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The Master said,It is only the most intelligent and the most stupid who are not susceptible to changeConfucius, The Analects, XVII.3I rarely re read books An exception to this rule are ethical or religious texts I love Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and will read this in dribs and drabs throughout the year The same is true of the New Testament, the Wisdom Books, Psalms, parts of the Book of Mormon, and the Analects I am drawn to some of the universal teachings in these books the Golden Rule seems to find a spot everywhere Anyway, I m still trying to avoid thinking too much about Trump by reading a book a day and so I figured this was a good time to read, again, the Analects I m working on a longer book so, I rely on the help of smaller books to keep me one my 1 per day pace I am not sure if I ve come across a translation I prefer, but I ve read several now Because I don t actually read Chinese, I m not I guess looking for the perfect translation I m looking for one that seems to dance with the right amount of poetry and truth I m getting closer and feel as I read the different translations I can circle around some of the truth of what was originally spoken without ever hearing the original text For example, consider the opening quote The Master said,There are only the wise of the highest class, and the stupid of the lowest class, who cannot be changedJames Legge translationConfucius saidOnly the most wise and the most foolish do not changeA Charles Muller translationThe Master said,It is only the most intelligent and the most stupid who are not susceptible to changeLau translation With Trump s art of the deal, I m expecting us to belong to the Chinese in a year or two, so the I understand of the Chinese the better I ll be treated in the reconditioning camps, me thinks. It s depressing to think that the teachings of Confucius constituted a religion in most of East Asia i.e they were wise sayings and stories of a great man from a certain time, that have been selectively reinterpreted by kings and heads of state, force fed to generations of schoolchildren in various eras as a substitute for original thought, and generally manipulated out of context to subjugate a nation into obedience over and over again.That s probably why many Chinese intellectuals and progressives who have not studied The Analects objectively, or perhaps cannot abhor Confucius and consider his teachings part of the machinery of imperialism and feudal tyrants.Note that my five star rating is not for The Analects per se, but specifically for the edition with Simon Leys excellent translation and notes see below for details.Three Things you need to know about Confucius 1 Though he is lauded as China s Supreme Teacher, his goal in life was to be a politician and he failed at that He basically believed he was the Hari Seldon of China witnessing the crumbling of the Zhou dynasty, his Heavenly mission was to revive the Duke of Zhou s grand design, restore the world order under a new ethical basis, and salvage the entire civilization That s why he educated and built up a cabinet of disciples around him in order to usher in a new model government.2 The Analects are to Confucius as the Gospels are to Jesus not written by him personally, but a record of his sayings and deeds compiled by in Confucius case a group of his disciples and grand disciples.3 Confucius lived and taught in the 6th century BCE To put things in perspective, that s when Buddha and Zoroaster were active, and 10 years after Confucius dies, Socrates is born That means these teachings in the Analects are old As Mr Leys states in his introduction, no book in the entire history of the world has exerted, over a longer period of time, a greater influence on a larger number of people than this slim volume Ironically, this led to the failure of his political career, because Confucius and his disciples threatened the incompetent incumbents and thus were not offered positions in court.Ideas The greatest innovation Confucius devised is inventing his own occupation of the private teacher Confucius second most revolutionary idea was redefining the term junzi, meaning nobleman gentleman to mean anyone who was educated and moral, so that commoners could aspire to become junzi and join the ruling class even though they were not born to aristocratic families.Selected Quotes from The AnalectsEach of the 20 chapters contains passages on various topics they are largely not organised thematically For my own records, I ve included a sample quote that represents one of the strong themes from each chapter.Chapter 1 virtue1.9 Master Zeng said When the dead are honored and the memory of remote ancestors is kept alive, a people s virtue is at its fullest 1.16 The Master said Don t worry if people don t recognize your merits worry that you may not recognize theirs Chapter 2 filial piety2.6 Lord Meng Wu asked about filial piety The Master said The only time a dutiful son ever makes his parents worry is when he is sick Chapter 3 ritual3.13 Wangsun Jia asked What does this saying mean Flatter the god of the kitchen rather than the god of the house The Master said Nonsense If you offend Heaven, prayer is uselessTranslation note Wangsun Jia minister of Duke Ling of Wei, to whose court Confucius had come, seeking employment The proverbial saying which W is quoting here is an expression of cynical folk wisdom rather ingratiate yourself with the servants who can feed you than with their master, whose distant benevolence is of no practical use The exact intention of Wangsun Jia is not clear Either he is asking