Green Library. V28 Unknown. More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Bryan William. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index. Summary This book is an introduction in the very best sense of the word. It provides the beginner with an accurate, sophisticated, yet accessible account, and offers new insights and challenging perspectives to those who have more specialized knowledge.
Focusing on the period in Chinese philosophy that is surely most easily approachable and perhaps is most important, it ranges over of rich set of competing options. It also, with admirable self-consciousness, presents a number of daring attempts to relate those options to philosophical figures and movements from the West. I recommend it very highly. Yearley, Walter Y. Evans-Wentz Professor, Religious Studies, Stanford University A substantial and highly accessible introduction to the indigenous philosophies of China.
Van Norden shares his clear distillations of classical Chinese philosophies using conceptual frameworks many will find familiar. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Van Norden. Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. This book is an introduction in the very best sense of the word. It provides the beginner with an accurate, sophisticated, yet accessible account, and offers new insights and challenging perspectives to those who have more specialized knowledge.
Focusing on the period in Chinese philosophy that is surely most easily approachable and perhaps is most important, it ranges ove This book is an introduction in the very best sense of the word. Focusing on the period in Chinese philosophy that is surely most easily approachable and perhaps is most important, it ranges over of rich set of competing options. It also, with admirable self-consciousness, presents a number of daring attempts to relate those options to philosophical figures and movements from the West.
I recommend it very highly. Yearley, Walter Y. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Aug 27, Chelsea Wegrzyniak rated it really liked it. Overall a really great introduction to an area I have very limited knowledge of.
Van Norden covers a number of classical figures, compares them to each other and also to more widely known from a Western perspective philosophers and philosophical frameworks. I can see this being absolutely great for students in an intro course. I wish it could have gone a little more in depth thus the loss of one star but I do absolutely see why it is as concise as it is. Great intro resource. Mar 17, Mohammad Ali Abedi rated it really liked it. This is not exactly a popular book on the subject given that it has only 4 Reviews in Goodreads and 14 in Amazon.
For someone like me who is not really that knowledgeable about Chinese philosophy or philosophy in general, and then try to go and read an academic book that is not that well known is a bit risky. Thankfully, "Introduction to Classic Chinese Philosophy" is perfectly whelming as the title suggestions. If you desire goodness, then the common people will be good. It compares his impartiality to the way the sun and the moon impartially illuminate the entire world without showing any favoritism.
The Oath of Yu19 too offers such a model. Yu says, Come together all my people and heed my words! This is why I now lead you, the rulers of the various states, on a campaign to rectify the ruler of the Miao. This shows that the reason Yu launched a campaign to rectify the ruler of the Miao was not because he wanted to increase his wealth and honor, earn for himself additional favors and blessings, or because it pleased his eyes and ears, but rather because he wanted to contribute to the benefit of the world and eliminate what is harmful to it.
Such was the impartiality of Yu. The original was said to be included in the History but was lost. A later forgery is included in the present edition of the History and part of it is quite similar to what Mozi quotes here. See Legge, The Shoo King, pp. Again a passage that is quite similar to what Mozi quotes can be found in the present text.
The Declaration of Tang22 too offers such a model. I do not know if I have committed some offense against those above or below. If there is any merit, I dare not conceal it. If there is any offense, I dare not excuse it. The judgment lies in your mind alone, Lord! If those within my domain have committed any offense, let the responsibility rest with me. If I have committed any offense, let the responsibility not fall upon those within my domain. This shows that while Tang had the honor of being the Son of Heaven and possessed the wealth of the entire world, he still did not hesitate to present himself as an offering in his sacrificial declaration to the Lord on High, the ghosts, and the spirits.
Such was the impartiality of Tang. Though the impartiality that our teacher Mozi talks about here takes Tang as its model, it is not just in the Oath of Yu and the Declaration of Tang that one finds such examples. The Odes of Zhou24 too offer such a model. Straight as an arrow; 22The Declaration of Tang is another lost section of the History that purportedly recorded the words of the sage-king Tang. However, lines similar to what Mozi here quotes appear in Analects, chapter Also similar lines can be found scattered throughout the present Announcement of Tang section of the History.
