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彼得·圣吉:没有比伟大的老师更伟大的祝福——做南怀瑾先生学生的几点思

编者按:本文作者Peter M. Senge(彼得·圣吉),1947年出生于美国芝加哥,美国麻省理工大学(MIT)斯隆管理学院资深教授,国际组织学习协会(SoL)创始人、主席,已出版著作《第五项修炼——学习型组织的艺术与实践》《第五项修炼——实践篇》《第五项修炼——寓言篇》《变革之舞:学习型组织持续发展面临的挑战》《学习的学校》《领先于变革时代》《三重专注力:如何提升互联网一代最稀缺的能力》等,美国《商业周刊》称圣吉为“世界十大管理大师之一”。从1995年开始,彼得·圣吉开始从学于南怀瑾先生。

本文系作者为纪念南怀瑾先生诞辰百年而作,授权南怀瑾学术研究会、南怀瑾文教基金会发表。转载请注明出处。

 

There is No Greater Blessing than Great Teachers:

Reflections on Being a Student of Nan Huai-Chin

没有比伟大的老师更伟大的祝福

——做南怀瑾先生学生的几点思考

By Peter M. Senge

作者:彼得·圣吉

May 26, 2018

2018年5月26日

中文译者:乌慈亲,校订:Pia Giammasi(纪雅云)

 

My first meeting with Master Nan was, like most of our contacts over the years, shaped by synchronicities.

我第一次见到南老师,就像吾人多年来的大多数会面一样,充满巧合。

 

In the years following the first publication of “The 5th Discipline” in 1990, I had a growing feeling that I needed to find a teacher. With the success of the book, my life was changing and I knew I lacked a foundation for handling the attention starting to be directed toward me. I spent the better part of a year meeting different potential candidates. Feeling a little like Goldilocks, I had many interesting meetings but none that was right. This one was a bit too Western. This one a bit too psychological. This one a bit too esoteric. And on it went, until I started to wonder if I would ever find what I felt intuitively guided toward.

在1990年首次出版《第五项修炼》之后的几年中,我越来越觉得我需要找一位老师。由于此书的成功,我的生活发生了变化,关注我的人越来越多,我没办法不受影响,这个问题迫切需要解决。我在一年中花了很多时间与不同的精神导师会面,感觉有点像童话中的金发姑娘(Goldilocks),我曾有过很多有趣的会面,但没有一个感觉对的。要么太西方化了,要么有点太偏心理,要么有点太神秘。这样继续寻觅,直到我开始怀疑我是否最终能找到感觉上对的那位老师。

 

Coincidentally, while my odyssey was unfolding, a good friend in Taiwan who I kept in touch with regularly, Showing Young, had found a Chan teacher. On a planned trip to Taiwan for a presentation in 1995, Showing excitedly told me that his teacher in Taiwan had arranged for me to see his teacher, who was in Hong Kong. So, at the end of a long and tiring visit to Taiwan, I flew to Hong Kong with Showing to meet this mysterious teacher, Nan Huai-Chin.

巧合的是,当我漫长的寻师之旅还未有结果时,我的一位经常保持联系的台湾老朋友杨硕英,他找到一位禅宗老师。1995年,在预先安排的一次台湾讲学之旅中,硕英很兴奋地告诉我,他的台湾老师安排了我到香港去见他的老师。就这样,在一次漫长而疲惫的台湾之行后,我和硕英一同飞往香港去见这位神秘的南怀瑾老师。

 

Prior to the trip, Showing deluged me with information about this remarkable Chan master and his historic accomplishments. He took part in the resistance war against Japan, led troops, taught in the highest level military academy, and eventually came to Taiwan in February of 1949. A renowned master in all the major Chinese cultivation traditions, Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian, he was considered the most important Chan master of the past 400 years – not to mention  a renowned expert on everything from traditional poetry to feng shui. After all this, when it came to finally make the short flight from Taipei to Hong Kong, I felt like I was going to meet the Pope. So, I was more than a bit surprised when the car from the airport drove us to an apartment building on Kennedy road and there, on the fourth floor, we entered an apartment with the television on and people milling around and talking. A small smiling gentleman welcomed me and said I looked exhausted and offered me a beer. In that instant, I knew I had found my teacher.

