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中华传统的生态智慧

中国环境保护部副部长潘岳撰文认为,中华传统文明虽然是农业文明时期的产物,但具有普世价值,更能够进行现代的创造性转化,帮助世界解决环境危机,跨入生态文明。

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中华传统不仅在价值理念上以天人合一为诉求,而且具有一系列的制度设计与之相匹配,更是深入到了广大群众几千年的生活实践,对于解决当前的经济危机与生态危机具有很强的针对性。

100多年来,中国始终在向西方学习,走西方传统工业文明道路。改革开放30年取得了举世瞩目的经济成果,但西方100多年的环境污染也在中国30年间集中地体现出来。

中国不能延续老牌工业帝国的旧模式,必须静下心来,重新审视西方工业文明和我们自己的文化传统。

西方工业文明有其自身的特征和规律,比如以获取利润为动力,以人类中心主义为价值,以现代资本主义体系为制度,以建立在工商业和金融业上的城市为载体,等等。它带来了巨大财富,也用尽了一切手段把发达国家的阶级、经济、社会矛盾转移出去。

几百年后,人们发现什么危机都能转移,惟有环境危机转移不了。因为气候危机一来,飓风不光袭击东南亚,也袭击新奥尔良;海水上涨不光会淹掉南太平洋小岛,也会淹掉纽约。

面对西方工业文明所产生的内在困境,各国一部分政治精英与学者已开始全面研究世界文明和古老宗教中的生态智慧,试图从中寻找摆脱困境的路径。近年来,越来越多的西方有识之士又将目光转向东方和中国。

中华民族是有特殊性的,其最大特殊性在于它是全世界惟一以国家形态传承,而又同根、同文、同种延续几千年的民族。为什么中华民族能够独自延续生存到今天?因为其文化理念蕴含着深刻的生态智慧,其伦理与制度充满着这种深刻的生态智慧,其生活方式实践着这种深刻的生态智慧,其历史传统延续着这种深刻的生态智慧。

中国传统文化的主流是儒释道三家。在它们的共同作用下,中华民族形成了自己独特的文化体系,即中庸、和谐、包容。这套文化体系不光有伦理准则,更有一系列政治制度与生活实践,比如大一统的文官制度、科举制度、乡绅制度、教育制度等,它一贯倡导有序、平衡、包容、协调,这正是中华民族延续至今不灭的根本原因。当然它们有缺陷,不然当初不会导致革命。

一些人认为,中华传统文化是农业文明的产物。它的物质基础已被全面推翻,其价值观并不适用于今天的工业化社会。这是错误的想法。各大宗教都是在农业文明时产生的,但在今天依然是各自文明的精神支柱,并从中孕育出了下一步发展的种子。中华传统不应该被抛弃,它还没有过时。

中华传统的核心就是追求人与自然的和谐统一,这种价值观在现实制度和生活中就具体落实为一个“度”字。“度”就是分寸,就是节制,就是礼数,就是平衡,就是和谐。“度”是一种从容回旋的空间,是一种进退有余的艺术,是一种节制合适的平衡,是一种立身达人的智慧。概言之,“度”不仅是中国人的政治智慧,也是中国人的生活智慧,更是中国生态智慧的凝练表达。

这种智慧不光存在于圣贤典籍中,还通过家族和礼仪牢牢地在基层社会中扎下了根,这也是中华传统伟大的一点。在传统社会中,大到国家制度、施政方针,小到士农工商、琴棋书画,古代圣贤典籍中四书五经的大道和世俗官民生活中的小道融会贯通,相辅相成,共同构成了根深叶茂的参天大树。如治家之道,茶道、商道、剑道、酒道、江湖道等。

所谓道,就是精神,就是原则,就是境界。上连天道自然,下通人伦日用。不追求物质享受的最大化,而是追求生命之美和人生意境,使得生态文明中的日常生活超越了现实的功利追求。这些生活实践看似涓涓细流,却共同汇成了生态文明所需要的健康文明的生活方式。这种从容有度的生活方式通过节制人的无限欲望,追求充实饱满的精神世界,能够纠正西方工业文明所带来的消费主义和虚无主义的重重迷误。

东西方文明在几千年前惊人相似地同时崛起,又在几千年后惊人相似地会师,会师在哪里?会师在生态文明的平台上。我坚信,中华传统文明虽然是农业文明时期的产物,但具有普世价值,更能够进行现代的创造性转化。中国在短短百多年时间内从农业文明一跃而入工业文明,再由工业文明向上一跃,提前跨入生态文明,是完全可能的。
 

潘岳,中国环境保护部副部长

原文刊于201011月《人民日报.海外版》

图片为乔玉川作品《老子悟道》

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Default thumb avatar
tdeanxx

好文章!

