Bibliotherapy

MO Zi-Precursor of modern Chinese Philosophy and Science-02: Sampler-01

MO Zi, the Chinese social and philosophical precursor.

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Today’s sharing from the Blue House of HYGEIA is the third of a few posts dedicated to MO Zi and the school of thought that was formed around him, Mohism, we presented in the first post.

Here we start our first sampler from the Mohist corpus with texts excerpted from the dialectical chapters: ‘Canon & Explanation‘ and ‘The Greater Choosing’. Source: Ian Johnston’s 2013 Penguin Books English translation: ‘MO Zi, the Book of Master MO’, Penguin Classics. Pages 272, 280,281,282,283,284,285,286, 288 and 289 .

Let’s keep in mind that this movement flourished around 770–221 B.C.A., during the ‘Spring & Autumn’ and Warring States period in China!

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From the Dialectical Chapters (43-44)

1. Chapter 43-number 75

To take ren (love, kindness, humaneness and benevolence) as being internal and yi (right action, righteousness and justice) as being external is wrong. The explanation lies in the matching in the face.

Ren equates with love; yi equates with benefits. Love and benefit relate to ‘this’ (the self); what is loved and what is benefited relate to ‘that’ (the other). Love and benefit are neither internal nor external; what is loved and what is benefited are neither external nor internal. To say ren is internal and yi external and to conflate love with what is benefited are examples of ‘wild raising’. It is like the left eye being external and the right eye internal.

Original Chinese:

經說下:

仁:仁,愛也;義,利也。愛利,此也,所愛所利,彼也。愛利不相為內外,所愛利亦不相為內外。其為仁,內也,義,外也,舉愛與所利也,是狂舉也。若左目出,右目入。

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2. Chapter 44. Number 1.

Heaven’s love of man is more all-encompassing that the sage’s love of man; its benefiting man is more profound than the sage’s benefiting man. The great man’s love of the small man is more all-encompassing than the small man’s love of the great man; his benefiting the small man is more profound than the small man’s benefiting the great man.

Original Chinese:

大取:

天之愛人也,薄於聖人之愛人也;其利人也,厚於聖人之利人也。大人之愛小人也,薄於小人之愛大人也;其利小人也,厚於小人之利大人也。

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3. Chapter 44. Number 8.

The sage is averse to disease and decay. He is not averse to danger a nd difficulty. He maintains the integrity of his body and the resolve of his heart. He desires the people’s benefit; he is not averse to people’s love. The sage does not consider his own dwelling. The sage does not concern himself with the affairs of the son. The sage’s method is to turn his mind from his parents when they die; he does this for the sake of the world. To treat parents ‘thickly’ is his lot, but when they die he turns his mind from them. His whole endeavour is to bring benefit to the world. When there is ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ and not ‘the proper sequence’ (or-‘no difference of degree’) in bringing about benefit, this is for the self.

Original Chinese:

大取:
聖人惡疾病,不惡危難。正體不動,欲人之利也,非惡人之害也。

大取:
聖人不為其室臧之故,在於臧。

大取:
聖人不得為子之事。聖人之法死亡親,為天下也。厚親,分也;以死亡之,體渴興利。有厚薄而毋倫列之興利,為己

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4. Chapter 44. Number 10

Everywhere study the love of people. The love of many generations and the love of few generations are the same. In universal love it is also the same. The love of former generations and the love of future generations are the same as the love of the present generation. The world’s benefit is pleasing. For the sage there is love and not benefit. These are Confucian words; that is to say a stranger’s words. Even if the world has no people, the words of Master Mo would still remain.

Original Chinese:

大取:
愛眾眾世與愛寡世相若,兼愛之,有相若。愛尚世與愛後世,一若今之世人也。鬼,非人也;兄之鬼,兄也。
大取:
天下之利驩。聖人有愛而無利,俔日之言也,乃客之言也。天下無人,子墨子之言也猶在。

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5. Chapter 44. Number 14

The primary task for all sages must be to establish the correspondence of names and entities. Names and entities are not necessarily in accord. If the stone is white and you break this stone up, its whiteness is the same throughout. If this stone is large, the same does not apply to its largeness. This is the ordinary way of speaking about it. With things named on the basis of form and appearance, one must know it is this sort of object (entity) and then one knows what it is. With things that cannot be named on the basis of form and appearance, although one does not know it is this sort of object (entity), it is still possible to know it. With all things named on the basis of dwelling in or departing from, if there is entry into them, they are all this; if there is departure from them, they are not this. For example, district, village and the kingdom of Qi and Jing are all things named on the basis of dwelling in or departing from, while mountains, hills and temples are all things named on the basis of form and appearance.

Original Chinese:

大取:

諸聖人所先,為人欲名實。名實不必名。苟是石也白,敗是石也,盡與白同。是石也唯大,不與大同。是有便謂焉也。以形貌命者,必智是之某也,焉智某也,不可以形貌命者,唯不智是之某也,智某可也。諸以居運命者,苟人於其中者,皆是也,去之因非也。諸以居運命者,若鄉里齊荊者,皆是。諸以形貌命者,若山丘室廟者,皆是也。

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6. Chapter 44. Number 15.

