Perfecting the Mind
The essence of Confucian teaching is to put the investigation of principles first, because each individual thing has its own law. This must be first understood, and then the phenomena of the mind will be seen to have in each case a standard by which their character may be estimated.
“To perfect the mind” means “to investigate things”, “to study exhaustively the laws of the universe ” and “to be possessed of a wide and far-reaching penetration”, and so to have that by means of which we may develop to their utmost extent the principles inherent in the mind.
The teaching of the sages is that with the mind we exhaustively investigate principles, and by following these principles we determine our attitudes to external things, just as the body uses the arm, and the arm the hand. Their doctrine is even and clear, their attitude broad and calm, their principles real, and the practice of them spontaneous.
The expressions “guard your mind” and “make the mind true” do not mean that we are to be immersed in a condition of no-thought; but that we should be constantly on the watch, think upon what we ought to think upon, and not violate moral principles.
In the “investigation of things” and “perfecting of knowledge”, even though the response to environment be natural and easy, how can there be neglect of thought when approaching any matter? And still more, when we have not attained to that condition, how can we fail to exercise repeated thought?
THERE IS NO NATURAL RELIGION
The Argument Man has no notion of moral fitness but from Education. Naturally he is only a natural organ subject to Sense.
- I Man cannot naturally percieve. but through his natural or bodily organs.
- II Man by his reasoning power. can only compare & judge of what he has already perceiv’d.
- III From a perception of only 3 senses or 3 elements none could deduce a fourth or fifth
- IV None could have other than natural or organic thoughts if he had none but organic perceptions
- V Mans desires are limited by his perceptions. none can desire what he has not perciev’d
- VI The desires & perceptions of man untaught by any thing but organs of sense, must be limited to objects of sense.
- I Mans perceptions are not bounded by organs of perception. he percieves more than sense (tho’ ever so acute) can discover.
- II Reason or the ratio of all we have already known. is not the same that it shall be when we know more.
- [There is no Plate III in Blake’s printing]
- IV The bounded is loathed by its possessor. The same dull round, even of a univer[s]e, would soon become a mill with complicated wheels.
- V If the many become the same as the few, when possess’d, More! More! is the cry of a mistaken soul, less than All cannot satisfy Man.
- VI If any could desire what he is incapable of possessing, despair must be his eternal lot.
- VII The desire of Man being Infinite the possession is Infinite & himself Infinite
Conclusion. If it were not for the Poetic or Prophetic character. the Philosophic & Experimental would soon be at the ratio of all things & stand still, unable to do other than repeat the same dull round over again
Application. He who sees the Infinite in all things sees God. He who sees the Ratio only sees himself only.
Therefore God becomes as
we are, that we
may be as he