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Stories From Chinese Classical Literatures
« on: 20 September 2008, 12:04:58 PM »
Be humble, and never hesitate to ask

ZiGong asked, saying, "On what ground did KungYu get that title of Wen?"

The Master said, "He was of an active nature and yet fond of learning, and he was not ashamed to ask and learn of his inferiors! -On these grounds he has been styled Wen."

 tr. James Legge

Analect or Lun Yun, 1-15
-Confucius
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During the time known in the Chinese history as 'Spring and Autumn' , there lived an aristocrat by the name of Kung Yu (Kung was his last name, and Yu first name). He as a learned and humble man. After his death, the Duke of Wei awarded him the honorific title of 'Wen'. Thus he became known as Kung WenZi.

ZiGong, a student of Confucius who also came from Wei, didn't think Kung Yu was worthy of such high honor. One day, he asked Confucius, "Why was he given the title of 'Wen'?"

Confucius replied, "Kung Yu was diligent in learning and very smart. Yet he was humble and not afraid to ask questions of people who are not as smart or learned as he was. That is why he deserved the title of 'Wen'."

The story is told in Analect, Chapter 5, Section 15. Ever since, the phrase, "Be humble and not hesitate to ask those who may be lesser than you are." [bu chi xia wen] has been a motto to one and all.

Janganlah memperhatikan kesalahan dan hal-hal yang telah atau belum dikerjakan oleh diri sendiri. Tetapi, perhatikanlah apa yang telah dikerjakan dan apa yang belum dikerjakan oleh orang lain =))

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Re: Stories From Chinese Classical Literatures
« Reply #1 on: 20 September 2008, 12:06:33 PM »
Confucius Says

Confucius said,

"To learn and to practise what is learned time and again is pleasure, is it not?

To have friends come from afar* is happiness, is it not?

To be unperturbed when not appreciated by others is gentlemenaly, is it not? "

* To share learning

Lun Yu [Analects] Chap. 1, Verse 1
Confucius
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Re: Stories From Chinese Classical Literatures
« Reply #2 on: 20 September 2008, 12:08:55 PM »
Is the Sun farther away in the morning?
An Argument about the Sun


When Confucius was traveling in the eastern part of the country, he came upon two children hot in argument, so he asked them to tell him what it was all about.

"I think," said one child, "that the sun is near to us at daybreak and far away from us at noon."

The other contended that the sun was far away at dawn and nearby at midday.

"When the sun first appears," said one child, "it is as big as the canopy of a carriage, but at noon it is only the size of a plate or a bowl. Well, isn't it true that objects far away seem smaller while those nearby seem bigger?"

"When the sun comes out," pointed out the other, "it is very cool, but at midday it is as hot as putting your hand in boiling water. Well, isn't it true that what is nearer to us is hotter and what is farther off is cooler?"

Confucius was unable to settle the matter for them.

The two children laughed at him, "Who says you are a learned man?"

Lie Zi - Han Dynasty
Janganlah memperhatikan kesalahan dan hal-hal yang telah atau belum dikerjakan oleh diri sendiri. Tetapi, perhatikanlah apa yang telah dikerjakan dan apa yang belum dikerjakan oleh orang lain =))

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Re: Stories From Chinese Classical Literatures
« Reply #3 on: 20 September 2008, 12:10:47 PM »
Blind Man and the Sun

Once upon a time, there was a blind man who does not know what the Sun is. So he asks other people to explain.

One man said, "The Sun is shaped like a copper plate." So the blind man banged on a copper plate, and listened to its clanging sound.
Later when he heard the sound of a temple bell, he thought that must be the Sun.

Another man said,"The Sun gives out light just like a candle." So the blind man hold a candle to feel its shape.
Later when he picked up a flute, he thought that this must be the Sun.

Yet we know that he Sun is vastly different from a bell or a flute; but a blind man does not understand the differences, because he has never seen the Sun and only heard it described.