Knowing and conceptualizing are different. There is the sameness of duplication (two names for the same entity). There is the sameness of being together (agreement). There is the sameness of being connected (components of the same body). There is the sameness of the same class. There is the sameness of the same name. There is the sameness of the same root (origin). There is the sameness related to region (place). There is the sameness of interdependence. There is the sameness of shi (the same in reality) and the sameness of ran (the subjective impression of sameness). There is the difference denoted by fei (different in reality) and the difference denoted by bu ran (the subjective impression of difference). There are instances of something’s difference being taken as its sameness, and of something’s sameness being taken as its difference; these are different. The first is said to be shi and ran (so objectively and subjectively). The second is said to be bu shi and bu ran (not so objectively and so subjectively). The third is said to be qian (a transformation of change). The fourth is said to be qiang (a forced analogy).

Original Chinese: 

大取:

智與意異。重同,具同,連同,同類之同,同名之同;丘同,鮒同,是之同,然之同,同根之同。有非之異,有不然之異。有其異也,為其同也,為其同也異。一曰乃是而然,二曰乃是而不然,三曰遷,四曰強。

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7. Chapter 44. Number 18.

The nurturing of the sage is based on ren (love, kindness, humaneness and benevolence) and not benefit and love. Benefit and love arise from consideration. The consideration of former times is not the consideration of the present days. Love of Huo as loving another arises from considering Huo’s benefit and not from considering Zhang’s benefit. Yet, loving Zhang as loving another is the same as loving Huo as loving another. If doing away with loving them brings benefit to the world, can one not do away with it? The knowledge of frugality in former times was not like that of the present days. The Son of Heaven may be rich, but in his bringing benefit to the people, he is not more generous than the ordinary man. Suppose there are two sons serving their parents. One may meet with a good year and the other a bad year yet, in benefiting their parents, they are the same. It is not that the former’s benefiting is increased (by the good year) and the latter diminished (by the bad year). External circumstances cannot determine the generosity of their benefiting. If the death of Zang were to bring harm to the world, although i might support and nurture Zang ten-thousandfold, my love for him would not be any greater.

Original Chinese:

大取:

聖人之附瀆也,仁而無利愛。利愛生於慮。昔者之慮也,非今日之慮也;昔者之愛人也,非今之愛人也。愛獲之愛人也,生於慮獲之利,非慮臧之利也;而愛臧之愛人也,乃愛獲之愛人也。去其愛而天下利,弗能去也。昔之知墻,非今日之知墻也。貴為天子,其利人不厚於正夫。二子事親,或遇孰,或遇凶,其親也相若,非彼其行益也,非加也。外執無能厚吾利者。藉藏也死而天下害,吾持養臧也萬倍,吾愛臧也不加厚。

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8. Chapter 44. Number 21.

The thirteen sentences

  1. Statements gradually soak in; the analogy lies in the making of startling claims.
  2. The sage acts for the sake of the world; the analogy lies in the overcoming doubt.
  3. One person may live a long life, another may die young. yet, their benefiting the world may be the same; the analogy lies in praising the name.
  4. In the space of one day a million things come forth, yet love is not, thereby, more profound: the analogy lies in the abhorrence of harm.
  5. In the love for the two ages there is the ‘thick’ and the ‘thin’, yet the love for the two ages is the same; the analogy lies in snakes intertwined.
  6. Although all are loved equally, one man may be chosen and killed; the analogy lies in a rat in a hole.
  7. Small ren (loving kindness, humanity, benevolence) and great ren have the same ‘weight’ in action; the analogy lies in the towel and the table.
  8. Promote benefit and do away with harm; the analogy lies in stopping a leak.
  9. In loving one’s parents ‘thickly’, do not consider their conduct but who they are; the analogy lies in the well above the river.
  10. One may learn not to be selfish; the analogy lies in the hunter’s pursuit.
  11. The love of man is not about being praised; the analogy lies in the in-keeper.
  12. Love for the parents of others is like love for one’s own parents; the analogy lies in the concern of general good.
  13. Universal love is alike; the one love is alike. The one love is alike; the analogy lies in dying (killing the snake).

Original Chinese:

大取:
故浸淫之辭,其類在於鼓栗。聖人也,為天下也,其類在於追迷。或壽或卒,其利天下也指若,其類在譽石,一日而百萬生,愛不加厚,其類在惡害。愛二世有厚薄,而愛二世相若。其類在蛇文。愛之相若,擇而殺其一人,其類在阬下之鼠。小仁與大仁,行厚相若,其類在申。凡興利除害也,其類在漏雍。厚親,不稱行而類行,其類在江上井。「不為己」之可學也,其類在獵走。愛人非為譽也,其類在逆旅。愛人之親,若愛其親,其類在官茍。兼愛相若,一愛相若。一愛相若,其類在死也。

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Chinese text source: https://ctext.org/mozi 🌿 About MO Zi : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozi 🌿 About Mohism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohism
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