One who practices the teachings of these great scriptures will become aware of the unity of life, and this awareness will give constant strength and inspiration to those who seek to turn anger into compassion, fear into courage, and selfishness into the joy of the whole.
—Eknath Easwaran, The End of Sorrow: The Bhagavad Gita for Daly Living, v. 1
If selfish desires are given free rein, principle is obscured by desires and inhumaneness follows as a matter of course. Thus in the seeking of humaneness what is of first importance is to “conquer the self” (k’o-chi). . . . What, then, does it mean “to conquer”? It is like attacking and vanquishing in battle. When selfish thoughts first appear and the original mind has not yet been lost, then principle and desire stand opposed to each other, like two armies ranged in battle. If what is straight wins, what is crooked loses. If principles dominate, desires must be subordinate. The violence of armed conflict and the dangers of war are well known to all, but unless one knows the Way he will not be prepared to guard against the danger of selfish desires, which wound more grievously than a double-edged sword and burn more fiercely than the hottest fire. Therefore, if one is dedicated to the Way, he will value nothing more than the seeking of humaneness, and in seeking humaneness he will put nothing before conquering the self. . .
—Chen Te-hsiu, quoted in Wm. Theodore de Bary, Neo-Confucian Orthodoxy and the Learning of the Mind-and-Heart