Confucius Analects – What superior man does not like
17.5 What superior man does not like
Zigongsaid, ‘Has the superior man his hatreds also?’ The Master said, ‘He has his hatreds. He hates those who proclaim the evil of others. He hates the man who, being in a low station, slanders his superiors. He hates those who have valour merely, and are unobservant of propriety. He hates those who are forward and determined, and, at the same time, of contracted understanding.’
-> Hatred is a strong word translated here. Looking at the meaning of the chapter, I think dislike is a better translation than hatred. Hatred implied non-acceptance, while dislike merely reflects acceptance but disagreement.
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In the context of social right and wrong, which changes with context like time, location and culture, the Superior Man, dedicating his life to the collective good, prefers human behaviors that contributes to the collective good, and dislikes behaviors that go against it. Therefore, Confucius said, the Superior Man dislikes people who reinforces the negative; who glorify destruction and slander construction; who have guts but go against agreed society standards; and who are stubborn and narrow minded.
This differentiation of right vs. wrong, like vs. dislike, is in contrast to the Daoist core teaching of nonduality and nonself. I.e. Confucius taught us to like the good and dislike the bad; Laozi taught us to embrace all and let go of personal judgement. Are they different? On the surface they are, but at higher level of awareness, they are one. It is possible to do good non-personally, do good without a hidden agenda (unconditional), and do good without taking credit. Ponder on this.
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