Chen Jizhu aphorisms

Quotations by Chen Jizhu



Sit still, and you'll understand how vanity of everyday life is. Be quiet for a while, and you'll realize how empty the everyday speeches are. Give up your daily worries, and you'll see how much effort people waste. Shut your gates, and you will realize how burdensome the bonds of acquaintance are. Have few desires, and you will understand why the diseases of the human race are so numerous. Be more human, and you will understand how soulless ordinary people are.

I don't know what good is. What people value in me is my virtues. I do not know what is evil.What people do not love in me is my vices.

A man of state must grieve the state in thought, but must not utter words that give rise to grief in the state.

When you evaluate an ordinary man, see how he copes with great things. In judging a man of distinction, see how attentive he is to trifles.

In government there are two rules: in times of danger be imperturbable, in calm times be circumspect.

On a clear day, people feel a rush of cheerfulness, and birds sing merrily in the sky. On a rainy day, the birds hide in the trees, and people are cooped up and pining. The noble husband listens only to the great harmony of the original life force.

He who, when he hears a good word about a man, does not believe it, and when he hears a bad word about a man, picks it up, is filled with poison.

A man will conquer even heaven. If his will is concentrated and his spirit is active, then neither fate nor signs have power.

Medicine saves human lives, but in the hands of the ignorant it destroys people. Wars deprive people of life, but in the hands of the wise bring people back to life.

A lowly man solicits the favors of others, but when he gets what he wants, he feels no gratitude. A noble man does not take favors lightly from others, and when he accepts them, he always remembers the favor rendered.

When water arrives, dams appear. When the pumpkin ripens, the leaves fall. In these words is the whole meaning of life.

People build high halls and wear luxurious clothes, believing that they add something to what they are. But the higher the roof, the farther away it is from our heads, and the richer the clothes, the farther away it is from our bodies. For whom do we live: for others or for ourselves?

Young men who disrespect their elders often die prematurely. If they do not appreciate old age, why should Heaven give them long life?

The words of spirited men are refined. The words of wise men are simple. The words of worthy men are clear. The speeches of mediocre people are verbose. The speeches of lowly people are vain.

He who collects good precepts is like a merchant who saves every copper coin and becomes rich in the end.

He who always claims to be right has a stale heart and a softened spirit.

If a man hears one good word, sees one good deed and does one good deed during the day, he will not live that day in vain.

He who contemplates the flow of thoughts in peace is like a host who receives guests at home: he only responds not arbitrarily to influences from the outside.

Don't forgive your servants if they offend someone else. Forgive your servants if they have offended you.

When consciousness is attracted to things, it is called obfuscation. When consciousness follows what is proper, it is called enlightenment. A person is not easy to recognize. But he who is easy to know is not worth knowing.

Confucians and Buddhists argue with each other because Confucians do not read Buddhist books and Buddhists do not read Confucian books. Both judge what they do not know.

One should not be self-indulgent and require others to be self-indulgent.

One should not not seek the truth, but one should not act in the name of truth. One should not live by the laws of this world, but one should not turn away from living in this world. When you meet a man who is rich and noble, it is not difficult to be polite, but it is difficult to be cordial. When you meet a man who is poor and poor, it is not difficult to be gracious, but it is difficult to be polite.

Lock yourself in your house, and it is as if you were transported to distant mountains. Open a book, and it's as if you're entering the realm of the Pure Land.

When you read a book, you have to endure the mistakes of the printers, just as when you go up a mountain, you have to endure a steep path; when you walk in the snow, you have to endure a slippery bridge; and when you live in idleness, you have to endure vulgar speech.

Chen Jizhu

Quotations by Chen Jizhu