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东方哲学——老子 – 译学馆
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东方哲学——老子

EASTERN PHILOSOPHY - Lao Tzu

要真正的了解中国哲学家老子,十分困难。
It’s difficult to know much for certain about the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu.
他的名字也让人有些疑惑,有时也被翻译成Laozi 或者Lao Tze。
Even his name can be a little confusing; it is also sometimes translated as Laozi or Lao Tze
据称,老子曾是周朝守护宫廷藏书的官员,
Lao Tzu is said to have been a record keeper in the court of the central Chinese Zhou Dynasty
生活在公元前六世纪,比孔子年长的同时代哲学家。
in the 6th century B.C., and an older contemporary of Confucius.
他也有可能完全是虚构的,就像西方文化中的荷马。
He may also have been entirely mythical—much like Homer in Western culture.
随着周王朝日益道德败坏,老子厌倦了自己在朝廷的工作。
Lao Tzu is said to have tired of life in the Zhou court as it grew increasingly morally corrupt.
所以便离开了,骑着青牛到了周王朝西边的边境线(即函谷关)。
So he left and rode on a water buffalo to the western border of the Chinese empire.
尽管老子是农民打扮,守关官员还是认出了老子,并且请老子将自己的智慧写下来。
Although he was dressed as a farmer, the border official recognised him and asked him to write
根据这个传说(即函谷著书),老子所写的就是
down his wisdom. According to this legend, what Lao Tzu wrote became the sacred text
著名的《道德经》。
known as the Tao Te Ching.
老子写完后,穿过函谷关,从此便消失了,
After writing this piece, Lao Tzu is said to have crossed the border and disappeared
有可能成了隐士。
from history, perhaps to become a hermit.
实际上,《道德经》很可能是很长一段时间里许多作者的合集。
In reality, the Tao Te Ching is likely to be the compilation of the works of many authors
但是关于老子的传说以及《道德经》
over time. But stories about Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching itself passed down through different
在两千多年里,经由不同的哲学门派流传了下来。
Chinese philosophical schools for over two thousand years.
老子成了道教的鼻祖,
Lao Tzu was the leading figure in the spiritual practice known as Daoism
道教已创教两千余年,在当今仍旧流行。
which is more than two thousand years old, and still popular today. There are at least
如今在世界各地,至少有两千万道教信奉者,甚至可能多达五亿人,
twenty million Daoists, and perhaps even half a billion, living around the world now, especially
尤其是在大陆和台湾地区。信徒们冥想、诵经,
in China and Taiwan. They practise meditation, chant scriptures, and worship a variety of
在道观里供奉许多神。
gods and goddesses in temples.
信徒们也会前往中国东边五座道教大山朝圣,
Daoists also make pilgrimages to five sacred mountains in eastern China in order to pray
为了能够在道观里祈祷,并从这些圣地中汲取精神养分,
at the temples and absorb spiritual energy from these holy places, which are believed
这据称是由神掌管的。
to be governed by immortals.
道教与其他流派比如儒家和佛教紧密相联。
Daoism is deeply intertwined with other branches of thought like Confucianism and Buddhism.
有一个关于三位亚洲宗教领袖(老子、孔子和释迦牟尼)的故事。
There is a story about the three great Asian spiritual leaders (Lao Tzu, Confucius, and
三人都尝了醋。
Buddha). All were meant to have tasted vinegar.
孔子说这是酸的,就像他认为世界上的人们都败坏了。
Confucius found it sour, much like he found the world full of degenerate people, and Buddha
释迦牟尼觉得是苦的,就好像他发现世界充满了苦痛折磨。
found it bitter, much like he found the world to be full of suffering. But Lao Tzu found
而老子则觉得世界美好的。这很能说明问题,因为老子的哲学更倾向于
the world sweet. This is telling, because Lao Tzu’s philosophy tends to look at the
观察世上外在的不和谐而发现由Dao道=道(the path)
apparent discord in the world and see an underlying harmony guided by something called the
领导的内在和谐。
Dao 道 = the path
《道德经》
The Tao Te Ching
讲了什么是道,一定程度上很像《圣经》,给人们指导
which describes the Dao, is somewhat like the Bible: it gives instructions (often vague
(经常是隐晦的,可以有不同的解读方式),指导人们如何更好的生活。
and generally open to multiple interpretations) on how to live a good life. It discusses the
其认为“道”是世界的方式(way),也是通向美德、幸福以及和谐的途径
“Dao” as the “way” of the world, which is also the path to virtue, happiness, and harmony.
“道”本质上来说意思明确,不难理解。但是,为了遵循“道”,
“The way” isn’t inherently confusing or difficult. But in order to follow the Dao,
我们不仅仅需要阅读、思索,更需要学会
we need to go beyond simply reading and thinking about it. Instead we must learn
