(6) 神學 Theology (9) 與其他宗教的不同 Differences: Other Religions Whispers (Magazine)

以聖父為「因」所建構的「新因果概念」The Father as Cause, a Contribution to the Concept of 因果

see the english translation at the end of this text [img_assist|nid=390|title=reason|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=465|height=60] 一般來說,「因果」概念普遍存在於東方人的心中。我們可以說,「因果定律」是宇宙的自然定律,也是人類生命和整個世界最深層的主宰。 然而,對於西方人來說,「因果定律」有時候卻令人無法理解。舉例來說:為什麼我現在的言行舉止會影響到下一世的我呢?從東方的觀點來看,影響下一世的命運的關鍵,不在於外在的行為表現,而在於內心的動機。就像大樹開花結果一般,「意念」的「因」會造成往後的「果」。當樹上的果實瓜熟蒂落後,果實又會帶著DNA的遺傳因子回歸大地,長成另一株植物。或許,許多東方人會覺得這個例子「理所當然」說明了「因果」的作用,然而,以希臘思想的角度來檢視之,就會發現這個例子的說服力並不足夠。「理所當然」這四個字總是不經意的溜進我們的話語當中,然而,這四個字也掩蓋了事情背後未知的問題:「究竟,這一切是如何發生的呢?」 希臘思想的傳統,會用邏輯思考來檢視一切是否為真。當有人說:「果實成熟時就會『自然而然』落下」的時候,西方人就會提出疑問:「為什麼果實成熟時,不是『自然而然』的往上飛,而是往下落呢?是什麼力量讓果實往下落,而不是飛向其他方向呢?」追根究底,我們發現了萬有引力的存在,是它讓果實落下。我們也提出了「加速度」、「自由落體」…等概念,並且以方程式描述落體之運動路徑。這些原理與論述是經得起檢驗的。除此之外,近代的量子力學也給我們許多驚喜。

 

 

一般來說,「因果」概念普遍存在於東方人的心中。我們可以說,「因果定律」是宇宙的自然定律,也是人類生命和整個世界最深層的主宰。

 

然而,對於西方人來說,「因果定律」有時候卻令人無法理解。舉例來說:為什麼我現在的言行舉止會影響到下一世的我呢?從東方的觀點來看,影響下一世的命運的關鍵,不在於外在的行為表現,而在於內心的動機。就像大樹開花結果一般,「意念」的「因」會造成往後的「果」。當樹上的果實瓜熟蒂落後,果實又會帶著DNA的遺傳因子回歸大地,長成另一株植物。或許,許多東方人會覺得這個例子「理所當然」說明了「因果」的作用,然而,以希臘思想的角度來檢視之,就會發現這個例子的說服力並不足夠。「理所當然」這四個字總是不經意的溜進我們的話語當中,然而,這四個字也掩蓋了事情背後未知的問題:「究竟,這一切是如何發生的呢?」

 

希臘思想的傳統,會用邏輯思考來檢視一切是否為真。當有人說:「果實成熟時就會『自然而然』落下」的時候,西方人就會提出疑問:「為什麼果實成熟時,不是『自然而然』的往上飛,而是往下落呢?是什麼力量讓果實往下落,而不是飛向其他方向呢?」追根究底,我們發現了萬有引力的存在,是它讓果實落下。我們也提出了「加速度」、「自由落體」…等概念,並且以方程式描述落體之運動路徑。這些原理與論述是經得起檢驗的。除此之外,近代的量子力學也給我們許多驚喜。

若是以邏輯的角度出發,我們可以說「因果」創造了「時間箭頭」。時間從「因」流向「果」,又從「果」流向「因」,這個概念可以用符號表達如下:「因」→「果」又「果」→「因」。

 

讓我們回到正題,在這次的討論當中,我的重點並不是這些哲學性或理論性的物理學原理,而是想要與各位分享一些新的概念。我想,這些概念是東方的思想家未曾提出過的,因為,它們出自於聖經,是神的啟示。

