When first delving into the topic of weekly reflections I need to get something said right at the start. I don’t do social media. I do not take pictures of myself or others, I do not post memes, and I certainly do not blog. So when I was required to make a blog and regularly post things on it for a class, I was definitely out of my comfort zone. The awkwardness of working with WordPress also increased my displeasure with the situation I was in. In regards to every other class, my mind is hardwired to write an essay, hand it to the teacher and then move on to the next assignment. Having things switched around with the assignment available to public view and feedback is a new experience for me. Despite my initial misgivings, it’s proven to be a good resource. Having comments from other people in class helped me find ways I can improve and correct me when I get things wrong. With this explanation of my feelings out of the way, it’s time for me to get onto the main subject. I admit that I try to get the weekly assignment done and do not put in a ton of work. I make sure to answer every part of the question but I don’t really put in a lot of flair. A good example was when I was looking at the post where we had to explain a concept from class to two different audiences. I just split them up into two paragraphs which weren’t anything special to look at. In contrast, another person had it broken down in a question and answer format that was pleasing to the eyes. Seeing how they did it, I fixed mine accordingly. While the weekly reflection is not something I pour my heart into, I still try to improve it when I see ways that I can do so.
I have learned a lot of interesting things in this class. The oracle bones, five phases and beliefs about ancestors and spirits piqued my interest. Its staying power is also a interesting factor. The best example of how this mindset affects people today is the life of the gravedigger. He believes his life is very influenced by spirits and he has to make efforts to appease him to protect his luck. This mindset is present in oracle bones where the ancestors were asked for guidance on many subjects. The ancestors were believed to control many aspects of life and they had to be appeased with sacrifices. Overall, this all connects in a pretty solid way. The people in ancient times and to an extent in the present believe that their lives are controlled by outside forces. This leads the people to try to control those spirits for their own benefit. For the ancient Chinese people, it was the gods and spirits of their ancestors and they would require sacrifices of meat. The sacrifices would likely be determined by the weather and direction dictated by the phases. For the modern gravedigger, it requires coffin talismans and burning paper that has grave goods on it. These symbolic goods being burned are meant to appease the spirits of the dead. Both mindsets, whether ancient or modern, believe in a spiritual realm that regularly interacts with the world of the living.