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弟子規淺釋
Standards for Students

孫果秀註釋 Explained by Jennifer Lin

目錄

第八章﹕餘力學文

Chapter Eight ﹕ON LEARNING

不力行,但學文,長浮華,成何人。
但力行,不學文,任己見,昧理真。
讀書法,有三到,心眼口,信皆要。
方讀此,勿慕彼,此未終,彼勿起。
寬為限,緊用功,工夫到,滯塞通。
心有疑,隨札記,就人問,求確義。
房室清,牆壁淨,几案潔,筆硯正。
墨磨偏,心不端,字不敬,心先病。
列典籍,有定處,讀看畢,還原處。
雖有急,卷束齊,有缺壞,就補之。
非聖書,屏不視,蔽聰明,壞心志。
勿自暴,勿自棄,聖與賢,可馴致。

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fang

shi

qing

 

qiang

bi

jing

房間

保持清爽

 

牆壁

擦乾淨

room

to keep neat

wall

to cleanse

房間應保持清爽;牆壁要收拾乾淨。
Our room should be kept neat and tidy with the walls uncluttered and clean.

ji

an

jie

 

bi

yan

zheng

桌子

弄整潔

 

毛筆

硯台

放端正

table, desk

to tidy up

pen

ink slab

well arranged

書桌應清理整潔;文具要擺放端正。
Our desk should be kept in good order, pens and papers well arranged.

mo

mo

pian

 

xin

bu

duan

墨條

研細、摩擦

歪斜的

 

端正的

ink stick

to grind

slanted

mind

not

upright

墨磨得歪斜了,這就表示心不端正。
If our ink stick is ground at an angle, it’s likely our minds are not upright.

zi

bu

jing

 

xin

xian

bing

工整的

 

首先地

有毛病

writing

not

neat

mind

first

to have problem

字寫得潦草,那是因為心不在焉。
If our writing is sloppy and careless, it is because we are absent-minded.

練習書法的人都知道「心正筆正」的道理,所以古代的中國人把練習書法列為「六藝」(即六種必修的技藝課程)之一。另外的五種技藝課程是禮儀、音樂、射箭、駕御馬車、工藝(有人把第六種的「數」,解讀做「數學」,愚意以為解做「工藝」比較恰當。一則因為純數學是書本知識,不算是「技藝」,應用數學則已包括在工藝媕Y;二來從先秦諸子百家的言論,可以發現很多用造車輪、舟船、油漆或木工來做的比喻,足見當時的讀書人對工藝的瞭解,也不遜於詩書之類的書本知識,由此可證,他們一定學過工藝。)只可惜後來的讀書人變成了「純讀書」,只重視「六經」,不重視「六藝」,到後來只剩了禮儀、音樂、書法三種比較靜態的藝,還有人注重,其餘三種講求手腦並用的技藝,就被輕視為「形而下」之事;以至於造成後世的讀書人只知為讀書而讀書,不知運動,更不懂得生活,予人以「手無縛雞之力」、「百無一用是書生」的文弱印象。

 

People who practice calligraphy know that, "If their minds are straight, their characters will be upright." Thus, in ancient China calligraphy was considered one of the Six Arts (the six skills an educated person was required to learn). The other five Arts were rites, music, archery, chariot driving, and applied arts. (Some have interpreted this sixth art as mathematics, but I think "applied arts" is more apt. First of all, pure mathematics is academic knowledge and cannot be considered a skill. Applied mathematics is included in applied arts. Secondly, since the pre- Qin period, philosophers have drawn analogies such as making carriage wheels, boats, and ships; painting; and carpentry, indicating that scholars in those days understood applied arts as well as academics. Thus, they must have studied applied arts.) It is a pity that later scholars began to focus purely on academics, valuing the Six Classics but not the Six Arts. Now, only rites, music, and calligraphy--the three less active Arts, are still valued. The other three, which require hand-and-brain coordination, have been scorned as physical activities. As a result, modern-day scholars do nothing but study, get very little exercise, and have no idea of how to live a balanced life. They are pictured as effete intellectuals, "weaklings who can't truss a chicken," and "useless scholars." On the other hand, since calligraphy has been regarded as a tool for cultivating one's moral character and spirituality , and as art also involves a certain beauty, it has had the fortune of surviving until the present.

話說回來,就因為將練習書法當做「修心養性」的工具,而書法本身又是一種具有「美感」的藝術,因此才幸運地被流傳到現在。既然把練習書法當做修心養性的工具,這從陳列桌椅、擺置紙筆硯墨,到磨墨、持筆、寫字,就處處都有其講究了。

 

As a tool for spiritual cultivation, the art of calligraphy involves arranging the desk and chair; setting out the paper, brush, ink slab, and ink; holding the brush; and writing the characters. These guidelines are described in the present verses. 

 

怎樣呢?就是本章所說的:房間應保持清爽,牆壁要收拾乾淨;書桌應清理整潔,文具要擺置端正。環境預備好了,心就能清靜,這是基礎;然後要注意寫字的姿勢:磨墨應端端正正,握筆要不鬆不緊。這樣寫出來的字,即使不夠美,卻是方正有力;至於美,那是藝術,就要再加上不斷的練習和揣摩,是屬於技巧的講求。

 

The room must be kept neat and tidy, the walls uncluttered and clean, the desk in good order, and the writing utensils well arranged. When the environment is well-prepared, the mind will be calm. With this foundation in place, one then attends to posture: grinding the ink stick evenly, holding the brush neither too tightly nor too loosely. In this way, one's characters will be even and firm at the least, if not beautiful. For calligraphy to be beautiful as art, one must develop one's technique through continuous practice and adjustment. 

