Doctrine of the Mean - Center Unchangeable 中庸 Translation and Commentary 11

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Doctrine of the Mean 中庸

Zhong Yong - Center Unchangeable

Translation and Commentary - Part 11

The Logics - Doctrine of the Mean (Zhongyong) Translation and Commentary

(PD) Zhong Yong on Winter Forest

Photograph enhancements and wording by Larry Neal Gowdy


Larry Neal Gowdy

Copyright©2018 April 18, 2018



Translations and Commentary Continued


The following quote from within 中庸 appears to give clarifications of some previous questions, but while also raising new questions of what the words are actually pointing to. As the first sentences of 中庸 appear to have been taken from Taoist-like writings, quote #15 appears to have a difference of mental patterning than the previous quotes, which suggests that quote #15 might have been taken from a source that was not fully harmonious with Confucius' ideas. An initial speculation is that quote #15 might have been a man's personal interpretation of Confucian sayings — or perhaps of a writing that preceded Confucius — and if that is so, then that is okay because 中庸 is apparently a purposeful collection of quotes from different sources, and so, then, it is okay for 中庸 to have quotes that are not fully harmonious with the others.

It is not possible within Nature for any two individuals to fully agree with the other, and so, it is also not possible for all of the quotes within 中庸 to fully agree. Disagreements between quotes are expected and unavoidable, but the disagreements do not by themselves nullify an ideology's core ideals.

If, as I speculated previously, that 中庸 might have been used as a teacher's method of evaluating a student's understanding of ideals within Confucianism, then quote #15 could have been a good one for determining how well the student grasped the core teachings of the other quotes.

Since I am very new to Confucianism, and since 中庸 is the first Confucian book that I have read aside from an abbreviated Analects interpretation by Legge, then my very limited exposure to the era's mental patternings is not yet sufficient enough for me to be confident of the quote's source. After I have studied twenty to fifty of the era's texts, perhaps by then I might be able to return to quote #15 of 中庸 and recognize from which source that it was likely taken from.

To me, the study of 中庸 is a lot of fun because it is new to me, and since I enjoy learning of new topics, and since there are so few worthwhile topics that I have not already studied, then to me, 中庸 is very interesting and enjoyable.

I will include the full Chinese text alongside of the translations so as to help illustrate where the new questions begin, and where, hopefully, the original Chinese text answers the questions.

Beginning with the current quote, I will also wait until after presenting the translation before I then present Legge's translation. A favorable translation ought to be based upon as many good qualities as are available for each individual: [1] if possible, the individual ought to have a thorough firsthand understanding of the topic itself, an understanding gained through the firsthand experience of having personally lived similarly as what the text points to, [2] when practical, a translation ought to make use of the text's early concepts to be guides of how to interpret latter concepts, to use the easy words to help guide how to translate the hard words, and, [3] when possible, an individual ought to translate foreign words by one's self before reading another person's opinion, which offers the individual the opportunity to reason their own interpretations, while also helping to prevent someone else's ideas from influencing one's own ideas.

After an individual has acquired his own firsthand understanding that is gained through firsthand experiences, and after an individual has translated words relative to the individual's own firsthand experiences, then it is useful and interesting to read other people's translations so as to gather an idea of how other people of different life histories may interpret the same words. My translations and commentaries are offered as such, as another voice that offers an interpretation of the same words as seen through the eyes of a different life.


15


君子素其位而行、 不愿乎其外。 素富貴、 行乎富貴。 素貧賤、 行乎貧賤。 素夷狄、 行乎夷狄。 素患難、 行乎患難。 君子無入而不自得焉。 在上位不陵下、 在下位不援上、 正己而不求於人、 則無怨。 上不怨天、 下不尤人。 故君子居易以俟命、 小人行險以徼幸。


1

君子素其位而行,

jun = noble, superior, quality

zi = person

su = of

qi = his

wei = position

er = and

行, xing = behavior, actions


Quality person (junzi) of his position and behavior,


2

不愿乎其外。

bu = do not, not

yuan = willing

hu = almost, depends

qi = its, his

外。 wai = outer


not willing contingent his outer.


