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無我,還是非我?

[作者]坦尼沙羅尊者
[中譯]良稹
No-self or Not-self?
by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu

原文版權所有   1996 坦尼沙羅比丘。免費發行。本文允許在任何媒體再版、重排、重印、印發。然而,作者希望任何再版與分發以對公衆免費與無限制的形式進行,譯文與轉載也要求表明作者原衷。


中譯版權所有   2006 良稹,http://www.theravadacn.org , 流通條件如上。轉載時請包括本站連接,并登載本版權聲明。

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.

西方人了解佛教時,一個常見的初始障礙,即爲 anatta 教說,該詞常被譯成無我(no-self)。此說之爲障礙其因有二。首先,無我之觀念與佛陀的業力與輪回等其它教導不甚契合: 假若我不存在,是什麽經曆業報重生? 再者,它與我們自身的猶太-基督教背景也不甚契合,該背景預設永恒的靈魂或自我之存在爲基本前提: 假若我不存在,靈性生活的目的又是什麽? 不少書籍嘗試解答上述問題,然而查一查巴利經典現存最早記載佛陀言教的文獻其中根本找不到相關論述。實際上只有一處[1],佛陀被當面直問: 我是否存在,他卻拒絕作答。 後來有人求解其因,他說,認定有我、無我觀念之任一,皆落入極端妄見,不可能走上佛法修持之道。因此,該問題應予放下。爲了理解他對此問保持緘默代表anatta 釋義爲何,我們首先必須對他有關如何發問答問,面對他的答複又當如何譯解的教言有所了解。

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.

佛陀把一切問題劃分爲四類[2]: 一類值得明確的答複, 即直答是否; 一類值得分析式的答複,即對發問的條件作定義與限制; 一類值得反問,即把球送回提問者的場地; 還有一類值得舍置不答。這最後一類即爲那些不能夠止息苦與張力的疑問。一位導師受問時的首要責任,是判斷該問歸屬於哪一類,之後以相應方式作答。譬如對本應舍置不答之問,便不以是否作答。假若你是發問者,在得到答複後,便要決定對其诠釋該走多遠。佛陀說,誤釋他的人有兩類: 一類對不該作推論的言句硬作推論,另一類人該作推論時卻不作[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.

詮解佛陀教導的基本原則便在於此,不過看一看多數作者對 anatta 教說的詮解方式,我們發現這些基本原則被忽略了。有些作者稱佛陀否定的是永恒之我或獨立之我的存在,藉此支持無我之铨說,不過這樣做,是對一個佛陀表明應舍置不答的問題給出分析式答複。又有人試圖對經文中少數幾處似寓我不存在之意的述語作一番推論,不過可以有把握地說,硬用那些句子來答複一個本應不答的問題,是在作不當推論。

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,與其對我是否存在之問以否定作答無論該我是相互聯通之我還是各自獨立之我,無論該我永恒與否佛陀認爲此問從一開始即有誤導性。爲什麽? 無論怎樣劃定我、他之界,我的概念本身已包含某種自我認同與執取的成分,因此即包含苦與張力。這個道理既適於獨立之我,也適於相互聯通之我,後者不承認他。假若一個人認同自然界的一切,他便爲每一株被伐之樹而苦。同樣,假若以整個宇宙爲他,此中的隔絕感與徒勞感將如此壓抑,對幸福的追求無論爲己爲他将不可能成就。出於這些因由,佛陀的忠告是,不要關心我存在嗎? 、我不存在嗎?之類的問题,因爲無論你怎樣答,都引致苦與張力。

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.

爲了避免我、他之問本身固有之苦,他給出了解析體驗的另一種方式: 苦、苦因、滅苦、滅苦之道這四聖諦。 他說,與其把這些真諦看成與我、他有關,不如對其直接體驗、如實認知,接著分別施行相應的責任。苦應當理解、苦因應當消除、止息應當實現、止息之道應當長養。 這些責任構成了理解 anatta 教說的最佳背景。假若你培育了戒德、定力、明辨,達到某個甯靜安止之境態,利用該止境從四聖諦的角度看待體驗,心裏升起的問題就不是我存在嗎? 我自己是什麽? 而是我在受苦,是不是因爲我執著於這個特定現象? 它真的是我、我自己、我的嗎? 如果它是苦,但實際上不是我或我的,又爲何執著? 後面那組問題,就值得一個直接了當的答複了,因爲此時的答複有助於你理解苦,鑿去致苦的粘取與執著也就是引生其苦的殘余的自我認同感直到最後,一切自我認同的痕迹消失,剩下的是無限的自由。

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?

在此意義上,anatta 之教言非是一套無我(no-self)的學說,而是一項非我(not-self)的策略[4],藉放下苦因、趨向至高不滅之樂,達到離苦的目的。到那時,我、無我、非我之問已落到一邊。一旦有如此徹底自由的體驗,又何來誰在體驗、是否爲我之惑?

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。
 

相關連接:
        《非我相經
        佛陀對有我無我之問的應對

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/notself2.html
最近訂正 8-19-2007