Benoit Vermander (魏明德)

Benoit Vermander (魏明德)

Benoit Vermander lives in Shanghai. He teaches philosophy and religious anthropology at the University of Fudan.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 14:04

「工作受苦」症候群

不當的工作模式引發了無聊、疲憊、焦慮等壓力,彷彿像流行病一般,全面影響著現代人的生活。

撰文∣魏明德 翻譯∣謝靜雯 繪圖∣笨篤

Wednesday, 09 January 2013 15:28

The Width and Depth of the Ocean within Me: In Memory of Yves Raguin

In 2012, we celebrated the centenary of the birth of Father Yves Raguin, founder of the Taipei Ricci Institute. Born in November 1912, Father Raguin died in December 1998 at Tien Educational Center in Taipei. After having studied theology in Paris and Sinology at Harvard, Yves Raguin lived in China, Vietnam, The Philippines and, for most of his career, Taiwan. He was a prolific author, mainly but not solely on comparative spirituality, and also a lexicographer who for many years directed the Ricci Dictionary project – the largest Chinese –foreign language dictionary in the world – and a beloved spiritual director.


The connection between his centenary anniversary and Pacific studies may seem an odd one, but there are several reasons for associating the Pacific with Fr Raguin's life and spirituality. First, there is the creation of the Taipei Ricci Institute in 1964-1966: Fr Raguin made the Institute a place of encounter, research and creativity till he left its direction in 1996 – and it is because of fidelity to his inspiration that the Institute later on shifted its focus towards Pacific studies. Second, Fr Raguin himself was no stranger to the Pacific world. Not only did his long stays in Vietnam and Taiwan make him a man of the Asia Pacific, but he also directed spiritual retreats and gave courses in The Philippines, Canada or Papua New Guinea among other places.


The main connection between the celebration of his birth and Pacific studies is that Yves Raguin focused all of his life on the quest for resonance and encounters between the different spiritual experiences that humankind has engaged in – and the spiritual style he slowly developed has oceanic undertones; pondering over his experiences may help us integrate the melodies and resonances we are gathering these days into the polyphony of world spirituality. I still remember Yves Raguin telling me one day, shortly before his death, how much he had always desired to see Chinese spiritual resources "fully integrated into humankind's spiritual computer." Yves Raguin used a typewriter all his life and never browsed the Internet. He had only a vague understanding of what a computer was like, but knew well enough the point relevant for his metaphor: a computer was a machine processing the data entered into it as an integrated whole, in which connections could be drawn in all directions.


Yves Raguin always placed the virtue of attentiveness at the core of any spiritual adventure. In "Contemplation East and West" he writes:


Contemplation is not a means of attention towards things beyond this world but rather an attention to things as they are. All things possess within themselves a mystery, and the more knowledge we have of these things, the more we realize the depth of the mystery within them. (...) If I practice what is called in Confucianism, investigation of things ge wu , I will be facing a mystery of things and I will be taken in by a kind of contemplation. It is the concrete awareness of the essential nature of things which puts me in silence before the mystery of this same nature. It is this essential nature of reality that science cannot grasp. This deep inner attitude described by the two terms serenity and a quiet being together with all things, has always been what wise women and men have been searching for in all parts of the world."

Elsewhere he notes:

Prayer is nothing but a simple awareness that in the beginning can be very painful. (The soul) feels cutoff from her normal activity and so, from herself. This barely perceptible presence forces the soul into deep solitude. She has no felt support outside this presence that draws her attention.

It seems to me that the primal role given to the "attention to the mystery of things' in spiritual development is what anchors Yves Raguin's spirituality within a multifaceted tradition open to what the writer Romain Rolland, in his correspondence with Sigmund Freud, called the "Oceanic feeling." Through this expression he was trying to encapsulate a feeling of infinity that palpitates beyond all structured religious belief. Nowadays, Rolland's "Oceanic feeling" has become no more than a footnote in the history of religious psychology. Freud was not very appreciative: "How foreign to me are the worlds in which you move! Mystique is as closed to me as music" he wrote to Rolland – who replied," I can hardly believe that mysticism and music are foreign to you. I rather think that you are afraid of them, as you wish to keep the instrument of critical reason unblemished."

Going one step beyond Rolland, one may say that, for the one who through attentiveness enters into the mystery of things as they are, the presence of the ultimate mystery in the soul is like the triumphant sound of the waves - and this "like" means two things at once: first, it speaks of the universal character of spiritual experience; and secondly, it recognizes the fact that no comparison can account for the way this mystery makes itself present within the depths of man. What the Oceanic feeling helps us understand is that joy arises in our soul always as something nascent. The joy that comes from the light of the day within the darkness of our depths is sung and evoked by the movement of an ocean everlasting and yet nascent, by the rhythm of the waves engraving and erasing their writings on the sand with a finger trembling and yet assured. Eventually, the Oceanic feeling makes us glimpse at the mystery of the birth of the divine within the soul: a gift eternally offered – and always new.