3

素富貴,行乎富貴;

su = prime, of

fu = rich

貴, gui = expensive, noble

xing = behavior

hu = almost, is-as

fu = rich

gui = noble


Of rich noble, behavior is-as rich noble:


4

素貧賤,行乎貧賤;

su = prime, of

pin = poor

賤, jian = cheap

xing = behavior

hu = almost, is-as

pin = poor

賤; jian = cheap


of poor cheap, behavior is-as poor cheap:


5

素夷狄,行乎夷狄;

su = prime, of

Yi (ethnic tribe to the west of Han)

狄, Di (ethnic tribe to the north of Han)

xing = behavior

hu = almost, similar, is-as

Yi

Di


of Yi Di, behavior is-as Yi Di:


6

素患難,行乎患難:

su = prime, of

huan = suffer, worry

難, nan = difficult, hard

xing = behavior

hu = almost, is-as

huan = suffer, worry

nan = difficult, hard


of suffer hard, behavior is-as suffer hard:


7

君子無入而不自得焉。

jun = noble, superior, quality

zi = person

wu = no

ru = into, enter

er = and

bu = not, do not

zi = from, self

de = get, acquire

yan = how, herein, why,


quality person (junzi) no enter and not self acquire herein.


8

在上位不陵下,

zai = in

shang = upper

wei = position

bu = do not, not

ling = tomb, hill, mound

下, xia = under


In upper position not bury (burden-abuse-work to death) under,


9

在下位不援上,

zai = in

xia = under

wei = bit, position

bu = do not, not

yuan = assist, aid

shang = upper


in under position not coordinate (do work as) upper,


10

正己而不求於人,

zheng = positive, correct, main

ji = already, self

er = and

bu = do not, not

qiu = begging, request, beg

yu = in, at

人, ren = people, person


correct self and not request of people,


11

則無怨。

ze = then (noun=standard, rule, norm, verb = follow)

wu = no, not, nothing, naught

怨。 yuan = blame, complain, noun = resentment


then not blame (or 'follow-trace not blame (to another person)).


12

上不怨天,下不尤人。

shang = on, upper

bu = do not, not

yuan = blame, complain

天, tian = heavens

xia = under

bu = do not, not

you = especially, particularly

人。 ren = people, person


Upper not blame heavens, under not especially person (or: Upper not blame heavens, especially not (blame) under person).


13

故君子居易以俟命,

gu = so, therefore

jun = noble, superior, quality

zi = person

ju = home, live

yi = easy, simple

yi = with, according to, by

qi = wait, once

命, ming = life, fate.


Therefore quality man (junzi) live simple with wait fate,


14

小人行險以徼幸。

xiao = small, tiny

ren = people, person

xing = conduct, behavior

xian = risk, danger, adverb = almost, nearly

yi = to, with

jiao = go around, boundary

幸。 xing = fortunately, luckily, lucky


small person behave risk to encompass lucky.


Direct:

(i) Quality person (junzi) of his position and behavior, not willing contingent his outer.

(ii) Of rich noble, behavior is-as rich noble:

(iii) of poor cheap, behavior is-as poor cheap:

(iv) of Yi Di, behavior is-as Yi Di:

(v) of suffer hard, behavior is-as suffer hard:

(vi) quality person (junzi) no enter and not self acquire herein.

(vii) In upper position not bury (burden-abuse-work to death) under,

(viii) in under position not coordinate (do work as) upper,

(ix) correct self and not request of people, then not blame (or: 'follow-trace not blame (to another person)).

(x) Upper not blame heavens, under not especially person (or: Upper not blame heavens, especially not (blame) under person).

(xi) Therefore quality man (junzi) live simple with wait fate, small person behave risk to encompass lucky.


Concept:

Quality person (junzi), of his position and behavior, his will is not contingent upon his outer (appearances, environment, social status, social culture, circumstantial situations, etc.).

Of rich noble, behavior is as rich noble: of poor cheap, behavior is as poor cheap: of Yi Di, behavior is as Yi Di: of suffer hard, behavior is as suffer hard: quality person (junzi), he does not enter (their ways), not self acquire (how) others behaviors.

