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无我,还是非我?

[作者]坦尼沙罗尊者
[中译]良稹
No-self or Not-self?
by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu

原文版权所有 1996 坦尼沙罗比丘 。免费发行。 本文允许在任何媒体再版、重排、重印、印发。然而,作者希望任何再版与分发以对公众免费与无限制的形式进行,译文与转载也要求表明作者原衷。


中译版权所有 2005 良稹,http://www.theravadacn.org , 流通条件如上。转载时请包括本站连接,并登载本版权声明。

One of the first stumbling blocks that Westerners often encounter when they learn about Buddhism is the teaching on anatta, often translated as no-self. This teaching is a stumbling block for two reasons. First, the idea of there being no self doesn't fit well with other Buddhist teachings, such as the doctrine of kamma and rebirth: If there's no self, what experiences the results of kamma and takes rebirth? Second, it doesn't fit well with our own Judeo-Christian background, which assumes the existence of an eternal soul or self as a basic presupposition: If there's no self, what's the purpose of a spiritual life? Many books try to answer these questions, but if you look at the Pali Canon the earliest extant record of the Buddha's teachings you won't find them addressed at all. In fact, the one place where the Buddha was asked point-blank whether or not there was a self, he refused to answer. When later asked why, he said that to hold either that there is a self or that there is no self is to fall into extreme forms of wrong view that make the path of Buddhist practice impossible. Thus the question should be put aside. To understand what his silence on this question says about the meaning of anatta, we first have to look at his teachings on how questions should be asked and answered, and how to interpret his answers.

西方人了解佛教时,一个常见的初始障碍,即为 anatta 教说,该词常被译成无我(no-self)。此 说之为障碍其因有二。首先,无我之观念与佛陀的业力与轮回等其它教导不甚契合: 假若我不存在,是什么经历业报重生? 再者,它与我们自身的犹太-基督教背景也不甚契合,该背景预设永恒的灵魂或自我之存在为基本前提: 假若我不存在,灵性生活的目的又是什么? 有不少书籍尝试解答上述疑问,然而查一查巴利经典现存最早记载佛陀言教的文献其中根本找不到相关论述。实际上只有一处[1],佛陀被当面直问: 我是否存在,他却拒绝作答。后来有人求解其因,他说,认定有我、无我观念之任一,皆落入极端妄见,不可能走上佛法修持之道。因此,该问题应予放下。为了理解他对此问保持缄默代表anatta 释义为何,我们首先必须对他有关如何发问答问,面对他的答复又当如何译解的教言有所了解。

The Buddha divided all questions into four classes: those that deserve a categorical (straight yes or no) answer; those that deserve an analytical answer, defining and qualifying the terms of the question; those that deserve a counter-question, putting the ball back in the questioner's court; and those that deserve to be put aside. The last class of question consists of those that don't lead to the end of suffering and stress. The first duty of a teacher, when asked a question, is to figure out which class the question belongs to, and then to respond in the appropriate way. You don't, for example, say yes or no to a question that should be put aside. If you are the person asking the question and you get an answer, you should then determine how far the answer should be interpreted. The Buddha said that there are two types of people who misrepresent him: those who draw inferences from statements that shouldn't have inferences drawn from them, and those who don't draw inferences from those that should.

佛陀把一切问题划分为四类[2]: 一类值得明确的答复, 即直答是否; 一类值得分析式的答复,即对 发问的条件作定义与限制; 一类值得反问,即把球送回提问者的场地; 还有一类值得舍置不答。这最后一类即为那些不能够止息苦与张力的疑问。一位导师受问时的首要责任,是判断该问归属于哪一类,之后以相应方式作答。譬如对本应舍置不答之问,便不以是否作答。假若你是发问者,在得到答复后,便要决定对其诠释该走多远。佛陀说,误释他的人有两类: 一类对不该作推论的言句硬作推论,另一 类人该作推论时却不作[3]

These are the basic ground rules for interpreting the Buddha's teachings, but if we look at the way most writers treat the anatta doctrine, we find these ground rules ignored. Some writers try to qualify the no-self interpretation by saying that the Buddha denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self, but this is to give an analytical answer to a question that the Buddha showed should be put aside. Others try to draw inferences from the few statements in the discourse that seem to imply that there is no self, but it seems safe to assume that if one forces those statements to give an answer to a question that should be put aside, one is drawing inferences where they shouldn't be drawn.

