‘The Analects’, Confucius [Kong Fuzi]

For one word a man is often deemed to be wise, and for one word he is often deemed to be foolish. We ought to be careful indeed in what we say.

Since Confucius is so generally admired as a thinker, at some point my mind decided that it is only natural to read his writings (or rather the writings of his disciples about the principles advanced by the Master). I took it upon myself then to go through ‘The Analects’, and see what wisdom was hidden there.

Firstly, I’ll warn anyone out there to not use a copy of the book that is written using Wade-Giles. That was my main issue since any name I might have recognized in pinyin was utterly destroyed and annihilated with my mind trying to process whatever combination of Wade-Giles was put before me.

Secondly, go ahead and read the book. Whilst much of what is said about a “superior man” and a “benevolent man” is probably more difficult to adhere to these days, and a fair bit of what is said should be left up to varying interpretations (I am quite strongly opposed to the Master’s idea that all parents should be equally upheld without regard to their merits) there is also much that could be applied leading to a generally better… life.

The man, who in the view of gain, thinks of righteousness; who in the view of danger is prepared to give up his life; and who does not forget an old agreement however far back it extends — such a man may be reckoned a complete man.

[NB! To re-emphasize: If I am to reread this, I would make sure it is pinyin, and well paragraphed without dodgy line breaks or anything like that. Formatting makes *such* a difference.]

Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.

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