Translator's Preface


1. The naejip or "inner collection" in 49 fascicles was the earliest collection of T'oegye's writings. It was later supplemented by a pyŏljip (separate collection), waejip (outer collection), and sokjip (supplementary collection). The pyoljip and waejip each only one fascicle, are appended to volume 1 of the Chŏnsŏ. The more important sokjip, in 8 fascicles, is contained in the second volume.





1. For a discussion of these early cosmological schools, see Feng Yu‑lan, A History of Chinese Philosophy, vol. 1, pp. 159‑169.

2. This is discussed in chapter 6 below; the title of the chapter, "The mind combines and governs the nature and the feelings, "is itself a quotation from Chang.

3. These are the Lun‑yü chi‑chu (Collected Commentaries on the Analects, ) the Meng Txu chi‑chu (Collected Commentaries on the Mencius), the Ta‑hsüeh chang­chü (Commentary on the Great Learning), and the Chung‑yung chang‑chiA (Commen­tary on the Doctrine of the Mean).

4. His courtesy name was Yŏngsuk, and his honorific name was Mogŭn. He studied Neo‑Confucianism in China from 1348‑1351, and returned again in 1354, when he placed first and second in the two final stages of the civil service exam. He enjoyed great favor with Koryŏ's King Kongmin (r.1351‑1374) and was responsible for the legal institution of the three‑year mourning period in Korea. Yi was famed as the foremost Neo‑Confucian scholar of the times and also as an outstanding poet and literary stYList. In the last decades of the dynasty he was the leader of the conservative Koryŏ‑loyalist group.

               5. His courtesy name was Talga, and his honorific name was P'oun. An outstanding scholar and man of letters, he rendered important service on several missions to China during the early years of the new Ming dynasty. His attempts to prevent Yi Sdnggye's founding of a new dynasty led to his assassination in 1392, but his reputation was utilized by the new dynasty, which made him a symbol of loyalty.


220          Notes to pp. 7‑16


Although there is no record of his scholarship, his reputation continued to grow, and on the basis of his moral character, strong stance against Buddhism, and direct contact with China, he came to be regarded as the true father of Korean Neo‑Confucianism and his tablet was placed in Korea's Confucian Shrine.

6. Kwŏn's courtesy name was Kawŏn, and his honorific name was Yangch'ŏn. He was one of Yi Saek's leading disciples. Although he opposed the dynastic change, he eventually accepted office and in the first decades of the new dynasty was regarded as the foremost scholar of the time. His Iphak tosŏl (Diagrammatic Explanations for Beginners) is one of the earliest Korean treatises on Neo‑Confucian thought.

7. His courtesy name was Chongji, and his honorific name was Sambong. He was a disciple of Yi Saek. Coming from an obscure background, he rose to become the real power behind the throne as the chief merit subject of the new dynasty, until he and his group were suddenly purged as the result of the first succession struggle of the Yi dynasty in 1398. His writings, the Sim ki i py'ŏn (Essay on the Mind, Vital Force, and Principle) and the P'ulssi chappyŏn (Various Arguments Against the Bud­dhists), are, along with the Iphak tosŏl (see note 7), the sole examples of early Korean Neo‑Confucian intellectualism. Both are anti‑Buddhist tracts that attack Buddhism on intellectual grounds, the first and most important works of this nature in Korea.

8. For an excellent account of early attempts to use ritual norms and insti­tutions as a means to transform Korean society, see Martins Deuchler, "Neo‑Con­fucianism: The Impulse for Social Action in Early Yi Korea."

9. For a detailed account of the first three purges, see Edward W. Wagner, The Literati Purges: Political Conflict in Early Yi Korea.

10. The Sahŏnbu, the Saganwŏn, and the Hongmun'gwan, respectively. Here, as elsewhere, I have followed the translation of government posts and offices estab­lished by Wagner, comprehensively listed in Literati Purges, Appendix A, pp. 125­133.

11. Village Contracts (hyangyak, hsiang‑yüeh) are said to have been originated in China by Lu Ta‑chün (1031‑1082), but it was Chu Hsi who further developed and championed this institution. They were pacts made by local communities and enforced through community‑based organizations designed to order conduct in the various aspects of village life, with Confucian morality and values furnishing the essential structure and content.

12. The Sillok is the official daily record of the operations of the government.

13. Sillok, 1517.8.7, as tr. by Wagner, Literati Purges, p. 90.

14. Most of the following account is taken from T'oegye's Chronological Biography (yŏnbo, nien fu) found in T'oegye chŏnsŏ (hereafter, TGCS), B, pp. 553­620.

15. Yangban, lit. "the two divisions,"is the term that designates Korea's elite or aristocratic class. The term itself is derived from the two types of government officials, the civil and the military.

16. TGCS, A, 10.26, p. 282, Letter to Cho Konjung.

17. In 1592 and again in 1597 Korea was devastated by large‑scale Japanese invasions that were finally beaten off only with the assistance of Ming armies.


Notes to pp. 17‑26           221


18. Ŏnhaengnok (hereafter, ŎHN), 6.18a, B, p. 872 (Pak Sun).

19. ŎHN, 6.15a, TGCS, B, p. 871 (Chŏng Yuil).

20. This is the reason his disciple Kim Sŏngil offers for T'oegye's precipitous departure (ŎHN, 3.12a, TGCS, B, p. 824); although it is not mentioned elsewhere, it is a plausible explanation of an act otherwise quite at odds with T'oegye's character.

21. ŎHN, 1.2a, TGCS, B, p. 789.

22. Chen's courtesy name was Ching‑yüan and his honorific name was His-­shan. He was one of the key figures in the transmission of Chu Hsi's learning. His best known work, the Ta‑hsüeh yen‑i (Extended Meaning of the Great Learning, became a constant fixture in the education of rulers in China and Korea. For an excellent discussion of Chen Te‑hsiu, the Extended Meaning, and the Classic of the Mind‑and­-Heart, see. Wm. Theodore deBary, Neo‑Confucian Orthodoxy and the Learning of the Mind‑and‑Heart, pp. 67‑126.

23. The Hsin‑ching fu‑chu was published in China in 1492. Within the next 70 years three editions were published in Korea, attesting its popularity on the pen­insula. For a study of T'oegye and this work, including its prior and later publication history, see Yun Pyŏngt'ae, "T'oegeywa Simgyŏng puju," (T'oegye and the Hsin‑ching fu‑chu, and "Simgyŏng puju yuhuron ponŭi kanbon" (The Publication of Editions of the Hsin‑ching fu‑chu with T'oegye's Epilogue).

24. For a discussion of this term, see the Appendix on Terminology.

25. Hsin‑ching fu‑chu, 4.286.

26. The Hsing-li ta-ch'üan was the product of a large compilation project carried out under imperial auspices directed by Hu Kuang (1370‑1418). First published in 1415, the Ming emperor had it presented to the Korean ruler in 1426.

27. ŎHN,, TGCS, B, p. 789.

28. ŎHN, 1.5a, TGCS, B, p. 791.

29. See his remarks in his preface to his recension of Chu Hsi's letters, the Chu chŏryo, TGCS, A, 423a‑b, p. 939.

30. Ihak T'ongnok, table of contents (mongnok) 3a, TGCS, B, p.250.

31. The "Chŏnsŭmnok nonbyŏn " (Critique of Wang Yang‑ming's Ch'uan­hsi lu), TGCS, A, 41.236‑356, pp. 922‑925, and the "Paeksasigyo chŏnsŭmnok ch'ojŏn insü kihu" (Postscript to Conveyed Copy of Ch'en Po‑sha's Shih‑chiao and Wang Yang‑ming's Ch'uan‑hsi lu), TGCS, A, 41.296‑35a, pp. 925‑928.

32. Ki's courtesy name was Myŏngŏn and his honorific name was Kobong. He passed the civil service examinations in 1558. One of the best minds and most broadly and deeply learned of his generation, he became a leading exponent of sarim concerns at court. He served as Headmaster fo the Confucian Academy and Censor General, but his promising career was cut short by illness and he died just two years after T'oegye.

33. TGCS, B, pp. 151‑190.

34. See below, chapter 5, T'oegye's Comments.

35. T'ung shu, chapter 20.

36. This structure is indicated by T'oegye in annotations at the end of chapter 5 and chapter 10.



222          Notes to pp. 26‑30


37. T'oegye presents this view in his remarks at the end of chapter 4.

38. See his remarks at the end of chapter 4.


Address Presenting the Ten Diagrams on Sage Learning to King Sŏnjo


1. P'anjungch'ubusa, a Junior First Rank position. The Office of Ministers Without Portfolio was the highest ranking military agency. It was an honorary sinecure position frequently assigned to high‑ranking civil officials no longer serving actively in government.

2. Analects, 17:17: "Heaven does riot speak, but [in accord with it] the four seasons proceed in their course and the hundred living things are produced. Yet Heaven does not speak!" This saying has been an important reference point in the Confucian tradition, for Confucians have generally taken a non-anthropomorphic, naturalistic view of the Ultimate and the mode in which its governance operated. "Heaven" is the most common term for referring to an ultimate seat or source of governing in the universe, while "Tao" is used when this governing is thought of as happening according to an under‑lying, directive pattern inherent in all things. Heaven governs not by legislative fiat, but by the inherent pattern (Tao) of the universe.

3. The River Diagram was believed to have been carried out of the Yellow River on the back of a "dragon horse," during the reign of the legendary Emperor Fu hsi, while the Lo Writing came from the Lo River on the back of a tortoise in the time of the legendary Emperor Yü. They were supposed to have been transmitted to King Wen, the founder of the Chou dynasty, who elaborated Fu Hsi's eight trigrams into the 64 hexagrams and accompanying texts which are the core of the Book of Changes. Subsequently lost, they were "rediscovered" during the Former Han dynasty (206 B.c‑25 A.D.), a time when apocrypha and prognostication texts enjoyed a wide currency.

4. These are idealized legendary and semi-legendary figures from the earliest period of Chinese history and prehistory; their reigns represented the ideal of wisdom and proper government. For Confucians the most important of these are the Sage Emperors Yao (2357?‑2256? s.c.)and Shun (2255?‑2206? B.C.), and King Wen (1184?‑1135?s.C.) and the Duke of Chou (c. 1110?). The latter two belong to the historical Chou dynasty (1122?‑256 B.C.), the early period of which was idealized and taken as a model by Confucians. The account of the reigns of these Sage Emperors and Wise Rulers is to be found in the Book of Documents, one of the earliest Confucian Classics (English tr. by James Legge, The Chinese Classics, vol. 3).

5. Kuo Yü (Narratives of the States), Ch'u, A:6. Commentators do not agree regarding the precise meaning of the various ancient offices referred to here, so the translation is uncertain.

6. This practice, with a similar list of objects, is described in the "Wu‑wang chien tsu" chapter of the Ta Tai li‑chi (Book of Rites of the Elder Tai).


Notes to pp. 31‑33           223


7. The T'ien‑ch'iu chin‑chien lu (Golden Mirror Record of a Thousand Au­tumns) was presented to the emperor on his birthday in 736 by Chang Chiu‑ling (673‑740). It was customary on such occasions for officials to present precious gifts such as golden mirrors; Chang instead presented this compilation of historical ex­amples of good and bad government.