advice for the advancement of his own career should he court the favour of the duke the god of the house or of his favorite the god of the kitchen Or, under the guise of a question, he may be addressing a veiled warning to Confucius Do not trust the duke too much if you wish to succeed here, it is with me you will have to deal The question may be ambiguous, but the answer is clear Confucius condemns all opportunistic maneuvers the only right policy is to follow the dictates of morality. See why Leys is a delightful guide for this voyage Chapter 4 ren, i.e humanity, benevolence4.16 The Master said A gentleman considers what is just a small man considers what is expedient Chapter 5 evaluating the disciples5.10 Zai Yu was sleeping during the day The Master said Rotten wood cannot be carved dung walls cannot be troweled What is the use of scolding him The Master said There was a time when I used to listen to what people said and trusted that they would act accordingly, but now I listen to what they say and watch what they do It is Zai Yu who made me change Chapter 6 modesty6.15 The Master said Meng Zhifan was no boaster In a rout, he remained behind to cover the retreat It was only upon reaching the city gate that he spurred his horse and said It was not courage that kept me at the rear, but the slowness of my horse Chapter 7 Confucius on himself7.7 The Master said I never denied my teaching to anyone who sought it, even if he was too poor to offer than a token present for his tuition 7.27 The Master fished with a line, not with a net When hunting, he never shot a roosting bird.Chapter 8 cultivation8.17 Learning is like a chase in which, as you fail to catch up, you fear to lose what you have salready gained Chapter 9 gentlemen do not specialise9.7 Lao said The Master said that his failure in public life forced him to develop various skills Chapter 10 Confucian humanism10.17 The stables burned The Master left court and asked Was anyone hurt He did not inquire about the horses Note that in Confucius s time, a horse was much valuable than a stable hand.Chapter 11 moderation is best11.16 Zigong asked Which is the better Zizhang or Zixia The Master said Zizhang overshoots and Zixia falls short Zigong said Then Zizhang must be the better The Master said Both miss the mark Chapter 12 ritual is preferable to laws12.13 The Master said I could adjudicate lawsuits as well as anyone But I would prefer to make lawsuits unnecessary Chapter 13 principles of government13.1 Zilu asked about government The Master said Guide them Encourage them Zilu asked him to develop these precepts The Master said Untiringly 13.6 The Master said He is straight things work out by themselves, without his having to issue orders He is not straight he has to multiply orders, which are not being followed anyway Chapter 14 loyalty14.22 Zilu asked how to serve a prince The Master said Tell him the truth even if it offends him Chapter 15 discouraging glib talk15.41 The Master said Words are merely for communication Chapter 16 learning16.9 Confucius said Those who have innate knowledge are the highest Next come those who acquire knowledge through learning Next again come those who learn through the trials of life Lowest are the common people who go through the trials of life without learning anything Chapter 17 polite insult17.20 Ru Bei wanted to see Confucius Confucius declined on the grounds of illness As Ru Bei s messenger was leaving, the Master took up his zithern and sang loudly enough for him to hear.Chapter 18 Confucius withdraws18.4 The people of Qi sent to Lu a present of singing and dancing girls Lord Ji Huan accepted them and, for three days, he did not attend court Confucius left.Chapter 19 flexibility19.11 Zixia said Major principles suffer no transgression Minor principles may allow for compromise Chapter 20 meaning and function of language20.3 Confucius said He who does not understand fate is incapable of behaving as a gentleman He who does not understand the rites is incapable of taking his stand He who does not understand words is incapable of understanding men My ReactionsThe first thing I need to remember when thinking about Confucius, is the context that he lived in It s easy to blame him for an East Asian culture where originality and disagreement have been so taboo for so long In the Warring States era, a feudal society with a high turnover rate of kings and lords, it s not surprising that harmony was valued perhaps overvalued because it was so rare.Maybe one of the most important myths to debunk about Confucianism is that LOYALTY DOES NOT EQUAL SUBMISSIVENESS Confucius emphasizes loyalty, and teaches disciples to advise kings to do what is right and to correct them when they are wrong 3.6, 14.22 , and he himself stood up to many monarchs in his time To him, loyalty is to stand by your king and advise him and protect him It doesn t mean to obey orders when those orders are immoral If the foolish king refuses to listen, then it s time to bounce and bounce Confucius did, between many kingdoms when he couldn t get a word in, see 18.4.Another notable concept absent from The Analects is the concept of punishment When we today learn about the cruel traditional punishments inflicted by Chinese regimes, or the perverse measures that civil service scholars went to in the name of studiousness, little do we realise Confucius would cringe at such extremities This punitive culture developed as a result of Legalism, which enforced harsh discipline and helped the state of Qin ascend to empire a couple hundred years after Confucius died.Further Reading Mencius, who unified all the fragmented schools of post