People of Similar Natures and Emotions Will Have Similar Understanding.
The term, a shortened version of ren tong ci xin, xin tong ci li (人同此心，心同此理), was first proposed by Lu Jiuyuan (1139-1193). Xinxue (心学), the NeoConfucian philosophy of Lu Jiuyuan and Wang Yangming (1472-1529), teaches that the innate knowledge of the human mind and the principles of the universe are in liaison, that truth transcends time and space, that the mind and the Dao are universal for all mankind. All human beings, past and present, east or west, have a common innate knowing of truth and morality, and this is the basis for a common human identity. As Western and Chinese cultures came into increasing contact after the Ming and Qing dynasties, this expression was an attempt to explain that, even though East and West differed in their academic cultures and much of the new knowledge differed in form from Chinese epistemology, their fundamental thinking could be reconciled.
Ages ago, the sage’s mind and reasoning were the same as ours today; generations later, the sage’s mind and reasoning will be the same as ours today.(Yang Jian: Short Biography of Mr. Xiangshan)
When they begin to gain wisdom, people with similar natures and emotions will have similar understanding. Later knowledge will not only reflect the past, but will certainly also surpass it. (Zhang Zhidong: Exhortation to Study)