8. The Wu‑i t'u. Sung Ching (662‑737) was noted for combining inflexible sternness with remarkable benignity. Wu‑i, "without idleness," is the title of Book of Documents, 5:15, a chapter in which the Duke of Chou lectures the young ruler on this evil. Sung made a diagram of the chapter and presented it to the emperor.

9. Li Te‑yü ( 787‑849) served under six emperors of the Tang dynasty, leading a checkered career which took him from the heights of power to banishment to distant parts of the empire and back again. The Tan‑i liu‑hen (Six Maxims of the Crimson Screen) was addressed to the Emperor Ching‑tsung, whose extravagances Li staunchly opposed. The "crimson screen" of the title refers to the screen which stood behind the emperor in his audience chamber.

10. On Chen Te‑hsiu, see Introduction, note 22. The Pin‑fung ch'i‑yüeh t'u (Diagram of the Seventh‑Month Ode of the Odes of Pin) is based upon Book of Odes, #154. The Seventh‑Month Ode, so‑named for its first line, narrates the various sorts of agricultural labors of the common people throughout the course of the year.

11. The responsibility was not T'oegye's alone; a broad spectrum of some 22 officials held concurrent appointments to the Office of Royal Lectures (kyŏngyŏn, lit. "Classic‑mat"). They met, ideally, three times daily with the king. The nominal task of these meetings was, as the title suggests, the exegesis and interpretation of classical texts, but these were also applied, sermon stYLe, to the affairs and questions of the day, and the ensuing discussions could range broadly. Thus this was a major forum not only for formal instruction, but the presentation of views on current issues and for remonstrance as well. Cf. Edward Wagner, The Literati Purges, p. 16. For a discussion of the origin of this institution and its function in relation to the instruction of rulers, see deBary, Neo‑Confucian Orthodoxy, pp. 29‑30; 35‑37.

12. This saying of Chang Tsai is the heart of the Ch'eng‑Chu School's psychological theory and is discussed in chapter 6. T'oegye's "two small diagrams" summarize his most original contribution to Neo‑Confucian thought and mark the point where Korean Neo‑Confucianism begins on the course of its own distinctive and characteristic intellectual development. On Ch'eng Fu‑hsin, see below, ch. 2, n. 32.

13. These diagrams are: ch. 3, Elementary Learning; ch. 5, Rules of the White Deer Hollow Academy; ch. 10, Admonition on Rising Early and Retiring Late.

14. This suggestion was promptly acted upon and both the screen and hand­book were made. There are a number of references to the Ten Diagrams in T'oegye's correspondence with other scholars during the next two years, indicating that the work was almost immediately in circulation in the scholarly community.

15. Mencius, 6A:15.

16. Book of Documents, 5:4.5. The "Grand Plan" is said to have been given


224          Notes to pp. 33‑37


by Chi Tzu (Kor. "Kija") to King Wu at the beginning of the Chou dynasty. As one of the earliest comprehensive schematizations of the rudiments of an ideal, civilized government, it was an important reference point for later Confucians. But for Koreans this reference had special meaning because Chi Tzu was said to have fled to Korea rather than serve under a new dynasty after having served under its predecessor, the Shang. The legend of his founding a Chinese civilization on the Korean Peninsula attracted the special attention of Yi dynasty Neo‑Confucians, who could thus claim to be restoring their country's most ancient and legitimate heritage.

17. The "emptiness" (hŏ, hsü) of the mind indicates that it is intrinsically free of ego‑centeredness; it is, in its ideal condition, "empty" of any selfish desires or impulses. It is "spiritual" (yong, ling) in its wondrous ability to encompass and penetrate all things; no dichotomy of spirit/matter in the western sense is implied. For further discussion, see Appendix on Terminology under ki (ch'i).

18. See Appendix on Terminology.

19. Analects, 2:15.

20. Mencius, 3A:1.

21. On mindfulness (kyŏng, ching), see Appendix on Terminology. T'oegye makes this the central theme of the Ten Diagrams. The psychological theory regarding "inner" and "outer" is explained in chapter 6. Chapters 8‑10 take up the subject of mindfulness at length.

22. A paraphrase of Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 1.

23. A reference to Mencius 6A:8, which describes how the calm atmosphere of the early predawn hours works to restore human nature to its originally good condition just as the vital force of nature works in the night to restore damaged


24. I am unable to locate these references.

25. Mencius, 4B:14.

26. Mencius, 4A:27.

27. Analects, 6:7. Yen Hui was Confucius' favorite and foremost disciple. He died while still very young, a loss Confucius greatly mourned.

28. This is taken from Chu Hsi's annotation of Analects, 15:11.

29. Analects, 4:15: when Confucius said that there is a single thread running through all his teachings Tseng Tzu understood what he meant and interpreted this key remark for the other disciples.

30. References to Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 1.

31. This is a conventional expression of humility frequently used when presenting something. The reference is to a well‑known tale: although the peasants mistake something very common as a gift fit for a king, their utter sincerity in offering the gift excuses the ignorance and, indeed, is the true value of the gift.


Notes to pp. 37‑41         225


1. Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate


1. The Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate (T'ai chi t'u), and Explanation of the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate (T'ai chi t'u shuo) may be found, together with Chu Hsi's commentary and a lengthy compilation of further annotation, in the Hsing-li ta-ch'üan (hereafter, HLTC, ) ch. 1. The Diagram and Explanation have been translated by Derk Bodde in History of Chinese Philosophy, by Feng Yu‑lan, vol. 2, pp. 435‑438. A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, by Wing‑tsit Chan, pp. 463‑464> contains a translation of the Explanation. Both translations are in substantial agreement, and my own owes much to theirs. For a further discussion of the origin and nature of the Diagram, see Feng Yu‑lan, ibid., pp. 438‑442.

2. The Chin ssu lu, compiled by Chu Hsi and Lü Tsu‑Ch'ien, is the earliest compilation of the thought of the early masters and has been extremely influential. It has been translated by Wing‑tsit Chan as Reflections on Things at Hand. On the HLTC, see above, Introduction, n.26.

3. See HLTC,‑3a.

4. Ch'ien and K'un are the names of the first two hexagrams of the Book of Changes (hereafter, Hsing‑li ta‑ch'üan). Ch'ien is entirely composed of yang lines and symbolizes Heaven and the male; K'un is composed entirely of yin lines and symbolizes Earth and the female.

5. For a complete elaboration of the correlation of the Five Agents and the constituent principles of human nature as well as the psychological theory developed on this basis, see below, ch. 6.

6. Changes, commentary on Ch'ien hexagram.

7. Ibid., Remarks on Certain Trigrams, ch. 2.

8. Ibid., Appended Remarks, pt. 1, ch. 4.

9. The Book of Changes was an ancient divination text held in high esteem by both Confucians and Taoists. It is based upon eight trigrams which represent the possible combinations of unbroken (yang) lines and broken (yin) lines; these in turn were combined into hexagrams, thus making a total of 64 symbolic graphs representing different combinations of yin and yang. The 8 trigrams were attributed to the leng­endary sage Fu Hsi, while the hexagrams were held to be the work of King Wen (1171‑1122 B.C.); the texts accompanying the hexagrams were attributed to King Wen and the Duke of Chou (d. 1094 B.C.). As important as the text itself were seven commentaries which were incorporated into the work and ascribed to Confucius (551‑479 B.C.). Originally a divination text, the Book of Changes came to be used as the fundamental source for virtually all Chinese cosmological speculation and was also an important source of ethical teachings. Modem scholars generally hold the commentaries to be the work of diverse authors and composed sometime between the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.

10. Chu‑tzu Yü-lei (hereafter, YL), 94.17b‑18a.

11. HLTC, 1.45b‑46a, slightly abridged. T'oegye sees the doctrine of mind­fulness as a central theme running throughout his Ten Diagrams and deliberately introduces this comment to show how Chu Hsi supplements Chows more one‑sided emphasis on tranquility with the doctrine of mindfulness (see the annotation he appends to ch. 4).

12. The honorific name of Yeh Ts'ai (fl. 1248). Yeh was a disciple of Chu Hsi's pupil, Ch'en Ch'un (1153‑1217) and the author of the earliest commentary on the Chin ssu lu.


226          Notes to pp. 41‑47


13. Changes, Appended Remarks, pt. 1, ch. 11.

14. A slight paraphrase of Yeh's remark as found in HLTC, 1.59b‑60a.

15. HLTC, 1. 596‑60a.

16. Chu‑tzu ta ch'üan (The Complete Works of Chu Hsi, hereafter CTTC), 71.4b (Chi Lien‑hsi ch'uan).

17. The Elementary Learning (Hsiao hsüeh) and the Great Learning (Ta hsieh) are the subjects of the third and fourth chapters of the Ten Diagrams.

18. Changes, Remarks on Certain Trigrams, ch. 1.

19. Changes, Appended Remarks, pt. 2, ch. 3.

20. ŎHN,, B, p. 789; 1.20b, B, p. 798.

21. ŎHN, 1.20b, p. 798.

22. YL, 1.2b.

23. There were sharp differences in the orientations underlying the monistic philosophies of Chang and Lo. For an excellent study of Lo's thought that clearly distinguishes him from Chang, see Irene Bloom, "On the `Abstraction' of Ming Thought: Some Concrete Evidence from the Philosophy of Lo Chin‑shun," in Prin­ciple and Practicality, ed. by Wm. Theodore deBary and Irene Bloom, pp. 69‑125.

24. The courtesy name of Sŏ Kyŏngdŏk (1489‑1546) was Kagu, but in Korea he is best known by his honorific name, Hwadam; he is popularly regarded, along with T'oegye and Yulgok (Yi I), as one of the three outstanding philosophers of the Yi dynasty. He strongly asserted the absolute independence and originality of his ideas, though they bear a close resemblance to the monistic philosophy of ch'i de­veloped in China by Chang Tsai, to whom his followers constantly likened him. He refused to take office and lived an impoverished life in retirement devoted to study and teaching. T'oegye had contact with a number of Hwadam's students, and fre­quently expressed his impatience with what he regarded as their misplaced enthusiasm and exaggerated claims for their master. Hwadam claimed his teaching and insights would endure through the ages, but unfortunately the slim volume of his writing which survived‑perhaps his only writing‑the Hwadamjip, contains only a sketchy exposition of his philosophy, making it impossible, in spite of his high repute, to assess the full range and depth of his ideas.

25. See, for example, his Pi i ki wi il mui pyŏnjung (An Evidenced Argument That Li and Ki Are Not One Thing), TGCS, A, 41.20b‑23a, pp. 920‑922, in which he attacks the monism of Lo Chin‑shun and Sŏ Kyŏngdŏk.

26. For T'oegye's handling of this question and its ramifications See below, Commentary, "The Supreme Ultimate and Material Force," and chapter 4, Com­mentary, "Can Principle `Approach'?"

27. On Chu Hsi's adopting and interpreting Chou's Diagram, which was before that relatively unknown, see Wing‑tsit Chan, "Chu Hsi's Completion of Neo-Confucianisml," pp. 67‑72.

