Confucian scholars know the four books and five classics well. But how many can affect, change or transform others? According to the ancients only those sincere can. In previous entries, one has already indicated that Professor Sam Crane is a top class Confucian scholar and perhaps touched by his sincerity the Yi answers his various questions with profound accuracy.
On reading his latest post in his “The Useless Tree” blog on “Is South Korea a Confucian Society?” and the remarks of two Western posters, one realized that his sincerity emanates from the heart in Confucian studies. Why? Both the posters remarked that the so called Confucian virtues are also present in the people of US and Europe although to a lesser degree. Of course both are correct. The virtues belong to humanity. Confucius compiled them for posterity. It is all up to people to cultivate the virtues. Just in case readers have not noticed, even President Bush on his recent tour to the East mentioned his sincerity to set things right. When what Sam has written in a few short months on Confucian thoughts can affect others, it boils down to his brilliant sincerity.
This underlying result confirms what the ancients said in the Doctrine of the Mean (Zhongyong):
“Next to the above (the most complete sincerity) is he who cultivates to the utmost the shoots of goodness in him. From those he can attain to the possession of sincerity. This sincerity becomes apparent. From being apparent, it becomes manifest. From being manifest, it becomes brilliant. Brilliant, it affects others. Affecting others, they are changed by it. Changed by it, they are transformed. It is only he who is possessed of the most complete sincerity that can exist under heaven, who can transform.” [Legge 23]