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Confucius on Actions and Learning

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8 months ago

Confucius said:

 

 

“To learn something and at ties to practise it--surely that is a pleasure? To have friends coming from distant places--surely that is a delightful? But not to be resentful at others’ failure to appreciate one--surely that is to be a true gentleman?

 

He puts his sayings into action before adopting them as guidelines.

 

To sacrifice to the spirits of ancestors who are not one’s own is obsequiousness, and to see what is right and not do it is cowardice.

 

There are few indeed who fail in something through exercising restraint.

 

Those who understand a thing are not equal to those who are fond of it, and those who are fond of it are not equal to those who delight in it.

 

If one is extravagant, then one becomes imprudent; if one is frugal, then one becomes inflexible. It is better for one to be set in one’s ways than imprudent.

 

The gentleman is calm and peaceful; the small man is always emotional.

 

Love of courage and hatred of poverty brings lawlessness. Excessive hatred of those who are not humane although human also results in lawlessness.

 

The Master cut out four things. He never took anything for granted, he never insisted on certainty, he was never inflexible and never egotistical.

 

Zilu asked about serving ghosts and spirits. The Master said: ‘If one is not yet capable of serving men, how can one serve ghosts?’ He ventured to ask about the dead, and the Master said: ‘If one does not yet understand life, how does one understand death?’

 

The gentleman is neither worried nor afraid. If when he looks within he is not diseased, then what does he worry about and what does he fear?

 

The ways of the gentleman are three but I have no ability in them: the humane do not worry; the wise are not perplexed; and the courageous do not feel fear.

 

If one demands much from oneself and places little responsibility on others, then one will keep discontent at bay.

 

If one commits an error and does not reform, this is what is meant by an error.

 

In words the purpose is simply to get one’s point across.

 

Have you heard the six sayings about the six hidden consequences? If one loves humaneness but does not love learning, the consequence of this is folly; if one loves understanding but does not love learning, the consequence of this is unorthodoxy; if one loves good faith but does not love learning, the consequence of this is damaging behavior; if one loves straightforwardness but does not love learning, the consequence of this is rudeness; if one loves courage but does not love learning, the consequence of this is rebelliousness; if one loves strength but does not love learning, the consequence of this is violence.

 

If one does not understand fate, one has no means of becoming a gentleman; if one does not understand the rites, one has no means of taking one’s stand; if one does not understand words, one has no means of understanding people.”




Latent Thoughts #08

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Source: https://www.amazon.com/Analects-Oxford-Classics-Confucius-Paperback/dp/B011DAGU1I

Painting: Herd of Deer in a Maple Grove by Anonymous

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