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Book of Confucius Ideology Chapter 12

Updated on November 25, 2015

Passage Two Hundred and Eighty Three


English Translation

Yanyuan asked about been humane

Confucius said: Restrain your own action, so it all fit been of good manners. That is been humane. Once all of your action is of good manners, then all of your actions can be humane. All of your humane behaviours are determine by you, would it be determine by others?

Yanyuan asked more in detail

Confucius said: If it is of bad manners, don't look at it. If it is of bad manners, don't listen to it. If it is of bad manners, don't say it. If it is of bad manners, don't do it.

Yanyuan said: I might not be smart, but let me do it.

Passage Two Hundred and Eight Four


English Translation

Jhonggong asked about been humane

Confucius said: Treat going out like greeting important guests. When serving the people, you must treat it like a huge ceremony. Things you don't want to do, don't force it upon others. If you are a Lord, don't have complaints. When you do housework, have no complaints

Jhonggong said: I might be stupid, but let me act according to what you said

Passage Two Hundred and Eight Five


English Translation

Sssmuneo asked about been humane

Confucius said: Been humane is about been careful

Sssmuneo asked: Is been careful when you speak, humane?

Confucius said: If it is something difficult to do, can you not, be careful when you speak?

Passage Two Hundred and Eighty Six


English Translation

Sihmaniou asked about been humane.

Confucius said: Be careful when you speak.

Sihmaniou said: Is been careful when you speak, enough?

Confucius said: When coming across difficult things, can we not be careful?

Sihmaniou asked about been a gentleman.

Confucius said: A gentleman have no worry or fear.

Sihmaniou asked: So anybody who has no fear or worry qualifies as a gentleman?

Confucius said: When you do nothing to feel guilty about, then what worry or fear should one have?

Passage Two Hundred and Eighty Seventy


English Translation

Sihmaniou sadly said: Everybody has brothers, except me.

Zeshua said: I heard people said "Life and death, rich or poor are all determine by the gods." A true gentleman is respectful to their job, respectful and polite to others. Within the world, all men are their brothers. Why would a gentleman worry about having no brothers?

Passage Two Hundred and Eighty Eight


English Translation

Zejhang asked: What does it mean to understand?

Confucius said: Been able to see everything clearly. Differentiate between truths and lies. You would not be fooled by lies and manipulation. Then, even if the tricksters can manipulate the entire world, he would not be able to manipulate you.

Passage Two Hundred and Eighty Nine


English Translation

Zihgong asked how to be a good politician

Confucius said: Enough food for the people and a strong enough army to protect the people, thus the people would trust the government.

Zihgong asked: What if we can only do two of the three?

Confucius said: Then forget about defence.

Zihgong then asked: What if we need to get rid of another one?

Confucius said: Then forget about the food, because once the people lost faith in their country, the country would have died.

Passage Two Hundred and Ninety


English Translation

Lazih asked: A true gentleman should only need to be a man of good character, what is the need for him to be culture?

Zihgong said: Pity that is how you understand what it means to be a gentleman. Character and culture are equally important to be a gentleman. If we take away his stripe, would the skin of a tiger be any different from those of a dog?

Passage Two Hundred and Ninety One


English Translation

Mr A asked Ruoyou said: The economy is horrible. The treasury is close to empty. What are we going to do about it?

Ruoyou said: Cut tax by half nationwide.

Mr A said: The treasury is already struggling to get fund, how can we cut tax right now?

Ruoyou said: If the peasants become wealthier, won't the state become wealthier. If the peasants don't have enough money, where would the state's money come from?

Passage Two Hundred and Ninety Two


English Translation

Zihjhang asked: How to raise your moral standard and differentiate between truth and confusion?

Confucius said: Insist on loyalty, credibility and justice. That would increase your moral standard. When you love a person, you hope she live forever, but when you hate, you wish she die right away. Hope for her immortality, and then hope for death, that is confusion. Like they say in the book, "It is not like her family is wealthier than mine. It is because your heart is disappointed.”

Passage Two Hundred and Ninety Three


English Translation

The King of Ci nation asked Confucius about politics.

