A Study on the Time Consciousness of Ouyang Xiu's Guwen
|關鍵字:||歐陽修;古文;時間意識;不朽;抒情;Ouyang, Xiu;Guwen;Time Consciousness;Immortality;Lyric||公開日期:||2015||摘要:||時間，在中國文學裡永遠與「生命」緊密繫聯，因為人生伊始，便處在一個永不間斷的時間之流中。當人意識到這點，「時間」於人而言有兩重意義：第一，形體會隨著時間的推移而消逝，身死之後，生命存在的痕跡也將一併抹去，成為無法逆轉的「過去」，人因此永遠對時間抱持著不安與恐懼。第二，人卻又相信，通過自我充實與實踐，將生命存在的意義發揮到極致，並足以成為後人典範時，人的精神就能夠超越形體而存在，具有「不朽性」，隨著時間遞嬗流傳，在不可企及的「未來」擁有一席之地；如果能做到這樣，「時間」就不再是壓迫與枷鎖。 從上述角度出發，本文所謂「時間意識」，將從時間的流動給生命帶來怎樣的改變出發，探討這樣的改變引發人哪些情緒與思考，並從中衍生了什麼樣的態度來面對時間。 這種由「時間」引發的情緒波動與體悟思考，皆可見於歐陽修的古文作品。歐陽修一方面追懷消逝的故人與舊情，對不可追的「過去」，用力伸發感歎惋惜；同時，在著力存錄遺事、舊聞的過程中，對如何達成「不朽」展開了深刻的探究與省思。昔、今、後，也就是過去、現在、未來一一具在，由此觀之，「時間意識」在歐陽修的古文中實則有一完整而翔實的表現，乃引發筆者探究此一主題的興趣。 而「時間」一直是中國文學傳統中重要的主題之一，無代無之，身為北宋文壇巨擘，歐陽修的「時間意識」是否對前代已經形成的典型有所承接與回應？因此，本文在研究方法上，先回溯前代作者，檢視他們在這個主題上已經建構了哪些類型，經分析梳理後，可別為三種類型：是死亡迫近，是人生苦短，是年光漸老。其中第一種類型又常與自我生命價值的落空連結，再深入一層，為「無成」而焦慮憂煎；第二種類型則往往以「及時行樂」的態度來緩和人生短促引發的悲哀；而這兩種類型都因與「死亡」連結而寓含悲感在內；較特別的是第三種，解開「老」與「死」的絕對繫帶，淡化哀感，轉而把握有限之年光，細享生活之樂。而這三種類型的共通點則是都極為關注時間流逝給生命帶來了什麼樣的改變。 再回到歐陽修的古文作品來進行檢視與分析，經歸納後則可見三種時間意識的類型：首先，歐陽修亦察覺時間流逝下，生命必走向老死，並且，這種轉變會透過一清晰而完整的由盛而衰推移過程來凸顯，既逢其盛，又見其衰，今昔對照差異巨大無比，歐陽修的情感也因此產生了波動。同時，他還發現，這些生命死則死矣，並無星點痕跡留存，人亡事散，故又為此興發感嘆。第二種則是集中在討論人如何可能在難以企及的未來中留下生命存在的痕跡。從物與時泯滅的現象中展開，點出人過份依託外緣媒介，而忽略自身修為的錯謬，因此而令百世以來人共同的渴望──「不朽」漸行漸遠，最終難以達成。第三種類型則表現為轉化時間流逝的悲哀。當天人共感興發的思維被扭轉，人從自然的附屬地位中解脫而出，視盛衰生殺為自然之理，無須予以過多的情感震盪，更無須受制於宇宙自然時，感物而知時，知時而生悲便不再互為因果，鬆脫了時間與悲哀之間的絕對性，讓人能用平和的態度看待時間流逝，以理性思維來調解悲傷的情緒。 有了前述基礎之後，縱向貫串，以歷時性角度將歐陽修與前代典型接續而觀，就可察其對前人的繼承、轉變和新建。首先，歐陽修顯然繼承了對生命與時而變此一現象的關注，但由於觀照的對象不同──前代人觀照者在己，而歐陽修則在他人，故關注焦點與哀感的來源、輕重亦有所不同。前代作品更關注在對自我生命將殞落的剎那，並對之戰慄無已；而歐陽修更注意時間流逝下，他人生命由盛而衰的整體變化，為「善人君子」難得易失、不為承平之世所用而感嘆惋惜，同時亦牢牢抓住對過往消逝之盛的用力記憶與描寫，渴望藉由文字的記錄讓他們得以在時間的長河中留下生命足跡的機會，也令後人能憑此理解並肯定他們生命存在的意義。這一點亦展現出歐陽修實則極著重文字書寫，甚至認為文字書寫是真正能達成「不朽」，可衝破時間限制的方法。其次，於前人而言，建立功績德業不過是對抗時間流逝的想法之一，並未對如何真正達成「不朽」進行完整的思考，甚至越往後，人的關注點更偏向外緣媒介留存之久暫上，而忽略了「不朽」是立基於精神的傳承上，為了消解形體消逝的困境而被提出的。歐陽修則從這角度切入，肯定「精神」之不朽，將「不朽」的根源回歸到自我生命的充實與實踐上，唯有充於中發於外，方能建立一不被動搖的不朽價值，人也能因此突破時間的桎梏，走入未來的時間向度中。同時，歐陽修也肯定了「文字」作為寄託不朽的最佳載體，強調要立有實際內涵之言，而此實際內涵，則是人人所共有的一份真摯情感。如此，歐陽修不只呼應了前人，更進一步建立了完整而平實的「不朽」之論。其三，擺落時間流逝的悲哀實為歐陽修所新建的類型，他透過理性思維的前導，努力剝離自然宇宙對人事的限制，試圖解除重重壓在生命之上的時間，讓人有機會回頭認真檢視自我生命，繼而能好好經營、享受生活。而這種理性思維是宋人所特有，不獨見於歐陽修，與他同時的邵雍、其弟子蘇軾都不約而同有相似的思考，相較於同樣自然看待生命流逝的白居易，便沒有這一層思想為前導，這現象正呼應了宋代文學理性、平和的一面，是極難能可貴者。 當我們縱向比較以觀，便會發現歐陽修的時間意識在在凸顯了「人」的重要性，顯示了他積極的一面，即便面對時間——此一亙古以來恆予人以無盡焦慮、悲哀、傷痛者，亦能想方設法化解，讓生命流逝的陰影消退，予人更多經營自我的空間與信心。而他對自己見解的實踐，則是自視、期許為一無雙的「立言」者，以筆記錄消逝的過去，流傳到無限的未來中。
“Time” is always connected with “life” in Chinese literature, because human lives start in the ceaseless flow of time. When people become aware of this, “time” means for two points: first, bodies decline when time goes by, and all living traces will be eliminated and become irreversible “past” after death. Thus, people always feel insecure and terrified about time. Second, people believe that the meanings of life will elaborate to the greatest extent when they fulfill themselves and become paragons of descendants, so human spirits will exist beyond their bodies, become “immortal”, persist in time, and