在过去的五年中,我去过几次中国。在中国中央政府的鼓励下,中国传统的价值观明显地呈现出了再度繁荣的景象,我对此深受鼓舞。以和平,统一,和谐特征为基础的传统理念确实与环境可持续性社会的要求完全吻合。我感觉中国也在努力尽快实现这种转型。文化大革命试图摒弃中国的传统价值,支持西方马克思主义,它所带来的创伤和影响似乎已经基本痊愈。取而代之的是邓小平同志的对外开放和科学实用主义,使得中国人民摆脱了贫困,并且正向着与自然保持和谐的方向迈进。祝贺中国人民!

Tremendous Article!

Having visited China several times over the last five years, I have been heartened by the obvious re-flowering of traditional Chinese values with the encouragement of the Central Government. The underpinning of peace, unity and harmony characteristic of traditional philosophy indeed fits perfectly with the requirements of an environmentally sustainable society and it seems clear to me that China is making that transition nearly as quickly as is possible. The wounds and impact of the Cultural Revolution that sought to excise Chinese traditional values in favor of Western Marxism seem to have been nearly completely healed and replaced with Deng's openness and scientific pragmatism that is eliminating poverty and moving toward harmony with nature. Congratulations to the people of China!

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labfat

中国的环境问题不是工业化以后才有的。

所谓的“天人合一”的理念,并不是主流的传统文化。中国古代社会照样竭尽所能地开发自然资源,即使当时力量弱小,依然造成了大量的林地退化问题。
我深刻地怀疑,这些声称“中国文化拯救地球”的人,他的目的到底是拯救地球还是为了弘扬传统文化。这样的主张在现在的西方社会确实可能有很大的市场,但是,如果中国一直拒绝一些现在被广泛接受的“普世的价值”,反而把一些自己都搞不太清楚的价值冠以“普世价值”进行推广,真的会有效果吗?

China's environmental problems existed prior to industrialization

The concept of the so-called "harmony between heaven and man" is not the mainstream traditional culture. In ancient China, people also did their utmost to tap natural resources, though with less power, causing much forestry degradation. I'm sceptical about those who claim that "Chinese culture saves the earth". What is their real purpose? Are they aiming to save the earth or simply to popularize traditional culture? Such a claim presumably has a large market in modern western society. However, if China keeps resisting widely acknowledged and accepted "universal values" and instead popularizes a vague set of principles as "universal values", will it be really effective?

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lengtong33

回复

“普世价值”是个危险的提法,无论由谁提出。在“什么是坏的”这样的问题上,比较容易形成统一的想法,但关于“什么是好的”,这很容易引起没完没了的无意义的争论(废话除外)。

“天人合一”虽不是主流的传统文化,但如果承认中华文明是一脉相承的,那么不难看出,“天人合一”是众多主流传统文化中的核心“精神”。

Nature unity

The idea of “universal values” is dangerous, no matter who is putting it forward. On the question of “what is bad”, it is easier to form unified view. But when it comes to “what is good”, it is easy to have endless and trivial arguments.

The union of nature and man is not mainstream traditional culture. But if we admit that Chinese civilization comes down in one continuous line, it is not hard to find that natural unity is the core spirit of many mainstream traditional cultures.

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yugong

愿其为真

这是一个非常讨喜的愿景,可从历史上看来,却似乎不是如此。如果你看了Mark Elvin的大作——《大象的撤退》(The Retreat of the Elephants),一本关于过去两千年中国环境历史的书籍;那么,你便很难拒绝这样一个结论——传统中华文明如同今日中国文化一样,对于环境皆具有毁灭性的影响。我不认为这是一个价值上的问题:中国宗教信仰,像许多哲学以及宗教系统一样,教导人们尊重自然并与之和谐相处。但一个不断膨胀的国家必将产生惊人的消耗,这与传统智慧有着很大冲突,尽管,国家的需求最终总是在冲突中取胜。如果传统中国与自然和谐相处的话,那为何中华文明的摇篮——黄河河曲,为何会在工业时代到来之前就变成沙漠?为何中国森林的系统性退化发生的时间远在工业时代到来之前,或是根本无法和西方资本主义扯上关系?我觉得该是时候结束这些伤感的叨絮,并认认真真看看历史了。