28. This remark appears among the passages appended to Chu Hsi's com­mentary on the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate, HLTC, 1.4a; I have not been able to locate its original source.

29. CTTC, 56.33b (Letter to Ch'eng Tzu‑shang).


Notes to pp. 47‑51           227


30. YL, 1.3a.

31. Mien‑tsai was the honorific name of Huang Kan (1152‑1221), Chu Hsi's son‑in‑law and one of his leading disciples. He has generally been considered the orthodox interpreter and transmitter of Chu Hsi's thought.

32. HLTC, 1.23b.

33. See above, n. 27.

34. See Yun Sasun, T'oegyeŭi ch'ŏrhak yŏn'gu (Research on T'oegye's Phi­losophy), pp. 59‑66, and Chŏn Tuha, "T'oegyeŭi ch'ŏrhagui haeksim," (The Heart of T'oegye's Philosophy), pp. 135‑170, (esp. pp. 135‑145). The two scholars differ insofar as Yun is inclined to emphasize the implicit contradictions in this monistic dualism while Chŏn, who is deeply influenced by Hegel, is inclined to see it in a dialectical framework.

35. On Ki Taesŭng, see above, Introduction, n. 32. He is famous for his role in the Four‑Seven Debate with T'oegye, the most famous and important intel­lectual controversy in the history of Yi Dynasty thought (see below, chapter 6, for a discussion of the debate).

36. The courtesy name of Yi I (1536‑1584) was Sukhŏn, but he is universally known in Korea by his honorific name, Yulgok. He rivals T'oegye for the title of the finest thinker of the Yi Dynasty, and the Korean intellectual world became perma­nently divided into schools which trace their intellectual descent from one or the other. Yulgok had an illustrious official career, holding posts such as Censor General, Inspector General, and Minister of the Board of Personnel, and has a high reputation not only as a philosopher but as a man of practical affairs.

37. Cf. HLTC, p.106.

38. On the differentiation of principle according to the relative purity or turbidity of material force, see below, chapter 3, Commentary, "Material Force and the Difference Between the Sage and the Ordinary Man."


2. Diagram of the Western Inscription


1.                        On Chang Tsai, see first section of Introduction. The Western Inscription was originally ch. 17 of Chang's Cheng‑meng, and was entitled "Correcting Obstinacy" (Ting‑wan); Ch'eng I, fearing that this obscure title would cause problems, changed it to "Western Inscription," a reference to the fact that it was inscribed on the western window of Chang's lecture hall. It was included in the second chapter of Chu Hsi's Chin‑ssu lu (see Wing Tsit Chan's translation, Reflection of Things at Hand, pp. 76ff. ) and is also presented, along with Chu Hsi's commentary and annotations from other sources, in HLTC, chüan 4. T'oegye's careful phrase‑by‑phrase analysis of its sources and meaning, the Sŏmyŏng koch'ung kangŭi (Lecture on the Sources of the Western Inscription) appears in TGCS, A, 7.49a‑62a; this lecture was originally presented by him from the Classics Mat before king Sŏnjo. His comments indicate that he was using the HLTC material. English translations of the Western Inscription are to be found in Wing Tsit Chan's Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, pp. 497‑500, and Derk


228          Notes to pp. 51‑52


Bodde, tr., History of Chinese Philosophy, by Feng Yu‑lan, vol. 2, pp. 493‑495; my own translation is indebted to both.

2. "What fills up all between Heaven and Earth" and "that which directs" are references to Mencius 2A: 2, a famous passage which describes man as possessing a "vast, flowing passion nature" (hao‑jan chih ch'i), which, if nurtured on righteousness, fills up all between Heaven and Earth.

3. Reference to Mencius, 4A; 12.

4. Reference to Mencius, IA: 7. T'oegye notes that the pronoun translated by Bodde as "their" should really be understood as "my" and I have followed his interpretation. Cf. TGCS, A, 7.53a, p. 220. "My" young and aged would ordinarily refer to one's family members; here my family is extended to include all persons.

5. Changes, Commentary on Ch'ien hexagram.

6. Reference to Mencius, IA: 5.

7. A combination of references to the Book of Odes (hereafter, Odes), #272 and 244 respectively.

8. A combination of references to Changes, Appended Remarks, pt. 1, ch. 4, and Tso chuan (Tso's Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals), 1.1.

9. A combination of references to Analects, 4.5, and the Classic of Filial Piety, ch. 9.

10. A combination of references to Analects, 15.9, and Mencius, 3B: 9.

11. Reference to Tso chuan, 6.18.

12. A combination of references to Mencius, 7A: 38, and Mencius, 5A: 6.

13. Each half of this sentence combines references to Changes, Appended Remarks, pt. 2, ch. 3, and Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 19.

14. A combination of references to Odes, #256 and # 196.

15. A combination of references to Mencius, 7A: 1, and Classic of Filial Piety, ch. 4. Mencius, 7A: 1 is a key reference point for Neo‑Confucians, for it links Heaven and man's nature and, in the phrase here quoted, sums up the essence of self-­cultivation.

16. A combination of references to Mencius, 4B: 20 and 4B: 30.

17. Tso chuan, 1.1. Ying Kao‑su, by the example of his own filial piety to his mother, caused Duke Chuang to repent and be reunited with his own mother, whom he had sworn never to see again.

18. Mencius, 4A: 28. According to tradition the father of the sage, Shun, was a depraved villain who repeatedly attempted to kill his son; however, he was finally won over by Shuns constant filial piety.

19. Book of Rites, T'an kung, pt. 1: 3. Shen Sheng, when falsely accused of attempting to poison his father, Duke Hsien of Chin, committed suicide rather than flee.

20. Tseng Tzu was a disciple of Confucius particularly noted for his filial piety. Analects 8.3 tells how on his death bed he called his disciples to view his hands and feet, witnessing that he had fulfilled his filial duty to preserve his body intact. The Classic of Filial Piety, though of later origin, was traditionally attributed to him.

21. Po‑ch'i was a prince who accepted his father's expulsion of him even


Notes to pp. 56‑60           229


though it was caused by the machinations of a stepmother who wanted him replaced by her own son. Wing Tsit Chan (Reflections, p. 78, n. 221) has traced the story to the annotation of the eulogy at the end of Ch'ien Han shu, ch. 79, where it is referred to the Shuo yüan; he notes that it is not to be found in modem editions of the Shuo yüan.

22. Reference to Odes, # 253.

23. Ch'eng I applied this dictum in answering doubts about the Western Inscription expressed by his pupil, Yang Shih. Cf. below, note 27, and Commentary, "Confucian Ethics on a New Foundation." The correspondence between the two on this question may be found in HLTC, 4.12a‑13b. A translation of Ch'eng's letter appears in Chan, Source Book, pp. 550‑551.

24. Mo Tzu (fl. 479‑438 B.C.) was a philosopher who expounded a doctrine of universal, egalitarian love. His school was one of the chief rivals of the early Confucians, and it was in response to it that Mencius clearly enunciated the Confucian doctrine of graded love. See Mencius, 3B: 9. On Mo Tzu and this doctrine, see Chan, Source Book, pp. 211‑217.

25. Chu Hsi's Commentary on the Western Inscription, HLTC, 4.lOb‑l la.

26. Ibid., 4. 2 I a.

27. Kuei‑shan was the honorific name of Yang Shih (1053‑1135), a pupil of the Ch'eng brothers who became a leading Neo‑Confucian scholar. T'oegye in his "Sin mu ch'e yong pyŏn" (Discourse Against the Theory That the Mind Does Not Have Substance and Function), TGCS, I, 41.19b, p. 920, criticizes his inclination for lofty and abstruse theorizing.

28. Mencius, 7A: 45. This is the classical locus for the Confucian doctrine of "graded love. "

29. HLTC, 4. l lb. "Righteousness" in a Confucian context is not an abstract virtuousness, but the characteristic of acting in a manner appropriate to the given situation, and hence is correlated with the diversity of principle.

30. Shuang‑feng was the honorific name of Yao Lu (fl. 1256), and his courtesy name was Chung‑yüan. He' was a leading disciple of Chu Hsi's son‑in‑law, Huang Kan. An account of him appears in T'oegye's Ihak T'ongnok (Comprehensive Record of Neo‑Confucians), 9.40b, TGCS, B, p. 501.

31. HLTC, 4.24a‑b.

32. The honorific name of Ch'eng Fu‑hsin (1279‑1368); his courtesy name was Tzu‑hsien. A Yüan dynasty scholar, he was best known for a book of diagrams, the Ssu‑shu chang t'u (Diagrams of the Chapters of the Four Books), a work upon which he spent some 13 years, and which T'oegye obtained about 1560. As is clear from comments he makes in chapter 8, T'oegye held Ch'eng in high esteem, and two more of his diagrams appear in chapters 6 and 8. There is an account of him in T'oegye's Ihak T'ongnok, 10.31b‑32a, TGCS, B, p. 519.

33. I-shu, 2A, 2a. In the Chin ssu lu, Chu Hsi attributes this saying to Ch'eng Hao (see Chan, Reflections, p. 79).

34. A paraphrase of I-shu, 18. l lb, a saying of Ch'eng I.

35. See above, note 23.


230          Notes to pp. 61‑66


36. Commiseration is the active manifestation of the character of jen, hu­manity, which Neo‑Confucians view as one of the constitutive qualities of man's nature. This is based upon Mencius' famous discussion of the goodness of human nature in terms of the "Four Beginnings," of which commiseration is the first: "The disposition of commiseration is the beginning of humanity" (Mencius, 2A: 6). For a discussion of the Four Beginnings and their relationship to man's nature, see below, chapter 6.

37. Reference to YL, 98.12b.

38. In the Confucian tradition, self‑understanding could not be ultimately separated from a consideration of the conditions of one's origin and growth as a human being. One originates as an extension of the existence of one's parents and could not have survived without their care. If one understands oneself in this way, there is no place for a self‑enclosed conceptualization of one's existence, as in the modem formula, "I have my own life to lead." Rather, filial obedience and service are founded upon a self‑identity which includes one's dependence/interdependence on a transpersonal community participating in and transmitting a single life‑force. In this view, "my life," rightly understood, cannot be separated from "our life."

39. This will be taken up with the topic of "the investigation of principle" in chapter 4. In general the question of objective vs. subjective emphasis is a critical issue in Neo‑Confucian thought. The school of the Ch'eng brothers and Chu Hsi tries to maintain a delicate balance between the two; its chief rival, the school of Wang Yang‑ming (Shou‑jen, 1472‑1529), which picked up and developed the thought of Chu Hsi's contemporary, Lu Hsiang‑shan (Chiu‑yüan, 1139‑1193), em­phasized the subjective side and thus moved in a sharply different direction. T'oegye vigorously opposed this development and wrote several essays in which he was harshly critical of Wang Yang‑ming (see TGCS, A, 41.23a‑32b).


3. Diagram of the Elementary Learning


1. The Five Relationships are those presented in the diagram under the heading, "clarifying relationships." The locus classicus for this formulation is Mencius, 3A: 4. The quality appropriate to the relationship of friends is classically and tradi­tionally expressed as "faithfulness"; there is no explanation of which I am aware as to why it has been changed to the noncommittal "intercourse" in the heading of this section of the Elementary Learning.

