Originally, the term referred to the natural order of things. Gradually its meaning was transformed into ethical principles, i.e., relationships between human beings, and fundamental rules, principles and norms regulating such relationships. Since ancient times, the Chinese people have continuously valued highly proper relationships between people. The Confucian School believed that ethical norms served as basic guidelines for being a man. So, in Confucius’ times, such a philosophy prevailed. It has been one of the major features of Chinese culture. In modern times, it is translated into the English term “ethics” and the original meaning of “order of things” has died out.
All music generates from the inner world of people. Musical notes, like the order of things, have their own way of order. (The Book of Rites)
Sex between direct relatives and disregard of the order of relations between senior and junior, in essence, fall into the nature of beasts. Beasts act without scruples and know nothing about ethics. (Wang Chong: A Comparative Study of Different Schools of Learning)