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The book of Confucius Ideology Chapter 2

Updated on November 25, 2015

Passage Seventeen

子曰:「為政以德,譬如北辰,居其所而眾星共之。」

English Translation

Confucius said: As a King, you should be moral and have kindness. Because the King is like a central star and the people are like those stars that circle around you.

Note: Modern western philosophers have a theory call the “dominating culture”. Within this idea, it believes there are many voices in the society to begin with, but frequently, there are layers of gatekeepers within our society, that only allow certain voices to be express, it is a situation that even apply to a modern democratic era. For example, the media can use editing to only allow the expression of certain voices. The legislation branch of a nation’s government can still in the 21st century, make laws to suppress the expression of certain view if it is constitutional.


Passage Eighteen

子曰:「詩三百,一言以蔽之,曰『思無邪』。」

English Translation

Confucius said: There are three hundred pieces in "shijing". The summary is "Have no evil thoughts".

Passage Nineteen

子曰:「道之以政,齊之以刑,民免而無恥;道之以德,齊之以禮,有恥且格。」

English Translation

Confucius said: If you try to get the people to be just by making laws and enforcing those laws via punishment. It might lead the people to be afraid of committing crimes, but they will not be ashamed of it and would try to find legal loopholes to get their way. But if we try to lead the people through moral values and use manners to enforce it, not only would the people obey the law they would be proud of it.

Note: Despite after winning the American civil war, there were originally many whites living in the Southern States, who are still racist to the black. They are willing to submit to the law of the North, but they are not willing to agree with it. It is only through years of education, did the mainstream value in the Southern States started to change, with passing generations.

Passage Twenty

子曰:「吾十有五而志于學,三十而立,四十而不惑,五十而知天命,六十而耳順,七十而從心所欲,不踰矩。」

English Translation

Confucius said: When I was fifteen, I made it my goal to become an educated. By the time I was thirty, I am somebody who is contributing. By the time I was forty, I have clear understanding towards anything and no longer get confused. By the time I was fifty, I understand the law of nature. By the time I was sixty, I can easily differentiate between right and wrong. By the time I was seventy, I can do whatever you want, but not do anything wrong.

Passage Twenty One

孟懿子問孝。子曰:「無違。」樊遲御,子告之曰:「孟孫問孝於我,我對曰『無違』。」樊遲曰:「何謂也?」子曰:「生事之以禮;死葬之以禮,祭之以禮。」

Mengyizih asked Confucius, how one should honor his parents.

Confucius respond saying: Don't contradict manners.

Later when on a carriage, Confucius told the driver saying: Mengyizih asked me how he should honour his parents, I responded saying "don't contradict manners".

The driver asked: What do that mean?

Confucius said: When your parents are alive, honour them in accordance to the right manners, after they died, bury them in accordance to the right manners and remember them according to the right manners.

Passage Twenty Two

孟武伯問孝。子曰:「父母唯其疾之憂。」

Mengwubi asked about how to honour your parents.

Confucius said: Only let your parents worry about you when you are sick.

Passage Twenty Three

子游問孝。子曰:「今之孝者,是謂能養。至於犬馬,皆能有養;不敬,何以別乎?」

English Translation

Zihyou asked about how one should honour his parents.

Confucius said: Honour your parents involve taking care of them. Because they are too old to take care of them self. But when you feed a dog or a horse that is taking care of them too. So, if you don't respect your parents, how is it different from taking care of a dog or horse?

Passage Twenty Four

子夏問孝。子曰:「色難。有事弟子服其勞,有酒食先生饌,曾是以為孝乎?」

English Translation

Zihsia asked about how to honor one's parents.

Confucius said: To always be agreeable to your parents might be difficult, but if all you are doing, is to be the one that complete the tasks that need to be completed and give them food and wine, is that enough, for you to qualify, as honoring your parents?

Passage Twenty Five

子曰:「吾與回言終日,不違如愚。退而省其私,亦足以發。回也,不愚。」

English Translation

Confucius said: I talked to this person all day, but he never responded. It was as if he is stupid. But after observation, I realized, he understand what I said very well and is able to use it, however, he want. So, he is not stupid.

Passage Twenty Six

子曰:「視其所以,觀其所由,察其所安。人焉廋哉?人焉廋哉?」

English Translation

Confucius said: By observing the detail of a person's action, understand his motivations, observe his attitude, you can see the character of this person.

Passage Twenty Seven

子曰:「溫故而知新,可以為師矣。」

English Translation

Confucius said: When you are revising old knowledge, you could find new knowledge and then you can be a teacher.

