Analects 9:25

Confucius said

Though [even] the Combined Army can have its commander taken away, there is not a single individual at all who can have his free will taken away.

The commander of the forces of a large state may be carried off, but the will of even a common man cannot be taken from him. L

A great army may be robbed of its leader, but nothing can rob one poor man of his will. G 101

The commander-in-chief of an army may be carried captive, but the convictions even of the meanest man cannot be taken from him. (Herbert A. Giles)

You can snatch away the general of a large army, but you cannot snatch away the will of even the lowliest of men. M


Every individual has free will and conviction that cannot be taken away from him.

Only an individual can yield his will to something, and only an individual is the root that can direct himself to yi.

In treading tao and practicing jen, everyone is his own master, and needs self-responsibility, resolution, constant and ceaseless accumulation of self-effort, and completion of cultivation.

The practice of jen is from a person himself.

An individual must use his power and capacity to do , accumulate te, and become a jen person.

It is the individual’s own initiative and internal decisions that are integral to this process.

Thus, in learning, it is most important for one to set his heart on it.

And an individual cannot become of one heart and become a jen person without self-reliance.

Externals are what they are—but only an individual can prepare himself for and properly deal with externals as they come, in order to do yi.

Be willing to self-responsibility for everything in your control.

Acknowledge your own self, recognize your own power, use it to the fullest extent, and respond to circumstances using it.

At each moment of life, an individual has the option of being yior being non yi—he can be a seeker of tao who rules himself by wisdom and recreates a new self, or someone who merely exists in slave-like way and follows non yi.

Free of any useless regret over the past or useless worry over the future, do the best with each moment.

Like when raising a mound, if I stop when there is a single basket missing, it is my own stopping. Like when leveling ground, if I throw a single basketful, it is my own going forward.

Depending one’s divine nature is stable and firm. Depending on others or on circumstances is depending on what is unstable and uncertain.

The liberated self-conquered person rules himself.

Whatever joy you seek, it can be found by yourself, and whatever misery you seek, it can be found by yourself.

If you wish for any blessing, look for it yourself.

No person is able to help you when you suffer for your own deeds.

You yourself alone is eternally yours, and all other individuals are not.