- Su Shi, Song Dynasty
Complete Works of Su DongPo
Janganlah memperhatikan kesalahan dan hal-hal yang telah atau belum dikerjakan oleh diri sendiri. Tetapi, perhatikanlah apa yang telah dikerjakan dan apa yang belum dikerjakan oleh orang lain =))

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Re: Stories From Chinese Classical Literatures
« Reply #4 on: 20 September 2008, 12:13:19 PM »
Flute Player
Safety in Numbers


Whenever King Xuan of Qi had musicians playing the yu, a wind instrument with reed, he will have three hundred of them playing together. Knowing this, a student from Nanguo applied for a job. The king accepted and paid him the same salary as the others.

After the death of King Xuan, King Min became the ruler of Qi. He liked to have the musicians playing solo. the student from Nanguo fled.

-Han Fei Zi

What is the moral of this story?

  One way to weed out the incompetent is to measure each individually.
Janganlah memperhatikan kesalahan dan hal-hal yang telah atau belum dikerjakan oleh diri sendiri. Tetapi, perhatikanlah apa yang telah dikerjakan dan apa yang belum dikerjakan oleh orang lain =))

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Re: Stories From Chinese Classical Literatures
« Reply #5 on: 20 September 2008, 12:15:32 PM »
Carry a Long Pole Through the Gate

A man from Lu tried to enter the City Gate carrying a long pole.

First, he held the pole upright, but the pole could not pass through the gate.

Then he held it horizontally; but it still could not pass through. He was stumped.

By and by an old man came along and said to him, "I am not a Saint; but I have a lot of practical experience. Why not cut the pole in two at the middle?"

So the man cut the pole in two at the middle.

-Han Dan Chun, Wei, Three Kingdoms
What is the moral of this story?

      Any one, competent or not, can give advice. It's up to you to seek good advice, which is not always easy.
Janganlah memperhatikan kesalahan dan hal-hal yang telah atau belum dikerjakan oleh diri sendiri. Tetapi, perhatikanlah apa yang telah dikerjakan dan apa yang belum dikerjakan oleh orang lain =))

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Re: Stories From Chinese Classical Literatures
« Reply #6 on: 20 September 2008, 12:18:12 PM »
Blessing or Bane

Near China's northern borders lived a man well versed in the practices of Taoism. His horse, for no reason at all, got into the territory of the northern tribes. Everyone commiserated with him.

"Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a blessing," said his father.

After a few months, his animal came back, leading a fine horse from the north. Everyone congratulated him.

"Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a cause of misfortune," said his father.

Since he was well-off and kept good horses his son became fond of riding and eventually broke his thigh bone falling from a horse. Everyone commiserated with him.

"Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a blessing," said his father.

One year later, the northern tribes started a big invasion of the border regions. All able-bodied young men took up arms and fought against the invaders, and as a result, around the border nine out of ten men died. This man's son did not join in the fighting because he was crippled and so both the boy and his father survived.

Janganlah memperhatikan kesalahan dan hal-hal yang telah atau belum dikerjakan oleh diri sendiri. Tetapi, perhatikanlah apa yang telah dikerjakan dan apa yang belum dikerjakan oleh orang lain =))

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Re: Stories From Chinese Classical Literatures
« Reply #7 on: 20 September 2008, 12:20:01 PM »
Unpenetrable Shield and All-piercing Spear
(A contradiction in logic)


An armorer of Chu boldly claims to make the best spears and shields.

"My shields are so strong; they cannot be penetrated by any weapon," he said.
"My spears are so sharp; they can pierce any shield," he further said.

A man asks, "If your spear is thrown at your shield, what then?"
The armorer had no reply.

By logic, both an unpenetrable shield and an all-piercing spear can not exist at the same time.

-State of Chu (841-233 b.c.), Chou Dynasty

What is the moral of this story?

      Careful about the logic in any story.

Have you heard a similar story in Western literature?

    * If God Almighty really is omnipotent he must be able to create so heavy a rock He will be unable to lift it up.
    * Epimenides (7th century A.D.) said: "All men from Crete ar liars!" (Epimenides was a man from Crete himself.) Is his statement true or false?
Janganlah memperhatikan kesalahan dan hal-hal yang telah atau belum dikerjakan oleh diri sendiri. Tetapi, perhatikanlah apa yang telah dikerjakan dan apa yang belum dikerjakan oleh orang lain =))