 

總之,不要小看了事前的準備工夫,以為若要字美,只需勤練就可。須知練出來的字,若無先前這番日用的準備工夫,就缺少一種磅礡的氣勢,顯得華而不實,在藝術價值上都減了幾分,更何況於身心無補呢!

 

In general, the preparatory work should not be taken lightly. Don't think that diligent practice suffices to produce beautiful characters. If you neglect the daily preliminary work, your characters will be frivolous rather than magnanimous. Their artistic quality will be diminished, and you will suffer an irreparable physical and psychological loss.

現代的父母們,很多犯了好高騖遠的毛病,以為孩子能把書念好又多才多藝,已很傑出;孩子不會去吸毒耽玩,已很乖了。因此寧可自己做一家之「煮」和老媽子,不教孩子幫忙家務,以免影響孩子功課;甚至孩子自己的房間,還得幫他整理,要不就視而不見,任其滿室零亂。結果造就出一大批不知天高地厚的青少年,不是生活無法獨立自主,就是感情經不起挫折;遇事既不知慎謀能斷在先,又不能縝密快速處理於中,最後又無法堅忍持續到底。

 

Modern parents make the mistake of having lofty expectations that overlook the basics. They consider children who do well in school and are talented to be outstanding. They consider children who don't do drugs or party a lot to be well-behaved. Thus, they slave away doing all the household chores and cooking, but dare not ask their children to help, lest it adversely affect their homework. They even tidy their children's rooms or pre- tend not to notice the mess. As a result, we have a bunch of un- grateful, frivolous young people. They cannot survive on their own or weather emotional crises. Unused to planning ahead and making decisions, they are neither efficient nor careful in their work. Consequently, they cannot persevere to the end. 

 

古人說得好﹕「一室之不治,何以天下國家為?」整理房間雖然是私事、小事,似乎和辦公事、大事無關;但是如果連私事都無法掌控得好,又哪有餘力去顧及公事?如果連小事都無法管理得當,又哪有能力去處理大事?每日做家事,可以培養韌性、毅力和責任感;而把家事在最短的時間中料理得最好,則可以訓練管理頭腦和組織能力。以這樣的韌性、毅力、頭腦、能力和責任感,若為生活而謀差使,都是游刃而有餘;若一朝風雲際會,更能運籌天下於帷幄間而無礙。誰能說整理房間只是一己的私事,或不重要的小事?

 

As an old proverb says, "If you cannot keep a room in order, how can you maintain order in the nation?" Keeping one's room tidy may seem a trivial, personal affair unrelated to important, public matters. Yet, if one cannot even keep one's personal affairs in order, what energy could one have to take care of public affairs? If one handles small matters poorly, how can one handle large matters capably? Doing daily household chores nurtures one's tenacity, perseverance, and sense of responsibility .Efficient performance of household chores fosters management acumen and organizational skills. With such tenacity, perseverance, acumen, skills, and responsibility, one will quite easily find a job to support oneself. When the opportunity arises, one will be able to calmly plan strategies to skillfully tackle national and international issues. How can anyone say that tidying the room is a personal, trivial matter?

 

《中庸》說﹕「君子動而世為天下道,行而世為天下法,言而世為天下則。」這種君子,並非「十載寒窗苦讀」所能成就的;他們的心性、品格和能力,都是自小在灑掃應對的家務小事中,長期培養鍛鍊出來的。人之所以貧窮,在於不懂教育及生活,和天資高低,祖產多寡無關。一個人自小就能條理井然地處理自己的居住環境,長大了也就能條理井然地處理一切事情;那麼任何事務也難不倒他,任何情況也困擾不了他。

 

The Doctrine of the Mean says, "The actions of the cultivated person serve as a path for the world; his practices serve as laws for the world; his words serve as regulations for the world." Such a cultivated person is not one who merely "studies for ten years by the window in the cold." His temperament, character, abilities were forged through a long period of doing routine household chores from childhood onwards. A person who does not understand how to learn and live is truly poor; poverty has nothing to do with one's natural talent or wealth. A person who learns how to keep his own living space and belongings in order at a young age will be capable of handling all matters in an organized fashion as an adult. He will be able to surmount any difficulty and rise above any situation. 

粗茶淡飯,一家怡然,何貧窮之有?真正的貧窮是心靈枯寂零亂,遇事慌張失措或處事首尾失據的人。有「西方孔子」之美譽的古希臘哲學大師蘇格拉底,就強調說﹕「條理井然的心靈,是唯一真正快樂,也是唯一有資格過美好的生活。」既然「每個人是自己的支配者」,那麼我們何不及早訓練孩子在「整潔有序」上下工夫,讓孩子支配自己的人生,成為一個心靈條理井然的人呢?

 

As long as a family is happy, though they subsist on plain fare, how can they be considered poor? Genuine poverty is experienced by those who are psychologically starved or confused, who err out of nervousness, and who cannot handle anything well. Socrates, the great Greek philosopher hailed as the Confucius of the West, insisted, "The ordered soul is the only truly happy one, the only one capable of living the good life." Since "Every man is his own ruler," why not teach our children to be neat and organized, so they can take charge of their own lives and be ordered souls?

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