However, the present text has only the last four lines quoted here Mao with slight variation. The first four lines, though, are found with slight variation in the present text of the History. For the last four lines, see James Legge, tr. It is what the noble man follows; And the common man admires. What I have been talking about here is not just some notion or theory. In ancient times, when Kings Wen and Wu ruled, they allocated everything equitably, rewarding the worthy and punishing the wicked without showing any partiality to their relatives or brothers.
Such was the impartiality of Kings Wen and Wu. And the impartiality that our teacher Mozi talks about here takes Kings Wen and Wu as its models. Does a filial son who seeks what is beneficial for his parents want other people to care for and benefit his parents or does he want other people to dislike and steal from his parents? According to the very meaning of filial piety, he must want other people to care for and benefit his parents. Given this, how should one act in order to bring about such a state of affairs?
Or should they let it be the case that filial sons are the exception and not the rule among the people of the world?
Only the first two lines, with slight variation, appear in the present version of the text. See Legge, The She King, p. If you toss me a peach, I respond with a plum. According to these lines, anyone who cares for others will receive care from them while anyone who dislikes others will in turn be disliked. But things more difficult than this have been successfully carried out. In the past, King Ling of the state of Chu was fond of slender waists.
Within a single generation the people changed because they wanted to accord with the wishes of their superior. And so he taught his soldiers and subjects to be brave. But since he was not sure if they were really brave he had his ships set aflame and ordered that the drums signal an advance. His troops fell on top of one another in their forward charge and countless numbers of them perished in the water and flames. Even when they ceased drumming, still the troops did not retreat.
We can say that the soldiers of Yue were resolute indeed! Charging into flames is something very difficult to do, but masses of people did it in order to please the King of Yue. During his reign the people of Jin wrapped themselves in sheets of cloth, wore sheepskin jackets, hats of raw silk, and hempen shoes. They would dress this way when they had an audience with the Duke and parade around in such attire at court. Getting people to wear rough and simple attire is something very difficult to do, but masses of people did it in order to please Duke Wen.
Within a single generation the people changed. Because they wanted to accord with the wishes of their superiors. The only problem is that there are no superiors who take delight in them. If only there were superiors who delighted in them, who encouraged their practice through rewards and praise, and threatened those who violate them with penalties and punishments, I believe that the people would take to impartially caring for and benefitting one another just as naturally as fire rises up and water flows down. One could not stop them from being practiced anywhere in the world.
It offers security to kings, dukes, and great officials and provides ample food and clothing to the myriad people. So for gentlemen there is nothing better than carefully inquiring into the nature of impartiality and working to carry it out. Those who do so are sure to be kind as rulers, loyal as ministers, loving as fathers, filial as sons, good companions as older brothers, and respectful as younger brothers. And so any gentleman who wishes to be a kind ruler, loyal minister, loving father, filial son, a good companion as an elder brother, and respectful as a younger brother cannot but practice the kind of impartiality I have been describing.
This is the way of the sage-kings and a great benefit to the myriad people. When the people hear about this they will condemn such a person, and if those above who administer the government get hold of him they will punish him. Because he takes from others in order to benefit himself. Because more is taken from others; it is even more inhumane and a more serious crime.
If more is taken from others, it is even more inhumane and a more serious crime. Killing an innocent person, stripping him of his clothes and taking his spear and sword is even more wrong than entering his stable and stealing his horses and cattle. Because more is taken from others. Up to this point, all the gentlemen of the world know well enough to condemn such actions and declare that they are wrong. But when it comes to the great wrong of attacking another state, they do not know enough to condemn it. Rather, they praise this and declare that it is the right thing to do. Can they be said to understand the difference between right and wrong?
But if we extrapolate out from this view, then killing ten people is ten times as bad and must be punished with ten executions, and killing one hundred people is one hundred times as bad and must be punished with one hundred executions. They really do not understand that this is wrong. That is why they record their praise of such activity and hand down these records to later generations.