I wish it was true

This is a very pleasant vision, but history does not bear it out. If you read Mark Elvin's masterpiece, The Retreat of the Elephants, an environmental history of the last 2000 years, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that traditional Chinese civilisation was a destructive of the environment as today's China. I do not think this is a question of values: China's religious beliefs, like most systems of philosophy and religion preach respect and harmony with nature. But the demands of an ever expanding state are in conflict with this traditional wisdom and the demands of the state always win. If China traditionally lived in harmony with nature, why is it that the cradle of Chinese civilisation -- the great bend of the Yellow River, turned to desert, long before the industrial era? Why was China systematically deforested long before the industrial era or Western capitalism had anything to do with it? I think it is time we stopped repeating these sentimental cliches and took a serious look at history.

Default thumb avatar Reply arrow
liu.yaqing

“传统”这个字眼,根本就是无法定义的吧

很遗憾我尚未拜读过Mark Elvin的这本书,但此书的书摘隐约提到了“象牙贸易”(据公元前548年之时史料记载)。这种贸易其实也可以经由《周礼》上的记载——作为八种手工业材料之一——而佐证。不过,大象的撤退,与其说是传统中华文化无法挽回的劫难,倒不如说是人性使然——无论是垂涎象肉的民风,还是因“热爱”开疆扩土而殒命的昭王。

如二楼labfat君所言,“天人合一”确实非传统文化主流,它只是庄子的一家之言,是他本人以及后来之人的信仰——或者说,愿望。然而,并非所有人都相信此愿——呃,一如帝王之道终究会与自然之法冲突——每一代帝王的“传统”文化,或许也因为帝王的不同,而改变着;单单自尧舜至周,民风就已有很大的改变,更何况是从周至今。。。天人合一什么的,约莫是庄子缅怀尧舜的悼辞吧。

--------
P.S
To Yugong,
(Sorry to bring you such inconvenience with original reply in Chinese:)

It’s hard to define “tradition”!

It is a pity that I haven’t read this book by Mark Elvin yet, which mentions ivory sales according to historical records from 548 BC. Actually, ivory sales can be demonstrated in the Rites of Zhou, which mentions ivory as one of the eight materials of the handicraft industry. However, the folk custom which advocated coveting elephants’ meat and King Zhao who “loved” expanding territory showed that the elephants’ retreat was decided by the nature of human beings rather than being a disaster of Chinese traditional culture.

As labfat said above, the theory that man is an integral part of nature was not the main trend of traditional culture but Zhuang Zi’s belief or wish. However, not all people believe this theory, for example the king’s policies could clash with nature. Traditional culture differed for each king. Folk custom changed a lot from the period of Yao and Shun to the Zhou Dynasty, not to mention the period afterwards. Maybe the theory of unity of nature was a memorial speech to the period of Yao and Shun.

Default thumb avatar
alternativeview

令人迷惑的文章

有几幅名画,是人类与恶劣自然环境抗争的写照。这与此文陈述的中华传统文化核心——中庸,和谐,包容——形成鲜明对比。

以此文的视角,古中国是一个同文同种的国度。可这似乎和现代中国少数族裔的生存状况有出入。

A puzzling article

The struggle of man against the elements in harsh landscapes is the subject of a number of famous old paintings. This contrasts with the moderation, harmony, and tolerance which the article states are central to traditional Chinese culture.

The article describes historic China as a nation united by ethnicity and language. This presumably excludes those parts of recent China which are characterised by ethnic minorities.

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dengdeng

令人迷惑的观点

现代中国存在很多问题,少数民族的生存状况肯定是其中之一。但我不认为中国有排挤少数民族的状况——上到政府,下到百姓——对他们仍然是抱着和谐和包容的态度。我认为他们未能很好的在现代中国找到自己的位置,并不是因为是少数民族,而是因为是弱势群体(和农民,工人,穷人遇到的问题一样),不应该单拿出来对汉族的包容性做出评价。

少数民族和他们文化的存亡不是中国特有的问题,在全世界的范围都存在讨论。

A puzzling view

There are plenty of problems in modern Chinese society. The living condition of ethnic groups is surely one of them. However, I don't think Chinese people, from the government to the grassroots, have any tendency to squeeze the minority groups out, but rather have a harmonious and tolerant attitude towards them. I think the reason why they have failed to find their position in modern Chinese society is not because they are ethnic groups, but because they are "disadvantaged groups" (similar to the problems encounted by farmers, workers and poor people) This should not be singled out to judge the tolerance of the Han people.
The survival or perishment of ethnic groups and their culture is not an issue specific to China but rather a world-wide debate.

