血气 – Chinese philosophy and culture

xuèqì 血气

Vitality / Vital Force

反映着人与动物的身体需求与生命状态的气。“血气”是人天生所具有的,反映着血肉之躯对于外在物质的需求。“血气”的状态在人的各个生命阶段中是不同的,其盛衰反映着生命力的强弱。年轻时“血气”并不稳定,及至壮年则“血气”强盛,年老则“血气”衰弱。此外,不同人的“血气”强弱程度也有所差异。有的人“血气”刚强,有的则较为柔和。“血气”可以通过礼乐教化而加以改变。同时,“血气”也构成人的道德情感发生的基础。

The term refers to vitality which is needed for the human or animal body to sustain its life and which reflects the state of life. It is something one is born with, representing the body’s needs of material things. A person exhibits different levels of vitality at different stages of life, reflecting changes in the strength of life. Vitality is unstable in youth; it reaches its peak in the prime of life, and in old age it wanes. Furthermore, different people have different levels of vitality, some overflowing with vigor, while others are subdued. People’s vitality can be changed by means of rites, music and through education; it is the basis for shaping a person’s moral and emotional trait.

引例 Citations:

◎孔子曰:“君子有三戒:少之时,血气未定,戒之在色;及其壮也,血气方刚,戒之在斗;及其老也,血气既衰,戒之在得。”(《论语·季氏》)

(孔子说:“君子有三件事应该警惕戒备:年轻的时候,血气不稳定,要戒备迷恋美色;等到壮年,血气旺盛,要戒备好勇斗狠;到了老年,血气已经衰弱,要戒备贪得无厌。”)

Confucius said, “One should guard against three things in life. In his youth his vital force is unstable and he should guard against lust. As his vital force strengthens in the prime of life, he should guard against aggressive behavior. In his old age his vital force weakens, and he should guard against greed.” (The Analects)

◎凡生乎天地之间者,有血气之属必有知,有知之属莫不爱其类。(《荀子·礼论》)

(凡是生于天地之间的人和物,只要有血气的就必然会有知觉,有知觉的没有不亲爱其同类的。)

All things born between heaven and earth with vital force have consciousness; and with consciousness they all love their own kind. (Xunzi)

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