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The spurned wisdom of Daoism被忽视的道教智慧




The ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi probably wasn’t a single person, and his seminal Daodejing not just one singlehanded text. But his Daoism can be easily understood by anyone: a good life is a balanced one; wisdom is found in accepting conflicts and contradictions; human potential lies in resolving them. With such a philosophy, it’s not surprising he’s simply called Laozi, or "the old one," as these truths often dawn at life's end, after mistakes have been made and larger ones are in the making by a next generation.

古代中国哲学家老子可能不是一个人,他的经典著作《道德经》也不仅仅是一部书籍。但他的道家思想却能被任何人轻松理解:良好的生活是平衡的;智慧在于接纳冲突与矛盾;人的潜力在于解决这些问题。这样的哲学,不难理解为什么他被称为“老子”,因为这些真理往往在人生的晚年才会被领悟,彼时人们已经犯下了错误,下一代也在制造更大的错误。


To illustrate this human condition, consider a story, whether apocryphal or not, about Laozi himself. At the end of his life, and I’m talking about events 2500 years ago, he felt bitter that nobody took him seriously, seeing him as a laughingstock and denying him the social respect he believed he deserved. This sentiment might echo with those today who advocate for immediate ceasefires, urgent climate action, necessary ethical controls on Artificial Intelligence and other matters of common sense. Laozi (also known as Lao Tse) chose to leave his world for solitude, symbolized in his time by heading west, beyond the gates of ancient China, where meaning and purpose seemed nullified—a place as barren as my journey has been.

在谈论2500年前的事件时,为了说明这种人类情况,请考虑一则关于老子的故事,不论是真实还是虚构。老子在生命的最后阶段感到痛苦,因为没有人认真对待他,视他为笑柄,并拒绝给予他他认为应得的社会尊重。这种情感或许会与今天主张立即停火、紧急采取气候行动、必要对人工智能和其他常识问题进行伦理控制的人士产生共鸣。老子选择离开他的世界,寻求孤独,象征性地向西而去,穿过古代中国的门户,远离意义和目的似乎被抹去的地方——一个如同我旅程中那样贫瘠的地方。



Yet, at the gate, supposedly the west gate of Luoyang, stood a guard named Yinxi, known for his philosophical inclinations. Learning of Laozi’s quasi death wish, Yinxi asked him to first write down concisely his beliefs, which became the Daodejing. Thus, thanks to Yinxi, we now can learn the value of living in harmony with nature, following the Dao, accepting the multidimensionality of the world around us, and cultivating compassion, moderation and humility.

然而,在洛阳西门外,站着一个名叫尹喜的守卫,他以其哲学倾向闻名。听说老子渐近终生之际,尹喜请求他简明地写下自己的信仰,这些文字后来成为了《道德经》。因此,多亏了尹喜,我们现在能够学习到与自然和谐相处的价值,追随道的指引,接受周围世界的多维度,以及培养慈悲、节制和谦逊。


Indeed we can, but alas, we don’t.

我们确实是可以,但遗憾的是,我们并没有。



 

Journey to be continued...


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