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Spiritual and philosophical quotes of confucianist religion

Onelittleangel > Confucianism
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H uman nature at its source is absobutely tranquil and unaffected by externality. When it is affected by contact with the external world, consciousness and knowledge emerge. Only those who fully develop their nature can unify the state of formlessness and unaffectedness, and the state of objectification and affectedness.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2357 | 
Chang Tsai, Cheng-meng, Ch.1, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 30 







T he Great Vacuity (Hsu) has no physical form. It is the original substance of material force. Its integration and disintegration are but objectifications caused by Change.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2356 | 
Chang Tsai, Cheng-meng, Ch.1, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 30 







T he Great Harmony is called the Way (Tao, Moral Law). It embraces the nature which underlies all counter processes of floating and sinking, rising and falling, and motion and rest. It is the origin of the process of fusion and intermingling, of overcoming and being overcome, and of expansion and contraction. At the commencement, these processes are incipient, subtle, obscure, easy, and simple, but at the end they are extensive, great, strong, and firm. It is ch'ien (Heaven) that begins with the knowledge of Change, and k'un (Earth) that models after simplicity. That which is dispersed, differentiated, and capable of assuming form becomes material force (ch'i), and that which is pure, penetrating, and capable of assuming form becomes spirit. Unless the whole universe is in the process of fusion and intermingling like fleeting forces moving in all directions, it may not be called Great Harmony.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2355 | 
Chang Tsai, Cheng-meng, CORRECTING YOUTHFUL IGNORANCE, Ch.1, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 30 







W ealth, honor, blessing, and benefits are meant for the enrichment of my life, while poverty, humble station, and sorrow are meant to help me to fulfillment.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2354 | 
Chang Tsai, Cheng-meng, 1:1a-6b , THE WESTERN INSCRIPTION, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 30 







H e who disobeys [the Principle of Nature] violates virtue. He who destroys humanity is a robber. He who promotes evil lacks [moral] capacity. But he who puts his moral nature into practice and brings his physical existence into complete fulfillment can match [Heaven and Earth].




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2353 | 
Chang Tsai, Cheng-meng, ch 17, THE WESTERN INSCRIPTION, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 30 







H eaven is my father and Earth is my mother, and even such a small creature as I finds an intimate place in their midst.
Therefore that which fills the universe I regard as my body and that which directs the universe I consider as my nature.
All people are my brothers and sisters, and all things are my companions.





Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2352 | 
Chang Tsai, Cheng-meng, ch. 17, THE WESTERN INSCRIPTION, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 30 







H eaven is born of activity and Earth is born of tranquillity. The interaction of activity and tranquillity gives full development to the Way of Heaven and Earth. At the first appearance of activity, yang is produced. As activity reaches its limit, yin is produced. The interaction of yin and yang gives full development to the functions of Heaven. At the first appearance of tranquillity, the element of weakness is produced. When weakness reaches its limit, the element of strength is produced. The interaction of these two elements gives full development to the functions of Earth. Greater activity is called major yang, while greater tranquillity is called major yin. Lesser activity is called minor yang, while lesser tranquillity is called minor yin. Major yang constitutes the sun; major yin, the moon; lesser yang, the stars; and lesser yin, the zodiacal spaces. The interaction of the sun, moon, stars, and zodiacal spaces gives full development to the substance of Heaven. Greater tranquillity is called major weakness, while lesser tranquillity is called minor weakness. Greater activity is called major strength, while lesser activity is called minor strength. Lesser weakness constitutes water; major strength, fire; lesser weakness, earth; and lesser strength, stone. The interaction of water, fire, soil, and stone gives full development to substance of Earth.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2351 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 5:I b-2b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







T he Way is in all events, whether great or little. They conform to the Way when they are contented with their state of being. They violate the Way when they are in discord with their state of being.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2350 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 8B:29a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







W hen the mind retains its unity and is not divided, it can respond to all things. Thus the mind of the superior man is vacuous (absolutely pure and peaceful) and is not disturbed.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2349 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 8B:29a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







T o follow the natural principles of things, on the other hand, is to grasp their nature; to grasp their nature is to be in possession of spiritual power; and to possess spiritual power is to achieve enlightenment.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2348 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 8B: 27b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







W e can handle things as they are if we do not impose our ego on them. The sage gives things every benefit and forgets his own ego.
To let the ego be unrestrained is to give rein to feelings; to give rein to feelings is to be beclouded; and to be beclouded is to be darkened.





Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2347 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 8B: 27b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







W ithout sincerity, one cannot investigate principle to the utmost.
Sincerity is the controlling factor in one's nature. It is beyond space and time.
He who acts in accordance with the Principle of Nature will have the entire process of creation in his grip. When the Principle of Nature is achieved, not only his personality, but his mind also are enriched. And not only his mind but his nature and destiny are enriched. To be in accord with principle is normal, but to deviate from principle is abnormal.





Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2346 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 8B:25a-26a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







O ur nature comes from Heaven, but learning lies with man. Our nature develops from within, while learning enters into us from without. “It is due to our nature that enlightenment results from sincerity”, (1) but due to learning that sincerity results from intelligence.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2345 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 8B:25a-26a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 
(1) - The Mean, ch. 21.







T he human mind should be as calm as still water. Being calm, it will be tranquil. Being tranquil, it will be enlightened.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2343 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 8B:25a-26a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







T he Great Ultimate is the One. It produces the two (yin and yang) without engaging in activity. The two (in their wonderful changes and transformations) constitute the spirit. Spirit engenders number, number engenders form, and form engenders concrete things.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2342 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 8B:23a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 
In saying that the Great Ultimate produces without activity, Shao Yung is different from Chou Tun-i who said that the Great Ultimate generates yang through movement . Shao, did not want to differentiate activity and tranquillity or yin and yang sharply as in the case of Chou. As Huang Yueh-chou said in his commentary, the point is that spirit produces the two not as two separate entities but the two embraced in the One, namely, the Great Ultimate







W ithout physical substance, the nature (of man and things) cannot be complete. Without nature, physical substance cannot be produced. The yang has the yin as its physical substance and the yin has the yang as its nature. Nature is active but physical substance is tranquil. In heaven, yang is active while yin is tranquil, whereas in earth yang is tranquil while yin is active. When nature is given physical substance, it becomes tranquil. As physical substance follows nature, it becomes active. Hence yang is at ease with itself but yin is fast moving without control.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2341 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 8B:22a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







S pirit is nowhere and yet everywhere. The perfect man can penetrate the minds of others because he is based on the One.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2340 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 8B: 16a-17a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







O ur nature views things as they are, but our feelings cause us to see things subjectively and egotistically. Our nature is impartial and enlightened, but our feelings are partial and deceived.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2339 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 8B: 16a-17a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







B y its nature, the Great Ultimate is unmoved. When it is aroused, it becomes spirit. Spirit leads to number. Number leads to form. Form leads to concrete things. Concrete things undergo infinite transformations, but underlying them is spirit to which they must be resolved.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2338 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 7B:23b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







M aterial force is one. It is produced by ch'ien (the Principle of Heaven). Spirit is also one. Through material force it changes and transforms, and operates freely in the realm of existence and nonexistence as well as in the realm of life and death. It has no spatial restrictions and is unfathomable.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2337 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 7B:2b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 
(1) Material force = Qi







