Ritual and the Social Construction of Sacred Artifacts: An Analysis of Analects 6.25

Some well-known translations of the words attributed to the Master in Analects 6.25, "gu bu gu gu zai gu zai," are analyzed and sorted out.It is argued that this passage can be given a consistent reading and an interpretation that coheres with a major theme of the text, namely that the ontological status of a thing, like that of a person, is relative to the practice of constitutive rules and conventions.