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Xun Kuang quotes Showing 1-10 of 10

“Pray all you want - heaven can't hear you. It's not going to stop the winter because you are cold, and it's not going to make the earth smaller because you don't want to walk so far. You pray for rain and it rains, but your prayer has nothing to do with it. Sometimes you don't pray and it rains anyway. What do you say then? If you act wisely, good things tend to happen. Act like fool and bad things tend to happen. Don't thank or curse heaven - it's just the natural result of your own actions. If you want to have a better life, educate yourself and think carefully about the consequences of your actions.”
Xun Zi 312230 BCE
“Not having heard something is not as good as having heard it; having heard it is not as good as having seen it; having seen it is not as good as knowing it; knowing it is not as good as putting it into practice.”
Xunzi
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn."

Benjamin Franklin never said those words, he was falsely attributed on a respected quotation website and it spread from there.

The quote comes from the Xunzi.

Xun Kuang was a Chinese Confucian philosopher that lived from 312-230 BC. His works were collected into a set of 32 books called the Xunzi, by Liu Xiang in about 818 AD. There are woodblock copies of these books that are almost 1100 years old.

Book 8 is titled Ruxiao ("The Teachings of the Ru"). The quotation in question comes from Chapter 11 of that book. In Chinese the quote is:

不闻不若闻之, 闻之不若见之, 见之不若知之, 知之不若行之

It is derived from this paragraph:

Not having heard something is not as good as having heard it; having heard it is not as good as having seen it; having seen it is not as good as knowing it; knowing it is not as good as putting it into practice. (From the John Knoblock translation, which is viewable in Google Books)

The first English translation of the Xunzi was done by H.H. Dubs, in 1928, one-hundred and thirty-eight years after Benjamin Franklin died.”
Xun Kuang
“A person is born with feelings of envy and hate. If he gives way to them, they will lead him to violence and crime, and any sense of loyalty and good faith will be abandoned.”
Xun Zi
“In the caves there lived a man named Ji.23 He was good at guessing riddles because he was fond of pondering things. However, if the (290) desires of his eyes and ears were aroused, it would ruin his thinking, and if he heard the sounds of mosquitoes or gnats, it would frustrate his concentration. So, he shut out the desires of his eyes and ears and put himself far away from the sounds of mosquitoes and gnats, and by dwelling in seclusion and stilling his thoughts, he achieved comprehension. (295) But can pondering ren in such a manner be called true sublimeness? Mencius hated depravity and so expelled his wife—this can be called being able to force oneself.24 Youzi25 hated dozing off and so burned his palm to keep awake—this can be called being able to steel oneself. These are not yet true fondness. To shut out the desires (300) of one’s eyes and ears can be called forcing oneself. It is not yet truly pondering. To be such that hearing the sounds of mosquitoes or gnats frustrates one’s concentration is called being precarious. It cannot yet be called true sublimeness. One who is truly sublime is a perfected person. For the perfected person, what forcing oneself, (305) what steeling oneself, what precariousness is there? Thus, those who are murky understand only external manifestations, but those who are clear understand internal manifestations. The sage follows his desires and embraces all his dispositions, and the things dependent on these simply turn out well-ordered. What forcing oneself, what steeling (310) oneself, what precariousness is there? Thus, the person of ren carries out the Way without striving, and the sage carries out the Way without forcing himself. The person of ren ponders it with reverence, and the sage ponders it with joy. This is the proper way to order one’s heart.”
Xun Kuang, Xunzi: The Complete Text
“May I inquire about how to be a person’s lord?”9 I say: Make divisions and distributions according to ritual. Be evenhanded, inclusive, and not one-sided. “May I inquire about how to be a person’s minister?” I say: Serve (85) your lord according to ritual. Be loyal, compliant, and not lazy. “May I inquire about how to be a person’s father?” I say: Be broadminded, kind, and follow the dictates of ritual. “May I inquire about how to be a person’s son?” I say: Be respectful, loving, and have utmost good form. (90) “May I inquire about how to be a person’s elder brother?” I say: Be compassionate, loving, and display friendliness. “May I inquire about how to be a person’s younger brother?” I say: Be respectful, acquiescent, and do nothing improper. “May I inquire about how to be a person’s husband?” I say: Be (95) extremely hardworking and do not stray. Be extremely watchful and follow proper distinctions. “May I inquire about the proper way to be a person’s wife?” I say: If your husband follows the dictates of ritual, then compliantly obey him and wait upon him attentively. If your husband does not (100) follow the dictates of ritual, then be apprehensive but keep yourself respectful.10 If these ways are established in a one-sided manner,11 then there will be chaos, but if they are established in a comprehensive manner, there will be order, so this matter is worth keeping watch over.12”
Xun Kuang, Xunzi: The Complete Text
“Heaven does not stop producing winter because humans dislike cold, Earth does not stop being broad because humans dislike huge (110) distances, and the gentleman does not cease his conduct because of the chatter of petty men. Heaven”
Xun Kuang, Xunzi: The Complete Text
“Thus, the enlightened ruler is fond of what is essential, and the (565) benighted ruler is fond of the minor details. If the ruler is fond of what is essential, then the hundred affairs will be taken care of down to their minor details, but if the ruler is fond of the minor details, then the hundred affairs will be neglected. A true lord is one who judges the one right prime minister, sets out the one right model, and (570) makes clear the one right directive, so as to cover all, illuminate all, and then observes things flourish. A”
Xun Kuang, Xunzi: The Complete Text
“I say that in learning nothing is more profitable than to associate with those men who are learned, and of the roads to learning, none is quicker than to love such men”
Hsun Tzu
“Not to let what one is already holding harm what one is about to receive is called being “empty.”12 The heart is born and has awareness. With awareness, there comes awareness of differences. These differences are known at the same time, and when they are known at the same time, this is to be two-fold. Yet, there is what is called being (180) “single-minded.” Not to let one idea harm another idea is called being “single-minded.” When the heart sleeps, then it dreams. When it relaxes, then it goes about on its own.”
Xunzi, Xunzi: The Complete Text


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