Analects 19.24

Original Text:

叔孙武叔毁仲尼子贡曰无以为也仲尼不可毁也他人之贤者丘陵也犹可逾也仲尼日月也无得而逾焉人虽欲自绝其何伤于日月乎多见其不知量也

Translation:

Other Translations:

Shusun Wushu was disparaging Confucius.

Zigong said, “It is pointless, Confucius cannot be disparaged. The worthiness of other people is like a hill or mound, in that one can still climb to the top of it. Confucius is like the sun and the moon—it is impossible to surmount him. Even if a person wished to cut himself off from their radiance, what harm could he do to the sun and the moon? All this would serve to show is that such a person did not know his limits.”

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

When Shusun Wushu spoke disparagingly of Zhongni, Zigong said, There’s no point in that. You can’t speak disparagingly of Zhongni. The worth of other persons is like a hill or knoll—you can still walk over it. But Zhongni is like the sun or the moon—no one can walk over them. Someone may decide to break off relations with the sun and moon, but what difference does that make to them? It only shows how little he understands his own capacity.

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

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