The Doctrine of the Mean 中庸
Translated by A. Charles Muller
First translated during the summer of 1991. Revised 10/6/2014
When citing, please refer to the URL of this page: http://www.acmuller.net/con-dao/docofmean.html
A. The Text
1. What Heaven confers is called “nature.” Accordance with this nature is called the Way. Cultivating the Way is called “education.”
That which is called Way cannot be separated from for an instant. What can be separated from is not the Way. Therefore the Superior Man is cautious in the place where he is not seen, and apprehensive in the place where he is not heard.
Nothing is more visible than the hidden, and nothing is more apparent than the subtle. Therefore the Superior Man is cautious when he is alone.
When joy, anger, sorrow and pleasure have not yet arisen, it is called the Mean (中 centeredness, equilibrium). When they arise to their appropriate levels, it is called “harmony” 和. The Mean is the great root of all-under-heaven. “Harmony” is the penetration of the Way through all-under-heaven. When the Mean and Harmony are actualized, Heaven and Earth are in their proper positions, and the myriad things are nourished.