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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

知識與智慧
Knowledge vs. Wisdom

文 歐陸 一九九六年十月五日 於萬佛聖城/道源堂
by Ooi Lu Oct. 5, 1996, Dao Yuan Hall at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.

第三位演講的是詹姆士‧林。他是瑜伽示市一位基督教美以美教會牧師,並任教於門都仙諾社區學院。他藉用古希臘神話--潘多拉盒子,來隱喻我們的訊息採集型的社會已經打開了這個黑盒子,而使得災禍厄運滿天飛,我們的身心焦惱無止休。他建議我們重回古時的智慧。現代的宗教大都有兩大主流:一是「傳統智慧」,提供人類安全和穩定,維持現有的秩序。這是大家都明白的一種智慧,人人都以此來相互聯繫溝通。

另一種智慧是「叛逆智慧」,是相對於我們所熟悉的實用「傳統智慧」的另一種智慧。這兩種智慧之間的關係卻常常很緊張。

「聖經」知識是一種密切的關係型的知識。它處理的是人與人之間以及自己與自己之間的關係。 現在社會已經把人和這種知識分開了,科學的分析已到了「分析癱瘓」的地步,人們已無法進行有效的情感溝通。大多數的宗教教人一種「道」,如佛教中的「法」,儒教中的「禮」,猶太教中的「聖訓」,道教中的「道」。這是指示我們人與人,人與天,人與自然,自身與自身,以及人與上帝之間關係的「道」。所有的宗教都發展出傳統智慧,然後就有改革者出現,以其叛逆型的智慧,發展出新的機會,幫助陷足的人們跨越傳統智慧的泥坑。

接著演講的是在法界佛教大學教「佛教通史」的康達雅‧忽達雅先生。他以一張立體的佛像照片來解釋知識與智慧的複雜與微細。照片上,可見上層相。但若仔細觀察,可辨認出背景相。但我們的眼睛與思維都已被習慣牽著跑了,要改變我們的觀察力不是那麼容易的。我們說到知識與智慧時,其實指的是我們處理與周遭環境的關係,我們的觀察與理解的方式。

康達雅先生取出一卷日本軸畫,上有一梵文字母,其形似英文的 「A」字,這一軸畫從印度傳到中國,再從中國到日本,成為日本佛教秘密真言派(密宗)的禪修觀想符。觀想此符,便可揭露萬物之源,宇宙的源頭。隨後他又拿出一片儲存著五千四百萬字元,包容整個中文佛教三藏的光碟,光碟內容是以十一世紀的高麗文,刊印成藍本的。觀眾可以同時欣賞這兩樣放在一起,卻相隔好幾百年的東西。而這一套有五千四百萬字的光碟,和這一單字卷軸的差別何在?

育良女子小學易果參校長,跟大家講了一個她先生艾倫的故事。艾倫為家庭奔波忙碌,身兼數職。幾個星期前,他正給他家未完工的房子上屋頂。突然他發現一隻蜥蝪在地上竄來竄去,也忙個不停呢!看著這隻蜥蜴,他忽然心頭湧起一陣難堪之情。他聯想到我們人,也正如這隻蜥蝪,一輩子也這麼跑來跑去。工作換來換去,今天要做這項工作,明天又要拿學士學位,後天又要拿碩士學位,大後天又要經商,或做別的什麼事情。跑得我們魂兒都沒個主了,這樣子活得稀里糊塗的。

與資訊社會的頻繁接觸,對多元文化的耳濡目染,使我們日益求「多」---多聞、多見、多技能、樣樣多多益善,結果我們丟掉了我們的「本」。現在人們要放慢腳步,找回我們的「本」,卻比什麼時候都難。智慧,即是知道我們在做什麼,為什麼這樣做;進一步講,即我們為何而來?從何而生?當何而不枉度此生?真明白這些道理了,即深明智慧之所在。

萬佛聖城的方丈恆律法師,表示感謝諸位來賓的奉獻。他引用了一句名言--「知識就是力量」。這裡的知識是指在社會上生存所必需的知識。有無智慧在於一個人會不會運用知識。如果以瞋心和貪心來用知識,那麼人就會變得愚癡。有一個讓人愚癡的小咒「瞋心、貪心、瞋心、貪心、薩婆訶。」知識可使人聰慧,也可使人變愚昧。佛陀證悟之後,即說:「一切眾生皆有如來智慧;只因妄想執著,而不能證得」。

座談會之夜最後是學生發問,主席團成員回答。討論涉及不同話題,對某一些話題又作了較深的討論。智慧的思量和定義並不很難,因為智慧是一種本具的內涵。詹姆士‧林闡釋「傳統智慧」與「叛逆智慧」的區別。「天的大恩典,總是欲打擊人的小規矩。」 易果參校長在回答人如何才不會像那只蜥蝪一樣生活這一問題時指出,我們達到目的地的過程,與目的地同樣重要。現在的處境,作事的方法,以及與他人的溝通是與設定一個人的目標,和預測未來的事態一樣重要。「僅此而已,就在當下。」不隨波逐流,時時刻刻充實生活,力行君子之道,這就是最佳避免無謂四處奔波與忙碌之方法。

