修己安人 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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xiū jǐ ān rén 修己安人

Cultivate Oneself to Benefit Others

修养自己,使人安乐。“修己”即努力使自己的才能、德性等各方面不断提升,实现完满境界,达于“内圣”;“安人”即发挥自己的才能、德性,建立事功,惠及他人,达于“外王”。这是孔子对于“君子”概念的界说,也是儒家道德政治理论的简约表达。

“Cultivating oneself” means taking pains to elevate one’s talent and virtue constantly to achieve perfection, thus inwardly becoming a sage. “Benefiting others” means displaying one’s own talent and virtue to make contributions to society and benefit others, thus outwardly becoming a person like a king. This was what Confucius meant by a “man of virtue” and is also a simple expression of the Confucian school’s notion of rule by virtue.

引例 Citations:

◎子路问君子。子曰:“修己以敬。”曰:“如斯而已乎?”曰:“修己以安人。”曰:“如斯而已乎?”曰:“修己以安百姓。修己以安百姓,尧、舜其犹病诸!”(《论语·宪问》)

(子路问什么叫君子。孔子说:“修养自己,保持严肃恭敬的态度。”子路说:“这样就够了吗?”孔子说:“修养自己,使周围的人们安乐。”子路说:“这样就够了吗?”孔子说:“修养自己,使所有百姓都安乐。修养自己,使所有百姓都安乐,只怕尧舜还难于做到呢?”)

Zilu asked what a man of virtue is like. Confucius said: He cultivates himself so as to be reverent. Zilu asked: Is that all? Confucius said: He cultivates himself so as to benefit others. Zilu asked: Is that all? Confucius said: He cultivates himself so as to benefit all people. Comforting all people – even Yao and Shun would have found that difficult to do! (The Analects)

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