 

以下,我會盡量用簡單易懂的話語來闡述這些新概念,如果各位想要更深入的瞭解,可以深入閱讀John Zizioulas教授精闢的著作「Communion and Otherness」。

 

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基督宗教的神是Trinity。大部分的中文譯者將Trinity譯為「三位一體」,然而,我認為「三位一體」這個中文名詞並不能精確表達出Trinity的真意,也容易使人產生錯誤的認知,誤以為Trinity是由「三位」和「一體」兩個獨立部份組成的概念。

 

關於Trinity,如果各位有興趣瞭解更多,可以透過網路參與我們的課程,在我們的網頁上有許多相關的文章。在這次的討論當中,我只分享我對Trinity的一部分詮釋,還有一些我從東方思想中衍生出來的想法。

 

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首先,我想探討一個重要的問題:為什麼聖父、聖子、聖靈這「三位」是「一個」神而不是「三個」獨立的神呢?這個問題之所以如此重要,是因為它的答案蘊含了西方社會學、政治學與哲學…等思想元素。依據西方的一般性說法,聖父、聖子、聖靈這「三位」有一個共同的essence,因此,我們說他們是「一體」,因此是「一個神」而不是「三個神」(這種說法的代表性人物是聖奧古斯丁,他的意念很良善,但卻缺乏全方位的神學背景)。值得注意的是,這樣的說法並非以「聖經」或「教會信仰」為根基,因此,我們可以發現這個答案漏洞百出。舉例來說:依據這個論述我們可以推論,「一個神」的存在來自於「一個共同的essence」。然而,如果essence是神存在的關鍵因素,那麼,神的存在就不是完全自主的,因為,是附加在神身上的essence使神存在,因此,神的存在具有某種「被強迫性」。當然,這是不合理的。如果換個角度來想,我們可以以自己為例,我們之所以是「人類」,是因為我們生而為人,無論我們的意願如何,都無法拒絕兩個眼睛、兩條腿…等特徵。人類對於自己的存在,並非百分之百的自主。我們唯一能做的,就是接納自己天生的樣子,然後用後天的努力使自己更加完美,或者,有些人選擇自暴自棄,讓自己更加墮落。

 

在這裡,我想要提出一個疑問:「究竟什麼是essence?」許多中國人,甚至是中國的神學家對essence的意義很陌生,因為,這個概念是西方哲學的產物。大部分的中國人用「本質」或「實質」…等詞來表達essence的意義,不然就是以自己的生活經驗來向別人說明,例如:水的本質是無色透明…等。往往,這樣的解釋不夠精確,甚至有誤導的作用。如果我們研究初期教會的歷史,就會發現,當時的教會也曾面對過相同的問題。教會中有些人想要用亞里斯多德的思想來解釋萬物的essence,舉例來說:紙、書、木桌、鉛筆、木椅的essence都是「木頭」,因為,它們的原料都是木頭。因此,「木頭」是這些物品的「存在」的終極源頭。

 

以上我們做了許多哲學的討論,然而,我認為,「為神找到一個完美的哲學描述」並不是一件重要的事情,「聆聽神向我們啟示的聲音」才是最重要的。

 

聖經當中幾乎沒有提到過essence,只有在彼得後書1:4當中提到過一次。

 

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現在,讓我們來看看,聖經當中的essence是什麼意義呢?聖經上說,聖父擁有essence,並將之分享給聖子與聖靈。我認為,這才是基督徒對essence的正確認知。在我們的課程中,我們會詳細的分析和論證這個道理,但是在這裡,我只用幾個例子作簡要的說明,其中包括:約翰福音1:4,約翰福音17:10…等章節。

 

聖經肯定神的存在。然而,聖經對「存在」這個概念卻有兩種不同面向的詮釋:
什麼是神?這個問題涉及essence的意義(例如:生命、力量、智慧等…)。
神如何存在?(例如:聖父、聖子、聖靈之間的關係)。

