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While later generations misinterpreted Confucius and thought him to be a stuffy bureaucrat, Confucius had a profound spirituality and vision. That is why he was so practical. Confucius taught: “The Path may not be left for an instant. If it could be left, it would not be the Path.”[1] Despite the effort to purge his teachings, sayings of Confucius such as “The demands that a gentleman makes are upon himself; those that a small man makes are upon others”[2] and “The cautious seldom err”[3] remain an integral part of the thinking of the Chinese people.

  1. Confucius, The Doctrine of the Mean, trans. James Legge.
  2. Confucius, Analects, 15:20, trans. Arthur Waley.
  3. Confucius, Analects, 4:23.