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lengtong33

关于“度”

“度”的确是中国文化中的核心理念之一,它追求一种“各就其位”的、动态的合理境地,这跟西方“不断超越”的进步观念非常不同。度的观念使她避免了对生态的过度破坏。

About limit

“Du”(Limit) is one of the core beliefs of Chinese culture. It pursues dynamic and rational circumstances, where everything plays its rightful part, a philosophy that is quite different from western progressive ideas of “constant advancement”. This belief in limit stops excessive destruction of ecology.

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lengtong33

启示,而非答案

时至今日,有意义的讨论应是中国文化中的潜在的积极意义,应在原有的理念上有所发挥,而不是拘泥于古代有限的想法。当下的许多问题是古代先哲们没有见过的,我们又怎能苛求他们为当代提供现成的答案?很难说中国的先哲们或中国文化有着环保意识,更不用说百姓了,但对“度”的追求以及讲求“天人相应/合一”的确对当下人类的发展有着重要的思想启示,这就是中国文化的积极意义。或许Mark Elvin是对的,中国的环境一直在退化,但这不足以否定中国传统文化的意义,现在人们已意识到环境问题,现在也能提供一些高端的技术支持,但环境问题依然严峻,可见,并不是拥有什么样的理念就能解决什么样的问题,同理,虽然中国文化对环境相对“友好”,但这并不意味着它能解决环境问题,我们只能说,它对此有贡献。另外,我想指出的是,“度”、“天人相应”不只是一种理念,同时是一种方法论,而当下解决环境问题,可能需要这样的方法论。

It is an inspiration rather than answers.

Nowadays, meaningful discussions should have potential positive significance for Chinese culture, or the development of pre-existing beliefs, rather than being wedded to the limited thoughts of ancient times. Many of our current problems were not familiar to our ancestors, so how can we expect them to provide ready-made answers for the modern world? It is hard to believe that the Chinese sages or Chinese culture had a sense of environmental protection, not to mention ordinary people. However, the pursuit of limit and natural unity does offer inspiration to modern human development, which is the positive side of Chinese culture. Maybe Mark Elvin is right that the environment in China is degenerating. However, this is not enough to deny the significance of traditional Chinese culture. People today are aware of the environmental problems and have the ability to provide high technology, but the problem is still severe. Therefore, holding a belief is not equal to solving the problem. Similarly, although Chinese culture is friendly to the environment, this doesn’t mean that it can solve environmental problems. It is just helpful. Moreover, I want to mention that limit and natural unity are not just beliefs, but also a methodology, which we need now if we are to deal with our environmental issues.

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anumakonda

每个国家都有自己的生态智慧

好文章!
简单说来,生态智慧就是“无论我们从地球带走什么,我们都必须归还给她。”
如果秉持生态智慧的态度,人们必须知道日常生活中哪些行动可以实现可持续发展,而且要想办法解决摆在我们面前的大量问题——污染防治,废物管理,可再生能源和能效,生态保护,动物解放,生物多样性,推动环境法执行等。
因为资本家的贪婪,我们最基本的自然资源——空气和水遭到了污染和滥用,且状况岌岌可危。在美国,灌溉和牲畜饲养消耗了超过一半的水资源。更多的水又被用于冲洗动物粪便。很难设计一个比我们目前认为正常的更不节水的饮食方式了。生产一磅肉平均需要2500加仑水——这相当于一个普通家庭一个月的生活用水量之和。

加达德什•内洛尔(美联社)博士,印度

Every country has its own Ecological Wisdom

Excellent article
Simply expressed, ecological wisdom is “whatever we take from the earth, we must give back to the earth.”
To uphold ecologically wise values, people must determine what can be done to practice sustainability in their own daily lives and then tackle the vast problems confronting all of us – pollution prevention, waste management, renewable energy and energy efficiency, conservation, liberation of animals from cruel practices, biodiversity, and enforcement of environmental laws currently not in force.
The pollution and misuse of our most basic natural resources – air and water, due to rapacious capitalistic enterprises is also appalling. Over half the total amount of water consumed in the United States goes to irrigate land growing feed and fodder for livestock. Enormous additional quantities of water must also be used to wash away animal excrement. It would be hard to design a less water-efficient diet-style than the one we have come to think of as normal. To produce a single pound of meat takes an average of 2,500 gallons of water – as much as a typical family uses for all its combined household purposes in a month.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India