In upper position, not overly burden those who work under, in under position, not act as if the upper, correct self and not requesting of people, then one's self is not of blame. (or: correct self and not requesting of people, then not follow-trace blame to other people.)

Upper position not blame the heavens, under position especially not blame person. (or: Upper position not blame heavens, especially not (blame) under person, or, not blame person under heaven)

Therefore quality man (junzi) live simple while awaiting fate, small person behaves with risks to have luck.


Normal:

Of a quality person's position and behavior in life, his actions are not contingent upon his outer environment.

Of rich noble, behavior is as rich noble.

Of poor cheap, behavior is as poor cheap.

Of Yi Di, behavior is as Yi Di.

Of suffer hard, behavior is as suffer hard.

A quality person does not enter (those ways), nor does he acquire their ways.

In upper positions, the quality person does not overly burden those who work under him, when the quality person is in an under position, he does not act as if he is in the upper position.

Correcting of one's self, and not requesting of people, then one's self is not of blame (or [1] does not trace blame to others, or, [2] one's behavior, regardless of differences of social norms, is blameless).

A quality person in an upper position does not blame the heavens, and the quality person in an under position especially does not blame people (or, especially does not blame under people, or, not blame people under heaven).

Therefore the quality man lives simple while awaiting fate, while the small person behaves with risks to have luck.


Interpretations:

(i) Quality person (junzi) of his position and behavior, not willing contingent his outer.


It appears that the next several sentences are surely relevant to this first sentence, and if so, then it is also important to remember what the first sentence points to, that of: 'of a junzi's position and behavior, he is not willing (wanting) contingent (making choices that are dependent upon) his outer', that is, 'he does not act nor make choices based upon his outer'. The sentence can be phrased in several different ways with different English synonyms, but each version appears to point at the same general concept, that of the junzi not permitting external influences to base his choices and behavior.

As was written in the 11th quote in part 8: "Therefore the quality person is of harmony, not wavering, strength straight! Center stand, not lean, strength straight!" The general theme throughout the book has been that a junzi is stable of mind and behavior, a junzi's judgments are uniform without favoritism and without regard of his external environment, and a junzi does not let-go of 'fist fist to chest'.

The title of the book is 中庸, which points to a center that does not change. The first sentence of this quote appears to agree with the previous quotes, it agrees with the previous concepts, and it agrees with the book's title.

The first sentence also opens a dialog of the topic that the speaker intended to speak of, which, simply means, that the following sentences will very likely be relative to the concept presented within the first sentence, which also means that the following sentences ought to likely be best translated relative to the first sentence's concept.

To me, the first sentence (i) appears to point to a state of mind that remains stable and focused upon a system of quality judgment that holds the same quality values regardless of circumstances. It is normal human behavior for most people to change their judgments to be relative to the people's outer appearances; the people's system of judgment is to place importance on social status, social ranking, and social authority-power over other people.

The Milgram experiments illustrated how people change their outer behavior to conform to social rank and social authority-power. Another example that I myself have witnessed firsthand, was within an officer's training academy for maximum security state government employees. The new cadets appeared to be as normal people when first entering the academy, but once the training was completed and the graduates were on their jobs, about 85% of the officers had acquired a belief and behavior that they held the right and necessity to rule harshly ( ling) over other people's lives, even to the point of the unders' death. To the cadets, their behavior and choices were ruled by and excused by the cadets' outer social positions of being government employees (alleged authority).

A humorous example is of a time when circumstances forced me into accepting an uncomfortable position as a lowly used car salesman. To me, it was both funny and peculiar that I set a new all-time annual high sales record for the company, but the sales manager vocally complained that I was being honest with the customers; that I should not do that. Some people believe that a person should behave the same as all others within a social group, regardless of whether the behavior is right or wrong.

A mentally stable individual does not change their quality values nor their natural external behaviors, regardless of occupation or circumstance. When a quality individual finds a dao of value, then 'fist fist to chest', and the value is not let-go of.

The first sentence ought to agree with all previous quotes, and if the sentence has difficulties of translation (which it does), then the interpretations of the words ought to consider allowing preference to the interpretations of sentences that were previously found in earlier quotes.