take part in the unreachable “future”. Thus, “time” will no longer be suppression and constraint. From this aspect, in this essay “Time Consciousness” will start with the alteration that time brings to life, and discuss the emotions and thoughts this alteration triggers and the attitude it derives. These emotions and thought that “time” triggers all can be found in Ouyang Xiu （歐陽修)’s Guwen (古文). On one hand, he recollects the passing friends and loves, sighing and regretting for the lost “past”. On the other hand, he enquires and meditates upon how to reach “immortality” through recording the old things. The past, the present and the future are all in his works, so Time Consciousness really plays a big role in Ouyang Xiu’s Guwen, which evokes my interest in this theme. “Time” has always been the most important theme in Chinese literature. As the literary leader of Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), does his Time Consciousness succeed or respond to the models before? Therefore, my research approach is first to review the former authors and to survey the types they built for this theme. My generalization will be three types: the coming death, the shortening life, and the passing time. The first type often links to the failure of one’s life value, which means the anxiety of “nothing accomplished”. The second type usually eases the sorrow of shortening life with the emotion of “Carpe Diem”. These two types are connected with “Death” and comprise negativity. The third type unties “Old” from “Death” and weakens the sorrow, seizes the days, and enjoys life. The common point of these three types is the concern for the change of life when time passes. Ouyang Xiu’s Guwen contains these three types: Firstly, he is conscious of that life gets old and fades away when time passes, which presents a clear and thorough process of prosperity and decline. He witnesses all the rises and falls, contrasts past and present, and his emotions are inevitably affected. Meanwhile, he finds out that lives passed and left without vestiges, so he sighs with regret. Secondly, Ouyang Xiu focuses on how to leave marks in the future. He deems that things die out with time and people rely on extrinsic mediums too much to discover the mistakes of self-accomplishment, and thus, people’s common aspiration in centuries to be “immortal” gradually gets further apart and won’t come true. Thirdly, Ouyang Xiu converts the sorrow of time’s passing. When the thought of interaction between human and natural law is reversed, human beings are liberated from the subordination of nature, viewing the rises and falls as natural phenomenon, refraining from emotional influence, and being free from the cosmic nature. There would be no more cause and effect to confirm time by sensing the externality and to feel sorrowful by knowing time. To release sorrow from time makes people treat passing time with a moderate attitude, and ease the pain with rationality. With the former