忠經 Zhong Jing #4








忠經 Zhong Jing #4

百工章 Numerous Laborer Chapter


忠經 Zhong Jing #4

(PD) Mt Seoraksan Republic of Korea

Skies, earth, footprint...

(Photo clarity, angle, and wording by Larry Neal Gowdy)

Larry Neal Gowdy

Copyright ©2019 October 26, 2019



The fourth chapter of 忠經 (Zhong Jing) is titled 百工章, which is loosely interpreted to be One-hundred Laborer Chapter, or, Numerous Laborer Chapter.

The general theme of chapter #4 most focuses on the idea that administrators of nations and offices ought to be devoted to the working citizens themselves, and not be devoted towards the goal of merely having workers. The following quotes are draft translations of portions of sentences within 忠經 Zhong Jing chapter 4 百工章.


'Have nation it one-hundred laborers only endowment,

Guard position cautious common,

Wrong devotion it way.'


Similar affairs are seen today in all cultures... administrators of nations dwell within their devoted goals of increasing workforces, increasing economies, increasing gross national products, increasing taxes, and of guarding their goals, while not being devoted to the citizens' lives. The administrators' way is of a wrong devotion.

An example of the effect of having a devotion towards workforces while not having a devotion towards the citizens themselves, can be seen within nations like South Korea. Within the past fifty years the nation's people have worked hard to build the economy, and today South Korea's accomplishments are quite remarkable. However, the people's high devotion to occupational accomplishments has placed family life to be of less importance, resulting in a birth rate that is amongst the lowest on Earth, and now dependent on immigration to keep the economy thriving. Within a few generations, South Korea as a nation will likely still exist, but the South Korean culture will die, replaced by the immigrants' cultures. The previous generations' hard work will not be left to the workers' children, but rather be left to other nations' children.

Placing importance on national interests first, while placing one's people last, may show success for a little while, but the final result will always be a full loss of the nation itself. Similar is the Ship of Thesus paradox... if all of a nation's people are replaced by other nations' people, then is the nation still the same nation, or is it merely the name that remains? If a nation is to survive, then first its people must survive.




'Home then consider its way,

Benefit-advantage nation it way'

...Speak matter-thing nothing fear'


The chapter proposes the idea that nations ought to be like one's home, where each family member is free to speak their thoughts without fear... a form of freedom of speech. The idea has validity... within the early 1900s in the USA, people were free to speak their minds, but people back then tended to possess politeness, a self-will to curb their own words, so as to not offend other people... a form of social filial piety. The present age in the USA, however, is changing... speaking one's thoughts, regardless of how polite the words might be spoken, are with the fear of being attacked by the new politically correct extremists.

Also, the chapter's words appear to infer, that, when the book was written, it was common for families to be capable of calm, polite, caring, reasoned discussions. Within the author's life and culture, caring families may have been the norm, but the norm is very different in other cultures and eras.


'If favorable She Ji

Then not look-back their life'


'She' is the god of soil, and 'Ji' is the god of grains. Perhaps the phrasing held more meaning within the author's era, but today it appears that 'favorable She Ji' simply implies a metaphor-like idea of being fortunate to have good crops. To 'not look back on one's life', is like having grown old and not having regrets in life. To end one's life without regrets of past mistakes, is a worthy goal.


'Therefore obvious noble virtue

Protect one-hundred laborers his devotion {also}

Noble appoint laborer capable

Laborer respect noble administration

Politics capable regard-to lower

Virtue reciprocate regard-to upper

...Respectful able-to use capable correct

Upright able-to use display devotion'


The noble person's virtue, is outwardly expressed within his logical devotion towards protecting workers. It is unfortunate today that an individual must be considered to be of high noble character before the individual is able to behave rationally.

The idea of reciprocation is valid, but only valid amongst level-headed people. One's environment does indeed influence one's behavior, and if one's environment is of a small number of polite individuals, then one individual's better behavior might better everyone's behavior. However, within large communities, one good person's good behavior will not win over the influences of many people's bad behavior.

To protect a nation's people, first is needed for the leaders themselves to be noble. There is no logic to assume that ignoble politicians can somehow influence citizens into an upright noble life.

But, of course, 忠經 Zhong Jing is merely as a poem, a single individual's thoughts placed into rhythms of patterns... poems are as grand ideas, that, usually, never come true.