Confucianism, and advanced the philosophy in the directions of both politics opining that the common people were important than rulers, and legitimising tyrannicide if necessary and human nature believing that all people were inherently born good.TranslationI highly recommend the W W Norton edition, with translation and notes by Simon Leys Most of these sayings are actually responses to certain events, and reading the responses without understanding the events will leave you scratching your head or wanting to ragequit Leys extensive notes are excellent they tell us the stories and explain his rationale as well as what D.C Lau, Arthur Waley and other previous translators have thought.It helped that prior to this, I had primed myself with a picture book version of his life and stories Confucius Sage of the Orient by Singaporean publisher Canfonian I loved these books growing up Must buy for future children. In a class taught by General George S Patton, IV at the George Washington University in the early 80 s, reflecting on his experience in Vietnam, he summarized the failure of US policy in SE Asia as a failure to understand the history and culture of the region.Years later as I prepared to deploy to Afghanistan it struck me that much of our formal education in my lifetime focused on European and Western philosophers and histories, only perpetuating the vicious cycle which the son of the famous World War II general observed.In the same sense that reading the Qur an helped me to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Islamic currents that flow through Afghan and Central Asian culture Confucius provides context that helped in gaining an appreciation of the differences between Asian or Eastern and European or Western thought General Stanley McChrystal famously reported in a classified assessment leaked by Bob Woodward and the Washington Post in August 2009 that the US and our NATO allies had the wrong mindset for our operations in Afghanistan Would suggest that our focus on Plato, Aristotle and other European philosophers and their associated political, economic, and military theorists which suited us for combat and commerce in Europe and with Europeans should be balanced with study of Confucius and Asian philosophers if we hope to succeed in a pivot to the Asia Pacific region.As the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle emerged during a period of conflict between Greek and Persian power so too did Confucius and Sun Tzu emerge during the Waring States period of Chinese history from roughly 475 221 BCE which interestingly overlaps the emergence of the famous Greek philosophers. . There are two things that are commonly labeled philosophy The first is philosophy sensu strictu, which deals with technical problems in its various branches, such as epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, etc The other is what one could call a philosophy of life , a vague category that one encounters in religious texts, works of literature, poetry, and also intermingled with formal philosophy Confucianism, insofar as I understand it, mostly falls into the latter category.The Analects mainly takes the form of aphorisms that are interspersed in conversation between Confucius and his various disciples I suppose the closest parallel I can think of would be Marcus Aurelius s Meditations, although at times the Analects reads like the Gospels There are some fine maxims in here, but also many sections that are alternately baffling or boring Why must I wade through descriptions of the Master s clothing style There is no narrative or didactic drive to the book it just floats along from parable to aphorism, with no apparent connection If there were not some interesting quotes, it would be a very dry read.If I were asked to shoehorn Confucius s thinking into Western philosophy, I would say that he is propounding a form of virtue ethics, with a special emphasis on social life Although the final goal is to become a superior man , this is accomplished through the fulfillment of various duties, in accordance with custom and etiquette Propriety is key here If it is considered proper to do something, one should do it provided that it does not conflict with basic morality This will seem very strange and perhaps servile to some modern readers, I expect, but I can see the logical kernel behind this idea Abiding by custom and performing social rituals could have the effect of realigning one s own personal interests with the interests of the community, leading to harmonious social relationships.I especially appreciate Confucius s emphasis on action instead of speculation A person can be the world s foremost expert on Kantian and utilitarian ethics and still be a serial killer But, be that as it may, I would have appreciated a focused, organized, and didactic treatment In Western works, the reasons for accepting arguments are usually made very explicit In this book, by contrast, the maxims appeal for their apparent prudence and wisdom than from the weight of reasoning Still, I do appreciate the way that the lessons are put forward, because they beg the reader to figure out the reasoning behind the arguments for themselves, rather than being spoon fed by the author.For a book that I found rather dull when I was working through it, I have spent a lot of time thinking about its contents afterwards So kudos to you, Confucius, your reputation is well deserved. Confucius has a lot of wisdom Anyone who is serious about living life well would do well to read the Analects.Poignant Quotes If you try to guide the common people with coercive regulations and keep them in line with punishments, the