Lin Fang was from Lu, the home state of Confucius. Aside from his interest in ritual matters, there is no concrete information about him. Apparently, he was known for being rather slow-witted.
Lin Fang asked: “What is the essence of the rites?” Confucius said: “That is a big question! For festive ceremonies, simplicity is better than extravagance; for funerals, genuine grief is better than excessive formality.”
The head of the Ji Family was about to set off to carry out a sacrifice on Mount Tai. Confucius said to Ran Qiu: “Can you not stop this?” Ran Qiu replied: “I cannot.” The Master said: “Oh no! Has it ever been said that the spirit of Mount Tai have even less knowledge of the rites than Lin Fang?”