Monday, October 09, 2006

Employ the upright

Fan Chih asked about benevolence. The Master said, ‘It is to love all men.’ He asked about knowledge. The Master said, ‘It is to know all men.’

Fan Chih did not immediately understand these answers.

The Master said, ‘Employ the upright and put aside all the crooked; - in this way, the crooked will be made to be upright.’ [Analects -12. 22]

If rulers follow ancients like Shun and Tang, perhaps they may be lucky to employ a Kao-yao or I Yin and on which all who were devoid of virtue disappeared.

But nowadays we often read the news and find the reverse happening. Upright ministers leave because of honor; while the crooked remain until they are dragged out into the light and shamed.

One ventures to say that there is not much difference between these crooked and the Chinese eunuchs of the Middle Ages. Both cling to power in whatever means possible. They never really care for the people or the country, their comforts and desires always come first. With his confidence, they can easily hide behind the protection of the ruler of the land. But no matter how powerful they are, can they really ‘hide heaven with one hand’?

If rulers love their people, it is time to employ the upright and put aside all the crooked; perhaps then, the crooked will be made to be upright. If upright persons - rather than the corrupt - governed the country, is it not good for the people? However if the ruler is corrupt or loves to surround himself with the crooked then nothing can be said.

1 comment:

DaoisGood said...

This can be true. However, is not the Way to experience an upright country to upright one's own heart first? Everything functions in accordance with cause and effect in this world of forms and images, as well as in the other realms. Knowing it is but an image, perhaps we still can use our experience of the current situation as a reference to correct our own shortcomings. What those are is up to each of us to realize.