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Meng-tzu



Spiritual quotes of Meng-tzu

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M encius said, "In regard to [inferior] creatures, the superior man loves them but is not humane to them (that is, showing them the feeling due human beings). In regard to people generally, he is humane to them but not affectionate. He is affectionate to his parents and humane to all people. He is humane to all people and feels love for all creatures.




Confucianism 2161 | 
Book of Mencius, 7A:45, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







M encius said, "All things are already complete in oneself. There is no greater joy than to examine oneself and be sincere. When in one’s conduct one vigorously exercises altruism, humanity is not far to seek, but right by him.




Confucianism 2159 | 
Book of Mencius, 7A:4, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 
Confucius carefully balanced the individual and society. This balance is maintained in Mencius as it has been throughout the history of Confucianism. But at many points Mencius seems to emphasize the individual, for he believes that everyone can be a sage and that integrity and will are completely his own.







M encius said, "He who exerts his mind to the utmost knows his nature. He who knows his nature knows Heaven. To preserve one’s mind and to nourish one's nature is the way to serve Heaven. Not to allow any double-mindedness regardless of longevity or brevity of life but to cultivate one's person and wait for [destiny (ming: fate, Heaven’s decree or mandate) to take its own course] is the way to fulfill one’s destiny.




Confucianism 2158 | 
Book of Mencius, 7A: 1, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 
In ancient China there were five theories about destiny or the Mandate of Heaven. The first was fatalism: the Mandate Heaven is fixed and unchangeable. The second was moral determinism: Heaven always encourages virtue and punishes evil; therefore, man can determine his reward and punishment through moral deeds. The third was anti-fatalism, advocated by the Moist School. The fourth was naturalistic fatalism, which means that destiny is not controlled by Heaven in the sense of an anthropomorphic God but by Nature and works automatically. Lastly, there was the Confucian theory of "waiting for destiny." According to this doctrine, man should exert his utmost in moral endeavor and leave whatever is beyond our control to fate. It frankly admits that there are things beyond our control but that is no reason why one should relax in his moral endeavor. The tendency was definitely one of moralism and humanism. The Confucian theory represents the conviction of enlightened Chinese in general.







M aster Ch'u said, "The king sends people to spy on you and see whether you are really different from others." Mencius said, “How should I be different from others? Yao and Shun were the same as other men.




Confucianism 2157 | 
Book of Mencius, 4B:32, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 
Yao and Shun are Chinese greatest sage.







M encius said, "The reason why the superior man is different from other men is because of what he preserves in his mind. He preserves humanity and propriety. The man of humanity loves others. The man of propriety respects others. He who loves others is always respected by others, and he who respects others is always respected by them




Confucianism 2156 | 
Book of Mencius, 4B:28, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







W hat I dislike in your wise men is their forced reasoning.[…] If wise men would act without any special effort [such as forced reasoning], their wisdom would also be great.




Confucianism 2155 | 
Book of Mencius, 4B:26, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







M encius said, "The great man is one who does not lose his [originally good] child's heart."




Confucianism 2154 | 
Book of Mencius, 4B: 12, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







W e see that a man without the feeling of commiseration is not a man; a man without the feeling of shame and dislike is not a man; a man. Without the feeling of deference and compliance is not a man; and a man without the feeling of right and wrong is not a man. The feeling of commiseration is the beginning of humanity; the feeling of shame and dislike is the beginning of righteousness; the feeling of deference and compliance is the beginning of propriety; and the feeling of right and wrong is the beginning of wisdom. Men have these Four Beginnings just as they have their four limbs. Having these Four Beginnings, but saying that they cannot develop them is to destroy themselves.




Confucianism 2152 | 
Book of Mencius, 2A:6, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







T he will is the leader of the vital force, and the vital force pervades and animates the body. The will is the highest; the vital force comes next. Therefore I say, 'Hold the Will firm and never do violence to the vital force.'




Confucianism 2150 | 
Book of Mencius, 2A:2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







M encius said, "Treat with respect the elders in my family and then extend that respect to include the elders in other families. Treat with tenderness the young in my own family, and then extend that tenderness to include the young in other families….




Confucianism 2149 | 
Book of Mencius, IA:7, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







M encius said, "The five kinds of grain are considered good plants, but if they are not ripe, they are worse than poor grains. So the value of humanity depends on its being brought to maturity."




Confucianism 2148 | 
Book of Mencius, 6A: 19, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







M encius said, "The desire to be honored is shared by the minds of all men. But all men have in themselves what is really honorable. Only they do not think of it. The honor conferred by men is not true honor.




Confucianism 2147 | 
Book of Mencius, 6A: 17, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







K ung-tu Tzu asked, "We are all human beings. Why is it that vow men become great and others become small?" Mencius said, “Those who follow the greater qualities in their nature become great and those who follow the smaller qualities in their nature become small men." "But we are all human beings. Why is it that some follow greater qualities and others follow their smaller qualities?" Mencius replied "When our senses of sight and hearing are used without thought and are thereby obscured by material things, the material things act on the material senses and lead them astray. That is all. The function of the mind is to think. If we think, we will get them (the principles of things). If we do not think, we will not get them. This is what Heaven has given to us. If we first build up the nobler part of our nature, then the inferior part cannot overcome it. It is simply this that makes a man great.”




Confucianism 2146 | 
Book of Mencius, 6A:15, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







N ow, some parts of the body are noble and some are ignoble; some great and some small. We must not allow the ignoble so injure the noble, or the smaller to injure the greater. Those who nourish the smaller parts will become small men. Those who nourish the greater parts will become great men.




Confucianism 2145 | 
Book of Mencius, 6A:14, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







I t is not only the worthies alone who have this moral sense. All men have it, but only the worthies have been able to preserve it.




Confucianism 2143 | 
Book of Mencius, 6A:8, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







T he sage and I are the same in kind.




Confucianism 2141 | 
Book of Mencius, 6A:7, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







M encius said, "If you let people follow their feelings (original nature) they will be able to do good. This is what is meant by saying that human nature is good. If man does evil, it is not the fault of his natural endowment .The feeling of commiseration is found in all men; the feeling of shame and dislike is found in all men; the feeling of respect and reverence is found in all men; and the feeling of right and wrong is found in all men. The feeling of commiseration is what we call humanity; the feeling of shame and dislike is what we call righteousness; the feeling of respect and reverence is what we call propriety (li); and the feeling of right and wrong is what we call wisdom. Humanity, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom are not drilled into us from outside. We originally have them with us. Only we do not think [to find them]. Therefore it is said, 'Seek and you will find it, neglect and you will lose it. [Men differ in the development of their endowments], some twice as much as others some five times, and some to an incalculable degree, because no one can develop his original endowment to the fullest extend.




Confucianism 2140 | 
Book of Mencius, 6A:6, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 







M an's nature is naturally good just as water naturally flows downward. There is no man without this good nature; neither is there water that does not flow downward. Now you can strike water and cause it to splash upward over your forehead, and by damming and leading it, you can force it uphill. Is this the nature of water? It is the forced circumstance that makes it do so. Man can be made to do evil, for his nature can be treated in the same way.




Confucianism 2139 | 
Book of Mencius, 6A:2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 3. 





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