“The [ancients], wanting to clarify and diffuse throughout the empire that light which comes from looking straight into the heart and then acting, first set up good government in their own states; wanting good government in their own states, they first established order in their own families; wanting order in the home, they first disciplined themselves; desiring self-discipline, they rectified their own hearts; and wanting to rectify their hearts, they sought precise verbal definitions of their inarticulate thoughts. Wishing to attain precise verbal definitions, they set to extend their knowledge to the utmost. This completion of knowledge is rooted in sorting things into organic categories.
When things had been classified in organic categories, knowledge moved toward fulfillment; given the extreme knowable points, the inarticulate thoughts were defined with precision… Having attained this precise verbal definition, they then stabilized their hearts, they disciplined themselves; having attained self-discipline, they set their own houses in order; having order in their own homes, they brought good government to their own states; and when their states were well governed, the empire was brought into equilibrium.” Confucius, The Great Digest
“The concept of country. homeland. dwelling place becomes simplified as “the environment”– that is, what surrounds us, once we see our place, out of the world, as surrounding us, we have already made a profound division between it and ourselves. We have given up the understanding–dropped it out of our language and so out of our thought–that we and our country create one another; that our land passes in and out of our bodies just as our bodies pass in and out of our land; that we and our land are part of one another, and so cannot flourish alone; that, therefore, our culture must be our response to our place, our culture and our place are images of each other and are inseparable from each other, and so neither can be better than the other.” Wendell Berry