不言之教 – Chinese philosophy and culture

bùyánzhījiào 不言之教

Influence Others Without Preaching

以不言说的方式施行的教化,是老子提出的一种符合“无为”原则的教化方式。古代一般意义上的教化,是统治者通过言语表达的各种命令、训导,使百姓的言行乃至心灵符合礼法的要求。老子反对这种“有为”的教化方式,认为统治者不应按照自己的意志命令、训导百姓,而应以“无为”、“无言”的方式,因循、保全百姓的自然状态。后多用“不言之教”指以自身的品行来影响、引导他人。

Laozi advocated “influencing others without preaching” as part of his philosophy of wuwei (无为) or non-action. In ancient times, rulers issued orders and instructions to shape their subjects’ speech, thoughts and behavior so as to conform to the proprieties. Laozi was against this kind of direct action, believing that instead of imposing their own will on the people, the sovereign should employ non-action and non-preaching methods to preserve and protect the natural state of their subjects. Later, the term came to mean influencing and guiding others by one’s moral conduct.

引例 Citations:

◎是以圣人处无为之事,行不言之教。(《老子·二章》)

(因此圣人以“无为”的方式来处理世事,以“不言”的方式施行教化。)

Therefore, the sage deals with worldly affairs through non-action, and influences others without preaching. (Laozi)

◎不言之教,无为之益,天下希及之。(《老子·四十三章》)

(“不言”的教化,“无为”的益处,天下很少有人能够做到。)

Few can truly teach others without preaching, and do good through non-action.(Laozi)

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