論語 Lun Yu, the Analects of Confucius
A translation, divided by topic, of some of the more noteworthy passages.

(tr. Patrick Moran)

Author Family name: Kong 孔

Given name: Qiu 丘

(It is taboo to speak or write the Chinese characters "Kong Qiu.")

Names by which it is proper to refer to him in Chinese:

Kong Zi 孔子 (Master Kong) and Kong Fu Zi 孔夫子 (Grand Master Kong)

Latinized form of the latter: Confucius

Chapter numbers are verse numbers vary depending on the Chinese version chosen and the preferences of interpreters. When the D.C. Lau translation uses a different text arrangement, the chapter and verse are noted as "DCL" numbers.

I. Key passage:

07.08 {7.08 in DCL}
子 曰 : 「 不 憤 不 啟 , 不 悱 不 發 , 舉 一 隅 不 以 三 隅 反 , 則 不 復 也 . 」
The Master said: "I never try to make people open up [to the world of learning] unless they already have a pent up excitement about it. Then if I give them one corner [of a problem or point of study], if they do not come back to me with the other three corners I will not involve myself with them again."

II. First Key cultural element: The Myth of Yu.

子 曰 : 「 禹 , 吾 無 間 然 矣 . 菲 飲 食 , 而 致 孝 乎 鬼 神 ; 惡 衣 服 , 而 致 美 乎 黻 冕 ; 卑 宮 室 , 而 盡 力 乎 溝 洫 . 禹 , 吾 無 間 然 矣 . 」
The Master said: "I have never found fault with Yu. He ate meagerly himself, yet was most filial [that is to say, ample in his provision] to the heaven-linked and earth-linked souls of the departed. His own clothing was shabby, yet he used the most beautiful ceremonial cloaks and gowns. His own dwelling was most humble, yet he exerted himself fully on the drainage ditches and irrigation canals. I have never found fault with Yu."

The Myth of Yu is retold in Samuel Noah Kramer's Mythologies of the Ancient World, p. 398ff.

Second Key cultural element: The Family System.

葉 公 語 孔 子 曰 : 「 吾 黨 有 直 躬 者 , 其 父 攘 羊 , 而 子 證 之 . 」 孔 子 曰 : 「 吾 黨 之 直 者 異 於 是 . 父 為 子 隱 , 子 為 父 隱 , 直 在 其 中 矣 . 」
"Duke" She {pronounced "shuh" as in "shush"} said to Confucius: "In my community there is a person known as 'Straightbody.' His father rustled a sheep, and this son gave evidence against him." Confucius said: "Those in my community who are straight are different from that. A father will be concealed by his son, and a son will be concealed by his father, and straightness is to be found in this fact."

Confucius the Man

或 謂 孔 子 曰 : 「 子 奚 不 為 政 ? 」 子 曰 : 「 書 云 : 『 孝 乎? 惟 孝 、 友 于 兄 弟 , 施 於 有 政 . 』 是 亦 為 政 , 奚 其 為 為 政 ? 」
Someone spoke to Confucius, saying: "Why do you not participate in government?" The Master said: "The Book of Documents records these words: 'Filial Piety? All that is required is to have a filial attitude (toward one's parents) and to be friendly toward one's elder and younger brothers, and apply that mindset to regulating society. That is also participating in government. What need is there for that person to question my 'not participating in government'?"

07.02 {7.02 in DCL}
子 曰 : 「 默 而 識 之 , 學 而 不 厭 , 誨 人 不 倦 , 何 有 於 我 哉 ? 」
The Master said: "Perceiving things in silence, learning tirelessly from others, teaching others without fatigue -- What are those things to me? (I.e., they are not problems for me.)"

9.15 {9.16 in DCL}
子 曰 : 「 出 則 事 公 卿 , 入 則 事 父 兄 , 喪 事 不 敢 不 勉 , 不 為 酒 困 , 何 有 於 我 哉 ? 」
The Master said: "In the public realm he serves dukes and ministers of the court, in the family realm he serves his father and elder brothers, in handling mourning rites he dares not fail to exert himself fully, and he never lets himself become tipsy -- What are these to me?"

07.03 {7.03 in DCL}
子 曰 : 「 德 之 不 脩 , 學 之 不 講 , 聞 義 不 能 徙 , 不 善 不 能 改 , 是 吾 憂 也 . 」
The Master said: "Failure to cultivate one's virtue, failure to fully explain what one has learned by rote, failure to put into practice what one has learned about duty and justice, and to be unable to change what is not good in oneself -- these are the things that I grieve about in myself."

