Angilbert (fl. ca. 840/50), On the Battle Which was Fought at Fontenoy

The Law of Christians is broken,
Blood by the hands of hell profusely shed like rain,
And the throat of Cerberus bellows songs of joy.

Angelbertus, Versus de Bella que fuit acta Fontaneto

Fracta est lex christianorum
Sanguinis proluvio, unde manus inferorum,
gaudet gula Cerberi.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Universal Ethic-Convergences 2-Other Oriental Traditions

14. Generally Buddhism is defined by the four "noble truths" taught by Buddha after his illumination: (1) reality is suffering and dissatisfaction; (2) the origin of suffering is desire; (3) the ceasing of suffering is possible (with the extinction of desire); (4) there is a road that leads to the cessation of suffering. This road is the "noble eightfold path" that consists in the practice of the discipline, of meditation, and of wisdom. On the ethical plane, good action is summarized in the five precepts (śīla, sīla) : (1) not to harm any living being nor take any life; (2) not to take what has not been given; (3) not to engage in sexual misconduct; (4) not to engage in false or untrue speech; (5) not to ingest intoxicating products which decrease the dominion over one’s self. The deep altruism of the Buddhist tradition, which translates itself in a deliberate attitude of non-violence, friendly benevolence, and compassion, reaches thereby the golden rule.

15. The Chinese civilization is deeply is marked by the Taoism of Laozu or Lao-Tse (6th century B.C.). According to Lao-Tse, the Way or Dào is the primordial principle inherent in the entire universe. It is an elusive principle of permanent change under the action of two opposite and complementary poles: the yīn and the yáng. It is expected that man wed himself to such a natural process, to accede to the flow of time, by adopting an attitude of non-action (wú-wéi). The search for harmony with nature, indissolubly material and spiritual, is therefore at the heart of the Taoist ethic. As for Confucius (571-479 B.C.), ("Master Kong"), in the context of a period of deep crisis, he attempted to restore order with the respect toward rites that are founded on a filial piety which should be at the heart of all social life. In fact, social relations were modeled on familial relationships. Harmony is achieved with an ethic of the right measure, in which the ritual connection (the li), which engages the human being into natural order, is the measure of all things. The ideal to reach is the ren, the perfect virtue of humanity, achieved by the dominion over one’s self and benevolence towards others. "'Docility' (shù) is that not perhaps the key word? That which you would not want done to you, do not inflict on another."(11). The practice of this rule indicates the Way of Heaven (Tiān Dào).

(11) Confucius, Analects 15, 23.

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