common people will become evasive and will have no sense of shame If, however, you guide them with Virtue, and keep them in line by means of ritual, the people will have a sense of shame and will rectify themselves.Give your parents no cause for anxiety other than the possibility that they might fall ill.Both keeping past teachings alive and understanding the present someone able to do this is worthy of being a teacher.If you learn without thinking about what you have learned, you will be lost If you think without learning, however, you will fall into danger.This is wisdom to recognize what you know as what you know, and recognize what you do not know as what you do not know.When you see someone who is worthy, concentrate upon becoming their equal when you see someone who is unworthy, use this as an opportunity to look within yourself.People in ancient times were not eager to speak, because they would be ashamed if their actions did not measure up to their words.Zigong said, What I do not wish others to do unto me, I also wish not to do unto others The Master said, Ah, Zigong That is something quite beyond you When Zilu learned something, but had not yet been able to put it into practice, his only fear was that he would learn something new.He was diligent and loved learning, and was not ashamed to ask advice from his inferiors This is why he was accorded the title Cultured I should just give up I have yet to meet someone who is able to perceive his own faults and then take himself to task inwardly.One who knows it is not equal to one who loves it, and one who loves it is not the equal of one who takes joy in it.When walking with two other people, I will always find a teacher among them I focus on those who are good and seek to emulate them, and focus on those who are bad in order to be reminded of what needs to be changed in myself.The gentleman is self possessed and relaxed, while the petty man is perpetually full of worry.The Master was affable yet firm, awe inspiring without being severe, simultaneously respectful and relaxed.Learn as if you will never catch up, and as if you feared losing what you have already attained.When a man is rebuked with exemplary words after having made a mistake, he cannot help but agree with them However, what is important is that he change himself in order to accord with them When a man is praised with words of respect, he cannot help but be pleased with them However, what is important is that he actually live up to them.Yan Hui is of no help to me he is pleased with everything that I say.The Master said, The Good person is hesitant to speak When being Good is so difficult, how can one not be hesitant to speak about it The Master said, The gentleman is free of anxiety and fear If you look inside yourself and find no faults, what cause is there for anxiety or fear A gentleman helps others to realize their good qualities, rather than their bad A petty person does the opposite.Imagine a person who can recite the several hundred odes by heart but, when delegated a governmental task, is unable to carry it out, or when sent abroad as an envoy, is unable to engage in repartee No matter how many odes he might have memorized, what good are they to him Those who possess Virtue will inevitably have something to say, whereas those who have something to say do not necessarily possess Virtue Those who are Good will necessarily display courage, but those who display courage are not necessarily Good.Do not worry that you are not recognized by others worry rather that you yourself lack ability.Yuan Rang sat casually, with his legs sprawled out, waiting for Confucius On seeing him, the Master remarked, A young man devoid of humility and respect for his elders will grow into an adult who contributes nothing to his community Growing older and older without the dignity to pass away, he becomes a burden on society He then rapped him on the shin with his staff.The gentleman does not promote someone solely based upon their words, nor does he dismiss words simply on account of the person who uttered them.To make a mistake and yet to not change your ways that is what is called truly making a mistake.When attending a gentleman, there are three types of errors one may commit To speak when it is not yet time to speak this is called being rash To not speak when it is time to speak this is called being secretive to speak without taking into account the countenance of one s lord this is called being blind.Learning broadly and firmly retaining what one has learned, being incisive in one s questioning and able to reflect upon what is near at hand Goodness is to found in this.Love GodKnow GodLove othersBecome like Christ humbly observe others to emulate the holy and discard the unrulyMake Disciplemakers The political sayings of a Chinese master22 June 2011 While I have credited the writing of this work to Confucius, it was not actually written by him but rather by his disciples Thus Confucius joins Socrates and Jesus Christ of having an enormous influence upon the world without actually writing anything down though this is not correct, as I further outline below Further, like Jesus Christ and Socrates, the books are a record of his sayings though, unlike Jesus Christ, he did not perform any miracles, nor did he speak of salvation An interesting point, the phrase Confucius says appears only once in the book, most of the time his sayings are introduced with the phrase the master says Like Jesus and Socrates, these writings were collected years after his death, though it does appear that there are some books attributed to him, though there is no hard evidence that he actually