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群書治要-3
2015/04/05 02:02:10瀏覽312|回應0|推薦2

Respected friends, greetings!

尊敬的諸位朋友,大家好!

 

Lets continue with the Second Passage of Qunshu Zhiyao 360.

我們今天繼續學習《群書治要360》,我們看第二句:

 

As all things accomplished in a hurry will perish rapidly; all things accomplished timely will end perfectly.  The flower that opens in the morning will wither and fall in the evening.  The slow-growing greeneries of the cypress and pines will not fade in cold winter.  Therefore, the genteel despise to act in haste[A1] .

夫物速成則疾亡。晚就則善終。朝華之草。夕而零落。松柏之茂。隆寒不衰。是以大雅君子惡速成。】

 

This passage is selected from Qunshu Zhiyao vol. 26, “The Book of Wei, the Biography of Chang[A2]  Wang.”  In the “Biography of Chang Wang,” (died 259 AD), it is recorded that “Chang Wang, with the courtesy name[1] of Wen-Shu, was from the County of Tai-Yuan, the Province of Jin-Yang.”  Why do the biographies of the ancients always begin with their birthplace?  It is because when heroes and those who contributed greatly to their country, they also contributed to their birthplace.  People from their hometown will honor them and their birthplace is also honored by their accomplishments.  As a tradition, biographers will first identify the birthplace of this accomplished person.  Chang Wang was granted the title of marquis[2] and was at one time appointed as the Inspector of Yan Province (by the first emperor of Wei).  An inspector is today’s equivalent of a governor. 

這句話出自《群書治要》卷二十六《魏志下.王昶傳》。在《王昶傳》中記載,「王昶,字文舒」,是太原郡晉陽縣人。為什麼古人的傳記都把這一個人是哪裡人首先說明?因為一個人有成就,為國家建功立業,對他這一個地方都是一個貢獻,所有的人都以他為榮耀,所以首先標示出他的家鄉。後升任兗州刺史,這個刺史也就相當一個省的省長。

 

To express his expectations, governor Wang chose words representing modesty and sincerity to name his sons and nephews.  One of his older brother’s sons was named Mo Wang, with a courtesy name of Chu-Jin, meaning “repose in quietude.”  The other one was given the first name Chen, with a courtesy name of Chu-Doa, meaning “repose in Dao,” the ultimate principle of the universe.  One of his sons was given the first name Hun, meaning “merge in Oneness,” with a courtesy name of Xuan-Chong, meaning “infuse in profundity.”  Another son was given the first name Shen, meaning deep, with a courtesy name of Dao-Chong, infuse in Dao. 

他為哥哥的兒子和自己的兒子取名的時候,都依照謙虛和誠實的意義來體現對他們的期許。所以他哥哥的兒子,一個叫王默,字處靜;一個叫王沈,字處道。他自己的兒子一個叫王渾,渾頓,渾然一體的這個渾,字玄沖;一個叫王深,字道沖。

 

He also cautioned them:  In the Dao of being a child, the most important things are to take care of your body, be ethical, and maintain moral conducts to honor your parents and illustrate their virtues.  Everyone knows these three good things.  Nonetheless, there are still people ruined and families wrecked.  What is the cause of their ruination that even leads to their deaths?  It is because they were led astray from the beginning.  Piety, respect, benevolence, and righteousness are the important characteristics of a person and the bases for good standings in society.  When there is filial piety and respect, there will be harmony and stability within the family and the clan. When there is benevolence and righteousness, there will be respect from people in your hometown.  In other words, when people have cultivated deep their inner virtues, their good reputation will naturally spread wide and far in society.

他又告誡他們說,為子之道最重要的事情就是珍愛自己的身體,保全良好的品行,並以此來顯揚父母。這三件事人人都知道很好,可是還是有人身危家破,甚至走向滅亡。這是什麼原因?就是因為他們開始所學的就不是正道,孝敬仁義是各種品行當中最重要的,也是立身的根本。講孝敬,則家族內部才會安定;講仁義,則會受到鄉親們的尊重。也就是說,一個人在內培養起深厚的德行,名聲就自然會顯揚於社會。

 

 He further advised:  “We must resolutely cultivate and elevate our virtues.  Do not chase after trifles and neglect the fundamentals.  What are the pursuits of trifles?  If we pursue eloquence, rich and fame, we will fall into the trap of superfluous vanity or end up in cliques.  Why would the pursuits of trifles end in cliques?  To scheme for personal gains and without the foundation of ethics, we would form cliques and plot together for self-interests. Vanity leads to hypocrisy and cliques result in the ruination and misfortune of everyone involved.  Painful lessons of vanity and cliques are obvious and many, but people still repeat the same mistakes.  The phenomena of ‘chasing after trifles and neglecting the fundamentals’ are even worse (in today’s society).  It is all because people were dazzled by temporary fame and blinded by their greed for instant profits.”

人如果不堅定地培養良好的品德,而捨本逐末,什麼叫捨本逐末?就是追求口才好,追求名利,這樣的話就會陷入華而不實,或者會導致結成朋黨。為什麼會結成朋黨?結黨營私,為了謀取利益,自己沒有德行做基礎,結果就結成朋黨,以謀取私利。這樣做有什麼後果?華而不實就會有虛偽的毛病,結成朋黨則會有彼此牽累的禍患。這兩方面的教訓可以說非常顯明,但是仍然有很多人重蹈覆轍。捨本逐末的現象更為嚴重,這都是迷惑於一時的虛名,貪圖於眼前的小利所導致的。

 

“It can be said that everyone loves to be rich and famous.  In the Analects, Confucius also said: “Riches and honors are what men desire[3].”  Who does not like to be the gentry and wealthy?   People in general aspire to be such.  However, the noble and gracious will not accept rich, fame, and social status even when they can.  They despise rich and fame acquired through devious means.  The things worthy of anxiety in life for such people are whether they know when to retreat and not just advance; when to be content and not just indulge in desires.   Without such worries, there will be humiliations, anxieties caused by difficulties, and self-reproach caused by irreversible mistakes.  The adage ‘discontent makes people lose everything they own’ tells us that long-lasting fortunes are fortunes one is content with.”

富貴和聲名可以說是人人都喜歡的,在《論語》上孔子也說「富與貴是人之所欲也」。哪一個人不喜歡富與貴?這是一般人都願意追求的。但是君子有時候能得到富貴聲名,但是卻不想要,不願意要。這是什麼原因?這是因為他們厭惡不由正道而得來的名利。人生值得擔憂的事,是只知進而不知退,只知放縱欲望而不知滿足,所以才會有遭受困辱的憂患,才會犯下令人悔恨的過錯。常言道,「不知足,往往會喪失其所擁有的」,所以知足的富足才是長久的富足。

 

Governor Wang concluded by saying: “Those who examine carefully the successes and failures of past events and see clearly the fortune and misfortune of the future will understand that those who chase after rich and fame insatiably cannot enjoy long-lasting riches or maintain the continued prosperity of their family and clan.  My wish for you is that you will all conduct yourselves in society according to the teachings of Confucianists and the precepts[A3]  of Taoists.  Therefore, I picked words meaning deep, profundity, quietude, and the Dao of modesty and non-attachment in your names.  I hope that whenever you see your names, you will think of their meanings and do not dare to overstep yourselves or violate the teachings of the saints.  In ancient times, there were inscriptions on plates and containers and commandments carved on stands and staffs for the purpose of reminding people not to transgress.  Whenever they raise or lower their heads, they will see such reminders.  Since my caveats are in your names, how could you not be cautious at all times?”  After the above instructions, he wrote the excerpted Third Passage: As all things accomplished in a hurry will perish rapidly; all things accomplished timely will end perfectly.  The flower that opens in the morning will wither and fall in the evening.  The slow-growing greeneries of the cypress and pines will not fade in cold winter.  Therefore, the genteel despise to act in haste.

