The Scholar studies the Men of Antiquity to become an Exemplar in Future Ages | Book of Rites (Li Ji)
This single passage defines all that we aim toward in this life, and is therefore, the most important to my ideal here: contributing to the advancement of culture and education. It also tells you, as the reader that Far-East Asian Philosophy had an impact on me. I think of these philosophies in relation to what will come to define a renewed idea of Johann Adam Weishaupt’s idea of Perfectibilism and American Republicanism (the classical philosophy steeped in Stoicism and was revived as the philosophy of the Enlightenment and Revolution). If so, then I consider also certain limitations, or scope of “Western,” specifically “American” political habits, theory, and culture. This quote tells us, that the scholar studies the minds of past to become an exemplary human-being. This is in relation to what Confucius defines as ‘culture’ through li,— by perfecting culture, and the condition of an ideal-state of being.
“The scholar lives and has his associations with men of the present day, but the men of antiquity are the subjects of his study. Following their principles and examples in the present age, he will become a pattern in future ages.” (LI JI 禮記 BK. XXXVIII)