中道 – Chinese philosophy and culture

zhōngdào 中道

The Middle Way

中正不偏的行事法则。“中道”是相对于偏颇的行为而言的。古人认为,天地万物的存在与变化遵循着基本的法则。这一法则体现在人为行事中,即是“中道”。人的言行应符合于“中道”。儒家主张通过遵循“中道”,避免过度或不及的言行,以实现完美的道德。佛教则主张践行“中道”,以认识事物的真实形态,从而达到解脱。不同学派、教派对“中道”具体内容的理解会有所不同。

The Middle Way manifests the principle of impartiality. It stands in contrast to partial behavior. Ancient Chinese believed that the existence and changes of all things in the universe obey a single basic law, which is shown through human action and conduct. This is the Middle Way. People should comply with the Middle Way in both speech and action. It can be achieved, Confucian scholars hold, by avoiding all excessive as well as inadequate words and actions, thus attaining impeccable morality. Buddhists advocate practicing the Middle Way in order to see things in their true light and break free of human suffering. Different schools of thought and religious sects vary in their understanding of the specific content of this concept.

引例 Citations:

◎孟子曰:“孔子‘不得中道而与之,必也狂狷乎!狂者进取,狷者有所不为也’。孔子岂不欲中道哉?不可必得,故思其次也。”(《孟子·尽心下》)

(孟子说:“孔子讲‘不能与遵循中道的人相交,也一定要结交狂者或狷者。狂者激昂进取,狷者不做有违道义的事。’孔子难道不想结交遵循中道的人吗?不一定能遇到,所以思求次一等的人。”)

Mencius commented: “Confucius said, ‘If one cannot make friends with those who adhere to the Middle way, at least be close to aspiring or uninhibited minds. The former aims high whereas the latter never violates moral laws.’ Did Confucius not want to befriend people who pursue the Middle Way when he said this? An adherent to the Middle way is not easy to find; that is probably why he settled for meeting people somewhat lower in stature.” (Mencius)

◎莫求欲乐,极下贱业,为凡夫行。亦莫求自身苦行,至苦非圣行,无义相应。离此二边,则有中道,成眼成智,自在成定,趣智趣觉,趣于涅槃。(《中阿含经》卷四十三)

(不要追求感官的满足,它太过低劣,这是普通人的行为。也不要苛求自己履行苦修,极端的痛苦并非圣人所行,并不会带来想要的结果。远离了这两种极端、取得中道,才能够成就正见正知,导向寂静、觉醒和解脱。)

Do not seek for physical pleasures, for they are too low and are the behaviors of common people. Do not seek any ascetic practice for yourself either. Extreme suffering is not practiced by the saintly people. It won’t bring the expected outcome. Only by keeping away from either extremes and by choosing the middle way can one accomplish concentration, thus getting on the way to wisdom, to peaceful mind, to awakening, and to nirvāna. (Middle Length Canonical Texts)

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