The Great Together
Confucius: “The Great Together (Li Yun Da Tong)”
From the Chapter “The Operation of Etiquette” in Li Ji
da` dao` zhi- xing’ ye^, tian- xia` wei’ gong
When the Great Way is practiced, the world is for the public.
xuan^ xian’ yu^ neng’
Those with virtue and those with ability are chosen and used.
jiang^ xin` xiu- mu`
People value trustworthiness and cultivate harmony with each other.
gu` ren’ bu` du’ qin- qi’ qin-, bu` du’ zi^ qi’ zi^
Thus people do not treat only their parents like parents, nor do people treat only their sons like sons.
shi^ lao^ you^ suo^ zhong-, zhuang` you^ suo^ yong`, you` you^ suo^ zhang’
That makes the aged have the appropriate last years, those in their prime have the appropriate employment, and the young have the appropriate growth and development.
guan- gua^ gu- du’ can’ fei` zhe^, jie` you^ suo^ yang^
Elderly men with no spouses, widows, orphans, elderly people without children or grandchildren, the handicapped, the ill – all are provided for.
nan’ you^ fen`, nv’ you^ gui
Males have their station; females, their places to belong to.
huo` wu` qi’ qi` yu’ di` ye^, bu` bi` cang’ yu’ ji^
Money is thrown on the ground and thus despised; it is not necessary to store money on one’s body.
li` wu` qi’ bu` chu- yu’ shen- ye^, bu` bi` wei` ji^
Labor is despised if it does not come from oneself, and it does not have to be on behalf of oneself.
shi` gu` mou’ bi` er’ bu` xing-, dao` qie` luan` zei’ er’ bu` zuo`
Therefore people don’t engage in intrigue or trickery, nor do they engage in robbery, theft, and rebellion.
gu` wai` hu` er’ bu` bi`
Thus, though people leave their houses they don’t close their doors.
shi` wei` da` tong’
This is called the “Great Together”.
冯欣明译- Translated by Feng Xin-ming, April 2008
The more laws and restrictions there are,
The poorer people become.
The sharper men's weapons,
The more trouble in the land.
The more ingenious and clever men are,
The more strange things happen.
The more rules and regulations,
The more thieves and robbers.
Therefore the sage says:
I take no action and people are reformed.
I enjoy peace and people become honest.
I do nothing and people become rich.
I have no desires and people return to the good and simple life.
Lao Tsu , Tao Te Ching