主席團成員在回答如何排除人群之間的障礙時,強調推廣素食,減少殺業,進一步去瞭解其它宗教,擯除成見,將智慧教育重新納入教育體系。在討論完如何巧用知識來開發智慧後,座談會圓滿結束。

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The third speaker was James Lin, a Methodist minister from Ukiah, who also teaches at Mendocino College. He alluded to an ancient Greek myth, saying that our information-gathering society has in fact opened up Pandora's box [from which all misfortunes tormenting humankind emerged]. He suggested going back to some more ancient understandings. In most religions today there are two streams. The first is 'conventional wisdom' that provides safety and security, keeps the status quo going. This is something everybody knows and is socialized to. The second is a kind of 'subversive wisdom', an alternative to the familiar and practical conventional wisdom. There is always a tension between these two.

Biblical knowledge is an intimate, relational kind of knowledge, it has to do with relationships between people and relationships within oneself. The modern world has taken us away from this, and now scientific analysis has gotten to the point of "paralysis of analysis", where people cannot relate to each other in significant ways. Most religions teach a Wayhe Dharma of Buddhism, the Li of Confucianism, the Torah of Judaism, the Dao of Daoism. This is the way we are to relate to other people, to the universe, to the natural world, to ourselves, and to God which is beyond ourselves. All religions develop a lot of conventional wisdom. Then a reformer comes along with subversive wisdom, opens up new opportunities, and helps us get through the body of knowledge that traps us in conventional wisdom.    

The next speaker was Mr. Hudaya Kandahjaya, who teaches a course in History of Buddhism at Dharma Realm Buddhist University. He illustrated the intricacies of knowledge and wisdom with a 3-D picture postcard of a Buddha image, where you can only see the background picture emerge, if you can focus your eyes properly. But our eyes and mind are so used to seeing only what we are used to seeing that changing the focus is not easy. When we talk about knowledge and wisdom we are actually talking about our way of dealing with the environment, our way of observing and understanding.

Then Mr. Kandahjaya brought out a Japanese scroll on which the character 'a' was written in Sanskrit. This scroll has been transmitted from India to China to Japan and is a meditational object of the esoteric Shingon [in Chinese 'zhen yen', true words] school of Japanese Buddhism. Meditation on the character 'a' was to reveal the source of everything, the beginning of the universe. Then he took out a CD-ROM disk that contained the entire Chinese Tripitaka, 54 million characters, from a text originally printed in Korea during the 11th century. The audience could now view these two objects from centuries apart side by side. Yet, ultimately, what is the difference between the 54 million characters on the disk and the single character 'a' painted on the scroll?

Terri Nicholson, principal of Instilling Goodness Girls' school, told the audience a short story about her husband, Alan Nicholson. The previous weekend Alan, who leads a busy life with a family and several jobs, had been working on a house, putting up a roof. Suddenly he saw a lizard down on the ground, frantically running back and forth from one spot to another, stopping for a second and then dashing off to another place. All of a sudden, as he looked at the lizard, Alan felt embarrassed. He realized that most of us are like this lizard, spending our lives frantically running from one thing to another. First we want to get this job, then we decide to have a BA, then a MA, then we decide we'd rather be in business, or pursue something else... We rush from one thing to another without much of a center, without much meaning in our life.

In this age of constant information and exposure to many different cultures we tend to grasp more, know more things, have more experiences, but as a result we lose our center. It is now harder than ever for us to slow down, find the center. Wisdom is knowing what we are doing and why, in a bigger sense: What am I here for? What was I born of? What am I doing to make my life worthwhile? Really understanding that deeply is what wisdom is all about.           

Heng Lyu Shr, abbot of the CTTB, thanked the speakers for their contributions. He quoted the saying "knowledge is power", meaning knowledge of things we need to live in this society. Having or not having wisdom depends on how one uses one's knowledge. If knowledge is used with anger and greed, it becomes stupidity. The mantra for stupidity goes simply "Greed, greed, anger, anger, sa po he." Knowledge can turn one into either a wise or a stupid person. As he got enlightened, the Buddha said: "All living beings have the wisdom of the Thus Come One; but because they are covered by false thinking and attachments, they do not understand."

The rest of the evening was taken up by questions from the students, addressed to the panelists. Various topics were touched on or expanded. Articulating or defining wisdom is always difficult, since wisdom is intuitive. James Lin expounded on the differences between conventional and subversive wisdom: "Grace is always undermining the little morality systems that we develop". Answering a question on how to avoid being a lizard, Terri Nicholson pointed out that in life the process is just as important as where we are going to. Where you are right now, how you act and relate to others is just as important as finding your goal or anything that is going to happen in the future. "This is it, right here." Having that focus, living the moment to the fullest and being the very best person we can is the best way to avoid running back and forth without any meaning.

Answering a question on how to break down barriers between people and groups, the panelists emphasized reducing killing karma by becoming vegetarian, overcoming stereotypes by getting to know people of other faiths better, and putting wisdom back into the educational system. On this note of educational reform, of directing knowledge towards gaining wisdom, the evening's discussion was brought to a close.

The End

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