觀察往事的成敗,看清將來的吉凶就會明白,追名逐利、貪得無厭的人,沒有能保持家族不衰而長久享有福祿的。我是希望你們立身處世要遵從儒家的教誨,奉行道家的箴言,所以用深沉、靜默、謙和淡泊之意為你們取名字,希望你們顧名思義,不敢違背逾越聖人的教誨。在古時候,盤、盂上鑄有銘文,几、杖上也刻有教誡,為的是低頭抬頭都能看見,以提醒自己不要有越軌行為。更何況這些警言就在自己的名字之中,能不隨時提起警誡嗎?寫完這些,後邊他就說了這句話:『夫物速成則疾亡。晚就則善終。朝華之草夕而零落松柏之茂隆寒不衰。是以大雅君子惡速成。』

 

Here, the genteel are those high in virtues and talents.  This passage conveys the general principle that things developed too fast will have a quick demise; and things progressed slowly and steadily will result in perfection.  When we observe nature, we discover flowers that open in the morning often fold or drop off in the evening; but the thriving cypress and pine trees will not wither or scatter away in the bitter cold of winter.  Therefore, the virtuous and talented gentleperson should find it a taboo to seek fast results.  From this passage we have to raise this question:  why cypress and pines do not wither even in cold winters?  Cypress and pines have deep roots[A4]  (that prevent their leaves from shedding).  A persons growth can be analogized to the growth of all things in nature and edified by them.

這個「夫」是「凡、所有」的意思。「疾」,疾亡的疾,就是快速的、疾速的。「就」就是成功、完成的意思。「朝華」,這個「華」也寫作花草的「花」。指早晨開的花朵。「隆寒」就是指嚴寒[A5] 。「大雅君子」就是才德高尚的人。這句話翻譯過來的意思就是說,大凡事物發展過快則衰亡也快,緩慢穩定地發展則容易有圓滿的成果。我們觀察自然界看到,早晨開花的草到了傍晚就凋落了;而茂盛的松柏,即使在非常寒冷的冬天也不會枯萎。所以,德高才大的君子忌諱速成。我們從這裡就要問這樣一個問題,為什麼松柏到了非常寒冷的冬天也不會枯萎?那就是因為松柏它有根,所以一個人的成長也要從自然界的萬事萬物中能夠有所體悟,能夠獲得啟示。

 

In the Book of Rites, the chapter on the “Great Learning” stated: “Virtue is the root; wealth is the result.[4]”  Wealth here does not simply mean riches; it also includes a person’s image, reputation, and social status, which are like the foliages, flowers, and fruits of a tree.  What is the root?  The root is in a person’s deeply-entrenched virtuous conducts.  In the Book of Changes[A6] , the second hexagram, symbolized by earth, connotes the image of a superior person whose “immense virtue can carry all.[5]  The deeper accumulation of a person’s virtue, the higher the reputation, the more the riches, and the nobler the social status s/he can carry without personal ruination.  If we observe nature further, we will discover that the height the foliage can extend is the depth the roots must reach[A7] .  Deep roots mean lush foliages.
在《大學》上說:「德者,本也。財者,末也。」這個財不僅僅是指財富,也包括一個人的聲望、名聲、地位等等,這些都是枝葉花果,它的根本在哪裡?根本就是在於一個人深厚的德行,所以古人說「厚德載物」。一個人的德行愈深厚,他才能承載很高的名聲、很多的財富、很高的地位而沒有禍患。我們再觀察自然界,我們發現,這個植物的枝葉花果能夠延伸到哪裡,它下面的根也就必須延伸到哪裡,根深才能夠葉茂。

 

The phenomena of “chasing after trifles and neglecting the fundamentals” mentioned by governor Wang are more severe in today’s society.  The result of such phenomena is just like what Confucius had said: “Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished[6].”  The more the speed we demand, the more the obstacles there are blocking us from our goals.  If we only see the marginal profits in front of our eyes, we will obstruct great enterprise from happening.  People nowadays have no pursuits other than rich, fame, and social status.  However, the Great Learning told us that “ill-gotten wealth will take its departure in the same improper way.”  Those seeking overnight riches will commit extortions, fraud, embezzlements, and racketeering.  They will take bribes, abuse their power for self-interests, or other shenanigans.  Eventually, they will invoke personal ruinations.  Hence, the ancients cautioned us that wealth acquired though devious means will depart by the same.

但是現在社會上,像王昶所說的這種捨本逐末的事卻愈來愈多。結果怎麼樣?結果就如孔老夫子所說的,是「欲速則不達,見小利則大事不成」。愈是求迅速,反而愈是達不到目標。看到眼前的蠅頭小利,結果反而把大事給耽誤了。現在人所追求的無過是財富、名聲和地位。但是在《大學》上告訴我們,「貨悖而入者,亦悖而出」。你看你追求財富,但是想一夜暴富,結果就採取了種種貪污受賄、以權謀私、坑蒙拐騙的手段,怎麼樣?最後給自己招致了災禍。所以古人提醒我們,這個財富是以不正當的方式獲得的,也必將以不好的方式敗散掉。

 

The ancients took pains to teach the future generations how to avoid losing their wealth and summarized five categories that cause financial ruin.  The first is the government.  For example, if we obtain wealth through bribery, embezzlement, or exchange power for money, we will be put in jail once such corruption is discovered and our wealth will be confiscated.  All our chicanery is like putting water in a bamboo-weaved basket full of holes.  Once in jail, it will be too late for our regrets.  The second is flood.  The third is fire.  Ill-gotten wealth will be destroyed by fire and washed away by flood.  The fourth is robbery.  The ancients said that “thieves have their Dao as well.”  How do thieves demonstrate their Dao?  The one that comes immediately to mind is Robin Hood who robbed the rich to help the poor.  If this type of thieves sees someone with ill-gotten wealth and fail to donate to charity to help the poor; but instead throw their money away in debauchery, they will steal, extort, and blackmail such malevolent rich people.  The last category is sometimes inevitable and not preventable.  They are our unworthy, profligate, wastrel descendants. What we nowadays call the NEET group or boomerang children that live off their parents.  They will squander away our illegal money too.

古人他教誨後人真可謂用心良苦,他把那個不好的敗散錢財的方式都給我們概括出來了,總結為五個方面:第一就是官府,譬如說我們這個錢是貪污受賄、以權謀私換來的,結果怎麼樣?東窗事發,自己鋃鐺入獄,所有的不義之財也會被沒收、被充公,最後是竹籃打水一場空。所以後悔後悔,是到後面才悔,悔之晚矣。第二就是水災,第三就是火災,這些不義之財也會被大火給焚燒掉,被洪水給漂奪走。第四就是盜賊,古人講「盜亦有道」,這個盜賊也講道義。這個盜賊的道義體現在什麼地方?首先就體現在他劫富濟貧上。他看你這個錢來路不明,又沒有拿著這個錢去做慈善事業,照顧窮苦,而是自己過著花天酒地的生活,一擲千金,結果盜賊看了也都過意不去,專門偷盜、敲詐、勒索為富不仁的人。最後一點就是防不勝防,不肖子孫、敗家子,現在我們說的啃老族,也會把你的不義之財給敗散掉。

 

Many people have not learned the traditional culture and do not understand this truism.  They only think about how to get rich quick and make money through any illicit means in order to send their children to study abroad.  What happened to their illicit gain?  When I was studying in England in 1999, I suddenly had an epiphany and realized that:  (1) the tuition in foreign countries are more expensive, approximately ten times more, than that of China; and (2) those children did not use the tuition money to go to school; instead, they squander their parents’ ill-gotten wealth in casinos, the gambling halls.  They would lose tens of thousands of dollars in one bet on the gaming table.  Such children felt no pain in squandering away their parents’ dirty money like water.  When I saw them, I realized the truth that “ill-gotten wealth will take its departure in the same improper way.”

