自生 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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zìshēng 自生

Spontaneous Generation

万物由自己生成。万物不由“天”或“无”创造产生,也不由其他有形的事物所产生。“自生”之说意在打破造物主的观念。对于万物“自生”的具体情形,人们有不同的理解。有人认为,“自生”的事物之间是相互关联、相互依赖的。但也有人主张,万物各自无联系地、孤立地、突然地“自生”。

Everything comes into being by itself; it is not created or generated by heaven, void, or tangible things. The expression “spontaneous generation” rejects the concept of a creator. People have different views about the concrete circumstances of the “spontaneous generation” of things. Some believe that things which are “spontaneously generated” are interrelated and dependent on one another, while some others assert that everything is “spontaneously generated” by itself abruptly, unconnected with others.

引例 Citations:

◎夫至无者无以能生,故始生者自生也。(裴頠(wéi)《崇有论》,见《晋书·裴頠传》)

(“无”不能创生事物,因此最初生成的事物一定是自生的。)

Void cannot create things, so the earliest things that came into being must have done so by themselves. (Pei Wei: A Discussion of Respecting Tangible Things)

◎无既无矣,则不能生有。有之未生,又不能为生。然则生生者谁哉?块然而自生耳。(郭象《庄子注》)

(“无”已经是虚无的,自然不能产生有形的事物。有形的事物还未生成,也不能作为创生者。那么创生其他事物的是谁呢?万物都是独自生成的。)

Void means non-existence and naturally cannot generate tangible things. Before tangible things come into being, there cannot be any creator. Then what creates things? Obviously everything is spontaneously generated. (Guo Xiang: Annotations on Zhuangzi)

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