07.15 {7.16 in DCL}
子 曰 : 「 飯 疏 食 飲 水 , 曲 肱 而 枕 之 , 樂 亦 在 其 中 矣 . 不 義 而 富 且 貴 , 於 我 如 浮 雲 . 」
The master said, "There is joy even in a life of eating coarse food and drinking water, and sleeping with just the crook of one's arm for a pillow. To me, a life of nobility and wealth acquired by unjust means would be nothing more than scudding clouds."

07.16 {7.17 in DCL}
子 曰 : 「 加 我 數 年 , 五 十 以 學 易 , 可 以 無 大 過 矣 . 」
The Master said, "Give me a few more years of life, fifty years to study, and I easily could become without major faults." Some say this means, "Give me a few more years of life, fifty years to study the Book of Changes, and I could become without major faults."

07.17 {7.19 in DCL}
子 所 雅 言 , 詩 、 書 、 執 禮 , 皆 雅 言 也 .
The Master spoke with elegant refinement when reciting the Book of Odes, reading the Book of Documents, and when acting as master of ceremonies for the Rites.

(May refer to "correct" pronunciation, i.e., a non-dialectal or court pronunciation.)

07.18 {7.19 in DCL}
公 問 孔 子 於 子 路 , 子 路 不 對 . 子 曰 : 「 女 奚 不 曰 , 其 為 人 也 , 發 憤 忘 食 , 樂 以 忘 憂 , 不 知 老 之 將 至 云 爾 . 」
The "Duke" of She asked Master Lu about Confucius, but Master Lu did not have an answer for him. The Master said, "Why did you not say, he is the kind of person who forgets to eat when he gets excited about something, is so full of joy that he forgets his worries, and who does not know that old age is fast upon him?"

07.19 {7.20 in DCL}
子 曰 : 「 我 非 生 而 知 之 者 , 好 古 , 敏 以 求 之 者 也 . 」
The Master said: "I am not someone who was born knowing things. I love antiquity and I earnestly seek it."

07.33 {7.34 in DCL}
子 曰 : 「 若 聖 與 仁 , 則 吾 豈 敢 ? 抑 為 之 不 厭 , 誨 人 不 倦 , 則 可 謂 云 爾 已 矣 . 」 公 西 華 曰 : 「 正 唯 弟 子 不 能 學 也 . 」
The Master said: "As for being sagely and benevolent, how could I deserve such praise? All that can be said about me is that I work at it without wearying, and I teach people tirelessly." Gong-xi Hua said, "Those are just the qualities that we disciples are unable to emulate."

07.34 {7.35 in DCL}
子 疾 病 , 子 路 請 禱 . 子 曰 : 「 有 諸 ? 」 子 路 對 曰 : 「 有 之 . 誄 曰 :『 禱 爾 于 上 下 神 祇 . 』 」 子 曰 : 「 丘 之 禱 久 矣 . 」
The Master suffered an acute illness. Master Lu asked permission to pray on his behalf. The Master said: "Is such a thing ever done?" Master Lu responded, "It has been done. The Book of Odes says: 'Pray for it to the spirits above and below.'" The Master said, "My prayers have already been being offered for a long time now."

09.04 子 絕 四 : 毋 意 , 毋 必 , 毋 固 , 毋 我 .
The Master rejected four things: He would not be willful. He would not have that which he must do regardless of circumstances. He would not hold stubbornly to any single course of action. He would not be ego-centric.

子 於 鄉 黨 , 恂 恂 如 也 , 似 不 能 言 者 . 其 在 宗 廟 朝 廷 , 便 便 言 , 唯 謹 爾 .
When he was among members of his own community, the Master was sincere and wholesome in appearance, as though he did not trust himself to speak. When he was at the ancestral temple or the royal court, he spoke with clarity while yet remaining extremely mindful of his own position.

與 下 大 夫 言 , 侃 侃 如 也 ; 與 上 大 夫 言 , 誾 誾 如 也 . 君 在 , 踧 踖 如 也 . 與 與 如 也 .
At court, when he spoke with the lesser officials he was direct and forthright. When he spoke with the greater officials, he was affable and responsive. When the sovereign was present, he was reverent and ill at ease .