2. This was initiated at the suggestion of Kwŏn Kŭn (1352‑1409). Kwŏn was one of the most prominent Neo‑Confucian scholars during the transition period between the Koryŏ and Yi dynasties.

3. Hyŏn Sangyun, Choson yuhak sa (History of Korean Confucianism), p. 36.


4. The text of this Introduction (Hsiao‑hsüeh t'i‑tzu) is to be found in CTTC, 76.19a‑b; it is identical with the text as presented in the Ten Diagrams.

5. The "Four Beginnings" were first described by Mencius in the course of


Notes to pp. 66‑70           231


his argument that human nature is good. Cf. Mencius, 2A: 6. The correlation of these with the four characteristics of Heaven is discussed below, Commentary, "The Four Characteristics of Heaven, the Mandate, and Human Nature."

6. Mencius, 6A: 6.

7. Mencius, 4A: 10 describes those who disregard humanity and righteousness as doing violence to themselves and throwing themselves away.

8. This description refers to Analects, 19:12.

9. The "bright Mandate" refers to the Mandate of Heaven. The doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven originally was a legitimation of the king's right to rule, based on his receipt of the Mandate, but the concept was broadened to cover Heaven's ordination with regard to human affairs‑Fate, in some contexts, but the moral imperative in the context of moral discourse. The first line of the Doctrine of the Mean was of crucial significance for Neo‑Confucians, who interpreted human nature in terms of this moral imperative (i.e., principle): "What Heaven mandates is called our nature; to follow our nature is called the Tao."

10. This paragraph sums up the teleology of all learning, elementary or advanced. But it pertains particularly to the Great Learning insofar as it more specif­ically describes the culmination of the process of study and self‑cultivation.

11. A reference to the infamous "burning of the books," a literary proscription in which the First Emperor of the Chin dynasty at the instigation of the legalist philosopher, Li Ssu, in 213 B.C. ordered the destruction of all philosophical and historical works; only books in the Imperial Library (later destroyed), the history of his own dynasty, and practical works such as those on medicine and divination were to be preserved. Just how much was lost forever in this persecution can never be known, but the most important classical works survived, and the overall impact of this episode upon the literary heritage of China may well be exaggerated. It did, however, mark a definite end of the creative and multifaceted work of the many diverse philosophical schools which flourished in the disorganized society which pre­ceded the Chin unification of the Chinese empire.

12. Allusions to Mencius, 6A: 11 and 7A: 1, respectively. See the diagram in chapter 8, below, which schematically presents much of the Neo‑Confucian ter­minology relating to self‑cultivation. As a glance at the sources of that diagram's phrases will show, the greater part of Neo‑Confucian technical terminology on this topic is drawn from Mencius and relates to well‑known passages in that work.

13. The traditional "six arts" of Chinese education as enumerated in the Chou li, ch. 14.

14. This refers to the first sentence of the Great Learning. The text is presented by T'oegye in chapter 4 of the Ten Diagrams.

15. Chu Hsi was fond of the statement that mindfulness is both the way of making a beginning and achieving the final completion, and repeats it frequently. Here it would appear that it is a quotation; the most likely source for such a saying would be the ECCS, but I have been unable to locate a passage worded in this way. Possibly he is referring in a summary way to the teaching of the Ch'engs on mind­fulness, which indeed describes it as fundamental to the whole process of learning.


232          Notes to pp. 70‑75


See, for example, the many passages on the topic cited in the Chin ssu lu, ch. 4 (Chan tr., Reflections pp. 123‑153).

16. Ta‑hsüeh huo‑wen, lb‑3a. The passage has been somewhat abbreviated by T'oegye. I have indicated the omitted portions by dots in the text.

17. A key phrase, "ko wu," is interpreted by Chu Hsi as "reach to things," i.e., approach and investigate them‑the "investigation of principle" which is es­sential to his philosophy. Wang interprets it rather as "rectify things," the essential thing for him being not study, but actively applying and practicing what one already knows innately. See his Ch'uan‑hsi lu, sec. 137 (Instructions for Practical Living, Wing­tsit Chan, tr., pp. 102‑106).

18. "Honoring the moral nature (tsun hsing)" is paired in Neo‑Confucian parlance with "following the path of inquiry te‑ and study" (tao wen‑hsüeh). The former phrase refers to the practical application to self‑cultivation, the latter to the study and investigation of principle; together they express the two aspects of the learning process as conceived by Chu Hsi.

19. "Destroying principle" reflects T'oegye's view of what Wang is actually doing by emphasizing the subjective possession of principle in the mind and disre­garding the need to study it externally in things and affairs.

20. For this letter, see CTTC, 42.16a‑17b. It is an important discussion of the relation between study and practice, and the relationship of the Elementary Learning and Great Learning is discussed in this context.

21. The personal name of Cho (1501‑1572) was Sik, and his courtesy name was Konjung. Nammyŏng was his honorific name. When younger he studied literature, but later came to Neo‑Confucian studies and secluded himself for many years, devoting his efforts to cultivating mindfulness. He came to enjoy a high reputation as a scholar and was repeatedly recommended for official posts, though he avoided them to remain in retirement.

22. The personal name of Yi (1541‑1596) was Tŏkhong; Koengjung was his courtesy name and Kanjae his honorific name. He was one of T'oegye's leading disciples and in 1578 was honored as fourth among nine men especially selected for office on the basis of outstanding learning. He was noted for his learning on the Book of Changes, and wrote commentaries on a number of works, including the Heart Classic. An account of him may be found in the Tosan munhyŏn nok (Record of T'oegye's Disciples), TGCS, B, 3.19a‑27a, p. 987‑991.

23. See ŎHN, 1.20b, TGCS, B, p. 798. T'oegye's own letter in response to Cho (TGCS, 10.4b‑6a, A, pp. 283‑284) treats it entirely as a proposal that T'oegye correct others and purify public life. In his reply T'oegye argues that there are a number of different degrees of culpability; one cannot tar them all with the same brush, and in any case it is not fitting for a scholar to thus set himself up in judgment over others, nor is it practicable to try to purge them from public life. The tone of these remarks contrasts strongly with the rigid moralism that had proved self­destructive to earlier Neo‑Confucians in Yi dynasty public life.

25. The courtesy name of Chong (1533‑1576) was Chajung, and his hon­orific name was Munbong. He passed the highest civil service examination in 1558


Notes to pp. 76‑84           233


and was highly reputed as both a philosopher and poet, but his writings were lost during the 1592 Japanese invasion. An account of him may be found in the Tosan munhyŏn nok, 2.31a‑33a, TGCS, B, pp. 972‑973. During his official career he served as Censor General and Minister of the Board of Personnel.

26. The courtesy name of Kim Su (1537‑1615) was Cha'ang, and his hon­orific name was Mongch'on. He passed the highest civil service examination in 1573 and in his official career served as governor in several provinces and also served as State Councilor and Minister of the Board of Taxation. An account of him appears in the Tosan munhyŏn nok, 3.40a‑41b, TGCS, B, pp. 997‑998.

27. See Mencius, 2A: 6.

28. The life‑force, associated with yang, arises in spring, pervades and makes all things flourish in summer; the benefits are harvested in fall, and winter, "firmness," is the season when this force is stored up in the earth, preparing to begin the cycle anew in the spring.

29. Myŏng (Chinese, ming), the term here translated as "ordained," is a reference to the Mandate (myŏng) of Heaven (see above, note 8).

30. The Ch'ŏnmyŏng tosŏl (Diagrammatic Explanation of the Mandate of Heaven) was originally the work of Chŏng Chiun (1509‑1561). T'oegye felt the work needed correction and worked with Chŏng on revising it; he made such extensive correction and revision that it is now considered virtually his work. It is a useful exposition of fundamental Neo‑Confucian doctrines, but the work's chief claim to fame is that it contains a statement correlating the Four Beginnings and Seven Feelings with principle and material force respectively, a statement which touched off the historic Four‑Seven Debate with Ki Taesŭng (see below, chapter 6).

31. The typology of three categories of man has a long tradition; Neo­Confucians were particularly aware of the elaboration of this theme by the Neo­Confucian precursor, Han Yü (768‑824), of the Tang dynasty. Han's description may be found in Wing‑tsit Chan's Sourcebook, pp. 451‑553; on earlier versions of this theme, see Chan's comments, Sourcebook, pp. 276 and 453‑454.


4. Diagram of the Great Learning


1. For a complete translation of the Great Learning, see Wing‑tsit Chan, Sourcebook in Chinese Philosophy, pp. 85‑94, or James Legge, The Chinese Classics, Vol. 1.

2. The text arranged by Chu Hsi and accompanied by his commentary is entitled Ta‑hstieh chang‑chu (The Chapters and Sentences of the Great Learning). This became the authoritative version, and from 1314 on it was a basic text for the civil service examinations in China. For a discussion of Chu Hsi's role in establishing and forming the Great Learning, see Wing‑tsit Chan, "Chu Hsi's Completion of Neo-Confucianisml," pp. 81‑87.

3. The investigation of things (i.e., principle) is the point of central im­portance in this text; see Commentary, "The Investigation of Principle. On Wang



234          Notes to pp. 84‑90


Yang‑ming's handling of the phrase, see above, chapter 3, note 17; on the variety of ways of interpreting this phrase, see Chan, Sourcebook, pp. 561‑562.

4. An alternative rendition would be, "When [the principle of] things ap­proaches, knowledge is extended." On the argument concerning such an interpre­tation, See below, Commentary, "Can Principle `Approach'?"

5. I-shu, 15,20a.

6. Ibid., 15.6b.

7. HLTC, 46.14b.

8. HLTC, 46.15b, paraphrased. The honorific name of Yin T'un (1071­1142) was Ho‑ching. A disciple of Ch'eng Yi, he was more noted for his earnestness than brilliance, and was particularly devoted to mindfulness.

9. Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 27. On the significance of this phrase, see above, chapter 3, note 18.

10. Mencius, 6A: 15. "The greater" refers to the mind, "the lesser" to the senses, which should not be permitted to interfere with the proper function of the mind. Thus this passage is taken to refer to the Great Learning's "make the intention sincere and rectify the mind."

11. Analects, 14:42.

12. Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 20.

13. Ta-hsüeh huo wen, 26‑3a, slightly abbreviated. The portions omitted are indicated by dots in the text.

14. In the remarks with which Chu Hsi introduces the Great Learning he quotes Ch'eng I as referring to it with this phrase.

15. On Kwŏn Kŭn, see above, chapter 3, note 2.

16. The diagram comes from Kwŏn's Iphak tosŏl (Diagrams and Explanations for Entering Upon Learning). Its categories and presentation of the various elements of the first chapter of the Great Learning closely follow Chu Hsi's remarks in the Ta-­hsüeh huo wen, which is probably the reason T'oegye chose it. The reference to Kwŏn as an official rather than a scholar is consistent with the fact that his name by T'oegye's time was no longer mentioned in the transmission of the Neo‑Confucian Tao to Korea. Even though Kwŏn was, arguably, the foremost Neo‑Confucian scholar of the Koryŏ‑Yi transition period, he fell into disrepute for having served both dynasties, for the Korean Neo‑Confucians came to place a great emphasis upon the purity of not serving in questionable circumstances.

