The court of their own heart

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子曰:「已矣乎!吾未見能見其過,而內自訟者也。」
Confucius said: “I give up! I have yet to meet a person capable of seeing their own faults and taking themselves to task in the court of their own heart.”

子曰:「十室之邑,必有忠信如丘者焉,不如丘之好學也。」
Confucius said: “In a hamlet of ten houses, you are certain to find people as loyal and faithful as I am, but you will not find a single person who loves learning as much as I do.”

Self-cultivation is the essence of Confucius’s approach to learning. It requires the courage to recognize your weaknesses and the determination to correct them. It is difficult to argue with his lament that most of us lack this capacity for honest self-reflection.

This puts Book 5 of the Analects to bed. You can read the full translation of the book here.

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