As an example of Yves coming into contact with this "oceanic experience", let us look at this passage from his spiritual diary in February 1979:

My internal being was enlightened, and an intimate touch of softness was entering into me. It was like a tenderness that was invading and attracting me, but without uprooting me from my humaneness. On the contrary, it was like the constant realization within me of a new incarnation. (...) Departing from Paris on January 5, I have given retreats in Thailand and in Papua New Guinea. I am now in the Philippines and in a few weeks I will be again in Taiwan. I can only say 'thanks" for all the love shown to me by the Lord during this trip around the world started in June. Everything has become very simple. This love of the Lord asks simply from me to be myself so as to let him be himself within me.

The deceiving simplicity of this paragraph should not hide the depth of meaning it opens: a given spiritual tradition – here, the western mystical tradition, with undertones coming from St Bernard, Meister Eckardt and St Ignatius - becomes somehow "globalized' by an operation of "rarefaction" or "distillation" that connects it not only to so-called Eastern spiritualities but to spiritual experiences as lived in many tongues, many customs and many settings. The experience here related is about the realization of what one is really called to be, in one's given tradition and calling, so as to let one's particularity become the creative humus in which other people will learn to similarly recognize what they are themselves called to be. Universality is not an "essence", but rather a process, awakened by the creative fidelity to what I come from and to what I am called to be. The ocean on which Yves Raguin tirelessly traveled was certainly that of the infinity of god – emptiness and plenitude – dwelling within our limited self; it was at the same time the ocean of the astounding variety of our human spiritual experiences, scattered like islands among the Sea of Unknowing. In his view, these two immensities were revealed and illuminated by one another. His writings and his example still encourage us to explore both the width and the depth of the Ocean that gave us birth and carries us beyond even our dreams.

Excerpt of a speech pronounced during the 2012 International Austronesian Conference in Taipei, November 27th

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 17:30

Suffering at work: a new pandemic

There is a growing realization among psychologists and within the corporate world that the nature and organization of work have a lasting impact on employees' mental health. Boredom, tiredness and anxiety are the three overwhelming symptoms of mental stress that affect workers.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 17:24

危機萬萬歲!

  99期雜誌發行期間,《人籟》曾度過許多危機,這些磨難與淬煉,賦予團隊成長的養分,也讓我們有力量得以繼續前行…… 

撰文│魏明德 
翻譯│謝靜雯 
繪圖│笨篤
 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 15:34

Long Live Crisis!

In January 2004, a new monthly appeared on the shelves of Taiwan's bookshops: Renlai proclaimed on its front cover: '危機萬歲!" (Long live crisis!) Let's face it: the layout was not very professional, and it was something more approaching an experiment, lacking an experienced team or serious distributing channels. Nobody around us would have placed a bet that 99 issues later, this maverick publication would still be around... The readers are to be credited first for their faithfulness and resilience. The efforts of the team that has produced and distributed Renlai every month too must receive some credit, a team that believes more than ever in the relevance and mission of our publication in contemporary Taiwan.

By entitling our first issue '危機萬歲!" (Long love crisis!), we were, I fear, predicting our own destiny: it is through crises and risks that we have navigated our way amidst stormy seas, always in the face of an uncertain financial future and a market in which it is most difficult to assert our values and outlook. We found joy and inspiration in these challenges, however. Our first issue extolled the virtues of crises: it is in a state of crisis that we access the core of our beliefs, we learn resilience, we are taught what it means to bet on hope against all hope, we make our life-style simpler, we are pushed to examine ourselves, we are trained in the virtues of solidarity and cohesion. This is exactly what happened to us, and what we are still experiencing from day to day. However, it has to be said that the title of our first issue still seems very relevant for the Taiwan of today? The challenges that Taiwan experienced in 2003-2004 are not exactly akin to those we are facing at the moment, but we are still called to examine our values and life-style, there is still the call to participate in national debate about what kind of society we want to build – and Renlai is still a tool and a voice for fostering just such a debate.


A crisis is often a gateway to innovation and Renlai will indeed need to be inventive if it wants to survive. We have changed a lot in the course of these 100 issues, but we will have to change even more on the road ahead. Therefore this issue is also aimed at soliciting your advice, your input, so as to know better what kind of publication you would enjoy, what kind of debates you would like us to foster, what format or new technology would you like us to embrace. We hope that the future can be forged together with you the readers– as we experience together the reflection and innovation that crises inspire. In a way Renlai's changing format can be seen as a litmus test for Taiwan's cultural climate and the strength of civil society here.