Passage Twenty Eight

子曰:「君子不器。」

English Translation

Confucius said: A gentlemen cannot be like a tool that only has one function.

Passage Twenty Nine

子貢問君子。子曰:「先行其言,而後從之。」

English Translation

Zihgong asked Confucius what qualify as real gentlemen.

Confucius said: Before you do something, tell people what you are going to do first.

Passage Thirty

子曰:「君子周而不比,小人比而不周。」

English Translation

Confucius said: A true gentlemen corporate with the masses and he won't pull people into a little circle and create a gang. A savage won't corporate with the masses, but he will pull people into a little circle and create a gang.

Passage Thirty One

子曰:「學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。」

English Translation

Confucius said: If you choose to study, but don't think about things, you will get more and more confused. If you think about things, but you don't study, thinking would give you a headache.

Passage Thirty Two

子曰:「攻乎異端,斯害也已!」

English Translation

Confucius said: If you walk down the path of evil, then it would be a disaster for you.

Passage Thirty Three

子曰:「由!誨女知之乎?知之為知之,不知為不知,是知也。」

English Translation

Confucius said: When you come across things, you know about, tell people you know about it. When you come across things you don't know about, tell people you don't know about it. Only this way, could you learn.

Passage Thirty Four

子張學干祿。子曰:「多聞闕疑,慎言其餘,則寡尤;多見闕殆,慎行其餘,則寡悔。言寡尤,行寡悔,祿在其中矣。」

English Translation

Jhang wants to learn about, how to be a Lord.

Confucius said: Listen to what other people have to say, to get rid of questions that you might have. Don't talk too much, even when you do talk, you must be careful, that would help decrease the possibility of mistake. Observe what the people are doing, don't do stuff you don't know how to do and when you do it, remember to be careful, that would help decrease the chance of making a mistake.

Passage Thirty Five

哀公問曰:「何為則民服?」孔子對曰:「舉直錯諸枉,則民服;舉枉錯諸直,則民不服。」

English Translation

Mr. A asked Confucius: How to make people be willing to listen to you?

Confucius said: Use good to suppress evil, don't use evil to suppress the good.

Passage Thirty Six

季康子問:「使民敬、忠以勸,如之何?」子曰:「臨之以莊則敬,孝慈則忠,舉善而教不能,則勸。」

English Translation

Jikangzih asked Confucius: How to make the peasants respect you, be loyal to you and be dedicated to you.

Confucius said: Act in a proper manner, will win you respect. Respect and love both the young and elderly could win people's loyalty. Know to use the right people and train good people.

Passage Thirty Seven

或謂孔子曰:「子奚不為政?」子曰:「《》云:『孝乎惟孝、友于兄弟,施於有政。』是亦為政,奚其為為政?」

English Translation

Somebody asked Confucius: Why don't you choose to become a Lord and get into politics?

Confucius said: In the books it wrote, "True honouring, doesn't only include honoring your parents, but also to love your brothers." If you honour your parents and love your brothers, you can govern your family well. That is getting into politics too. So, why do I have to become a Lord, to get into politics?

Passage Thirty Eight

子曰:「人而無信,不知其可也。大車無輗,小車無軏,其何以行之哉?」

English Translation

Confucius said: If a person can't keep his word, then what use is him, even if he is well educated? Just like if a big cart has no big wheels, a small cart has no small wheels, then, can we use it as a cart?

Passage Thirty Nine

子張問:「十世可知也?」子曰:「殷因於夏禮,所損益,可知也;周因於殷禮,所損益,可知也;其或繼周者,雖百世可知也。」

English Translation

Zihjhang asked Confucius: Can you predict the society and its moral value ten generations later?

Confucius said: The Shang era come, after the Sia era, between these two eras, many have changed. The Jhou era, come after the Shang era, much have changed again. In generations to come, the era of the dynasties that come after the Jhou era, we can make the same prediction. It is just a matter of time, till things change.

Passage Forty

子曰:「非其鬼而祭之,諂也。見義不為,無勇也。」

Confucius said: Those who worship other people's ancestors, are suck ups. Those who are afraid to do the things that are just are cowards.

倫=logic

慮-concern

行=behavior

忠=loyalty

禮=polite, manner

恕=forgiveness

義=justice, just

士=paladin, scholar

仁=humane, kind

文=culture, scholar

君子=gentleman

小人=savage

恥=shame

禮樂=ritual

敬=respect

溫=warm

良=good、

恭=respectful

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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