One of Confucianism’s sacred texts, the Zhong Yong serves as a guide to achieving harmony—personal, social, and political—through a mind and self in a state of perfect equilibrium. Translated as The Doctrine of the Mean, it embodies many of the central themes of Confucianism.
The Doctrine of the Mean (the Zhong Yong) comprises two chapters in the Classic of Rites (Li Ji), one of the sets of books that form the canon of Confucian thought. During the early period of the Song dynasty (960–1279), it came to be regarded as a single text worthy of investigation and study on its own. Tradition maintains that it was written by Zisi (Kong Ji), who was the grandson of Confucius (551–479 BCE). The date of its composition is likely around 450 BCE.