 

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從聖經的教導中,我們知道「聖父給予聖子生命」。

 

我們所說的「聖父」與人類在世間的父母完全沒有任何關聯。首先,神沒有男、女性別之分,而世間的父親先天上與母親有許多區別。再者,世間的父親與兒子的角色帶有時間性(兒子必定比父親晚許多年出生,兒子與父親的存在的起點不可能重疊)。由此我們可以看出,「神」與「世間的父親角色」之間沒有任何的相似性。

 

我們無法精確得知,聖經所說的「在神體內給予生命」(give birth in god)究竟是什麼意思,然而,從聖經和教父們的作品當中,我們可以歸納出兩個特性:

 

「聖父」給予「聖子」生命,藉此過程,「聖父」也給予「聖子」性格。也就是說,「聖子」的存在是獨一無二的,他有別於「聖父」或「聖靈」。然而,「聖子」卻擁有「聖父」的essence,「聖子」不會有另一個新的essence。對於聖靈而言,也是如此,只是形式稍有不同。
「聖父」發出(proceeding)「聖靈」,藉此過程,「聖父」也給予「聖靈」性格。也就是說,「聖靈」的存在也是獨一無二的,他有別於「聖父」或「聖子」,也不是「聖子」的兄弟。然而,「聖靈」同樣也擁有「聖父」的essence,「聖靈」不會有另一個新的essence。

 

請注意,這裡只有一個essence,那就是聖父的essence。
在這個觀念上,我們必須要很謹慎:神不是由三個「達成共識,決定要永遠在一起」的「獨立個體」所組成的。我們應該要知道,只有一個「因」或「源頭」,那就是「聖父」。

 

因此,我們可以說,在Trinity當中有一個「因」或「源頭」,那就是「聖父」,他就是神。談到這裡,我想提醒各位,「聖父」是神的事實,並不能否定「聖子」與「聖靈」也是神。或許我這樣說有點奇怪,讓各位感到有點困惑。不過,請容我繼續說明,聖父「發出聖靈」和聖父「給予聖子生命」是兩種不同的作用方式,但是,兩者皆是永恆的,超越了時間的概念。

 

偉大的神學家Gregory the theologian曾用一句話闡明了這些概念:神是一(聖父),但卻不是單獨一個。

 

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有些人可能會說:「為什麼是如此?這個答案會不會太複雜了?」以下,就讓我們一起來認識一些革命性的新觀念,它們闡述了生命如何由Trinity而來。

 

.「聖父」是因,而「聖子」及「聖靈」是果。

 

.時間的概念,可以從因果中加以剔除。

 

.在新因果概念中,因果並非必然存在的,而是出於我們自由的選擇。「聖父」在發出「聖靈」和給予「聖子」生命時,不受任何強迫。因為「聖父」想要以「愛的共同體」的模式存在,所以,他以自由的意願,進行了這項工作。

 

.因果並不是一個法則,而是一種愛,一種自由。例如:耶穌願意像人類一樣,在十字架上受難而死亡,因為,他永遠是聖父深愛的聖子,他不斷允諾聖父。因果不是某種道德法則,而是一種關係,這種關係最終轉變成了生命。聖子之所以是「善的」,並不是基於道德倫理上的原因,而是因為,這是聖父的旨意。一切的倫理和道德都不是絕對的法則,愛與自由的生命,才是最終的法則。東方人對於「什麼是善?」並沒有一個平易近人的解釋。究竟誰能夠決定什麼是善,什麼不是善呢?善只不過是一般人心中的普遍概念。

 

.這裡所談的新因果,不再是一種從痛苦經驗中得到的體悟。它來自於「神存在的方式」,也來自於Trinity的光。

 

.如果未來中國的神學家或佛教導師能夠在這個觀念上用功,我想,這將是中國哲學上的一場革命:從「道德律法」轉變為「以人為主」,從「命中注定」轉變成「自由意願」。

 

