Confucius said, “Zilu, do you want to know about knowledge? To realize when you know something and to realize when you don’t know something. That’s knowledge.”
Confucius said, “Knowing it isn’t as good as loving it. Loving it isn’t as good as finding joy in it.”
Confucius said, “I wasn’t born with knowledge. I just love the old ways and I work hard to learn about them.”
Confucius said, “There may be some people who innovate without prior knowledge, but I’m not like that. I listen closely and follow what’s good. I observe closely and remember what’s good. This is the second best kind of knowledge.”
Zengi said, “To be competent, but to learn from those who are less able. To know a lot, but to ask for advice from those who know little. To have something, but seeming to have nothing. To be full, but to seem empty. To be harmed, but not to seek retaliation. I used to have a friend who worked at these things.”
Fan Chi asked Confucius about humaneness.
Confucius replied, “Love others.”
Fan Chi then asked about knowledge.
Confucius replied, “Know others.”
Fan Chi didn’t get it.
Confucius continued, “Place the upright over the crooked and the crooked will be straightened out.”
After Fan Chi left, he saw Zixia and said to him, “I was just asking Confucius about knowledge and he said, ‘Place the upright over the crooked and the crooked will be straightened out.’ What did he mean by this?”
Zixia replied, “How rich his words are! When Shun was emperor, he selected Gao Yao from among the people and put him in charge. Evil people kept their distance. When T’ang was emperor, he selected Yi Yin and put him in charge. Here again, the evil people kept their distance.”
Confucius said, “Your knowledge might be sufficient, but if you don’t have the humaneness to guard it, you will lose what you gained.
“If your knowledge is sufficient and you have the humaneness to guard it, it won’t be respected by the people if you don’t exercise it with dignity.
“If your knowledge is sufficient, and you have the humaneness to guard it, and you exercise it with dignity, but you take action that’s not in line with ritual—that’s still not good enough.”
Confucius said, “Those who are born with innate knowledge are at the top. Next come those who gain knowledge through learning. Next are those who learn through the trials of life, but who still are determined to learn. The lowest are those who learn nothing even from their trials.”
Zigong asked, “Does a noble person have hatreds?”
Confucius answered, “Yes, a noble person hates those who point out the faults of others, those who slander their superiors, those who have courage but lack ritual, and those who are bold but lack understanding.”
He continued, “And what about you? Do you have hatreds?”
“Yes,” replied Zigong, “I hate those who steal other peoples’ ideas and then act like they’re smart. I hate those who think being arrogant is courageous. And I hate those who think insulting people is straightforwardness.”