An anniversary is always an opportunity for thanksgiving. This issue will be marked with our gratitude. We give thanks to all our readers for their support and their continued feedback. Thanks for telling us what you expect from us, thanks for being demanding of us, and pushing us to give our best. Thanks to all the members of the Renlai team for the mutual support, the sharing, the dreams and the common effort. We keep in our heart those who had to leave us in the course of these last nine years, and we are very much thankful for the wonderful contribution that each of them has made. The crises may still loom on the horizon but we feel still ready to say: "危機萬萬歲! (Long live crisis!)

Thursday, 01 November 2012 21:35

失去‧重生‧索羅門群島 (一)

 

來自太平洋的召喚

我從1992年起就住在台灣,可是就像這座島上的大多居民,我西進的頻率遠大於東行。我的研究旅程大多深入中國西南方的偏遠山區,以宗教儀式與社會變遷為研究主題,彷彿盡可能離太平洋世界越遠越好……不過,在我抵達台灣幾個月之後,曾經在台東縣停留過一段時間,太平洋海岸線從此進入了我的視野與想像。

 

海洋,神祕的驅力

隨著一年年過去,我越來越常重返台灣東部,某種神祕的力量把我從原本的重力中心拉開。2008年,我在花蓮縣的阿美族太巴塱部落休息了四個月左右。那年夏天相當炎熱,當地的樹木又稀少。我常常躺下來,試著從熱氣與筋疲力竭的狀態(我來此地避居的原因)中恢復元氣。只要行有餘力,我就會四處遊蕩,大多選在清晨或近晚時分,然後就會拿起筆作畫──描繪田野、山巔與周遭的房舍,畫出有時難以招架的熱氣與氣力耗盡的感受,也畫下我耳聞的故事、誦歌與神話。我也聽了各種家族傳說與祖先系譜。

我們後來與《人籟》團隊共同製作的紀錄片名為《第五天,海水漲起來》,便是描述定居於這個村莊的頭一對男女成功逃離的那場大洪水。當時我一邊對抗著熱氣與疲勞,一邊聽到許多個人與集體的故事,到現在我仍記得對這些故事的反應,也記得東台灣這個位於兩座山脈之間、奇特又讓人陶醉的美麗區域,還有附近海洋的神祕吸引力……你從太巴塱那裡看不到海洋,可是太平洋就在幾公里之外守候著,有如一個帶來威脅又令人眩惑的巨大存在。那段時間我所創作的繪畫裡看不到海洋,但海洋就埋藏在其中──因為海洋就是那個原始力量,驅使我前來走訪星羅散布於未知之海上、恍如黑墨與顏料畫在宣紙上的小小島嶼。

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遼闊,創造靈性共鳴

這些年來,駐足東海岸的經驗讓我心中瀰漫著一種感覺:我不只把太平洋當成具體空間,也把它當成「神祕」空間。閱讀更多關於太平洋世界的資料之後,我深刻地領悟到:它本身的廣闊浩瀚以及橫越海域的經驗,都曾在人們身上激發出深層的靈性體驗,並且透過故事、神話、詩歌、音樂與史詩表達出來。它的邊界與島嶼都曾目睹全世界神祕傳統的來到與融合,有如浪潮般一波波沖刷它的岸邊。到最後,它成為人類精鍊與吟誦神聖(the Divine)體驗以及「感應」的特有空間之一。這種靈性體驗的共通性,有時會以「海洋的感覺」(oceanic feeling)這種用語來概括,雖然這種形容至今仍需面對挑戰與爭議。「深度」、「深淵」、「水」、「感應」、「合一」、「循環」這些暗喻,也可以透過太平洋世界獨有的具體經驗來找出特殊的共鳴。語言與音樂表達、神祕體驗、文學與藝術的隱喻,以及跨文化組合,都在此融為一體。

 

啟程,邂逅多元文化

而台灣是個啟程的地點,也是融合的所在,更是由海浪譜寫而成的故事的目的地。

可是台灣的青年,尤其是原住民青年,是否對太平洋世界懷有歸屬感?它跟這個開放世界之間的原始連結,是否激勵了它的創意、它對「感應」的認知?在這種海洋交流的過程當中,是否生發了相關的故事、音樂與藝術形式?