此行之前,(杨)硕英给我介绍了这位杰出的禅师和他的伟大成就,他曾参加过中国抗日战争,带领过部队,在最高等的军校做过教官,在1949年2月到了台湾。他是中国的道家、佛家和儒家的著名大师,且不说他对经典诗词和易经风水的研究造诣,他被认为是400多年来最重要的一位禅宗大师。了解了这些背景后,当我从台北飞往香港的短暂飞行中,我感觉我是去见一位教宗。所以,当我从机场乘车抵达坚尼地道一栋楼的四楼,进入到一个有电视的公寓,看到人们正在四处闲聊,我感觉到很惊讶。一位面带微笑个子不高的先生欢迎我的到来,说我看起来筋疲力尽,问我是否需要一杯啤酒。在那一瞬间,我知道我找到了我的老师。

 

That afternoon we talked and one of Master Nan’s students, Ken Pang, offered me a short meditation lesson in a side room. We then rejoined the group for dinner and I left for the airport, exhausted and completely energized. It was my first experience to the world of contradictions around Master Nan. Television and meditation. Rambling dinner conversations about the economy, politics and the stock market and dharma lessons. Face readers, jurists and accountants. All very relaxed and natural. It was my first introduction to the extraordinary flow and blending of opposites that I would come to understand embodied the traditional Chinese culture Master Nan was dedicated to preserving.

那天下午我们和南老师的一位学生彭嘉恒对话,他在旁边一间小房间里为我做了一堂短暂的冥想课程后,我们返回和大家一起晚餐,然后我去了机场,尽管疲惫不堪,但却像充了电似的。 这是我第一次体验南老师那里似乎矛盾的世界:电视和冥想。餐后有关经济、政治、股市,以及佛法课程的漫谈。有会看相者,也有法学家和会计师等等,一切都非常轻松自然。这是我第一次认识到异乎寻常的交流,以及似乎矛盾却又融合的存在,后来开始慢慢理解南老师致力于保护中国传统文化所做的一切。

 

In June 1997, at my request, Master Nan hosted a week-long retreat in Hong Kong. As it turns out, the retreat occurred on the eve of the British “handover” of Hong Kong back to China. Most of the invited participants were long-time Chinese students of Master Nan’s. There were five of us from the West. But because of our presence, Master Nan organized a team of translators for the entire retreat. It may have been the first time this had been done, and it was of course a wonderful gesture on his part and great honor for we non-Chinese speakers. He was also in his early eighties by then and doing less lengthy retreats. This would turn out to be one of the last.

在我的请求下,1997年6月南老师在香港举办了为期一周的禅修,这次禅修就在香港回归中国那一晚开始。大部分受邀参加者都是跟随南老师多年的中国学生,我们有五位是来自西方。由于我们的到场,南老师还特别安排了一个翻译团队。这可能是第一次这么做,这当然是他的一个非常善意的态度,对于我们这些不会中文的外国人来说是极大的荣幸。当时南老师已经是八十岁,禅修的时间也相对没有那么长,此次禅修也确实是他最后几次禅修活动之一。

(右三为作者)

It is impossible to summarize the experience of this first deep-dive into Master Nan as a teacher. He was with us for the entirety. He was brilliant, needless to say. He was a masterful storyteller, often bringing his accounts to life more by acting them out than just telling them. He was hilarious. One of the more memorable events was “joke night,” where everyone was invited to share favorite jokes. Many of the Chinese students, not having far to fall from their cushions, were literally rolling on the floor. It reached a point where translation was no longer possible. He was stern. At one point, he told us this was more like an “eating retreat” than a genuine Chan retreat given the amount of food that had been provided.

几乎不可能用言语深刻地总结出这第一次听南老师授课的经历。他几乎全程跟我们在一起。毋庸置疑,他才华横溢,极会讲故事,常常通过表演来讲述故事,而不是仅仅讲而已。他也很活泼,最令人难忘的记忆之一是“笑话之夜”,每个人都被邀请分享自己最喜欢的笑话。许多中国学生笑得几乎从打坐的垫子上掉下来,或者是笑得在地板上东倒西歪。有的笑话甚至翻译者都不知该如何译成英文。另一方面他也很严厉,有一次他告诉我们,看到禅修过程中提供的食物量,说这更像是一个“馋修”,而不是真正的禅修。

 

For many of us from the West this was also our first exposure to the extraordinary depth and variety of Buddhist theory. For the first time, I began to appreciate twenty-five hundred years of exploration of the nature of mind, combined with the mutual influences that have shaped Buddhism through its interaction with different culture’s distinct cultivation traditions, resulting in a store of insights, frameworks, and practices that are simply overwhelming in their depth and breadth. As one monk expressed to me many years later, reflecting on the totality of the Buddhist Canon, the volumes of which fill an entire wall, “The bible is a very small book.” Master Nan did not teach Buddhism alone but revealed its distinctive unfolding within the Chinese context. He taught Buddhist sutras from a Taoist, energetic perspective and easily glided into Confucian texts and poems, as if all three traditions were like fingers of one hand - which to him they were. It was like having an expert gardener taking you on a personal tour through five thousand years of culture, as if he was showing you each plant he had cultivated and telling you their stories.

