As far as Confucius was concerned, the objective of learning is to become kingly and humane.

It is achievable only by putting what one knows to be morally correct into conscientious practice. What that entails is active participation rather than submissive obedience. As a matter of fact, he was also of the view that when humaneness is at stake, one need not yield to one’s teacher.

Confucius on Learning to Become Kingly and Humane
An excerpt from The Six Patriarchs of Chinese Humanism Author: Peter M.K. Chan
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According to Confucius: To relish humaneness without learning will be blinded by ignorance. To relish knowledge without learning will be blinded by aimlessness. To relish trustworthiness without learning will be blinded by deception. To relish uprightness without learning will be blinded by dishonesty. To relish bravery without learning will be blinded by confusion. To relish strength without learning will be blinded by lose of control. [ 好仁不好學,其蔽也愚;好知不好學,其
蔽也蕩;好信不好學,其蔽也賊;好直不好學,其蔽也絞;好勇不好學,其 蔽也亂;好剛不好學,其蔽也狂。 Ibid. 17:8] That explains why it is

important for everyone to learn. For what Confucius had also come to see, it is enjoyable to learn and practice what one learns. [ 学 而 时 习 之 , 不 亦 说 乎! Ibid.1:1] When silent and serious with what I am about, I forget to eat, happy to forget about my worries, and become unaware that old age is on its way. [女奚不曰,其為人也,發憤忘食, 樂以忘憂,不知老之將至云爾。 Ibid. 7:19] What is also enjoyable is

and thinking without learning will come to not. select and follow that which is virtuous. 2:17] Last but not least. [吾嘗終日不食,終夜不 寢,以思;無益,不如學也。 Ibid. If I lift one corner (of a table) and the student does not lift the other three. 7:22] For the above reasons. [ 攻 乎 异 端 , 斯 害 也 己 。 Ibid. [學如不及,猶恐失之。Ibid. 8:17] Secondly. 15:36] And there is one more thing: I do not enlighten those who are not eager. said Confucius. knowing something is not as good as relishing it. 2. he also told his his students the following. one need not yield to one’s teacher. [学而不思则罔, 思而不学则殆。Ibid. nor expound to those who do not ask questions. and relishing it is not as good as enjoying it. the following points are to be kept in mind. to be aware of what one knows as well as what one does not is what knowing is all about. [三人行,必有我師焉:擇其善者而從之,其不善者 而改之 。 Ibid. 7. It is more important to get acquainted with and understand virtue than just knowing it. I won't do it again. 7:8] . Firstly. [ 知 之 者 不 如 好 之 者 , 好 之 者 不 如 樂 之 者 。 Ibid. [知之 为 知之,不知 为 不知,是知也 。 Ibid. learning without thinking will make one muddled. Thinking is not as rewarding as learning. [ 多聞,擇其善者而從 之 ; 多 見 而 識 之 ; 知 之 次 也 。 Ibid. Keep yourself informed.16] failing to correct oneself is indeed a very serious mistake. 15:31] Fourthly. I follow their virtuous deeds and correct their unkind ways. [過而不改,是謂過矣!Ibid. [不憤不 啟 ,不悱不發。舉一隅不以三 隅反,則不復也。 Ibid. when humaneness is at stake.28] Whereas attacking (or criticizing) devious doctrines can only bring injury to oneself. 15:30] Further. 6:20] Thirdly.that when going out with any two of my friends has always found me a teacher.but I got nothing beneficial out of it. for anyone who really wants to learn. 2:15] He was sure about this because: I spent a whole day without eating and a whole night without sleeping in order to think -. to learn something inadequately would run the risk of losing it. [當仁,不讓於師。Ibid.

passive learning without thinking will make one muddled. (人一能 之,己百之。 人十能之,己千之。 果能此道矣,雖愚必明,雖柔必強。 Ibid. If others can succeed after ten tries. its advice is this. [ 古 之 學 者 為 己 ; 今 之 學 者 為 人 。 Analects. When there is anything not yet analyzed. Another is that it is not to be assumed (as some may still tend to do) that diligent memorization and submissive acceptance of what the teacher has taught are characteristics that Confucius would take kindly to. as to those who are really determined to learn. even the stupid will surely become intelligent. It was also his view that when humaneness is at stake. do not give up. When there is anything not yet practiced. It has more to do with putting what one has learned and come to know into practice. If I lift one corner (of a table) and the student does not lift the other three. Section 辨,辨之弗明弗措也。 有弗行,行之弗篤弗措也。 20) As for those who are about to give up. one need not yield to one’s teacher. As to his theme that to learn something inadequately would run the risk of losing it. and the weak will also become strong. When there is anything not yet thought over or thought over but not yet understood. If this course is really followed. you can try and succeed in a hundred tries. said Confucius. it should be of interest to note that the Doctrine of the Mean has also got this to say: When there is anything not yet learned or learned but do not understand. As far as Confucius was concerned. I won't do it again. 14:24] The . it is to be reminded that whereas ancient scholars studied for themselves. let me just say that no one is able to become more determined than that. When there is anything to ask or asked but do not comprehend. learning is not just an intellectual or academic exercise. do not give up. This is the first point. do not give up. Now. If others can succeed on the first try.Comment: Three points in particular are to be noted. do not give up. or analyzed but not yet clear.) Well. (有弗學, 學之弗能弗措也。 有弗問,問之弗知弗措也 。 有弗思,思之弗得弗措也。 有弗 Doctrine of the Mean. scholars of today study to be of service to others. As far as he was concerned. do not give up. It will serve to repeat what he had already said. I do not enlighten those who are not eager. or practiced but not yet accomplished. you can try and succeed in a thousand tries. nor expound to those who do not ask questions.