.因此,我們應該這樣思維:當下我的存在,不僅僅是自己的決定,而是一個與別人息息相關的決定。事實上,我們必須了解,我們的存在是神的恩賜,我們因為神與眾人的愛而存在。如果一個人,以自私的態度存在,在他的世界裡,凡事只為了自己的好,那就是所謂的地獄。

 

.我個人認為,東方人應該已經知道了這些概念,只是沒有透徹的瞭解。東方人想要擺脫「個體」與「個人主義」色彩,所以不斷在「太虛」和「無我」當中尋找自己,然而,除此之外,東方人如何能夠更進一步向真理邁進?我想,當我們與眾人在「愛」和「自由」中共存時,才算真正實現了「無我」的境界。

 

.人類的存在之源,並不是「人性」,而是亞當。亞當是我們的「因」,我們的「人性」皆相同,所以,在這個世界上,「人性」只有一個。然而,我們擁有自己的「位格」,因此我們有自由。亞當是神的肖象,我們每個人也都是與眾不同的神的肖象,每個肖像都是獨一無二的。

 

.「他性」(otherness)是有次序、有階層的。然而,階層並非來自於權利,而是來自於「存在的方式」。亞當是我們的「因」,但如果我們願意的話,我們可以更改我們的「因」,讓耶穌成為我們的新亞當,新的「因」。我們都在耶穌裡,耶穌才是教會的頭,而我們不是。

 

.在西方人的心中,階層觀念是不好的,階層被視為一種對自由的抑制,然而,在基督教裡,「聖父」卻高於「聖子」(約翰福音 14:28),因為「聖父」是「聖子」、「聖靈」的存在之「因」,「聖父」賦予「聖子」、「聖靈」與他相同的存在方式。在基督教裡,階層被解放了,只有愛、自由與生命。我想,中國文化傳統中的階級觀念,可以在基督教裡找到新的意義。為了避免誤解的危險,我想舉個例子來說明:有人認為自己的生命就像個重擔,但有些人則會說:「啊!我是雙親的愛的果實,我的存在不只是一場化學反應,而是兩個摯愛者的結晶,我喜歡這個結果,我擁有父母親一部分的血液,這讓我感到其樂無比,這份愛正是我生命的源頭,它讓我有能力去運用愛、給予愛和領受愛。」

 

.最重要的是,亞當是人類「位格」和「他性」之源,因此我們可以推論,必定有一個獨特的事物,讓亞當成為獨一無二的人。我想,光是用「創造」一詞來解釋,有點過於敷衍。我們應該進一步說,亞當之所以是獨一無二的人,因為他的人格是神的恩賜,這是難能可貴的。然而,亞當並不是宇宙的中心,他的中心參考點是神,也就是Trinity。因為,亞當想以自己為宇宙的中心,拒絕以神為中心參考點,所以他墮落了。

 

最後,我想以誠摯的心與各位分享心中的感想。教會中曾有許多偉大的教父,將聖經中的思想引入希臘哲學中,他們的貢獻,豐富了希臘哲學的內涵,也給予希臘哲學新生命。我想,Trinity的概念,必定也能為中國哲學思想注入新的元素,為中國哲學思想開創新的道路。†

 

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the Father as cause . a contribution to the concept of *因果*

 

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it is common accepted to the eastern people the idea of *因果*

 

we can say that *因果 *is the universal principle, the most deep
controler of our lifes and also all the universe.

 

western people find *因果* not quite understandable , from some point of
view.

 

for example: why my actions will influence me in my next life ? from the
eastern point of view it is not the actions but the intentions, your
mentality which comes to you like the fruit from a tree. the fruit falls
, dissolves , becomes a new plant of course currying the DNA of the old
fruit .

 

this is a good example but for the Greek European thought is not enough
because of this ‘of course’ which is a small sneaky word, but covers the
big question. how this happens?

 

our logic wants to examine the reality. when we say a fruit when it
matures ‘_naturaly_’ falls down , the question is why does not goes up?
what forces it to fall gown and not go to other direction?

