Mozi or Mo-tze, Mocius or Mo-tzu, original name Mo Di, aka Master Mo

Mozi or Mo-tze, Mocius or Mo-tzu, original name Mo Di, aka Master Mo
c. 470 B.C.
c. 391 B.C.

Chinese Philosopher, founder of Mohist School, moral teachings emphasized self-reflection and authenticity rather than obedience to ritual in contrast to Confucius. He observed that we often learn about the world through adversity

Author Quotes

Honoring the worthy is the basis of good government.

Mo Tzu said, ?This has to do with what is right and cannot be altered. A bird will fly high after becoming aware there is danger of heat and drought, and a fish will swim low after becoming aware there is danger of heat and drought. In such circumstances, even Yu and T?ang?s judgment would follow. Should I never cite Confucius??

The wise man who has charge of governing the empire should know the cause of disorder before he can put it in order. Unless he knows its cause, he cannot regulate it.

I have said previously that it is the business of the benevolent man to try to promote what is beneficial to the world and to eliminate what is harmful. Now I have demonstrated that universality is the source of all the great benefits in the world and partiality is the source of all the great harm.

Mo Tzu was mad at [his disciple] Keng Chu Tzu. Keng Chu Tzu said, ?Aren?t I better than others?? Mo Tzu said, ?Imagine I am going to T?ai Hang [Mountain], and a horse or ox will pull my cart?which one would you urge?? Keng Shu Tzu said, ?I would urge the horse.? Mo Tzu asked, ?And why would you urge the horse?? Keng Chu Tzu said, ?Because the horse is [more] capable.? Mo Tzu said, ?I also think you are [more] capable.?

The words of malicious slander should not be allowed to enter the ear. A defensive voice should not be allowed to come out of the mouth. The want to gravely injure people should not be allowed to exist in the heart. If this is accomplished, though there be people who cynically expose others, they would be without people who would align with them.

If a ruler wanted to kill his cow or sheep but was unable to do it, he would most certainly find a skillful butcher; and if he wanted a piece of clothing but was unable to make it, he would most certainly find a skilful tailor. For these tasks, a ruler would not employ relatives, low-merit wealthy men, or the good-looking, if he clearly knows they are incapable? And if a ruler had an ill horse but was unable to cure it, he would most certainly find an experienced veterinarian; or if he had a tight bow he was unable to draw, he would most certainly find a skillful workman. For these, a ruler would not employ relatives, low-merit wealthy men, or the good-looking, if he clearly knows they were incapable? But when it comes to matters pertaining to the state, everything changes. The ruler?s relatives, low-merit wealthy men, and the good-looking are all promoted.

Mo Tzu?s follower Meng Shan, praising Prince Tzu Lu, said, ?Formerly, during Po Kung?s revolt, Prince Tzu Lu was held captive. Axes were at his waist, and spears pointed towards his heart. Po Kung told him, ?Be Lord and live, or refuse and die.? Prince Tzu Lu said, ?That is an insult to me! You killed my parents, and are now trying to bait me with Ch?u State. If not righteous to do so, I would not even accept the entire Empire, let alone Ch?u State.? And so, he refused [and was executed]. Wasn?t Prince Tzu Lu magnanimous?? Mo Tzu said, ?His decision was by all means difficult, but not so much magnanimous. If he felt that the Lord had gone astray from the Way, shouldn?t he have taken the position and run the government? If he felt Po Kung was unrighteous, shouldn?t he have accepted the Lordship, executed Po Kung, and then the Lordship to the Lord? Thus I say that his decision was by all means difficult, but not so much magnanimous.?

This is like a doctor giving drugs to his patients, who gives every sick person in the world the exact same drug. Out of ten thousand who would take it, four or five would benefit?but you cannot use that to say it is a universal medicine.

If everyone in the world will love universally; states not attacking one another; houses not disturbing one another; thieves and robbers becoming extinct; emperor and ministers, fathers and sons, all being affectionate and filial -- if all this comes to pass the world will be orderly. Therefore, how can the wise man who has charge of governing the empire fail to restrain hate and encourage love? So, when there is universal love in the world it will be orderly, and when there is mutual hate in the world it will be disorderly.

Now Heaven desires life and hates death, desires wealth and hates poverty, desires order and hates disorder. So I know that Heaven desires righteousness and hates unrighteousness.

To accomplish anything whatsoever one must have standards. None have yet accomplished anything without them.

If I do what Heaven desires, then Heaven will do what I desire.

Now, as to universal love and mutual aid, they are beneficial and easy beyond a doubt. It seems to me that the only trouble is that there is no superior who encourages it. If there is a superior who encourages it, promoting it with rewards and commendations, threatening its reverse with punishments, I feel people will tend toward universal love and mutual aid like fire tending upward and water downwards ? it will be unpreventable in the world.

To enter upon rulership of a country but not preserve its scholars will result in the downfall of the country. To see the worthy but not hasten to them will make the country's ruler less able to perform his duties. To the unworthy is due no attention. The ignorant should remain without inclusion in the state's affairs. To impede the virtuous and neglect the scholarly and still maintain the survival of the state has yet to be, indeed.

If one does not preserve the learned in a state he will be injuring the state; if one is not zealous (to recommend) the virtuous upon seeing one, he will be neglecting the ruler. Enthusiasm is to be shown only to the virtuous, and plans for the country are only to be shared with the learned. Few are those, who, neglecting the virtuous and slighting the learned, could still maintain the existence of their countries.

One of the cause of distress to a state is when those who are trusted are not loyal, and those who are loyal are not trusted.

To promote what is beneficial to the world and to eliminate what is harmful.

If people regarded other people?s states as in the same way that they regard their own, who then would incite their own state to attack that of another? For one would do for others as one would do for oneself.

Poverty is the root of disorders in the country.

Universal love and no fighting.

If the rulers sincerely desire the empire to be wealthy and dislike to have it poor, desire to have it orderly and dislike to have it chaotic, they should bring about universal love and mutual aid. This is the way of the sage-kings and the way to order for the world, and it should not be neglected.

Prince Wen of Lu Yang said to Mo Tzu, ?Suppose someone is recommended as a loyal minister, and he bows when I allow him to bow down and bends back when I allow him to bend back, and he stays silent when let alone and answers when called. Can this be considered loyalty?? Mo Tzu said, ?Bowing when allowed and bending back when allowed?this is a mere shadow. Staying silent when not called for and answering when called?this is a mere echo. What benefit would you obtain from an echo or a shadow? ?Here is my idea of a loyal minister: He waits and warns when the superior is at fault, he tells the superior about his good ideas without revealing them to the world, he corrects irregularities and leads in goodness, and he identifies himself with the superior and does not ally himself with subordinates.

Universal love is really the way of the sage-kings. It is what gives peace to the rulers and sustenance to the people. The gentleman would do well to understand and practice universal love; then he would be gracious as a ruler, loyal as a minister, affectionate as a father, filial as a son, courteous as an elder brother, and respectful as a younger brother. So, if the gentleman desires to be a gracious ruler, a loyal minister, an affectionate father, a filial son, a courteous elder brother, and a respectful younger brother, universal love must be practiced. It is the way of the sage-kings and the great blessing of the people.

A generous man striving forwards never loses his goal.

Author Picture
First Name
Mozi or Mo-tze, Mocius or Mo-tzu, original name Mo Di, aka Master Mo
Birth Date
c. 470 B.C.
Death Date
c. 391 B.C.
Bio

Chinese Philosopher, founder of Mohist School, moral teachings emphasized self-reflection and authenticity rather than obedience to ritual in contrast to Confucius. He observed that we often learn about the world through adversity