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Inspirational Wang Yangming Quotes

Wang Yangming (31 October 1472 – 9 January 1529), was a Chinese philosopher, educationist, and general during the Ming dynasty. This post features some Inspirational Wang Yangming Quotes.

After Zhu Xi, he is commonly regarded as the most important Neo-Confucian thinker, with interpretations of Confucianism that denied the rationalist dualism of the orthodox philosophy of Zhu Xi. Wang was known as “Yangming Xiansheng” and/or “Yangming Zi” in literary circles: both mean “Master Yangming”. Wang became a successful general and was known for the strict discipline he imposed on his troops.

Wang believed that only through simultaneous action could one gain knowledge and denied all other ways of gaining it. To him, there was no way to use knowledge after gaining it because he believed that knowledge and action were unified as one. Any knowledge that had been gained then put into action was considered delusion or false.

He held that objects do not exist entirely apart from the mind because the mind shapes them. He believed that it is not the world that shapes the mind, but the mind that gives reason to the world. Therefore, the mind alone is the source of all reason.

Wang Yangming Quotes
Wang Yangming Quotes

Wang Yangming Quotes

“The virtue of man lies in his ability to correct his mistakes and continually make a new man of himself.”
― Wang Yangming

“The inferior man attempts a hundred intrigues in order to save himself, but finishes only in creating a greater calamity from which he cannot run.”
Wang Yangming

“People today distinguish between knowledge and action and pursue them separately, believing that one must know before he can act… . They say [they will wait] till they truly know before putting their knowledge into practice. Consequently to the end of their lives, they will never act and also will never know.”
― Wang Yangming

“Perhaps immortality is a gift of heaven rather than the result of some human effort.”
― Wang Yangming

“Yin and Yang are one vital force — the primordial aura.”
― Wang Yangming

(In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (also yin-yang or yin yang, “dark—bright”) describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Many tangible dualities (such as light and dark, fire and water, expanding and contracting) are thought of as physical manifestations of the duality symbolized by yin and yang.)

“Knowledge is the beginning of practice; doing is the completion of knowing.”
Wang Yangming quotes

“The sages do not consider that making no mistakes is a blessing. They believe, rather, that the great virtue of man lies in his ability to correct his mistakes and continually make a new man of himself.”
― Wang Yangming

“To know and not to act is not to know.”
― Wang Yangming

“Thought and learning are of small value unless translated into action.”
― Wang Yangming

“If you really want to find out something about immortality, you have to live in the mountain forests for 30 years. If you succeed in perfecting your eyes and ears there, if you harmonize the heart and the will so that your mind becomes clear and pure and free of all that is evil, you will be able to discuss the matter.”
― Wang Yangming

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