wrote anything, though it might be best to suggest that we have no works authored by Confucius, only books attributed to him Further, since he was in politics for a time, it is than possible that he did write things, and bureaucratic writing does tend to lead to other literary creations Confucius married, had children, and died a natural death it appears as opposed to being executed like Jesus and Socrates The Analects is a book of wisdom which has created a lot of controversy over the centuries While Confucius is held in high regard, he has a lot to say about our relations to the sovereign and does suggest that submission to the sovereign is the best which brings him in line with Jesus political teachings Confucius holds education in high regard, and this is where I will quote my favourite analect to study without thinking is futile, to think without studying is dangerous While one could sit down and explore these analects, one to the best ways to approach them is to consider each one on their merit While there is a lot of context to consider, many of these sayings like the book of Proverbs are timeless Confucius is also a big supporter of election by merit That is a person should hold a managerial position because of his or her skill and ability rather than simply through family or friends Our society, and indeed the British Empire, does consider merit in a lot of managerial roles that exist, though due to our human nature, it is always the case that we will tend to look over somebody much qualified in favour of somebody that we tend to like However the days of generals and lords being appointed by family are long gone, and those entities that end up running on familial benefits end up not lasting all that long This version of the book is full of footnotes, and that can be quite annoying when one is constantly flicking back and forth to read the footnotes Granted, many of us don t even bother reading them, however with a book like the Analects, it is required because it was written so long ago in a society that was completely foreign to us As such these footnotes tend to identify the characters in the Analects as well as comment on the difficulty of the translation Further, this was written in the pre imperial age when China was little than a collection of feudal states Confucius did not have an immediate impact upon China, however after his disciples commemorated him by writing down his sayings, his style of politics ended up becoming the dominant Some have suggested that Confucius was an Atheist, however the Analects do not seem to suggest that this is the case, he pays due respect to heaven, and there is no indication that he did not believe in a spiritual world What he is interested in though is how to effectively rule the physical world. *Free Book ⇔ 論語 [Lún Yǔ] ☟ In This Excellent English Translation Of The Analects, Or Sayings, Of Confucius, Readers Will Find A Rich Distillation Of The Timeless Precepts Of One Of History S Most Influential Teachers And Social Theorists A Chinese Philosopher Who Lived C To C BC Confucius Originated And Taught An Ethical, Socially Oriented Philosophy That Stressed Proper Behavior And A Sympathetic, Mutually Supportive Attitude Among Individuals, Their Families And Society From His Teachings Came A System Of Ethics For Managing Society That Has Influenced Generations Of Politicians, Social Reformers, And Religious Thinkers Indeed, The Effect Of Confucian Philosophy Has Been So Profound That It Has Become Basic Not Only To An Understanding Of Traditional Chinese Civilization, But Of Western Society As Well Now The Essence Of Confucian Teaching, Contained In The Analects, Is Available In This Inexpensive Volume, Providing Inspirational And Instructive Reading To Anyone Interested In The History Of Social Thought, Chinese Philosophy, Or Theories Of Ethical Behavior You can t review the Analects But you can review editions of the Analects, and this one, translated and commented upon by Annping Chin, is one of the great editions of any philosophy book I ve ever come across The translation clear without being condescending, and Chin includes the Chinese text at the back of the book Her comments are fascinating best of all, she includes references to and quotes from the many traditional commentaries on the book, so you know not only what e.g one random American translator thinks about a given passage, but what one random American professor thinks about it and one to four of the best known Confucians and scholars of Confucius thought It s almost a history of Confucian thought and scholarship in itself E.g., in 6.22 Fan Chi asks about wisdom and humaneness We get information about who Fan Chi was, and learn that the Song statesman and general Fan Zhongyan, many centuries later, rephrased what Confucius says To be first in worrying about the world s worries and last to enjoy its pleasures is to be truly committed to public service It s hard to express my enthusiasm for this edition, really One small thought about the Analects themselves Chin s translation, than others I ve read, helped me understand the importance Confucius places on education and tradition tradition i.e., the rites holds us back, while education i.e., literature lets us broaden ourselves To have either without the other produces a vicious person to have them both in perfect balance produces the best person Were I still a scholar, I d love to write a paper about Confucius as negative dialectician Thankfully, I m not. One of the great classics of world literature Worth reading for the parts that still apply Confucius describes himself as a transmitter, not an originator The