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If they really understood that this is wrong, why would they record their wrongs and hand them down to later generations? We would just have to say that such a person cannot distinguish between black and white. Or suppose that when they taste a little bitterness they say that it is bitter, but when they taste a lot of bitterness they say that it is sweet. We would just have to say that such a person cannot distinguish between bitter and sweet.
But now people see a small wrong and know enough to condemn it but see the great wrong of attacking another state and do not know enough to condemn it. Rather they praise this and declare that it is the right thing to do. This is how we know that the gentlemen of the world are confused about the difference between right and wrong. When a sage rules the empire the empire will be twice as well off.
But they are not made twice as well off by adding territory from without. It is rather by eliminating wasteful expenditures within the state that such rulers are able to make them twice as well off. When sage-kings rule, whenever they issue orders, undertake an enterprise, employ the people or expend their resources, they never do anything that is not useful. And so they never waste their resources or overburden their people yet are able to generate great benefits. It is to protect us from the cold of winter and the heat of summer.
The proper way to make clothes is such that they keep one warm in winter and cool in summer and that is all. Whatever does not contribute to these ends should be eliminated.
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What is the purpose of houses? It is to protect us from the wind and cold of winter, the heat and rain of summer, and to keep out robbers and thieves. Once these ends are secured that is all. What is the purpose of armor, shields, and weapons? It is to protect us from bandits, rebels, robbers, and thieves. Should there be bandits, rebels, robbers, and thieves, those who have armor, shields, and weapons will be victorious, while those without armor, shields, and weapons will not.
And so sages work to produce armor, shields, and weapons. Whenever they make armor, shields, and weapons they seek to make them as light, sharp, strong, and resilient as they can and that is all. What is the purpose of boats and vehicles? Vehicles are used to travel over land and boats are used to travel over water such that one can bring together and exchange what is beneficial throughout the world. The proper way to make boats and vehicles is such that they are as light and easy to use as possible and that is all.
In making these various things, sage-kings never add anything that is not useful. Doubling the number of such things would not be hard. What then would it be hard to double? Only the number of people. No woman of fifteen can be without a husband. But since the sage-kings have passed away the people have grown remiss. Those who want to start a family at an early age do so at age twenty while those who want to start a family late do so at age forty.
If we combine these, it still means that men are starting families on average ten years later than the age decreed by the law of the sage-kings. If all of them have one child every three years, then two or three children should have been born during that ten-year period. And so is it not only by getting people to start families early in life that one can double the population? They overwork and overtax their people to the point where many lack sufficient resources, with the result that those who die of hunger and cold are more than one can count.
Moreover, the great officers encourage rulers to raise armies and attack neighboring states. The longer campaigns take up to a year while the shorter ones last several months. During these campaigns, some become ill and die because they lack a stable living arrangement with regular food and water; others die in ambushes, fiery assaults, sieges, and battles.
Together, their numbers are beyond reckoning. This is because the rulers of today are finding more and more ways to lessen the population. Such things never occurred when the sages ruled. Such is not the way sages rule. They find more and more ways to increase the population. If the members of their clan are few, they do what they can to increase their numbers. If the family is in chaos, they do what they can to make it well ordered. And this is the way they work to realize these ends.
This is also the way that benevolent people plan on behalf of the world. If the people are few, benevolent people do what they can to increase their numbers. If the world is in chaos, benevolent people do what they can to make it well ordered. In pursuing these ends benevolent people may find that their strength is insufficient, their resources inadequate, or their knowledge too limited, and that they fall short. But now the sage-kings of the three dynasties of old27 have passed away and the world has lost sight of what is right. The gentlemen of later ages are divided in their opinions.
Some maintain that lavish funerals and prolonged mourning 28 are benevolent and right and the proper task of filial children. Others maintain that lavish funerals and prolonged mourning are neither benevolent nor right and are not the proper task of filial children. And so people of later ages have become suspicious of the claims of both groups. If one doubts the claims of both groups then one should turn and consider them in regard to ruling the state and governing the people, to see whether or not lavish funerals and prolonged mourning promote the three benefits discussed earlier.