对于我们这些来自西方的人来说,这也是我们第一次接触到佛教经典非凡的深度和广度。这是我第一次欣赏二千五百年来对心灵本质的探索,佛教通过与不同文化的相互影响融合,形成了其独特的修行方式,产生了一系列深层次的认知、体系,以及广度和深度令人无所适从的修行方法。正如一位僧人多年以后向我描述的那样,反映了佛教大藏经之多,整个一面墙都摆不下,相比而言“圣经是一本非常小的书”。南老师并没有单独传授佛教经典,而是通过结合中国文化的内容来诠释佛经。他讲授佛经时参照了道家,并轻松地将其过度到儒家经典和诗词,仿佛儒释道三家都像一只手上的不同手指——对他来讲的确是如此。就好像有一位专业园丁带着你参观五千年文化的私人之旅,仿佛他在向你展示他所培育的每一棵植物,并告诉你它们的故事。

 

Throughout it all, it was clear that Master Nan had little interest in teaching us like a university professor, but guided us as a co-explorer into an incredibly complicated territory that could never really be understood intellectually. It was clear that without commitment to your own cultivation practice, all the marvelous Buddhist theory was useless. But just so, relentless sitting on the cushion was also a dead end in and of itself. As thinking creatures, humans always interpret experience, and when the habitual thought patterns of the modern mind encounter the ineffable character of deep experience we seek to understand that which is not understandable. So, just as theory needs experience, experience needs theory - from the Greek theorea, ways of seeing. In classic Buddhist terms, this is the interdependence of practice and prajna, wisdom. Underpinning both is the deeper meaning of commitment to vows, which Nan said he rarely talked about because no one really wants to hear. “The grass would grow six feet in front of my hut if I explained what vows really mean - so few would ever come to hear.” And, indeed, he talked little of this in the retreat, filled as it was by his remarkable overview of Chinese cultivation theory and hours of sitting and walking meditation.

纵观这一切,很明显南老师毫无兴趣像大学教授那样教导我们,而是更愿意引导我们成为共同探索者,共同进入一个一般理智上无法理解的不可思议的复杂领域。很明显,如果对自身修炼没有精进实证,所有无上甚深奇妙的佛教理论都是无用的,而长久枯坐在打坐垫子上本身也是死路一条。作为思维的生物,人类总是诠释经验,当现代人的习惯性思维模式遇到深层体验不可言说的特征时,我们试图去理解那些不可理解的。所以,正如理论需要实践一样,实践也需要理论(theory源于希腊语theorea,theorea表示ways of seeing,即了解事物的多种渠道、方式、角度,包括实践在内)用经典的佛教术语来说,这是实证与般若智慧相互依存的关系,愿力需要智慧與实践来支撑。南老师说他很少谈论这些,因为没有人真的想听。“如果我真要谈禅宗,门前草深三尺”。的确,在这次禅修过程中,他很少提及此事,而是浩瀚且提纲挈领式的修炼理论和长时间的坐禅与行禅结合之旅。

 

By the end, I knew I had passed through a portal, starting a journey that would extend throughout a lifetime, maybe much longer. But I also had my first deep experience of Master Nan as a teacher. I have no words for this experience, anymore than I do for the blazing firmament of a clear, star-filled, night sky. We absorb what we are able from a great teacher. But even more, we absorb the teacher her- or himself. A close friend said it well years later, after we had brought another group of Westerners through a week-long session at The Taihu Great Learning Center: “I will never forget the lightness of his being.”

到结束时,我知道我已经通过了入口,开始了一个贯穿我整个人生或者比这个更长的旅程。同时我也对南老师作为老师有了第一次深入的体会,对于这种体验,我无法用任何言辞形容,最多只能用星曜的夜空苍穹来形容。我们从一位优秀的老师那里汲取知识,但更重要的是,我们也被老师熏陶了。一位好友在几年后,在我们带了另一批西方学者去太湖大学堂举办为期一周的课程之后,告诉我说:“我永远不会忘记他的从容与光明”。

(左五为作者)

I would not say this experience changed in any fundamental way the overall direction of my own work. Probably it was the opposite. Rather, it revealed more deeply what was there already. After all, we had always done a lot of work on personal vision, personal mastery and developing personal capacity to reflect on mental models. So, this emphasis on deeper personal work was there well before meeting Master Nan. But now it was situated within a far vaster territory of personal cultivation and wisdom teaching. Any question I might have had as to the importance of deep personal work to underpin larger scale change dissolved, and I found myself obsessed with the mysteries of cultivation the way most of the modern world is obsessed by technology, even though the connections between the two were far from evident at the time.

