Ziyou on mourning

子游曰:「喪致乎哀而止。」
Ziyou said: “When mourning, give full expression to your grief and then stop.”

Although Confucius was believed to have had a high regard for Ziyou’s abilities, his reputation never really recovered from a savaging mauling that the philosopher Xunzi (荀子) [312 – 230 BC] gave his writings in the second century BC.

The advice Ziyou gives here on mourning is hardly original. Confucius makes a similar point in Chapter IV of Book 3 when he says: “for funerals, genuine grief is better than excessive formality.”

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