所以現在很多人沒有學習傳統文化,不明白這些道理,都是想迅速地發財致富,結果貪了很多的錢,不擇手段,把兒女送到國外去求學,結果怎麼樣?我一九九九年到英國去留學,突然看到了事實的真相。這個事實的真相就是:第一,國外的學費比較昂貴,是我們國內學費的幾十倍、幾百倍都不止;第二,這些孩子並沒有拿著父母給他註冊繳學費的錢去繳學費,認真學習,而是拿著父母貪得的錢去了casino,就是賭博的場所,一擲千金,把這個不義之財又都給敗散掉了,花錢如流水,一點也不心疼。所以我們看到了這個真相才知道,「貨悖而入者,亦悖而出」,確實是真實不虛。

 

General Zeng Guofan (1811-1872) of Chin dynasty[7], was famous for never sending a penny home from his army.  He would never use any government funds for private use.  Many leading cadres’ first reaction was disbelief when they read this about General Zeng.  Public distrust is one of the maladies of today’s society.  People will be full of disbelief upon hearing other’s good deeds but totally believe in what they heard of other’s bad deeds.  What causes this phenomenon?  The root cause is the trust crisis--people do not trust in themselves.  They do not believe that they can do such selfless, altruistic things or keep themselves honest and clean.  Therefore, when they hear that others can give selflessly without taking, or not taking a penny home from the government, their first reaction is “how could it be possible?”  We have not read the biography of General Zeng or read the family letters written by him.  We know nothing of him, but our first reaction is disbelief.  This is all caused by our gauging the mindset of a superior person from our own narrow-mindedness.

所以,曾國藩先生他能夠做到不取軍中一錢寄回家中,就是公家的一文錢他都不會挪作私用,什麼原因?現在很多領導幹部看到這句話,首先就是不相信。我們現在社會都存在著信任危機,聽到別人做好事就懷疑,聽到別人做壞事就信以為真,這是什麼原因導致的?信任危機最根本的原因,就是對自己喪失了信心。因為我自己都做不出這樣無私無求的事、廉潔有守的事,所以聽說別人無私無求地付出,不取公家一錢寄回家中,那怎麼可能?所以一聽就是不相信。你看我們既沒有讀過曾國藩的家書,也沒有讀過曾國藩的傳記,對他的為人不甚了解,但是我們第一個反應就是不可能,那就是因為我們以小人之心度君子之腹所導致的。

 

We must inquire further why General Zeng can do this.  We should also probe further why the ancients, such as Fan Zhong-yan (989-1052)[8], the famous vice chancellor of Song dynasty, could write the profound verse: "Be the first to worry the woes of people across the land; be the last to enjoy the blessings across the land?”   During the almost colonized Chin dynasty, Viceroy Lin Ze-xu (1785-1850)[9] said: “I will die if my death can benefit my country, how can I seek personal fortune and evade such death believing it a misfortune?”  The greatest and most accomplished strategist during the era of the Three Kingdoms, Marquis of Wu, chancellor-regent, Zhuge Liang (181–234 AD)[10] who had been compared to Sun Tsu also said:  I would “bend over backwards to help (your majesty); work till my last breath has stopped.”  One of the five great scholars of Chin dynasty, Gu Yan-Wu (1613-1682)[11] said: “The rise and fall of the state rest on everyone’s shoulder.”  Why can the ancients write verses, poems, and prose that are patriotic but also embrace the world?  In contrast, today’s intellectuals are full of grievances.  If we read the compositions of the number one students from national university examinations or the compositions with full scores, we will find that they are full of complaints.  They blame others for their fate, hold grudges against society, and cannot find anything right in the world; as if the whole world had done them wrong.  What causes the difference between the ancient scholars and today’s students?  The reason is actually quite simple.  It is because we studied different books and accepted different educations since our formative years.

我們進一步要問,為什麼曾國藩能夠做到不取軍中一錢寄回家中?再深一步地追問,為什麼古人出口就像范仲淹一樣,「先天下之憂而憂,後天下之樂而樂」?林則徐也說:「苟利國家生死以,豈因禍福避趨之?」諸葛亮也說:「鞠躬盡瘁,死而後已。」顧炎武說:「天下興亡,匹夫有責。」為什麼古人一出口、一寫文章就是胸懷國家,甚至是胸懷天下?而我們現在的讀書人,我們看一看高考的狀元作文、滿分作文,結果都是牢騷滿篇、怨天尤人,不是抱怨這不好就是那不對,好像天下的人都對不起自己。這是什麼原因?其實原因很簡單,就是我們從小所讀的書不一樣,我們所受的教育不同。

 

The ancients studied the Four Books and the Five Scriptures since childhood.  The core value of the Four Books and the Five Scriptures is personal cultivation, family order, state governance, and world peace.  The four stages of personal cultivation are: extinction of avarice, awareness of the phenomena, sincerity in thoughts, and rectification of the mind[12].  Please note that the first step in personal cultivation begins with the extinction of avarice.  When we are faced with the temptations of luxury lifestyle, sexual desires, rich, and fame, our tranquil mind should be unperturbed and our moral compass never vacillated.  This is the true basis of personal cultivation; thereafter, we can govern the state and maintain world peace without implications.  We have seen many university students, filled with righteous anger when seeing government corruption, protested in rallies/demonstrations to fight corruption.  However, after they graduated, assigned to government post, and became leading cadres in a few years, faced with stacks of money and vested interests, they changed their tune to “I am against anyone who is against corruption.”  Why do they change their work ethics so quickly? The answer is simply.  They did not learn the scriptures of the saints and sages, lacked the basics of personal cultivation, and have failed to foster their awe-inspiring righteousness and integrity.

古人從小熟讀四書五經,而四書五經的核心就是修身、齊家、治國、平天下,而修身還要有四個步驟,那就是格物、致知、誠意、正心。所以修身從哪裡做起?從格物做起,讓自己在財色名利的誘惑面前如如不動,把持住自己,他的修身才真正的有根基,他才可以去治國平天下而沒有後患。我們看到現在的很多大學生,說到貪污腐敗的現象時是義憤填膺,甚至還要去為腐敗現象遊行示威。結果畢業了,自己走上了工作崗位,再過了幾年成為了領導者,結果面對既得的利益,甚至是一沓一沓的鈔票,他們的態度就完全改變了,變成了什麼?變成了「誰反腐敗我反誰」。為什麼有這樣態度的變化?很簡單,沒有學習聖賢經典,沒有從中培養起浩然正氣,沒有修身的根基。

 

If we chase after flowery, insubstantial knowledge, we only learned lots of know-hows, but they have nothing to do with our personal cultivation or the upkeep of family harmony.  Thus, in the Analects, Confucius said: In ancient times, men learned with a view to their own improvement. Nowadays, men learn with a view to the approbation of others[13]. Confucius had already seen such phenomena in his time and lamented that only the ancient scholars learn for the purpose of elevating their virtues and enlightenment.  He called such type of study as learning for the self.

所以你看,我們追求華而不實的學問,學了很多的知識,但是和自己的修身、齊家沒有絲毫的關聯。所以古人說:「古之學者為己,今之學者為人。」在孔老夫子的時候,他就看到了這種現象,他說古代的、古時候的學者,他學習的目的是為了提升自己的道德學問,所以被稱為「為己之學」。

 

There is a saying: “If not for the self, men will be annihilated by heaven and earth.”  How should we interpret this?  The correct meaning should be that if we as humans do not elevate our virtues, we will be annihilated by heaven and earth.  However, most people nowadays, according to their modern views, misinterpret it as men should be selfish in order to survival; if they do not pursue their personal interests, they will be “annihilated by heaven and earth.”  This is totally wrong and deviates from the Dao.

現在有一句話說「人不為己,天誅地滅[A8] 」,這句話應該怎麼理解?正確的理解應該是,人不提高修養自己的德行,那就會怎麼樣?就會天誅地滅。但是現在很多人按著現代的意思,把這句話給解錯了。認為人就是要為自私自利來生存,如果不追求自私自利的話,就會「天誅地滅」,這個是不符合道的。

 

Nowadays, men learn with a view to the approbation of others is still applicable to todays intellectuals.  They study for the purpose of quoting famous quotes at gatherings of friends and alumni.  They will confound people with the sayings of Confucius and the Book of Poems; attract peoples eyes with Confucius said this and the Poem said that. They show off their knowledge to surpass others; put on a façade to boost their egos.  This is the study for others approbation.

「今之學者為人」,現在的學者學習的目的是為什麼?是為了在和同學朋友聚會的時候引經據典,說《論語》說、孔子說、《詩經》說,「子曰」「詩云」的一大堆別人都聽不懂,以此顯示自己才學突出,都勝人一籌。是為了炫耀自己,就是充門面,所以這個就叫「為人之學」,希望得到別人的讚歎。

 

All these are telling us that we should study for the purpose of being saints and sages.  The studying of the scriptures is like holding a mirror to reflect clearly all our flaws, bad habits, and afflictions.  If we do not study them, we will never know what is wrong with us; and we will never understand the ancients and us are at different levels.  After studying them, we will discover the wide gap between the ancients and us.  The more we study, the more humble we become and our arrogance will evaporate.  This is the correct way of studying.

