World  Spiritual  Heritage
Chow Tun-i

Spiritual quotes of
Chow Tun-i

18  quote(s)  | Page 1 / 1

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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°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 Quote n°2315 | 
Chou Tun-yi, An Explanation of the Diagram of the Great Ultimate, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 28 


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