Confucian Analects Quotes and Commentary 為政 Wei Zheng #14
(PD) Patriarchs of Zen cropped, sized, color enhanced, and text added by Larry Neal Gowdy.
Copyright ©2019 June 05, 2019
Vessels have no choice... vessels can only do the purpose that the creators created the vessels for.
Similarly, man was created within the boundaries of Nature's way... fate... man cannot leave Nature's way... not even for a moment... not even if necessary...
However, people were created with the potential of making some choices... people being able to choose to further create themselves within their own heart's image...
Thoughtfulness... mindfulness... self-thinking... self-choosing... self-effort to choose creative choices... all are choices, verb-acts of the mind, but the choices are not common. The more common choices, are of selfishness, and of achieving the selfish desire of social status by the individuals imitating someone else who has been given popular social status.
Imitate... outsider imitation, copying the external bodily motions of someone else's... outsider imitation, not honest... outsider imitation, may copy a quality man's external behaviors, while the outsider person's inward self is not of quality...
Imitation is a lie... deceit... fakery... unintelligent... the behavior of tiny people who cannot self-think...
'Zi say: Junzi thoughtful and not imitate, tiny person imitate and not thoughtful.'
The word 周 (zhou), as an action verb, implies 'attentive, meticulous, thorough, thoughtful'.
The word 比 (bi), as an action verb, implies 'compare, compete, contrast, emulate, imitate'.
The sentence could plausibly be interpreted different ways, including... 'Zi say: Junzi whole and not compete, tiny person compete and not whole'. However, within the concept of what a junzi is supposed to imply, the 'thoughtful' and 'imitate' synonyms appear to best fit the intended meanings for both the junzi and the tiny person.
Public domain translations of 為政 Wei Zheng #14:
"The Master said, "The superior man is catholic and not partisan. The mean man is partisan and not catholic.""(James Legge, 1890)
"The great man is catholic-minded, and not one-sided. The common man is the reverse." (Anonymous, 1900)
"The Master said, A gentleman is broad and fair; the small man takes sides and is narrow." (Leonard A. Lyall, 1909)
(Plausibly translated from #14:) "The higher type of man seeks all that he wants in himself; the inferior man seeks all that he wants from others." (Lionel Giles, 1910)
(Note that the available Lionel Giles translations are not marked relative to section numbers, and so some of the translations are best guesses as to which book and section that the translations were derived from.)
Giles' translation's underlying concept is good enough... makes sense, rational, and is based upon real life. Many of Lionel Giles' translations are based upon his own firsthand understandings of the topics... able to use verbs... very rare, and very much superior to common translations.
The other translations are scholarly... philosophical... of outsider points of view with no inward firsthand experience... use adjective-words like 'catholic' and 'partisan' that contradict themselves... the translators not knowing what any of their own English words mean... the translations make no sense... the translations imitate each other... the scholarly way is itself the act of copy-imitation.
Intelligent individuals self-think, self-form conclusions based upon real firsthand experience, and do not merely copy-paste into their minds what other people believe. Tiny people, are as hollow vessels that carry the copy-pastes of other people's beliefs... tiny people have no thoughts of their own.
Choice... to be thoughtful, to give self-effort to discern what is right, and to discern what is wrong... to then choose what is the most correct choice... the verb-acts are as junzies'... not merely imitate-copy someone else...
Self-thinking... divide one oneself... divide one's self... no imitation occurs...