Friday, March 27, 2009

A Meaning for Virtue

In the previous post we mentioned how the word virtue is disappearing from its very prominent place it had in the past. The character for virtue is one of my favorites and one that I have used many times in teaching. Years ago when starting to learn Korean I remember a maxim that a General who is brave is less than one who has knowledge and one who has knowledge is less than one who has virtue. We who are Catholic certainly have no difficulty with this, although it is not part of our everyday thinking.

In the "symbol" itself the left side can be considered a person who is walking.That is the body, our external selves. The top right hand side can be taken to be a person who looks over what he is to do 10 times before acting. The cross is ten and the the image below that is a picture for the eye. This is the action of the head the mind. The bottom part is the image of the heart. A virtuous person is one that has the body, head and heart intergrated. A very meaningful ideogram and a powerful lesson.

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