观象 – Chinese philosophy and culture

ɡuānxiànɡ 观象

Observing Images

观察物象或卦象。“象”是指可见而不具有固定形体的物象。“象”的自然呈现,如天象、气象等,体现着人和事物内在的特质及其变化的规则。古人也人为创造了各种“象”的系统,来描摹自然的物象,如卦象等。“观象”即是通过对“象”的观察,来把握自然与社会运行发展的规则。

This term means to observe images of phenomena or those of hexagrams. “Images” refer to the appearance of phenomena that can be seen, but have no fixed form. Images of nature, such as the sky or weather, represent the inherent features of humans and events and the laws governing their changes. People in ancient China created various systems of images such as hexagram images to describe images of natural phenomena. “Observing images” calls for closely examining images to understand the laws governing the movement of nature and society.

引例 Citations:

◎古者包(páo)牺氏之王(wànɡ)天下也,仰则观象于天,俯则观法于地,观鸟兽之文与地之宜,近取诸身,远取诸物,于是始作八卦,以通神明之德,以类万物之情。(《周易·系辞下》)

(从前伏羲氏统治天下,仰头观察天象,俯身观察大地的法则,观察鸟兽身上的纹理与大地适宜生存的事物,于近处选取自身的元素,于远处选取各种事物,于是最初创作了八卦之象,以通达事物神妙显明的属性,以区分万物存在的样态。)

In ancient times when Fuxi ruled the world, he used to look up to observe the images in the sky, look down to study the laws of the earth, and look at birds and animals to examine the patterns on their feathers and furs that had adapted to the environment. Selecting things both near and far away from him, he created the hexagram images to reveal the mysterious yet brilliant mechanism of matters to differentiate the forms of all things. (The Book of Changes)

◎圣人设卦观象,系辞焉而明吉凶,刚柔相推而生变化。(《周易·系辞上》)

(圣人创设八卦、六十四卦的系统而观察其卦象,将卦辞、爻辞附属于卦爻之下而推明吉凶,刚柔相互推演而产生变化。)

The sages created the system of eight trigrams and 64 hexagrams to observe hexagram images. Texts are attached to all hexagrams and hexagram lines to predict disasters or auspicious events, and changes thus occur through the interaction between what is hard and what is soft. (The Book of Changes)

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