5 Hearts | Conscience | Good And Evil

Five Hearts – Liu Zhitang

Translation by Yaron Seidman
Learning the sages’ capacity for forgiveness 學聖人局量.
1. A compassionate heart 大慈悲心
Feeling compassion for others is benevolence 仁,
benevolence is the human heart. It is a heart following
nature’s laws and one’s conscience 天理良心. People
must first have benevolence and only then can they
cherish all affairs, they are only worried to not know
man’s good and evil. With each word and each action
one isonly worried to forgo other people.
As for the important human relations; loyal, filial,
friendship and brotherly bond not bearing a thought of
deceit, or a thought of laziness or recklessness, there is no
extra explanation needed!
One is benevolent and then he is called compassionate. He
is such initially in one thought and then in all his thoughts,
initially in one affair and then in all his affairs. (This
sequence should) exist in any intolerant heart. What is
called inflicting no injury upon insects and vegetation,
bringing to fruition their natural character in order to
cultivate human character and character of all things,
assisting creation, these all reflect the root of this matter.
a.Why should one be good or reflect goodness?
b.Why does it matter?
c.Why having compassion for others bear significance?
Vast refers to quantity. The ancients said: “when one has
large quantity he starts having good fortune (blessing).”
When quantity is small one harbors narrow mindedness,
he sees the principle yet he can’t understand it, his
temperament agitated, his knowledge stops at himself, he
doesn’t know that there are others, he stops at profiting
himself and not worry about harming others, self-assured
and doesn’t utilize goodness, self-centered and doesn’t
forgive people, self-smallness and is not tolerant of others.
For one to have good measures from morning he must
2. A vast heart 大廣大心
reflect back and criticize himself. In every word and every
action one is only worried to not join with true principle, to
hurt others, he examines himself in every moment. Even
though other people may be angry with me, scold me, treat
me unfairly, I will not pay attention. I will not stop but at
home reflecting and asking myself, asking my heart if there
is shame (introduced), if I added (to my heart) the unjust
action, all of it I completely ignore.
a.The heart needs quantity or else I don’t have enough for
What is ‘convenient’? Being agile in affairs, and
courageous in being just. Humans get along with each
other and co-habit this world, they mutually interact and
welcome each other and this falls under the five kinships.
There are differences between seniors and juniors, great
and small, superior and inferior, intimacy and remoteness,
virtuous or not. For example, one serves the monarch or
parents with only outmost and whole hearted
respect….when serving the monarch and parents one is
absolute thorough and cannot speak of convenience. Other
then that siblings and friends amongst which kinship
3. Convenient heart 大方便心
may be close or far, some being virtuous and some not, one
cannot view them all as being equal.
Serving an older brother, loving a younger or trusting a
friend, one first cultivates his own Dao, then loves the
other, respects him and does not deceive him. Being like
this for a long time without compromise, while ignoring if
he says good or bad things about me, I stop only at
fulfilling my heart, fulfilling my Dao, I seek my shame-free
heart. If person A has an affair, as long as it is not contrary
to true principle, my true heart will do the labor for him,
with all my heart I will help his winding road turn a good
Thisis the Dao of convenience.
However, affairs have difficult and easy, circumstances
have good and bad, situations change constantly, even
though we say ‘convenience’ one should deliberate the
reason and good sense of the phenomena. One cannot act
upon all situations indifferently. For example, for saving a
person who has fallen into a well, one should not
jeopardize his own life or humiliate his own parents.
Therefore the ancients said: “If one is able to do it one
should exhaust his ability. If one’s ability can’t do it, then
one should still use his heart thoroughly.” These words
describe a relationship between affairs and true principle.
When from morning one cultivates virtue in his simple
body, in each word and each action, each step and each
pace, despite difficult affairs being many, his body feels
convenient, his accomplishment is simple and easy to
As long as one pays attention, not being lazy or reckless,
he can feel convenient (at ease) in all situations. For
example, when he walks on the street and sees a rock or
tree obstructing the road, he will remove it as he is
worried it will obstruct others. As for difficulties like
hunger, cold etc. he is only worried that others will suffer
under them.
Enough to eat, being warm, safe and other such positive
realities, he is onlyconcerned that others will have enough
of. In any given day in a small room, there is no place that
he doesn’t feel convenient (at ease).
This word ‘convenience’ literally demonstrates the two
words benevolence and righteousness.