17. This line recapitulates the process described in the Great Learning, be­ginning with the investigation of things, moving to personal self‑cultivation ("exalting virtue"), and culminating with the expansion of these effects in the family, state; and whole world.

18. The translation, beginning with "constantly mindful" is a free rendition and expansion of a concise but untranslatable phrase which refers to Analects, 15.6.

19. Yen‑ping is the honorific name of Chu Hsi's teacher, Li T'ung (1093­1163). Li was an important influence in turning Chu Hsi back to Confucianism and away from his earlier interest in Buddhism and Taoism. The focus on the affairs of daily life reflected in this passage was one of the most important lessons Chu Hsi learned from him.


Notes to pp. 90‑104        235


20. Yen‑ping to wen (Li T'ung's Responses to the Questions of Chu Hsi), fu‑lu (supplement), pp. 22b‑23a.

21. The courtesy name of Kim Sŏngil (1538‑1593) was Sasun, and his honorific name was Hakbong. He passed the highest civil service examination in 1568. In his official career, he held posts as First Counselor and Assistant Master of the Confucian Academy. He was honored with the posthumous name, Munch'ung. His collected writings are the Hakbong chip. An account of him is to be found in the Tosan munhyŏn nok, 3.2a‑5a.

22. On Yi I, see chapter 1, note 35.

23. On Yi Tŏkhong, see chapter 3, note 22.

24. Ta-hsüeh huo wen, discussion of the supplemented fifth chapter of com­mentary, p. 36b.

25. See above, chapter 3, Commentary, "The Relationship of the Elementary Learning and the Great Learning. "

26. Some were concerned mainly with principle's transcendence of the cat­egories of inner and outer, while others were concerned to read the passage in a way that fully reflected the total perfection and unified grasp of all principle as described by Chu Hsi in the passage he supplies to supplement for the "lost" fifth chapter of the commentary section of the Great Learning, a chapter which should comment on precisely this crucial section of the Text. These positions are described and criticized by T'oegye in a long letter to Chŏng Chajung, TGCS, A, 26.34a‑39b, pp. 627‑630.

27. On Ki Taesŭng, see Introduction, note 33.

28. YL, 1.3a.

29. Ijŏng was the courtesy name of Kim Ch'wiryo (1526‑?); his honorific name was Chamjae. He was a devoted disciple who traveled long distances to see T'oegye and carried on an extensive written correspondence with him as well. He does not seem to have held office or made any notable scholarly mark, however. An account of him is to be found in Tosan munhyŏn nok, 2.9a‑1 la, B, pp. 961‑962.

30. Ta-hsüeh huo wen, discussion of the supplemented missing 5th chapter of commentary, p. 36b.

31. YL, 18.23a.

32. In his discussion of T'oegye's final position on this matter Yun Sasun notes its continuity with his position on the role of principle in the creation of the universe and his argument in the Four‑Seven Debate. See Yun Sasun, T'oegye Ch'ŏlhakŭi yŏngu (Research on T'oegye's Philosophy), pp. 30‑32. On T'oegye's view of principle as having substance and function, the fundamental premise of all of T'oegye's positions on these matters, see ibid., pp. 55‑57.


5. Diagram of Rules of the White Deer Hollow Academy


1. The rules appear in CTTC, 74.16b‑17a; T'oegye has left out one sentence which distributes the items which belong to the investigation of principle and earnestly practicing, for this distribution is graphically evident in his diagram.

2.                        These remarks immediately follow the rules, ibid., 74.17a-b.


236          Notes to pp. 105‑113


3. The CTTC text employs a different phrase here, but the meaning is essentially the same.

4. A scholar, not to be confused with the famous Tang poet, Li Po.

5. Tao‑hsüeh (Kor. tohak), literally "the learning of the (true) Tao" is a common designation for the Ch'eng‑Chu school of thought. It focuses particularly upon the serious moral concern which was central to this movement, but it also implies a fullness of truth, and its appropriation by this school of thought aroused considerable antagonism during Chu Hsi's lifetime.

6. See above, Address on Presenting the Ten Diagrams, p. 00.

7. See, for example, Letter to Kim Ijŏng, TGCS, A, 29.1Ob, p. 681.

8. Isan wŏngyu (Rules for the I Mountain Academy), TGCS, 41.52a, A, p. 936.

9. The courtesy name of Pak Yŏng (1471‑1540) was Chasil, and his honorific name Songdang. He was primarily a military man and came from a military family, but spent the years 1494‑1506 (the reign of Yŏnsan'gŭn) in retirement chiefly studying the Great Learning. His collected works are entitled Songdang chip.

10. "Integral substance" is the perfect fullness and wholeness of principle; "great function" is the correlated active and perfect responsiveness to all creatures and circumstances. These stand for the ultimate perfection; thus Chu Hsi describes the final perfection of the investigation of principle and the extension of knowledge in these terms in the passage he introduces to supplement for the "lost" fifth chapter of the commentary section of the Great Learning.

11. Chu Hsi was largely responsible for the emergence of the Four Books (Great Learning, Analects, Mencius, and Doctrine of the Mean) as the authoritative core of the classical corpus; he held that these works contained the words of Confucius and Mencius, while the other Classics were to varying degrees further removed and less reliable reflections of the masters' teachings. On Chu Hsi's revision of the classical corpus and its significance, see Wing‑tsit Chan, "Chu Hsi's Completion of Neo-Confucianisml," pp. 81‑87.

12. See below, chapter 6, on the Four‑Seven Debate, which was centered on these issues as they relate to understanding the relationship of human nature and kinds of feelings. This passage is part of one of the important letters of the debate.

13. On Kija, see Presentation, note 16.

14. On tohak, see above, note. 5

15. The sage King Wen (1184?‑1135? B.C.) was the founder of the Chou dynasty.

16. This letter, written in 1543, is the earliest indication that T'oegye had resolved to resign and withdraw from public life. The "humiliating remarks" he mentions refers to the fact that in the atmosphere which prevailed any such attempt would be (and was) cynically criticized as a self‑serving evasion of public duty.

17. Cf. Introduction, "Rise of the Sarim Mentality and the Literati Purges."

18. The early years of the reign of Yonsan'gun (r. 1494‑1506) are a clear example of this, for he was blocked at every turn by stubborn resistance and criticism from the three powerful official organs of remonstrance, the Office of the Inspector


Notes to pp. 113‑117           237


General, the Office of the Censor General, and the Office of Special Councilors. There ensued the bloodiest and most violent purges of Neo‑Confucian officials in Yi dynasty history. See Edward Wagner, The Literati Purges, pp. 33‑69.

19. See especially his Kan Kwae sanggu kangŭi (Lecture on the Uppermost Yang Line of the Ch'ien Hexagram), TGCS, A, 7.48a‑49a, pp. 217‑218. This was a theme to which he frequently returned in his talks with King Sŏnjo.

20. See his Mujin kyŏngyŏn kyech'a i (Second Exposition of 1568 from the Classics Mat), TGCS, A, 7.3a‑4b, p. 195, which is devoted entirely to this theme.

21. See Introduction, "Rise of the Sarim Mentality and the Literati Purges." T'oegye wrote his biography, which appears in TGCS, A, 48.28a‑38a, pp. 1061-­1066.

22. T'oegye uses it in this way in the letter in which he appeals for official royal sanction of the White Cloud Hollow Academy. See Letter to Sim Pangbaek, TGCS, A, 9.4a‑8b, pp. 262‑264.

23. The courtesy name of Chu Sebong was Kyŏngyu, and his honorific name Sinjae. His subsequent career included posts as Headmaster of the Confucian Academy and Governor of Hwanghae Province, where he established another private academy which in 1555 was honored with a royal bequest of a name plaque and books.

24. On An Hyang, see Introduction, "The Late Koryŏ‑Early YI Transition period. "

25. Earlier in this letter T'oegye mentions that in founding this academy Chu Sebong had to overcome criticism from those who questioned his action and thought it strange.

26. These figures are taken from a table in Yi Ch'unhŭi, Yijo sŏwŏn munch'ang ko (Investigation of the Library Collections of Yi Dynasty Private Academies), p. 17.

27. Ibid., p. 16. The table on p. 17 lists a total of only 650 private academies; there is no indication of where the figure of "over 800" comes from; perhaps it takes into account the fact that the records upon which the table is based are not exhaustive.

28. After the Japanese Invasions (1590‑1598) publishing became a common function of the private academies. Their libraries were an important local cultural resource. The core of these libraries was the standard Neo‑Confucian collection of the basic works of the Ch'eng‑Chu school such as the Chu Tzu ta-ch'üan, Chu Tzu Yü-lei, Hsing-li ta-ch'üan, etc. Included also were Korean works, but generally an academy would include only works associated with the intellectual lineage of its own faction, so the minds of those educated in this context were already biased regarding the major issues debated in the course of the Yi dynasty. About 80 percent of the publishing activities were devoted to munjips (collected writings) and memoirs selected according to factional ties. See ibid., pp. 22‑25.

29. These rituals had a formative or educational function insofar as they were occasions for reflecting upon and honoring ideal role models. But even in the earliest (1595) memorials questioning the development of these academies, it is mentioned that many who are so honored in various academies are in fact insignificant personages. Ibid., p. 18.

30. Ibid., pp. 16‑18.


238          Notes to pp. 117‑124


31. Ibid., p. 21. Page 19 presents a chart describing 25 restrictive measures the government took against the academies between 1655‑1871; 19 of these measures fall in the first 100 years of that period, reflecting their general ineffectiveness until 1741, when harsh sanctions were enacted and 300 academies actually were destroyed.


6. Diagram of the Saying, "The Mind Combines and Governs the

Nature and the Feelings"


1. On Ki Taesŭng, see Introduction, note 33. He was only thirty‑two years old, twenty‑seven years junior to T'oegye, when the debate between them began. The learning, tenacity, and thoroughness of his argumentation against T'oegye were a great contribution to what was attained in the course of the debate. That T'oegye allowed himself to be pressed so hard by one so much his junior reflects a rare intellectual humility and openness on his part, especially in a social context which normally demanded great deference to one's elders.

2. The courtesy name of Sŏng Hon (1535‑1598) was Howŏn, and his hon­orific name was Ugye. He was a close friend of Yulgok, but although he had never studied with T'oegye, he was convinced of T'oegye's position and debated the issue from 1572‑1577 in correspondence with Yulgok. This discussion, occurring just two years after T'oegye's death, attracted wide attention.

3. See Mencius, 2A:6.

4. The Seven Feelings are listed in the Book of Rites, ch. 9. The shorter list of feelings in the first chapter of the Doctrine of the Mean, pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy, are considered likewise to represent the seven, and along with Mencius, the Doctrine of the Mean's handling of the feelings is a major consideration in discussing this issue.