君 召 使 擯 , 色 勃 如 也 , 足 躩 如 也 . 揖 所 與 立 , 左 右 手 . 衣 前 後 , 襜 如 也 . 趨 進 , 翼 如 也 . 賓 退 , 必 復 命 曰 : 「 賓 不 顧 矣 . 」
When the sovereign summoned him to greet and provide accomodations for foreign guests, his countenance became thoughtful and his pace became elegant. He folded his hands in front of himself and saluted all those present, turning his hands to the left and to the right as appropriate. He did not permit his clothing to get askew. When he had need of hurrying forward, he spread his arms and shoulders like the wings of a bird ready to take flight. When the guests were departing, he always responded to the sovereign by saying, "The guests are no longer looking back."

入 公 門 , 鞠 躬 如 也 , 如 不 容 . 立 不 中 門 , 行 不 履 閾 . 過 位 , 色 勃 如 也 , 足 躩 如 也 , 其 言 似 不 足 者 . 攝 齊 升 堂 , 鞠 躬 如 也 , 屏 氣 似 不 息 者 . 出 , 降 一 等 , 逞 顏 色 , 怡 怡 如 也 . 沒 階 趨 , 翼 如 也 . 復 其 位 , 踧 踖 如 也 .
When entering the gateway to the royal court, [Confucius] gave the appearance of bowing, as though [the entrance] was too low for him. When standing still he did not center himself in the doorway, and when moving he did not tread on the door threshold. When he passed in front of the throne his countenance became grave and his pace became sprightly. His speech became restained. When he lifted the hem of his robe and ascended to the throne room, he looked almost like he was bowing, and he controlled his breath so that it seemed that he was not breathing. On leaving the throne room, as soon as he had descended one level his color returned to normal, and he appeared relieved. When he descended to the bottom of the stairway, he seemed to take wing and when he returned to his own position, he appeared reverent and ill at ease.

執 圭 ,鞠 躬 如 也 , 如 不 勝 . 上 如 揖 , 下 如 授 . 勃 如 戰 色 , 足 縮 縮 , 如 有 循 . 享 禮 , 有 容 色 . 私 覿 , 愉 愉 如 也 .
When he held the gui [ceremonial jade septre] he appeared to bend over as though overcome by its gravity. When he raised it it was as though he were clasping his hands in veneration, and when he lowered it it was as though he were bestowing it upon someone. Filled with caution, it seemed as though he were beset in a war. His feet kept close together and near the ground, as though he were walking a straight line. When he participated in the Rites, he had an accepting countenance. When he visited foreign guests, he was more ebullient.

10.16 {10.24 in DCL}
寢 不 尸 , 居 不 容 . 見 齊 衰 者 , 雖 狎 , 必 變 . 見 冕 者 與 瞽 者 , 雖 褻 , 必 以 貌 . 凶 服 者 式 之 . 式 負 版 者 . 有 盛 饌 , 必 變 色 而 作 . 迅 雷 風 烈 , 必 變 .
When he lay sleeping he did not sprawl out like a corpse. When he was at home he was not too casual. When he saw someone who was in mourning, even though it were not someone close to him, he would always change his countenance. When he saw an official wearing his official hat or a blind man, even if it were someone among his familiars, he would always greet them in a formal manner. He would likewise greet those who had suffered a reversal of fortune. If he attended a generous feast, he would always adjust his countenance and rise to offer his thanks. If there was a sudden clap of thunder or a violent gust of wind, his countenance would always change.

10.17 {10.26 in DCL}
升 車 , 必 正 立 執 綏 . 車 中 , 不 內 顧 , 不 疾 言 , 不 親 指 .
When he was ascending into a carriage he would always remain erect and grasp the mounting straps. When sitting in a carriage he would not look around from side to side, and he would not talk in an animated way. Nor would he personally point at anything.

11.25 子 路 、 曾 皙 、 冉 有 、 公 西 華 侍 坐 . 子 曰 : 「 以 吾 一 日 長 乎 爾 , 毋 吾 以 也 . 居 則 曰 : 「 不 吾 知 也 ! 』 如 或 知 爾 , 則 何 以 哉 ? 」 子 路 率 爾 而 對 曰 : 「 千 乘 之 國 , 攝 乎 大 國 之 間 , 加 之 以 師 旅 , 因 之 以 饑 饉 ; 由 也 為 之 , 比 及 三 年 , 可 使 有 勇 , 且 知 方 也 . 」
Master Lu (You), Zeng Xi (Dian), Ran You (Qiu), and Gong-xi Hua (Chi) were sitting in attendance. The Master said: "Do not, because I am a day older than you, take me to be [someone to defer to]. When you are at your leisure you say, 'Nobody has even heard of me!" If you were known to people, then what would you like it to be for?"

