The Meaning of Life 命

The Chinese word for ‘life’ (ming命)is also the word for ‘fate’, as in “that’s life”.  It’s also the word for ‘order’, as in ‘command’ – something that has to be obeyed.

Confucius said that at 50 he knew his fate (五十而知天命).  Fifty is the age at which one could look back and say, yes of course, that was meant to be.  The words he used was 天命 tian ming, 天tian for Heaven, or God if you like, and 命ming for command.   天命tian ming is how the heavenly bodies in the universe align and we mere mortals must bow to its order and command.

About Mary Tang

An urban orchardist everyday, a volunteer regularly, a poet sometimes and a blogger since March 2015. I travel when I can. Food is a constant.
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