我不能说这次经历从根本意义上改变了我工作的整体方向,可能情况恰恰相反,一直在那里存在的东西,现在反而变得更加清晰了。毕竟,我们一直以来,都以个人眼光、个人优势和个人能力,做了很多的工作,来反照心智模式。所以在见南老师之前,我已经意识到需要更深层次的个人修炼。但现在它变成更为宽广的个人修行和智慧教育领域。我以前曾有过的关于个人工作方面的深层疑问,支撑更大规模变化的重要问题都已迎刃而解,我发现自己痴迷于修行,就好像现代社会的大部分人着迷于科技一样,尽管两者之间的联系在当时并不明显。

 

There was also a new sense of starting to be able to relate our work to China and its extraordinary storehouse of wisdom teachings. In hindsight, I can see that, while tremendously inconvenient, finding the teacher I sought in China opened an unexpected new path. I began to think that our work, with roots clearly in the Western science of complexity and understanding systems, could offer a small but distinct contribution in connecting Chinese and Western ways of understanding. In this perilous time of transition, we face unprecedented social and ecological imbalances. We live on a global scale in ways that have no precedent, yet we have no clear underpinning of global values and guiding ideas. We tilt toward the fashions of local short-term reactive politics, yet have unleashed dynamics such as climate destabilization that will play out around the world over the coming centuries. None of this is sustainable.  If we are to advance as a species, deep cultural changes are necessary. To realize these, we will need the best of all of us, East and West, North and South. In the ensuing years, my time with Master Nan awakened me to aspects of this I am still only beginning to grasp.

我们也开始有意地将我们的工作,与中国及其丰富的智慧教育财富联系起来。事后看来,尽管当时极其不便,但在中国找到我所寻觅的老师,却为我开启了一条意想不到的新路径。我开始认为,我们的工作,虽然根植于复杂的西方科学和理解体系,但是如果能结合中西方的理解,却可以为当前巨变的时代提供微小但是独特的贡献。我们面临前所未有的社会和生态失衡,我们生活在史无前例的全球化范围内,但我们却对全球价值观和指导思想没有明确的认识。我们倾向于本地区短期应急型政治风格,同时放任可能会引发未来几个世纪全球气候不稳定的因素,这些都不是长久之计。如果我们想要作为一个物种继续进化,必须要有很深的文化改善,我们需要所有人——东方和西方、北方和南方的优点。在随后的数年里,我和南老师在一起的时间,唤醒了我去看到这个趋势,到目前为止,我还只是刚刚开始掌握一点点。

 

For example, several years later I shared with him some slides I had prepared for a talk in Beijing that included several quotes from scientists on the urgency of addressing climate change. One scientist’s quote predicted how, in the 21st century, more and more regions of the Earth would become uninhabitable because of increasing draughts, flooding and adverse effects on food production and consequent political instability – the beginnings of which we see even today in the south-north migration crises around the world. The scientist then added, “Before this century is over, billions of us will die.” To which Master Nan responded, “It will happen much sooner.” Yet, despite this sober assessment of ecological threats, he saw even greater ones lurking subtly in our every-day quest for new technology and profit. In one of our last conversations, he commented, “The greatest threat to humankind is virtuality, far greater than the threat of war.”

譬如,几年后,我与南老师分享了一些我准备在北京发表演讲的幻灯片,其中包括科学家就应对气候变化的紧迫性提出的几段引文。一位科学家预言,二十一世纪越来越多的地球区域,将因为不断加剧的干旱、洪水和对粮食生产的不利影响,以及随之而来的政治不稳定,而变得无法居住——今天我们已经开始看到,南北迁移危机遍布全球。这位科学家接着补充道:“在本世纪结束之前,我们会有数十亿人死亡。”南老师对此回应说:“它可能会比这个还快发生。”然而,尽管对生态威胁做了清醒的评估,但他看到了更大的潜在威胁是我们每天对新技术和利润的追求。在我们最后一次谈话中,他评论说:“未来对人类的最大威胁将会是虚拟技术,远远大于战争的威胁。”

 

I have pondered this last comment for many years, and I think it says something very distinctive about what the times call for today. But untangling the message requires exploring a few additional threads of our conversations over the years.