 

and we finally found here a theory, the gravity , which (as we have
proved ) guides the fruit to go down, and we have equations to describe
exactly how to go down, the acceleration etc….

 

and modern quantum mechanics has many surprises for us.

 

and this kind of *因 果 *creates an arrow of time, actually time goes
from *因-> 果* not from *果->因*

 

but here we do not want to make philosophy or theoretical physics but to
give some new idea , which probably the eastern philosophers never
thought about and it comes from the bible, from the revelation of god.

 

i will try to make things simple . more reading on the excellent book of
Prof. John Zizioulas ‘communion and otherness’

 

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the god of Christians is the Holy trinity

 

the Chinese translation 三位一體 i think is not so accurate because
somebody would misunderstand that there are 2 things , the 三位 and some
一體 which actually is not known.

 

you can see the our lessons about the holy trinity in the internet and
participate, and many articles in this web site. here i will share a few
thoughts and some consequences for the eastern though.

 

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the question is what makes the 3 persons, the Father, Son, Holy Spirit
to be one god and not 3 separated gods? the question is important
because the answer hides our social, political and philosophical ideas.
if we answer according to them , then we will say as the western people
did (specially St. Augustine -he had good intentions but not enough
theological background) we will say that they have the same essence,
this essence makes them 一體 so we have one god.

 

This idea is NOT BASED on the faith of the church , nor on the bible.
Indeed , has many problems. For example if the essence is the very
reason of god, then the Father is forced to exist, because the existence
, which is the essence is given to him, and he can not do different.
Think about you. You are human because you are born as human, with 2
eyes , legs body etc… you like it or not this is how you are. You are
not completely free, the existence is given to you.

 

What you can do is to accept the existence, to improve it or destroy it.

 

I will ask the question what is essence? Many chinese people, even
theologians do not quite understand, because this was not in the
philosophical thought as in the west. So they give the answer , essence
is 本質
,

or 實質

etc.. and give examples from our experience in this world like the water
etc…. most of those examples are not accurate and some even heretic,
and if we study the history of the first church we will see the same
examples and consequences.

 

They use the concept of Aristotle , about the essence of anything, for
example the essence of your paper, your book, your desk , your pencil
and your chair is the wood, because they all come from wood.

 

So the wood is the *_ultimate source_* of there existence

 

The important thing is not to make philosophy for god but to listen how

 

god reveals himself to us.

 

Bible does not have the word ‘essence’ only once in 2 peter 1:4
says—————–

 

————————————————————————

 

So what is essence in bible? What the Father has and shares with the Son
and the Holy spirit.

 

This is the correct Christian understanding. We analyze this in our
lessons, but only here i will give a few examples. John 1:4 , John 17:10
etc…

 

Bible says to us that god exists . But existence has 2 kinds of
understandings :

 

-What is god and this refers to the essence (as life, power , wisdom etc…)

 

-How god exists (as Father, Son, Holy spirit)

 

————————————————————————-

 

In bible we know that the Father gives birth to the Son.

 

When we say father , has nothing to do with the human father or mother.
God is not male or female. Human father presuppose division (father
mother ) and time difference between the father and son . (the son
exists AFTER years, does not co-exist with father) there is no analogy
with god and human fatherhood.

 

We can not know exactly what is ‘giving birth’ in god. But as we
understand from the bible and the holy fathers , there are 2
characteristics.

 

— The Father gives the personality to the Son (by giving birth), that
is the Son is ‘other’ exists but he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit
and so the Son has the essence of the Father, not some different or new
essence

 

The same but with other way happens with the Holy spirit.

 

— The Father also gives the personality by proceeding, (not by giving
birth) to the Holy Spirit, that means the Spirit is ‘other’ exists but
he is not the Father, neither the Son or brother of the Son. and so the
Spirit has the essence of the Father, not some different or new essence .

 

There are not 3 different essences , but one the Father’s essence.