无为。
flowing, or effortless action.
这是主动接受“道”,
It’s a sort of purposeful acceptance of the way of the Dao
用其和谐生活。
and living in harmony with it.
这可能看起来有些深奥难懂,但是老子的大多数建议实际上都非常简单。
This might seem lofty and bizarre, but most of Lao Tzu’s suggestions are actually very
首先,我们应该花更多的时间来保持平静。
simple. First, we ought to take more time for stillness. “To the mind that is still,”
老子曾说:“游心於淡,而天下治矣.”
Lao Tzu said, “the whole universe surrenders.”
我们应该稍稍忘掉我们日程、烦忧、纷繁的思绪,
We need to let go of our schedules, worries and complex thoughts for a while and simply
单纯地来体验这个世界。
experience the world.
生活中,我们花了很多时间不断赶场,
We spend so much time rushing from one place to the next in life, but Lao Tzu reminds us
但是老子提醒我们“道恒无为,而无不为”。
“nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” It is particularly important
尤其重要的是我们应该记住某些事情–悲伤、成长、交友–
that we remember that certain things—grieving, growing wiser, developing a new relationship—only
只会按照自己的节奏发生,就好比秋天树叶的变化
happen on their own schedule, like the changing of leaves in the fall or the blossoming of
或者数月前种下果实的成熟。
the bulbs we planted months ago.
当我们宁静祥和的时候,也需要有一个接纳之心。
When we are still and patient we also need to be open.
“当其无有器之用。”老子说:
“The usefulness of a pot comes from its emptiness.” Lao Tzu said. “Empty yourself
“当其无,有室之用。”
of everything, let your mind become still.”
如果我们总是忙忙碌碌,焦虑万分或者一心追名逐利,我们可能会错过
If we are too busy, too preoccupied with anxiety or ambition, we will miss a thousand moments
太多的生命体验,而这些体验正是自然赋予我们的,我们需要注意到
of the human experience that are our natural inheritance. We need to be awake to the way
早上鸟儿的鸣叫,每个人不同的笑声,
sounds of the birds in the morning, the way other people look when they are laughing,
以及微风轻抚脸庞的感觉。这些体验让我们注意到身体的各个部分。
the feeling of wind against our face. These experiences reconnect us to parts of ourselves.
这是老子学说另一核心。我们需要了解真实的自己。
This is another key point of Lao Tzu’s writing: we need to be in touch with our real selves.
我们大多数时间都在担忧我们要成为谁,然而,
We spend a great deal of time worrying about who we ought to become, but we should instead
我们更应该花时间想想我们真正是谁。
take time to be who we already are at heart.
我们或许会重新发现一个慷慨的自己、或者早已忘记的童心,
We might rediscover a generous impulse, or a playful side we had forgotten, or simply
或者仅仅是想起对散步的热爱。
an old affection for long walks.
”自我(ego)”经常我们忘记真正的自己,
Our ego is often in the way of our true self, which must be found by being receptive to
我们要接纳外在的世界,而不是关注于一些苛刻的、太过野心的内在形象,从而找回真正的自己。
the outside world rather than focusing on some critical, too-ambitious internal image.
老子写道:“以其终不自为大,故能成其大”。
“When I let go of what I am,” Lao Tzu wrote, “I become what I might be.”
要找到真正的自己,自然极为有帮助。
Nature is particularly useful for finding ourselves.
老子喜欢将自然的事物与不同的德行相比。他说
Lao Tzu liked to compare different parts of nature to different virtues. He said,
”上善若水,水善利万物而不争,
“The best people are like water, which benefits all things and does not compete with them.
处众人之所恶,故几于道。“
It stays in lowly places that others reject. This is why it is so similar to the Dao.”
自然的每一方面都能让我们想起一种美德,想起我们要提升自己–
Each part of nature can remind us of a quality we admire and should cultivate ourselves—the
山的雄伟,树的坚韧,花的乐观。
strength of the mountains, the resilience of trees, the cheerfulness of flowers.
当然,有些事情必须拿出行动,有些时候必须要有雄心。
Of course, there are issues that must be addressed by action, and there are times for ambition.
但是,老子的著作对于信道的人和不信道的人都非常重要,
Yet Lao Tzu’s work is important for Daoists and non-Daoists alike, especially in a modern
尤其是在当今世界,人们总被科技分心,
world distracted by technology and focused on what seem to be constant, sudden, and severe
并且关注持续的、突然的或者重大的变化。
changes.
老子的话提醒我们保持宁静、开放、
His words serve as a reminder of the importance of stillness, openness, and discovering buried
以及重新发现早已被埋葬但是非常重要的真实的自己等的重要性。
yet central parts of ourselves.

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