博 (Broadness)

博者廣也 大也 廣大慈悲 廣大靈感 皆博之義也

BO is Vastness, Broadness. BO also means vast mercifulness and profound massive spiritual feeling.

子思云 博厚配地 又云 溥博如天

此言聖人之道 浩大宏博 如天之覆 如地之載 而不可窺其涯際也

Zy Si1 said, “The thickness of BO is as thick as the earth.” And, “The broadness of BO is as vast as the sky.” These analogies suggest how enormous and broad is a Saint’s TAO which is like the cover of the sky above and the upholding support of the earth beneath that is without bounds.

1: Zy Si was a grandson of Confucius. When Zy Si was politically imprisoned, he preserved his grandfather’s philosophy by writing a book called Zhong Yong. Zhong means Non-bias; Yong means Universal truth.

耶穌傳教 以博愛為宗旨

Jesus preached with the objective of the BO of love.

彼其用意 無非欲將仁愛之道 流傳大千世界 俾世界之人 愛己愛人 無有差別


He desires to bring the BO of love to all peoples, all nations, so that mankind may love others as they love themselves, without distinction. This is Jesus’ will.

夫耶穌救世 以隻身遊歷亞歐各國 所到之處 皆以救苦為本 教人為懷

Jesus set out to fulfill his divine mission, his travels brought him from country to country where he taught the people principles of salvation.

考其言論 亦不外群賢列聖之常經 三綱五常之大要

On closer examination of his precepts, no discernible differences exist between his truth and the precepts of Saints and Sages of other cultures and religions. They are similar to the concepts of the Three Cardinal Guides1 and the Five Cardinal Constant Human Relationships2.

Note1: The Three Cardinal Guides are: Ruler guides Subject, Parent guides Child, Husband guides Wife.

Note2: The Five Cardinal Constant Human Relationships are: Parent and Child, Ruler and Subject, Husband and wife, Brothers, and friends.

故其入教之士 本其天之所賦 盡力化人 此耶教之所由大盛也

Since the time of Jesus, his followers have exercised their qualities of goodness to the utmost, to inspire the people. This is the reason why Jesus’ religion is so popular.

今世之人 有一長技 祕而寶之 恐其傳之既廣 於己身大有不利

People today conceal their skills, fearing that sharing their knowledge widely puts them at a disadvantage.

又見有師授其弟 必留一祕訣 恐其弟子高出於己

Certain teachers do not give completely of their abilities, fearing that their students will become better than they.

又見有創道之士 每每慳吝不傳 叩其故 則曰 天機不可洩漏 天道不可濫傳

不知天道無私 人生賴以養 草木賴以滋 禽獸賴以育

Some founders of religions are misers of their knowledge of life, and never pass it down to people. When questioned, they say that heavenly messages are not for all to know; or the heavenly TAO is only for the chosen. They don’t recognize that the heavenly TAO is impartial that humans rely on it to grow; plants rely on it for nourishment; and animals rely on it to feed.

初無彼此之殊 噫 持是說者 皆不明乎博之之義也

From the very beginning, there were meant to be no differences between people. Alas, those who hold such excuses do not understand the meaning of BO.

自古聖賢 身處廿字之中 神遊廿字之外

From ancient times, Saints have lived within the compass of the Twenty Characters Doctrine and their minds comprehended its entirety.

所謂廿字之中者 曰忠曰孝曰仁曰義曰信曰忍 皆舉一善以立名也

The phrase ‘within-the-compass-of-Twenty-Characters-Doctrine’ signifies that Saints have lived at least one of those Twenty Characters which figured in their lives prominently.

所謂廿字之外者 統忠孝仁義信忍諸美而一之

且又大而化之 由一己以推之於萬物 由一時以推之於萬世

至廣大而盡精微 極高明而道中庸

The phrase ‘comprehended-entirety-of-Twenty-Characters-Doctrine’ means that Saints have mastered those characters as a whole and thereby have further expanded and evolved in their essence. Such essence spreads out from one human self towards all living things and from one time to eternity, until essence reaches a state wherein it is vast in power, yet delicate in balance; ultimately superlative in excellence but modest in expressive character, (Zhong Yong).

邵子曰 超然環中 得其象外

程子曰 放之則彌六合


Scholar Shao1 said, “Existing above the cycle of truth and untruth2; attains a state beyond any sense or image of the universe.” Scholar Ching3 said, “In expanse, it encompasses six directions.4” These are perceptions of BO and nothing extends beyond the above broadness.

Note1: Scholar Shao (邵康節) was a philosopher of Confucianism in the Song Dynasty (AC 960-1279). He was also an I-Ching specialist. He liked study and never attempted to serve in any governmental office.

