天文- Chinese philosophy and culture

tiānwén 天文

The Laws of Constellations and Seasons / Astronomy

天体、天气的运行变化及其规则。“天文”一词出自《周易》。日月星辰的运行、四季昼夜的交替、寒暑风雨的变化,都呈现出某种恒常的法则,这即是“天文”。古人认为,人伦生活与天地万物遵循着相通的法则。因此,人们可以通过对“天文”的观察与效法,确立人伦生活的秩序。

This term, which comes from The Book of Changes, refers to the laws governing the movements of constellations and the change of weather. The term tianwen (天文) means the constant laws that govern the movements of celestial bodies, the rotation of the four seasons, the succession of day and night, and the change of weather. The ancient Chinese believed that both human relationships and all things in the universe are governed by the same laws, and so by observing and following the laws of constellations and seasons, people can establish social order.

引例 Citations:

◎《易》与天地准,故能弥纶天地之道。仰以观于天文,俯以察于地理,是故知幽明之故。(《周易·系辞上》)

(《周易》与天地齐等,因此能够普遍包含天地的法则。仰视以观察天文,俯视以观察地理,就能知晓幽隐和显明的事理。)

The Book of Changes describes the laws of heaven and earth. By looking at the stars above and the earth below, one can see what is implied and what is obvious. (The Book of Changes)

◎刚柔交错,天文也。文明以止,人文也。观乎天文,以察时变;观乎人文,以化成天下。(《周易·彖上》)

(刚柔相互错杂,是天的法则。礼仪昌明有所节制,是人伦的法则。观察日月星辰的运行状态,可以知道四季的变换;考察诗书礼乐的发展状况,可以用来教化天下百姓、实现而文治昌明。)

It is a law of heaven that the hard and soft interweave; it is a rule of humans that they should observe the rites and conduct restraint. By observing the movement of constellations, we can learn about the change of seasons; by observing development of human culture, we can enlighten the people and build a civilized society. (The Book of Changes)

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