a.Being “at ease” with helping others is medicine’s
b.‘Cultivating virtue in a simple body’ means each word
and action is not about me.
What does ‘purified’ mean? One sees money and desires
it not, sees sexuality and loves it not. In thoughts or
affairs he does not follow his desires or contradict true
principle. He is law abiding (citizen), diligent in his
profession, cultivates his heart, contemplates human life
in every step, it is all part of his destiny. ‘Heaven loves
man’ is reflected in human nature of abiding by true
principles and having a conscience 天理良心(Heaven’s
heart). With each of my thoughts I never depart from
Heaven’s heart. To each affair my body attaches and
acts, no matter if it is for morality reasons or justice,
4. Great Purified (of illusion/ quiet) Heart 大清淨心
I elect one (cause of action) that is in accord with true
principle. For example, if I work as a merchant, I focus my
heart on learning this art, diligently without slacking,
industrious but not excessive, honest and not greedy, I
focus without scattering, and so I carefully examine each
thought, not losing even one bit of heaven goodness. Like
this, no matter what the situation is, I can make a living and
pass my days. This becomes a habit - relying on heaven for
my actions. The human heart goes astray endlessly, one
cannot conduct himself as he wishes and unchecked. As
long as one doesn’t suffer hunger or cold, that he is able to
provide for his family, that he roughly has enough, then it
is a beautiful realm.
As for wealthy and famous people, who also accumulate
goodness and virtue, ones that heaven has blessed them
with riches and good fortunes, I do not possess their
accumulations, how can my thoughts go astray as if I were
them? Sure enough, intentionally I retreat my interest from
wealth and glory, I constantly eradicate stray thoughts, and
so over time it becomes the rule. Then no matter if I am
poor or in difficulty, with calm heart I keep on going. Only
like this can an ordinary person curb selfishness, he forces
himself to study the method of purification 清淨法.
If an educated person cultivates his intentions and
disciplines his temperament, returns to benevolence and
righteousness, is kind to everyone under all circumstances,
then after a while whatever vulgar he had naturally
disappears, external actions follow propriety, after a while
good and evil emotions completely vanish, and so he
certainly attains calm (heart) and clarity in actions. This
accomplishment encompasses everything from beginning
to end from root to branches. The sage is not (acting or
thinking) for Dao or righteousness, at no time does he
think of himself, whatever high salary or position it may
be, this is where his Dao comes from.
The two words pure heart 清淨represent, above-
aspiration to the sage and virtuous men, next to that – it
represents guarding one’s actions and conduct not being
lax, next to that – it speaks of heart emotions being like
water, they adopt naturally to any circumstance. In man
(heart) is like this naturally, yet it becomes like this only
with effort.
a.Why calm heart?
Harmonious speaks of a kind friendship extending
everywhere. Its noble aspect is the cultivation of joy, anger,
sorrow and happiness all being regulated by center, it is
reaching Dao of all under heaven. Acting equally upon all
generations and all people is the profoundness of heaven
and earth. Only a sage reaches the ultimate of this
Next to that one speaks of the five kinships, each has its
Dao and place, kindness is present and friendship
prevalent, ties of friendship are not deviated from, this is
harmony’s vital importance one can’t do without, it is what
5. The Gentle Harmonious Heart 大柔和心
a person should explore to the fullest extent.
Next to that, no tolerance means no benevolence, no
courage means no righteousness. One is careful and
cautious, he evens his heart and calms hisQi, he worries
about hurting others, worries about spoiling an affair,
worries about causing a disaster. He is modest and
compromising, and when there is an affair of great
unfairness or something he can’t bear, someone who is
really hated or offensive, then he passes by in silence. If at
home there is great competitiveness or anxiety, with great
vigor he softens it and calms it down, therefore it is called
gentle and harmonious 柔和. It is the so called “generous
and soft is used for teaching, not reporting non-Dao, the
nobleman resides in this realm 宽柔以教,不报无道,君
子居之(ZhongYong). If not this meaning then the word
soft/gentle 柔has negative connotations such as being
lacking on goodness, being weak etc, how can this be the
real meaning? Whenever a person can’t endure
humiliation or tolerate rejection it is because his blood and
Qi are stiff and unyielding and his emotions are agitated
andexplosive. Therefore he must soften hisQi inorder to
follow true principle, make his emotions harmonious in
order to become compatible to others, only then can
kinship and friendship extend everywhere, the actions
then may be without disaster.
a.Becoming soft in each action and in each word in order
to reach harmony.
b.Medicine begins here.
©Copyrights 2012 Yaron Seidman

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