Chen Ding’s Chinese-English Page
Selected texts from the ancient scripts of Confucius (Kong Zi, 551-479 B.C.), Mencius (Meng Zi, 390-305? B.C.) and Xun Zi (313-230 B.C.), and their students in particular Cheng Zi and Zhu Zi (1120-1300). I do not attempt a direct translation of these ancient ideas. Rather I cite below either other people's translation or well-known western ideas that I think are close in meaning or spirit.
"Many people consider Confucianism a religion. But Confucianism has no clergy and does not teach the worship of a God or gods or the existence of a life after death. Confucianism can more accurately be considered a guide to morality and good government. " -World Book Encyclopedia.
"Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’ is really a special case of a more general law of survival of the stable." Richard Dawkins. "The Selfish Gene" 1976.
"For the mind of man is far from the nature of a clear and equal glass, wherein the beams of things should reflect according to their true incidence; nay, it is rather like an enchanted glass, full of superstition and imposture, if it be not delivered and reduced." Francis Bacon.
"He shall see that the nature is the opposite of the soul, answering to it part for part. One is seal., and one is print. Its beauty is the beauty of his own mind. Its laws are the laws of his own mind. Nature then becomes to him the measure of his attainment. So much nature as he is ignorant of, so much of his own mind does he not yet possess. The ancient precept 'know thyself' and the modern precept 'study nature' become at last one maxim." R. W. Emerson, "American Scholar", 1837.
夫驥一日而而千裡，駑馬十駕則亦及這矣。將以窮無窮、逐無極與，其折骨、絕筋終身不可以相及也。將有所止之，則千裡雖遠，亦或遲、或速、或先、或後，胡為乎其不可相及也？不識步道者將以窮無窮、逐無極與？意亦有所止之與？夫“堅白”、“同異”、“有厚無厚”之察，非不察也，然而君子不辯，止之也﹔倚魁之行，非不難也，然而君子不行，止之也。故學曰：“彼止而待我，我行而就之，則亦或遲、或速、或先、或後，胡為乎其不可以同至也？”故跬步而不休，跛鱉千裡﹔累土而不輟，丘山崇成﹔厭其源，開其瀆，江河可竭﹔一進一退，一左一右，六驥不致。彼人之才性之相縣也，豈若跛鱉之與六驥足哉？然而跛鱉致之，六驥不致，是無他故焉，或為之，或不為爾？ 道雖邇，不行不至﹔事雖小，不為不成。其為人也多暇日者，其出人不遠矣。 ?D?D 《荀子。修身》
For to be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite is rightly to apply it. The greatest minds, as they are capable of the highest excellencies, are open likewise to the greatest aberrations; and those who travel very slowly may yet make far greater progress, provided they keep always to the straight road, than those who, while they run, forsake it. -- Discourse on the method of rightly conducting the reason and seeking the truth in the sciences, Rene Descartes, 1596-1650.
"The essence of morality is the right intention. The substance of it is the right action." -Unknown
"As a 'Professor' I always felt myself a sham, with its chief duties of being a walking encyclopedia of erudition." -William James, in a letter to his brother Henry James.
Honor means to give more than one has; pride means to take less than one deserves.