If by following their words and implementing their plans concerning lavish funerals and prolonged mourning one really would enrich the poor, increase the population, bring stability to precarious situations and order to chaos, then these things clearly are benevolent and right and the proper 27The Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties.
See for example, Analects Those who offer counsel could not but encourage them. Benevolent people would work to make such practices flourish throughout the world; they would seek to establish them and bring the people to praise them and to follow them, to the end of their days. However, if by following their words and implementing their plans concerning lavish funerals and prolonged mourning one really cannot enrich the poor, increase the population, bring stability to precarious situations and order to chaos, then these things clearly are not benevolent and right or the proper task of filial children.
Those who offer counsel could not but discourage them. Benevolent people would work to eradicate such practices throughout the world; they would seek to abolish them and bring the people to condemn them and to never follow them, to the end of their days. And so from ancient times until the present, it has never been the case that bringing the world to a flourishing state and eliminating what is harmful to the world has led the state and the people to disorder.
Now if we were to implement the teachings of those who follow and uphold lavish funerals and prolonged mourning, then in mourning for a king, duke, or high official, they prescribe that there be several inner and outer coffins, a deep grave, many layers of burial clothes, elaborately and intricately embroidered funeral shrouds, and a massive burial mound. Among common men and women this would exhaust the resources of the entire family. And even a feudal lord would have to empty his entire state treasury before the appropriate amount of gold, jade, and pearls would adorn the body and the proper quantities of silk, carriages, and horses would fill up the tomb.
In addition, since one is to see off the dead as if they were simply changing their abode, it is required that numerous draperies and canopies, offering vessels of various kinds, tables and chairs, pots and basins, spears and swords, feathered banners, and articles made of tooth and hide must be buried along with them.
It is also said that when an emperor or feudal lord dies as many as several hundred and no fewer than several tens of retainers are to be sacrificed in order to accompany the deceased. Mengzi quotes Kongzi as definitively rejecting even the vestiges of such practices. See Mengzi 1A4 not in this volume.
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They are to dress in sackcloth, allow their tears to run down without wiping them away, and live in a mourning hut made of straw, sleeping upon a rush mat and using a lump of dirt as their pillow. Moreover, they are to encourage each other to refuse food and starve themselves and to wear thin clothing in order to suffer from the cold, so that they come to have sunken faces and eyes, a sallow and darkened complexion, poor hearing and sight, and limbs too weak to function. It is also said that the most noble of people uphold the rites of mourning to the point where they cannot rise up without assistance and cannot walk without a cane and they follow these practices for three years.
This is what would happen if the state took such teachings as its model and followed them as its Way. Should kings, dukes, and other great men follow such practices, they will not be able to come early to court and retire late in order to hear litigation and carry out the affairs of the government. Should officers and officials follow such practices, they would be unable to administer the Five Offices and Six Treasuries30 in order to ensure that crops and timber are harvested and the granaries kept full. Should farmers follow such practices, they would be unable to go out to the fields early and return home late in order to carry out the ploughing, planting, and tending of crops.
Should the various craftsmen follow such practices, they would be unable to work on boats and carts and fashion various vessels and utensils. Should women follow such practices, they would be unable to rise at dawn and retire at night in order to complete their work of spinning and weaving.
And so lavish funerals entail burying a great deal of wealth, and prolonged mourning entails prohibiting people from pursuing their vocations for an extended period of time. The former takes wealth that has already been created and buries it, while the latter prohibits new members of society from being born for an extended period of time. To pursue wealth in this manner is like seeking a harvest while prohibiting ploughing! Such practices have nothing to offer in regard to explaining how to become wealthy.
See the entry on the Rites under Important Texts. For a translation, see James Legge, tr. The Li Chi: Book of Rites, reprint, vol. Now consider what would result if lavish funerals and prolonged mourning were adopted as official policy. Whenever any of these five people died, one would mourn them for three years. You are to mourn for several months for fraternal aunts, sisters, first cousins, and maternal uncles.