and to be courageous without fear. 4:16] and places it high in his order of priorities. but will assess everything in . 17:23] He is not for or against anything in the world. A kingly person would devote himself to the Way rather than worrying about having to live in poverty. [君子之仕也,行其義也。 Ibid. a kingly person is an intellectual who would do only what is right. to know without doubt. However. is that the ultimate objective of learning is not so much to obtain benefits for oneself (such as going on to become a government official). 7:26] And to be really honest. 7:34] With respect to this moral personality that he was trying to inculcate. I only strive unceasingly to become one. It was with the above objective in mind that Confucius repeatedly dangled before his students the idea of a kingly person (or morally superior individual). 7:33] I am not capable of doing three things required of kingly persons: to be humane without worry. [若聖與仁,則吾豈敢?抑為 之不厭。 Ibid. I have yet to meet a sage. but I would be satisfied to meet a kingly person. I dare not claim to be a sage or a humane person. 18:7] He understands righteousness. let me gather and organize below for the reader’s appreciation bits and pieces of his characterizations that are found scattered throughout the Analects. who would strive unceasingly to become sagely and humane. or so it seems to me. it is rather to help promote the Way of Humanity. Firstly. it is not to be assumed that he himself was already such a kingly personality. said Confucius. 15:32] What Confucius was saying. [學也,祿在其中矣;君子 憂 道 不 憂 貧 。 Ibid. [聖人, 吾不得而見之矣;得見君子者,斯可矣。 Ibid. But I still do not behave exactly like a kingly person. [ 君 子 喻 於 義 Ibid. I may be equal to others. [君子道者三,我無能焉:仁者不憂;知者不 惑;勇者不懼。 Ibid. [ 君 子 義 以 為 上 。 Ibid.reward (or emolument) of learning is in what one learns. In literature. 14:28] As a matter of fact. [ 文 , 莫 吾 猶 人 也 。 躬 行 君 子 , 則 吾 未 之 有 得 。 Ibid.

14:27] Socially. [君子惠而不費;勞而不怨;欲而不貪; 泰而不驕;威而不猛。Ibid. he does not support anyone because of his words. but would not seek to compare himself with anyone. [ 君 子 周 而 不 比 。 Ibid. … . works hard but does not complain. [君 子 食 无 求 饱 , 居 无 求 安 。 Ibid. he associates with others but does not belong to any clique. nor seek to dwell in comfort. 15:23] And according to one of his favorite disciples: A kingly person is faultlessly polite and respects others. [ 君 子 坦 蕩 蕩 。 Ibid. looks dignified but not intimidating. 1:14] He is generous but not wasteful. and actualize it by way of propriety. he will say only what should be said. 2:14] He encourages what is good. [故君子名之必可言也,言之必可行也。 Ibid. nor reject the words of anyone because of his deeds. he would rather devote himself to the Way (of humanity) than work for a living. [ 君 子 矜 而 不 爭 , 群 而 不 黨 。 Ibid. 4:10] 。 Thus. feels proud but not arrogant. [君子和而不同。Ibid. all within the four seas are his brothers. [ 先 行 其 言 , 而 後 從 之 。 Ibid. 12:4] Because of this. [君子求諸 己 Ibid. he is always at ease with himself. For him. and will not help others to do evil. [君 子成人之美,不成人之惡。 Ibid. 15:21] and is neither worried nor afraid. 13:3] He will act before he speaks. he is ashamed when his words exceed his deeds. [君子之於天下也,無適也,無莫也,義之於比 Ibid. 13:23] He is proud of himself but not contentious. [君子不以言 舉 人 ; 不 以 人 廢 言 。 Ibid. and speaks according to his acts.2] He asks only of himself. [ 君子 義以為質,禮以行之。 Ibid.terms of what is right. [君子恥其言而過其行。Ibid. [ 君子敬而無失,與人恭而有禮;四海之 內 ,皆兄弟也。 Ibid. a kingly person would regard righteousness to be the essence of his being. 12:5] As far as his personal life is concerned. 2:13] In short. and talk only about what can be carried out in practice. 15:22] Moreover. 20. 15:17] For this reason. 7:37] Furthermore. 12:16] He is harmonious but does not follow the crowd. [君子不憂不懼。 [Ibid. a kingly person is circumspect. a kingly person does not seek to gratify his appetite. satisfies his desires but not greedy.

com/spotlight/petermkchan ============================================================ . he has also competed any work titled The Six Patriarchs of Chinese Humanism (available in ebooks but not yet in print).. [ 君 子 喻 於禮,小人 喻 於利。 Ibid. Of this exact antithesis of what he was aiming to 4:11] Or what amount to the same. 15:31] Comment: What I have left out in the above are disparaging remarks that Confucius had also made against those who would care only for their own interests. please visit http://www. [君子謀道不謀食. 4:16] ========================================= ====================== Peter M. For details regarding the [君子懷禮,小人懷土;君子懷刑,小人懷惠。Ibid. but an inferior man thinks about possessions. Recently. Chan is the author of The Mystery of Mind (published 2003). and Morality (published 2004).and to be concerned with the Way than worrying about having to live in poverty.. Let me just provide a couple of samples.君子憂道不憂貧。Ibid. and Soul. but an inferior man understands only (personal) advantages and benefits.. A kingly person thinks of propriety (how to act properly). a kingly person understands propriety.. God. a kingly person seeks discipline. he referred to them repeatedly as inferior men ( 小 人 shia-ren or small man). but the inferior man seeks favors.