Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Book of Mencius 孟子

By Mencius

Book of Mencius 孟子; Mèngzǐ (late 4th century BCE)
One of the Four Books, the foundation of the Chinese educational system for more than 700 years; the Book of Mencius rests on a philosophy that human nature is basically good and extends the practical ramifications of this foundation into the social and political worlds through anecdotes, advice, and dialogs with rulers during the Warring States period of Chinese history. One of the most important texts of early Confucianism, it also resonates with the Taoist and Buddhist traditions helping to create Zhu Xi’s blend of Neo-Confucianism.

Themes

Themes: Integrity

Quotes from Book of Mencius 孟子

“'Politicians and generals who always want to extend their territories and fill their treasuries are called, 'Robbers of the People and should suffer the highest punishments.”

Chapters: 30. No War

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“All people have a mind-and-heart that cannot bear to see the suffering of others... to be without compassion is not to be human.”

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“Do not let finely meshed nets be cast in ponds and lakes and the fish and turtles will be more than can be consumed; let axes enter the mountain groves only at the appropriate time and the timber will be more than can be used.”

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“If filial piety and fraternal respect are made important principles of instruction in village schools, graying haired elders will no longer be on the reads carrying heavy loads on their backs and heads.”

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Themes: Old Age Education

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“If our actions do not satisfy the mnd-and-heart, we become starved.”

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Themes: Meaningfulness

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“In years of prosperity, most of the young people are well behaved; but, in bad years, most of the young people turn to violence.”

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Themes: Crime

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“It is the nature of things to be unequal… If you rank them equally you throw the world into confusion. Suppose shoes, large and small, were the same price—who would make large ones?”

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“One who believes all of a book would be better off without books.”

Chapters: 65. Simplicity: the Hidden Power of Goodness

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“Only a person who can refuse to act in inappropriate situations is capable of acting at appropriate times.”

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“Only hypocritical, greedy, and criminal leaders create the causes of crime and then punish the people for it.”

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Themes: Leadership

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“The great person is one who does not lose his mind-and-heart of a child.”

Chapters: 55. Forever Young

Themes: True Self

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“The ten thousand things are all within us.”

Chapters: 33. Know Yourself

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“The way of learning is none other than finding the lost mind.”

Chapters: 20. Unconventional Mind

Themes: Education

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“The way we care for Heaven is by guarding our mind and nourishing our nature.”

Chapters: 59. The Gardening of Spirit

Themes: Health

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“The wise are not alone in desiring something greater than life and hating something greater than death. This is true of everyone. But the wise don't forget it.”

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“The wise person does not lose their child-like heart.”

Chapters: 28. Turning Back

Themes: Wisdom

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“Those who labor with their mind-and-hearts govern others; those who labor with their strength are governed by others. Those who are governed provide for others, those who govern are provided for by others.”

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“To give protection to the people is to be a true king.”

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“To keep a constant mind-and-heart of goodness without a constant, meaningful livelihood is only possible for a very few. If people lack a good livelihood, it follows that they will lack a good mind and heart; will become reckless, depraved, and stop at nothing. Only hypocritical, greedy, and criminal leaders create the causes of crime and then punish the people for it.”

Chapters: 75. Greed

Themes: Livelihood Crime

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“Very small is the difference between people and animals. The common person ignores that difference but the wise cultivate it.”

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Themes: Inspiration

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“What does ‘understanding words’ mean? With half-truths, it means knowing what is concealed; with seductive words, knowing the trap created; with deceitful words, seeing the lies; with evasive words, understanding the desperation behind the language.”

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“When the ruler view his ministers as his hands and feet, they regard him as their heart and soul. When he views them as dirt and weeds, they regard him as an enemy and a thief.”

Chapters: 17. True Leaders

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“Why must Your Majesty use the word ‘profit’? Surely, it is true goodness and righteousness alone that matter.”

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Related Lineages (1 lineages)

Confucian

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