Today's sacred text is from Confucianism, which was the state religion of ancient China. Confucianism is chiefly concerned with virtue and how to behave properly, especially where one's parents or superiors are concerned. This is a section from the Confucian Analects as translated by James Legge on the Internet Sacred Text Archive.
The Confucian Analects
The Master said, "Where the solid qualities are in excess of
accomplishments, we have rusticity; where the accomplishments are in
excess of the solid qualities, we have the manners of a clerk. When
the accomplishments and solid qualities are equally blended, we then
have the man of virtue."
The Master said, "Man is born for uprightness. If a man lose his
uprightness, and yet live, his escape from death is the effect of mere
The Master said, "They who know the truth are not equal to those who
love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in
The Master said, "To those whose talents are above mediocrity, the
highest subjects may be announced. To those who are below
mediocrity, the highest subjects may not be announced."
Fan Ch'ih asked what constituted wisdom. The Master said, "To give
one's self earnestly to the duties due to men, and, while respecting
spiritual beings, to keep aloof from them, may be called wisdom." He
asked about perfect virtue. The Master said, "The man of virtue
makes the difficulty to be overcome his first business, and success
only a subsequent consideration;-this may be called perfect virtue."
The Master said, "The wise find pleasure in water; the virtuous find
pleasure in hills. The wise are active; the virtuous are tranquil. The
wise are joyful; the virtuous are long-lived."