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The Governing Principles of Ancient China - Qunshu Zhiyao 360

Human Sentiments

Human beings have six types of emotions: Joy, anger, sadness, happiness, fondness, and hatred. If a sage king contravenes these emotions, chaos will arise. If he appeases these emotions, harmony will be achieved. While a sage-king instructs his people in accordance with human sentiments, he also imposes propriety to control these sentiments. While he yields to people’s longings, he also establishes righteous principles to control these longings. If righteous principles are concise and complete, and propriety is orderly and humane, people will easily accept and follow the law and order.

Scroll 8: Han Shi Wai Zhuan

Why is it that a leader cannot see the wrongdoings of the unscrupulous people around him and spoil those who are unrighteous? This is because he is not wise enough to recognize the wrongdoings of unscrupulous people. Also, his determination to uphold morality and justice is not strong enough to enable him to break free from personal bias and preference.

Scroll 47: Liu Yi Zheng Lun

A ruler imposing virtuous principles to govern his state is appreciated by the people. A wicked ruler, on the contrary, is blamed and hated even by his own descendants. Therefore, a virtuous ruler can attract people from afar to submit to him, while a wicked ruler can even lose his closest relatives.

Scroll 40: Xin Yu

I have heard that loyalty, sincerity and kindness could reduce enmity and hatred, but I have never heard that wielding power and authority over others could prevent enmity and hatred from happening.

Scroll 5: Chun Qiu Zuo Shi Zhuan, Vol. 2

The Duke of Zhou told his son Boqin, the Duke of Lu: “A superior person does not distance himself from his family and relatives, and he will never cause government officials to complain about not being assigned important duties. If an old friend has not erred terribly, do not abandon him. Do not demand perfection from a person.”

Scroll 9: Lun Yu

A superior person dislikes three types of behavior that diverge from the norm:

1. A fondness for stirring up controversies.
2. A fondness for creating bizarre mysteries.
3. A fondness for changing rules and regulations.

The fondness for stirring up controversies will create commotions. The fondness for creating bizarre mysteries will defy virtues and upset social customs and practices. The fondness for changing rules and regulations will undermine laws and confuse the standards of behavior. Thus, there is nothing noble about gaining temporary fame, or overcoming a difficult task resigned to circumstances.

The highest form of deed is one that is pure without any trace of wickedness. Next to it, is being able to subdue the rising of improper thoughts. Next to that, is being able to stop improper thoughts from turning into actions. If when the improper thoughts are turned into actions, at least keeping the actions from becoming too outrageous, and steering these actions back to the right path without delay. The worst deed would be deviating too far from the right path without any awareness of this happening.

Scroll 46: Shen Jian