by Confucius


The Way of higher education is cultivated and practiced by
manifesting the enlightening character of spiritual power,
loving the people as they grow,
and living in the highest good.

By knowing how to live in the highest good,
purpose is directed.
When purpose is directed, calm clarity results.
Calm clarity leads to peaceful poise.
Peaceful poise leads to careful deliberation.
Careful deliberation leads to success.
Living things have their roots and branches;
human events have their beginnings and endings.
To understand what is first and last
will lead one near the Way.

The ancients who wished to manifest
the enlightening character of spiritual power to the world
would first bring order to their government.
Wishing to bring order to their government,
they would first bring harmony to their families.
Wishing to bring harmony to their families,
they would first cultivate their personal lives.
Wishing to cultivate their personal lives,
they would first set their hearts right.
Wishing to set their hearts right,
they would first make their wills sincere.
Wishing to make their wills sincere,
they would first extend their knowledge to the utmost.
Such extension of knowledge comes from investigating things.

When things are investigated, knowledge is extended.
When knowledge is extended, the will becomes sincere.
When the will is sincere, the heart is set right.
When the heart is right, the personal life is cultivated.
When personal lives are cultivated,
families become harmonious.
When families are harmonious,
government becomes orderly.
And when government is orderly,
there will be peace in the world.

From the Son of Heaven down to the common people,
all must regard cultivation of the personal life as the root.
A disordered root cannot grow into ordered branches.
If what is near is neglected,
how can one take care of what is far away?
This is the root and foundation of knowledge.

Copyright 1996 by Sanderson Beck