The Doctrine of the Mean

The Doctrine of the Mean

by Confucius

Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe) Publication Date: 30/03/2017


The Doctrine of the Mean (Chinese: 中庸; pinyin: Zhōng yōng) is both a doctrine of Confucianism and also the title of one of the Four Books of Confucian philosophy. The Doctrine of the Mean is a text rich with symbolism and guidance to perfecting oneself. The mean is also described as the ["unswerving pivot" = Ezra Pound] 'unwobbling pivot' or zhongyong. Zhong means bent neither one way or another, and yong represents unchanging. In James Legge's translation of the text, the goal of the mean is to maintain balance and harmony from directing the mind to a state of constant equilibrium. The person who follows the mean is on a path of duty and must never leave it. A superior person is cautious, a gentle teacher and shows no contempt for his or her inferiors. S/he always does what is natural according to her or his status in the world. Even common men and women can carry the mean into their practices, as long as they do not exceed their natural order.

Western philosophy: Ancient
Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe)
Publication Date:
Enrico Conti

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