5. See chapter 2, note 32.

6. Chang Tzu chüan‑shu, 14.2a. The verb in this sentence, t'ung, has a range of meaning which includes both the idea of combining and the associated idea of exercising governance or command. This ambivalence was fruitfully exploited by Neo‑Confucians, who refer to the saying both in the context of discussing the mind as the subject which combines the nature and feelings as its substance and function, and in the context of discussing the distinctive role of the mind as presiding over the two; the present chapter is a case in point. The two discussions are intimately related, and whichever aspect of t'ung is in the forefront in a given context, its alternative is implicit within it. For this reason, as well as for consistency, I will translate t'ung as "combines and governs," whatever the immediate context, except in cases where it is used in a compound which singles out one of its aspects.

7. This description draws heavily on the language of traditional Confucian formulas. The Book of Rites, ch. 9, says: "Thus man is [composed ofl the virtue of Heaven and Earth, the interaction of yin and yang, the combination of the physical and the spiritual, and the most excellent material force of the Five Agents." The commentary of Kung Ying‑to (fl. c. 620 A.D.) remarks: "Man is stirred by the most


Notes to pp. 124‑126           239


excellent material force of the Five Agents and hence possesses humanity, righ­teousness, propriety, wisdom, and faithfulness; these are 'the most excellent material force of the Five Agents.'. . . The combination of the physical and the spiritual, and the most excellent material force of the Five Agents constitute man's nature "Li‑chi cheng‑i, 22). While much of the language of this description is preserved by the Neo-­Confucians, the introduction of the dualism of principle and material force and the equation of the nature with principle are a new departure that transforms the sig­nificance of the traditional description.

8. From the Book of Changes, Appended Remarks, pt. I, ch. 10: "The Changes is without thought, without action; it is still and unmoving. When acted on, it immediately penetrates all things." Here the characteristics of the mind of a sage are applied to the Book of Changes; Neo‑Confucians reapply the passage to describe the substance and function of the mind of everyman. Thus it becomes part of a theoretical framework which will support everyman's cultivation of sagehood.

9. Mencius, 6A:8; see also 7A:21.

10. Ibid., 2A:6.

11. This paragraph is based on the Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 1. See discussion below, Commentary, "The Two States of the Mind."

12. I‑ch'uan wen‑chi, 4. la. Yen Hui was the foremost of Confucius' disciples, and was especially praised by the Master for his love of learning.

13. In speaking with King Sŏnjo, T'oegye says, "The first diagram was made by Ch'eng Lin‑yin, but in his distinguishing principle and material force there were many inexact points. Thus I removed them and made the second and third diagrams distinguishing the original nature and the physical nature as they are discussed by Mencius, the Ch'eng brothers, and Master Chu" (ŎHN, 3.27a, B, p. 832). The T'oegye sŏnsaeng munjip kojŭng, a book of annotations to T'oegye's Collected Works compiled by the eighteenth century Korean scholar, Yu Towŏn, gives further details: "In Ch'eng's original diagram, "mind" was in the center of the circle with "combines and governs the nature" and "combines and governs the feelings" arranged to the right and left. Beneath the word "principle," "called humanity" etc., was absent," in TGCS (B, 3.32b‑33a, pp. 1119‑120). When we put these passages together, it seems likely that T'oegye felt that Ch'eng's arrangement of words within the circle suggested a division of nature and feelings according to principle and material force, an oversimplification which he is careful to correct with his own two additional diagrams.

14. Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 1. This work was traditionally attributed to Tzu Ssu, the grandson of Confucius.

15. Mencius, 6A:6.

16. I-shu, 22A:lla.

17. Cheng meng, ch. 6.

18. Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 1.

19. Mencius, 2A:6.

20. Ts'ui yen, 2.25a.

21. Yü-lei 4. lOb.


240          Notes to pp. 126‑132


22. Analects, 17.2.

23. I-shu, 1.7b.

24. Cheng meng, ch. 6: "After assuming concrete form there is the physical nature; if one is good at returning it [to its original condition] then the nature of Heaven and Earth is preserved in one. Therefore, with regard to the physical nature, there is that which the superior man denies to be his nature." This passage was of great importance, for in it Chang Tsai ennunciates for the first time the key doctrine of a "physical nature," and points the way to the distinction of what comes to be called the "original nature."

25. Yü-lei, 4.lOb.

26. That is, material force may by its turbidity distort the feelings, which would be purely good if their issuance depended solely upon principle.

27. This twofold formula is famous as T'oegye's culminating expression of the relationship of the Four Beginnings and Seven Feelings. The "principle mounting material force" description of the Seven Feelings is borrowed from a horse and rider image Chu Hsi occasionally used to express the basic relationship of principle and material force. However, he used it only in a cosmic context. It is notable that T'oegye uses it for only one set of feelings; Yulgok argues strongly that this single formula must be used for both sets of feelings, there being only one way in which principle and material force relate, whether at the cosmic or the human level (See Yulgok chŏnsŏ, 10.15b‑16a).

28. I-shu, 6.2a.

29. Book of Documents, 11.2.15. This passage is the classical locus for the contrasting concepts, "the human mind" and "the mind of the Tao," making it an essential reference point for Neo‑Confucians. For further discussion, see below, chap­ter 8.

30. This separation led to a dispute among T'oegye's contemporaries re­garding whether the nature could be regarded as acting prior to the mind. See Letter to Kim Ijŏng, TGCS, A, 30.17a‑19b, pp. 685‑686.

31. Pal (Chinese, fa), the term here translated as "aroused," I have translated as "issues," "issuance," etc., in discussing the relationship of the nature and the feelings in order to avoid the implication that feelings are something separate from the nature that the nature acts upon and arouses. This is usually done by translating pal as "manifests," but this conventional rendition is inadequate for the context of the Four‑Seven Debate, where the focus of the issue is the causal activation or issuance of the feelings by principle and material force.

32. "Cautious and fearful" not in the sense of being anxious and watchful, which would be active, but in the sense of the profound reverence and carefulness evoked by the presence of the sacred, an attitude fully in keeping with a quiescent state of mind.

33. T'oegye first used this formula in 1553 in emending a basically similar expression in the Ch'ŏnmyŏng to (Diagram of the Heavenly Mandate), a work of his contemporary, Chŏng Chi‑un (1509‑1561). On the Ch'ŏnmyŏng to, see chapter 3,


Notes to pp. 132‑140           241


note 30. For the original and emended diagrams, and T'oegye's long preface, see

TGCS, A, 41.1a‑lla, pp. 911‑916. For the chapters of explanation, see TGCS, B,

8.12b‑20b, pp. 140‑144.

             34. TGCS, A, 16.1b, p. 402.

             35. TGCS, A, 16.12b‑14a, pp. 407‑408.

             36. TGCS, A, 16.8a‑12b, pp. 405‑407.

             37. Yü-lei, 53.17b. This brief statement seems to be the only expression of this doctrine in Chu Hsi's works; since Chu Hsi did not devote explicit attention to this issue, it could not be finally settled on his authority.

             38. Sa chil li ki wangbok sŏ (The Correspondence Exchanged in the Four­

Seven, Principle and Material Force Debate), 1.6b‑286, in Kobong chŏnsŏ (The Complete Works of Ki Taesŭng), pp. 249‑260. This work contains the complete corre­spondence of both T'oegye and Ki Taesŭng relating to the debate; it was published and circulated separately, and was also incorporated into the Kobong chŏnsŏ.

             39. TGCS, A, 16.19a‑45a, pp. 411‑424.

             40. TGCS, A, 16.25a‑28a, pp. 414‑415.

             41. Sa chil li ki wangbok sŏ, 2.1a‑226, Kobong chŏnsŏ, pp. 273‑283.

             42. TGCS, A, 17.2b‑3a, pp. 428‑429. Although he never sent a reply to

Ki's second long response, he did evidently jot some notes in response to various

sections of it. These have been edited and put together with the sections of Ki's

original letter to which they are addressed, and treated as if it were a letter to Ki.

This work appears only in TGCS, A, 17>3a‑66, pp. 429‑430.

             43. Sa chil li ki wangbok sŏ, 2.25a‑27a, Kobong chŏnsŏ, pp. 285‑286.

             44. To this point the passage is a paraphrase of T'oegye's position presented in TGCS, A, 16,9a‑10a, p. 406. Emphasis is mine.

              45. Ki and T'oegye are both aware that T'oegye's insistence on a causal

differentiation underlying the verbal distinctions made in the authoritative sources is an interpretive move that goes beyond what is explicitly said by Chu Hsi on this matter, although T'oegye is convinced he is being loyal to Chu Hsi's intent.

             46. Sa chil li ki wangbok sŏ, 1.9a‑10a, Kobong chŏnsŏ, p. 259.

             47. Cf. TGCS, A, 16.27a‑28a, p. 415.

             48. Sa chil li ki wangbok sŏ, 1.25b, Kobong chŏnsŏ. P. 259.

             49. Mencius, 2A:6.

             50. The language of principle mounting material force was applied by Ki Taesŭng to the Four Beginnings; T'oegye here concedes the usage insofar as it expresses the interdependence of principle and material force. In his own final formulation, however, he abandons this image in describing the Four Beginnings, because it cannot   bring out the priority of principle which is his point.

             51. The.discussion at this point has touched on the Great Learning, com­

mentary section, ch. 7, which discusses these four feelings in negative terms. T'oegye            views these four, and the remarks made about them, to pertain generically to the Seven Feelings.

             52. For a discussion of the differences between the development of Chu Hsi's



242          Notes to pp. 143‑147


thought in China and the issues which become paramount in Korea with T'oegye's thought, see Tu Wei‑ming, "T'oegye's Creative Interpretation of Chu Hsi's Philosophy of Principle."



7. Diagram of the Explanation of Humanity


1. Analects, 12:22.

2. Mencius, 2A:6.

3. The "Treatise" (Jen shuo) is to be found in ChuTzu ta‑ch'üan, 67.206­216. For an English translation, see Wing‑tsit Chan, Sourcebook, pp. 593‑597.

4. The "Diagram" appears in Yü‑lei, 105.71a. The "Treatise" and the "Dia­gram" appear together in HLTC‑Sb.

5. Wing‑tsit Chan notes that this formulation is central in Chu Hsi's treat­ment of jen, and appears in over ten places in his notes on the Analects and Mencius, including Analects 1:2 and Mencius IA:1. See Wing‑tsit Chan (Chen Jung‑chieh), "Lün Chu‑tzu chih jenshuo" (Discussion of Chu Hsi's Treatise on Jen).

6. See ibid., p. 391, where Chan discusses the "Diagram".

7. A saying of Ch'eng I: Wai-shu, 3.1a. Sheng, here rendered "produce and give life," means life, the generation of life, or production. The idea of the universe here is one of a dynamic, vital organism which continually produces new life and also functions to support and foster it through the whole process of growth and fruition, a concept that becomes central in the Neo‑Confucian interpretation of jen. See discussion below, Commentary, "Jen as the Generative Life‑Force."