Master Lu lead the group off by saying, "If there were a country of a thousand war chariots, trapped in the midst of larger countries who would like to add it to their own countries by means of their armies and expeditions, and beset by food shortages, should I take up the leadership of this country, then within about three years I could cause the country to become brave in its own defense and to find a direction for itself."
夫 子 哂 之 . 「 求 ! 爾 何 如 ? 」 對 曰 : 「 方 六 七 十 , 如 五 六 十 , 求 也 為 之 , 比 及 三 年 , 可 使 足 民 . 如 其 禮 樂 , 以 俟 君 子 . 」

The Grand Master gave a faint smile. "Chiu (Ran You) ? What about you?" He responded, " If there were any area of from sixty to seventy square, or maybe fifty to sixty square, then I would accept the task of administering it. Within about three years I could make it so that the people had a sufficiency. However, in the case of that country's Rites and Music, that would have to await a true sovereign."

「 赤 ! 爾 何 如 ? 」 對 曰 : 「 非 曰 能 之 , 願 學 焉 . 宗 廟 之 事 , 如 會 同 , 端 章 甫 , 願 為 小 相 焉 . 」
"Chi (Gong-xi Hua), how about you?" [He] responded:"I am not saying that I would be able to do it, but I am willing to learn. I would like to be a minor official in the temple of the (royal) clan, during meetings between sovereigns, or during visits of foreign royalty."

「 點 ! 爾 何 如 ? 」 鼓 瑟 希 , 鏗 爾 , 舍 瑟 而 作 . 對 曰 : 「 異 乎 三 子 者 之 撰 . 」 子 曰 : 「 何 傷 乎 ? 亦 各 言 其 志 也 . 」 曰 : 「 莫 春 者 , 春 服 既 成 . 冠 者 五 六 人 , 童 子 六 七 人 , 浴 乎 沂 , 風 乎 舞 雩 , 詠 而 歸 . 」 夫 子 喟 然 歎 曰 : 「 吾 與 點 也 ! 」
"Dian (Zeng Xi)? How about you?" The sound of the qin he played trailed off, he put his instrument down and stood up. He replied, "My (preferred) activities are different from those three gentlemen." The Master said, "What injury does that do? Each of us is just expressing his own aspirations." He said: "I would like, on some spring day, when the new clothing for the spring season has been finished, to go with five or six adults and five or six youths to bathe in the river Zhe, take the wind at the altar of the rain, and then to come home singing." The Master sighed in contented agreement and said, "I am with Dian!"

三 子 者 出 , 曾 皙 後 . 曾 皙 曰 : 「 夫 三 子 者 之 言 何 如 ? 」 子 曰 : 「 亦 各 言 其 志 也 已 矣 . 」 曰 : 「 夫 子 何 哂 由 也 ? 」 曰 : 「 為 國 以 禮 , 其 言 不 讓 , 是 故 哂 之 . 」 「 唯 求 則 非 邦 也 與 ? 」 「 安 見 方 六 七 十 如 五 六 十 而 非 邦 也 者 ? 」 「 唯 赤 則 非 邦 也 與 ? 」 宗 廟 會 同 , 非 諸 侯 而 何 ? 赤 也 為 之 小 , 孰 能 為 之 大 ? 」
Three of them left, and Zeng Xi remained. Zeng Xi said: "Well now, what about the words of those three?" The Master said, "They were each just expressing their own aspirations, nothing more." [Zeng Xi] said, "Why did my Master smile at You (i.e., Master Lu)?" [Confucius] said, "One manages a country by means of the Rites, but his words did not avoid pushing himself forward, so I smiled at him." [Zeng Xi] said, "Was [Ran] Qiu not talking about [ruling] a country?" [Confucius] said, "How could somebody talk about a place of sixty or seventy miles or even fifty or sixty miles and not have that be a country?" [Zeng Xi] said: "Was Chi (Gong-xi Hua) not talking about [ruling] a country?" [Confucius] said, "If someone were holding official meetings in a clan temple, what could that person be other than the lord of a feudal domain? If Chi is taken to be a minor figure, then who could be counted as a major figure?"

子 曰 : 「 莫 我 知 也 夫 ! 」 子 貢 曰 : 「 何 為 其 莫 知 子 也 ? 」 子 曰 : 「 不 怨 天 , 不 尤 人 . 下 學 而 上 達 . 知 我 者 , 其 天 乎 ! 」
The Master said, "Nobody understands me." Master Gong said, "Why do you say that nobody knows you?" The Master said, "I do not blame Heaven and hold nothing against any man. I learn the basics and carry them to heights. The only one who understands me is Heaven."