 

We must be careful: god is not 3 different individuals who agree and
decided to live together, but because there is one source : the Father.

 

As we see there is a cause or a source in the Trinity, the Father. He is
god. But so strange for us, this does not mean that the other 2 are not
god also.

 

Those 2 ways of the Father : (giving birth, and proceeding

 

-are always , there are out of time

 

-Father was never alone , without the Son and the Spirit. )

 

We can say as the great Gregory the theologian : God is one (the father)
but not alone.

 

———————————————————

 

Some people will say : too complicated… why?

 

But let us see some revolutionary new ideas for life that come from the
Holy trinity.

 

* The Father is the *因 *the reason, and the *果* is the Son and the
Holy Spirit

 

* Now the concept of time removed from *因果 *

 

* There is not necessity in this *new* *因果. Father *has not need
to proceed or give birth, he does it freely because he wants to
exist as loving community.

 

* The link between *因 and 果* is not the law but the freedom in
love. For example Jesus not only accepted to die on the cross as
human , but because he always as the beloved Son says Yes to the
Father. It is *_not some moral principle that should guide us but
some relationship_* which becomes life. The Son of God is not
good, because the human ethics says so, but because this is the
will of the Father. So ethics and morality are not principles but
life in freedom and love. Eastern people have no easy explanation
about what is good. Who decides what is good or not? It is the
general idea of goodness that we have.

 

* *因果* now, can be not an idea which comes to us when we observe
and study the pain in this world,*_ but from the way that god
exists, from the light of the holy trinity._*

 

* If in the future Chinese theologians and Buddhist masters work on
this idea then i think it will be a revolution to the Chinese
philosophy: from the law to the Person, from nessecity to freedom.

 

* – so the fact that i exist ,now and here, is not something that is
only up to me, my bussines and has nothing to do with the others.
Indeed i must undertand that i exist as a GIFT, i am a gift of the
love of god and the others. To exist because of myself this is the
hell.

 

* *_- actually eastern people undertand this but not completely.
They try to be released from the individuality, to find themselves
in 太虛

or in 無我
,

but what is after this? The ultimate reality is to co-exist in
love and freedom, this is the real 無我

principle._*

 

* *_- the source of our existence is not the human nature but a
person, Adam. Adam is the cause for us, not just the human nature.
The nature is one, same. But we are persons, we have some freedom.
Because Adam is image of god we are images of god. _*

 

* * – otherness has some order, some hierarchy, not lower in power
but order in the way of existing. Adam is our source. And we can
change this source if we want. Jesus is the new Adam, it is our
source . We are in Jesus , but Jesus is the head of the church,
not we. *

 

* * – in western mind hierarchy is bad, is considered as suppression
of freedom, but in Christianity the Father is greater than the Son
(John 14:28) because he is the reason of the existence of the
equal to him, Son and Holy Spirit. Here hierarchy liberates, is
love freedom and life. Specially Chinese people who have the
concept of hierarchy in there culture can find a new meaning to
this. * Having the danger to be misunderstood i would say an
example: somebody can understand his life as burden but somebody
else to say” a! I am the fruit of love of my parents, my existence
is not only a process of chemical reactions, but of the ultimate
love of 2 people, i like this, a part of them is in me, this makes
me happy. And this love that is the source of my life gives me the
ability to exercise love, to give and receive love.

 

* ** – most important. Because it is a person Adam the souse of
human persons, of human ‘otherness’ then must be something unique
that makes Adam person. If i say ‘create’ it is not enough.
Because Adam is person because his personality is *_given_* to him
by god. *This was very unique. *Adam was not the center of the
universe. His reference was God, the holy trinity. When he refused
this and he tried to be the reference for himself , then this was
the fall.

 

Finally we can say that the concept of the holy trinity, can open new
ways in the Chinese philosophical thought. The same happened with the
Greek philosophy. The great fathers of the church introducing the ideas
of the bible to Greek philosophy, gave the philosophy new life and content.

 

 

 

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