Analects 11.12

Original Text:

季路问事鬼神子曰未能事人焉能事鬼曰敢问死曰未知生焉知死

Translation:

Other Translations:

Zilu asked about serving ghosts and spirits. The Master said, “You are not yet able to serve people—how could you be able to serve ghosts and spirits?”

“May I inquire about death?”

“You do not yet understand life—how could you possibly understand death?”

Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.

Jilu asked how one should serve the gods and spirits. The Master said, When you don’t yet know how to serve human beings, how can you serve the spirits?

Jilu said, May I venture to ask about death? The Master said, When you don’t yet understand life, how can you understand death?

Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.

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