A s the Great Ultimate becomes differentiated, the Two Modes (yin and yang) appear. Yang descends and interacts with yin, and yin rises to interact with yang, and consequently the Four Forms (major and minor yin and yang) are constituted. Yin and yang interact and generate the Four Forms of Heaven: the element of weakness and the element of strength interact and generate the Four Forms of Earth; and consequently the Eight Elements (heaven, water, fire, thunder, wind, water in motion, mountain, and earth) are completed. The Eight Elements intermingle and generate the myriad things. Therefore the one is differentiated into the two, two into four, four into eight, eight into sixteen, sixteen into thirty-two, and thirty-two into sixty-four. Thus it is said (in the Book of Changes) that "they are distinguished as yin and yang and the weak and the strong are employed in succession. Thus in the system of Change there are six positions and the pattern is complete. (1) Ten is divided to become 100, 1,000, and 10,000. This is similar to the fact that the root engenders the trunk; the trunk, branches; and the branches, leaves. The greater the division, the smaller the result, and the finer the division, the more complex. Taken as a unit, it is one. Taken as diffused development, it is the many.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2336 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 7A:24b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 
(1) Changes, "Remarks on Certain Trigrams," ch. 2. Cf. Legge, Yi King, p. 423.







Y ang cannot exist by itself; it can exist only when it is supported by yin. Hence yin is the foundation of yang. Similarly, yin cannot alone manifest itself; it can manifest itself only when accompanied by yang. Hence yang is the expression of yin. Yang controls the origination and enjoys the completion [of things] while yin follows the way [yang produces] and completes the work of yang.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2335 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 7A: 17a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







Y ang is superior and spiritually powerful. Being superior, it can control the external world. Being spiritually powerful, it can preserve its unlimited efficiency. For this reason the Way creates heaven and earth and all things without showing itself. All these are patterned after the Way. Yang is the function of the Way, while yin is its substance. Yin and yang operate on each other. When yang is the function, yin becomes superior. When yin is the function, yang becomes superior.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2334 | 
Shao Yung, Supreme Principle Governing the World (Huang-Chi Ching Shu), 7A: 16a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 29 







A s people have abundance, their desires are aroused. Their feelings become dominant and they are guided by advantages and disadvantages. Consequently they would attack one another without cease. They would destroy themselves and human relations would be ruined.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2333 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch 36, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







T he superior man considers a rich possession of moral principles to be honor and peace in his person to be wealth. Therefore he is always at peace and is never discontented. To him carriages and ceremonial caps (symbols of honor) are as light as a cash, and gold and jade are as tiny as a speck of dust. Nothing can be added to the great value [of rich possession of moral principle and peace in the person].




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2332 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch. 33, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







T o be correct in one's person means to be sincere in one's heart. And to be sincere in one's heart means to return from (turn away from) evil activities. Evil activities represent falsehood. When it has been turned away, there will be none.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2331 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch. 32, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







T he superior man is active and vigilant and is unceasing in his sincerity." But he must "restrain his wrath and repress his desires," -move toward good," and "correct his mistakes” (1) before he can achieve his objective.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2330 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch 31, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 
(1) These phrases are from the sections on the three hexagrams. Cf. Legge, Yi King, pp. 3 17, 3 19, 4 10.







T he most important things in the world [with regard to the subtle, incipient activation of things] are tendencies. Tendencies may be strong or weak. If a tendency is extremely strong, it cannot be controlled. But it is possible to control it quickly if one realizes that it is strong. To control it requires effort. If one does not realize early enough, it will not be easy to apply effort. If one has exerted his effort and does not succeed, that is due to Heaven, but if one either does not realize or does not apply effort, that is due to man. Is it due to Heaven? No, it is due to man. Why complain?




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2329 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch. 27, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







T he myriad things are created and transformed out of the two material forces and the Five Agents. These Five Agents are the basis of their differentiation while the two material forces constitute their actuality. The two forces are fundamentally one. Consequently, the many are [ultimately] one and the one is actually differentiated in the many. The one and the many each has its own correct state of being. The great and the small each has its definite function.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2328 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch.22, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 
the two material forces= Yin & Yang







C an one become a sage through learning?" -Yes."
-Is there any essential way?" -Yes."
-Please explain it to me."
-The essential way is to [concentrate on] one thing. By [concentrating on] one thing is meant having no desire. Having no desire, one is vacuous (hsu, being absolutely pure and peaceful) while tranquil, and straight forward while in action. Being vacuous while tranquil, one becomes intelligent and hence penetrating. Being straightforward while active, one becomes impartial and hence all embracing. Being intelligent, penetrating, impartial, and all-embracing, one is almost a sage.





Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2327 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch. 20, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 
Confucianists had never advocated having no desire. Mencius merely advocated having few desires (Mencius, 7B: 3 5.). The Taoist influence here is obvious. Hitherto, it was only a Taoist and Buddhist method of moral cultivation, but from now on, it became a Confucian method too.







B ecause of calmness, one's desires will be appeased, and because of harmony, one's impetuousness will disappear. Peace, calmness, and moderation-these are the height of virtue.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2326 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch.17, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







H eaven produces the ten thousand things through yang and brings them to completion through yin.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2325 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch.11, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







H aving no thought and yet penetrating all-thus is one a sage.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2324 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch.9, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







S omeone asked, "How can good be promoted in the world?"
I said, "Through teachers."
"How is that?"
I said, "In human nature there are only strength, weakness, good, evil, and the Mean."

The questioner did not understand.
I explained, "Righteousness, uprightness, decisiveness, strictness, and firmness of action are examples of strength that is good, and fierceness, narrow-mindedness, and violence are examples of strength that is evil Kindness, mildness, and humility are examples of weakness that is good, and softness, indecision, and perverseness are examples of weakness that is evil. Only the Mean brings harmony. The Mean is the principle of regularity, the universally recognized law of morality, and is that to which the sage is devoted. Therefore the sage institutes education so as to enable people to transform their evil by themselves, to arrive at the Mean and to rest there. Therefore those who are the first to be enlightened should instruct those who are slower in attaining enlightenment, and the ignorant should seek help from those who understand. Thus the way of teachers is established.





Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2323 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch.7, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







T he way of the sage is nothing but humanity, righteousness, the Mean, and correctness. Preserve it and it will be ennobling. Practice it and it will be beneficial. Extend it and it will match Heaven and Earth. Is it not easy and simple? Is it hard to know? (If so), it is because we do not preserve, practice, and extend it.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2322 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch. 6, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







T he state of absolute quiet and inactivity" is sincerity. The spirit is that which, "when acted on, immediately penetrates all things. (1) And the state of subtle incipient activation is the undifferentiated state between existence and nonexistence when activity has started but has not manifested itself in physical form. Sincerity is infinitely pure and hence evident. The spirit is responsive and hence works wonders. And incipient activation is subtle and hence abstruse. The sage is the one who is in the state of sincerity, spirit, and subtle incipient activation.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2321 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch.4, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







O ne who returns to his nature and adheres to it is a worthy.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2320 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch. 3, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 
(1) Cf. Mencius, 7B:25.







S agehood is nothing but sincerity. It is the foundation of the Five Constant Virtues (humanity, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and faithfulness) and the source of all activities. When tranquil, it is in the state of non-being, and when active, it is in the state of being. It is perfectly correct and clearly penetrating. Without sincerity, the Five Constant Virtues and all activities will be wrong. They will be depraved and obstructed. Therefore with sincerity very little effort is needed to achieve the Mean .[In itself] it is perfectly easy but it is difficult to put into practice. But with determination and firmness, there will be no difficulty. Therefore it is said, "If a man can for one day master himself and return to propriety, all under heaven will return to humanity.” (1)




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2319 | 
Chou Tun-yi, penetrating the Book of Changes, Ch. 2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 
(1) Analect, 12,1.







T he superior man cultivates these moral qualities and enjoys good fortune, whereas the inferior man violates them and suffers evil fortune.




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2317 | 
Chou Tun-yi, An Explanation of the Diagram of the Great Ultimate, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







T he sage settles these affairs by the principles of the Mean, correctness, humanity, and righteousness (for the way of the sage is none other than these four), regarding tranquillity as fundamental. (Having no desire, there will therefore be tranquillity.) (1)




Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2316 | 
Chou Tun-yi, An Explanation of the Diagram of the Great Ultimate, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 
(1) This insertion and that immediately following the sentence are Chou's own annotations.







