‘ A man has no way of becoming a gentleman unless he understands Destiny*; he has no way of taking his stand unless he understands the rites; he has no way of judging men unless he understands words.’
‘A man has no way of becoming a gentleman unless he understands Destiny*; he has no way of taking his stand unless he understands the rites; he has no way of judging men unless he understands words.’
"As a thing the way is shadowy, indistinct. Indistinct and shadowy, yet within it is an image ..."
“The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal; it lies in the contradictoriness within the thing. There is internal contradiction in every single thing, hence its motion and development.”
“The heart of compassion is the germ of benevolence; the heart of shame, of dutifulness; the heart of courtesy and modesty, of observance of the rites; the heart of right and wrong, of wisdom. Man has these four germs just as he has four limbs.”
" ... Suppose everybody in the world loves universally, loving others as one's self. Will there yet be any unfilial individual?"
|Situating Chinese Philosophy|
Chinese philosophy is pragmatic at root and in orientation — this is expressed through concerns with what we can do and how we ought to do it within the framework of human life as it is actually lived …
“The mind is the master of Heaven-and-Earth and myriad things. The mind is none other than Heaven. If we mention the mind, Heaven-and-Earth and the myriad things all are also mentioned automatically.”
|Xuánxué 玄學 ‘mysterious/dark learning’|
" … one tries to speak about wu, but no words could describe it; name it, but it has no name; look at it, but it does not have any form; listen to it, but it does not give any sound. Then, indeed, it is clear that the Dao is complete (全quan). … The round and the square obtain their form, but that which gives them their form itself does not have any form."
human nature is amoral at best (because of our subjective disorder or ‘passions’ qing 情) and can only be improved through strict adherence to rites and rituals which morally constrain and train it …
"Before there was Heaven or Earth, there was indeed just Li (principle). There being this Li, there was then this Heaven and Earth. If this Li had not been present then there could not have been a Heaven or an Earth or people and creatures either. There would have been nothing to establish them. There being Li there is then lifebreath, which flows about and gives rise to and nurtures the myriad creatures."
"This position between useful and useless might seem a good position, but I tell you it is not, for trouble will pursue you."