Chapter 2

Good Government, Filial Piety, and The Superior Man

January 30, 2020
conf

Confucius= “Let a ruler base his government upon virtuous principles, and he will be like the pole-star, which remains steadfast in its place, while all the host of stars turn towards it.

The ‘Book of Odes’ has 300 pieces. But one expression in it can cover the purport of all, namely unswerving mindfulness. The people will become evasive and devoid of any sense of shame if they are governed simply by statute, pains and penalties. They will develop a sense of shame and know their errors if they are governed by principles of virtue and the Rules of Propriety. When I reached 15, I became bent on study.

We should always follow the Rules of Propriety with regard to our parents=

Parents should bear only one trouble= their own sickness. The filial piety of the present day simply means the being able to support one’s parents.

This extends even to the case of dogs and horses. All of these can support them.

Be versed in ancient lore, and familiarize yourself with the modern; then may you become teachers. The great man is not a mere receptacle.

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He should promote those who have ability and see to the instruction of those who have none. This will make them willing to be led.

'Make it a point to be dutiful to your parents and amicable with your brethren. These same duties extend to an administrator.'
Therefore I am an administrator in my own way. People whose word has no reliability are good for nothing How should your carriages, large or little, get along without your whipple-trees or swing-trees?
Tsz-chang= Is it possible to forecast the state of the country 10 generations from now?
The Yin dynasty adopted the rules and manners of the Hu line of kings. It is possible to tell whether it retrograded or advanced. The Chow line has followed the Yin and adopted its ways. Whether there has been deterioration or improvement may also be determined. Some other line may take up in turn those of Chow. If this process goes on for 100 generations, then the result may be known.
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It is but flattery to make sacrificial offerings to departed spirits not belonging to one's own family. It is moral cowardice to leave undone what one perceives to be right to do.
[Footnote 2= Of Lu (Confucius's native State).] [Footnote 3= Head of one of the "Three Families" of Lu.]

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