Analects 4:2

Confucius said

A person who lacks jen cannot abide in adversity for long, or abide in joy enduringly.

The jen person is satisfied with jen . The wise person makes jen his gain.

Those who are without virtue cannot abide long either in a condition of poverty and hardship, or in a condition of enjoyment.

The virtuous rest in virtue; the wise desire virtue. L

A man without moral character cannot long put up with adversity, nor can he long enjoy prosperity.

Men of moral character find themselves at home in being moral; men of intelligence find it advantageous to be moral. K

Those who are without it cannot abide long, either in straitened or in happy circumstances. Those who possess it find contentment in it. Those who are wise go after it as men go after gain. J


The person who lacks jen has unnecessary non yi desires, hopes, and fears that will cause him to degenerate from adversity or joy.

The jen person is satisfied with jen, and thus can properly deal with life and its circumstances.

Those who take delight in a jen existence can attain the peace of mind and divine enjoyment of the present moment and of life as a whole.

Those who abandon this simplicity in order to choose non jen standards will become deluded with vain desires that present a false distant image of satisfaction, treat the present as a mere means to their vain goals, and end up disregarding the very life they pass most of their time expecting.

Vain joys do not really exist—only divine ones do.

Through hsueh, the chun tzu guides, steadies, and regulates his desires, in order to retain only authentic and necessary desires that are conducive to tao, and avoid excessive desires that becloud tao.

Through the emptiness of tao, we can find the fulfillment of the self through jen.