安时处顺 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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ānshí-chǔshùn 安时处顺

Face Reality Calmly

坦然面对现实,安于时运,顺其自然。这是古代哲学家庄子(前369?—前286)所提出的一种处世态度和人生智慧。庄子认为,一切事物都是不以人的意志为转移的,面对死生等变化所造成的境遇,人们要泰然处之。但它并非要人们消极地逆来顺受,而是强调人本身精神的适应性和超越性;提示人们用一种坦然、超拔的心态对待自己的生命和境遇,获得自我安顿,达到自由境界。它是老子“道法自然”命题的延伸与发挥。

One should face reality calmly and follow its natural course. This is an attitude to life espoused by the ancient philosopher Zhuangzi (369?-286 BC). He believed that all things undergo spontaneous transformations independent of man’s will and that humans should face the changes of life and death calmly. However, this does not mean passivity or resignation. It means that people should look upon life with detachment, be at ease with changes and follow life’s natural path. This is an extension of Laozi’s principle of “the Dao operating naturally.”

引例 Citations:

◎夫得者,时也;失者,顺也。安时而处顺,哀乐不能入也。(《庄子·大宗师》)

(生命的获得是时运所致,生命的失去是顺应自然。我安于时运,顺其自然,任何悲哀欢乐都不会侵入我的内心了。)

What is gained in life is due to changes in nature; loss of life is the natural course of things. I face the functioning of nature calmly and follow its path; thus neither sorrow nor joy will affect me. (Zhuangzi)

◎富贵福泽,将厚吾之生也;贫贱忧戚,庸玉汝于成也。存,吾顺事;没,吾宁也。(张载《正蒙·乾称篇》)

(富贵福禄,看作天地用来丰厚我的生活;贫贱忧戚,看作天地用来助我成就一番事业。活着,我顺应事情变化;死时,我平静而去。)

Wealth, honor, good fortune, and favors are bestowed on me to enrich my life, while poverty, low status, grief, and distress push me to seek fulfilment. In life, I follow the natural course; when I die, I will face it calmly. (Zhang Zai: Enlightenment Through Confucian Teachings)

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