15.36 {15.37 in DCL} 子 曰 : 「 君 子 貞 而 不 諒 . 」
The Master said: "The morally noble man has a firm constancy and and yet is not stubborn."

孔 子 曰 : 「 君 子 有 九 思 : 視 思 明 , 聽 思 聰 , 色 思 溫 , 貌 思 恭 , 言 思 忠 , 事 思 敬 , 疑 思 問 , 忿 思 難 , 見 得 思 義 . 」
Master Kong said: "The morally noble man has nine goals: In looking he seeks clearness. In listening he seeks acuity. In his contenance he seeks warmth. In his deportment he seeks to be respectful. In his speech he seeks to be honest. In handling affairs he seeks to take due care*. In cases of doubt he seeks to make inquiry. In anger he seeks to see potential bad consequences. In cases where he sees the possibility of making acquisitions he seeks to do the right thing."

(*Respect for the buzz-saw.)

陳 亢 問 於 伯 魚 曰 : 「 子 亦 有 異 聞 乎 ? 」 對 曰 : 「 未 也 . 嘗 獨 立 , 鯉 趨 而 過 庭 . 曰 : 『 學 詩 乎 ? 』 對 曰 : 『 未 也 . 』 『 不 學 詩 , 無 以 言 . 』 鯉 退 而 學 詩 . 他 日 又 獨 立 , 鯉 趨 而 過 庭 . 曰 : 『 學 禮 乎 ? 』 對 曰 :『 未 也 . 』 『 不 學 禮 , 無 以 立 . 』 鯉 退 而 學 禮 . 聞 斯 二 者 . 」 陳 亢 退 而 喜 曰 : 「 問 一 得 三 , 聞 詩 , 聞 禮 , 又 聞 君 子 之 遠 其 子 也 . 」
Chen Kang asked Bo Yu (the son of Confucius): "You, sir, must surely have heard things others have not been privileged to hear." He responded: "No. Once he was standing along and I hurried past his chamber. He said: 'Have you studied the Odes?' I responded, 'Not yet.' [The Master replied:] 'If you do not study the Odes you will have nothing to use in conversations.' I went back and studied the Odes. Once more I found him standing by himself as I hurried past his chamber. He said: 'Have you studied the Rituals?' [I] responded, 'Not yet.' [He said,] 'If you do not study the Rituals, you will have nothing upon which to stand.' I went back and studied the Rituals. I have received these two teachings."

Chen Kang went back home and happily said, "I asked one question and learned three things: I have heard about the Odes, I have heard about the Rituals, and I have also learned how the morally noble man does not behave familiarly with his own son."

子 之 武 城 , 聞 弦 歌 之 聲 . 夫 子 莞 爾 而 笑 , 曰 : 「 割 雞 焉 用 牛 刀 ? 」 子 游 對 曰 : 「 昔 者 偃 也 聞 諸 夫 子 曰 : 『 君 子 學 道 則 愛 人 , 小 人 學 道 則 易 使 也 . 』 」 子 曰 : 「 二 三 子 ! 偃 之 言 是 也 . 前 言 戲 之 耳 . 」
The Master went to Wu city and there he heard the sound of stringed instruments and singing. The Grand Master grinned and said, "Why would anyone use a knife intended to slaughter cattle to kill a chicken?" Master You responded, "In times past, I learned from you, Master, 'The morally noble man learns the Way and therefore loves people. The man of low capacities learns the Way and therefore is easily managed." The Master said, "You several disciples! What Yan (i.e., Master You) says is correct. My remark a moment ago was made in jest."

