无用之用 – Chinese philosophy and culture

0
136
Listen to this article

wú yònɡ zhī yònɡ 无用之用

The Advantage of Appearing Useless

选择无用状态而实现的对生命的保全。“无用之用”一说出自《庄子》,“无用”是庄子(前369?—前286)提出的一种保全生命的处世态度。庄子认为,一个能力出众的人会被要求承担更多职责,因而也面临更多困难与危险。这会对身体和心灵造成伤害。只有舍弃进取、有为的意愿,向世人展现出自己的无用,才能避开人世间的各种危险,从而保全自己的生命。

This term means choosing to be useless to realize the preservation of life. Originating in Zhuangzi, choosing to appear useless is a way advocated by Zhuangzi (369?-286 BC) for preserving one’s life. He said that very able people are often required to shoulder many responsibilities, which will result in greater difficulties and dangers harmful to their physical and mental health. Zhuangzi concluded that only by giving up the desire to advance or become useful, showing instead how useless one is, can one avoid the perils of the human world and therefore preserve one’s life.

引例 Citations:

◎山木自寇也,膏火自煎也。桂可食,故伐之;漆可用,故割之。人皆知有用之用,而莫知无用之用也。(《庄子·人间世》)

(山中的树木自己招致砍伐,照明用的灯油自己招致煎熬。桂树可以食用,因此被砍伐;漆树可以产漆,因此被刀割。人们都知道有用的用处,而不知道不用的用处。)

The trees in the mountain invite the axe; lamp oil illuminates by burning itself. The bark of the cinnamon tree is edible, and therefore it is cut down; the lacquer tree produces useful varnish, and therefore it suffers incisions. People all know the advantages of being useful, but no one knows the advantages of being useless. (Zhuangzi)

Rate this post

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here