(ii) Of rich noble, behavior is-as rich noble:

(iii) of poor cheap, behavior is-as poor cheap:

(iv) of Yi Di, behavior is-as Yi Di:

(v) of suffer hard, behavior is-as suffer hard:


The four 'of' sentence segments appear to have three plausible core interpretations, but of the patterning that [1] leads from the first sentence, [2] plus agrees with previous quotes, and then [3] enters into the sixth group's concept, the first sentence suggests only one sensible interpretation of the following four segments: the four groups of ii through v are as comments that contrast the nature of a junzi.

It appears most reasonable to interpret the words as pointing to the four groups of circumstances as being their own natures and behaviors, which would be similar to stating 'rich politicians act as rich politicians, poor quality people act as poor quality people, tribesmen act as tribesmen, sufferers act as sufferers'. Today we might present the ideas as 'mice behave as mice, dogs behave as dogs, trees behave as trees', or, 'mice are as mice do', or 'stink is as stink does'. Within this interpretation, the four sentence segments do not relate to junzis, but rather merely point at contrasts between junzis and other people.


Within the previous example of the officer's training academy, of the few known individuals who did not change their inner and outer natures to conform to the negative social behavior, those few individuals soon resigned from their jobs. A man of quality inner values cannot long participate within disquality social groups, and often, the quality man might resign from his occupation because he does not fit in with the crowd.

A quality man cannot behave as rich politicians behave, nor as rich royalty behaves, nor as a cheap person behaves, nor as a barbarian behaves, nor as a sufferer behaves, nor as a government employee behaves, nor even as what a lowly car salesman behaves.

A centered quality man will present himself with the same behaviors regardless of occupation. The quality man remains honest regardless of occupation, he remains gentle and caring towards others regardless of occupation, he remains peaceful even if born to a barbarian culture, he remains fair of judgment even if he were forced into politics, and never will he give the outward appearance of being identical, the same, or equal to other people when in social groups.


(vi) quality person (junzi) no enter and not self acquire herein.


The ancient Chinese mental patterning is not easy to interpret into modern English, but the general concept is relatively clear enough when the meanings are interpreted to be relative to the previous sentences and previous quotes.

A quality individual never enters a social group without retaining his centeredness. Centeredness is first and unchangeable. If this portion of the sentence were intended to be as a 'therefore' relative to the previous four portions, then the idea might be close to 'a quality person does not enter into a way that is not of his own self'.

Of the references available to me, the word () implies 'get, obtain, need, gain', as contrasted to (de) which implies 'of', as in 道 的 愛, dao de ai, daodeai, 'way of love'. The (de of) appears to speak of a thing that is already present and possessed (past tense and present tense), whereas ( get) appears to speak of a thing that is attained or acquired, but not yet present nor possessed (future tense). Within this point of view, the sentence might read 'quality person not enter, and not self acquire how', and if that idea and string of words is reasonably close, then the concept compresses into 'quality person not acquire how to behave the same as the rich noble, nor the poor cheap, nor the tribesman, nor the sufferer'.

Nevertheless, the normal Chinese sentence structuring might indeed permit 'quality person not enter without self acquiring how', and if that were correct, then again the sentence is much too brief to permit a confident translation, while also opening an avenue for philosophers to insert endless streams of fiction that excuses and supports a wanted 'scholarly' interpretation of how a junzi could remain stable and straight without leaning while the junzi wavers, contorts, and leans his actions to conform to outward environments.

At present, I want to believe that the sentences support and agree with the book's previous quotes of quality individuals being stable of mind and behavior regardless of circumstances, but I am aware that sometimes what might appear to be easy, is later discovered to be something different. For myself, I am confident of my interpretation of a centered person's behavior not wavering to fit social behaviors, but I am maybe only about half confident of the what the sentence's original concept might have intended.


(vii) In upper position not bury (burden-abuse-work to death) under,


A quality man would not and cannot oppress people under his social position, nor above his social position. Of the inner nature of authority, of what the act of authority is, a quality man cannot behave with the same 'is-as' nature of oppressive authority.


