Thursday, February 25, 2010

Confucius on Wealth

    The Master said: “If there were an honorable way to get rich, I’d do it, even if it meant being a stooge standing around with a whip. But there isn’t an honorable way, so I just do what I like.” (7.12)
    子曰:“富而可求也,雖執鞭之士,吾亦為之。如不可求,從吾所好.”

    The Master said: “Poor food and water for dinner, a bent arm for a pillow – that is where joy resides. For me, wealth and renown without honor are nothing but drifting clouds.” (7.16)
    子曰:“飯疏食飲水,曲肱而枕之,樂亦在其中矣。不義而富且貴,於我如浮雲.”

    The Master said: “How noble Yen Hui is! To live in a meager lane with nothing but some rice in a split-bamboo bowl and some water in a gourd cup – no one else could bear such misery. But it doesn’t bother Hui. His joy never wavers. O, how noble Hui is!” (6.10)
    子曰:“賢哉回也!一簞食,一瓢飲,在陋巷。人不堪其憂,回也不改其樂. 賢哉回也!”
Prof. Sam Crane quotes the above in a post taking up from one of mine yesterday — East Asia is not Confucian.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Walt C said...

Very interesting quotes, after picking up the Tao Te Ching because of this blog I will have to begin reading Confucius.The quasi perennialist, but stumbling Catholic I am.

3:49 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I, too, am a "quasi perennialist, but stumbling Catholic."

There is always value to be found in reading ancient wisdom.

4:48 PM  

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