我多年来一直在思考他做的最后这个评论,我认为它说明了当今这个时代所需的非常独特的东西。但是,理解他这话的意思,还需要追溯我们之间多年来所谈过的一些额外线索。

 

Once, in one of our typical meanders through diverse topics, Master Nan pointed out that, “The human species is very young.” Of course, from an evolutionary perspective, this is clearly true. Whether we date the emergence of modern humans to 200,000 or 2 million years ago, we are still a very young species when compared with others of comparable intelligence like whales, dolphins or chimpanzees, most of whom have been around for 50 million years or so. Species come and ago. And although our collective ego may tell us we will last forever, there is no rational reason for this view. The human is a far-from-complete, evolutionary project.

有一次,在我们谈论不同话题时,南老师指出:“人类还非常年轻”。当然,从进化角度来看,这显然是对的。当我们将现代人类的出现时间追溯到20万年前或者200万年前,与其他有类似智能的鲸鱼、海豚或黑猩猩相比,我们仍然是一个非常年轻的物种,而他们大多数已经存在5000万年左右。物种生生灭灭。 虽然我们人类的集体自我可能告诉我们,我们将永远存在下去,但这种观点没有合理的理由,人类还远远没有完成进化。

 

But, what is the nature of this evolutionary project – what does it mean to be a human being, really?

但是,这个进化项目的本质是什么——对人类究竟意味着什么?

 

Once, Master Nan asked me what was my own vision. To my own surprise, I found myself responding spontaneously, “To end the confusion.” Though I had never had this particular thought before, I realized this vision had been nurtured within me over many years in his presence. In that first Hong Kong retreat, I will never forget him commenting, in his inimitable way, almost off-handedly, “In the moment you die, you realize that your body was a hotel room you rented from your mother.” We live our lives confusing the hotel room and the occupant. Most often, we see ourselves as our bodies, our physical presence, what Master Nan called a“ third level of projection.” Sometimes, we see ourselves as our ‘persona,’ a sort of loose bundle of experiences, characteristics and beliefs. From a Buddhist theoretical perspective, both represent a mis-identification with a separate “self,” the first source of our suffering. Our awareness fills with thoughts and feelings. But that does not mean that “I am my thoughts.” Or, that “I am my feelings.” Letting go of these deeply habitual views of a separate self can be very disorienting. But, it can also lead to a very different sense of our own awareness – both more nebulous and more numinous.

有一次,南老师问我自己的愿景是什么。令我惊讶的是,我发现自己脱口而出:“为了消除困惑”。虽然我以前从未有过这一特别的想法,但我意识到这种愿景在他的陪同下已经孕育多年了。在香港的第一次禅修时,我永远不会忘记他用他独特的方式很突然的跟我们说:“在你死的那一刻,你才意识到,你的身体不过是从你母亲那里租来的旅馆房间而已。”我们活着的时候被房间和租客而困惑。大多数情况下,我们认为这个身体就是我们自己,我们这个物质的身体存在,就像南老师所说的“第三重投影”。有时,我们将自己视为我们的“角色”,这是一种松散的经验、特征和信念。从佛教理论的角度来看,两者都代表了对单独“自我”的错误认识,这是我们痛苦的第一来源。我们的意识充满了思想和情感,但这并不意味着“我是我的想法”,或者说“我是我的感受”。放弃这些习惯已久的思维观念,可能会让人迷失方向。但是,它也可能引导我们对觉性有一种截然不同的感觉 ——这种感觉既模糊(因为不熟悉)又超然。

 

In the Yogacara school of Buddhism, immediate awareness is distinguished from comparative awareness. In the latter, we continually judge our experience in light of other experiences, like the meditator continually seeking experiences of quiet or particular states of samadhi. The problem is that logic cannot hold the experience of immediate awareness. It invariably analyzes and evaluates, and thereby obscures. It is like the hand grasping water. Immediate awareness is itself - without any labels, names or referents. A rose by any other name is still a rose. When this quality of awareness is brought to any experience, awareness is direct, unmediated by an assumed thinker or feeler. We all have momentary glimpses of this simple capacity for immediate awareness. But like the proverbial “blind cat catching dead rats,” most of us cannot access it reliably. Stabilizing this awareness is one basic aim of cultivation practice. In its absence, we continually reinforce the confusion regarding who I am.