這些都是告訴我們,我們讀聖賢書的目的就是志在聖賢,讀聖賢書就像一面鏡子一樣,把自己身上的毛病、習氣、問題照得一清二楚。我們不讀書就不知道自己錯在哪裡。讀了書之後才知道原來自己和古人的境界相差甚遠,這個傲慢心無論如何也生不起來了。是愈學愈謙虛,愈學覺得自己和古人的境界差得愈遠,這個才是正確的路。

 

It also tells us that the purpose of personal cultivation is self-actualization, to benefit ourselves and others, to enlighten ourselves and other.  General Zeng could “never take home a penny from the army” because he was a scholar and understood the Dao.  The ancients said: “Repose in Dao, the mind is tranquil.”  Such people will not hurry hither and thither for personal gain through illegal means, through irrational maneuvers for profits not belonging to them.  Therefore, they can never take a penny from the public for personal use.

這個就是告訴我們修身目的是成就自己、自利利人、自覺覺他,所以曾國藩能夠做到「不取軍中一錢寄回家中」。他是一個讀書人,他是一個明理的人。所以古人說「理得心安」,才不會像一般人那樣忙忙碌碌地去妄求,採取了一些不合法、不合理的手段,追求那個不屬於自己的利益。這樣的話,才能夠做到不取公家一錢挪作私用。

 

Again, let’s observe the natural phenomena.  The ancient Chinese have discovered that all things have a seasonal progression like the natural phenomena--a cycle of the sprouting in spring, the growing in summer, the harvesting in fall, and the storing in winter.  If our career is at the stage of “sprouting in spring,” we should not expect the harvest that should happen in fall.  We all know the famous “Pulling Sprouts to Help Them Grow” story in Mencius.  If you gripe about the slow growth of the rice seedlings, and tried to help them grow by pulling them higher, they will wither and die quickly.  This is doing just the opposite of what you wish for.

我們再觀察自然界的現象,我們發現自然界的現象都有一個春生、夏長、秋收、冬藏的過程。如果我們的事業還處在春生的階段,就不能指望它立刻就有收穫。我們都知道《孟子》上有一個揠苗助長的故事,如果你這個禾苗長得太慢,都給它拔起來,讓它很快就枯萎了,這就適得其反。

 

Zhang Ju-zheng (1525-1582), the Grand Secretary of the late Ming dynasty, credited with bringing the dynasty to its apogee,[14] was a child protégé.  At the age of seven he was already famous in his hometown, Jin-Zhou, for his thorough knowledge of the Six Scriptures.  At the age of thirteen, he attended the Juren examination (equivalent to obtaining a graduate school degree).  The government examiner was highly appreciative of his essays and wanted to let him pass the exam.  However, Gu Lin, the circuiting viceroy of Hu-Guon provinces (in south China), although giving his stamp of approval of the essays, foresaw Zhang ’s potential as a future chancellor and if Zhang passed the exam at age 13, he might become arrogant.  Viceroy Gu felt that Zhang should learn from failures so that he would be more vigorous and resilient in his future endeavors.  As a result, Zhang Ju-zheng did not pass the exam but he progressed steadily in his career as a government official.   He became a famous statesman and contributed greatly to the reform of the bureaucracy of Ming dynasty.  Eventually, he learned of what Gu lin had done and was very grateful.  He believed that without Gu Lin, he would not have had such great accomplishments.

我們看在歷史上的張居正,他在少年的時候就非常聰明,七歲的時候就能夠通達六經大意[A9] ,在荊州府都很出名了。十三歲的時候他就去參加舉人考試,文章寫得非常好,考官看了之後大為欣賞,就準備要錄取他。但是當時的湖廣巡撫顧璘看到了張居正的文章,雖然覺得他的文章寫得很好,但是他認為張居正他有宰相之才,如果三歲就能夠中舉人,恐怕他以後會驕傲自滿,所以應該給他一些挫折,以便他以後更加奮發有為。於是他就讓考官不要錄取張居正為舉人,雖然他的文章寫得不錯,確實寫得很好。後來張居正他在官場上走得很平穩,成為明代的一代賢臣,對明朝的貢獻很大。後來他知道這件事之後,對顧璘一直心存感激,他認為如果沒有顧璘,也許他後來不會有如此大的成就。

 

The ancients were often found saying that “it is a great misfortune to be successful when young.”  Why is it considered a great misfortune to have early success in life?   A highly intelligent child who have accepted the education of the saints and sages and can write beautifully will be praised everywhere s/he goes.  However, along with the frequency of accolades, s/he will gradually become arrogant.  Confucius had said it well:  “Though a man has talents as admirable as those of the Duke of Zhou, yet if he be proud and niggardly, those other qualities are not worth mentioning.”  Thus, early success will easily boost a youngster’s pride and arrogance.  (What are the repercussions of arrogance?)

所以古人常說「少年得志大不幸」,為什麼少年得志大不幸?你看一個孩子從小就聰明,又接觸聖賢教誨,寫一手好文章,走到哪裡大家看了之後都對他讚歎,隨著讚歎聲愈來愈多,自己驕傲的心也就會日漸生起。所以孔老夫子說:「如有周公之才之美,使驕且吝,其餘不足觀也已」。說這個人即使有周公的才華,但是又驕傲又吝嗇,其餘都不值一提了。所以少年得志就容易長養一個人的驕慢之心。

 

In the Book of Documents, counsel to the Great Yu said:  “Arrogance invokes loss, humility receives benefits, and this is the Dao of the Heaven.”  People full of pride and arrogance will invoke loss.  What kind of loss?  Because they feel they are better than others, they will no longer study hard and can no longer advance in life.  Humility benefits people by making them modest and covets knowledge.  Modest people will be courteous, and in turn make the teachers and elders happy to teach and guide them.   They will progress quickly and have a smooth life wherever they go.  In the Analects, Confucius’ student Zi-Xia also said:  “Let the superior man never fail reverentially to order his own conduct, and let him be respectful to others and observant of propriety; then all within the four seas will be his brothers[15].”  All will be one’s brothers is the result.  What is the cause of this brotherhood?  It is in “reverentially ordering one’s conduct and respectful to others and observant of propriety.”  Such people will conduct themselves respectfully in society, without transgressions, and treat everyone graciously.  They can perceive other’s needs and not self-centered.  Consequently, wherever they go, they will bond with others as brothers and sisters.  If we have learned such wonderful teachings early in life, we would have avoided many pitfalls in life.

《書經》上也說「滿招損,謙受益,時乃天道」。驕滿給自己招來損失,為什麼給自己招來損失?他覺得我比別人都強了,他就不會再有好學的品質,他的人生就很難再進步了。謙虛讓自己受益,一個人謙虛好學,對人彬彬有禮,做長輩的、做老師的,都願意提點他,所以他的進步也就會很快,走到哪裡都是一帆風順。所以在《論語》上孔老夫子也說:「君子敬而無失,與人恭而有禮,四海之內皆兄弟也」。四海之內皆兄弟那是一個結果,原因在哪裡?原因就在於「君子敬而無失」「恭而有禮」,他為人處世恭恭敬敬,沒有什麼過失,對待每一個人都彬彬有禮,看到對方的需要,而不是以自我為中心,這樣的話走到哪裡,哪裡才是自己的兄弟姐妹。所以這麼好的教誨,如果我們很早就能夠學習的話,相信我們的人生會少走很多的彎路。

 

Take myself for example; when I was in college, I always received scholarship of the first class.  Receiving scholarship of the first class at the People’s University means that I must have straight As at the end of the semester.  If there is a B in one class, I would only get scholarship of the second class.  Since I always had such excellent grades but without the education of the saints and sages, I became supercilious.  I was full of myself and walked with my nose in the air (looking at the blue sky) on campus.  I considered everyone beneath my notice and no one can compare to me.   Now, when I visit the Ivy League universities and saw the same attitude from students there, I felt a sense of urgency and that such wonderful instructions from the saints and sages should indeed be transmitted to them as early as possible.  Although I had excellent grades, I was never elected as the “Student of Three Goodness” due to my lack of humility and graciousness.   What was I thinking when I lost?  At that time I have not yet learned “seek the cause in ourselves when our actions do not return desired results.”  I did not understand that I should introspect myself when I have failed or things did not go as I wish.  My rationale was that they were jealous of me because of my excellent grades.  I would say to myself:  “I don’t care. No matter what you guys do, my grades are better than you.”   

