It is argued here that the function of the well-field system of land ownership is consistent with the role of ritual propriety in Zhang Zai’s philosophy of qi 氣, which emphasizes the realization of a great harmony; a state of vital, affective harmony and equilibrium. In other words, this configuration of land works to realize economic equity, a means to the further end of producing and sustaining equilibrium and harmony among members of a community, and this, I argue, is also the function of ritual propriety.