佛教瑜伽行派认为,直接觉知(现量)与比较意识(比量)是不同的,在后者中,我们不断地把自己的经历与他人的经历来做比较判断,就好像冥想者不断寻求宁静或达到三摩地特定状态的经验。问题是逻辑不能保持直接觉知(现量)的体验,它总是在分析和评估,从而变得模糊,就像用手搅动水一样(水因搅动而不再清澈透明)。直接觉知(现量)就是它本身——没有任何标签、名称或参考物。玫瑰不管被称做其他任何名字,它依然是玫瑰。当这种(现量)觉知被带到任何经验时,觉知都是直接发生的,与所谓假设的思考者或感受者之间没有其他媒介。我们大多数人都有过这样的“瞎猫碰到死老鼠”灵光一现的经验,但我们都无法稳定地达到。修炼的一个基本目标就是稳定这种直接觉知(现量)。如果做不到,我们会不断地纠结于“我是谁”的困惑。

 

Perhaps, this is one risk of virtual reality. Given our underlying state of confusion, it would be easy to go from misidentifying with a physical body to misidentifying with a virtual one.

也许,这是虚拟技术带来的风险。鉴于我们本来就存在混淆状态,应该很容易陷入无法区别物质身体和虚拟身体的错乱中。

 

As this happens, we would take one more, perhaps fatal, step in the long journey of separation of human and the larger natural world. And with that step, a potential evolutionary path might close forever. We glimpse this evolutionary path rarely, such as when we experience a profound connectedness with the larger natural world , but for most of us most of the time, this path remains largely invisible and sits in the background, a sort of undiscovered evolutionary heritage.

当发生这种情况时,我们会在人类与更大的自然世界分离的漫长旅程中,又多走了一步,这一步也许是致命的。由于这一步,一条潜在的进化之路可能永远关闭了。我们只有在与更大的自然界发生深刻关联时——对大部分人而言,大部分时候,这个道路就在那里,但人们却未发现它——才有可能窥见这条进化之路,类似未被发现的进化遗址。

 

This heritage is transmitted through many of the oldest cultivation traditions, such as the Taoist view of cultivation as an energetic phenomenon summarized in the familiar cycle jing-qi-shen-xu(vitality—life force—spiritual energy—nothingness). In the Taoist tradition, like for many native peoples, this same ongoing energetic transformation operates continually throughout the living world. So, from this perspective, cultivating the self is inseparable from cultivating our connection with the larger living universe.

This understanding is all but completely lost in the modern world, for example through our industrial-age approach to food production with no awareness of or respect for the larger living systems upon which our sustenance depends. But it shaped older, more mature cultures that survived and thrived for millennia. It was how hunters hunted and how growers grew. They become part of larger living systems. And this was an embodied, not disembodied experience. This is the evolutionary path that may be at risk today with virtuality - perhaps what Master Nan meant by the “greatest risk to humankind.”

这种传承是通过许多最古老的修行传统来传递的,比如道家的修行被看做是一种能量的现象,概括来说是我们熟悉的循环:精—气—神—虚。道家的传统,就像很多土著人认为的一样,这种持续不断的充满活力的能量变化,充斥在我们生活的整个世界。所以,从这个角度看,个人修炼离不开与大宇宙的关系——我们身处其中,而在现代社会中这种认知几乎完全缺失了。例如我们工业化时代的粮食生产方式,没有意识去尊重我们赖以生存的更大的生命体系。尽管这个体系数千年来在人类文化形成成熟之前就已经存在,猎人知道如何猎杀,农夫知道如何耕种,他们成为这个大的生命体系的一部分。这是一个具象有形的,而不是无形的体验。这或许是在虚拟世界我们可能面临的进化风险——也许这就是南老师所指的“人类的最大威胁”。

 

It is impossible for me to imagine any sort of resolution of our immense social and ecological imbalances that does not pass across the threshold of reconnecting human and nature. As the Blackfoot Indians say, “Our first relationship is with Mother Earth. If that relationship is comprised, all our relationships will be compromised as well.” And this reconnection with nature is an inside job.