8. From Ch'eng I's comparison of the mind with a seed, and jen as its nature to grow: I-shu, 18.2a. See discussion below, Commentary, "]en as the Generative Life‑Force. "

9. Analects, 12.1. Chou Tun‑i attempted to equate jen with impartiality, but while the two are closely connected, impartiality is only a state of consciousness and does not do justice to the social, relational nature of jen; thus Chu Hsi here connects them but avoids equating them. See Wing‑tsit Chan, "The Evolution of the Neo‑Confucian Concept of Jen," pp. 311‑312.

10. This follows Ch'eng I's description of the relationship of filial piety, respectfulness, and altruism to jen: I-shu, 18.16 and 15.86. One sees here how the Neo‑Confucian categories of substance and function serve to give a systematic order to the many ideas that were traditionally closely associated with or equated with jen.

11. T'oegye's text has chih ("know") instead of the very similar character, chih ("wisdom") which appears in both the HLTC and the Chu Tzu ta-ch'üan. I have followed the latter meaning. The variant reading would not alter the point of the comment, which is a critique of Hsieh Liang‑tso's attempt to interpret jen as con­sciousness (see discussion below, Commentary, "Jen as consciousness. Chu Hsi says that consciousness is the function of wisdom, and related to jen insofar as jen encom­passes the other virtues of the natures, including wisdom; hence it is a distortion to use it as a direct manifestation of jen (see CTTC, 42.19a‑b, Letter to Wu HuI-shu).



Notes to pp. 147‑154           243


12. T'oegye has shortened the original text of the Treatise by 301 characters (the original text totals 824 characters). What he has omitted is either already clear in the Diagram, or an embellishment rather than a main idea, or, in the case of the final paragraph which he omitted, an expansion on the difficulties which attend the interpretations of Hsieh Liang‑tso and Yang Shih. His intention to shorten the text is clear from the manner in which he omits even inessential pronouns and short phrases that do not alter the basic meaning or coherence of the text. His need to do this undoubtedly stemmed from his intention to produce a text each chapter of which could be mounted on a single panel of a ten‑panel screen. The text of this chapter, in its shortened form, can just be fit into such a format. The same considerations are also probably the reason for the very abbreviated nature of T'oegye's own remarks in this chapter.

13. Changes, Hexagram number 1, Ch'ien (Heaven).

14. Analects, 12:1.

15. Analects, 13:19.

16. Both of these sayings come from the Classic of Filial Piety, ch. 14.

17. A paraphrase of I-shu, 11.56.

18. I-shu, 18.1a.

19. Instead of "said," (wei), the text in Chu Tzu ta-ch'üan reads "criticized" (he); the text in HLTC, however, like T'oegye, has wei.

20. This refers to the doctrine of Yang Shih. See discussion, Commentary, "The Universe as a Single Body."

           21. This refers to Hsieh Liang‑tso. See discussion, below, Commentary, " Jen as Consciousness."

22. Analects, 6:30.

23. I-shu, 24.3a.

24. Great Learning, commentary section, ch. 3.

25. I-shu, ZA.2a.

26. HLTC, 35.76, annotation to text of Treatise.

27. Wing‑tsit Chan tr., Sourcebook, p. 596.

28. Chan, "Lun Chu‑tzu jen‑shuo," p. 391.

29. The courtesy name of Chang Shih (1133‑1180) was Chin‑fu (or Ching-­fu), and his honorific name was Nan‑hsien. He was an illustrious scholar and a close friend of Chu Hsi. Chi Hsi formulated his "Treatise" in the context of an ongoing discussion and debate on the issues with Chang. The most important letters dealing directly with the "Treatise" are to be found in CTTC, 32.16b‑21b.

30. CTTC, 32.19a, Letter to Chang Chin‑fu).

31. C77C, 32.21a.

32. Analects, 12:1.

33. Changes, Appended Remarks, pt. 2, ch. 1.

34. Changes, Hexagram no. 24, fu (return).

35. Yŭ‑lei, 95.86‑9a.

36. These two phrases are the essence of Chu Hsi's analysis of jen. See above, note 5.



244          Notes to pp. 154‑159


37. I-shu, 18.2a.

38. Yü-lei, 95.9a; this is a continuation of the passage in which he also elaborated Ch'eng Hao's paralysis image (see above, note 31).

39. CTTC, 74.19a.

40. Chan, "The Evolution of the Neo‑Confucian Concept of Jen, " p. 316.

41. The courtesy name of Hsieh Liang‑tso (1059‑1103) was Hsien‑tao, and his honorific name was Shang‑ts'ai. He was one of the most distinguished pupils of the Ch'eng brothers.

42. HLTC, 35.76, annotation to text of "Treatise."

43. See Yü-lei, 6.166.

44. See Yü-lei, 6.17a.

45. CTTC, 32.20a‑b, Letter to Chang Chin‑fu.

46. It is possible that in scanning T'oegye's correspondence some relevant passages may have been missed, but those I have found are as follows: The longest passage (37.116‑136) discusses Analects 6:23, which relates jen and wisdom to moun­tains and water respectively. Two passages (21.22a‑b; 35.366‑37a) discuss the sub­stance‑function relationship of jen and wisdom mentioned by Chu Hsi in his commentary on the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate." Another passage explains sayings of Ch'eng I that link jen to the pulse and to the sight of a baby chick (21.13a­b). There are two passing references to jen in terms directly connected with the "Treatise" and "Diagram" (25.36a; 37.26a). One letter explicates a passage in which Ch'eng I discusses commiseration in terms of life or vitality and briefly reaffirms the relationship of consciousness with knowing and wisdom (24.66‑7a); another discusses jen and commiseration in the course of considering the transcendent unity of principle and the mind's similar transcending of the distinction of interior and exterior (19.37b­38a).

47. See Chu sŏ chŏryŏ (The Essentials of Chu Hsi's Letters), 3.21a‑22a; 28b­29a; 396‑41a (selections from letters to Chang Chin‑fu [Chang Shih), and 9.llb­12a (Letter to Wu HuI-shu).

48. TGCS, A, 24.7a, p. 579, Letter to Chŏng Chajung.

49. See above, note 29.



8. Diagram of the Study of the Mind


1. On the Classic of the Mind‑and‑Heart, see above, Introduction, "T'oegye's Learning. "

2. An early Ming dynasty scholar, Ch'eng Min‑cheng (1445‑1499+), pro­duced the Hsin‑ching fu‑chu. His honorific name was Huang‑tun. For a long time T'oegye had no information on his life, but finally became aware of an account which indicated certain flaws in his character, a revelation which was a heavy blow for T'oegye, as he recounts in his postscript to the Classic (Simgyŏng huron, TGCS, A, 41.12a‑13a). Ch'eng's greatly expanded edition adds extensive quotes from Chu Hsi and Ch'eng I dealing with every aspect of mindfulness, making it rather prolix and



Notes to pp. 159‑162           245


repetitious. But T'oegye defended it when some of his pupils suggested that it should be reedited, saying that it already possessed a near classic status and was not to be tampered with (A, 23.30a‑b, p. 562, Letter to Cho Sagyŏng).

3. On Ch'eng Fu‑hsin, see above, chapter 2, note 32.

4. Hsin-ching fu-chu, table of contents, p. 5b.

5. A, 14.366, p. 378, Letter to Yi Sukhŏn.

6. On the development of the study of the mind‑and‑heart in the Yuan dynasty, see Wm. Theodore deBary, Neo‑Confucian Orthodoxy and the Learning of the Mind‑and‑Heart, pp. 67‑185; pp. 73‑82 deal particularly with Chen's Classic of the Mind‑and Heart.

7. This text appears in Hsin-ching fu-chu, table of contents, pp. 5a‑b.

8. Mencius, 4B:12: "The Great Man is he who does not lose his mind of the infant."

9. Mencius, 6A:8. After describing how a mountain is deforested not because it is naturally barren but because of the constant violence cutting timber and pasturing animals have done its vegetation, he says: "As for man, how could he but have a mind of humanity and righteousness! The way he loses his naturally good mind is similar to the way the bills and axes [destroyed] the trees."

10. Book of Documents, pt. 2, 2.15. See below, Commentary, "The Human Mind and the Mind of the Tao."

11. See above, note 7.

12. Mencius, 6A:10.

13. See above, note 10.

14. Book of Documents, pt. 2, 2.15, and Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 20, respectively.

15. Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 1: "There is nothing more visible than what is hidden, nothing more manifest than what is subtle; therefore the superior man is watchful over himself when alone." As for the other items on this side, "overcome and return" is from Analects, 12:1: "To overcome oneself and return to propriety constitutes humanity." "The mind is present" refers to Great Learning, commentary section, ch. 7: "When the mind is not present, we look but do not see, listen but do not hear, eat, but do not know the taste. This is what is meant by saying that the cultivation of one's person consists of the rectification of one's mind." "Recovering the errant mind," comes from Mencius, 6A:11: "How lamentable it is to neglect the path and not pursue it, to lose one's [innately good] mind and not know to seek it! . . . The tao of learning is nothing other than seeking the errant mind, and that is all." "The mind is rectified" refers to the Great Learning, ch. 1: "Those who wished to cultivate their persons would first rectify their minds."

16. Mencius, 2A:2, in which Mencius says of himself, "At forty my mind was not moved [by high position, power, and the like]."

17. Mencius, 3B:2. This is from his description of "the great man."

18. Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 1: "The Tao cannot be separated from us for a moment; what can be separated from us is not the Tao. Therefore the superior man is cautious about what he does not see and apprehensive about what he does not


246          Notes to pp. 162‑167


hear." As for the other items on this side, "grasp and preserve" comes from Mencius, 6A:8: "Confucius said, "If you grasp it, it will be preserved; if you let it go, it will be lost. . . ' This is the characterization of the mind." "The mind exercises thought" refers to Mencius, 6A:15: "The office of the mind is thought. If it exercises thought, it attains [what is proper]; if it does not exercise thought, it does not attain it." "Nurturing the mind" refers to Mencius, 7B:35: "To nurture the mind, there is nothing as good as making the desires few." "Exhaustively realized" comes from Mencius, 7A:1: "He who has exhaustively realized his mind will know his nature; he who knows his nature knows Heaven. Preserving the mind and nurturing one's nature are the ways to serve Heaven."

19. Analects, 2:2, where Confucius says of himself, "At seventy, I could follow the inclinations of my heart and mind without transgressing what was right."

20. Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 20; this describes the qualities of a sage.

21. I-shu, 15.20a.

22. I-shu, 15.66.

23. A saying of Hsieh Liang‑tso, HLTC, 46.146. These three sayings are among the most important early descriptions of mindfulness.

24. See Great Learning, ch. 1.

25. This was actually T'oegye's own major reservation about this diagram until he hit upon this solution. See A, 23, 276‑296, pp. 561‑562, Letter to Cho Sagyŏng.

26. Mencius, 6A:11.

27. Great Learning, commentary section, ch. 7.

28. Analecu, 6:7.

29. See Changes, Appended Remarks, pt. 2, ch. 4.

30. T'oegye especially praises Ch'eng Fu‑hsin for his reluctance to serve a ruler whose proper claim to the throne was questionable (this was a Mongol dynasty), a quality highly emphasized by Korean Neo‑Confucians (see Introduction on the "sarim mentality"), and also for his devotion to the pursuit of learning during long years of retirement, which T'oegye himself esteemed highly and sought with an urgency that approached almost desperation.

