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  • Writer's picture山水闲人Jane

Inspiration from 'Historical Records: Essentials of Six Schools' for Modern Life (Part 1 of 7)

浅谈《史记.论六家之要旨》对现代生活的启发

七篇连载之一

总论

经史合参的重要性

Chapter 1

General

The Importance of Combining Classics and History

​​近代到现代,人类历史和生活有了很大的变化。随着科技的发展,人类开始进入电子和数字时代,电脑和人工智能突飞猛进,人类的未来何去何从?我们是否跟古人有了很大的区别?


From the 19th century till now, human history and life have undergone great changes. With the development of science and technology, humans have entered the electronic and digital age, computers and artificial intelligence are advancing exponentially. What is the future of human beings? How different are we from our ancient counterparts?

我们自称是炎黄子孙,从黄帝开始,我们就有5000多年的历史,如果从《山海经》里查阅,我们就有200万年的历史。到底是多少年,这里先不讨论。中国古人讲, “500年出一个圣人”,如果按照这样计算,孔子以后又过了500年,就出了汉代的司马迁。孔子整理文化典籍,是从尧典开始记载的。司马迁就把尧以前的上古文化都补齐了。司马迁并不只是一个史学家,如果大家能够把《史记》全部读完,就知道司马迁是一个上知天文,下知地理,中通人事的全才。《史记》的全文除了历史记载以外,《史记.书》的篇章,包括了礼书,乐书,律书,历书,天官书,封禅书,河渠书和平准书,一切天文地理历法的知识都在里面。


The Han Chinese claim to be descendants of the Yan and Huang tribes. Since the Yellow Emperor, we have a history of more than 5,000 years. According to the "Shan Hai Jing", we have a history of 2 million years. The exact number of years is not being discussed here. An ancient Chinese historical figure once said, "A sage emerges in 500 years." According to this calculation, 500 years after Confucius, a sage was born. This was Sima Qian during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). Confucius sorted out the ancient cultural classics, which were recorded starting from the Yao Dian. Sima Qian produced complete histories of all the ancient cultures before the Yao Dian. Yet he was more than just a historian. A reading of all the "SHIJI (Historical Records)", shows that Sima Qian was a polymath who had knowledge of astronomy, natural science, geography, and what is now known as sociology. In addition, the full text of "Historical Records" includes the chapters of "Historical Records: Books", including books on rituals, music, law, almanacs, Tianguan, Fengchan, Hequ and Ping Zhun. These include expertise on astronomy, geography and calendars.

《史记》是距今2000年前司马迁所著,我们需要仔细阅读,细细思量。《史记》当中对诸子百家文化的总结是在《太史公自序》里面,这一段“论六家要旨”是司马迁的父亲太史公司马谈对于当时的六种主要文化派别做出了评价和对比,实在是非常高明精妙。


"Historical Records" was written by Sima Qian 2000 years ago. It needs to be read and thought about carefully. In "Historical Records", the summary of the cultures of various schools of thought is in the "Preface to Tai Shi Gong". This section "On the Essentials of the Six Schools" is Sima Qian's father, Sima Tan (“Tai Shi Gong”, the government official in charge of libraries/history records), who made an evaluation and conclusion of the six major cultural schools at that time. The comparison is both masterful and subtle.

原文如下:

The original text is as follows:


易大传:“天下一致而百虑,同归而殊涂。”夫阴阳、儒、墨、名、法、道德,此务为治者也,直所从言之异路,有省不省耳。尝窃观阴阳之术,大祥而众忌讳,使人拘而多所畏;然其序四时之大顺,不可失也。儒者博而寡要,劳而少功,是以其事难尽从;然其序君臣父子之礼,列夫妇长幼之别,不可易也。墨者俭而难遵,是以其事不可遍循;然其强本节用,不可废也。法家严而少恩;然其正君臣上下之分,不可改矣。名家使人俭而善失真;然其正名实,不可不察也。道家使人精神专一,动合无形,赡足万物。其为术也,因阴阳之大顺,采儒墨之善,撮名法之要,与时迁移,应物变化,立俗施事,无所不宜,指约而易操,事少而功多。儒者则不然。以为人主天下之仪表也,主倡而臣和,主先而臣随。如此则主劳而臣逸。至于大道之要,去健羡,绌聪明,释此而任术。夫神大用则竭,形大劳则敝。形神骚动,欲与天地长久,非所闻也。