我不能想象,任何企图解决人类巨大社会和生态失衡问题的方法,竟然没跨过人与自然重新连接的门槛。正如Blackfoot印第安人(北美印第安的一族)所说,“我们的第一个关系是与地球母亲。如果这种关系受损,我们所有其他的关系也会受到损害”。而这种与大自然的重新连接是一种内在的修养。

 

But this “inside” is a vast and daunting territory. Nowhere is this more evident than in, the problem Master Nan saw with vows and why, as I said before, they are the third leg of the stool of Buddhist cultivation and yet he rarely talked about them. Why, if we sincerely seek to end suffering and the sources of suffering, do we so often act in ways that generate more suffering, for ourselves, others, and the world? (Indeed, this puzzle is not unique to Buddhism, as similar ideals exist in other religious traditions as well.) The key to the puzzle is that we have very little understanding of the nature of the commitment required. In Master Nan’s words, genuine commitment to vows demands a life-long journey to develop discipline in our “mental conduct.” This is immediate awareness brought to the moment-by-moment flow of our own thoughts and feelings - at all times, not just “when we sit.” It means seeing thoughts that do not reduce suffering as they arise and letting them go, and, in turn, seeing those that do and allowing them to grow. This is the grass that he said “would grow 6 feet in front of my hut.” The idea that we could develop such discipline challenges one of the deepest assumptions embedded in our modern externally oriented culture, that we have no choice over our own thoughts and feelings. For, deep down, despite all our technology and prowess in the external world, I believe we feel ourselves victims of our own minds, powerless to alter how they operate. We are estranged from the deeper dynamics of the inner world.

但内心世界是个广大而令人畏惧的领域。很清楚,南老师认为,发愿(立志)是修行的三个要点之一,虽然他不常常提起。如果我们真诚地寻求结束痛苦及苦难源头的方法,为何我们在此过程中,却经常对自己或他人乃至世界造成了更多痛苦?(事实上,这个难题并不是佛教所特有的,其他宗教也有类似的理念)。问题的关键在于我们对愿力所需要的坚持了解不足。用南老师的话来说,愿力需要用毕生的内心修养去维护。我们应该随时随地觉察心行,以及随之而来的无数思想情绪,而不应只在打坐时才能看清。这意味着当我们看到带来烦恼的念头,就该放下它;反过来,看到那些能够减轻烦恼的心行,就应让其成长。这就是他说的“门前草深六尺”(意指修行艰难,使人望而生畏)。我们可以修正心理行为,这挑战了我们现代外向型文化中包含的最根深蒂固的一个假设——我们对自己的思想和感受无可选择。尽管我们在外部世界拥有科技和实力,但内心深处,我相信我们都能感受到自己是自己思想情绪的受害者,无力改变它们的运转,我们脱离了内心世界的更深层力量。

 

Not long after Master Nan’s passing, my wife and I found ourselves in the famous cathedral in Chartres, France. I had been there many times, dating back to when I was a student living in Europe in the late 1960’s, and it has for me always been a place of power. Situated on an even more ancient sacred site, the massive 14th Century cathedral seems to almost float above the ground, towering over the medieval landscape from many miles distant. When we entered that afternoon, I immediately went to a pew near the front and sat down. Almost immediately a message came to my mind, very simple and very clear. “The goal is a different goal.”

南老师去世后不久,我和太太去了法国著名的沙特尔大教堂。上世纪六十年代后期,当我还在欧洲读书的时候开始,我曾多次去过这个教堂,对我来说这是个非常有能量的地方。坐落在一个更加古老的圣地上,这个建于十四世纪的大教堂仿佛漂浮于地面之上,远高于数英里外的中世纪景致。那天下午当我们进入教堂的时候,我立即走到前排的座位上坐下。几乎同时,脑海里出现一条信息,非常简单而且非常清楚,“目标是一个不同的目标”。

 

Master Nan used to often kid me by saying, “Peter Senge wants to save the world.” This was correct, and probably still is. From my time as college student and my early years as a grad student at MIT, I had been immersed in the ecological challenges we face and felt that they, and how we rise to them, define this epoch - “Mankind’s final exam,” as Buckminster Fuller used to say.  But as Master Nan once said, “The problems of collective karma cannot be solved by heroic individuals.” The shadow side of wanting to save the world is the ego of the hero who attempts to do so.

南老师曾经常常取笑我说:“彼得·圣吉想拯救世界”。的确如此,而且目前为止依然是。从大学和在麻省理工学院读研究生的时期开始,我一直沉浸于思考我们面临的生态挑战,以及我们如何去面对这些问题,并如何定义这个时代——正如 Buckminster Fuller曾经说过,是“人类的期末考试”。但是,也正如南老师曾经说过的那样:“共业的问题不能由个人英雄来解决”。想要拯救世界,其潜在心理是试图拯救世界的英雄自我。

 

So, I am still uncertain what the goal is. Today, it seems much closer to waking up than saving anything. Perhaps in the end, my time with Master Nan taught me that I do not need to know. The world does not need to be saved. It needs to be created.