(viii) in under position not coordinate (do work as) upper,


Generally, if/when within the under position of social rank or occupation, the quality man accepts the upper ranks for what they are, and the quality man gives attention towards doing his job without putting on airs of being of upper rank. The idea here is of the quality man accepting his position for what it is, and for him to not embroil himself within the strife of competing with social rankings.


(ix) correct self and not request of people, then not blame (or 'follow-trace not blame (to another person)).


The quality man corrects himself, he finds the faults and mistakes within himself, his not finding and placing blame of his own faults on other people. Perhaps it is useful to add here, that a quality man is still aware of other people's faults, and the sentence's concept is not implying a popular modern philosophy that people ought not find any faults in anyone else. To not find faults would be an act of not reasoning, of not applying analyses, and of not being aware of one's environment: of being quite ignorant and dull of mind. The same analyses that find the good in things, it must also find the bad. It is usually unproductive and destructive to openly speak of other's faults, but it is useful to use the judgments as a means of knowing how to respond to the people's behaviors. A well-centered awareness applies the same judgments towards all things, including one's own self.


(x) Upper not blame heavens, under not especially person (or: Upper not blame heavens, especially not (blame) under person).


When in an upper position that has no higher social rank, the quality man does not blame the heavens for his mistakes. When in an under position of which has higher ranks above it, the quality man does not blame other people for his own mistakes. Regardless of social position and occupation, the quality man never excuses his own errors by placing the blame on someone else.

The sentence could also be interpreted as 'Upper not blame heavens, under heaven especially not person'. The core concept remains similar, that of not blaming other people for one's own mistakes, and so, in a way, the three lightly different translations support the other while reconfirming the core concept.


(xi) Therefore quality man (junzi) live simple with wait fate, small person behave risk to encompass lucky.


Therefore, the quality man, he lives a simple life of doing what is needful of doing, all while waiting for his own fate in life (waiting for tomorrow to come when it comes, of accepting his fate of life and death). Small people behave with risks, gambling, hoping to be lucky of fate and fortune.

Modern examples of small people are of the individuals who connive and compete to 'gain' social rankings, the individuals not acting upon the qualifications of being competently qualified for the social rankings, but rather, the individuals manipulate other people, inventing blames on other people, and relying upon fate, chance, and good fortune to achieve social rankings. By contrast, the quality man does not compete, he does not blame others, he has no will of desire for social rankings, he does not manipulate other people, and he is content to remain correct within the centeredness of where he stands.


Brief Summary of Translations


Therefore, of the sentences of this quote, they all appear to compliment the other, as well as compliment the previous quotes, that the quality man is centered, he retains his center regardless of circumstances, and he does not change his centered judgments of mind, nor of body actions. Junzi is as junzi does.


Archery Quote


Some translations include an additional paragraph at the bottom of the above paragraphs. The additional sentences do relate to the above topics, but the sentences begin with 子曰 (Confucius said), which commonly precede a full quote, and since the paragraph is at the bottom, then it may or may not achieve a better-balanced pattern to begin a new quote with the paragraph. Nevertheless, just for illustration, it is useful to at least momentarily place the paragraph here so as to show the words' concepts as being parallel to the above.


Concept: 'Archery is like the junzi: missing the bull's-eye of the target, he critiques (qiu: 'begs, spheres, studies') himself.'

Parallel to the previous quote's concepts, a junzi remains focused with his own values of judgments (fist fist to chest); he does not blame upper ranks, he does not blame lower ranks, and he blames no one but himself for his own mistakes.

As a contrasting comparison, it appears that perhaps many people are quick to blame other people for one's own problems, but a junzi lives a simpler (less turmoil and drama) life that is focused on 'what is real', awaiting his own fate, and accepting that what is, is what is, and if he is suffering hard, still he finds the suffering to exist within himself; he does not burden other people with his sufferings, nor outwardly express the common expressions of suffering. For a junzi of quality centeredness, there is no (hu) of 'similar' or 'is-as' of other people; the quality junzi's behavior must be very much different than the norm of social behaviors.






