Analects 1.15

Original Text:



Other Translations:

Zigong said, “Poor without being obsequious, rich without being arrogant – what would you say about someone like that?”

The Master answered, “That is acceptable, but it is still not as good as being poor yet joyful, rich and yet loving ritual.”

Zigong said, “An ode says,

‘As if cut, as if polished;

As if carved, as if ground.’

Is this not what you have in mind?”

The Master said, “Zigong, you are precisely the kind of person with whom one can begin to discuss the Odes. Informed as to what has gone before, you know what is to come.”

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

Zigong said, Poor but free of obsequiousness, rich but free of arrogance – how would that do?

The Master said, All right. But not as good as poor but happy in the Way, rich but a lover of rites.

Zigong said, When the Odessays:

As something cut, something filed,

something ground, something polished

Is that what it’s talking about?

The Master said, Si (Zigong), now I can begin to talk to you about the Odes. Someone tells you the first step, and you understand the step that comes after!

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