base, it is knowable of Ouyang Xiu’s inheritance, transformation, and reconstruction of predecessors’ paragons by historical review. First, Ouyang Xiu obviously accedes to the concern about the phenomenon that life advances with time, but his object differentiates from others. The former authors concern about themselves, and Ouyang Xiu’s others, which makes a distinction of focus and the origin of sorrows. The former works pay closer attention of one’s death and dread, while Ouyang Xiu cares about others’ variation of ups and downs. He mourns for the rare “gentlemen” and their births in the wrong times, and at the same time, he elaborates on their past prosperity, trying to preserve their life vestiges in the fluid of time by literary record, and makes later generations to understand and approve their meaning of being. It is evident that Ouyang Xiu emphasizes on the power of word, and he even takes writing as the true method to be “immortal” and break the time limit. Second, for the predecessors, to achieve accomplishments is just one of the thoughts to persist time. They have not reviewed how to achieve “immortality”, and later, people even divert to preserve external medium and neglect the truth that “immortality” is based on spiritual inheritance. However, Ouyang Xiu confirms the immortality of spirit and attributed the origin of immortality to self-fulfillment. Only when people fulfill themselves internally can they build up an unshakeable immortal value, and hence people can break the limit of time and achieve future. In the meantime, Ouyang Xiu reassures “literature” as the best immortal source, and he stresses on writing practically, which means to express the sincere emotions that people have in common. Therefore, Ouyang Xiu not only responds to his predecessors, but also establishes an integrated theory of “immortality”. Third, to break away from the sorrow of passing time is a new type that Ouyang Xiu sets up. Through sensible thoughts, he strives to break the limit of nature, tries to get rid of time from life, and makes people to look over their lives and enjoy life. The sensible thoughts are shared by authors in Song Dynasty like Shao Yong (邵雍) and Su Shi (蘇軾), while Bai Juyi (白居易), who sees life passing as nature similarly, doesn’t equip with these thoughts. The sensible philosophy echoes with the rational literature of Song Dynasty, which is commendable. When we review historically, we will find out that Ouyang Xiu’s time consciousness exhibits the significance of “human” and reveals his positivity. Facing time, which bestows upon people with endless anxiety, sorrow, and suffering, he tries to overcome the shadow of the elapsed time and give people more room and more confidence to carry on. His own practices of belief means that he expects himself to “win honor for great writing”(立言); that is, to record the fading past, and to pass it down to the infinite future.
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