Analects 4:10

Confucius said

When the chun tzu deals with the world, he is not [biased] for or against anything—he [just] follows what is yi.

The superior man, in the world, does not set his mind either for anything, or against anything; what is right he will follow. L

The nobler sort of man in his progress through the world has neither narrow predilections nor obstinate antipathies. What he follows is the line of duty. G

A wise man in his judgment of the world, has no predilections nor prejudices; he is on the side of what is right. K

The wise man in his attitude towards the world has neither predilections nor prejudices. He is on the side of what is right. S

The superior man in every thing is void of prejudice, and obstinacy; whatever justice requires, that he follows. C

The masterly man’s attitude to the world is not exclusively this or that: whatsoever is right, to that he will be a party. J

The gentlemen’s relation to the world is thus: he has no predilections or prohibitions. When he regards something as right, he sides with it. (Brooks & Brooks)

When the Superior Man deals with the world he is not prejudiced for or against anything. He does what is Right. (Muller)


We must personally develop discretion, and deal with everything with a completely clean heart and with discretion, responding to each thing is at comes, and doing a thing when its time has come.

The chun tzu engages in keeping his heart clean like this.

He does not have a specific absolute set way to do or avoid certain things, is not invariably set for or against anything, and avoids arbitrariness, speculations, obstinacy, and egoism.

For him, whatever rightly fits circumstances, distinctions, and the demands of the occasion will do.

Thus he is not biased for or against anything—he just follows yi.

Lao Tzu said, “The tao that can be tao. is not the absolute tao . The name that can be named is not the absolute name.” (Tao Te Ching Ch. 1)

Teachings must leave room for the person to adapt the teaching to his situation.

Most are not generally applicable, and only certain ones are for the most part generally applicable and able to be adapted to specific situations.

A desire to justify and have answers for everything can cause a person to make assumptions, rather than taking in more data and the comprehensiveness that can lead to perceiving the complete truth of things as they are, and dealing with them accordingly.

The chun tzu does not peremptorily make absolute judgments about a matter before knowing it thoroughly and comprehensively.

The heart/mind can know tao through emptiness, unity, and equanimity—emptiness prevents what is stored from harming what is received, unity prevents impressions from harming impressions, and equanimity prevents activity from disturbing knowledge.

Reality has a complex manifestation—and thus, it is misleading to make conclusions based on a superficial view of or a superficial acquaintance with something.

Being acquainted with parts of a whole is not equal to knowing the whole.

Consider external based on what they really are.

An individual must obtain his own learning, and do his own thinking rather than merely surrendering everything to teachers, teachings, standards, customs, etc.

Since tao can always be found among mankind—in some people more, and in other people less—the chun tzu can learn from anyone.

However, he does not make any particular person his only teacher or someone he follows absolutely.