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ESSAY ON THE MIND AND APPEARANCE (EXCERPT)
by Chen Xiyi (871 - 989, Song Dynasty)
English translation: Zhi Yue

Being content and being complacent are not the same:
those who are boastful encounter calamities, while those who are modest reap good fortune. Being talented and being pretentious are different from one another: those who are conceited often fail, while those who are honest are successful.

Those who aggressively seek victory and scheme for fame and profit will ultimately be inferior, while those who are sympathetic will be rescued along the way when met with difficulty.

Those who are determined easily achieve their goals, but how is protection from calamities ever guaranteed? Those with soft dispositions accomplish their tasks with difficulty, yet they are still able to receive peace and fortune.

Those who boast about their good deeds will not receive a meritorious name. Those who enjoy picking out the faults of others harm only their own lives. Those who blame others instead of themselves will not work well with others. Those who credit success to others, and mistakes to themselves, will be rescued from misfortunes.

── from Chen Xiyi Xinxiang Bianshu Shu (Chen Xiyi’s Narrative Essay on Mind and Appearance)