xiànɡ 象 – Chinese philosophy and culture

0
68
Listen to this article

xiànɡ 象

Xiang (Semblance)

可见而不具有形体的物象或图形。“象”大致包含四种不同的含义:其一,指“道”的某种显现形态。老子将“道”描述为“无物之象”,也称为“大象”。其二,指事物的某种显现形态。“象”的具体化或固定化程度要低于有形之物。常指“天象”,即日月星辰的运行、风雷云雨的施降。“天象”与“地形”相对。其三,指人的气象,即人的精神、意志在言行、姿态上的显现。其四,指象征或模拟天地万物的图形。古人创造了多种“象”的系统,并通过对“象”的观察与解释,来阐发自然与社会的运行变化及其法则。其中《周易》的卦象系统影响最为广远。

Xiang (象) refers to a visible but formless image or figure. It approximately has four different meanings. First, it refers to a manifest shape of Dao. Laozi described Dao as “a semblance of the unsubstantial,” also called “the great semblance.” Second, it indicates a manifest shape of objects. Xiang is less concrete or fixed than an object with a shape. It often means celestial phenomena, namely, the movements of the sun, the moon, and the stars, and the occurrence of wind, thunder, clouds, and rain. Celestial phenomena are relative to earthly shapes. Third, it refers to human temperament, namely, the human spirit and mind, manifested in words, deeds, and attitude. Fourth, it refers to figures symbolizing or imitating all things in heaven and on earth. Ancient Chinese created many kinds of systems of xiang, through the observation and interpretation of which they elucidated the changes in the movements of nature and of society, and also their laws. Among them, the system of the hexagrams and figures of The Book of Changes is the most influential.

引例 Citations:

◎其上不皦,在下不昧。绳绳不可名,复归于无物。是谓无状之状,无物之象,是谓惚恍。(《老子·十四章》)

(道在上而不明晰,在下也不晦暗。绵绵不绝而不能名状,返回到无物的状态。这可称作是没有形状的形状;不成物体的形象,称为“恍惚”。)

Above, Dao is not manifest, while lower down it is not obscure. It is ceaseless but cannot be described, and it then turns to nothingness. This is called the shape of the shapeless, and the semblance of the unsubstantial. Such a state is called indistinct. (Laozi)

◎在天成象,在地成形,变化见矣。(《周易·系辞上》)

(在天空显现为象,在大地显现为形,在天地的形象之中显现出了事物的变化。)

In heaven it is semblance, and on earth it has concrete shape, and this demonstrates change of things. (The Book of Changes)

◎圣人有以见天下之赜,而拟诸其形容,象其物宜,是故谓之象。(《周易·系辞上》)

(圣人用《周易》卦爻来察见天下万物的奥妙,从而模拟万物的形态,象征事物之所宜,所以称之为象。)

Hexagrams and trigrams described in The Book of Changes allowed sages to survey the secret of all things under heaven and determine what was fitting through simulation of the shapes of things. That is why they were called semblances. (The Book of Changes)

Previous article相反相成 – Chinese philosophy and culture
Next article小说 – Chinese philosophy and culture

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here