31. On these phrases, see above, notes 8‑13.

32. Book of Documents, pt. 2, 2.15.

33. The "emptiness" of the mind refers to its being empty of any definite object, including the self (no innate self‑centeredness) or any other object; hence it is universal in scope, able to respond to anything appropriately. T'oegye is thus inclined to attribute emptiness particularly to the "principle" aspect of mind in view of the transcendent all‑inclusiveness and nonspecificity of principle. "Spirituality" (gong, ling) has to do with the mysterious, nonphysical mode of the mind's activity, which T'oegye attributes to the purity of subtlety (yong, ling) of the material force aspect of the mind's constitution. See Chŏnmyŏng tosŏl, ch. 6, B, 8.17a‑b, p. 143. See also his lengthy defense of this position, especially with reference to relating principle and emptiness, which Ki Taesŭng critized: A, 16.40a‑42a, pp. 421‑422, Letter to Ki Myŏngŏn.



Notes to pp. 167‑178        247


34. Hsin-ching fu-chu,‑b.

35. Wm. Theodore deBary, Neo‑Confucian Orthodoxy and the Learning of the Mind‑and‑Heart, pp. 81‑82.

36. A, 23.236‑24a, p. 559, Letter to Cho Sagyŏng.

37. A, 25.19a‑b, p. 600, Letter to Chŏng Chajung.

38. From the beginning of the Four‑Seven Debate T'oegye saw the distinction between the Four Beginnings and Seven Feelings as paralleling the mind of the Tao and human mind, and one notes a similarity between his careful qualification of the human mind as initially `correct' and the recognition, forced upon him by Ki Taesŭng's criticism, that the Seven Feelings are originally "nothing but good." (See his com­ments in chapter 6 on the third diagram.)

39. deBary, Neo‑Confucian Orthodoxy and the Learning of the Mind‑and‑Heart, pp. 81‑82.

40. A, 14.40b, p. 380, Letter to Yi Sukhŏn.

41. On this development, see deBary, Neo‑Confucian Orthodoxy and the Learning of the Mind‑and‑Heart, pp. 78‑82. Ki Taesŭng's strong defense of the Seven Feelings in the Four‑Seven Debate originated from his opposition to a current tendency in Korea that gave them no connection with man's original nature, a manifestation of a similar sort of excessive rigorism and negativity regarding the place of these feelings. See Sa chil i ki wangbok sŏ, 2.186, in Kobong chŏnjip, p. 281.



9. Diagram of the Admonition for Mindfulness Studio


1. ŎHN, 1.206, TGCS, B, p. 798.

2. See below, note 9.

3. Reference to I-shu, 18.3a.

4. Reference to I-shu, 11.2a, a paraphrase of Odes, #266.

5. According to Chu Hsi's explanation, YL, 105.8a, these are not the familiar small anthills, but hillocks or towers of mud which are found in north China; they are close together, the path between them being like narrow, twisting alleys.

6. Analects, 12:2.

7. Odes, #195, also quoted in Analects, 8:3, and Classic of Filial Piety, ch. 3: "Always cautious and fearful, as if overlooking a deep gulf, as if treading on thin ice. "

8. Book of Rites, ch. 24, On What is Proper in Ancestor Sacrifices (Li chi cheng‑i, chuan 47, in Shih‑san thing chu‑shu, p. 1593): "How reverent! How sincere! As if [fearing] not to succeed, as if about to lose it; their filial and reverent dispositions are indeed perfect!"

9. The versions of the Admonition found in Chu Tzu ta‑ch'uan, 85.6a, and Hsing‑Li ta‑ch'üan, 70.24a have ching ("discerning, refined") instead of hsin ("heart, mind") in this phrase, a reading which would make it a quote of the Book of Documents, pt. 2, 2.15; "The human mind is insecure, the mind of the Tao is subtle; be discerning, be undivided. Hold fast the Mean!" The text as it appears in the annotated and



248          Notes to pp. 178‑181


supplemented version of the Classic of the Mind‑and‑Heart (Hsin-ching fu-chu, 4.21a) has the reading followed by T'oegye.

10. A paraphrase of I-shu, 15.9a.

11. Paraphrasing Chuang Tzu, ch. 11, which says of man's mind‑and‑heart: "Its heat is that of burning fire, its cold that of solid ice," a reference to the feelings of anger and fear, respectively.

12. Ssu‑ma Ch'ien's preface to the Shih chi (Shih chi, chüan 130): "Miss it by a hair's breadth and it becomes a discrepancy of a thousand li. " He ascribes the saying to the Book of Changes, but it is no longer to be found there. The saying became a commonplace of which Neo‑Confucians were particularly fond. It applies both to dealing with affairs, and even more to the world of the intellect, where it was felt slight inaccuracies might ramify into a serious departure from the true Tao--­especially slipping into Buddhism.

13. The "Three Guidelines" are the bonds between ruler and minister, father and son, and husband and wife, the former providing the standard for the latter in each of these relationships. The "Nine Laws" refers to the nine sections of the Grand Plan (Legge, Book of Documents, V.4), which constitute a virtual charter for civilization.

14. YL, 105.8a, abbreviated.

15. YL, 105.8a.

16. YL, 105.82.

17. Quoted in Hsin-ching fu-chu, 4.216.

18. Lin‑ch'uan was the honorific name of Wu Ch'eng (1249‑1333); his courtesy name was Yu‑ch'ing, and he is also known by another honorific name, Tsao-­lu. He was a leading Yüan dynasty exponent of the Ch'eng‑Chu school of thought. An account of him appears in the Ihak T'ongnok, 10.8a‑1 lb, TGCS, B, pp. 507‑509.

19. Quoted in Hsin-ching fu-chu, 4.226.

20. On Chen, see Introduction, note 23.

21. Hsin-ching fu-chu, 4.226.

22. On Chang Shih, see chapter 7, note 29.

23. Chu‑tzu ta‑ch'üan, 85.56.

24. YL, 105.76.

25. The courtesy name of Wang Po (1197‑1274) was Hui‑chih, and Lu­chai was his honorific name. He was a leading scholar who studied with He Chi, a disciple of Chu Hsi's son‑in‑law and chief doctrinal heir, Huang Kan. The doctrine of mindfulness was one of his chief concerns, and this diagram arose through his own attempt to make Chu Hsi's Admonition the norm and guide of his daily life. For an account of him, see Sung‑Yüan hsüeh‑an, chüan 75.

26. Paraphrase of YL, 12.76.

27. Mencius 6A:11.

28. Ibid., 7A:1.

29. I-shu, 15.1 a.

30. Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 1.

31. Analects, 1:4: "Tseng Tzu said: `Everyday I examine myself on three



Notes to pp. 181‑189           249


points: In acting on behalf of others, have I been loyal; in my intercourse with friends, have I been faithful to my word; regarding [the instruction] that has been passed on to me, have I versed myself in it."

32. Analects, 8:4: "With regard to the Tao, the gentleman especially values three things: that in his deportment and manner he keep far from violence and heedlessness; that in regulating his countenance he keep near to good faith; that in his words and tones he keep far from lowness and impropriety."

33. Analects, 12:1: "Yen Yüan said: "I beg to ask the items [involved in overcoming oneself and returning to propriety].' The Master said: "Do not look at what is contrary to propriety, do not listen to what is contrary to propriety, do not say what is contrary to propriety, make no movement which is contrary to propriety' "

34. Confucius' two foremost disciples.

35. This is a slightly abridged quote from a letter of Chu Hsi to He Shu-­ching which T'oegye cites in his account of He Shu‑ching (Ihak T'ongnok, 3.7a, TGCS, B, p. 311). However the passage does not appear in any of Chu Hsi's 32 letters to He which appear in Chu Tzu ta-ch'üan, chüan 40, nor is it included in T'oegye's abridged edition of Chu Hsi's letters, the Chusŏ chŏryŏ.

36. I-shu, 15.66.

37. I-shu, 15.66.

38. I-shu, 15.1 a.

39. A saying of Ch'eng I's disciple, Yin T'un. On Yin, see above, chapter 4, number 8.

40. This is Hsieh Liang‑tso's expression of what constitutes mindfulness. See HLTC, 46.146. On Hsieh, see above, chapter 7, number 41.

41. Mencius 2A:2.

42. On Yi Tŏkhong, see above, chapter 3, nunber 22.

43. On these sayings, see above, numbers 40 and 39 respectively.

44. Mencius, 2A:2.

45. Ch'eng I's description, I-shu, 15.66.

46. Paraphrase of Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 1.

47. Reference to Mencius, 6A:11.

48. See above, notes 40, 39, 38 respectively.

49. The original letter from Yi I appears in Yulgok chŏnsŏ (The Complete Works of Yi I), 9.26‑3a. I have not been able to locate the original source of either of these quotations. According to the annotation in T'oegye munjip koch'ung, 4.306 (TGCS, B, p. 1141) the "Mister Fang" referred to is Fang Feng‑ch'en (fl. c. 1250), a Sung dynasty scholar. His courtesy name was Chün‑hsi, and his honorific name was Chiao‑feng.

50. Odes, #288.

51. Odes, #272.

52. Mencius, 7A:1.

53. Hsin-ching fu-chu, 1.46; the passages quote Odes #236 and #300 respectively.

54. Hsin-ching fu-chu, 1.Sa. T'oegye (Reply to Cho Sagyŏng, A, 23.31b‑



250          Notes to pp. 189‑207


32a, p. 563) notes that there is some doubt about the ascription of this passage to Chu Hsi, since it cannot be found in his commentary on the Odes, but he nonetheless feels it is possible the passage comes from somewhere else in Chu's works and is not inclined to ascribe it to the pen of Chen Te‑hsiu.

55. Reply to Kim Tonsŏ, A, 28.22b, p. 662.


10. Diagram of the Admonition on "Rising Early and Retiring Late"


1. The title is a reference to a passage in Book of Odes, #256. The author of the Admonition is Ch'en Po, a Sung dynasty scholar. His courtesy name was Mao-­ch'ing and his honorific name was Nan‑t'ang. There is no mention of him in the Sung‑Yüan hsüeh‑an or other standard biographical sources.

2. A, 10.14a, p. 288, Letter to No Susin.

3. Yen Hui and Tseng Tzu were two of Confucius' foremost disciples.

4. Ref. to Mencius, 6A:8, which describes how the atmosphere of the night tends to restore human nature to its proper condition and repair the violence done to it during the day.

5. Changes; the Ch'ien (Heaven) hexagram mentions four characteristics of Heaven. These were commonly matched with the four seasons, with steadfastness and origination belonging to winter and spring, respectively.

6. See above, number 1.

7. See chapter 9, number 25.

8. Doctrine of the Mean, ch. 1.

9. Ibid., ch. 1.

10. Reference to the final passages of Chu Hsi's Admonition for Mindfulness Studio, which appears above, chapter 9.

11. Mencius, 6A:15.

12. Ibid., 2A:2.

13. Ibid., 2A:2.

14. Analects, 9:11. In admiration on Confucius' teaching, Yen Hui says, "The more I try to bore into it, the harder it becomes."

15. Ibid., 1:8.