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.” 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” and “The cautious seldom err” remain an integral part of the thinking of the Chinese people.
- Confucius, The Doctrine of the Mean, trans. James Legge.
- Confucius, Analects, 15:20, trans. Arthur Waley.
- Confucius, Analects, 4:23.