夫阴阳四时、八位、十二度、二十四节各有教令,顺之者昌,逆之者不死则亡,未必然也,故曰“使人拘而多畏”。夫春生夏长,秋收冬藏,此天道之大经也,弗顺则无以为天下纲纪,故曰“四时之大顺,不可失也”。

“夫儒者以六艺为法。六艺经传以千万数,累世不能通其学,当年不能究其礼,故曰“博而寡要,劳而少功”。若夫列君臣父子之礼,序夫妇长幼之别,虽百家弗能易也。“

墨者亦尚尧舜道,言其德行曰:“堂高三尺,土阶三等,茅茨不翦,采椽不刮。食土簋,啜土刑,粝粱之食,藜霍之羹。夏日葛衣,冬日鹿裘。”其送死,桐棺三寸,举音不尽其哀。教丧礼,必以此为万民之率。使天下法若此,则尊卑无别也。夫世异时移,事业不必同,故曰“俭而难遵”。要曰强本节用,则人给家足之道也。此墨子之所长,虽百长弗能废也。

法家不别亲疏,不殊贵贱,一断于法,则亲亲尊尊之恩绝矣。可以行一时之计,而不可长用也,故曰“严而少恩”。若尊主卑臣,明分职不得相逾越,虽百家弗能改也。

名家苛察缴绕,使人不得反其意,专决于名而失人情,故曰“使人俭而善失真”。若夫控名责实,参伍不失,此不可不察也。

道家无为,又曰无不为,其实易行,其辞难知。其术以虚无为本,以因循为用。无成埶,无常形,故能究万物之情。不为物先,不为物后,故能为万物主。有法无法,因时为业;有度无度,因物与合。故曰“圣人不朽,时变是守。虚者道之常也,因者君之纲”也。群臣并至,使各自明也。其实中其声者谓之端,实不中其声者谓之窾。窾言不听,奸乃不生,贤不肖自分,白黑乃形。在所欲用耳,何事不成。乃合大道,混混冥冥。光耀天下,复反无名。凡人所生者神也,所托者形也。神大用则竭,形大劳则敝,形神离则死。死者不可复生,离者不可复反,故圣人重之。由是观之,神者生之本也,形者生之具也。不先定其神[形],而曰“我有以治天下”,何由哉?


我们从第一段开始读:

Let's start with the first paragraph:

“天下一致而百虑,同归而殊涂。夫阴阳、儒、墨、名、法、道德,此务为治者也,直所从言之异路,有省不省耳。”

"The world is the same, but there are hundreds of different thoughts, which lead to different routes but toward the same goal. Yin and yang, Confucianism, Mohism, Legalism, Dialectician/Logicism, and Taoism are the main ones, all teach different ways to try to solve problems in society and life. It is a matter of simplicity or complexity."

在春秋战国时期,经过几百年的战争动荡,却造就了中国历史上一个学术空前繁荣的时代,就是我们最熟悉的“诸子百家”的时代。因此,太史公先引用孔子在易经里面的解释做一个概述:天下的真理是一致的,只是大家的思想方法和见解各有差别和不同,学术门派不论走的哪条道路,但是最终还是会回归到一条真理的道路上来。当时最主要的学术派系有六家:阴阳家,儒家,墨家,名家,法家和道家。这六家学术派别,是为了对治人类社会和生活上的各种问题而产生的。”省“,这里是简单的意思。就是说,各个学派所教导的方法和着重点不一样,讲的道理有多有少,也有简单或者复杂的区别,有些方法简约易行,有些方法繁缛难行。


During the Spring and Autumn Period (710-481 BCE) and the Warring States Period (475-221 BCE), after hundreds of years of war and turmoil, there was an era of unprecedented academic riches in Chinese history, this is commonly known as the "Hundred Schools of Philosophy". Therefore, Tai Shigong first quoted Confucius’ explanation in I-Ching (“the Book of Changes”) to give an overview: the truth of the world is the same, but everyone’s thinking methods and opinions are different. No matter which path academic schools take, they will eventually come back to a path of truth. At that time, there were six main academic schools: Yin Yang School, Confucianism, Mohism, Legalism, Logicism and Taoism. These six academic schools were created to deal with various problems in human society and life. “Simple or complex” means that the methods and emphases taught by each school are different. Each school taught varying degrees of theories and knowledge in different aspects, and there are differences between simplicity and complexity. Some methods are simple and easy to implement, while others are complicated and difficult to implement.


