隐士 – Chinese philosophy and culture

yǐnshì 隐士

Hermit / Recluse

有能力为官或为君却选择隐居避世之人。在古代社会中,“隐士”做出隐居的选择有着不同的原因:其一,厌倦日常生活中繁文缛节的虚伪、浮华,而追求质朴、自然的生活。其二,不满于现实政治的昏乱,或不愿同流合污,或为避免迫害,而选择隐居避世。其三,甘愿更贤能之人取代自己为官、为君,而主动避让退隐。“隐士”往往具有高洁的品质,但并非社会的主流。刻意或过度追求隐逸的生活,反而会失于虚伪,或造成社会责任的缺失。

In ancient China, this term referred to those who were capable of being an official or even a ruler but who chose to live in seclusion. They had different reasons for this. One might be that they were tired of formalities and red tape and considered such a role as hypocritical, and wished instead for a simple and natural way of life. Another reason was that some were dissatisfied with the corrupt politics of the day, and did not want to get involved, or wished to avoid being persecuted. Yet others chose to withdraw into a hermit-like way of life just because they wanted to give away their posts or positions to those who were more capable and more virtuous. Such people usually had good virtue, but they were not mainstream. It might however be considered being hypocritical to persist in such a way of life for its own sake, and be seen as dereliction of social responsibility.

引例 Citations:

◎子路从而后,遇丈人,以杖荷蓧(diào)。子路问曰:“子见夫子乎?”丈人曰:“四体不勤,五谷不分,孰为夫子?”植其杖而芸。子路拱而立。止子路宿,杀鸡为黍而食(sì)之,见(xiàn)其二子焉。明日,子路行,以告。子曰:“隐者也。”使子路反见之。至,则行矣。子路曰:“不仕无义。长幼之节,不可废也;君臣之义,如之何其废之?欲洁其身,而乱大伦。君子之仕也,行其义也。道之不行,已知之矣。”(《论语·微子》)

(子路跟随孔子而落在后面,遇到一位老人,用手杖挑着除草的工具。子路问道:“您看到我的老师了吗?”老人回答:“不劳苦四肢,不能辨别五谷,谁是你的老师呢?”将手杖插在一边去除草了。子路拱手而恭敬地站着。老人留子路住宿,杀鸡做饭给子路吃,又叫他两个儿子出来相见。第二天,子路离开,赶上孔子后报告了此事。孔子说:“这是位隐士。”让子路回去再拜见他。子路到了那里,老人已经离开了。子路说:“不出仕为官是不合道义的。长幼之间的礼节,尚且不可以废除;君臣之间的职分,怎么能废除呢?想要不玷污自身,却悖乱了人伦。君子出仕为官,是行其应尽的道义。正道不能推行,早已知道了。”)

Accompanying his teacher Confucius on a trip, Zilu had fallen behind. When he ran into an old man carrying a weed basket on the staff upon his back, Zilu asked: “Did you see my teacher?” The old man answered: “You can neither toil with your limbs nor tell apart the different grains. Who is your teacher?” So saying, the old man put his stick aside and set about cutting wild grass. Zilu stood there in reverence. The old man then asked Zilu to stay the night, made a chicken dish for dinner, and asked his two sons to meet Zilu. Zilu left the following day and told Confucius about this encounter when he caught up with his teacher. Confucius said: “He is a hermit.” He urged Zilu to go back and pay his respects. Yet, the old man had left when he got there. Zilu thereupon said: “It is against morality and justice to refuse the duties of an official. If etiquette between adults and children are not to be neglected, how can the responsibilities and obligations between a monarch and court officials be ignored? In seeking to maintain his purity, he has allowed human relations to fall into confusion. It is to observe morality and justice for a scholar to assume official duties. The righteous way cannot be followed through. This is rather obvious.” (The Analects)

◎古之所谓隐士者,非伏其身而弗见(xiàn)也,非闭其言而不出也,非藏其知(zhì)而不发也,时命大谬也。(《庄子·缮性》)

(古时所谓的隐士,并不是藏匿自己的行迹而不被人看到,并不是闭塞自己的言论而不说话,并不是隐藏自己的智慧而不施用,是因为时势大相悖谬的缘故。)

For ancient hermits, it is not that they meant to hide their whereabouts, to shut up about their own opinions or to withhold their wisdom from application. It is rather that the condition of the times was against them. (Zhuangzi)

◎或隐居以求其志,或回避以全其道,或静己以镇其躁,或去危以图其安,或垢俗以动其概,或疵物以激其清。然观其甘心畎(quǎn)亩之中,憔悴江海之上,岂必亲鱼鸟乐林草哉,亦云性分(fèn)所至而已。(《后汉书·逸民传序》)

(有的人通过隐居以达成自己的志向,有的人通过回避世事以保全自己的道德,有的人通过安静心性以克制自己的急躁,有的人避开危险以希求平安,有的人视世俗为污垢而振奋节操,有的人因看不惯世事而激励洁行。然而看他们甘心在田野中生活,在江海上落拓憔悴,难道一定是为了亲近鱼鸟、喜爱山林草木吗?也可说是他们的天性使其如此而已。)

Some lead a secluded life in order to fulfill their aspirations, some stay away from worldly affairs in order to keep intact their morals, some enjoy a peaceful life just to contain their own hot temper, some shun danger to keep themselves safe, some consider worldly life as contaminated just to keep their moral integrity, and some just cannot accept the worldly life to seek a simpler and cleaner life. However, when seeing them reconciling themselves to working in open fields and looking unconventional and haggard, we cannot but wonder whether they really love to stay with birds and fish and are really fond of forest and grasses. It may be their own innate characters that have led them to such a way of life. (The History of the Later Han Dynasty)

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