And there are set standards describing the proper levels of emaciation mourners must attain. They are to have sunken faces and eyes, a sallow and darkened complexion, poor hearing and sight, and limbs too weak to function. It is also said that the most noble of people uphold the rites of mourning to the point where they cannot rise up without assistance and cannot walk without a cane, and follow these practices for three years. If the people starve themselves in this manner then they will be unable to withstand the cold of winter or the heat of summer and countless numbers of them will grow ill and die.
This greatly diminishes the chances for men and women to procreate. Such practices have nothing to offer with regard to explaining how to increase the population. The state would be poor, the people few, and the government in chaos. If those above were to carry out these practices, they would be unable to attend to their affairs. If those below were to carry out these practices, they would be unable to pursue their various tasks. If those above are unable to attend to their affairs, then the government will be in chaos. If these are in short supply, then a younger brother who seeks for such things from his elder brother will be refused and will come to feel unbrotherly.
In time he will come to resent his elder brother. Children who seek for such things from their parents will be refused and will come to feel unfilial. In time they will come to resent their parents. Ministers who seek for such things from their rulers will be refused and will come to feel disloyal. In time they will rebel against their superiors. This will lead unruly and depraved people who lack proper clothing and sufficient food to build up resentment and indignation in their hearts and express it in wanton violence that cannot be stopped.
And so robbers and thieves will increase while decent and good people grow increasingly scarce. Such practices have nothing to offer in regard to explaining how to bring good order to the government. Ever since the ancient sage-kings passed away and the world lost a sense of what is right, the feudal lords have relied upon force of arms to attack one another.
To the south there are the kings of Chu and Yue and to the north there are the rulers of Qi and Jin. And so whenever a large state fails to attack a small one it is only because the small state has an abundant stock of provisions, well maintained fortifications, and harmony between its rulers and subjects. This is why great states do not want to attack it. If its provisions were not abundant, its fortifications not well maintained, or it lacked harmony between its rulers and subjects, then large states would want to attack it. If the state is poor, it lacks the means to accumulate abundant provisions.
If it is in chaos, then it will not be victorious in attack nor secure in defense. And so we now know that lavish funerals and prolonged mourning cannot prevent large states from attacking small ones. The state would be poor, the people few and the government in chaos. If the state is poor its sacrificial offerings of millet and wine will not be clean and pure. If its people are few, there will not be enough of them to serve the Lord on High, ghosts, and spirits.
And if its government is in chaos, then its sacrifices will not be offered regularly and at the proper times. Now suppose this reaches the point where serving the Lord on High, ghosts, and spirits is eventually prohibited and stopped. To have or to not have such people? I suppose there is no difference to us whether they exist or not! They said that a coffin of plain wood three inches thick is enough to house the body as it decays.
There should be three layers of funeral clothes, enough to cover up the unpleasantness. As for the depth of the grave, it should not be so deep as to hit water but not so shallow as to allow a stench. The burial mound should rise no higher than three feet. If one followed these methods, the deceased was properly buried. The living must not engage in prolonged mourning but should quickly go about their tasks, each person doing what they are best at in order to mutually benefit one another. These are the methods laid down by the sage-kings.
He insisted that a belief in and the worship of the Lord on High, ghosts, and spirits was necessary for a stable and flourishing society. He was very much opposed to the more naturalized, psychological interpretations of religious ceremony that were evolving among Confucian thinkers of the time.
In ancient times, when Yao went north to instruct the eight Di barbarian tribes33 he died en route and was buried on the northern slopes of Mount Qiong. Mourning began only after the coffin had been lowered into the grave. The grave was then filled in and no burial mound was erected. Once the burial was complete, oxen and horses freely crossed over the grave. Once the burial was complete, the people in the market freely crossed over the grave. When Yu went east to instruct the nine Yi barbarian tribes38 he died en route and was buried on Mount Huiji.
The coffin was bound with common vines; it was not fitted tightly together nor was a ramp needed to lower it into the ground. Once he was buried, the excess dirt was piled up as a burial mound. It came to no more than three feet in height. These three kings each were honored as the Son of Heaven and possessed 33The name given to various non-Chinese people to the north of Chinese territory.