Confucius said: A King must act like a King. A minister and a Lord must act like a minister and a Lord. A father must act like a father. A son must act like a son

The King said: Well said if the King is not like a King. A minister and a Lord are not like a Minister and a Lord. A father is not like a father. A son is not like a son. Even if there are foods, can I get any of it?

Note: Please read passage Two Hundred and Seventy Five about how Confucius think a King, a Lord and a minister should act. It is very different from the western idea, which is influenced by traditional the western concept of "King is god's given right"

Passage Two Hundred and Ninety Four


English Translation

Confucius said: Zihlu is probably the only person that can tell if a person is guilty after only hearing he speaks.

When he makes a promise, Zihlu never waits till day two.

Passage Two Hundred and Ninety Five


English Translation

Confucius said: When been the judge of a case, it is best, if you can let the parties involve, decide to settle.

Passage Two Hundred and Ninety Six


English Translation

Zihjhang asked about politics

Confucius said: Work hard to govern the country and be loyal to your country.

Passage Two Hundred and Ninety Seven


English Translation

Confucius said: If you are somebody who is educated, if you are polite and if you obey the law, you won't be too far away from the road of righteousness.

Passage Two Hundred and Ninety Eighty


English Translation

Confucius said: A gentleman help people to gain advantages. A savage do the opposite.

Passage Two Hundred and Ninety Nine


English Translation

Jikangzih asked Confucius how to govern a nation.

Confucius said: Politic means just. The King must set an example, to the people, by been just. If a King is just, who else, dare not to be just?

Passage Three Hundred


English Translation

Jikangzih asked Confucius about how to deal with the rising crime wave.

Confucius said: If one is not greedy, then one won't rob, even if your reward robbery.

Passage Three Hundred and One


English Translation

Jikangzih asked Confucius: If I kill every evil person, to serve the interest of the good people, how is that?

Confucius said: As a King, how could your rule by killing people? If you show kindness, the peasants would also be kind. The action of the King is like the wind, the peasants’ actions are like the grass. When the wind blows it would definitely move the grass.

Passage Three Hundred and Two


Zihjhang asked: How would an paladin qualify as Tongdu?

Confucius asked: What do you mean by Tongdu?

Zihjhang responds: To be respected in government and at home.

Confucius said: That is "reputation" not Tongdu. Tongdu means a person who is just. Good at analysing other people's speech and body language and knows to respect your superior. This sort of people would have a good reputation both in government and at home. But is such person humane? He could just be acting or he could be humane for real.

Passage Threewo Hundred and Three


English Translation

Fanchih accompanied Confucius on his vacation and asked: How to raise my moral standard, make no mistake and differentiate from confusion.

Confucius said: Great question, work before gaining profit, isn't that raising your moral standard? Think more about the mistake you make, then blaming people, won't that decrease the mistake you make? Forgetting about your life, your family's life or even your parent's life in a blind rage isn't that confusion?

Passage Three Hundred and Four


English Translation

Fanchih asked about been humane.

Confucius said: Love the people.

Fanchih then asked about intelligence.

Confucius said: Know about people.

Fanchih is not sure what Confucius mean.

Confucius explained saying: To promote people who are in favour of justice above those who are not just, would force people who are not in favour of justice, to be just.

After leaving Fanchih asked Zihsia: What does master mean, by “promoting those who are in favour of justice, above those who are not just, would force people who are not in favour of justice to be just”?

Zihsia said: This is a sentence with very deep meaning. For example, after King Shun ruled the world, he chooses a just man as Prime Minister. Those who chose not to be in favour of justice, right away disappear. When Tang became King, he chose a just man as Prime Minister, those who refuse to be just, right away disappeared.

Passage Three Hundred and Five


English Translation

Zihgong asked, about how to treat friends?

Confucius said: Treat your friends with loyalty and advice your friends honestly, if they won't listen to you, then don't worry about it.

Passage Three Hundred and Six


English Translation

Zengzih said: A gentleman would use knowledge to gather his friends and use friends to raise his own humanity standard.





禮=polite, manner


義=justice, just

士=paladin, scholar

仁=humane, kind

文=culture, scholar









儉=cheap, economical

讓=make way

信=honest, true to one's word, keep one's word, faith, believe

德=moral, kindness, ethnic

道=just, justice, principle, thinking, road


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