Book: The Analects of Confucius

The Analects of Confucius is a classic compilation of teachings by the well known Chinese philosopher. It can be downloaded for free if you google it.

Although some parts can be considered outdated to the enlightened modern mind, I enjoyed reading the many timeless principles scattered throughout.

  • There were four things from which the Master was entirely free. He had no foregone conclusions, no arbitrary predeterminations, no obstinacy, and no egoism.
  • ‘The superior man is satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of distress.’
  • Fan Ch’ih asked about benevolence. The Master said, `It is to love all men.’ He asked about knowledge. The Master said, `It is to know all men.’
  • The disciples of Tsze-hsia asked Tsze-chang about the principles that should characterize mutual intercourse. Tsze-chang asked, `What does Tsze-hsia say on the subject?’ They replied, `Tsze-hsia says: Associate with those who can advantage you. Put away from you those who cannot do so.”‘ Tsze-chang observed, `This is different from what I have learned. The superior man honours the talented and virtuous, and bears with all. He praises the good, and pities the incompetent. Am I possessed of great talents and virtue? who is there among men whom I will not bear with? Am I devoid of talents and virtue? men will put me away from them. What have we to do with the putting away of others?’
  • `The mean man is sure to gloss his faults.’
  • `When I walk along with two others, they may serve me as my teachers. I will select their good qualities and follow them, their bad qualities and avoid them.’
  • `The superior man is correctly firm, and not firm merely.’
  • `There are three friendships which are advantageous, and three which are injurious. Friendship with the upright; friendship with the sincere; and friendship with the man of much observation: these are advantageous. Friendship with the man of specious airs; friendship with the insinuatingly soft; and friendship with the glib-tongued: these are injurious.’

Definitions: “mean man” is an average person. “master” is an enlightened master of life.

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