所以,我仍然不确定目标是什么。今天,我觉得目标应该是唤醒而非拯救。也许到最后,回想过去南老师的教导,我并不需要知道目标是什么,世界也不需要被拯救,而是需要被改造和建设。

 

This is an extraordinary moment in history. China has stepped onto the world stage. But what China will it be? A Chinese version of a Western materialistic culture? Or a China that embodies and brings forward into today’s reality its extraordinary wisdom traditions? We all have a big stake in this question. Over the decade I had the good fortune to spend time with Master Nan, it became clear to me that his role was, at least in part, to help preserve awareness of those cultural roots during the extraordinary turmoil of the 20th Century. But the work is not done. For these wisdom traditions remain at odds with the modern worldview. As China continues to step forward, the forces to follow the materialistic Western path will be very strong, even as political correctness within China more openly criticizes the Western path. Pressures for profit and business growth are relentless. The allure of technology as the defining feature and driver of that growth is now deeply woven into all our societies. We all define progress by growth in GDP rather than by people’s well-being. Governments have come to define their role as protectors of business opportunity rather than shepherds of cultural evolution. The question of who we are and what our larger purpose may be within the web of living is all but lost to us.

这是一个非凡的历史时刻,中国已走上世界舞台。但中国会是什么样的?会是西方物质文化版本的中国吗?亦或是一个体现并将其非凡的古老智慧融入当代中国现实?这是一个事关所有人利害关系的问题。在过去的十多年,我有幸能够和南老师共度时光,我越来越清楚地认识到他的使命,至少是一部分的使命,是为了在二十世纪的剧烈动荡时期,保护这些文化的根源,但工作还未完成。因为,这些古老智慧仍然与现代世界观有矛盾。随着中国继续前行,尽管中国内部的政治正确性愈发公开地批评追随西方物质主义的道路,但其惯性力量仍然非常强大。利润和业务增长的压力是无止境的。作为发展的决定性驱动力的科技,其魅力已深深交织于我们的社会。我们都以GDP增长来定义发展,而不是着眼于人民生活质量的提高。政府已经开始将他们的角色定义为商业机会的保护者,而不是文化进化的牧羊人。我们是谁,以及我们更大的目标是什么,似乎在生活的蜘蛛网中迷失了。

 

But, perhaps, not entirely. The very fact that people like Nan Huai-Chin have had and continue to have such an impact speaks clearly that we have not lost the “great hunger” for genuine spiritual growth. The Earth system is also speaking loudly to us - humans today use almost 1.5 Earths in terms of our footprint on the natural world. If China and India were to reach the level of material affluence and waste of the West, it would take 3 Earths. This will not happen. The path we are on has no future. As we proceed along it, we will produce ever greater ecological destruction and ever greater social inequity. The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer, and many other species will suffer with us.

但是,也许并不完全都如此。像南怀瑾这样的人已经并继续产生这样的影响,这一事实清楚地表明,我们还未完全丧失追求真正精神成长的“极大饥渴”。地球系统也在大声地告诉我们——以人类在自然世界的足迹来测算的话,今天的人类已经使用了近一个半的地球。如果中国和印度达到目前西方的物质富裕和浪费水平,则需要消耗三个地球。这不会发生,因为这条路没有未来。随着我们的发展,我们将会造成更大的生态破坏和更多的社会不平等。富人会变得更加富有,穷人会变得更穷,许多其他物种也会因为我们而受难。

 

We need, more than anything, new models. China could contribute to this. But not by continuing down the path of catching up with the West that has dominated the past decades. Nan Huai-Chin and his students are part of a different lineage, far older than the Industrial Age, technology-centric model. It is a model we all know deep in our hearts. And, it is a model that the larger living world fervently hopes we will rediscover.

比起任何东西来讲,我们目前最需要的是新模式。中国可以为此做出贡献,但不是继续追赶过去几十年来主导西方的道路。南怀瑾和他的学生是不同世系的一部分——比工业时代更为悠久,比以技术为中心的模式更为悠久。这是我们内心深处都知道的一种模式。而且,更大的生命体系也迫切期待我们能够重新发现这种模式。

(2018年7月29日再修订)

南懷瑾文教基金會
由南師子女、
眾多弟子、
社會賢達
共同發起成立。
旨在以求真、求實、
求信的理念,
來與社會大眾共同
分享南師的智慧。
並開展相關實踐活動。

功勳富貴原余事,
濟世利他重實行。

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