after graduation, in doing my own seeking in Public Libraries).
I also couldn’t really tolerate it for other reasons, which I’ve mentioned previously. Not that I would be at all proud for having to bail, but I was psychologically fragile enough, at the time. I don’t think anyone would argue with that.
By the time I finish this post, it should be about 10:30, and I should be getting to bed…if I want to paint tomorrow, that is.