The Master said, “Those who are clever in their words and pretentious in their appearance, yet are humane, are few indeed.” [1.3]


Fan Chi asked about wisdom. The Master said, “Devote yourself to what must rightly be done for the people; respect spiritual beings, while keeping at a distance from them. This may be called wisdom.” He asked about humaneness. The Master said, “One who is humane first does what is difficult and only thereafter concerns himself with success. This may be called humaneness.” (6.20)


The Master said, “One who is not humane is able neither to abide for long in hardship nor to abide for long in joy. The humane find peace in humaneness; the knowing derive profit from humaneness.” (4.2)


The Master said, “Wealth and honor are what people desire, but one should not abide in them if it cannot be done in accordance with the Way. Poverty and lowliness are what people dislike, but one should not avoid them if it cannot be done in accordance with the Way. If the noble person rejects humaneness, how can he fulfill that name? The noble person does not abandon humaneness for so much as the space of a meal. Even when hard-pressed he is bound to it, bound to it even in time of danger.”(4:5)


It is humaneness that brings beauty to one’s surroundings. Should one not make the choice to abide in humaneness, how could one become known? (4:1)


The Master said, “The wise take joy in water; the humane take joy in mountains. The wise are active; the humane are tranquil. The wise enjoy; the humane endure.” (6:21)


Meng Wu Bo asked whether Zilu was humane. The Master said, “I do not know.” He asked again. The Master said, “As for You, he might be employed to manage the military levies in a state of a thousand chariots, but whether he is humane, I do not know.” “What about Qiu?” The Master said, “In a town of a thousand households or a family of a hundred chariots, he could be employed as a governor, but whether he is humane I do not know.” “What about Chi?” The Master said, “As for Chi, when he puts on his sash and takes his place in court, he might be engaged in conversation with the guests, but whether he is humane I do not know.” (5.7)


Zigong said, “What would you say of someone who broadly benefits the people and was able to help everyone? Could he be called humane?” The Master said, “How would this be a matter of humaneness? Surely he would have to be a sage? Even Yao and Shun were concerned about such things. As for humaneness – you want to establish yourself; then help others to establish themselves. You want to develop yourself; then help others to develop themselves. Being able to recognize oneself in others, one is on the way to being humane.” [6.28]


The Master said, “Is humaneness far away? If I want to be humane, then humaneness is here.” [7.29]


The Master said, “As for Hui, he went for three months without his mind’s departing from humaneness. As for the others, they might persist for a day or a month, but that is all.” [6.5]


The Master said, “I have not seen one who loved humaneness, nor one who hated inhumanity. One who loved humaneness would value nothing more highly. One who hated inhumanity would be humane so as not to allow inhumanity to affect his person. Is there someone whose strength has for the space of a single day been devoted to humaneness? I have not seen one whose strength was insufficient. It may have happened, but I have not seen it.” [4.6]


The Master said, “If one is human yet not humane – what can one have to do with rites? If one is human yet not humane – what can one have to do with music?” (3.3)


Yan Yuan asked about humaneness. The Master said, “Through mastering oneself and returning to ritual one becomes humane. If for a single day one can master oneself and return to ritual, the whole world will return to humaneness. Does the practice of humaneness come from oneself or from others?” Yan Yuan said, “May I ask about the specifics of this?” The Master said, “Look at nothing contrary to ritual; listen to nothing contrary to ritual; say nothing contrary to ritual; do nothing contrary to ritual.” Yan Yuan said, “Though unintelligent, Hui requests leave to put these words into practice.” [12.1]



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