T he Ultimate of Non-being and also the Great Ultimate (T'ai-chi)!
The Great Ultimate through movement generates yang. When its activity reaches its limit, it becomes tranquil. Through tranquillity the Great Ultimate generates yin. When tranquillity reaches its limit, activity begins again. So movement and tranquillity alternate and become the root of each other, giving rise to the distinction of yin and yang, and the two modes are thus established.
By the transformation of yang and its union with yin, the Five Agents of Water, Fire, Wood, Metal, and Earth arise. When these five material forces (ch'i) are distributed in harmonious order, the four seasons run their course.
The Five Agents constitute one system of yin and yang, and yin and yang constitute one Great Ultimate. The Great Ultimate is fundamentally the Non-ultimate. The Five Agents arise, each with its specific nature.
When the reality of the Ultimate of Non-being and the essence of yin, yang, and the Five Agents come into mysterious union, integration ensues. Ch'ien (Heaven) constitutes the male element, and k'un (Earth) constitutes the female element. The interaction of these two material forces engenders and transforms the myriad things. The myriad things produce and reproduce, resulting in an unending transformation.
It is man alone who receives (the Five Agents) in their highest excellence, and therefore he is most intelligent. His physical form appears, and his spirit develops consciousness. The five moral principles of his nature (humanity or jen, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and faithfulness) are aroused by, and react to, the external world and engage in activity; good and evil are distinguished; and human affairs take place.





Confucianism / Neo Confucianism 2315 | 
Chou Tun-yi, An Explanation of the Diagram of the Great Ultimate, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 







T he Master" (1) said, "What is there in the world to think about or to deliberate about? In the world there are many different roads but the destination is the same. There are a hundred deliberations but the result is one. What is there in the world to think about or to deliberate about?




Confucianism 2268 | 
Books Of Changes, APPENDED REMARKS," PT. 2, Ch. 5, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 13. 
The idea of a hundred roads to the same destination is a direct expression of the spirit of synthesis which is extremely strong in Chinese philosophy. It is the Confucian version of Chuang Tzu's doctrine of following two courses at the same time







T herefore what exists before physical form [and is therefore without it] is called the Way. What exists after physical form [and is therefore with it] is called a concrete thing. That which transforms things and controls them is called change. That which extends their operation is called penetration. To take them and apply them to the people of the world is called the business of life….




Confucianism 2267 | 
Books Of Changes, APPENDED REMARKS," PT. 1, Ch. 12, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 13. 







E ssence and material force (ch'i) are combined to become things. The wandering away of spirit (force) becomes change. From this we know that the characteristics and conditions of spiritual beings are similar to those of Heaven and Earth and therefore there is no disagreement between them. The knowledge [of spirit] embraces all things and its way helps all under heaven, and therefore there is no mistake. It operates freely and does not go off course. It rejoices in Nature (T'ien, Heaven) and understands destiny. Therefore there is no worry. As [things] are contented in their stations and earnest in practicing kindness, there can be love. It molds and encompasses all transformations of Heaven and Earth without mistake, and it stoops to bring things into completion without missing any. It penetrates to a knowledge of the course of day and night. (1) Therefore spirit has no spatial restriction and Change has no physical form.




Confucianism 2266 | 
Books Of Changes, APPENDED REMARKS," PT. 1, Ch. 4, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 13. 
Exactly what is meant by "spirit" is not clear, but it is surely not the spirit of a deceased person that influences human affairs. Traditionally kuei-shen means either simply spirits of ancestors or spiritual beings. In the latter case, it may mean either good or evil spirits or the positive and negative aspects of the soul, respectively. But here it is simply the unfathomable force behind all transformations. Later in Neo-Confucianism, it is to be understood purely as the spontaneous activity of yin and yang.