就像我自己在大學的時候,學習成績很好,經常都是一等的獎學金。而在人民大學一等獎學金意味著什麼?就是你這一學期下來、這一學年下來,所有的考試都是優秀。如果有一門是良好,那得不了一等獎學金,那就是二等了。因為自己學習成績很好,又沒有接受聖賢教誨,結果就養成了傲慢的習氣,走在路上,這個頭都是往天上看的,目空一切、目中無人。我們現在走到那些名牌大學裡,看到那些大學生那種表現,我們覺得確實應該把這麼好的教誨,及早地讓他們去學習。結果自己成績很好,但是沒有謙虛有禮的態度,結果要評三好學生的時候,雖然自己的成績很好,一投票自己就選不上。當時我是怎麼想的?當時也沒有學「行有不得,反求諸己」,不知道自己做事不順利、不成功,應該反省自己。還是在怎麼想?自己在想,都是我自己的成績太優秀了,他們都嫉妒我,你們嫉妒我,不投我的票也就算了,我也不在意,反正我的成績就是比你們好。

 

I had such an attitude till 2005 or 2006.  Around 2005 or 2006, I had an opportunity to visit Tongchi, in the county of Lujiang, the Province of Anhui.  Tongchi was a model town of harmony.  It held seminars on traditional Chinese culture.  I listened to the lecture given by Teacher Cai and when he mentioned Let the superior man never fail reverentially to order his own conduct, and let him be respectful to others and observant of propriety - then all within the four seas will be his brothers,” I had an epiphany.  I suddenly realized why I had so many frustrations in the past and why my life was not a smooth sailing.  Consequently, I wish to transmit such teachings to more youngsters so that they will not repeat my mistakes and avoid the pitfalls in life.

結果這種態度一直延續到了二零零幾年的時候呢?二00五年、二00六年左右,我們到安徽省廬江縣的湯池鎮,去參觀湯池鎮構建和諧社會示範鎮的模範、示範作用。結果在聽課的過程中,就聽到蔡老師講《論語》的這句話,說:「君子敬而無失,與人恭而有禮,四海之內皆兄弟也。」突然恍然大悟,才明白自己多年的挫折,人生之路不順暢的原因何在了。所以我們自己走了這樣的彎路,也希望能夠把這個教訓讓更多的年輕人去學習,不要重蹈覆轍。

 

In high school we have all learned the prose called “Lamenting Zhong-Yong,” written by Wang An-She (1021-1086), famous for his controversial social-economic reform of Song dynasty[16].   This prose is edifying.  It tells the story of a poor man named Fong Zhong-Yong living in the county of Golden Creek.  His family had been farmers for generations.  Although he had never been taught how to use the writing tools, such as papers, Chinese brush, ink bar, ink stand, etc., one day at the age of five, he suddenly cried for such things.  His father was very surprised and borrowed some from their neighbors.  Unbelievably, Zhong-Yong wrote a four-line poem immediately, which expressed his wish to support his parents and to unify the clan.  (We should also praise the well intention of the content poem.)  The poem was circulated to all the scholars in the county and every one was very positive about his talent.  From then on, he showed his quick wit in writing poems on any subject given to him and all his poems were praiseworthy both in context and lyrics.  People in the county were amazed by his talent and started to invite his father, a peasant, as guests.  Some people would even pay to have Zhong-Yong’s poems.  Seeing the possibility of making money, his father would take Zhong-Yong with him to visit people around the county and would not allow him to continue with his studies.

我們在中學的時候都學過王安石的一篇文章,叫《傷仲永》。這個文章給我們很多的啟發,在文章中這樣寫道,說金溪縣的貧民方仲永,世代都以耕田為業,在仲永五歲的時候都不曾認識書寫工具,就是不認識紙墨筆硯等等。但是有一天他忽然哭著要這些東西,父親對此感到很詫異,就從鄰居家借來書寫工具給他。沒想到仲永立即寫了四句詩,這四句詩的意思是要贍養父母、團結宗族等等,你看義理也很好,並且傳給全鄉的秀才欣賞,大家對他都很肯定。從此以後凡是指定事物讓他作詩,他都能立即完成,而且詩的文采和義理都有值得稱道的地方。同鄉的人對此感覺到很奇怪,漸漸地邀請他的父親去作客,甚至還有人花錢請方仲永作詩,結果他的父親就認為這樣做有利可圖,於是每一天都拉著方仲永四處拜訪同縣的人,不再讓他繼續學習了。

 

When Fong Zhong-Yong was a teenager, around the age of 12 or 13, Wang An-shi returned to his hometown and saw him at his maternal uncle’s house.  Wang asked him to write a poem and found it no longer matched his fame.  Another seven years passed, Wang returned home from Yang-zhou and visited his maternal uncle again.  He asked about Zhong-Yong and his uncle said: “All his talents vanished.  He is now ordinary.”

到方仲永十二三歲的時候,王安石再回到家鄉,結果在他的舅舅家裡見到了方仲永,讓他作詩,結果一看,他寫的詩不能與他從前的名聲相匹配。又過了七年,王安石又從揚州回來,再次到舅舅家,問起方仲永的情況,舅舅怎麼回答?說:「他的才能已經完全消失,成為普通人了。」

 

Zhong-yong was a child protégé who could write beautiful poems and prose at the age of five; but due to his father’s desires for instant profits, he lost the opportunity to continue with his studies and to accumulate knowledge.  Consequently, by the time he was twenty, he was as ordinary as any average person.  Wang An-shi concluded:  “Zhong-yong’s talent was God-given, much higher than people of ordinary talent.  But eventually his genius was obscured due to his failure to obtain the nurturing of education.  If people who are talented by nature but without the nurturing of education would become ordinary, what would happen to those who are ordinary by nature and unwillingly to accept the nurturing of education?  I am afraid that they probably cannot even be ordinary.”

你看,一個人本來天分聰穎,年僅五歲就能夠寫出好的文章、好的詩篇,但是他的父親急功近利,拿著它去賺錢了,那就沒有再繼續沉澱、繼續學習,結果到他二十歲左右的時候就和平常人一樣了。所以王安石在評論的時候這樣說,說:「仲永的通達聰慧是天賦的,他的天資比一般有才能的人要高許多,但最終淪為一個平凡的人,是因為他沒有受到後天的教育所導致的。像他那樣天生聰明,有如此才智的人,沒有接受後天的教育尚且淪為普通人,那麼那些本來就不是天生聰明、本來就平凡的人,又不願意接受後天的教育,那恐怕想成為一個平常的人都很難了。」

 

This story tells us that we should treasure our talents by nature, but also study hard in order to be a success.  Especially in view of the fact that talents are secondary to a person’s success and the bases for success are virtuous conducts.  The reason the foliage of cypress and pines will not wither in the chilliness of winter is because they have deep roots.

這個就是告訴我們人有天分要珍惜,還要加上後天的勤奮好學才能夠有成就。更何況一個人的成就,才華是次要的,根在於德行。松柏之所以在嚴寒的冬天也不枯萎,就是因為它有根。

 

For us cultivators, the Master constantly stressed that we should let two types of roots grow deep.  The first is the root of virtuous conducts based on Di Zi Gui, Treastise on the Response of Rewards and Retributions, the Sutra of the Ten Meritorious Deeds, and the Precepts and Etiquettes for the Novices.  If we can spend several years to actualize the teachings of these four scriptures, our virtues will be as steady/unmovable as a table with four legs.  The other root is the classics.  We shall begin the study of the classics with Shuōwén Jiězì (the Analytical and Etymological Dictionary, finished in the 2nd century, Han dynasty[17]).  Then, we will have the ability to penetrate into the classics, to have a profound understanding of the Four Books and the Five Scriptures, even the doctrines of the Thirteen Scriptures and Siku Guanshu (the Imperial Library in the Four Divisions of Traditional Studies).  Otherwise, we will interpret words in their modern context instead of its classic meanings and miss the delight of their deep enriching noumenon.