诠解佛陀教导的基本原则便在于此,不过看一看多数作者对 anatta 教说的诠解方式,我们发现这些基本原则被忽略了。有些作者称佛陀否定的是永恒之我或独立之我的存在,藉此支持无我之铨说,不过这样做,是对一个佛陀表明应舍置不答的问题给出分析式答复。又有人试图对经文中少数几处似寓我不存在之意的述语作一番推论,不过可以有把握地说,硬用那些句子来答复一个本应不答的问题,是在作不当推论。

So, instead of answering "no" to the question of whether or not there is a self interconnected or separate, eternal or not the Buddha felt that the question was misguided to begin with. Why? No matter how you define the line between "self" and "other," the notion of self involves an element of self-identification and clinging, and thus suffering and stress. This holds as much for an interconnected self, which recognizes no "other," as it does for a separate self. If one identifies with all of nature, one is pained by every felled tree. It also holds for an entirely "other" universe, in which the sense of alienation and futility would become so debilitating as to make the quest for happiness one's own or that of others impossible. For these reasons, the Buddha advised paying no attention to such questions as "Do I exist?" or "Don't I exist?" for however you answer them, they lead to suffering and stress.

因此,与其对我是否存在之问以否定作答无论该我是相互联通之我还是各自独立之我,无论该我永恒与否佛陀认为此问从一开始即有误导性。为什么? 无论怎样划定我、他之界,我的概念本身已包含某种自我认同与执取的成分,因此即包含苦与张力。这个道理既适于独立之我,也适于相互联通之我,后者不承认他。假若一个人认同自然界的一切,他便为每一株被伐之树而苦。同样,假若以整个宇宙为他,此中的隔绝感与徒劳感将如此压抑,对幸福的追求无论为己为他将不可能成就。出于这些因由,佛陀的忠告是,不要去关心我存在吗? 、我不存在吗?之类的问题,因为无论你怎样答,都引致苦与张力。

To avoid the suffering implicit in questions of "self" and "other," he offered an alternative way of dividing up experience: the four Noble Truths of stress, its cause, its cessation, and the path to its cessation. Rather than viewing these truths as pertaining to self or other, he said, one should recognize them simply for what they are, in and of themselves, as they are directly experienced, and then perform the duty appropriate to each. Stress should be comprehended, its cause abandoned, its cessation realized, and the path to its cessation developed. These duties form the context in which the anatta doctrine is best understood. If you develop the path of virtue, concentration, and discernment to a state of calm well-being and use that calm state to look at experience in terms of the Noble Truths, the questions that occur to the mind are not "Is there a self? What is my self?" but rather "Am I suffering stress because I'm holding onto this particular phenomenon? Is it really me, myself, or mine? If it's stressful but not really me or mine, why hold on?" These last questions merit straightforward answers, as they then help you to comprehend stress and to chip away at the attachment and clinging the residual sense of self-identification that cause it, until ultimately all traces of self-identification are gone and all that's left is limitless freedom.

为了避免我、他之问本身固有之苦,他给出了解析体验的另一种方式: 苦、苦因、灭苦、灭苦之道这四圣谛。 他说,与其把这些真谛看成与我、 他有关,不如对其直接体验、如实认知,接著分别施行相应的责任。苦应当理解、苦因应当消除、止息应当实现、止息之道应当长养。 这些责任构成了理解 anatta 教说的最佳背景。假若你培育了戒德、定力、明辨,达到某个宁静安止之境态,利用该止境从四圣谛的角度看待体验,心里升起的问题就不是我存在吗? 我自己是什么? 而是我在受苦,是不是因为我执著于这个特定现象? 它真的是我、我自己、我的吗? 如果它是苦,但实际上不是我或我的,又为何执著? 后面那组问题,就值得一个直接了当的答复了,因为此时的答复有助于你理解苦,凿去致苦的粘取与执著也就是引生其苦的残余的自我认同感直到最后,一切自我认同的痕迹消失,剩下的是无限的自由。

In this sense, the anatta teaching is not a doctrine of no-self, but a not-self strategy for shedding suffering by letting go of its cause, leading to the highest, undying happiness. At that point, questions of self, no-self, and not-self fall aside. Once there's the experience of such total freedom, where would there be any concern about what's experiencing it, or whether or not it's a self?

在此意义上,anatta 之教言非是一套无我(no-self)的学说,而是一项非我(not-self)的策略[4],藉放下苦因、趋向至高不灭之乐,达到离苦的目的。到那时,我、无我、非我之问已落到一边。一旦有如此彻底自由的体验,又何来谁在体验、是否为我之惑?

中譯注:
[1]SN 44.8
[2]AN 4.42
[3]AN 2.25
[4]值得提醒讀者的是,本文從巴利詞anatta在 原典的語境出發討論此教義在解脫道上的作用,而不是抽象討論anatta的終極哲學意義。因此讀者應當仔細閱讀經文(《非我相經》),才能夠判斷是否言之有理。

相关连接:
        《非我相经
        佛陀对有我无我之问的应对

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/notself.html
最近訂正 8-19-2007