It obviously was located somewhere to the west of what was Chinese territory at the time. Is it plausible to suppose that they chose to be buried in the way in which they were buried because they were worried about having enough to spend? But the way in which kings, dukes, and high officials are buried today is very different from this. There must be outer and inner coffins and a threelayered shroud of embroidered hide.
Once the jade disks and stones are prepared, there must also be spears, swords, sacrificial vessels, pots and basins, embroidery, bolts of silk, and thousands of sets of bridles. The deceased must be provided with horses and carriages along with women entertainers and their instruments. There must be ramps leading down to and connecting with the tomb and the burial mound should resemble a hill or small mountain. The extent to which such practices interfere with the work of the people and dissipate their wealth is beyond calculation.
But this is the degree to which people are willing to pursue useless endeavors. However, if by following the words and implementing the plans of those who advocate lavish funerals and prolonged mourning one really cannot enrich the poor, increase the population, bring stability to precarious situations and order to chaos, then these things clearly are not benevolent and right or the proper task of filial children. Those who seek to increase the population of their states through these practices will actually decrease it. Those who seek to bring good order to their states through these practices will simply throw it into chaos.
Those who seek to stop large states from attacking small states through these practices will not succeed. And those who seek to gain the blessing of the Lord on High, ghosts, and spirits through these practices will receive only disaster. If we look down to the policies of Jie, Zhou, You, and Li we find they accorded with such practices. If we consider things on this basis, then clearly lavish funerals and prolonged mourning are not the way of the sage-kings.
They were continued without interruption and followed uncritically. But how can this be the way to realize what is benevolent and right? West of the state of Qin46 was the state of Yiqu. There is evidence for the practice in the Central Plains and Northwest as far back as the fifth millennium B. See David N. Ropp, ed. Its exact location is still a matter of debate. These practices were both official policy and the popular custom.
If we consider the funeral practices of gentlemen in the Middle Kingdom, then clearly they are excessive. If one were to greatly increase the deficiency of the one and greatly diminish the excess of the latter, then there would be moderation in funerals. Even though it is good to give people clothing and food when they are alive, these things still must be given in moderation. When people die, it is good to give them funerals. But how could it be that in this alone we show no moderation?
Three layers of clothes are adequate for the decaying flesh. The grave should be dug to a depth that does not strike water but that also does not allow fumes to escape to the surface. The burial mound should only be high enough to clearly mark the spot. There should be crying as one sees the departed off and as one comes back from the grave. But as soon as people have returned to their homes, they should resume their individual livelihoods.
How do I know this? I know this from how they conduct themselves within their families. For Mozi, Heaven was less a personality with a capricious or unknowable will and more an established, observable, and predictable set of inclinations. You must be circumspect! How can you live at home and offend against the head of the clan? If one is living in a state and commits some offense against the ruler of the state, there are always neighboring states to which one might flee.
Who can live in a state and offend against its ruler? For Heaven will clearly see you even if you run to the forests, valleys, or hidden places where none lives. This is how I know that the gentlemen of the world understand small matters but not those that are great. Heaven desires what is right and dislikes what is not right. This being so, if I lead the people of the world to act in accordance with what is right, then I will be doing what Heaven desires. And if I do what Heaven desires, then Heaven will do what I desire.
Such being the case, what is it that I desire and what do I dislike? I desire good fortune and a substantial salary, and dislike calamities and disasters.
If I do not do what Heaven desires but rather what it does not desire, then I will lead people to act in ways that lead them into disaster and calamity. But how do I know that Heaven desires what is right and dislikes what is not right? I say this is so because, throughout the world, wherever there is right there is life, and wherever there is an absence of right there is death. Wherever there is right there is wealth, wherever there is an absence of right there is poverty. Wherever there is right there is good order, wherever there is an absence of right there 49Mozi has in mind here the practice of living in a family compound, where several generations share a common courtyard but each have their separate quarters.
Heaven desires to have life and dislikes death, desires to have wealth and dislikes poverty, desires to have good order and dislikes disorder. This is how I know that Heaven desires what is right and dislikes what is not right. Such a standard is not given by subordinates to govern their superiors but rather must come from superiors to govern subordinates. This is why the people devote themselves to carrying out their various tasks but do not make up their own standard. There are ministers and officials to govern them.
