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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Selected Texts from the Great Learning

What the Great Learning teaches is: to illustrate illustrious virtue; to renovate the people; and to rest in the highest excellence.大學之道,在明明德,在親民,在止於至善。

The point where to rest being known, the object of pursuit is then determined; and, that being determined, an unperturbed calmness may be attained to.知止而後有定;定而後能靜

To that calmness there will succeed a tranquil repose. In that repose there may be careful deliberation, and that deliberation will be followed by the attainment of the desired end.靜而後能安;安而後能慮;慮而後能得

Things have their root and their branches. Affairs have their end and their beginning. To know what is first and what is last will lead near to what is taught in the Great Learning.物有本末,事有終始,知所先後,則近道矣。

The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the world, first ordered well their own States.古之欲明明德於天下者,先治其國

Wishing to order well their States, they first regulated their families.欲治其國者,先齊其家

Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons.欲齊其家者,先修其身

Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts.欲修其身者,先正其心

Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts.欲正其心者,先誠其意

Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost of their knowledge.欲誠其意者,先致其知

Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.致知在格物

Things being investigated, knowledge became complete.物格而後知至

Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere.知至而後意誠

Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified.意誠而後心正

Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated.心正而後身修

Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated.身修而後家齊

Their families being regulated, their States were rightly governed.家齊而後國治

Their States being rightly governed, the entire world was at peace.國治而後天下平

From the Son of Heaven down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides.自天子以至於庶人,壹是皆以修身為本

It cannot be, when the root is neglected, that what should spring from it will be well ordered.其本亂而末治者,否矣

It never has been the case that what was of great importance has been slightly cared for, and, at the same time, that what was of slight importance has been greatly cared for.其所厚者薄,而其所薄者厚,未之有也