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Taoic Religions   >   Confucianism   >   Confucus Quotations

   
 

Confucianism Quotations


Confucius:
Confucius
Below are some famous quotes by Confucius, the Chinese philosopher who founded Confucianism. Please note, that as Confucius of course wrote in Chinsese, quotations have been translated into English - but alternate translations exist as well.
  • "Isn't it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned?"
    - from Chapter I of The Analects

  • "I am not bothered by the fact that I am not understood. I am bothered when I do not know others."
    - from Chapter I of The Analects

  • "Be loyal and trustworthy. Do not befriend anyone who is lower than youself in this regard. When making a mistake, do not be afraid to correct it."
    - from Chapter I of The Analects

  • "To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous."
    - from Chapter II of The Analects

  • "If a man has no humaneness what can his propriety be like? If a man has no humaneness what can his happiness be like?"
    - from Chapter III of The Analects

  • "When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves."
    - from Chapter IV of The Analects

  • "When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves."
    - from Chapter IV of The Analects

  • "The cautious seldom err."
    - from Chapter IV of The Analects

  • "The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions."
    - from Chapter IV of The Analects

  • "The superior man is aware of righteousness, the inferior man is aware of advantage."
    - from Chapter IV of The Analects

  • "They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in it."
    - from Chapter VI of The Analects

  • "To give one's self earnestly to the duties due to men, and, while respecting spiritual beings, to keep aloof from them, may be called wisdom."
    - from Chapter VI of The Analects

  • "When I walk along with two others, from at least one I will be able to learn.."
    - from Chapter VII of The Analects

  • "When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are things to be ashamed of. When a country is ill governed, riches and honor are things to be ashamed of."
    - from Chapter VIII of The Analects

  • "The virtuous is frank and open; the non-virtuous is secretive and worrying."

  • "A young man should serve his parents at home and be respectful to elders outside his home. He should be earnest and truthful, loving all, but become intimate with humaneness. After doing this, if he has energy to spare, he can study literature and the arts."

  • "When you serve your mother and father it is okay to try to correct them once in a while. But if you see that they are not going to listen to you, keep your respect for them and don't distance yourself from them. Work without complaining."

  • "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin."

  • "The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell."

  • "The superior man governs men, according to their nature, with what is proper to them, and as soon as they change what is wrong, he stops."

  • "When one cultivates to the utmost the principles of his nature, and exercises them on the principle of reciprocity, he is not far from the path. What you do not like when done to yourself, do not do to others."

  • "When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them."

  • "Benevolence is the characteristic element of humanity."

  • "Sincerity is the way of Heaven. The attainment of sincerity is the way of men."

  • "In all things success depends on previous preparation, and without such previous preparation there is sure to be failure."

  • "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others."
Much of Confucius's writing survives to the present day, so there are of course many other sentences and writings that could be quoted as well.

In addition, some quotations not made by Confucius, are sometimes mistakenly misattributed to him. Some of the most common of these misattributed quotations are:
  • "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
    - This quotation is actual from the Tao Te Ching, Chapter 64, written by the Chinese philosopher, Laozi, who is usually credited with being the creator of Taoism.

  • "Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated."
    - This quotation is widely attributed on the Internet to Confucius, however, according to Wikiquote, he is not the source.



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