過去十年左右以來,台灣對於意義與靈性深度的追求越發強烈、逐步演化,越來越多人提出這類的疑問並加以辯論。對於太平洋連結的追求(常常處於萌芽狀態並且模稜兩可)成了轉變中的台灣認同的一部分。利氏學社與《人籟》團隊一直持續著這樣的努力:針對台灣的原住民、太平洋的藝術與故事蒐集了豐富的材料,透過錄影訪談、田野調查以及國際會議的實地記錄來逐步累積。利氏學社與《人籟》也推動了台灣太平洋研究學會的成立,亦曾帶領好幾隊原住民青少年前往加拿大與斐濟參訪。這就是以台灣的原住民青年與太平洋為題,拍攝紀錄片的形成經過,也是我2012年夏天前往索羅門群島的緣故。

我們踏上旅程的時間點,湊巧遇上第十一屆太平洋藝術節的舉行,這個節慶吸引了整個美拉尼西亞跟波里尼西亞世界的太平洋島民前來。因此,這份經驗是雙重的:與索羅門群島的真正相遇,並邂逅了構成整個太平洋大家族的多種文化與民族。我們造訪索羅門島的期間,經歷各種邂逅的時候,持續感受到多元化與共通性的纏結交錯。

 

瓜達卡納爾島:烽火與信仰

索羅門群島的首都霍尼亞拉(Honiara)位於瓜達卡納爾島(Guadalcanal),說真的,這裡並不會打動訪客的心。擺滿各種貨品的大型中國商店、水泥材質的行政大樓與房舍,遍布於跟海岸線平行的道路上,放眼可見「索羅門電信」跟「所釀」啤酒的廣告,這兩個品牌似乎壟斷了整個國家的廣告經費。沒有真的能引人矚目的東西。

 

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聖約瑟夫天主教高中校長約翰,是我們此行的嚮導,透過他的引介,我們認識了許多索羅門群島的真實面貌

戰爭遺跡如幽靈出沒

山丘上,以花崗岩匾額裝飾的紀念碑,回顧了二次大戰期間曾經蹂躪這座島嶼的海上戰役。樸素但為數眾多的基督復臨教會、天主教會與新教教會成了沿途上的地標。在港口與沙灘上,戰艦的殘骸依然倒臥原地,是恍如幽魂的巨大存在。可是氣氛當中也有某種柔軟,人們的舉止混雜了溫柔與克制,這點打從一開始就會讓初來乍到者為之著迷並受到誘惑。

 

我們在特那魯(Tenaru)的聖約瑟夫天主教高中下塌,地處霍尼亞拉近郊的村莊。那所學校位於農地上,由聖母昆仲會經營,其中三位修士來自巴布亞新幾內亞。在我們造訪的期間,該校校長約翰修士負責照應我們,開車載我們到瓜達卡納爾附近,並耐著性子將日常的現實景況介紹給我們:高生活消費與低薪資收入,宗教、語言與種族上的多元化,教育上面臨的挑戰(該校收有將近四百名的學生,男女皆有)。後來走訪鄰近的瑪蕾塔島(Malaita),那裡也有同樣的狀況。

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籠罩於落日下的瓜達卡納爾島,看起來一片平靜祥和,很難想像這裡曾歷經二戰的烽火摧殘

基督信仰已深入生活

這趟旅程讓我發現與台灣、中國大為不同的天主教會。此地的神職人員是相當年輕的原住民而且為數眾多,有五十位神學院學生正在受訓。當地居民的總人口有六十萬,天主教會就占了將近百分之二十。教會深入參與教育,並倡導人權的提升。這番努力的對象主要是青少年,他們似乎很急切地想要結伴學習與工作。但那不代表一切盡善盡美(我稍後會提出挑戰與問題),不過在這裡顯然可以看到一種活力幹勁與靈性健康,遠超過我原本的預期。那種單純(有時近乎窮困)的生活風格,讓我更能深切感受到信仰者自然散發出來的內在深度與決心。

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索羅門群島有高達百分之九十的人信仰基督宗教,生活中處處可感受到信仰者散發出的內在深度與決心

除了天主教會,基督復臨安息日教會也占了索羅門群島人口的百分之十左右,是基督復臨教會在世上任何國家的最高比例。復臨會的基本教義傾向(禁食豬肉與貝類,禁用咖啡、酒類與菸草等等)到了這裡似乎在日常生活的行止中有所緩和;此外,雖然復臨會宣稱其他宗教都是無可救藥的曲解,但是此地各信仰社群之間的關係似乎相當平和。聖公會與南洋福音教會可能是最重要的兩個群組。雖說基督教會全部加總起來,構成了索羅門群島整體人口的百分之九十以上,但是基督教與傳統宗教或習俗之間的關係依然相當複雜。我們在索羅門群島佇留的期間,逐漸學習去感受兩件事:基督教的生命力越來越融入當地居民的生活與感受力,還有它從過去承繼下來的矛盾與負擔。

 

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太平洋藝術節:獨特與共享

在霍尼亞拉,有一片寬闊的田野四周架著高聳的圍籬,裡面分成兩個村莊:一邊是傳統的房舍,村民來自索羅門群島不同省分與文化族群,另一邊是國外來的代表團,其中一團來自台灣。大批民眾(大半是當地人)出席了舞蹈與音樂表演,前來觀賞純展示或販售用的手工藝品,並且為了島嶼之間在語言與習俗上的相似與差異而驚嘆。

