Analects 1:1

Confucius said

Hsueh and practicing it on due occasion—isn’t this satisfying?

Having friends coming from distant quarters—isn’t this delightful?

But suffering no discomposure if others do not know—isn’t this characteristic of a chun tzu?

Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant perseverance and application?

Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters?

Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men may take no note of him? L

To learn, and to practise on occasion what one has learnt—is this not true pleasure?

The coming of a friend from a far-off land—is this not true joy?

Is he not a princely man—he who is never vexed that others know him not? G

Is it not indeed a pleasure to acquire knowledge and constantly to exercise oneself therein?

And is it not delightful to have men of kindred spirit come to one from afar?

But is not he a true philosopher who, though he be unrecognized of men, cherishes no resentment? S

It is indeed a pleasure to acquire knowledge and, as you go on acquiring, to put into practice what you have acquired.

A greater pleasure still it is when friends of congenial minds come from afar to seek you because of your attainments.

But he is truly a wise and good man who feels no discomposure even when he is not noticed of men. K

To learn and constantly digest, is it not delightful?

Is it not also pleasant to have a friend come from a distance?

Is he not a superior man, who does not feel indignant when men are blind to his merits? C

In learning and straightway practising is there not pleasure also?

When friends gather round from afar do we not rejoice?

Whom lack of fame cannot vex is not he a gentleman? H

To learn and at due times to repeat what one has learnt, is that not after all a pleasure?

That friends should come to one from afar, is this not after all delightful?

To remain unsoured even though one’s merits are unrecognized by others, is that not after all what is expected of a gentleman? W

Isn’t it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned?

Isn’t it also great when friends visit from distant places?

If people do not recognize me and it doesn’t bother me, am I not a Superior Man? M

To learn and to practise what is learned time and again is pleasure, is it not?

To have friends come from afar is happiness, is it not?

To be unperturbed when not appreciated by others is gentlemanly is it not? CP

To study, and when the occasion arises to put what one has learned into practice—is this not deeply satisfying? (Creel, 100)

To learn, and then to practise opportunely what one has learnt—does not this bring with it a sense of satisfaction?

To have associates (in study) coming to one from distant parts—does not this also mean pleasure in store?

And are not those who, while not comprehending (all that is said), still remain not unpleased (to hear), men of the superior order? J


The chun tzu bases his life on hsueh —a process that is a source of divine satisfaction.

Social interactions often play a role in his hsueh and life--but he is also self-possessed and fine with standing alone if others do not know. He cares about others and seeks to benefit them, but considers people as they are without assuming anything about them, and avoids being hurt by them or feeling personally responsible for changing them.