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評周保松《小王子的領悟》:純真的快樂

2016/9/9 — 12:33

周保松《小王子的領悟》

周保松《小王子的領悟》

【文:黃樂之】

愛情是什麼? 友情是什麼?小孩純真的快樂,長大後如何保留?在一個不公義的世界裏面,我們如何保持希望?

這些問題,乍看下,太過抽象,太難回答。在香港這個喧鬧又充滿刺激的地方,我們一般不會思考這些抽象問題:不想這些問題,生活也一樣充滿  新奇的事物!但當我們在閱讀中進入小王子的世界的時侯,這些抽象問題卻變得具體而迫切。

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在這本小書裏面,周保松教授遊走於小王子的世界及我們日常生活的世界之間。目的很簡單: 對於上述問題,有甚麽答案,既適用於小王子,又適用於我們?

以下我簡短總結周氏的答案:

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純真的快樂:成年人常說他們懷愐小時候純真的快樂,但甚麼是”純真的快樂“?為甚麼這種快樂會因成長而失去? 為甚麼我們不嘗試保持這種快樂?純真的快樂,對於小王子和對於我們,是追求夢想的快樂。一個純真的小朋友 ,做他喜歡做的事的時侯,沒有其他的原因,就是因為他喜歡。長期的計算,他人的期待,都沒有考慮。

成年之後,我們能否保持這種純真的快樂?一定程度上是可以的。 生活中總有一部分,可以放在追求夢想身上:我們至少可以片刻放下他人對我們的期待,以及自己長期的打算 。

愛情:成年人常說他們喜歡初戀的感覺,但我們為何覺得愛是如此寶貴?難道我們忘記了愛情關係中的痛苦和猜忌?以及關係破裂的風險?當一個人愛上另一個人的時候,前者的情感與身份認同都連繋於後者。在這種情況下,我們必須將情感,以至身份認同,投入於一種我們不能控制的外物身上:我們所愛的人能夠為我們帶來不能想像的快樂,亦能為我們帶來不能想像的痛苦。

友愛:我們如何在夢想和計算之間取得平衡?又如何承受愛情內在的風險? 答案是友愛 。朋友欣賞和理解我們的夢想:不因長期計算,亦不因社會承認。朋友亦同我們建立一種獨特的道德關係:無論未來是好是壞,朋友亦默然承諾會和我們共同渡過。

希望:在一個不公義的社會裏面,能不能保持友愛?對於我們不相識的人,友愛又有沒有意義? 面對金錢,暴力,恐懼,友愛又能否生存?首先,無論情況多壞,友愛仍是可能的。我們對友誼有難以磨滅的需要,正如我們對夢想,對愛情的需要一樣。

其次,友誼並不是我們從社會的逃避。我們永遠都不知道在什麼時候我們會結識朋友。假若我們需要一個方便結識朋友的環境,我們就需要一個開放,自由,和公平的社會。換句話說,在一個封閉,不自由,不公平的社會裏面,友誼難以滋長,亦難以維持 。最後,即使不公義的政權有金錢,暴力,與恐懼支持,其影響力仍難以延續。 在權力門爭,互相猜忌之中,領導人不能追求自己的夢想,亦無法亨受最基本的友愛。 不公義的政權的力量,只不過是一些暫時的數字 。

 

English Version:

What is Love? What is Friendship? How do we keep our innocence? How do we not lose hope, when everything around us fails?

These questions, taken out of context, seem too abstract for answers. In the buzz of Hong Kong, we tend not to think about abstract questions; life’s too full without them! But as we lose ourselves in the world of the Little Prince, these questions, so often neglected, acquire an immediacy of their own.             

In this short book, Chow Po Chung weaves between the world of the Little Prince and the world we live in today. The aim is philosophical: to draw lessons that apply as much to the little prince as ourselves.

In the paragraphs below, I give a short summary of the argument; readers should note that the nuances of Chow’s argument cannot be recaptured in a few words!

Innocence: Adults often say that they miss “the innocence of childhood”. But what is the innocence of childhood? Why do people lose them? Why don’t we do something about it? Innocence, for both the little prince and for us, is the pursuit of dreams for its own sake. An innocent child does what she does just because she loves what she does. Long-term calculations do not come in. Other people’s expectations do not come in. The pursuit of dreams is all that matters.

Can we keep this simple pursuit as we enter into the adult world? To an extent: we can deliberately ignore other people’s expectations, and ignore any calculation of long-term achievements, when we devote parts of our lives to activities we love.

Love: Adults often say they like the feeling of falling in love. But why do we put so much value on falling in love? What about all the pain and anxiety in the process? And what of the risk of suffering when relationships fail? When a person falls in love, that person attaches herself emotionally to another person. In every such situation, we commit ourselves to something that we can’t control: that person can enrich us or deprive us in previously unimaginable ways. Risk is inherent in love.

Friendship: how do we strike a balance between dreams and calculations? How do we keep our courage to love, despite its inherent risks? Friendship is the answer. Friends understand and appreciate our dreams: we can talk about them go after them without need of gain or outside recognition. Friends take on a moral responsibility towards us: by developing a unique relationship with us, they undertake to be there for us, in good times or bad.

Hope: Can friendship flourish in a divided and unfair society? Does it relate us to people who are not yet our friends, or is it an escape from social and political realities? Can considerations of friendship shield us from the powers that are, with their money, violence, and terror? First, no matter how unfavourable the climate, friendship is possible. Our need of friends is as deep as our need to love and our need to dream. Second, friends don’t give us not an escape from wider society. We don’t know how or when we can make friends.

To have the best environment for friends, we need a society that is open, free, and fair. Putting it the other way, it is not easy to make or retain friends in a society that is closed, unfree, or unfair. Finally, even if unjust regimes are popped up with money, violence, and terror, their influence is never lasting: they cannot support meaningful friendships. Leaders in such regime cannot pursue their dreams, because their decision is primarily motivated by keeping their power. And they universally lack in love, for they are unable to enjoy relationships spontaneously made between unique individuals. However threatening, unjust regimes are only powerful as numbers on paper. They have little of substance. 

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