 

樂舞消融了人我界線

通常我對這類節慶與其他公共活動都提不起勁,可是這次我發現自己看得津津有味。我尤其喜歡待在索羅門群島的村莊,到巨樹蔭影之下的棚屋,觀看來自山區部落與海岸部落的展演。其中,伊莎貝爾島(Isabelle)的舞者是我最喜歡的。

在現場跟人互動很容易,氣氛一派輕鬆。舞蹈、排笛與鼓,刺青、武器、獨木舟……我像個孩子似的玩得不亦樂乎,我平日居住的上海大城似乎遙不可及。

節慶的主要場地附近有個叫做多馬(Doma)的小村莊,直接在海邊推出瓜達卡納爾島各個部落的表演。孩童在沙地上嬉戲玩耍,鼓聲的樂音與海浪的樂音交織為一體。太平洋開始施展魔力。

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獨木舟的復甦,不只代表航海業的再起,更標誌太平洋世界對身分的認同

獨木舟復甦了新認同

獨木舟與船舶全都聚集在碼頭與岸邊。船舶按照往日的設計與技巧重建而成,或是源自原住民文化、或是來自早期歐洲航海探險家時代,一致見證了整個太平洋航海業的復甦。好幾個代表團都搭船一遊。

這樣的復甦反映了兩件事:一是對於身分認同的追求,摻雜了現代運動、冒險精神、對自然生活風格與傳統的迷戀。二是對於集體努力的飢渴,沐浴於海洋的「感覺」與「節拍」裡。有好幾艘船可供參與者順著海岸搭乘短遊。站在「太平洋旅行家」號的甲板上,我夢想自己能在無垠的藍天之下體驗更遠的旅程。

 

翻譯∣謝靜雯攝影∣笨篤

 

繼續閱讀:失去‧重生‧索羅門群島 (二)

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十一月─從台灣到索羅門群島

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Thursday, 01 November 2012 20:48

失去‧重生‧索羅門群島 (二)

 

瑪蕾塔島:傳統與變遷

 

過去,索羅門各島嶼之間的航運往來非常頻繁。為了躲避獵頭族,有些族群會沿著海岸航行,直到遇到安全的避風港,然後在隔開一點距離的地方,打造人造島嶼,以便享有更安全的避居地,或者索性移居到鄰近的島嶼。人們也會划船到可以潛水捕撈貝類、以貝珠錢進行交易、以及透過婚姻聯盟的地方。根據船程的遠近與目的,選擇使用大小不等的獨木舟。瑪蕾塔島的造船業相當活躍。那是朗加朗加(Langa Langa)人主要的活動之一,我們從霍尼亞拉搭乘三到四個鐘頭的船,一抵達瑪蕾塔島,就立即走訪他們的礁湖。

 

流動者,打造自己的土地

朗加朗加人以流動性與勤奮作風為人所知。有位傳教士曾經記錄某位耆老的證詞:「我們朗加朗加人就像棲息在樹枝上的小鳥。我們沒有屬於自己的土地,除了我們用雙手打造出來的小島。我們出門去捕魚,到陸地上的花園或市場,去以物易物、打聽娶老婆要多少聘金。然後又飛回原本築巢的樹枝,停棲在那裡,直到下一次有什麼需要為止。」

礁湖本身瀰漫著夢幻般的寂靜,水跟天空一樣清澈,青蔥蓊鬱的森林背後襯著大海。不過,人們居住的人造島嶼(最古老的應該是十五代以前建成的)提醒我們,那片風景畢竟是人造的而且滿載著歷史:那個礁湖最早的居民是乘船失事者以及想保護自己免受入侵的人。我們停留的布蘇(Busu)村,人口約有五百位,由源自不同地理位置的十一個家族所組成。

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對朗加朗人來說,獨木舟除了是日常交通工具,更是主要的經濟產業。

貝珠錢,古早的貨幣形態

其中一個家族的祖先是來自布干維爾島(Bouganville)的女性,應該就是當初引進貝珠錢的人;朗加朗加人向來以製作貝珠錢聞名。我們在幾位女村民的陪同下,到了他們蒐集貝類的隔鄰島嶼。我們見識了貝珠錢的製作過程,將處理過後的貝殼穿成一長串,有白有黑有紅,可以作為娶妻聘金或是用在其他場合。

貝殼首先會被敲成小塊。打火石器具會接在穿孔器上,用來在貝殼碎塊上鑽洞。接著用線穿過這些小碎塊,再逐漸把這串東西磨平。有些島民發起一項活動,訴請將貝珠錢認定為另類的國內貨幣。以往,不同的民族社群之間都會使用傳統的貨幣,來交換獨木舟之類的貨品、支付娶親聘金、弭平爭議、議定和解等等。而瑪蕾塔島的貝珠錢事實上只是傳統貨幣的形態之一。鳥羽、狗牙與海豚牙也是。西索羅門群島也會用蛤蜊化石串圈來當貨幣。

