Friday, September 5, 2014

Xunzi speaks

"Unless you pile up tiny streams, you can never make a river or a sea."

"The gentleman does not stop acting because petty men carp and clamor."

"The gentleman follows what is constant; the petty man reckons up his achievements."

"Good or bad government depends upon the dictates of the mind, not upon the desires of the emotional nature."

"If the gentleman studies widely and each day examines himself, his wisdom will become clear and his conduct without fault."

"There is no greater godliness than to transform yourself with the Way, no greater blessing than to escape misfortune."

"The gentleman is by birth no different from any other man; it is just that he is good at making use of things."

"A gentleman must be careful where he takes his stand."

"The glory or shame that come to a man are no more than the image of his virtue."

"If there is no dark and dogged will, there will be no shining accomplishment."

"If there is no dull and determined effort, there will be no brilliant achievement."

"To cling to profit and cast aside righteousness is called the height of depravity."

"Though there may be little profit in it, if there is much righteousness, do it."

"Any man who follows his nature and indulges his emotions will inevitably become involved in wrangling and strife, will violate the forms and rules of society, and will end as a criminal. Therefore, man must first be transformed by the instructions of a teacher and guided by ritual principles, and only then will he be able to observe the dictates of courtesy and humility, obey the forms and rules of society, and achieve order. It is obvious from this, then, that man's nature is evil, and that his goodness is the result of conscious activity."

"The thing that all men should fear is that they will become obsessed by a small corner of truth and fail to comprehend its over-all principles. If they can correct this fault, they may return to correct standards, but if they continue to hesitate and be of two minds, then they will fall into delusion. There are not two Ways in the world; the sage is never of two minds."

"The sage has the understanding that comes from listening to many things, but does not let pride show in his face; he has the kind of generosity that embraces many men, but does not let it appear that he boasts of his virtue. When his doctrines are practiced, the world is upright; when they are not, he strives to make clear the Way but hides his person. These are the characteristics of the sage's discourse."

Portrait of Xunzi

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Debt: The First 5,000 Years (A most important book you may not haveheard of.)

Debt: The First 5,000 Years (Click to buy on Amazon)

Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber

What is debt? And what is the true origin of money?

Forget everything you thought you knew about economics: it turns out it was all wrong. In this fascinating book, David Graeber takes us down the rabbit hole of human economies, where debts are earned and repaid in lives—and flesh. And where the lion's share of our lives are spent in what we might call communistic relations, despite that term's derogatory implications. And where we learn that debt and credit are our primary currencies, and always have been.