對於我們修學的人而言,師父上人經常強調要紮兩個根。第一個就是德行的根,這個德行的根要從《弟子規》《太上感應篇》《十善業道經》和《沙彌律儀》做起,要用幾年的時間把這四個根完全落實,這就像一個桌子一樣四平八穩;還有一個根就是文字學的根,文字學要從《說文解字》來學習,這樣你再看古書才能夠深入,才能夠領會四書五經,乃至十三經、《四庫全書》的義理,否則很容易望文生義,就是依照我們現代人的意思去理解這一個字了,往往那個甚深的義趣就領略不到。

 

This is why the Master often mentioned “cultivate from one school of knowledge, immerse in them for a long time.”  “Immerse in them for a long time” is a command that we should withstand the loneliness of solitary study, to sit in one chair for ten cold winters.  Without ten-years of cultivation, our knowledge and virtues will not be deeply rooted.  Our cultivation will be like the morning flowers without deep roots that will wither and scatter in the wind.  If the roots are entrenched deeply, even tsunamis cannot destroy them.

所以師父上人常講「修學要一門深入、長時薰修。」這個「長時薰修」就要求我們要耐得住寂寞,板凳要坐十年冷。沒有十年的功夫,自己的德行、學問都很難紮根,就像那朝花之草一樣,沒有根,遇到風一吹很容易就枯萎了。如果把這個根紮得很深,即使是大風大浪也不會把它給摧毀。

 

If we aspire to elevate our virtues, we must overcome our immeasurable afflictions and bad habits, which cannot be accomplished in one day and one night.  It would take a long time to eradicate them.  Take myself for example; I was assigned to work at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee after graduating in 1997.  The first class I taught was to calibrate the mindset of the leading cadres.  I would often talk about anger management and how to control the key to one’s happiness.  Every time I give this class, I will remind myself to do the same.  Nonetheless as of now, from 1998 to 2014, more than a decade, almost two decades had passed and I still cannot control my affliction of quick temper.  Neither can I control the key to my happiness.  I would still be upset when things do not go as I wish; I would still be vexed when things are not to my satisfaction.  These are all signs of not controlling the key to one’s happiness.  I still have not reached the state of being unperturbed when fanned by the passions of gain, loss; defamation, accolade; praise, ridicule; sorrow, joy.[18]

更何況一個人德行上要有成長,要克服自己的種種煩惱習氣,而對治自己的習氣也不是一朝一夕的事,那確實需要長時間的功夫。譬如說我自己從一九九七年畢業分到黨校工作,所講的第一堂課就是領導幹部的心理調試,經常講如何克制怒氣,如何握住自己快樂的鑰匙。這個課每一次講,每一次提醒自己,到現在,從一九九八年到二0一四年,也有十多年了,快二十年了,但是仍然沒有調伏自己愛生氣的毛病,仍然握不住自己快樂的鑰匙,看到不如意的事就會生煩惱,看到不滿意的事就會不高興。這些都是不能夠握住自己快樂的鑰匙,還沒有做到八風吹不動。

 

It takes at least ten to twenty years to eradicate one bad habit, not to mention that, as stated in Liao-Fan’s Four Lessons, our accumulated bad habits and “mistakes are as numerous as the spines[A10]  in a porcupine.”  For example, would we be happy when others compliment us? Would we be vexed when we did not get the respect we feel we deserve? Would we be jealous when seeing other’s accomplishments?  Would we think “how come that person is not me” when we hear someone’s fame all of a sudden?  In the Treatise on the Responses of Rewards and Retributions, it instructed that we should “regard other’s gain as we have gained such; regard other’s loss as we have lost such.”  However, seeing other’s gain, can we feel the same joy as if we had such gain?  Seeing other’s loss, can we feel the same sadness as if we are experiencing such lost?

所以你看一個習氣要調伏都要十年二十年的功夫,那更何況我們的習氣毛病那麼多呢?就像《了凡四訓》上所說的「過惡蝟集」。譬如說別人讚歎你幾句,你會不會很歡喜呢?自己沒有受到應該有的尊重,會不會心生煩惱呢?看到別人比自己強,會不會心生嫉妒呢?忽然聽說某一個人成名了,會不會在想那一個人為什麼不是我呢?《太上感應篇》上也說「見人之得,如己之得。見人之失,如己之失」,但是我們做到了看到別人有獲得,就像自己有獲得一樣的喜悅嗎?看到別人有損失,就像自己有損失一樣的難過嗎?

 

We harbor jealousy when seeing other’s success.  For example, when we hear our boss praises our colleagues, can we be happy for them and rejoice in their accomplishments? Just the opposite, we will think:  “I was better than they.  Why the boss did not see what I have done?  Why praise them?”  We felt wronged and jealousy arises in our heart.  When the boss criticize our colleagues, do we feel sad for them?  No, we will think:  “They made a mistake and what a joy the boss discovered them.”  We will secretly celebrate their predicaments and delight in their mishap.  All these reactions are against our innate compassion.  Our compassionate heart is empathetic.   An empathetic heart feels the same emotions others experience.  When others are sad, we can completely identify with their feelings.  When others are happy, we can rejoice in their success.  This is called an empathetic heart.

我們看到別人有成就,心裡就嫉妒,譬如說我們聽到領導在表揚某一個同事,我們心裡是為他的成就感覺到高興嗎、心生隨喜嗎?恰恰相反,我們心裡在想:我做得比他還好,為什麼領導就沒有看到我,又去表揚他了?你看憤憤不平的心,嫉妒之心就生起來了。當領導在批評某一個同事的時候,我們是為他的過失感覺到難過嗎?恰恰相反我們在想,你看,他做的錯事、壞事又被領導給發現了,我們在暗暗竊喜,在心裡偷著樂,幸災樂禍。這個都是和我們本來的同情心是相違背的。同情心、同情心,就是和別人有同樣情感的心,別人感覺到悲傷,我們能夠感同身受;別人感覺到歡喜的時候,我們也能夠為他的成功而喜悅,這叫同情心。

 

If we do not study the canons of the saints and sages, we will never see our problems.  Even when we have found our problems, we cannot eradicate them in a day or two.  Therefore, we should not hurry for success, temper our impetuosity, and do not wish for fame at an early age.

所以我們不學聖賢經典,我們確實看不到自己的問題在哪裡,即使看到了自己的問題,要想改過也不是一天、兩天的事情,所以不能夠急於求成,要調得住自己的浮躁之氣,不要想過早的成名。

 

這一句話對於我們的修學有幫助,那對於我們國家的治理,譬如說我們現在的經濟科技的發展,也有很多的啟示。很多人都抱怨說,正是因為傳統文化的原因,才使得我們國家的經濟、科技發展遠遠落後於西方國家。相對而言,近代以來中國的經濟科技發展確實相對西方國家是緩慢的,這是什麼原因?這個原因很簡單,因為中國古人他有一種整體的觀念,他觀察宇宙發展的規律知道「一陰一陽之謂道」,盛極必衰、消極必長是一個規律,所以經濟科技發展到頂端造成的是對自然界的嚴重破壞

This Passage is very helpful in our cultivations and studies.  With respect to the governance of our nation, such as our development in economy and technology, it is also enlightening.  Many would complain that the bondage of traditional culture caused our economic and technological developments to lag far behind Western countries.  Indeed, China in the last few centuries was relatively behind the Western countries in the development of economy and technology.  What causes this slow development?  The reason is very simple.  It is because the ancient Chinese had this totality concept. They observed the principles of the development of the universe and discovered the “Dao of Yin and Yang;” or as explained in “The Great Treatise I” to the Book of Changes:  “The successive movement of the inactive and active operations constitutes what is called the Dao (course of things) [19].”   Everything will fall when it reaches its zenith and everything will rise when it reaches its nadir.  This is the ultimate principle of the universe or Dao.  Therefore, when the development of economy and technology reached its zenith, it will cause the hazardous devastation to the biosphere and ecological crisis appears.  During the era of the Three Kingdoms (220-280 AD), Zhuge Liang as mentioned above, chancellor of one of the three kingdoms, invented the conveyance belt pulled by wooden ox and flowing horse.  However, he destroyed his inventions and did not leave them for the use of future generations.  Why would he do this?  It is because he knew that the faster the development of science and technology, the faster the destruction of humanity.  Ever since the invention of atomic bombs, we have lived in the imminent threat of human annihilation.  If one political leader were to lose his sanity and deploy such weapons, the end result is Armageddon--the total annihilation of mankind.