 

耆老嘆,難挽傳統消逝

在這座礁石村落負責招待我們的是湯馬斯,他吟誦了一首頌揚過往習俗的讚詞。他向我們示範人們如何協商、公布與提出迎娶聘金(放在地上的一串串貝珠錢)。我忍不住覺得有些不安。他娓娓敘述著傳統並且哀嘆傳統的喪失,雖然我確實能感應那些傳統之美,卻也感受到過去加諸於女性身上的負擔──她們的功用、身價、貞節竟然用這種方式受到評估與對外公開。

但是片刻之後,我又真心受到感動,湯馬斯帶我到村落裡過往只准男人聚集的地帶,那裡有座棚屋的殘跡,一位已亡故的習俗祭司的頭骨還擱在石頭上。在古遠的時代,遺體會先用樹葉做好防腐處理,之後放在地上漸漸腐敗,前後為時七天,最後頭骨就會經由特殊的門(跟生者使用的門不同),被帶入棚屋。在某個時間點上,湯馬斯開始用一種熟悉的閒聊語氣對著頭骨說話,但語調中仍流露敬意,我在太巴塱部落聽過──就是對長輩與祖先講話的方式,柔聲通知他們有陌生人來了,跟他們說無須擔憂。生者世界與祖先世界之間關係的深度與熟悉感,都在我心中引起深刻的共鳴。

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貝珠錢是索羅門群島的傳統貨幣之一,圖為正在製作貝珠錢的婦女。

外來者,助長文化疏離

湯馬斯坐在自己的獨木舟附近,進一步細說他對文化喪失的感受。就像他的其他家人跟整個村落,他將自己定義為天主教徒。可是當他談起古遠時代的傳教士時,卻難掩憎恨的情緒:「他們把我們的東西全部搶走了……他們非常高明……他們讓我們害怕,要是照著祖先的方式做事,就會害自己丟掉小命。他們還強調我們用豬來獻祭或是其他祭典都很花錢,結果我們就漸漸疏遠自己的習俗。他們把祖先的頭骨拿走,丟進樹叢裡……他們跟我們說,神只有一個,沒有祖先變成的神靈。沒辦法了,我們沒辦法回到過去,也不能恢復古老的獻祭方法,因為要做的話還是會害怕。要是他們當初只禁止不好的習俗就好了……可是他們卻把好的、壞的全部搶走了。」

湯馬斯告訴我們的事情,讓我心底一陣悲傷,因為我在其他地方也聽過類似的事情。我意識到,即使敘述出來的故事有所偏頗、多層面並且有所矛盾,但基督宣教(還有其他領域的代表)確實常常助長了文化疏離的現象。但不是只有傳教士才有責任;在台灣,棄置頭骨的不是教會,而是日本殖民勢力。不過,大多數的西方傳教士常常不恰當地將「文明」與「信仰」這兩種現實互相等同:長久以來,他們無法用不同於自己文化所提供的角度來解讀福音。但耶穌所帶來的,卻是形塑判斷與決定行動上的更大自由;祂的話語與行徑促成了龐大的解放力量、促成了過去與現在的和解。我體驗過福音的解放力量,但同時也意識到現代史上的西方擴張與思考模式在在扭曲了福音,而我常常在這兩者之間舉棋不定。

 

新生代,能重拾往日榮光?

回到瑪蕾塔島的行政中心奧基(Auki),克里斯主教慷慨地招待我們,讓我不禁想到,對於傳統習俗的態度,現今的天主教會一定是眾多教會裡最為包容也最為開放的。我知道確實是如此。不過,我在台灣的經驗告訴我,故事並未告一段落;教會往後還是必須更直接地面對自己的歷史,以及過去讓原住民覺得文化受到剝奪的行動與行徑。台灣已經開始有這種現象,原住民以「恢復傳統祭儀」(有時這麼稱呼)嘗試將原住民的榮耀與記憶,與展現虔誠的新形式結合起來。同時,我感覺聚集在主教住家附近的青少年的需求,目前尚未發展到那個階段。這裡正在舉行音樂工作坊,由紐約過來的兩位聖母昆仲會修士負責指導。我感覺得到青少年的興奮情緒,他們前來學習關於音樂的更多知識與演奏方式,有的身著傳統服飾、有的則做「全球化」的裝扮。幾個年輕人花了一整天步行越過山徑就是為了來此參加活動。克里斯主教跟我分享他對這點的喜悅:島上總共25位教士,全是索羅門島居民,而且年紀都比他年輕。他說瑪蕾塔島有250個村落信奉天主教,他在其中160個夜宿過。

