Thursday, May 03, 2012

Thursday Thirteen 247: Words of Confucius

Confucius was a Chinese philosopher, teacher and politician who lived from 551 – 479 BC.  While visiting Washington DC with friends some twenty years ago, a visit to the Freer and Sackler Galleries — the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art — brought us to a room that had large silk hangings featuring some of the popular sayings of Confucius. One of them has stuck with me ever since, as one of my favorite quotes. Another appeared recently on my page-a-day calendar, which prompted this Thursday Thirteen featuring some of the sayings of Confucius.

To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.
(This is the one that is my overall favorite)

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.
(This one appeared on my calendar earlier this week.)

You cannot open a book without learning something.

No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.

Fix your mind on truth, hold firm to virtue, rely on loving kindness, and find your recreation in the Arts.

He who will not economize will agonize.
(So much truth in this one!)

Settle one difficulty, and you keep a hundred away.

No lake so still but it has its wave. No circle so perfect but that it has its blur. I would change things for you if I could; As I can't you must take them as they are.

To see what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.

Respect yourself and others will respect you.

The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.

More Thursday Thirteen participants here.


Alice Audrey said...

lol "especially if there is no cat".

Paige Tyler said...

Great TT!


My TT is at

Shelley Munro said...

I love these. I've always admired Confucius sayings.

colleen said...

I have always loved Confucius sayings. The one about the cat is almost like a zen koan.

Heather said...

Alice: I liked that one, too - though it is actually quite profound, when you consider that the "black cat" could stand for any kind of trouble, gossip, dirty laundry - the sort of thing certain parties tend to look for to dethrone their rivals.

Paige: Thanks! *g*

Heather said...

Shelley: Thanks, I've long had a liking for his words of wisdom as well.

Colleen: It is, isn't it? *g*

Adelle Laudan said...

Wise words. Thanks for sharing. Happy T13!

Forgetfulone said...

don't economize,you'll agonize. So true!

Hazel said...

"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." I want to post this on the fridge for high school kids at home who do not like to read.

The economize - agonize bit is so true!

CountryDew said...

That first one reminded me of Donald Rumsfeld for some reason:

[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know.

Heather said...

Adelle: Thank you, and thanks for popping by!

Forgetfulone: So very, very true, isn't it?

Hazel: I think it should be posted everywhere, for anyone who does not like to read.

Heather said...

Anita: *Spew* While I do not remember hearing/seeing this previously, it definitely sounds like the sort of convuluted crap Rummy would spout. Thanks for sharing that, LOL.

i beati said...

great ones