读中国的古书,必须要结合当时的历史来读,才能够明白当时文字的含义。这里引用汉代初期的历史背景作为参考,给大家一个更好的理解。西汉建国以后,因为秦朝的法家治国非常严酷,人民生活痛苦,因此汉朝初期的政策是休养生息,也就是后世说的“外示儒术,内用黄老“。汉高祖刘邦的儿子刘恒,就是汉文帝,继续沿用汉初的休养生息的政策。汉文帝的皇后是窦姬,后称窦太后,这个窦太后也是喜欢黄帝、老子学说。文帝的儿子汉景帝刘启,也在母亲的影响之下学习“黄老”学说,这就是历史上有名的“文景之治”。文帝和景帝的时期,儒生一直得不到提拔和重用。到了汉武帝刘彻即位,窦太后被尊太皇太后,有很多儒生不满一直得不到重用,鼓动汉武帝推新政,提拔儒生。因为窦太后的反对,武帝一直不能实现新政,直到窦太后去世后,汉武帝推行新政,启用儒家学者董仲舒,推行“罢黜百家,独尊儒术”和“君权神授”的新政。


When reading ancient Chinese books, one must read them in conjunction with the history of the time in order to understand the contemporary meaning of the words. The historical background of the early Han Dynasty is quoted here as a reference to give a better understanding. After the founding of the Western Han Dynasty, because the legalist rule of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE) was draconian and ordinary people's lives were miserable, the policy of the early Han Dynasty was to recuperate, which is what later generations said "show Confucianism externally and use Huangdi & Laozi internally". Liu Heng, the son of Liu Bang, Emperor Gaozu of the Han Dynasty, was Emperor Wen of the same dynasty, and continued to follow the policy of incremental recuperation in the early Han Dynasty. The empress of Emperor Wenwen was Concubine Dou, who was later called Empress Dowager Dou. This Empress Dowager Dou also adopted the theories of the Yellow Emperor and Laozi. Liu Qi, the son of Emperor Wen of the Han Dynasty, also learned the theory of "Huang Lao" under the influence of his mother. This has famously gone down in history as the “Rule of Wen & Jing”. During the period of Emperor Wen and Emperor Jing, Confucian scholars were not promoted. When Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, Liu Che ascended the throne, and Empress Dowager Dou gained the title and recognition that she is now known for, many Confucian scholars were dissatisfied that they had not been hired and put in government positions, and encouraged Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty to implement new policies and promote Confucian scholars. Because of the opposition of Empress Dowager Dou, Emperor Wu was unable to implement the New Deal until after the death of Empress Dowager Dou, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty implemented the New Deal, using Confucian scholar Dong Zhongshu, and implemented the New Deal of "removing all schools of thought and respecting Confucianism alone" and "divine power of the monarch".

这一篇“论六家要旨”,就是在这样的背景之下整理出来的。这六家的学派的内容,并不是我们现代人想象的那么简单。2000年以前,中国的文化就已经到达了人类历史上智慧和成就的最高点,如果现代人能够仔细研究每一个学派的内容,就能够知道,现代产生的学派,同样是“同归而殊途“,只是讲解的方法和文字有变化,内容始终不能超越古人的智慧。这也是我们现代人需要客观学习的关键。​​​​​​​​​​

This article "On the Essentials of the Six Schools" was written under such a background. The content of these six schools of thought is not as simple as is widely imagined in modern times. 2000 years ago, Chinese culture had reached the highest point of wisdom and achievement in human history. If modern people can carefully study the content of each school, they will know that the schools that emerged in modern times are also "the same goal but different routes". Despite this, the method of explanation and the texts have changed, and the content can never surpass the wisdom of the ancients. This is also the key to modern people's need for objective learning.


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