Three Guidelines and Eight Stages

I.A The Three Guidelines

The Dao of Great Learning lies in making bright virtue brilliant; in making the people new; in coming to rest at the limit of the good. Only after wisdom comes to rest does one possess certainty; only after one possesses certainty can one become tranquil; only after one becomes tranquil can one become secure; only after one becomes secure can one contemplate alternatives; only after one can contemplate alternatives can one comprehend. Affairs have their roots and branches, situations have their ends and beginnings. To know what comes first and what comes after is to be near the Dao.

I.B The Eight Stages

In ancient times, those who wished to make bright virtue brilliant in the world first ordered their states; those who wished to order their states first aligned their households; those who wished to align their households first refined their persons; those who wished to refine their persons first balanced their minds; those who wished to balance their minds first perfected the genuineness of their intentions; those who wished to perfect the genuineness of their intentions first extended their understanding; extending one’s understanding lies in aligning affairs.

Only after affairs have been aligned may one’s understanding be fully extended. Only after one’s understanding is fully extended may one’s intentions be perfectly genuine. Only after one’s intentions are perfectly genuine may one’s mind be balanced. Only after one’s mind is balanced may one’s person be refined. Only after one’s person is refined may one’s household be aligned. Only after one’s household is aligned may one’s state be ordered. Only after one’s state is ordered may the world be set at peace.

From the Son of Heaven to the common person, for all alike, refining the person is the root. That roots should be disordered yet branches ordered is not possible. That what should be thickened is thin yet what is thin becomes thick has never yet been so.[This is the meaning of “knowing the root.”]


Folksonomies: confucianism

/family and parenting/children (0.788199)
/society/social institution/divorce (0.700984)
/society/unrest and war (0.644490)

Root (0.979134): dbpedia_resource
Tao (0.947221): dbpedia_resource
Person (0.905828): dbpedia_resource
Household (0.888993): dbpedia_resource
Refining (0.824551): dbpedia_resource
Ancient history (0.716857): dbpedia_resource
Form of the Good (0.590677): dbpedia_resource
Psychology (0.560772): dbpedia_resource

 The Confucian Analects, the Great Learning & the Doctrine of the Mean
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Confucius , (2009-08-31), The Confucian Analects, the Great Learning & the Doctrine of the Mean, Cosimo Classics, Retrieved on 2012-08-07
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: philosophy