18.06 {18.07 in DCL}
子 路 從 而 後 , 遇 丈 人 , 以 杖 荷 蓧 . 子 路 問 曰 : 「 子 見 夫 子 乎 ? 」 丈 人 曰 : 「 四 體 不 勤 , 五 穀 不 分 . 孰 為 夫 子 ? 」 植 其 杖 而 芸 . 子 路 拱 而 立 . 止 子 路 宿 , 殺 雞 為 黍 而 食 之 , 見 其 二 子 焉 . 明 日 , 子 路 行 以 告 . 子 曰 : 「 隱 者 也 . 」 使 子 路 反 見 之 . 至 則 行 矣 . 子 路 曰 : 「 不 仕 無 義 . 長 幼 之 節 , 不 可 廢 也 ; 君 臣 之 義 , 如 之 何 其 廢 之 ? 欲 潔 其 身 , 而 亂 大 倫 . 君 子 之 仕 也 , 行 其 義 也 . 道 之 不 行 , 已 知 之 矣 . 」
Master Lu had lagged behind while following [Confucius] and encountered an elderly man who was using a pole to bear a basket. Master Lu asked him: "Sir, have you seen the Grand Master?" The elderly man said: "He doesn't exert any energy with his four limbs. He can't differentiate the five kinds of grain. What kind of a 'Grand Master' is that?" With that the elderly man supported himself on his staff and went off to weed the field. Master Lu made and obeisance and stood there. [The elderly man] kept Master Lu with him over night. He killed a chicken to make a meal and fed Master Lu. Moreover, he introduced his two sons upon this occasion. The next day, Master Lu went to tell [Confucius]. The Master said: "He is a recluse." He deputed Master Lu to return to visit the elderly man. When he got there [the elderly man] had departed. Master Lu said [to the family members who were still at home], "To fail to serve in the government is to be unrighteous. One cannot abandon the obligations between younger people and their elders. Why has he dispensed with the obligations that hold between sovereign and minister? He desires to purify his person, but he puts the great moral relationships into disorder. The way for a morally noble man to serve in the government is for him to put his sense of right and wrong into use. We have long known that the Way is not well travelled."

============= Key Passages: ==================

01.02 {DCL same}
有 子 曰 : 「 其 為 人 也 孝 弟 , 而 好 犯 上 者 , 鮮 矣 ; 不 好 犯 上 , 而 好 作 亂 者 , 未 之 有 也 . 君 子 務 本 , 本 立 而 道 生 . 孝 弟 也 者 , 其 為 仁 之 本 與 ! 」
Master You said: "Few are those who are filial toward their parents and maintain a proper attitude of respect toward their elder brothers, and yet are inclined to oppose their superiors. Never has anyone been inclined to cause civil disorder who is not first inclined to oppose their superiors. The morally noble man applies his efforts to the root. If the root is established then the Way will grow from it. Filial piety and respect for elder brothers is the root from which benevolence is produced."

子 曰 : 「 道 之 以 政 , 齊 之 以 刑 , 民 免 而 無 恥 ; 道 之 以 德 , 齊 之 以 禮 , 有 恥 且 格 . 」
The Master said: "If one directs the people by rule imposed from above and keeps them in line by means of punishment, then the people will avoid these manipulations and will be without shame. If one directs the people by means of virtue and keeps them in line by means of the rituals, then they will feel shame when appropriate and they will be motivated by righteousness."

The Master said: "If the ruler is upright, the people will do things without being ordered; if the ruler is not upright, even though he orders people to do something they will not comply."

子 曰 : 「 君 子 不 器 . 」
The Master said: "The morally noble man is not a (utensil =) tool [for someone else to use]."

06.10 {6.12 in DCL}
冉 求 曰 : 「 非 不 說 子 之 道 , 力 不 足 也 . 」 子 曰 : 「 力 不 足 者 , 中 道 而 廢 . 今 女 畫 . 」
Ran Qiu said: "It is not that I dislike the Way of the Master, rather it is that my strength is insufficient." The Master said: "Those whose strength is insufficient fall to the side somewhere along the way. But, in the present case, you draw a limit before you even get started."

子 貢 問 曰 : 「 有 一 言 而 可 以 終 身 行 之 者 乎 ? 」 子 曰 : 「 其 恕 乎 ! 己 所 不 欲 , 勿 施 於 人 . 」
Master Gong asked: "Is there one saying that one can practice all of his life?" The Master said, "It is: 'Put yourself in the other person's place.' Do not do to others what you do not want done to you."

子 曰 : 「 君 子 之 於 天 下 也 , 無 適 也 , 無 莫 也 , 義 之 與 比 . 」
The Master said, "The way a morally noble man conducts himself in the world is that there is no command that he will unquestioningly follow, and nothing that he will unconditionally reject doing. Each situation must be brought before the scale of justice."

09.10 {9.11 in DCL}
顏 淵 喟 然 歎 曰 : 「 仰 之 彌 高 , 鑽 之 彌 堅 ; 瞻 之 在 前 , 忽 焉 在 後 . 夫 子 循 循 然 善 誘 人 , 博 我 以 文 , 約 我 以 禮 . 欲 罷 不 能 , 既 竭 吾 才 , 如 有 所 立 卓 爾 . 雖 欲 從 之 , 末 由 也 已 . 」
Yan Yuan sighed and said: "When I look upward he grows even taller, when I try to bore through he grows even harder, when I see him in front of me suddenly he is behind me. The Grand Master is good at leading people forward step by step. He broadens me by literature, and then restricts me by Ritual. Even if I wanted to stop, I could not. After I have fully commited all of my talents, it seems that there is yet something glorious standing before me. Even though I want to pursue it, there is no way forward.