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貝殼敲成小塊所製作成的貝珠錢,可以作為娶親的聘金(左下圖)或是交換獨木舟等貨品,婦女也會將之穿戴於身上(右圖)。

小村落,熱情對待造訪者

奧基港口對面就是其中一座天主教村落利立西安納(Lilisiana),到目前為止是交通最便利的。有個家庭非常和善地招呼我們,我們後來會再來拜訪他們,只是為了閒聊跟放鬆。這次的太平洋藝術節有幾個代表團前來拜訪瑪蕾塔島,島上的男人們剛去迎接遠地賓客搭乘過來的船舶。男人們身上紋有戰士的刺青,彷彿從尚未遠去的往日現身;他們回來的時候,還假裝恐嚇我們。

來自利立西安納的帕翠西亞約四十出頭,划著獨木舟載我們到一座極小的島嶼,這是她母親出生,且至今依然於此撿拾貝殼的地方。她有個親戚向我們說明,他是怎麼照顧殘存的祖先頭骨以及頭骨帶有什麼魔力。

從利立西安納步行即可抵達節慶地點,當地居民聚集在海岸跟湖泊之間。場面相當樸素,但遙遠村落的居民成群遠道而來,有些來自山間叢林,其他來自海岸。來自勞族(the Lau tribe)的女性瑪蒂德告訴我,她獨自照顧一塊地,在那兒種植包心菜。她的英文程度不錯。她跟我說,她替天主教的非政府組織工作過五年,1997年甚至到巴黎參加了世界青年日。她負責指導自己村落的舞團,也帶著滿腔熱忱與幽默感來參與演出。

 

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融合為一:歡慶與哀悼

回到霍尼亞拉的聖約瑟高中,我把十年級的「宗教教育」課本整個讀過,內容的焦點放在「提升人類尊嚴」上。那本教科書由巴布亞新幾內亞與索羅門群島的基督教育委員會所出版。這些用來提升學童們的意識的故事很嚴肅:有個女性遭到寄養家庭的囚禁;有個患了小兒痲痺的孩子受到同校學生的嘲笑;有位太太常常受到丈夫與親戚鞭笞,當地治安官又不肯替她主持正義,先生過世之後孩子們又從她身邊被奪走。頓時,這片位處太平洋的天堂樂園似乎變得遙不可及……於此同時,我也欣賞課本為了這群青少年而對這些現實提供客觀的報導與分析,以便喚醒他們的尊嚴、慈悲心與社會參與感。

 

藝術創作成為凝聚力

最後一次的邂逅,幫助我理解自己在索羅門群島上所感受與發現的事情。我們離開的前一天,我與來自澳洲國立大學的卡特琳娜(Katerina Martina Teaiwa)碰面。她透過經驗得知並主張原住民確實有「透過創意確保自己存續」的能力。她的血統有一部分是巴納巴人(Banaba)。巴納巴島這座島嶼因為磷礦開採而人口銳減,居民現在大多定居於斐濟。不過,巴納巴人的認同感與藝術創意正在蓬勃發展──根據卡特琳娜的說法,即使語言遭到剝奪,還是不會讓人完全喪失世界觀,因為舞蹈、工藝以及其他文化表達也能傳遞記憶、意義與目的感。創作正是關鍵所在,它可以重新塑造我們的認同,使得我們能夠藉由回憶自己所失去的、藉由歡慶我們持續分享與滋養的人生,逐步建立起自己的社群。

卡特琳娜繼續說,甚至可以透過創意來歡慶我們所失去的東西,而我們哀悼與回憶的方式就會成為文化創發與群體團結的工具。聆聽她述說的時候,我一面覺得,造訪索羅門群島期間,無論是在多元文化得以彼此邂逅的這場節慶上,或是在利立西安納村與布蘇村落這類當地社群(村民掙扎著在變遷的環境中找出自己的生活方式)裡,我個人體驗的核心之處,正是介於失去與歡慶之間的這種創意張力。也許歡慶我們的失去,加上歡慶我們更新過的生命,正好定義了感恩祭──基督來到我們之間,聚合與調停原本分割與撕裂的東西。每次哀悼的經驗皆是漫長又痛苦的過程,不過大洋的岸邊可以是神祕的祭壇,哀悼與歡慶在此可以融合為一,恍如一波接一波的浪潮。

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十一月─從台灣到索羅門群島

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Friday, 26 October 2012 00:00

This little boat that belongs to you and us

This issue of Renlai includes the second focus of a series of three dedicated to Taiwan and the Pacific. The October issue gave a voice to young Taiwanese scholars working on different islands, while the December issue will gather the best contributions from the Pacific conference that the Taipei Ricci Institute and Renlai organized this month in association with the Taiwan Association of Pacific Studies.
Friday, 28 September 2012 00:00

Giving Thanks for the Testimony of Cardinal Shan

Cardinal Paul Shan passed away in New Taipei City on August 22, 2012.