Interpretations of Legge's Translation


The following is Legge's translation, which is much too similar to all of the other translations that I have seen. Useful of remembering is that Legge's translation is a scholarly and philosophical interpretation from within a 19th century English-speaking European culture, and the interpretation did not arrive from an individual who held a firsthand understanding that was gained through a firsthand experience of the topic. The absence of firsthand understanding automatically nullified Legge's interpretations, but, it is still useful to read the words so as to gather an idea of how a scholarly approach might be worded.


The superior man does what is proper to the station in which he is; he does not desire to go beyond this.

In a position of wealth and honor, he does what is proper to a position of wealth and honor. In a poor and low position, he does what is proper to a poor and low position. Situated among barbarous tribes, he does what is proper to a situation among barbarous tribes. In a position of sorrow and difficulty, he does what is proper to a position of sorrow and difficulty. The superior man can find himself in no situation in which he is not himself.

In a high situation, he does not treat with contempt his inferiors. In a low situation, he does not court the favor of his superiors. He rectifies himself, and seeks for nothing from others, so that he has no dissatisfactions. He does not murmur against Heaven, nor grumble against men.

Thus it is that the superior man is quiet and calm, waiting for the appointments of Heaven, while the mean man walks in dangerous paths, looking for lucky occurrences.

The Master said, "In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself."


(1) The superior man does what is proper to the station in which he is; he does not desire to go beyond this.


Legge's interpretation does not relate to the first sentence: (i) "Quality person (junzi) of his position and behavior, not willing contingent his outer." Legge purposefully rearranged words, added words, and changed the meaning to something very different than the original Chinese text.

Legge's words might be grammatically acceptable within academia, but the words do not relate to the Chinese text's concepts, nor relate to the book, nor relate to quality individuals, nor so much as possess coherently connected thoughts. It is a false Reality to state that a quality man "does what is proper to the station". It is deemed proper and demanded by sales managers for car salesmen to lie and to cheat customers; a junzi not do. It is deemed proper for a self-inflated government employee to oppress people; a junzi not do. It is deemed proper for royalty and politicians to force unjust laws upon people that the royalty and politicians themselves do not obey; junzi not do. It is deemed proper for a scholar to invent fiction while claiming that his invention is true truth: a junzi not do.

Give close attention to how Legge phrased his words: "what is proper to the station". If a thing is proper to one station, then the thing must be different for another station, and yet different again for all other stations. Within Legge's translation, the "station" is the ruler of a man's behaviors, and man must bow and submit to any evil behavior that his position demands. Within Legge's translation, the quality man is as a mere wishy-washy wavering of conformity. Conformity is what the common man does, and if the common man is a conformist, then it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to speak of a 'quality man' to be the identical same type of man with the identical same type of behavior as the common man.

A junzi rules his own behavior. A junzi decides what is proper. A junzi does what is proper, period: end of discussion.

An unfortunate reality is that the word proper still does not yet have a valid definition within western cultures, which renders Legge's translation as moot anyway.

Bluntly, the scholarly translation of the quote is as expected: scholar is as scholar does.

Confucius was recorded to have inferred 'Stand straight! Not lean!', but Legge's translation infers 'Slouch! Lean to conform!'.

And so, which is it? If, as Legge's translation infers, Confucianism teaches 'stand straight!' while also teaching 'lean and conform!', then Confucianism is contradictory and unworthy of respect. If I accepted Legge's and most everyone else's translations to be true, then I would read the book no further, and I would permanently 'fist fist to chest' that Confucianism is but as if one more of the many aberrant western philosophies.

Nevertheless, Legge's sentence is very useful as an illustration of which manner of firsthand experiences that he might have learned from and colored his interpretations by. Individuals whose sole knowledge is gained from reading books, those individuals have trained their minds to accept and to believe in the books' words, and the individuals have developed a manner of thinking that judges the behavior of inventing sophist fiction to be valid truth. Legge's history is recorded to have been an academician in England, and as such, academia may have been all that he had experience with, and be his only scale of choosing how to interpret concepts of things that he had no understanding of, resulting in the inevitable: fiction.


(2) In a position of wealth and honor, he does what is proper to a position of wealth and honor. In a poor and low position, he does what is proper to a poor and low position. Situated among barbarous tribes, he does what is proper to a situation among barbarous tribes. In a position of sorrow and difficulty, he does what is proper to a position of sorrow and difficulty. The superior man can find himself in no situation in which he is not himself.


