There is this passage in 语类, where the question of 天地之心 is discussed:


I find the following sentence in this passage problematic:


How to understand this 莫 ? Does it relate to 万物 or to 天地之心?

My intuitive understanding of this is that it points to the fact that there is nothing left of the Heart/Mind to be personal Heart/Mind of Heaven and Earth (because it is all everywhere). But it is more a guess than a genuine understanding.



i would interpret it as :

[someone] asked (問): “[about] generalising (普) everything (萬物), can it be that (莫 —> 莫非) [the universal] is using (是以) [its] heart (心) to all over (周遍) and (而) without (無) prejudice (私); isn’t it (否)?

How to understand this 莫 ?

back to your question, i would say it means “莫非“ (roughly “can it be that”). the asker wanted to ask, but without confidence that his statement is correct, so he inserted the “莫” before the verse “是以心周遍而無私﹒否”; as a safe guard.

clearly, you have fun in reading “朱子語類” :)

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