【第二章】天下皆知美之为美,斯恶已;皆知善之为善,斯不善已。故有无相生,难易相成,长短相较,高下相倾,音声相和,前后相随。是以圣人处无为之事,行不言之教,万物作焉而不辞,生而不有,为而不恃,功成而弗居。夫唯弗居,是以不去。

 在原始社会,人类对美和丑还没有明确、清晰地区分。老子掌管周朝的档案和图书,了解历史发展,为此,他说,“天下皆知美之为美,斯恶已;皆知善之为善,斯不善已。”他说的是个“天下皆知”的事实或道理 - 美之为美,斯恶已;善之为善,斯不善已。有恶,才使我们看到美;有不善,才让我们了解善。

因此(故),“有无相生,难易相成,长短相较,高下相倾,音声相和,前后相随。”有与无,难与易,长与短,高与下,音与声,前与后,不仅相对,还是相生相成,相较相倾,相和相随,是相互相成的。

所以(是以),“圣人处无为之事,行不言之教,”在后面的章节,老子有20多章都谈到圣人,圣人就是得道之人。这里,老子说,圣人是要“处无为之事,行不言之教“的。前一章,老子讲了”无“的概念,也讲了永恒之不可道、不可名。所以,得道的圣人是处“无为”,行“不言”。

“万物作焉而不辞,生而不有,为而不恃,功成而弗居。”所以,圣人也是,万物兴起而不加干预,生养万物而不据为己有,培育万物而不自恃己能,功成而不自我夸耀。

“夫唯弗居,是以不去。”正是无为之为,又不居功,也就成为了永恒了。

Everyone in the world knows that beauty is recognized as beautiful, due to the comparison against ugliness. Kindness is recognized as kind, as compared to unkindness.

Therefore, presence and absence produce each other. Difficulty and ease bring about each other. Long and short delimit each other. High and low rest on each other. Sound and voice harmonize each other. Front and back follow each other.

Therefore the saint acts wu-wei, that is to produce without human actions. And carries out the wordless teaching. Here, the myriad things are made, yet not separated.

The saint produces without possessing, Acts without expectations. And accomplishes without taking any credit.

It is precisely because she does not take any credit, that the accomplishes never leave the saint.

 

 

  BianZhen