《大学·六》 曾子 with English Translations

《大学》是一篇论述儒家修身治国平天下思想的散文,原是《小戴礼记》第四十二篇,相传为曾子所作,实为秦汉时儒家作品,是一部中国古代讨论教育理论的重要著作。经北宋程颢、程颐竭力尊崇,南宋朱熹又作《大学章句》,最终和《中庸》、《论语》、《孟子》并称“四书”。宋、元以后,《大学》成为学校官定的教科书和科举考试的必读书,对中国古代教育产生了极大的影响。

《大学·六》 曾子

所谓诚其意者,毋自欺也。如恶恶臭,如好好色,此之谓自谦。故君子必慎其独也。小人闲居为不善,无所不至,见君子而后厌然,掩其不善,而著其善。人之视己,如见其肝肺然,则何益矣?此谓诚于中,形于外。故君子必慎其独也。曾子曰:“十目所视,十手所指,其严乎!”富润屋,德润身,心广体胖,故君子必诚其意。

What is meant by “making the thoughts sincere,” is the allowing no self-deception, as as when we hate a bad smell, and as when we love what is beautiful. This is called self-enjoyment. Therefore, the superior man must be watchful over himself when he is alone. There is no evil to which the mean man, dwelling retired, will not proceed, but when he sees a superior man, he instantly tries to disguise himself, concealing his evil, and displaying what is good. The other beholds him, as if he saw his heart and veins; –of what use is his disguise? This is an instance of the saying –”What truly is within will be manifested without.” Therefore, the superior man must be watchful over himself when he is alone. The disciple Zeng said, “What ten eyes behold, what ten hands point to, is to be regarded with reverence!” Riches adorn a house, and virtue adorns the person. The mind is expanded, and the body is at ease. Therefore, the superior man must make his thoughts sincere.

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