Analects 9.11

Original Text:



Other Translations:

With a great sigh Yan Hui lamented, “The more I look up at it the higher it seems; the more I delve into it, the harder it becomes. Catching a glimpse of it before me, I then find it suddenly at my back.

“The Master is skilled at gradually leading me on, step by step. He broadens me with culture and restrains me with the rites, so that even if I wanted to give up I could not. Having exhausted all of my strength, it seems as if there is still something left, looming up ahead of me. Though I desire to follow it, there seems to be no way through.”

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

Yan Yuan, sighing, exclaimed, Look up and it’s higher than ever, bore into it and it’s harder still. I see it in front of me, then suddenly it’s behind. Our Master—step by step, how skillfully he leads others along! He broadens me with culture, reins me in with ritual. I want to give up but cannot. Already he has exhausted my ability, yet I see him standing tall before me. But although I want to follow him, I’ve no way to do so.

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

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