子 曰 : 「 吾 十 有 五 而 志 于 學 , 三 十 而 立 , 四 十 而 不 惑 , 五 十 而 知 天 命 , 六 十 而 耳 順 , 七 十 而 從 心 所 欲 , 不 踰 矩 . 」
The Master said: "When I was fifteen my aspiration was to study. At thirty I was firmly established. At forty I no longer harbored any delusions. At fifty I knew the Mandate of Heaven. At sixty my ears were atuned. And at seventy I could follow all the desires of my heart without transgressing."

子 曰 : 「 君 子 成 人 之 美 , 不 成 人 之 惡 . 小 人 反 是 . 」
The Master said: "The morally noble man brings the virtues of others to completion; he does not bring their evils to completion. The petty man does the reverse."

子 曰 : 「 伯 夷 、 叔 齊 不 念 舊 惡 , 怨 是 用 希 . 」
The Master said: "Bo Yi and Shu Qi did not hold on to old resentments. So those who resented them were few."

09.25 {9.26 in DCL}
子 曰 : 「 三 軍 可 奪 帥 也 , 匹 夫 不 可 奪 志 也 . 」
The Master said: "It is possible to sieze the general of the Three Armies by force, but it is not possible to take over the will of a common man by force."

================Also of interest:===============

子 曰 : 「 學 而 不 思 則 罔 , 思 而 不 學 則 殆 . 」
The Master said: "To learn [from written records and from tradition] and yet not to think will lead to being deluded. To think without learning will lead to danger."

(Rote learning needs to be balanced by research.
On the other hand, certain things do not depend on externals:)

07.29 {7.30 in DCL}
子 曰 : 「 仁 遠 乎 哉 ? 我 欲 仁 , 斯 仁 至 矣 . 」
The Master said: "Is benevolence far away? I need only desire to be benevolent and benevolence will arrive."

季 康 子 問 : 「 使 民 敬 、 忠 以 勸 , 如 之 何 ? 」 子 曰 : 「 臨 之 以 莊 則 敬 , 孝 慈 則 忠 , 舉 善 而 教 不 能 , 則 勸 . 」
Master Ji Kang asked: "How about exhorting people earnestly as a way to cause the people to be respectful?"

The Master said: "If you oversee them with grave dignity then they will be respectful. If you use filial piety and compassion then they will be loyal. And if you take up goodness to teach those who are unable, then they will be exhorted."

子 曰 : 「 周 監 於 二 代 , 郁 郁 乎 文 哉 ! 吾 從 周 . 」
The Master said, "The Zhou looks back upon the previous two dynasties. How bontiful were their cultures. I follow the Zhou."

(summation of cultural inventions)

子 曰 : 「 見 賢 思 齊 焉 , 見 不 賢 而 內 自 省 也 . 」
The Master said: "When you see the worthy, aspire to come up even to them. When you see those who are unworthy, examine yourself internally [for any of their faults]."

(Do not be envious, just correct yourself.

And, similarly,)

07.21 {7.22 in DCL}
子 曰 : 「 三 人 行 , 必 有 我 師 焉 . 擇 其 善 者 而 從 之 , 其 不 善 者 而 改 之 . 」
The Master said: "When three people are travelling together, there must be a teacher for me. I select their good points and follow them, and select their bad points and change them [in myself]."

(Absorb the good points of others. Do not criticize them for their bad points, just check whether you are doing the same things yourself.)

06.08 {6.10 in DCL}
伯 牛 有 疾 , 子 問 之 , 自 牖 執 其 手 , 曰 : 「 亡 之 , 命 矣 夫 ! 斯 人 也 而 有 斯 疾 也 ! 斯 人 也 而 有 斯 疾 也 ! 」
Bo Niu was gravely ill. The Master came to inquire about his condition. He held his hand through the window and said,"He perishes! It must be on account of the Mandate [of Heaven]. How shall such a person have such a disease? How shall such a person have such a disease?"

(On the mandate in human affairs:)

06.13 {6.15 in DCL}
子 曰 : 「 孟 之 反 不 伐 , 奔 而 殿 . 將 入 門 , 策 其 馬 , 曰 : 『 非 敢 後 也 , 馬 不 進 也 . 』 」
The Master said, "Meng Zhi-fan did not boast. He covered the retreat of our soldiers from behind, and then when they were about to pass through the city wall he spurred his horse to the fore, saying, 'It it not that I dared to guard the rear. My horse refused to advance.'"

