“Does Heaven speak?” (Analects 17.17)

From The Analects, 17.17. In the Analects 17.17 (the numbering varies), we have a very interesting “saying” of Confucius with a meaning that is pretty easily gleaned from a literal translation of the characters. At least that’s how it seems to me. Presumably someone with a deeper understanding of Classical Chinese (and that certainly wouldn’t […]

“Superior people look within, common people seek outside.” (Analects, 15.20)

子曰。君子求諸己。小人求諸人。 The Master said, “Superior people look within, common people seek outside.” 子曰 (Zi yue) The Master said 君子 (jūn zǐ) Superior people. Literally “honorable masters”. 求諸己 (qiú zhū jǐ) Search within oneself. Literally: “seek every oneself”. Note: 諸 appears in several idiomatic phrases where the meaning of “every/all” doesn’t really make much sense. This […]

The Six Distortions (from the Analects)

From the Analects, 17.6: 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。 Confucius once asked Zhòng Yóu (仲由) if he had heard of  “the six words and the six distortions”. Yóu said he had not. The Master then explained as follows: The “six words” (六言) are: 仁 (kindness), 知 (wisdom), 信 (reliability), 直 (honesty), 勇 (courage), and […]