Note2: Truth and untruth, from Taoism’s point of view, comprises a cycle without beginning and ending like a link.”Existing above the cycle” means transcending the cycle to constitute the state of non-objectivity.

Note 3: Scholar Ching (程頤) was a master of Confucianism in the Song Dynasty (AC 960-1279). He emphasized that study be sincere and to search through reasoning.

Note4: The expression is implied in the TAO of Zhong Yong that it covers everywhere as many as six directions, from up, down, east, west, north and south.

且夫博之云者 即孟子善推所為之旨也

Regarding the definition of BO, Mencius said, “The principle of BAW is knowing how to disseminate.”

孟子言治道之要曰 天下之本在國 國之本在家 家之本在身

大學言平治之要 必推本於修身

According to Mencius, this is the essence of governance: ‘Countries are the foundation of the world; families are the foundation of a country; individuals are the foundation of a family.’ The book of Great Learning also recommends that the essence of peacefully administering a region or country is the cultivation of individual moral character.


Thus, the individual is the source of everything.

人能由本身做起 自家而國 漸推漸廣 自人而天 愈感愈應

If an individual starts behaving correctly and carries that forward to family and country, such an atmosphere will gradually spread and disseminate from humanity to the universe; the universe will feel it and respond to it.

由是物以誠格 天以人化

Especially, the matter of truth can be discovered by sincerity. The sorrow of the universe can be changed by mankind.

劫殺不聞 瘟蝗不見

盜賊不起 水旱不災 黑暗世界變為光明世界 豈不善乎

Thus, robbery and killing will no longer be heard of; disaster will not be seen. No more criminals will prey upon us and no more disastrous floods and droughts will afflict us, darkness becomes brightness. Isn’t that splendid!

孟子曰 故推恩足以保四海 不推恩無以保妻子

Mencius said: “Because of disseminating kindness, we will have enough to protect the whole world; if we don’t, we will have nothing to protect our families.”

古之人所以大過人者 無他焉 善推其所為而已矣

Ancient peoples always had greater perception than ordinary people of today, because they knew how to disseminate their best behavior.

博之一字 不外於推 能推則能博

The meaning of BO is dissemination. Being able to disseminate is BO.

是故義貫穹蒼 義之博也

Therefore, filling the vault of Heaven with Righteousness is the BO of Righteousness.

仁周萬物 仁之博也

Extending Benevolence to everything is the BO of Benevolence.

萬邦協和 和之博也

Harmonizing all countries is the BO of Harmony.

天下為公 公之博也

Treating the whole world impartially is the BO of Impartiality.

老吾老以及人之老 孝之博也

Loving older people the same as your parents and ancestors is the BO of Filial Piety.

幼吾幼以及人之幼 慈之博也

Loving other children as your own children and descendants is the BO of Mercifulness.

與天地合其德 德之博也

Living out the virtues of Heaven and Earth is the BO of Magnanimity.

與日月合其明 明之博也

Your heart, which is as bright as the Sun and Moon, is the BO of Straightforwardness.

質諸鬼神而無疑 百世以俟聖人而不惑 忠與信之博也

When we question deities about a “belief”, they respond without a doubt. Or, such “belief”, even waiting for a hundred lives of time, would not cause any suspicion towards those time frame sages. This belief is the BO of Faithfulness and Trustfulness.

廿字之中 能推廣一字 斯有一字之效驗

If any one of the Twenty Characters is disseminated to others, there will be one positive effect from that Character.

近有一班學士 專重科學 而謂神道為無憑

In recent times, some scientists have said that there is no evidence for religion.

不知科學亦由研究中得來 其原理亦不外陰陽五行之妙 道學亦然

In fact, the results from scientific research resemble the essence of Yin-Yang and the everlasting Five Elements theory1. Religious (TAO) study, too, has profound correlates in the results of scientific study.

Note1: The Five Elements are metal, wood, water, fire and earth, which are held by the ancients to comprise the physical universe and are later used in traditional Chinese medicine to explain various physiological and pathological phenomena.

科學道學 無有分別

There should be no discrepancy between religion and scientific study.

未入其門 不知其所 吾願有志君子 合科學神學而並講之

One who doesn’t open the door will never know what is behind it. I hope ambitious, honorable people will do research in both scientific and religious fields as one endeavor.

則天人一氣 陰陽一理 而無愧於博學大儒已

If so, Heaven and mankind will have the same goals1, Yin-Yang will have the same meaning. Thus, those scientists can have a clear conscience and be considered ‘Broadness Scholars!’

Note1: With TAO to maintain moral standards and science to improve living conditions, both can benefit mankind.