经典 | “自然英旨”啥意思你造吗？81个词语带你了解中华思想文化（最后一波）
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self-cultivation, familyregulation, state governance, bringing peace to all under heaven
self-cultivation is the startingpoint of several steps moving outward. the next step is managing familyaffairs, followed by governing the state. the final step is moving to providepeace and sound governance to all under heaven. this process is a fundamentaltheme in confucian moral philosophy and discourse on politics. it is agradually expanding process beginning with the individual and emanating outwardinto serving and benefiting an ever-larger whole. in such a process anindividual’s virtue and self-improvement are inseparable from his politicalaspirations.
the ancients, who wished topromote illustrious virtue under heaven, first had to rule their own stateswell. wishing to govern their states well, they first had to manage theirfiefdoms well. wishing to manage their fiefdoms well, they first had tocultivate themselves. (the book of rites)
education for all withoutdiscrimination
education can and must beprovided for all. it eliminates the differences in social status and wealth.(another explanation is that education should be provided to students withoutdiscrimination on the basis of social status or wealth.) education consists ofteaching of social norms, music, and moral principles. a non-discriminatoryapproach to education means making no distinction between students based ontheir social status, wealth, mental capability, moral character, geographiclocation, or ethnicity. transcending differences in social status, geography,and ethnicity, education for all without discrimination is a humanistic idealthat champions equal treatment of all people and rejects all forms ofdiscrimination.
the moral values promoted byancient sages are universal. that is why “once the same education is provided,differences in geography and ethnicity would be smoothed out.” when the tujue people who suffered from war trauma and were inpredicament submitted themselves to the tang dynasty, we should assist andprotect them, let them settle down among us, teach them social norms and law,and help them engage in farming… what should we beworried about? (the new tang history)
zǐ zhī duó zhū
purple prevailing over red
this refers to evil prevailing overgood and falsehood being mistaken for truth in literature and art as well as insocial life. it is red, not purple, that was viewed as a truly proper color bythe ancient chinese. confucius, upset by the loss of judgment over good andevil, and by the fact that vulgar music was taking the place of refinedclassical music in the spring and autumn period, called for dispellingconfusion and putting things in the right order. with this in mind, liu xie ofthe southern dynasties criticized some writers for abandoning confucianteachings and catering to vulgar tastes. scholars of later generations usedthis notion to reaffirm confucian criteria and norms for literary creation.
confucius said, “i detestreplacing red with purple and interfering refined classical music with themusic of the state of zheng. i loathe those who overthrow the state with theirglib tongues.” (the analects)
rhetoric is like the skin of anessay; the writer’s thoughts and feelings are its marrow. a piece of elegant writingis like the embroidery on a ceremonial gown in ancient times –magnificent and dignified. excessive focus on rhetoric and technique, however,is no different from an abnormal color taking the place of a truly proper one.(liu xie: the literary mind and the carving of dragons)
charm of spontaneity
this term means poetry creationshould present the unembellished beauty of nature and the genuine sentiments ofhuman beings. the original meaning of yingzhi (英旨) is good taste. used as aliterary term, however, it refers to charming content and imagery in poetry. in“preface to ‘the critique ofpoetry,’” zhong rong of the southern dynasties calledon poets to express their thoughts and sentiments in their own words andopposed borrowing expressions from ancient poets. he criticized the excessiveattention to ornate language and tonal rhythms in the writing offive-character-per-line poetry. he maintained that spontaneously created poemsof good taste were most valuable. the expressions “natural” and “simple and unaffected” in later literary criticisms contain zhong rong’s ideas.
ren fang, wang rong and someother writers of recent times have given no attention to linguistic innovationyet vied with each other for using literary allusions that no one else has everemployed. subsequent writers have turned this practice into a habit. and so, allsentences must contain allusions, and every word and expression has to betraceable to some sources. allusions are clumsily tacked onto the authors’ own words,severely damaging their works. there are few poets capable of producing worksthat display the pristine beauty of nature or their genuine sentiments. (zhongrong: preface to “the critique of poetry”)
i have read with great interestthe letters, poems, and essays you have sent to me. broadly speaking, they areall like floating clouds and flowing waters, have no set form or structure, andfrequently flow when they should flow and remain still when they must stop. thearticles are presented in a natural way and have multiple and uninhibitedstyles. (su shi: a letter of reply to xie minshi)
bù xué shī， wú yǐ yán
if you do not study the book ofsongs, you will not be eloquent.
in confucius’ time, howwell one understood the book of songs was a sign of his social status andcultural attainment. if one did not study it, one would find it difficult toimprove one’s ability to express oneself and toconverse with people of high social status. confucius’elaboration on the relationship between studying the book of songs and socialinteraction actually expounds on the importance of literature in education.
confucius was standing alone inthe central hall when his son boyu walked across the front yard. confuciusasked, “have you studied the book of songs?” “notyet,” was the reply. confucius then said, “if you do not study it, you will not be able to express yourselfproperly.” (the analects)
yǒu dé zhě bì yǒu yán
virtuous people are sure toproduce fine writing.
virtuous people are sure towrite fine works which will be passed on to later generations. according toconfucianism, the moral character of a writer determines the value of his work,virtuous people would naturally write well, but those who wrote well might notnecessarily be virtuous. therefore, authors should write to disseminate moralvalues; virtue and writings should be consistent. however, later confucianscholars sometimes overemphasized the influence that ethics and the authors’ moralcharacter had on their writings to the neglect of the characteristics andvalues of literary creation per se.