H eaven is high, the earth is low, and thus ch'ien (Heaven) and Pun (Earth) are fixed. As high and low are thus made clear, the honorable and the humble have their places accordingly. As activity and tranquillity have their constancy, the strong and the weak are thus differentiated. Ways come together according to their kinds, and things are divided according to their classes. Hence good fortune and evil fortune emerge. In the heavens, forms (heavenly bodies) appear and on earth shapes (creatures) occur. In them change and transformation can be seen. Therefore the strong and the weak interact and the Eight Trigrams activate each other. Things are stimulated by thunder and lightning and enriched by the influence of wind and rain. Sun and moon revolve on their course and cold and hot seasons take their turn. The way of ch'ien constitutes the male, while the way of k'un constitutes the female. Ch'ien knows the great beginning, and k'un acts to bring things to completion. Ch'ien knows through the easy, and k'un accomplishes through the simple.




Confucianism 2265 | 
Book of Changes, "Appended Remarks," pt. 1, ch. 1, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 13. 







S incerity means the completion of the self, and the Way is self-directing. Sincerity is the beginning and end of things. Without sincerity there would be nothing. Therefore the superior man values sincerity. Sincerity is not only the completion of one's own self, it is that by which all things are completed. The completion of the self means humanity. The completion of all things means wisdom. These are the character of the nature, and they are the Way in which the internal and the external are united. Therefore whenever it is employed, everything done is right.




Confucianism 2169 | 
Doctrine of the Mean, Chapter 25, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 5. 
In no other Confucian work is the Way (Tao) given such a central position. This self-directing Way seems to be the same as the Tao in Taoism. But the difference is great. As Ch'ien Mu has pointed out, when the Taoists talk about Tao, as being natural, it means that Tao is void and empty, whereas when Confucianists talk about Tao as being natural, they describe it as sincerity. This, according to him, is a great contribution of the Doctrine of the Mean . It should also be pointed out that with Confucianists, "The Way is not far from man. Contrary to the Tao of Taoism, the Confucian Tao is strongly humanistic.







O nly those who are absolutely sincere can fully develop their nature. If they can fully develop their nature, they can then fully develop the nature of others. If they can fully develop the nature of others, they can then fully develop the nature of things. If they can fully develop the nature of things, they can then assist in the transforming and nourishing process of Heaven and Earth. If they can assist in the transforming and nourishing process of Heaven and Earth, they can thus form a trinity with Heaven and Earth.




Confucianism 2166 | 
Doctrine of the Mean, Chapter 22, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 5. 







I n practicing the ordinary virtues and in the exercise of care in ordinary conversation, when there is deficiency, the superior man never fails to make further effort, and when there is excess, never dares to go to the limit. His words correspond to his actions and his actions correspond to his words. Isn't the superior man earnest and genuine?




Confucianism 2165 | 
Doctrine of the Mean, Chapter 13, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 5. 







W hat you do not wish others to do to you, do not do to them.




Confucianism 2164 | 
Doctrine of the Mean, Chapter 13, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 5. 







W hat Heaven (T'ien, Nature) imparts to man is called human nature. To follow our nature is called the Way (Tao).




Confucianism 2163 | 
Doctrine of the Mean, Chapter 1, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 5. 
In the above first chapter, Tzu-ssu (Confucius grand son, author of the Doctrine of the mean according to Chu His) relates the ideas which had been transmitted to him, as the basis of discourse. First, it shows clearly that the origin of the Way is traced to Heaven and is unchangeable, while its concrete substance is complete in ourselves and may not be departed from. Next, it speaks of the essentials of preserving, nourishing, and examining the mind. Finally, it speaks of the meritorious achievements and transforming influence of the sage and the spirit man in their highest degree. Tzu-ssu's hope was that the student should hereby return to search within himself to find these truths, so that he might remove his selfish desires aroused by external temptations, and realize in full measure the goodness which is natural to him. This is what scholar Yang meant when he said that this chapter is the quintessence of the whole work.





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