Wang Yang Ming on Selfishness

Wang Yang Ming, Neo-Confucian sage, enlightenment

Wang Yang Ming (1472-1529)
Harvard Fogg Art Museum
Cambridge, Massachusetts

On Harmony & Selfishness

[The Teacher said,] “The original substance of pleasure, anger,
sorrow, and joy is naturally in the state of equilibrium, and
harmony. As soon as one attaches a bit of his own idea to them,
they will become excessive or deficient, they will be selfish.”

— Wang Yang Ming (1472-1529),
Instructions for Practical Living (1518), Part I.58

Translated by Wing-tsit Chan, Columbia University Press, NY, 1963, p. 44

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