(An admired example of modesty and courage.)

06.28 {6.30 in DCL}
子 貢 曰 : 「 如 有 博 施 於 民 而 能 濟 眾 , 何 如 ? 可 謂 仁 乎 ? 」 子 曰 : 「 何 事 於 仁 , 必 也 聖 乎 ! 堯 舜 其 猶 病 諸 ! 夫 仁 者 , 己 欲 立 而 立 人 , 己 欲 達 而 達 人 . 能 近 取 譬 , 可 謂 仁 之 方 也 已 . 」
Master Gong said: "How about someone who is able to provide amply for the people and give aid to the multitudes? Can that be called benevolence?" The Master said: "How can that be limited to benevolence? Such a person must be a Sage! Not even Yao and Shun were without defects in that regard. Now, benevolence is a matter of going on to establish other people because one seeks to establish oneself, and of bringing other people to perfection because one desires perfection for oneself. Being able to understand others by analogy to oneself may be said to be the basic recipe for benevolence."

(The morally noble man is as interested in helping others advance as he is in achieving his own advancement.)

07.20 {7.21 in DCL}
子 不 語 怪 , 力 , 亂 , 神 .
The Master did not discuss anomalies, feats of strength, (civil) disorder, or the spirits.

(Interesting because of the impact it had on later studies.)

(The good or bad results of natural tendencies:)

子 曰 : 「 恭 而 無 禮 則 勞 , 慎 而 無 禮 則 葸 , 勇 而 無 禮 則 亂 , 直 而 無 禮 則 絞 . 君 子 篤 於 親 , 則 民 興 於 仁 ; 故 舊 不 遺 , 則 民 不 偷 . 」
The Master said, "If one is respectful without the benefit of the Rituals, then one will be obsequeous. If one is cautious without the guidance of the Rituals then one will be timid. If one is brave without the guidance of the Rituals then the result will be civil disorder. And if one is straightforward without the guidance of the Rituals, then one will be undiplomatic."

子 曰 : 「 由 也 , 女 聞 六 言 六 蔽 矣 乎 ? 」 對 曰 : 「 未 也 . 」 「 居 ! 吾 語 女 . 好 仁 不 好 學 , 其 蔽 也 愚 ; 好 知 不 好 學 , 其 蔽 也 蕩 ; 好 信 不 好 學 , 其 蔽 也 賊 ; 好 直 不 好 學 , 其 蔽 也 絞 ; 好 勇 不 好 學 , 其 蔽 也 亂 ; 好 剛 不 好 學 , 其 蔽 也 狂 . 」
The Master said: "You, have you heard the six propositions about obscurations?" He responded,"Not yet." Stick around! I will tell you. If you love benevolence without loving to learn, then the obscuring factor is foolishness. If you love knowledge without loving to learn, then the obscuring factor is lack of any depth. If you love trust without loving study, then the obscuring factor is getting robbed. If you love directness without loving learning, then the obscuring factor is bluntness. If you love bravery without loving learning, then the obscuring factor is civil disorder. If you love obdurateness then the obscuring factor will be tumult."

(The opposites of the immovable mind.)

(Attitude toward the supernatural:)

11.11 {11.12 in DCL}
季 路 問 事 鬼 神 . 子 曰 : 「 未 能 事 人 , 焉 能 事 鬼 ? 」 敢 問 死 . 曰 : 「 未 知 生 , 焉 知 死 ? 」
Ji Lu asked about serving the ghosts and spirits. The Master said: "You are not yet able to serve human being, so how could you serve ghosts?"
"I dare to ask about death."
[Confucius] said:"You do not yet know about life, so how could you understand death?"

15.28 {15.29 in DCL}
子 曰 : 「 人 能 弘 道 , 非 道 弘 人 . 」
The Master said: "Human beings are able to broaden the Way. It is not the case that the Way broadens human beings."

Other interesting passages include: 1.05; 1.08; 1.13 2.01, 2.05, 2.06, 2.10, 2.14, 2.19 3.13, 3.15, 3.19, 3.20 4.02, 4.03, 4.04, 4.05, 4.06, 4.08, 4.09, 4.14, 4.15 5.21, 5.22, 5.27 6.25, 6.29 7.07, 8.08, 8.13, 8.14, 9.23 9.24, 9.27 11.26 12.7, 12.9, 12.19 13.13 14.34, 14.38 15.9, 15.23, 15.24, 15.39 17.2, 17.3, 17.13, 17.19, 17.23 20.1

Since it was created, this page has received [an error occurred while processing this directive] visits.