這一句話對於我們的修學有幫助,那對於我們國家的治理,譬如說我們現在的經濟科技的發展,也有很多的啟示。很多人都抱怨說,正是因為傳統文化的原因,才使得我們國家的經濟、科技發展遠遠落後於西方國家。相對而言,近代以來中國的經濟科技發展確實相對西方國家是緩慢的,這是什麼原因?這個原因很簡單,因為中國古人他有一種整體的觀念,他觀察宇宙發展的規律知道「一陰一陽之謂道」,盛極必衰、消極必長是一個規律,所以經濟科技發展到頂端造成的是對自然界的嚴重破壞,是生態危機的出現。所以在三國的時候,諸葛亮他就發明了木牛流馬。但是他把這個東西給銷毀了,沒有讓它留傳下來,為什麼?因為他看到了科技發展得愈快,帶給人類的滅亡也就愈迅速。隨著原子武器的發明,人們愈來愈生活在戰兢惕厲之中,如果有哪一個領導人不理智,用了原子武器,這個就會導致世界的災禍,甚至導致同歸於盡。

 

A priori, the ancients supported the development of economy and technology with the philosophy of moderation, the Dao of the Middle Way.  The ancients expressed the “Dao of the active and inactive” with the pictograph of Yin and Yang, which is half in black and half in white, representing the sun and its shadows with a dividing line.  If one half oversteps the line, the balance between the Yin and Yang is lost.  What happens when the balance is lost?  Changes occur.  This is called the extremes of Yin creates the Yang; the extremes of Yang creates the Yin.   Or what we often say: extremities will result in reversions; things will decline once it reached its zenith; or things will increase once it reached its nadir.  The ancient Chinese, having realized this principle, would not over-develop economy and technology so that mankind can have sustainable development and avoid premature annihilation.

所以古人他發展經濟、發展科技背後的哲學理念就是中庸,中庸之道。這個「一陰一陽之謂道」的規律,古人常用太極圖來表示,這個太極圖半邊是陰的,半邊是陽的,中間還有一個界限,如果過了這個界限就意味著陰陽失去了平均,失去了平均會怎麼樣?那就是會引起變化,這就叫陰極則陽生,陽極則陰生。也就是我們所說的物極必反、盛極必衰、消極必長。所以中國人他認識到了這樣的規律,才不是過分地發展經濟、發展科技,目的是為了人類可以持續地發展,不要過早地滅亡。

 

We are now duplicating the Western philosophy of development and the foreseeable future is the severe depletion and devastation of the natural resources and the appearance of ecological crisis.  There is a story that gives a good illustration of this situation.  A horde of sheep jumped off a cliff and committed mass suicide.  People were puzzled as the sheep seemed normal and content before the incident.  After investigation, they found that none of them wanted to commit suicide.  They were just munching on grass but some of them in the back of herd, wishing to have fresher grass and not leftovers, started to run to the front.  Those behind wishing to compete and not shown as weak also started to run.  Thus, they chased after each other and started to run so fast that they could not stop themselves when they reached the cliff.  The end result was the syndrome of the sheep committing mass suicide.

那我們現在學習的是西方式的發展理念,結果導致的是自然資源的嚴重破壞,生態危機的出現。所以有一個故事說得很形象。說有一群山羊集體跳崖自殺了,人覺得很奇怪,說牠們活得好好的,為什麼這麼想不開,要集體跳崖自殺?他們就去研究原因,結果一研究才發現,這群山羊本來沒有想去自殺,牠們只是在草原上吃草而已。但是為了吃到比別的山羊更加鮮美的水草,有的山羊就會跑起來,跑到前面去,因為前面的水草沒有被動過,更加地肥美。但是那些落後的山羊就不甘示弱了,牠們也會加快腳步,跑得更快,跑到牠們前面的山羊的前面,吃到更加鮮美的水草。就這樣這群山羊你追我趕,你追我趕誰也不甘示弱,最後愈跑愈快,愈跑愈快,跑到山崖前面也收不住腳,最後給人的印象就是這群山羊集體跳崖自殺了。

 

This story is edifying and leads us to ask what the purpose of our economic development is?  Many would say that it is to satisfy our needs for the continued elevation of the material standards of living[A11] .  Then we have to ask, as human beings, what are our basic needs for survival? The answer is fresh air and clean water.  Ironically, the end-results of economic development and technological development are polluted air and contaminated water.  Therefore, we have to ask again: “Is the purpose of our economic development so that we can no longer breathe fresh air and drink clean water?”  As rational people, we should not simulate the irrational sheep to end in mass suicide due to competition devoid of scruples.  Dr. Arnold Toynbee opined in his book, 未來屬於中國 The Future Belongs to China(???) that the gradual and slow development of China was more beneficial as it can avoid the numerous problems caused by the over-development of the West.  Thus, the gradual and slow development of China is not a weakness; just the opposite, it is our strength as it can avoid the premature annihilation of mankind.

這個故事給我們很深刻的啟發,我們人發展經濟的目的是為了什麼?很多人說那是為了滿足人們不斷提高的物質文化需要,那請問為人,要想生活下去,最起碼的物質需要又是什麼?那就是新鮮的空氣,還有乾淨的水。結果我們發展經濟、發展科技的結果,連新鮮的水、新鮮的空氣都喝不到、呼吸不到了,那請問我們發展經濟的目的何在?所以我們作為有理智的人,不要像那個沒有理性的山羊一樣,為了競爭不擇手段,最後導致同歸於盡。所以湯恩比先生在《未來屬於中國》這本書中說:「中國的發展緩慢反而是有利的,可以避免西方的過度工業化所出現的種種問題。」這就是告訴我們,發展緩慢並不是我們的缺點,恰恰是我們的長處。它可以避免人類早一點的毀滅。

 

What we can learn from this Passage when it is applied to running a business?  According to one set of statistics, the average life expectancy of the multi-national corporations--Fortune 500 companies--is between 40 and 50 years[20].  The average life expectancy of big corporations in China is between 7 and 8 years and even shorter for small businesses, about 2.9 years.  There is a popular saying in the business world to ridicule this phenomenon:  “There will be icons in each generation to lead for two or three years.” (The original poem was that the icon could lead for a century.)  Why can’t today’s businesses last long?  The answer is simply that businesspeople have not followed the teachings of the saints and sages.

那我們再看這句話用在企業經營之中,又給我們什麼樣的啟示?有一個數字統計說,世界五百強的企業平均壽命是四十年到五十年。中國大企業的平均壽命是七年到八年,小企業的平均壽命就更短了,是二點九年。所以在企業界流傳著這樣一句話,說「江山代有人才出,各領風騷三兩年。」那為什麼會出現這樣的局面?原因很簡單,就是沒有按照聖賢的教誨來做企業。

 

The Great Learning instructed us that there is an order in things to be done:   “Rulers possessing virtue will gain the people.  Possessing the people will give them the territory.  Possessing the territory will give them its wealth. Possessing the wealth, they will have resources for expenditure.  Virtue is the root; wealth is the result.[21]”  “Possessing virtue will gain the people” means that when we take pains to cultivate our virtue, we will strike a cord with other virtuous people and can work together towards a common goal.  “Possessing the people will give them the territory” expressed the necessity of securing land, a prerequisite of businesses in agricultural societies.  Possessing the people satisfies a business’ requirement for human resources to open the business market, to maintain public relations, etc.  In other words, with virtuous people and property a business has acquired all the necessary resources.  “Possessing the territory will give them its wealth” means that once the business has all the necessary resources, with a concerted effort impregnable as a stronghold, the business will find opportunities to develop its markets and creating profits will be a natural result.   “Possessing the wealth, they will have resources for expenditure” means that once wealth has been created, it is crucial where the money is spent.  It should be used in the “daily increase in virtues and decrease in transgressions” and not wasted on extravagance.  It should also be used on rewarding the employees.  Without the sweat of the front-line workers, a business cannot have continued growth.  They worked very hard and the employer should take care of them not just financially, but also to help them advance with better education, elevate their virtues, and have a happy family life.  In addition, businesses should also pay back their customers.  Customers should have the best services and the best products at minimum costs.  The business should also pay back the society as it has taken from the society.  Such a socially responsible enterprise will naturally earn a good reputation and invoke many assistance and favorable conditions.  People will want to help it grow and make it a success.  Since its development can benefit so many people, it can have sustainable development.  For example, Tongrentang (TRT) in Beijing was founded in 1669 and had been designated to provide medicines for the royal pharmacy of the imperial palace of the Chin Dynasty and has world-wide branches today[22].   What is the secret formula that makes TRT into a company that lasted for more than three centuries?  Its secret formula is traditional culture[A12] .