confucius said, “virtuouspeople are sure to have good writings or words to pass on to later generations,but it is not always true the other way round.” (theanalects)
a man of character shouldpossess exceptional capability and his eloquent expressions should portrayeverything truthfully. his great wisdom should enable him to explain all thingsunder heaven. he does not need to hide his aspirations to serve as a model ofvirtue. if he has come to a good understanding of dao, he surely willdisseminate it extensively. (liu xie: the literary mind and the carving ofdragons)
lài yǔ xīshī， dào tōng wéi yī
a scabby person and thebeautiful lady xishi are the same in the eyes of dao.
this is a famous statement madeby zhuangzi on how beauty is relative. originally it meant there was nodifference between a beauty and an ugly person, because they both came from andreflected dao. the character 厉 meant 癞 (covered inscabs) in ancient chinese. whether a person is beautiful or ugly is but asubjective perspective in the mind of the beholder. besides, beauty can turninto ugliness, and vice versa. zhuangzi, from the perspective of the origin ofall things, stressed that beauty and ugliness are both in accord with dao andare inherently the same. this idea has encouraged later literary critics tolook at all things, including literary works, from the perspective thatopposite things complement each other.
in the light of dao, a smallblade of grass or a tall pillar, someone as ugly as a favus patient or someoneas beautiful as lady xishi, as well as crafty and strange things, are all thesame. (zhuangzi)
dao manifests in an array ofobjective things, but its genuine spirit lies within them. (sikong tu:twenty-four styles of poetry)
lè ér bùyín，āi ér bù shāng
express enjoyment withoutindulgence and express grief without excessive distress
this is what confucius said ofthe description of love between young men and women in the poem entitled “guan ju” in “ballads of zhounan,” the book of songs. later confucian scholars regarded this as abasic requirement for poems and other literary works to advocate impartiality,peace of mind, and harmony between emotion and reason, making it a criterionfor evaluating literary works. its connotation is in accord with zhongyong (thegolden mean) of confucianism. in the more recent history, the connotation ofthe term has been continuously renewed to keep pace with the times.
the poem “guan ju” expresses enjoyment without indulgence and grief without excessivedistress. (the analects)
ballads from the states expresspassion of love without indulgence. minor court hymns make complaints andcriticisms without inciting trouble. (sima qian: records of the historian)
shēng yī wú tīng，wù yī wú wén
a single note does not compose amelodious tune, nor does a single color make a beautiful pattern.
this statement suggests that thebeauty of literature and art lies in the unity and harmony of diverse elements.it became an important principle in ancient chinese theories on literature andart, and facilitated the development of literature and art.
a single note does not compose amelodious tune; a single color does not form a beautiful pattern; a singleflavor does not make a delicious meal; and a single thing has nothing tocompare with. (discourses on governance of the states)
it is natural that silk ofdifferent colors can be used to embroider a beautiful pattern, different notesto produce melodious music, and expressions of different feelings to present afine work of literary art. (liu xie: the literary mind and the carving ofdragons)
xiàng wàizhī xiàng，jǐng wài zhī jǐng
the image beyond an image, thescene beyond a scene
readers of poetry create imagesand scenes in their minds based on what they are reading. these are the readers’ imaginationsbased on what is depicted in the poems. the term comes from daoist theoriesabout the relationships between discourses, ideas or meanings, and images thatsymbolize profound meaning in the book of changes. from the wei, jin to thetang dynasties, poetry critics sought “the image beyondan image, the scene beyond a scene” in order to pursuethe spiritual implications and the beauty of images that are beyond textualdescriptions. this term gives expression to the artistic and aesthetic tastesand ideals of the chinese nation.
the imagery of poets is like thesunshine warming lantian so that fine jades under its ground issue smoke: theycan be seen from afar but not observed right before your eyes. the image beyondan image, the scene beyond a scene—are they not simply beyond words!(sikong tu: letter to wang jipu)
that which makes a poem a poemis a poetic appeal beyond the image, an image beyond the words and words sayingthings beyond their meaning. (peng lu: preface to collected poems of peng lu)
xìn yán bù měi，měi yán bù xìn
sincere words may not bepleasant to the ear; flowery rhetoric may not be sincere.
to address the extravagance insocial mores and in the style of writing of his time, laozi advocated simpleand natural lifestyles and literary presentations. during the wei and jindynasties, men of letters valued natural and simple literary styles and wereopposed to extravagant and superficial styles. this line of thought led to theemergence of great poets like tao yuanming, and shaped literary writings toreflect direct thoughts and natural expressions. subsequently, ancient chineseliterature and art took simplicity and naturalness as the highest aestheticstandards.
sincere words may not bepleasant to the ear; flowery rhetoric may not be sincere. a kind-hearted personmay not be an eloquent speaker; a glib person is often not kind. (laozi)
laozi detested pretense, so hesaid, “flowery rhetoric words may not be sincere.”however, the 5,000-word dao de jing (another name of laozi) he wrote is notonly profound in ideas but reads beautifully. that means he was not opposed towritings using fine words. (liu xie: the literary mind and the carving ofdragons)