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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

舊說新語
MODERN INTERPRETATIONS OF ANCIENT EXPRESSIONS

【十九、鞦韆上的天空––智者篇】

19. Chapter on Wisdom—The Sky Seen from a Swing

■  孫華穗     文      By Sun Huasui


千江有水千江月;萬里無雲萬里天。
In the waters of a thousand rivers are a thousand moons;
there are no clouds, just ten thousand miles of sky.

穗兒沮喪地坐在大樹下的鞦韆架上,仰 望著天,任由鞦韆自己幌盪著。交織在層 層枝椏與深深淺淺各色綠葉之間的藍天, 彷彿一張網籠罩在上空,那麼地破碎零散 。啄本鳥在樹與樹間挨家挨戶地敲門問診 ,「噠噠噠噠」地,真吵死人!風一吹, 樹葉子就饒起舌來,沙沙作響,更令人心 煩意亂!她沒好氣地攤開了膝上擱著的書 ,低垂了臉,手有一搭沒一搭地翻著書頁 。忽然穗兒坐直了身,停住了微微幌盪的 鞦韆,目光集中在書上的一個寓言。那裡 面的情節,可不正是她和秀兒的寫照嗎?

故事是說:北宮子和西門子兩人的家世 、背景、年齡和長相都差不多,即使說的 是同樣的話,做的是同樣的事,但別人只 稱讚、重視西門子。因此,西門子又顯貴 又賺錢又受擁護;而北宮子卻是又窮困又 潦倒又不得人緣,甚至連西門子本人也愈 來愈看不起他。北宮子內心十分不能平衡 ,就問西門子是否這一切是因為德行比他 好的緣故。結果西門子不但直認不諱,還 奚落了他一頓。就像今天早上秀兒對她說 的:「你也不掂掂自己的份量!想跟我比 ?臉皮也太厚了吧!」那話,就像射入一 支利箭,她勉強武裝起來的自尊心,頓時 瓦解粉碎。想哭,沒眼淚;想笑,卻比哭 更難看!和秀兒是一母所生的雙胞胎,長 相幾乎沒什麼差異,個性卻十分不同,命 運則差得更遠。秀兒就像她的名字,是一 朵綻開的花,光彩奪目,人見人愛;而她 自己呢,只是一粒小小的、平凡的稻穗。 雖然媽媽為抑制秀兒的驕傲,常拿孔夫子「秀 而不實可矣夫」的句子來告誡秀兒;但無論如 何,花兒總是比小稻穗來得耀眼。秀兒在虛榮 中早已迷失,對這個謙退內向的妹妹也愈來愈 沒有耐心了。

穗兒的目光飄浮到破碎的天網又飄回書上, 無奈地又翻過一頁書。唔?她坐直了身,再度 聚精會神看下去。當失魂落魄的北宮子遇上東 郭先生,告知受奚落的原因後,東郭先生便去 找西門子問難了:「你的顯達,並不是因你的 智慧而獲得的;北宮子的窮困,也不是因為他 的愚笨而失利的,這些都是天命。你因命好而 自傲,這是德薄;北宮子雖然德厚,卻因命不 好而羞愧。你們都是不能了解天命自然的道理 。」這一說,不但西門子啞口無言;對北宮子 ,更是一語驚醒夢中人。回去之後,北宮子雖 然仍是那麼困窮,卻從此能安貧樂道,不再計 較人我得失,更不知榮辱是在我或在彼了!東 郭先生聽說這消息,不由誇讚他是個在迷夢中 能很快醒悟的人。

穗兒興奮地張大了眼:「這就是了!我為什 麼要老生活在秀兒的陰影下呢?她自恃命好而 不修德,命好也不會長久,就像花兒一樣,很 快就要萎謝,這並不是聰明的人。我就算命運 不佳。但只要我於理於事能心安氣和,我便得 自在快樂,別人的稱譏毀譽,於我又有什麼相 干呢?我若迷失在事相上,妄起分別,於事理 不明,豈不是作繭自縛、自尋苦惱?所調『智 者不惑』,我的心若通達,境遇的阻阨就不能 限制我;我的心若篤定,外在的幌盪也不能左 右我!」她放鬆了自己,又輕輕幌起了鞦韆, 眼光卻直透過樹網間那一片破碎的天,遠遠地 看出去;樹叢外的上空,是一大片的蔚藍。她 不禁想起來那一對聯句:

「有感即通,千江有水千江月;
無機不破,萬里無雲萬里天。」

Sui sat on the swing underneath the big tree feeling depressed. Looking up at the sky, she let the swing sway by itself. The blue sky, seen through layers of branches, twigs, and green leaves of all shades, seemed covered up by a net and appeared scattered and broken. A wood pecker flew from tree to tree, pecking on one after another to diagnose their sicknesses. "Da, Da, Da, Da,..." The bird was really annoying. When the wind blew, all the leaves started to blab, making soughing sounds which made Sui feel even more restless and disquieted. She grumpily flipped open the book that was lying on her knees. Turning her face downwards, she flipped pages randomly. All of a sudden, she straightened up and stopped the swaying motion of the swing as her eyes focused on a parable in the book. Isn't that story an exact portrayal of her and Xiu?

The story was about Bei Gong Zi and Xi Men Zi. These two men were about the same age, came from similar family backgrounds, and had looked about the same. However, even though they did exactly the same things and said exactly the same words, people praised only Xi Men Zi and regarded him highly. Thus, Xi Men Zi became prominent, noble, wealthy, well-liked, and well-regarded, while Bei Gong Zi was poor, disheartened, and liked by few. Even Xi Men Zi gradually came to look down on him. Bei Gong Zi found it hard to remain imperturbed under the circumstances. He asked Xi Men Zi whether this was because Xi Men Zi had more virtue than he, Bei Gong Zi. Xi Men Zi not only affirmed it frankly, but also ridiculed him. Just like this morning when Xiu said to her, "Why don't you take stock of yourself? What nerve you have to compare yourself to me! Aren't you being shameless?" Those words were like arrows which immediately shattered her armor of self-esteem to pieces. She wanted to cry, but couldn't find any tears; she wanted to laugh, but to smile looked worse than crying. Being identical twins, she and Xiu looked almost the same; however, their characters were very different, and their flower, dazzling and lustrous, adored by everyone; while she herself was but a tiny, ordinary ear of grain. Although, in order to restrain Xiu's arrogance, Mother often quoted Confucius' words, "How can it only blossom without bearing fruit?" to warn Xiu, yet, in any case, a flower is always more dazzling than a tiny ear of grain. Xiu was long lost in vanity. Thus she did not have much patience for her humble and reserved sister.

Sui's gaze wandered to the broken sky and then back to the book again, Helplessly, she turned another page. Oh? She sat up, continuing to read with concentrated interest. When the dejected Bei Gong Zi met up with Mr. Dong Guo, he told him about the ridicule he received from Xi Men Zi. Mr. Dong Guo went to find Xi Men Zi and scolded him, "Your prominence is not a result of your intelligence, and Bei Gong Zi's poverty is not due to his stupidity. It's all fate. You have become arrogant just because you have a good fate; that shows a lack of virtue. Bei Gong Zi is sufficient in virtue; nevertheless, he feels shame and remorse for his ill fate. Neither of you understand the principle of natural fate." Xi Men Zi was speechless upon hearing those words. As for Bei Gong Zi, he seemed to have been woken up from a dream of confusion. After he went home, he was able to live peacefully and happily despite his poverty. He no longer cared about gain or loss, nor discriminated between self and others. Nor did he notice whether glory or insult fell upon himself or others. Upon hearing this news, Mr. Dong Guo could not help but praise Bei Gong Zi as a person who had quickly awakened from a confused dream.

Sui excitedly opened her eyes wide, "That's it! Why should I always live under the shadow of Xiu? She relies on her good luck and never cultivates virtue. Good luck does not last forever. It is just like flowers; they wither in no time. That's not being smart. Though I am not so lucky, as long as I can have peace of mind and be gentle in my temperament in both principle and practice, I will be at ease and happy. What do the praise or ridicule that others show me have to do with me? If I am lost in the appearances of things, give rise to discrimination, and become confused about principles, am I not just looking for trouble for myself? It is said, ‘The wise never get confused.’ If my mind is free of impediments, then I will not be confined by the states I encounter; if my mind is unmoving, I will not be affected by the swaying motion of the outside world! She relaxed. Rocking the swing slightly, she looked straight up through the net of branches and leaves at the broken blue sky, gazing far into the distance. The sky beyond the cluster of trees was a great expanse of blue. A pair of matching couplets emerged in her mind:

Having a response means penetration:
in the waters of a thousand rivers are a thousand moons;
No heavenly secret is not revealed: for ten thousand miles,
there are no clouds, just ten thousand miles of sky.

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