Legge continued the interpretation that a junzi must conform to the social position, that the position itself is the ruler of one's properness. But, more important is to observe how Legge's culture accepted the idea that the highest quality man would, and ought to, submit to the behaviors of whichever occupation that the quality man might participate. Most all cultures share a similar opinion, that the highest quality individuals are they who obey and conform to the social standards of ranks and occupations. Within Legge's culture, it was very likely that he never had the opportunity to witness a man of quality, and so, it is understandable why Legge might not have cross-lighted why his translation was contradictory and absurd.

Legge's sentence: "The superior man can find himself in no situation in which he is not himself." If that statement were possessing validity as related to the idea of a quality man doing "what is proper to a position", then the quality man's 'self' would be of the nature of conformity to everyone else's standards of thought and conduct, which, obviously, would render the tiny little man to be of very poor quality.

Legge's interpretation of a quality man is absurd, irrational, illogical, nonsensical, contradictory, disconnected, and just plain bizarre.


(3) In a high situation, he does not treat with contempt his inferiors. In a low situation, he does not court the favor of his superiors. He rectifies himself, and seeks for nothing from others, so that he has no dissatisfactions. He does not murmur against Heaven, nor grumble against men.


Legge's interpretation of the sentences is adequate enough, and the interpretation still points at the core concepts despite his having added invented words that implant false claims of things that do not exist. It might be common, expected, and the proper thing to do within the station of academia for a scholar to insert false words into a text, but a junzi not do. Legge's words "so that he has no dissatisfactions" are false. The original Chinese words do not infer "dissatisfactions". The original Chinese words do not point to "dissatisfactions". It is an outright fabrication for a scholar to claim to know that an unknown and unnamed man of two-thousand years ago held or did not hold "dissatisfactions".

For a man to be centered, and to accept his position in life, he might be satisfied with many things, but he must also be dissatisfied with other things, which, might include scholars' inventions of words. Legge's interpretation implanted an emotion within a type of man that Legge held no understanding of, which is a fully unacceptable thing for Legge to have done. For an individual to make a mistake once, or perhaps several times, the mistakes can be ignored as an expression of man's imperfections, but for a man to thoroughly twist and contort another man's words to fit one's own wants, as Legge did, then the behavior might be 'proper for the station of academia', but still not be acceptable. Junzi not do that.


(4) Thus it is that the superior man is quiet and calm, waiting for the appointments of Heaven, while the mean man walks in dangerous paths, looking for lucky occurrences.


Within this sentence Legge contradicted all of his previous sentences within the quote. Legge had been claiming that a quality man will behave as is proper for whichever position that the quality man exists within, but here, Legge now claims that the quality man is "quiet and calm". Laughter helps to release the tensions of frustrations of absurdities, but not enough laughter can release the dissatisfaction of Legge's translation having contradicted itself so openly and, apparently, unknowingly.

Go tell a military soldier that he must be quiet and calm if he is to be a quality man. Go tell a junzi that he must take up arms and commit violence upon anyone that any politician wishes. Does not the position of a soldier require the violent and submissive behavior of killing the alleged enemy? Junzi not do that.

Yes, a junzi might normally be quiet and calm, that would be the nature of a centered man, which does not relate at all to Legge's previous claims of how a quality man behaves.

Legge's frequent use of "mean man" might be an indication of the environment of which Legge lived, of Legge interpreting 'mean' people to be small of character, which is okay because everyone has a different interpretation of what they judge a 'small man' to be, and the word's use is also okay because Legge's choice of word still adequately conveyed the general concept.

Nevertheless, it would have been much preferred if Legge had used an English synonym instead of inserting a fiction. "Mean" implies bad behavior that is accompanied by bad emotions that are aimed towards the harming of other people, whereas "small" can simply imply a limitation of abilities. As a contrast to Legge's choice of words, some individuals view some scholars as being small, and yet the individuals do not hatefully aim their words to harm other people.

