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Personal growth: Confucius’ approach to inner freedom September 21, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Goal Setting and Realization.
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For Confucius, at least some of the character traits we would likely think of as relatively benign must have seemed to him like physical restraints.

Consider the language Confucius uses in this passage from The Analects:

“The Master had freed himself of four things: idle speculation, certainty, inflexibility, and conceit.” (1)

“Freedom” from “things.”

Perhaps if we thought of the personal faults we are trying to eliminate in less abstract terms and more as physical shackles or barriers, we might gain more satisfaction from our self-improvement achievements.

(1) As translated and quoted in David Hinton’s Book, The Four Chinese Classics

—Dennis Mellersh



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