High-Level Thoughts

A fantastic dialogue-style record of Confucius's wisdom. Very readable and approachable, and relevant for life today.

Summary Notes

The gentleman devotes his efforts to the roots, for once the roots are established, the Way will grow therefrom. (Page 59)

'The gentleman seeks neither a full belly nor a comfortable home. He is quick in action but cautious in speech. He goes to men possessed of the Way to be put right. Such a man can be described as eager to learn.' (Page 61)

"The gentleman enters into associations but not cliques; the small man enters into cliques but not associations." (Page 65)

'When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine your own self.' (Page 74)

'I never enlighten anyone who has not been driven to distraction by trying to understand a difficulty or who has not got into a frenzy trying to put his ideas into words. When I have pointed out one corner of a square to anyone and he does not come back with the other three, I will not point it out to him a second time." (Page 86)

'Only when the cold season comes is the point brought home that the pine and the cypress are the last to lose their leaves.' (Page 100)

"The gentleman is at ease without being arrogant; the small man is arrogant without being at ease." (Page 123)

“Men of antiquity studied to improve themselves; men today study to impress others.” (Page 128)

The Master said, 'He who gives no thought to difficulties in the future is sure to be beset by worries much closer at hand.’ (Page 134)

'What the gentleman seeks, he seeks within himself; what the small man seeks, he seeks in others.’ (Page 135)

'Is there a single word which can be a guide to conduct throughout one's life?' The Master said, 'It is perhaps the word "shu". Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.' (Page 135)

'The artisan, in any of the hundred crafts, masters his trade by staying in his workshop; the gentleman perfects his way through learning.’ (Page 154)

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