圣 – Chinese philosophy and culture

shèng 圣

Sage / Sageness

人所能达到的最高品德;也指具有这种最高品德的人,即“圣人”。“圣”一般与“智”相对而言,“智”是对“人道”的把握,而“圣”则是对“天道”的把握。由于具“圣”德之人能够把握“天道”,因此在人伦日用中通达无碍。

The term refers to the highest realm of human integrity and morality, hence one who has reached this state is a sage. It is often used in relation to “wisdom,” since one who is a wise man understands the way of man, while one who is a sage understands the way of heaven. Thus a sage with knowledge of the way of heaven will interact successfully with other people.

引例 Citations:

◎闻君子道,聪也。闻而知之,圣也。圣人知天道也。(郭店楚简《五行》)

(听闻君子的准则,可谓之“聪”。听闻而能知晓其义,可谓之“圣”。圣人知晓“天道”。)

He who listens to the principles of men of virtue is wise; he who not only listens but also understands them is a sage. The sage understands the way of heaven. (Wuxing, from the bamboo slips unearthed from a Chu State tomb at Guodian)

◎孔子,圣之时者也。(《孟子·万章下》)

(孔子,是圣人中把握时运的人。)

Confucius was a sage who was able to seize the opportunity of his era. (Mencius)

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