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Book of Confucius Ideology Chapter 16

Updated on December 6, 2015

Passage Four Hundred and Twenty Five


English Translation

The head of the Ji family plans to invade Jhuangyu. Ranyou and Zihlu went to meet Confucius: Ji plan to conduct the invasion.

Confucius said: Ranyou, should you be blamed for this? Jhangyu uses to be a part of Lu nation. So, why attack it?

Ranyou said: Ji want to do it, neither Zihlu nor I want to do it.

Confucius said: Ranyou, Zoren once said "Only become a Lord, if you are up to the job. If you are not up to the job, you should resign. If your employer is in trouble and is going to fall down. What use does he have, for people, who can't help him?" Plus, you have a flawed logic. If a tiger escaped from its cage or if a beautiful piece of jewellery is broken, who should you blame?

Zihyou said: Right now, Jhuangyu is very close to us and they are getting pretty powerful. If we don't finish them off now, it outa be a threat in the future.

Confucius said: Zihyou, a true gentleman hates those who won't be straight but choose to look for an excuse. I heard people say, whether it is a King or a Lord, he is not afraid of his country been poor. He is afraid of an increasing gap between rich and poor. He is not afraid of a lack of citizen, he is afraid of civil unrest. If the gap between rich and poor is smaller, mean there are no poor people. If the people unite as one, there will be no civil unrest, then there are no reason to fear, of been few in citizens. If there is no civil unrest, the people won't revolt. Therefore, if people from remote province want independents, then use the spirit of humane to attract them. Once they return, treat them well. Now, the two of you are in government, people from the distance province won't subject and want independent, the country is at the risk of falling into civil war. Now, you want to create a battlefield within the nation itself. I am worried, the nation's true problem, is not within the rebels, but within its government.

Passage Four Hundred and Twenty Six


English Translation

Confucius said: If the nation is just, then the ritual and military power, is within its federal government. When the country is in chaos, then, the ritual and military power comes from the Princes. When a nation is ruled by the warlords, frequently they lost power within ten generation. When it is ruled by the ministers, they usually lost power after five generations. If it is ruled by the minister's staff, it usually last for no more than three generations. If you don't want to be losing your power, then the government need to be just, and then the King would be in charge, rather than the Prime Minister, because if the country is just, the people would love their King.

Passage Four Hundred and Twenty Seven


English Translation

Confucius said: The King has lost power for five generations. The Prime Minister held power for four generations. So the King's descendants have no real power.

Passage Four Hundred and Twenty Eight


English Translation

Confucius said: There are three types of friends, who are good friends and three types of friends who are bad friends. A just friend, a friend that is true to his word and friend that has much knowledge, are good friends. A friend who is a suck up, a friend who is a gangster and a rhetoric friend are bad friends.

Passage Four Hundred and Twenty Nine


English Translation

Confucius said: There are three sorts of good activities, use rituals to help improve your mood, to say a nice thing about people, make friend with good people. There are three sorts of bad behaviour, been a spoiled brat, like to waste your times, like to eat too much.

Passage Four Hundred and Thirty


English Translation

Confucius said: There are three types of mistake a gentleman can make. Speak when he is not ready to speak, that is call, not patient. Not speaking when he is supposed to speak, that is call hiding the fact. Speak before understanding the situation that is stupid.

Passage Four Hundred and Thirty One


English Translation

Confucius said: There are three still sorts of self-control a gentleman need to control. When you are still a teenager, where you are yet mature, you need to learn to control your lustful desire. During your adult year, you need to learn to control your male ego. During your old age, you need to learn to let go of your greed.

Passage Four Hundred and Thirty Two


English Translation

Confucius said: A true gentleman is afraid of three things, the law of nature, great people, and the word of saints. A savage doesn't know to obey the law of nature, great people and would laugh at the word of saints.

Passage Four Hundred and Thirty Three


English Translation

The type of people who are born wise is the best. Those who become wise via learning are the second base. Those who know to learn when they encounter problem are the third base. Those who don't know they should learn, even after they encounter a problem is the worse.

Note: During dark and middle ages Europe, instead of seeking scientific and philosophical knowledge to resolve their problems. Educated who have discovery or theories that contradict the teaching of the church, because contradicting the church, Christian god, bible or the scripture of the religion, is the sin of blasphemy.

If the people of the west, didn't find the courage to committed the sin of blasphemy to the extent of allowing the pursued of scientific knowledge triumph over the church, the western world today, would still be dirty and backward region like it was during the dark and middle ages. And people would still be executed for committing the sin of blasphemy for spreading the truth that the earth is round, not flat, as the bible claim.

Passage Four Hundred and Thirty Four


English Translation

Confucius said: A gentleman think about nine things. First, when he is observing something, have he makes a detail observation? Secondly, when he is listening, have he listens to it clearly? Thirdly, is his expression hostile? Four, is he been humble or arrogant? Five, when he speak, is he acting in accordance to loyalty? Six, when he is working, did he gave all he could give? Seven, when he have a question, have he sought an answer? Eight, when he got angry did he think about the consequence? Nine, when he have a chance to get an advantage, is what he is doing just?

Passage Four Hundred and Thrirty Five


English Translation

Confucius said: When you meet a kind person, you should be eager to catch up to his moral standard. When you meet an unkind person, you don't associate with him. I've seen people like this before. I've also heard of people like this before. Go into hiding, to maintain your goal. Use humanity to achieve your goal. I've heard of people saying this before, but I haven't seen a person like this before.

Passage Four Hundred and Thirty Six


English Translation

Mr Cijing has four thousand horses, but when he die. The peasants didn't call him a great man. Boyi and Shuci died of starvation at the bottom of the mountain. The peasants still love him, today.

Passage Four Hundred and Thirty Seven


English Translation

Chenkang asked Boyu: Have you learn anything special from the master that other people don’t know about?

Boyu said: No. There was once he was standing there. I walked towards him and he asked, "Have you learn about poetry?" I said "no," he said, "If you don't learn it, you cannot gain the trick of diplomacy." So, I went back to learn about the poetry. Another time, he is stand there, I quickly walk forward. He asked "have you learn about politeness." I said "no." He said, "Those who have no politeness, will find it hard, to have a foothold in the society." So, I return to learn about politeness. This is the only two-times he spoke to me.

Chankang returned home happily and said: I gain three answers via one question. Know that poetry is good for diplomacy training. Been polite can help you to get a better foothold in society. And a true gentleman, don't play favour to his own son.

Passage Four Hundred and Thirty Eight


English Translation

The King's wife. The King should call him Furen. She should call herself, Shoutong. The people of the country should call her, Gingfuren. In other country, foreigners should call her, Gwashoujiang. People from her own nation, she calls her Gwashougiang, when she is oversea.

The article's translation of key words





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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