Senses and Perception in the Liezi
《列子•仲尼》篇有段這樣的記載：在魯國，有個叫亢倉子的人，是老聃的弟子。他得到老聃之道，而能夠用耳朵視察並用眼睛傾聽。魯國的侯王聽聞此事，相當驚訝，馬上遣人厚禮聘請亢倉子，以求進一步探究感知的不同方法，他並謙虛地向亢倉子請教。 本論文與魯侯有相似的目標，試圖釐清貫穿《列子》中，所呈現的感知的不同面相。 在簡介戰國時期關於感官的使用後，本文提出幾點綜合觀察。我們所感知到的萬物，其所起源的宇宙論，解釋了事物如何通過生、化與縂三個階段。這些事物具有形狀、聲音、顏色、滋味，並被眼、耳、鼻、口、身所感知。感官有欲望，而《列子》提供兩個觀點：可順從或需要去除所有的這些欲望。普通人觀看世界的時候，只從他主觀的角度來看，並只看到部分的世界。只有聖人客觀地以事物本身到底是什麼的角度來觀看事物。訓練感官能力並因此加強視覺與聽覺是可能的。如同聖人亢倉子在最初的陳述中所顯現出來的，聖人有不同的感知方法。聖人不去區分不同的感官，而將感知視為整體。這麼做之所以可能，則歸功於他們心知能力的獨特天性。
In the Liezi there is a story where the Marquis of Lu sends out for the sage Gengsangzi to inquire about the ways of perception. This thesis has the same goal. It tries to shed some light on the different aspects of perception as they are presented throughout the Liezi. After a short introduction to the use of the senses during the Warring States Period, a few general observations are made. They establish in a cosmological context, what it is that we perceive. Shape, sound, color, and taste are perceived through eyes, ears, nose, and mouth and sometimes also with the body or the heart-mind. Besides perceiving, these sensory organs also have desires and it will be argued that the Liezi offers two different opinions to deal with them: To follow them unconditionally or to constrain them. It will be shown that perception is described as a subjective and individual experience. This has to do with the fact that different people focus on different aspects of what lies in front of them and because they tend to have expectations to what they see. Nevertheless it is possible to train and enhance the senses and perception. By discovering the root of seeing it is possible to reach a level which enables a person to see things hidden for the normal eye. The third and last part discusses the peculiarities of the perception a sage has. This paper will argue that because of his unique configuration of the heart-mind, unselfconsciousness, and the unawareness of distinctions, he does not make a difference between seeing, hearing, tasting or feeling but perceives as a whole.
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