在《大學》上告訴我們,做事情是有先後次第的。「有德此有人」你自己有德行,你所感召的人是和你志同道合的有德行的人,大家在一起眾志成城;「有人此有土」這個土在農業社會就是發展一個事業必備的資源,有人才來了就會有人力資源,有市場營銷的能力,還有各種公關的能力等等,就是各種資源也就具備了;「有土此有財」有了資源之後大家又眾志成城,把這個機會、才能發揮出來,自然會創造財富;「有財此有用」這個財富創造出來了要用在哪裡非常地關鍵,應該用在哪裡?就是應該用在使自己的「德日進,過日少」上,而不是用在自己的過分奢侈浪費之上。要拿著這個錢財回饋自己的員工,因為沒有一線員工的辛苦付出,不會有整個企業長足的發展。他們是很辛苦的,不僅僅要照顧他們的經濟生活,還要照顧到他們的家庭幸福,讓他們接受良好的教育,德行上有提升。還要回饋客戶,讓他們以最少的付出獲得最好的產品或者服務,還要取之於社會,用之於社會。這樣一個有責任感的企業,它的聲譽自然很好,感召很多的助緣,大家都願意幫助他、成就他。因為它發展了很多人都獲益。這樣的話它才能夠有可持續的發展。所以同仁堂它是百年老店,靠的是什麼?靠的就是傳統文化的承傳。

 

We have observed many problems in today’s businesses.  After comparing their business philosophy with the canons of the saints and sages, we realized where their problems lie.  Those problematic businesses all wished for quick profits and fast results that left them with severe repercussions.  For example, the fast-food industry created many junk foods that are harmful to human health.  The Western pharmaceutical industry would aim for quick reliefs that result in side effects.  In contrast, Chinese medicine, curing illnesses from their root causes, will not relieve the symptoms quickly but will not harm the human body.  All of the above demonstrated the wisdom of the ancient Chinese.

所以我們看到了現在企業界出現的這些問題,我們再對照聖賢經典,我們就知道問題出在哪裡。這個是告訴我們凡是求速成,凡是講速效,往往都有後遺症。像我們現在都有速餐,這個速餐都是垃圾食品比較多,對人的身體健康沒有真正的幫助。還講速效,像西藥都講速效什麼什麼,結果這個速效都是有副作用的,都是有後遺症的。而這個中藥它是從根本上解決問題,雖然看起來沒有那麼效果很快,但是它對人的身體不會有損傷。這些都體現了中國古人的智慧所在。

 

From this Second Passage, we have learned that setting up the correct pace will aid greatly in our cultivation, personal growth, the development of businesses, and the governance of nations.  We will end the explanation of the Passage here.

所以我們學了這句話,無論是對於我們個人的修學,個人的成長,還是對於企業團隊的發展,還是對於治理國家,制定正確無誤的措施都有非常大的幫助[A13] 。這一句話我們就講到這裡。

 

Now the time is up.  We will continue with the Third Passage next time and end todays lesson.  I welcome everyones criticisms and corrections due to my insufficiencies.  Thank you all.

現在時間也到了,我們下次再接著講第三條,那我們今天就學到這裡。不足之處歡迎大家批評指正,謝謝大家。

 



[1] A courtesy name(, zi ), also known as style name, is a name bestowed upon a person at adulthood in addition to one’s given name. According to the Book of Rites, after a man reaches adulthood, it is disrespectful for others of the same generation to address him by his given name. Thus, the given name was reserved for oneself and one's elders, such as parents, teachers, and the emperor, while the  would be used by adults of the same generation to refer to one another on formal occasions or in writing; hence the term "courtesy name". See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtesy_name

 

[3] Translation by James Legge.  See, http://ctext.org/analects/li-ren

 

[4] Adapted from translation by James Legge.  See, http://ctext.org/liji/da-xue

 

[6] Translation by James Legge.  See, http://ctext.org/analects/zi-lu

 

[13] Translation by James Legge, see, http://ctext.org/analects/xian-wen

 

[15] Translation by James Legge.  See, http://ctext.org/analects/yan-yuan

 

[17] Although not the first comprehensiveChinese character dictionary (the Erya predates it),  it was still the first to analyze the structure of the characters and to give the rationale behind them (sometimes also the etymology of the words represented by them), as well as the first to use the principle of organization by sections with shared components, called radicals (bùshǒu 部首, lit. "section headers"). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuowen_Jiezi

 

[19] With reference to translation by James Legge.  See, http://ctext.org/book-of-changes/xi-ci-shang

 

[20] See Business week, “THE LIVING COMPANY: Habits for survival in a turbulent business environment.”  See, http://www.businessweek.com/chapter/degeus.htm

 

[21] Adapted from translation by James Legge.  See, http://ctext.org/liji/da-xue

 


 [A1]惡速成the noble and gracious despise things done in haste? Despise hurried actions? Depise fast results?  The genteel find it an affliction to….

 [A2]Should we put first name first the western way? Or follow the new style according to Chinese tradition?

 [A3]Aphorism?

 [A4]Deep roots are really not the known cause to the general public.

·         Leaf drop protects deciduous plants from dehydration during the winter months. Water supplies underground may freeze in the winter and become unavailable to roots. At the same time, however, sunny winter days cause plants to lose water through their leaves. Eventually, the plant dehydrates and, lacking water for basic life functions, dies.

Features

·         Pine trees possess adaptations that help them conserve water without shedding all of their leaves at once. Needles contain fewer pores through which they lose water, and a thick, waxy coating prevents further loss. The large number of evergreen needles lets them capture a lot of sunlight with relatively little risk of water loss.



Read more : 
http://www.ehow.com/facts_7377880_do-trees-stay-green-winter_.html

 [A5]I omitted these few sentences as their meanings become obvious in the English translation

 [A6]

The ancient said: “Immense virtue can support all.”

 

彖傳: 坤厚載物,德合无疆

 

See, http://ctext.org/book-of-changes/kun/zh

 

I think we can let our Western friends know more about where these wonderful wisdom come from instead of just the “ancients say…  so please pardon my adding the source. 

 

The above is my translation according to the lecture.

 [A7]the height the foliage can reach is the depth the roots must penetrate.

 [A8]孟子》上說:楊子取為我,拔一毛而利天下,不為也。
《列子》上說楊朱曰:古之人損一毫利天下,不與也。悉天下奉一身,不取也。人人不損一毫,人人不利天下,天下治矣。

楊朱這樣的認識,無疑有點個人主義,這與中國正統的思想相去太遠,而且也很容易被引向人不為己,天誅地滅的極端。

實際上,天誅地滅最早見於《水滸》。明·施耐庵《水滸全傳》第十五回:我等六人中但有私意者,天地誅滅,神明鑒查。小說中這句話可以總結為人若為己,天誅地滅

人不為己,天誅地滅是自私自利者為自己辯護的托詞,這句話可能在清代以後才流行起來,殊不知它最早的出處原意卻是人若為己,天誅地滅

 http://lishouli.blog.hexun.com.tw/7489971_d.html


 

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