Selected Classic Chinese Quotations

Great truths are always simple.

(It is the language that makes the world complicated.)

A quotation from Mencius

Laws without compassion cannot build a good society; compassion without laws cannot make a good government.

In other words, laws without compassion will not unite people; compassion without laws can lead to injustice.

A Quotation from The Book of Rites

The Book of Rites (礼记), compiled since the Warring States era 2,500 years ago, is a collection of texts describing the government style and social form of the Zhou Dynasty.

Zhou is a federation with one nation multi-systems which eventually led to centuries of wars and the disintegration of China until First Emperor Qi reunited the land under a centralised government.

In a time of peace, the government should exercise benevolence and maintain the justice of the kingdom; during the time of crisis, the government must not hesitate to use state powers to crush the enemies of the nation.

Only when a state is harmonious among its people and invincible to its foe, it can then be called an age of prosperity.



One nation, but multi-systems. Sounds like trying to please everyone yet fail to please anyone. Strikes me as a similar aspect of multiculturalism where each group is vying for its own interests and not that of the society which they move too. Hmmmm…. interesting and over 2,300 years ago. Do we ever learn from our past I wonder?

All Things Chinese
The worst would be the situation when the multi-systems are ruled under multi-legal-systems, with each state or region having its own set of laws.

Talking about the law. If countries under the Civil Law are more or less governed by rules, then the countries under the Common Law are in effect not ruled by the laws but by the lawyers, just like in ancient tribes that were ruled by priests, which is the society under the rule of man.

It’s fascinating you’ve observed that under “multi-culturalism”, “each group is vying for its own interests and not that of the society which they move too”. I learned both Joshua Wong, the Hong Kong pro-demo-independence protest leader, and Ho Wan-see, the woman singer who made a pro-demo-Hong Kong independence speech on the UN Denise, are the descendants of Vietnamese refugees.

It is beginning to have multi-legal systems as in Britain where aspects of Sharia law is allowed, I suspect there are many who wish to push it further than they admit.

The liberal thing of the “progressive” left is thinking with their hearts and emotions and wishful thing of an ideological hope of everyone living in harmony as long as you accept there demands.

I fear this to be a dangerous approach to an already established society and culture. It is somewhat like giving children everything they want so you do not suffer their cries of torture over not getting that candy. When one tries to do good deeds for the appearance of being virtuous, it is a fake virtue. And self-defeating.

All Things Chinese
Just so, absolutely. The extreme “progressive” leftists are in the same mindset of Evangelicals of Medieval or ISIS today. They have an obsessive approach to their faith, be it the Kingdom of God, Islamic State or Universal Value of Democracy, Freedom and Human Rights.

Except a smart few who know clearly all these are just their tools (pretexts or excuses) to help them gain material and spiritual dominance over other people, the majority followers of the new-age cult not only use this fake concept to control others but have fooled themselves since they truly believe they are answering the call from the universe and fighting for a new civilisation, while in fact, they are the ones dragged the world back to the Dark Age. Do you see the similarities between Roman Inquisition and Political Correctness?

Interestingly, yesterday Catholic church leaders in Hong Kong called their flock to defy police order by attending an illegal protest rally to support Hong Kong’s “democracy”, “freedom” and independence. A coin was being flipped repeatedly and reveals both sides.

The flock’s rally turned violent at night as the lambs burned the streets and smashed the windows and attacked police.

Indeed, the roman and Spanish inquisitions are a good analogy. This sort of “mind control” which can become a mob at the behest of the leaders of the flock, who remain unmarred by the actions they instigate. It is interesting how this keeps returning in different guises. The same thing just wearing a new suit of clothes. 🤐

Maybe Hong Kong and the mainland could use the guidance of Bodhisattva Guanyin right about now…

All Things Chinese
Buddhism can also be badly abused by extremists and cult movements just like Christianity.

Tibetan Lamaism portraits itself as a branch of Buddhism and claims Dalai Lama being the reincarnated Bodhisattva Guanyin, while in fact until the end of the 1950s, lamas were both a political force and a religious organisation in a backward slavery society Tibet.

In 2008’s riot in Tibet that was much violent than Hong Kong protests, very few lamas were not the part of it. They burned buildings and the people inside, smashed shops and destroyed public infrastructure. I have no doubt these people are very capable of doing it again when opportunities arise.

Quotations from The Great Learning

The Great Learning (大学), compiled since the Warring States era 2,500 years ago, is a collection of thoughts and words of Confucius.

The words one speaks going forth contrary to his claimed ethics will come back to catch up with him sooner or later; the wealth that is obtained by improper ways will take its departure by the same manner.

When you say or do something kind to other person or nation, though the good fortune may yet to appear, the impending disasters have already been pushed away; when you say or do something nasty to other person or nation, though the disasters may yet to occur, the coming good fortune has already faded away.

What you give you get, ten times over.

Therefore, for an individual, mind your mouth; for a state, mind your media. Or ill fate will befall thee, be thou a person or a nation.

A Quotations from The Doctrine of Mean

The Doctrine of the Mean (中庸), one of the Four Books of Confucian philosophy.

When a nation is going to thrive, you will observe auspicious signs; When a country is in decline, you can witness wicked omens.

A Quotation from Mt. Zhu of the Ming Dynasty

It is the will Mr. Zhu left to his children before his death.

When you do good things just for others to see, it possesses no real kindness. When you make wrongdoing yet hope nobody to notice, it turns into an evil act.

A Quotation Popular Among General Population in China

Contemporary Chinese calligraphy written with pen

All actions will cause reactions;
What you wish for others, you will one day experience.

A nation that demands more from itself but little from others will live long and prosper.

A state that incites internal unrest in other nations will experience civil wars sooner or later.

An empire that has successfully broken up other countries will eventually disintegrate.

You are most welcome to leave your comments below