Analects 9:4

Confucius was entirely free of four things. He had no foregone conclusions, no arbitrariness, no obstinacy/inflexibility/set/insist/certainly/bigotry, and no egoism.

There were four things from which the Master was entirely free. He had no foregone conclusions, no arbitrary predeterminations, no obstinacy, and no egoism. L

There were four words of which the Master barred the use: he would have no “shall’s,” no “must’s,” no certainly’s,” no “I’s.” G


Confucius was free of these things because he took tao as his standard against which all other things were weighed.