儒家: 《禮記》 – 《中庸》 (公元前475年 – 公元前221年)
“The state of equilibrium and harmony“ (475-221 BC)
aka “Doctrine of the Mean” (with English translation by James Legge)
In all things success depends on previous preparation, and without such previous preparation there is sure to be failure. If what is to be spoken be previously determined, there will be no stumbling. If affairs be previously determined, there will be no difficulty with them. If one’s actions have been previously determined, there will be no sorrow in connection with them. If principles of conduct have been previously determined, the practice of them will be inexhaustible. When those in inferior situations do not obtain the confidence of the sovereign, they cannot succeed in governing the people. There is a way to obtain the confidence of the sovereign;-if one is not trusted by his friends, he will not get the confidence of his sovereign. There is a way to being trusted by one’s friends;-if one is not obedient to his parents, he will not be true to friends. There is a way to being obedient to one’s parents;-if one, on turning his thoughts in upon himself, finds a want of sincerity, he will not be obedient to his parents. There is a way to the attainment of sincerity in one’s self; -if a man do not understand what is good, he will not attain sincerity in himself. Sincerity is the way of Heaven. The attainment of sincerity is the way of men. He who possesses sincerity is he who, without an effort, hits what is right, and apprehends, without the exercise of thought;-he is the sage who naturally and easily embodies the right way. He who attains to sincerity is he who chooses what is good, and firmly holds it fast. To this attainment there are requisite the extensive study of what is good, accurate inquiry about it, careful reflection on it, the clear discrimination of it, and the earnest practice of it. The superior man, while there is anything he has not studied, or while in what he has studied there is anything he cannot understand, will not intermit his labor. While there is anything he has not inquired about, or anything in what he has inquired about which he does not know, he will not intermit his labor. While there is anything which he has not reflected on, or anything in what he has reflected on which he does not apprehend, he will not intermit his labor. While there is anything which he has not discriminated or his discrimination is not clear, he will not intermit his labor. If there be anything which he has not practiced, or his practice fails in earnestness, he will not intermit his labor. If another man succeed by one effort, he will use a hundred efforts. If another man succeed by ten efforts, he will use a thousand. Let a man proceed in this way, and, though dull, he will surely become intelligent; though weak, he will surely become strong.
【原文】凡事豫则立，不豫则废。言前定，则不跲；事前定，则不困；行前定，则不疚；道前定，则不穷。 在下位，不获乎上，民不可得而治矣。获乎上有道，不信乎朋友，不获乎上矣；信乎朋友有道：不顺乎亲，不信乎朋友矣；顺乎亲有道：反诸身不诚，不顺乎亲矣；诚身有道，不明乎善，不诚乎身矣。 诚者，天之道也；诚之者，人之道也。诚者，不勉而中，不思而得，从容中道，圣人也。诚之者，择善而固执之者也。博学之，审问之，慎思之，明辨之，笃行之。 有弗学，学之弗能弗措也；有弗问，问之弗知弗措也；有弗思，思之弗得弗措也；有弗辨，辨之弗明弗措也；有弗行，行之弗笃弗措也。人一能之，己百之；人十能之，己千之。果能此道矣，虽愚必明，虽柔必强。
【译文】任何事情，事先有预备就会成功，没有预备就会失败。说话先有预备，就不会中断；做事先有预备，就不会受挫；行为先有预备，就不会后悔；道路预先选定，就不会走投无路。 在下位的人，如果得不到在上位的人信任，就不可能治理好平民百姓。得到在上位的人信任有办法：得不到朋友的信任就得不到在上位的人信任；得到朋友的信任有办法：不孝顺父母就得不到朋友的信任；孝顺父母有办法：自己不真诚就不能孝顺父母；使自己真诚有办法：不明白什么是善就不能够使自己真诚。 真诚是上天的原则，追求真诚是做人的原则。天生真诚的人，不用勉强就能做到，不用思考就能拥有，自然而然地符合上天的原则，这样的人是圣人。努力做到真诚，就要选择美好的目标执著追求：广泛学习，详细询问，周密思考，明确辨别，切实实行。 要么不学，学了没有学会绝不罢休；要么不问，问了没有懂得绝不罢休；要么不想，想了没有想通绝不罢休；要么不分辨，分辨了没有明确绝不罢休；要么不实行，实行了没有成效绝不罢休。别人用一分努力就能做到的，我用一百分的努力去做；别人用十分的努力做到的，我用一千分的努力去做。如果真能够做到这样，虽然愚笨也一定可以聪明起来，虽然柔弱也一定可以刚强起来。