Ministers and officials devote themselves to carrying out their various tasks but do not make up their own standard. There are the three high counselors and feudal lords to govern them.
Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy
The three high counselors and feudal lords devote themselves to administering the government but they do not make up their own standard. There is the Son of Heaven to govern them. The Son of Heaven does not make up his own standard. There is Heaven to govern him. The gentlemen of the world clearly understand that the Son of Heaven governs the three high counselors and feudal lords, the ministers and officials and the people. But that Heaven governs the Son of Heaven is something that people do not yet clearly understand.
I have never heard of a case where Heaven prayed for blessings from the Son of Heaven and this is how I know that Heaven governs the Son of Heaven. And so those who desire riches and honors cannot but accord with the will of Heaven. Their care for the people is extensive and the benefit they bring is substantial. Their descendents have continued for a myriad of generations, their goodness has been proclaimed throughout succeeding generations and spread throughout the world.
Their dislike for the people is extensive and the harm they bring substantial. Since Heaven lays claim to all people, why would it not care for them? It is a human being. Who is it that bestows misfortune? It is Heaven. If Heaven did not care for the people of the world, then why would it send down misfortunes when human beings kill one another?
This is how I know that Heaven cares for the people of the world. But what does one do who takes right as the governing standard? Those who control great families will not plunder lesser families. The strong will not rob the weak. The noble will not act arrogantly toward the humble. The clever will not deceive the foolish. Such things are beneficial to Heaven above, to ghosts and spirits in the middle realm, and to human beings below. They contradict this in word and oppose it in deed, like two men galloping away from one another on horseback.
Those who control great states will thus attack small ones. Those who control great families will plunder lesser families. The strong will rob the weak. The noble will act arrogantly toward the humble. The clever will deceive the foolish. Such things are not beneficial to heaven above, to ghosts and spirits in the middle realm, or to human beings below. But they are far from what is benevolent and right! Fathers are not loving and sons are not filial, elder brothers are not good to their younger brothers, younger brothers are not respectful of their elders, and proper conduct in general is not observed.
Those in charge of the government do not exert themselves in their administrative duties, while the common people do not exert themselves in the pursuit of their various tasks. This is also why people abandon themselves to licentiousness, violence, piracy, rebellion, thievery, and robbery, and use weapons, poisons, water, and fire to stop travelers on the roads and byways, and rob their carriages, horses, coats, and furs in order to profit themselves.
As a result the world is in great disorder. Now if we could just persuade the people of the world to believe that ghosts and spirits can reward the worthy and punish the wicked, then how could the world ever become disordered? They cause the people of the world to develop doubts concerning the existence of ghosts and spirits and as a result the world is thrown into disorder.
Granted this, what is the proper method for pursuing an inquiry into this issue? If there really are people who have heard and seen something, then you must accept that such things exist. If no one has heard or seen anything, then you must accept that such things do not exist. If you intend to proceed in this way, why not try going into a district or village and ask the people there?
If, in the course of human history, from ancient times up to the present, there really are people who have seen ghostly or spiritual entities or heard the sounds of ghosts or spirits, then how could one say that ghosts and spirits do not exist? If no one has ever heard or seen them, then how could one say that ghosts and spirits exist? King Xuan of Zhou57 killed his minister Du Bo even though he was completely innocent. If the dead are indeed unconscious, then that will be the end of it. There were several hundred chariots and several thousand men on foot; the hunting party filled the entire field.
At high noon, Du Bo appeared in a plain chariot pulled by white horses. He was wearing vermillion clothes and a hat, holding a vermillion bow, and clasping vermillion arrows under his arm. In the examples he cites as evidence, the testimony is first hand, detailed, and corroborated by mutiple witnesses. His reign dates are — B.
King Xuan collapsed in his chariot and, draped over his own bow case, he died. None of the men from Zhou who were there at the time failed to witness this and none even in remote places failed to hear about it. The event was recorded in the court chronicle of Zhou.