仁者乐山,智者乐水 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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rénzhě-yàoshān, zhìzhě-yàoshuǐ 仁者乐山,智者乐水

The Virtuous Love Mountains and the Wise Love Water.

有德行的人喜爱山,有智慧的人喜爱水。山崇高持固,以其深厚而滋养万物,仁者由此联想到平和安静、心怀仁德而欣喜;水奔流不息,以其顺势而周流无滞,智者由此联想到顺势而动、随时应变而快乐。此二句互文见义:仁爱而有智慧的人从自然山水中看到自己的天性和追求,乃至看到自己精神的映照,所以见山水而欣悦。这是君子修养的两方面,是君子比德于山水进而移情山水带来的拟人化的自然之美以及赏会之乐。山水因此联系着人类美好的情感,成为常见的审美意象,而徜徉于山水也成为文人修养身心的重要方式。比德是一种富有中国特色的艺术表现方式和思维方式。

According to this term, a mountain is lofty and steadfast, conserving everything with its infinite forbearance. Thus, a virtuous man feels elated by associating this with poise, serenity and benevolence. Water, on the other hand, runs on incessantly, finding its way around without being deterred by any obstacle. Thus, a wise man feels joyful recalling how water meanders its course and keeps pace with the seasons. These two statements complement each other in meaning. Benevolent and wise people note their own nature and aptitude, even their own spiritual state of being, through mountains and water, hence their happiness at the sight of natural scenery. This represents two aspects of a noble-minded person’s self-cultivation. It is a personification of natural beauty and an experience of aesthetic appreciation brought about by comparing virtue to, and empathizing with, mountains and water. Thus, mountains and water are often associated with beautiful feelings and have become a common aesthetic image. Wandering among mountains and streams is also seen as an important way for a man of letters to cultivate himself. This comparison made between virtue and natural scenery is typical in Chinese artistic expression and thought.

引例 Citations:

◎岁寒,然后知松柏之后凋也。(《论语·子罕》)

(每年到了天气最寒冷的时节,才知道松树和柏树是最后凋谢的。)

Only when the year turns deadly cold do we see that pines and cypresses are the last to wither. (The Analects)

◎知(zhì)者乐水,仁者乐山。知者动,仁者静。知者乐,仁者寿。(《论语·雍也》)

(有智慧的人喜爱水,有德行的人喜爱山;有智慧的人好动,有德行的人好静;有智慧的人快乐,有德行的人长寿。)

A wise man loves water; a virtuous man loves mountains. A wise man is active; a virtuous man stays peaceful in mind. A wise man is happy; a virtuous man enjoys a long life. (The Analects)

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