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by [?]

To let the Heaven into your heart, to cultivate a conscience so sensitive that it can conceive the rights of the other man, is to know wisdom.

To decide specific cases for others he thought was to cause them to lose the power of deciding for themselves. When asked what a just man should do when he was dealing with one absolutely unjust, he said, “He who wrongs himself sows in his own heart nettles.”

And when some of his disciples, after the Socratic method, asked him how this helped the injured man, he replied, “To be robbed or wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.” When pushed still further, he said, “A man should fight, only when he does so to protect himself or his family from bodily harm.”

Here a questioner asked, “If we are to protect our persons, must we not learn to fight?”

And the answer comes, “The just man, he who partakes moderately of all good things, is the only man to fear in a quarrel, for he is without fear.”

Over and over is the injunction in varying phrase, “Abolish fear–abolish fear!” When pressed to give in one word the secret of a happy life, he gives a word which we translate, “Equanimity.”

The mother of Confucius died during his early manhood. For her he ever retained the most devout memories.

Before going on a journey he always visited her grave, and on returning, before he spoke to any one, he did the same. On each anniversary of her death he ate no food and was not to be seen by his pupils. This filial piety, which is sometimes crudely and coarsely called “ancestor worship,” is something which for the Western world is rather difficult to appreciate. But in it there is a subtle, spiritual significance, suggesting that it is only through our parents that we are able to realize consciousness or personal contact with Heaven. These parents loved us into being, cared for us with infinite patience in infancy, taught us in youth, watched with high hope our budding manhood; and as reward and recognition for the service rendered us, the least we can do is to remember them in all our prayers and devotions. The will of Heaven used these parents for us, therefore parenthood is divine.

That this ancestor worship is beautiful and beneficial is quite apparent, and rightly understood no one could think of it as “heathendom.” Confucius used to chant the praises of his mother, who brought him up in poverty, thus giving a close and intimate knowledge of a thousand things from which princes, used to ease and luxury, are barred.

So close was he to nature and the plain people that he ordered that all skilful charioteers in his employ should belong to the nobility. This giving a title or degree to men of skill–men who can do things–we regard as essentially a modern idea.

China, I believe, is the first country in the world to use the threads of a moth or worm for fabrics. The patience and care and inventive skill required in first making silk were very great. But it gives us an index to invention when we hear that Confucius regarded the making of linen, using the fiber of a plant, as a greater feat than utilizing the strands made by the silkworm. Confucius had a sort of tender sentiment toward the moth, similar to the sentiments which our vegetarian friends have toward killing animals for food. Confucius wore linen in preference to silk, for sentimental reasons. The silkworm dies at his task of making himself a cocoon, so to evolve in a winged joy, but falls a victim of man’s cupidity. Likewise, Confucius would not drink milk from a cow until her calf was weaned, because to do so were taking an unfair advantage of the maternal instincts of the cow. It will thus be seen that Confucius had a very fair hold on the modern idea which we call “Monism,” or “The One.” He, too, said, “All is one.” In his attitude toward all living things he was ever gentle and considerate.