book may not contain any original sayings Its main philosophical idea is to avoid extremes That s also an ancient Greek idea One can do no better than to follow that precept In some places, the orifices of a corpse were plugged up to prevent the soul escaping and doing harm to the community In China, mortuary jades were used in the same way The currently accepted dates of the life of Confucius are 551 to 479 BCE Book I1 To learn and at due times to repeat what one has learnt, is that not after all a pleasure 3 Clever talk and a pretentious manner are seldom found in the Good.Book II 2 Let there be no evil in your thoughts 15 He who learns but does not think is lost 17 Yu, shall I teach you what knowledge is When you know a thing, to recognize that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to recognize that you do not know it That is knowledge 18 Hear much, but maintain silence as regards doubtful points and be cautious in speaking of the rest then you will seldom get into trouble Book VI 2 He had a great love of learning Book VII My personal favorite 2 I have listened in silence and noted what was said, I have never grown tired of learning nor wearied of teaching others what I have learnt These at least are merits which I can confidently claim 4 In his leisure hours the Master s manner was very free and easy, and his expression alert and cheerful 5 How utterly things have gone to the Bad with me It is long now indeed since I dreamed that I saw the Duke of Chou 6 lean upon Goodness, seek distraction in the arts 7 none has ever come to me without receiving instruction 8 Only one who bursts with eagerness do I instruct only one who bubbles with excitement, do I enlighten If I hold up one corner and a man cannot come back to me with the other three, I do not continue the lesson 10 The man who was ready to beard a tiger or rush a river without caring whether he lived or died that sort of man I should not take I should certainly take someone who approached difficulties with due caution and who preferred to succeed by strategy 15 Any thought of accepting wealth and rank by means that I know to be wrong is as remote from me as the clouds that float above 16 Give me a few years, so that I may have spent a whole life in study, and I believe that after all I should be fairly free from error 18 The Duke of She asked Tzu lu about Master K ung Tzu lu did not reply The Master said, Why did you not say, This is the character of the man so intent upon enlightening the eager that he forgets his hunger, and so happy in doing so, that he forgets the bitterness of his lot and does not realize that old age is at hand That is what he is 19 I for my part am not one of those who have innate knowledge I am simply one who loves the past and who is diligent in investigating it 20 The Master never talked of prodigies, feats of strength, disorders, or spirits 21 Even when walking in a party of no than three I can always be certain of learning from those I am with There will be good qualities that I can select for imitation and bad ones that will teach me what requires correction in myself 23 My friends, I know you think that there is something I am keeping from you I take no steps about which I do not consult you, my friends Were it otherwise, I should not be Ch iu the familiar name for Confucius 24 The Master took four subjects for his teaching culture, conduct of affairs, loyalty to superiors, and the keeping of promises 26 The Master fished with a line but not with a net when fowling he did not aim at a roosting bird 27 There may well be those who can do well without knowledge but I for my part am certainly not one of them To hear much, pick out what is good and follow it, to see much and take due note of it, is the lower of the two kinds of knowledge 31 When in the Master s presence anyone sang a song that he liked, he did not join at once, but asked for it to be repeated and then joined in 33 The Master said, As to being a Divine Sage or even a Good Man, far be it from me to make any such claim As for unwearying effort to learn and unflagging patience in teaching others, those are merits that I do not hesitate to claim Kung hsi Hua said, The trouble is that we disciples cannot learn Book VIII 17 Learn as if you were following someone whom you could not catch up, as though it were someone you were frightened of losing 18 Sublime were Shun and Yu All that is under Heaven was theirs, yet they remained aloof from it Book IX 7 The Master said, Do I regard myself as a professor of wisdom Far from it But if even a simple peasant comes in all sincerity and asks me a question, I am ready to thrash the matter out, with all its pros and cons, to the very end 24 if you have made a mistake, do not be afraid of admitting the fact and mending your ways Book XII 2 Do not do unto others what you would not like yourself Book XIII 24 Best of all would be that the good people in his village loved him and the bad hated him Book XV 11 He who will not worry about what is far off will soon find something worse than worry close at hand Hear that climate change deniers 20 The demands that a gentleman makes are upon himself those that a small man makes are upon others 23 Tzu kung asked saying, Is there any single saying that one can act upon all day and every day The Master said, Perhaps the saying about consideration Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you 30 I once spent a whole day without food and a whole night without sleep, in order to meditate It was no use It is better to learn Book XVII 3 It is only the very wisest and the very stupidest who cannot change I hope I m on the very wisest side.