一物两体 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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yīwù-liǎnɡtǐ 一物两体

One Thing in Two Fundamental States

作为统一体的“气”之中包含着对立的两个方面。张载认为,天地万物都是由“气”构成的。“气”是完整的统一体,也即“一物”。同时,“气”又有虚实、动静、聚散、清浊等对立的状态,即是“两体”。没有对立面的相互作用,则没有统一体的存在;没有统一体的存在,则对立的相互作用也会消失。统一体之中的对立,是“气”及其所构成的事物产生变化的根源。

Qi (气), or vital force, consists of two opposing aspects. According to the Song-dynasty philosopher Zhang Zai, everything in the world consists of qi. On the one hand, qi is a whole and one thing; on the other, it consists of pairs of contradictory states, such as the real and the unreal, motion and stillness, concentration and diffusion, and clarity and opacity. Without interaction between the opposite states, the whole cannot exist. Likewise, without the whole, there can be no interaction between the opposite states. Contradictions within the whole constitute the source of changes of qi and all things made of qi.

引例 Citation:

◎一物两体,气也。一故神,两故化,此天之所以参也。(张载《正蒙·参两》)

(统一的事物之中包含着对立的两个方面,这就是“气”的状态。作为统一体,因此有神妙的运动。两个对立面相互作用,因此有无穷的变化。这也就是天所具有的“三”的意义。)

One thing with two states, that is qi, or vital force. As one whole thing, qi has miraculous movements, caused by interaction between the two opposites; and such movements create endless changes. This is why heaven has three aspects (the whole and the two states). (Zhang Zai: Enlightenment Through Confucian Teachings)

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