All people have these in common: when hungry, they want to eat; when cold, they want warmth; when they have worked hard, they want rest. They like what is beneficial and they hate what is harmful. People are born like that; they don't acquire it. Even Yu the Great or Jie the Wicked were the same.
Furthermore, the eyes distinguish white and black, beautiful and ugly. The ears distinguish between noise and music, clear and muffled. The mouth distinguishes between sour, salty, sweet, and bitter. The nose distinguishes between aromatic, fragrant, rancid, and fetid. Bones, body, skin, and reason distinguish between cold and hot, or between what will sicken or nourish. These abilities are also in-born, not acquired. It was the same for Yu or Jie.
Whether Yao or Yu, Jie or the Robber Zhi, laborer or craftsperson, farmer or merchant, everyone accumulates their abilities through concentration, error, practice, and habits. It comes from how they live, not what they have. They don't get it from nature. In this, Yu and Jie were also the same.
Compare the lasting glory of Yao and Yu to the lasting wickedness of Jie and Zhi; compare the lasting pleasures of Yao and Yu to the lasting labor of workers, craftspersons, farmers, or merchants--people's strength seems applied to becoming the latter rather than the former. Why?
Yao and Yu were not born accomplished; they had to rise up, change, and complete themselves through long cultivation. They had to go through the entire process and only became perfect afterward.
When people are born, they are little. Without a teacher and method, they'll only seek the benefits of what they see and hear. When people are born, they are small. Again, if they encounter confusion in the world, then they become confused and vulgar people. This is inferiority added to inferiority, confusion following confusion. The noble one has no ability to achieve an opening of their inner selves for them.
Today, people care only for their mouths and bellies. How can they know of ritual and righteousness? How can they know of deference and yielding? What do they know of honesty, humility, and the cumulative effort? They just keep prattling on. They just keep eating to stuff themselves full.
If people have no teacher and no method, then their hearts are fixed only on their mouths and bellies.
"Men considered Lady Mao and imperial concubine Li the most beautiful of women," said Wang Ni, "but fish that saw those women dove away from them, birds soared from them into the sky, and elk scattered and fled. Yet, did any of those four--men, fish, birds, or elk--know what true womanly beauty was?
"As I view it, the principles of benevolence and righteousness similarly appear to be mere statements of right and wrong, thrown together, mixed up, and confused. I cannot begin to discuss them!"
"You don't even know the difference between good and bad," said Nie Que. "Would it follow that a realized person wouldn't be able to know either?"
"A realized person is divine! The great lakes could be boiling and a realized person would feel no heat. The Yellow and Han rivers could be frozen and a realized person wouldn't feel cold. Violent thunderbolts might cleave mountains, hurricanes might raise the oceans, and a realized person wouldn't be frightened. As such, they mount the clouds, ride on the sun and moon, and wander beyond the four seas. Matters of death and life won't alter them, so why would they bother with the principles of good and bad?"