Confucius; The Hour Glass

Extract from Confucius’s ‘Great Learning’ essay quoted in Leading from Emerging Future,
from ego system to eco system economies but Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer.

I like the flow from state to person and back to state as a continual cycle that keeps mind and matter connected and refreshed.

For me it has the image of an hour glass, state, to self to state, turn it over and start again continually refreshing self, other, self and other, self and earth. Scharmer and Kaufer refer to the need to move from ego centred to eco centred and perhaps it is an unending flow through.

Anyway, here it is.

‘The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the world, first ordered well their own States.
Wishing to order well their States, they first harmonized their families.
Wishing to harmonise their families, they first cultivated their persons.
Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts.
Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts.
Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their awareness.
Such extension of awareness lay in the investigation of the underlying matrix of mind and matter.
The underlying matrix of mind and matter being investigated, awareness becomes complete.
Awareness being complete, thoughts then become sincere.
Thoughts being sincere, hearts then become rectified.
Hearts being rectified, persons then become cultivated.
Persons being cultivated, families then become harmonised.
Families being harmonized, states then become rightly governed.
States being rightly governed, everything under heaven then comes in balance.’

Confucius, ‘The Great Learning,’ trans. Ken Pang, October 2006, based on James Legge’s translation and inspired by Huai-chin Nan’s interpretation. Unpublished Paper.