境界 – Chinese philosophy and culture

jìnɡjiè 境界

Jingjie (Visionary World)

“境界”本指疆域边界、土地边界,后来在佛经翻译中,“境界”一词被用于精神领域,指人破除对于物质世界的沉迷后所达到的精神层次或修为境域。作为文艺术语,主要指文艺作品中所表现出的审美层次和境域,是作者的创造力、理解力和审美能力在精神层面的综合呈现。有境界的作品是作者真实人格的显现,具备超越凡俗的意味,更能引发读者的共鸣,激发读者的想象,甚至提升读者的感受。“意境”形成较早,而“境界”主要受中唐以后佛教思想的影响而形成。近代学者王国维《人间词话》对境界的阐释最多。王国维往往将“意境”与“境界”概念通用。他构建了融合西方美学与中国古典美学为一体的“境界论”。但一般说来,意境侧重作者主观寓意与作品形象的完满融会,通过鉴赏使想象得到发挥,而境界则突出心灵感悟使艺术形象得到升华,强调心灵世界对于作品层次的提升。

Jingjie (境界) originally meant border or boundary. Later, it was used to translate the idea of a mental realm in Buddhist sutras, a state of spiritual cultivation achieved after having overcome bewilderment in the material world. As a literary and artistic term, jingjie is mainly used to indicate the aesthetic depth in a literary work so as to give full expression to the author’s creativity, comprehension, and aesthetic faculties. A work reaching a high level of jingjie manifests the author’s true personality, transcends the ordinary, strikes a responsive chord in the heart of the reader, stimulates the reader’s imagination, and thus enhances the reader’s appreciation of his work. The term yijing (意境 aesthetic conception) came into being earlier than jingjie, which was formed under the influence of Buddhism in the mid-Tang period. In his Poetic Remarks in the Human World, modern scholar Wang Guowei wrote extensively about jingjie. He often used yijing in the same sense as he used jingjie or the other way round. He created the theory of jingjie, in which he blended classical Western and classical Chinese aesthetics. Generally speaking, yijing refers to a perfect combination of the message the author conveys with the images he uses in his works, and it gives full rein to reader’s imagination. The concept of jingjie, however, foregrounds the sublimation of artistic images through mental insight, and emphasizes the role of the mental world in elevating the work of art to a higher level.

引例 Citations:

◎言气质,言神韵,不如言境界。有境界,本也;气质、神韵,末也。有境界而二者随之矣。(王国维《〈人间词话〉删稿》)

(与其用气质、神韵做评价标准,不如用境界来评价。境界是根本,气质、神韵是末节。有了境界,气质、神韵必然也就随之出现了。)

The visionary world achieved in literary works serves as a better criterion for making critical evaluation than one’s personal character or charm. The visionary world is primary, whereas one’s personal character and charm are secondary. Once the visionary world is reached, personal character and charm will naturally follow. (Wang Guowei: Poetic Remarks in the Human World [Reduced Version])

◎山水不出笔墨情景,情景者境界也。(布颜图《画学心法问答》)

(画山水的要素无非就是用笔和墨描绘情与景,情与景融为一体就是境界。)

Painting landscapes is about depicting with brush and ink the artist’s affective response to a natural scene. When the artist’s sentiments interact intensely with the natural scene, a realm of what we call the visionary world is reached. (Buyantu: How to Paint)

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