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

All states in the world, large or small, are cities of Heaven, and all people, young or old, honourable or humble, are its subjects; for they all graze oxen and sheep, feed dogs and pigs, and prepare clean wine and cakes to sacrifice to Heaven. Does this not mean that Heaven claims all and accepts offerings from all? Since Heaven does claim all and accepts offerings from all, what then can make us say that it does not desire men to love and benefit one another? Hence those who love and benefit others Heaven will bless. Those who hate and harm others Heaven will curse, for it is said that he who murders the innocent will be visited by misfortune. How else can we explain the fact that men, murdering each other, will be cursed by Heaven? Thus we are certain that Heaven desires to have men love and benefit one another and abominates to have them hate and harm one another

It is things such as great states attacking small states, great families wreaking havoc on lesser families, the strong robbing the weak the many doing violence to the few, the clever deceiving the ignorant, and the noble acting arrogantly towards the humble.

The sage kings listened to the words of the worthy, watched their actions, observed their abilities, and on this basis carefully assigned them to office. This is called employing the capable.

Whoever criticizes others must have something to replace them. Criticism without suggestion is like trying to stop flood with flood and put out fire with fire. It will surely be without worth.

As he was talking to Ch?eng Tzu, Mo Tzu cited Confucius. Ch?eng Tzu remarked, ?You condemn Confucianism?so why did you just cite Confucius??

Kung Meng Tzu said, ?You believe a three-year mourning is wrong?so your three-day mourning is also wrong.? Mo Tzu said, ?You support three-year mourning and condemn three-day mourning. This is like a naked person condemning the person who lifts up his garment as indecent.

The state and the people should be governed by exalting the virtuous, in order for those who do good to be encouraged, and those who do evil to be obstructed/discouraged.

Fruit thieves are condemned by the people and punished by the government. Why? Because they act un-benevolently and harm others for their own benefit. Pig, chicken, and dog thieves are considered are considered even more unrighteous. Why? Because they act even more un-benevolently and do even more harm to others. Horse and cow thieves are considered even more unrighteous. Why? Because they act even more un-benevolently and do even more harm to others. Murderers who rob their victims are considered even more unrighteous. Why? Because they act even more un-benevolently and do even more harm to others. The world?s gentlemen know enough to condemn such acts and label them as unrighteous. Yet, when it comes to the more serious transgression of offensive warfare against other states, people do not know enough to condemn such an act. In fact, they praise it and call it righteous? Suppose someone called a little bit of black ?black,? and a lot of black ?white.? We would conclude that he did not properly differentiate between white and black. Suppose someone called a little bit of bitter, and a lot of bitter sweet. We would conclude that he did not properly differentiate between sweet and bitter. Yet when an atrocity is committed and a state is attacked, people do not know enough to condemn it. Instead, they praise it.

Mind is understanding of the essence of things.

The value of a knife is in its sharpness.

He who obeys the will of Heaven, loving all men universally and working for their benefit, will surely win reward.

Mo Tzu said to Lo Hua Li, ?I have heard you are brave [or: admire bravery].? The latter said, ?Yes. When I hear there is a brave man somewhere, I always go and kill him.? Mo Tzu said, ?The entire world promotes what it likes and destroys what it hates; but when you hear of a brave man somewhere, you must go and kill him. This is not admiration for bravery, but hate of it.?

The virtuous who are prosperous must be exalted, and the virtuous who are not prosperous must be exalted.

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.

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