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Chinese Text Project
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《修身 - Self-cultivation》

English translation: W. P. Mei [?] Library Resources
1 修身:
君子戰雖有陳,而勇為本焉。喪雖有禮,而哀為本焉。士雖有學,而行為本焉。是故置本不安者,無務豐末。近者不親,無務來遠。親戚不附,無務外交。事無終始,無務多業。舉物而闇,無務博1聞。
Self-cultivation:
Though there should be tactics in war, courage is fundamental. Though there should be ceremonies for mourning, grief is essential. Though a scholar should be learned, he must first of all exhibit good conduct. When the seeds are not well sown, there is no use in labouring for a good harvest. When the people near-by are not befriended there is no use of endeavouring to attract those at a distance. When one's relatives are not submissive, there is no use in endeavouring to establish contacts with the outside world. When one cannot accomplish a single task from beginning to end. there is no use of attempting many things. And when one is ignorant of a commonplace that is pointed out, there is no use of pursuing wide knowledge.

1. 博 : Originally read: "傳". Corrected by 孫詒讓《墨子閒詁》

2 修身:
是故先王之治天下也,必察邇來遠,君子察邇而邇脩者也。見不脩行,見毀,而反之身者也,此以怨省而行脩矣。譖慝之言,無入之耳,批扞之聲,無出之口,殺傷人之孩,無存之心,雖有詆訐之民,無所依矣。
Self-cultivation:
Therefore, when the early kings administered the empire, they would investigate what was within reach and attract those at a distance. Investigation of a locality by the superior men means its orderly government. When they discovered misconduct or depravity, they corrected themselves. Thus all complaints disappeared and conduct became regulated (by itself). When the superior men do not listen to treacherous words or utter any threatening sound, or entertain any idea of injuring somebody, then even if there were underhanded persons they would lose support.

3 修身:
故君子力事日彊,願欲日逾,設壯日盛。君子之道也,貧則見廉,富則見義,生則見愛,死則見哀。四行者不可虛假,反之身者也。藏於心者,無以竭愛。動於身者,無以竭恭。出於口者,無以竭馴。暢之四支,接之肌膚,華髮隳顛1,而猶弗舍者,其唯聖人乎!
Self-cultivation:
Therefore the superior men are daily more energetic in performing their duty, but weaker in their desires, and more stately in their appearance. The way of the superior man makes the individual incorruptible in poverty and righteous when wealthy; it makes him love the living and mourn the dead. These four qualities of conduct cannot be hypocritically embodied in one's personality. There is nothing in his mind that goes beyond love; there is nothing in his behaviour that goes beyond respectfulness, and there is nothing from his mouth that goes beyond gentility. When one pursues such a way until it pervades his four limbs and permeates his flesh and skin, and until he becomes white-haired and bald-headed without ceasing, one is truly a sage.

1. 顛 : Originally read: "巔". Corrected by 孫詒讓《墨子閒詁》

4 修身:
志不彊者智不達,言不信者行不果。據財不能以分人者,不足與友。守道不篤,偏物不博,辯是非不察者,不足與游。本不固者末必幾,雄而不脩者,其後必惰,原濁者流不清,行不信者名必秏1。名不徒生而譽不自長,功成名遂,名譽不可虛假,反之身者也。務言而緩行,雖辯必不聽。多力而伐功,雖勞必不圖。慧者心辯而不繁說,多力而不伐功,此以名譽揚天下。言無務為多而務為智,無務為文而務為察。故彼智無察,在身而情,反其路者也。善無主於心者不留,行莫辯於身者不立。名不可簡而成也,譽不可巧而立也,君子以身戴行者也。思利尋焉,忘名忽焉,可以為士於天下者,未嘗有也。
Self-cultivation:
His wisdom will not be far-reaching whose purpose is not firm. His action will not be effective whose promises are not kept. He who will not share his possessions with others is not worthy to be a friend. And he who does not stand firm on principles and has neither wide knowledge nor penetrating judgment, is not worthy to be a companion. Just as a weak trunk will have but small branches, so, mere bravery without cultivation will result in dissipation. And just as a dirty source will issue in an impure stream, so unfaithful conduct will unfavourably affect one's fame. For, fame does not spring up out of nothing, nor does praise grow by itself. Fame follows upon success and is not obtainable by hypocrisy. He will not be listened to who talks much but is slow in action, even though he is discerning. He will not accomplish anything, who is capable but likes to boast of his feats, even though he drudges. The wise discerns all in his mind but speaks simply, and he is capable but does not boast of his deeds. And, so his name is exalted the world over. In speech, not quantity but ingenuity, not eloquence but insight, should be cultivated. If one is not wise and without insight, breeding only dissipation in one's personality, this is just the contrary of what should be cultivated. Any virtue that does not spring from the heart will not remain and any (result of) action that is not aimed at by one's self will not stay. There is no short cut to fame and there is no trick to praise. The superior man regards his body but as the vehicle for his character. None who places much importance on personal gains but lightly sacrifices his fame has ever become a gentleman in the world.

1. 秏 : Originally read: "耗". Corrected by 孫詒讓《墨子閒詁》

URN: ctp:mozi/self-cultivation