Confucius, aka Kong Qiu, Zhongni, K'ung Fu-tzu or Kong Fuzi

Confucius, aka Kong Qiu, Zhongni, K'ung Fu-tzu or Kong Fuzi
550 B.C.
478 B.C.

Chinese Moral Teacher, Philosopher, Thinker, Political Figure, Educator, and Founder of the Ru School of Chinese thought, his teachings preserved in the collection of aphorisms known as Lunyu or Analects

Author Quotes

Those who know the truth are not equal to those who love it.

The ways of the true human being are three. I myself have met with success in none of them. For he that is really Good is never unhappy, he that is really wise is never perplexed, he that is really brave is never afraid.

The truly human being... does not preach what he practices till he has practiced what he preaches.

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

The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.

The superior man is universally minded and no partisan. The inferior man is a partisan and not universal.

The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

The principle of higher learning [higher education] consists in preserving man’s clear character, in giving new life to the people, and in dwelling in perfection, or the ultimate good.

The perfecting of self implies virtue; the perfecting of others, wisdom. These two, virtue and wisdom, are the moral qualities of the hsing, or nature, embodying the Tao, or Right Way.

The noble person tries to create harmony in the human heart by a rediscovery of human nature, and tries to promote music as a means to the perfection of human culture. When such music prevails and the people’s minds are led toward the right ideas and aspirations, we may see the appearance of a great nation. Character is the backbone of our human nature, and music is the flowing of character... The poem gives expression to our heart, the song gives expression to our voice, and the dance gives expression to our movements. these three arts take their rise from the human soul, and then are given further expressions by means of musical instruments.

The noble person can influence those who are above her; the small person can only influence those who are below her.

The noble person calls attention to the good point in others; he does not call attention to their defects. The small person does just the reverse of this.

The more a man knows, the more he forgives.

The Master said, He who learns but does not think is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger… Shall I teach you what knowledge is? When you know a thing, to recognize that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to recognize that you do not know it. That is knowledge.

The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.

The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it; not having it, to confess your ignorance.

The demands that a noble person makes are upon himself; those that a small person makes are upon others.

Respect yourself, and others will respect you.

Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.

Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.

Music rises from the human heart when the human heart is touched by the external world.

Music illustrates the primordial forces of nature, while li reflects the products of creation. Heaven represents the principle of eternal motion, while Earth represents the principle of remaining still, and these two principles of motion and rest permeate life between Heaven and Earth.

Music expresses the harmony of the universe, while rituals express the order of the universe. Through harmony all things are influenced, and through order all things have a proper place. When rituals and music are well established, we have the Heaven and Earth functioning in perfect order.

Author Picture
First Name
Confucius, aka Kong Qiu, Zhongni, K'ung Fu-tzu or Kong Fuzi
Birth Date
550 B.C.
Death Date
478 B.C.
Bio

Chinese Moral Teacher, Philosopher, Thinker, Political Figure, Educator, and Founder of the Ru School of Chinese thought, his teachings preserved in the collection of aphorisms known as Lunyu or Analects