DOI link for Chung-yi Cheng
Chung-yi Cheng book
There is a misunderstanding that the Confucian religious tradition places greater emphasis on the individual than on the community. To introduce Confucianism by means of the notion of self-inquiry is only to contend that the personal disposition to seek a meaningful connection between one's inner life and the external world is fundamental to the living out of a religious life. Benevolence towards one's self as well as towards others is what one may gradually realize through the ceaseless process of self-inquiry, and it is usually sparked by an affective response to suffering in others. As Mencius famously puts it in the case of one who happens to see a child about to fall into a well, "one's heart/mind would be filled with alarm, distress, pity and compassion, not because one wanted to get in the good graces of the child's parents, nor because one wished to win the praise of neighbours and friends, nor because one disliked cry of child".