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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

科學與性靈(續)
Science and Spirituality (continued)

馬丁•維荷文博士 講於 1997年11月加州柏克萊 世界宗教研究院
A talk by Martin Verhoeven Ph.D. at the Institute of World Religions, Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, November 1997
黃山山 中譯 Chinese translation by Huang Shanshan

總結一下,我想引用一位為佛教與科學相異之處的價值而感恩的人--亨利•克拉克•華倫的話。華倫是本世紀初哈佛大學的教授,是最早將佛書譯成英文的人之一。當華倫教授閱讀那些佛書時,他真是一頭霧水,根本就解釋不上來。佛理對他先入為主的思想模式形成一種挑戰;將他逼出他所熟習的模式之外。但是他沒有為了使佛理說得通,而將那些佛理放入他緊抓著的,自己所熟習的哲學和科學模式之中。他反而自在地在這個新國土裡遊蕩著。他說:

「在學習研究佛教時,我體會到的快樂,有一大部份是來自於看到我所稱的一副全新而陌生的知識山水圖。所有的思想、辯論方式,甚至假設及非辯論之處,對我都非常陌生,與我過去所習慣的東西非常殊異,使我感到我無時不刻不處在童話世界。東方思想和哲學對我的魅力就在其與西方思想的格格不入」

所以今晚我的收尾就這樣說吧,或許我們可以從亨利•華倫那兒得一些借鑑--就讓佛教使我們不舒服一陣子吧!別這麼急著將佛教講得通;不妨先在這個神話世界裡走走,看看能不能引我們進入「柳暗花明又一村」的境界吧!

問:你最後說的那些話,關於學習的要素是切莫急於先入為主,先上框框。希望您細講,因為兒童最初都是這樣學習的。

答:我自己也琢磨了很久。有人對「神智健全」的定義是「人能夠同時把握住兩個意思截然相反的概念,而不錯亂」。我們真是這樣被要求去做的。從科學角度上講我們都要求在自己有充裕的數據前,先不要太早下結論。如果以這種角度,這種獲取數據的方法還沒有被廣泛採用,不管是外在數據(根據這種模式),還是內在數據--我們自己身心這個內在實驗室的清潔。如果能使這個內在實驗室一直清潔下去,即便是你不想清楚,它也會變得很清楚的,清楚得如觀掌中果。但在到那時以前,一切都只是揣測而已。我想,要做到不先入為主,不急於得到結論,這需要相當成熟的心志纔行;更要緊的,是要藉由親身修行得來的直接知識,去真正學佛。

全文完

To conclude, I just want to quote from someone who appreciated the value of difference. Henry Clark Warren, Harvard Professor at the turn of the century, who was one of the first translators of Buddhist texts into English. When Professor Warren encountered the Buddhist texts, he was swept off his feet a bit. It challenged his established modes of thought; pushed him beyond accustomed patterns. But instead of grabbing onto the familiar philosophical scientific paradigms of his day to "make sense" of Buddhism, he allowed himself to meander the strange new landscape. He wrote:

A large part of the pleasure that I have experienced in the study of Buddhism has arisen from what I may call the strangeness of the intellectual landscape. All the ideas, the modes of argument, even the postulates assumed and not argued about, have always seemed so strange, so different from anything to which I have been accustomed that I have felt all the time as though walking in fairyland. Much of the charm that the Oriental thoughts and ideas have for me appears to be because they so seldom fit into Western categories.

I close tonight by suggesting that perhaps we could take a note from Henry Clark Warren: Let Buddhism rub us the wrong way. Let it not make sense to us so quickly, enjoy the walk in fairyland, and see if it doesn't lead to perhaps some fresh insights and perspectives that we never imagined before.

Question: Referring to your last comments on the essence of learning in general, how do you keep from grasping too soon and sort of putting things into a framework or defining things, since that is how children learn from the very first?

Response: I wrestle with that one too. Someone once gave a definition of sanity as the ability to hold two contradictory, opposite ideas in your mind at the same time and not go crazy. That is really what we are being called upon to do. In a scientific sense I think we do have a precedent in a sense, namely to suspend judgment, remain open until we get enough of data. From this point of view, the acquisition of the data isn't quite complete yet–we are historically only in the very beginning stages of a Buddhist transfer to another culture. From another point of view (one I presented earlier), there is both external data and internal data. The internal data could refer to the purification of one's own body and mind (the instruments and laboratory, if you will, of our experiment.) And as that inner work continues, it is said in Buddhism that even if you don't want it to be clear, it will be–as clear as an apple in the palm of your hand. But until then it's all speculation. So, I think it will require a certain amount of emotional maturity to suspend judgment and not jump to conclusions, and more importantly the direct knowledge that comes through self-cultivation, to really "learn" Buddhism.

To be End

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