Middle Path: Key To Realize Social Justice, Harmony And World Peace

By: Uung Sendana Linggaraja
Chairman of the Supreme Council of Confucian Religion in Indonesia (MATAKIN)

Lately, we have witnessed so many heart-wrenching events, there have been many lives lost easily in various parts of the world. Superpower countries are arrogant and they justified their actions with various reasons, 'punishing' other countries, which means war and the emergence of casualties. On the other hand we also witnessed a series of suicide bombings or attacks carried out by a person or group of people against others, be it individual or groups of people for various reasons and also for no apparent reason. Harmony and peace of the world, just like utopia are far from reach. Social justice is like a slogan that is far from a fire. Now the trade war is raging and spreading to various parts of the world.

We’ve then come to wonder, why can this happen? Many theories in various sciences are put forward to answer this question. Many formulations are proposed so that social justice becomes a reality, harmony and peace can be realized. For the writer, we return to the conclusion that extreme attitudes are not an answer, and in fact it triggers other extreme attitudes, there is action to be a reaction. In this life there always needs to be a compromise, there is mutual tolerance, there is a sense of empathy, mutual understanding, and mutual consideration. What is best for us is not necessarily the best for others. We need to go back to one philosophy, thought and spirituality that will lead us to social justice, harmony and peace, which in the perspective of Confucian religion is described as yin yang.

In the yin yang perspective the world is not seen as mere black and white, black and white is not a dichotomy, but is complementary. In the language of philosophy, yin  and yang dialectics are complementary dialectic, not dichotomy dialectic. Yin and yang are dynamic, equal and mutually constructive, not static, superior to each other and destroy one another. In the holy book Yi Jing it is said that one yin, one yang that is dao. Or in other words yin yang that is dao. And dao is the way according to God’s will, according to God’s law. It is in dao that humans will live in harmony. Yin and Yang are not to counteract each other, but to collaborate, move together to build each other, work together to produce something. Confucian who was a junzi (faithful and noble) view this life in the eyes of yin yang, because yin yang is the philosophy, thought and spirituality of a Confucian who wants to live in dao. Yin yang is a Middle Attitude, not an extreme attitude. Something lacking is just as bad as something that is excessive. Flowers that bloom will soon wither, after the full moon appears, the moon will slowly hide. When the sun has reached its peak, slowly it will return to fade and reach the darkness of the night. Middle here is not an attitude without principles, but the middle attitude is steady in its principle. The principle that is in favour of love - humanity (ren) and justice - truth (yi) and not the other. Siding with this principle, faithful and noble minded people always act virtuous (li) and wise (zhi) so that they become trustworthy (xin) and brave (yong) human beings.

Mengzi said, "A person who can act Middlely, should guide those who cannot act Middlely. The smart ones should guide those who are not smart. Thus people will feel happy to have a wise father or brother. If those who can act MIddlely wasted those who cannot act Middlely, who are good at wasting those who are not smart, then between those who are wise and those who are not wise, there really is no difference even just one inch."(Mengzi IVB: 7)

Middle attitude is not an attitude of holding only one direction, but needing the ability to consider the situation. Mengzi said, "Yangzi teaches people to prioritize themselves; so that just by pulling out a hair can benefit the world, he doesn't want to not do it. Mozi teaches a thorough love that is equal, so that you have to work hard so that the hair from head to calf is rubbed out, as long as it benefits the world, it will be done. Zi Mo holds the middle attitude. Holding this middle attitude seems to be close to the truth, but if you hold the middle attitude without considering the situation, then it is the same with the one holding one direction. Why do I hate the attitude of holding to one direction? It  is because it can damage the Dao (the Holy Way), which only sees one thing and neglects the other hundred. "(Mengzi VIIA: 26)
Dialogue and cooperation are built because the people involved are willing to act middlely, not extremely. In dialogue and cooperation, a middle path is always needed. The middle path does not mean that an agreement is a must, rather, agreeing to disagree is also a middle path. The middle path is built with a middle attitude. The middle attitude is built because of our ability to keep trying to accept differences, promote virtue, control lust, ego, steadfastness and desire to defeat or dominate others.

