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    May God lead us all into the secret of His presence, and build us into the oneness of His body in love.
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鄉愿(轉)

鄉愿,德之賊也。

假冒為善的經學家和法利賽人,你們有禍了!

【論語·陽貨】記載了孔子這樣一句話:「鄉愿,德之賊也。」 「賊」在這裡作形容詞用,「德之賊」是道德敗壞的意思。孔子說話一向溫文爾雅,像這樣強烈的否定,語氣如此激憤,在【論語】中是不多見的。

那麼,這「鄉愿」究竟是怎麼回事呢?孟子對「鄉愿」作過解釋:「閹然媚於世也者,是鄉愿也。」 原來「鄉愿」是指具有某種不良人品的人。這種人外表忠誠謹慎,實際上一腦子壞思想,是個不折不扣、欺世盜名的傢伙。孔子斥責這樣的人,是與他強調做人要注重「仁」和「禮」的統一是一致的。

「仁」本是一個人內在的真性格,真情感;而「禮」卻是外在的約束,是人為制定的規範。規範體現的是社會的利益與需要,而這未必符合個人的利益與需要。兩者能夠自覺地統一於某個人身上,那當然是最好的,這樣的人品德高尚,孔子稱之為「中行」。而當兩者相矛盾的時候,孔子傾向於保持真性格、真情感;反對披上禮的外衣,裝得很得體、很正確的模樣,企圖給人留下良好印象,以便容易達到自己那實際上是違背禮的自私的目的。他說:「不得中行而與之,必也狂狷乎!狂者進取,狷者有所不為也。(取自【論語·子路】)」那意思是說要是沒機會結交那些具備中行品格的人做朋友,肯定會結交狂與狷這兩種人了。這兩種人雖未能很好接受禮的熏陶,但狂的人有進取心,狷的人壞事是不會去做的。

換句話說就是:狂與狷盡管其人品修養所達到的境界還不夠高,但畢竟流露的是真情感,出自真性格,仍然是值得肯定的。

在世間的萬事萬物中,人最難認識和評價。人有個性。個性就是每個人的思想、感情的內涵及其表達方式的獨特性。 可以說在生活中,沒有兩個人的個性是完全相同的。人們往往以個性來掩蓋思想和情感上的弱點與錯誤,遂使像鄉愿這樣的「閹然媚世」者混跡於其中,令別人看不清其真面目。孔子對鄉愿之類人的否定以及對狂和狷的大體肯定,可謂眼光獨到,觀點鮮明。由此亦可看出孔子非常重視道德人格的養成,并把它和貫徹「仁」這一宗旨聯系在一起。

鄉愿這個詞含義豐富,孔子所謂鄉愿大概是指偽君子,指那些看似忠厚實際沒有一點道德原則,只知道媚俗趨時的人。孟子所言大約是說言行不一,當面背後各一套的四方討好,八面玲瓏的人就是鄉愿。

這種人隨波逐流,趨炎媚俗,更多的是指道德敗壞的小人。

I don’t usually read Confucius’ teachings, and I never meant to compare Jesus Christ my Lord with Confucius. Because they are not in the same realm nor at the same level. But I think this article is interesting since it expressed Confucius’s  resentment against 鄉愿 which is similar to Jesus Christ’s against Pharisees and hypocrites.

I am not sure about the literal meaning of the word 鄉愿, but I understand it as moral hypocrites, who please people with their seemingly moral behaviors. I usually think of Confucius as someone who cared about proper comeliness and manners, but he actually cared about reality too, of course in a humanly sense.

Both Jesus and Confucius appreciated truthfulness and ingenuity. Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.” And Confucius said “不得中行而與之,必也狂狷乎!”, which means that if he could not befriend with people with both proper manners and moral reality, he would rather befriend with people who may not behave properly but have moral principles.

In summary, hypocrites are enemies to both Christian faith and Confucian’s teachings. They pretend to behave godly or morally in an outward form yet without reality. I think the reason why both Jesus’ and Confucius’ resentments against hypocrites is that they have the outward form of morality or godliness but they actually seek their own interests or even do evil against others or lead them astray, all in the name of God or morality.

(I apologize for the bilinguality of this post. )


 

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