Legge's repeated use of words of negative emotions — dissatisfied, mean, etc. — suggests that Legge did not possess a solid grasp of what emotions are, and, thus, nor a grasp of what the words might imply.


(5) The Master said, "In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself."


As was Legge's style, he inserted many surplus English words into the text, created fiction, and then also inserted false claims of knowing what the story's character was thinking. There is no word within the original Chinese text that can be translated as "failure"; the word "failure" is fully fictional, fully invented, and fully false.

Individuals who have the firsthand understanding of having experienced archery firsthand, the individuals are surely aware of how they interpret their own imperfections of accuracy. Similar with marksmanship, chess, and most all other games and hobbies, the judging of the how and why an individual did not achieve the goal that the individual hoped for, the judging is an analysis of one's previous actions, to learn why the goal's actions were not as exact as wanted, and to my knowledge, the individuals who are very good at their aims, they never think of an error as a "failure", but rather the individuals think of the errors as mistakes of judgment that are to be learned from, and to later improve from.

As a side note, I myself have won numerous competitions of marksmanship, chess, and others, but not once did I ever interpret the other competitors as being failures. To me, the use of the word "failure" could only nascent from a negative behavior of hating (being mean) on other people. Junzi not do that.

Legge's use of "failure" suggests that he likely had little or no firsthand experience with any act of skill, and that, as was likely learned within his academic environment, he may have judged other people as failures if the people did not achieve accuracy. Within Legge's own pointedly negative interpretations of his own life, and by his own words, his translations would today judge himself to be a failure because he missed the mark.

Judging one's self by one's own words, can sometimes be very uncomfortable, but also be very instructive. Junzi do that.






Conclusions


I spent several days on this article while striving to find which words and which concepts might best be of harmony with the book's other words. Some of the quote's sentences within this part #11 appear to have been formed upon mental patterns that are a little different than the norm — perhaps even with some words having been changed or removed from the original text (it has happened in all religions, and it is nothing new to any system of ideas) — resulting in my having a lowered confidence of the words' meanings, but, if Confucianism is itself centered and stable of mind, then I feel that my translation at least conveys the quote's core concepts.

The first six sentences of i through vi, of their being vague and much too brief for a modern translation, are difficult to positively discern the original meanings, but when permitting the book's other quotes to help be a guide, then the six sentences appear to be reasonable enough to convey a harmonious concept as what was found in the previous quotes.

It is a common practice within various religions that the difficult verses are to be interpreted relative to the easy verses, but the practice sometimes results in a translation that fully misses the intended meanings. I am very much aware and uncomfortable having to rely upon the use of easier quotes within 中庸, but, my goal is to merely glean an idea of what Confucianism might be, which is sufficient enough for the moment, and if later I should decide that the writings are important in my life, then I will devote the necessary time towards achieving as much accuracy as possible.

How long would it take for me to be very confident of my translations? I estimated that it would take about six years to feel confident in a translation of 中庸. I would have to move to China (if that were possible), find someone near my own age (who has a similar generation's interpretation of history) to help me learn how to speak Chinese, spend a couple more years of forming mental patterns that easily flow with Chinese patterns, and then find a Confucian individual who could help explain to me how Confucianism has been applied in life over the past two-thousand years; an individual who could also endure hearing Chinese spoken with a Texan accent. And, so, for the moment, my little investigations into 中庸 are sufficient enough, although, I admit that I am now curious about the other three classics.

A sage might choose a mountain top while refusing to participate in any social system of rank and occupation. Masters of centeredness might permit a vague degree of social ranking within temples or elsewhere so as to help instruct seekers of dao, but the masters would not permit material wealth within their lives. What then of junzis? A junzi of a dao of centeredness might continue their occupations and family rankings while the junzis demand of themselves to apply the same judgments to all things (father-son, old-brother-young-brother, etc.), but if the junzi's centeredness is true, and of quality, then his inward nature would create an outward nature that is never similar, near, almost, nor is-as the outward nature of other people's.

Tigers cannot change their stripes, nor can a quality man change his 'fist fist to chest'.






The full list of available articles in this series can be found on the home page at Doctrine of the Mean 中庸 Zhong Yong Translation and Commentary.




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