It was said, "Happy, angry, sad, delight / like, before they arise, are named Middle; after arising but still within the Middle limit, are named Harmony; Middle is the main point of the world and that harmony is the way to lead Dao (the Holy Way) in the world. "(Zhong Yong Main Chapter: 4)

As humans, we are not just individual beings, but also  social beings. Humans are not just biological beings, but also spiritual beings. Humans have a time limit to do something because humans are not immortal beings. They are limited by age. Humans are also limited by their place and environment. Humans are not just rational beings, but also emotional beings. Humans cannot be separated from the yin yang law. Because Yin Yang is God's law. As humans we need to know the limits because us humans have boundaries, awareness of limitations that will lead to mutual constructive cooperation. So the desire to dominate other human beings is not an attitude that reflects our humanity, it exceeds the limits of  humanity. In harmony with the law of God, as human beings, we must keep it within the Middle boundary, because by remaining in the Middle boundary, we can be Harmonious. And that harmony is the way for humans to lead the Dao (the Holy Way) life in the world. Thus in the end prosperity will cover the heavens and the earth, all beings and things will be preserved.

"If Middle and Harmony can be realized, then prosperity will cover the heavens and the earth, all beings and things will be preserved." (Zhong Yong Main Chapter: 5)
War, colonization, climate change, extremism, suicide bombings, trade wars, greed, desire to control people and other nations, floods, closed dialogue, blasphemy, hate speech, negating and hating others, feeling right and others not true, hoax, not knowing the goodness in what we hate and not knowing the ugliness in what we like and much more is the impact of our failure to be middle and harmonious and take the middle ground and that keeps us from social justice (welfare), harmony and world peace .

"Every object has a base and edge, each case has a beginning and an end. People who know what is then and what is later, they are close to Dao (Holy Way)."(Da Xue Main Chapter: 3)

How important is the Middle Way to realize social justice, world harmony and peace formulated into Eight Messages from Jakarta, which is an agreement reached at the World Confucian Religion Congress in Jakarta on the anniversary of the birth of the Kongzi Prophet 2568 Kongzili on 18 October 2017 and organized by MATAKIN with the theme "Building Harmony and Golden Mean to Create Welfare and World Peace", as quoted below:

Wei De Dong Tian
01. A Peaceful world is not an impossible task to actualize if we strive for it and build both harmony and golden mean.
02. Harmony should be built from family as smallest unit of society, nation and the world.
03. Golden mean can only be actualized through if every individual, family, group is able to control self-ego, have their own responsibilities and togetherness, giving first before demanding and always consciously think of greater good, realize their respective role as parents or children, husband or wife, friend or companion, and leader or member of a community.
04. Equality is the key crucial factor and must be prioritized, as Confucius said, "When there is equality there is no poverty and where there is equality there is no discord." To achieve equality, we must show appreciation for those who made an achievement or contributed and on the other hand, care for marginalized people.
05. Religion should give solutions to the problems of humanity based on respecting differences on the one side and strengthen similarity on the other sides. What is same should not be differentiated, what is different should not be forced io be same. Confucian religion, people and leaders should actively become a bridge between communities through interfaith dialogue, spreading information in local or native language with respect to local culture and diversity in order to build mutual u nde rsta n d ing.
06. Education should be fully accessible to everyone and include all of these aspects: lntellectual, emotional, spiritual, moral-ethics, complete and holistic, therefore a superior, well-educated person can realize him/herself as God's creation and friend to fellow humans and nature, which is called '1unzi" in Confucian terminology.
07. lt is better for us to avoid debating whether Confucianism is a religion or philosophy or moral ethics, because every religion truly has the above dimension. lt is more beneficial if Confucian people and scholars aspire to emulate the Great Prophet Confucius-respecting our elders, trusting friends, companions and fellow humans, and guiding younger generations with benevolence. ln each respective household and together with other religions, to reflect on their respective wisdoms thus dedicating themselves to world peace and welfare.
08. Confucians and Confucian scholars from all over the world believe that within the four seas, all people are brothers and sisters and thus have to work together and help each other for common virtue and prosperity. We must consciously break the limits and discriminative barriers made by primordial bonds or any beneficial parties. Confucian religion should also be free from exclusive association with a specific ethnicity.

We believe that if we strive for Harmony and the Golden Mean, welfare and world peace can be accomplished.

Ketum Matakin bpk. Uung Sendana  menerima plakat dari UKP DKAAP bpk. Din Syamsuddin.



Foto bersama sebagian peserta World Peace Forum yang dihadiri perwakilan 45 negara.


Utusan Matakin berbincang dengan Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew Ketua  Cheng Ho Multicultural, seorang penganut Agama Khonghucu dari Malaysia.


Matakin diwakili oleh: Uung Sendana (Ketum), Js. Budi Suniarto (Kabid Pemuda) dan Yudi Andradi Gunawan (Wakil Ketua Makin Ranca Bungur)


.Ketum dan Kabid Pemuda Matakin berfoto bersama Ketum PGI