The emotion created in Taiwan by the death of Cardinal Paul Shan has been deep and far-reaching. Obviously, the voice of Cardinal Shan was heard and loved well beyond the frontiers of the Catholic community. The Cardinal is and will be missed by men and women of many faiths and ways of life. I see at least three reasons behind the respect and admiration that had been surrounding him all these years:

First of all, during the last part of his life Cardinal Shan had led his struggle against cancer in peace and openness, sharing about it in a way that was speaking to everyone: we are all being confronted to illness, suffering and our own mortality. Finding the words for describing such experience with both sincerity and modesty is not easy task. Cardinal Shan was not a man of exaggerated feelings, he never staged his struggle, but he did not hide its hardships either. The inner peace radiating from his words and behavior was genuine – and all who came in contact with him experienced such genuineness.

Second, Cardinal Shan was transformed by the experience of illness, and - even before this time - by the very fact of meeting and working with a large number of people very different in background and beliefs. The way he continuously shared about life and death with people of other religions was certainly the fruit of his openness: he was meeting people on what is essential, what is common to our human condition. Through his sharing he let two different experiences become one and the same: the experience of illness, and the experience of meeting people of other faiths – the two were part of the same transforming process. God was revealing himself to him both in his suffering body and in the people he was encountering when sharing about the coming of death. Being transformed is always a humbling experience, and I think it is his humility, fostered both by illness and by interreligious dialogue, that ultimately touched most the heart of the people of Taiwan.

Finally, there is a feature of Cardinal Shan’s life and behavior that has been an important t reason for his popularity: he was very clear and simple in everything he was communicating. Some people may even at times disagree with what he was thinking or planning, but the simplicity of the principles that were guiding him and the clarity he was giving to their expression were striking to everyone. Clarity is the characteristic of a very gifted communicator – and Cardinal Shan was very gifted at communication, not because he was using special techniques, just because he was very direct, because he was always aiming at what was essential to him.

The emotion created by his disappearance shows to us how much Taiwan expects his spiritual leaders to be men of simplicity, clarity and openness to others. Taiwan expects from religious leaders a testimony of life, not long discourses and divisive behaviors. Actually, the great Christian or Buddhist figures who have inspired Taiwan from the eighties onwards are now aging or have already disappeared. A new generation of religious leaders may slowly emerge, but it will have to rely on courage in action, simplicity in language, and veracity in behavior. The example of Cardinal Shan will continue to inspire all these who are in charge to lead and to advise others along their spiritual path.

 

Photo courtesy of  Weshare Education and Charity Fund

 

Wednesday, 29 August 2012 18:14

呼吸著詩意

詩意是靈魂的養分,把心空出來,才能接受它的灌溉。

 

在我們的生活中,哪裡找得到詩意?詩意如氧氣,四處皆可尋得──不在任何特定的地方。跟氧氣另一個相似處在於,少有人能找到成分單一的純粹詩意,而氧氣也會混雜其他氣體來到我們身旁,讓我們得以呼吸與茁壯。不過,當氧氣變得太過稀薄,我們可能就需要來一瓶純氧,吸入它最純粹的狀態。詩歌(有時只是一段,有時只是區區幾行),是我們覺得快要窒息時,幫助我們支撐下去的補給瓶。但詩意以眾多的樣貌現身,喜歡讓鄙俗與平凡的元素混雜其中。

 

在了無詩意的狀況下生活,人會凋萎乾枯。生活再也沒有品味、共鳴或細膩差異;思緒與計畫在心靈的櫃架上層層堆積,好似一串串空殼。不過,詩意是唾手可得的東西。有的環境能讓我們自然沐浴在詩意裡:生活在森林、湖泊與山脈附近,周遭的人們以閒散的步調行進,樂聲在我們的屋前柵門那兒迴盪。但若要讓自己一生都呼吸著詩意,重點在於要能「內在觀照」。我可以自行暫停工作的腳步,轉而聆賞喜愛的樂曲,或某日聽到詩作之後進一步挖掘作者的資訊。我可以選擇到公園去,欣賞讚嘆樹木與棲息於上的鳥兒,而不是一直窩在電腦前方。我可以重新發掘鄰人的微笑,心懷感激地回報以一抹笑容(我很常忘記用笑意來映亮自己的臉龐)。

 

說比做容易。我目前住在20樓的公寓,辦公室也在高樓的第26層。不管望向哪扇窗戶,放眼只見道路與形形色色的高樓……。起初我吃了不少苦頭:那幅景觀帶來的生活節奏讓我自覺枯槁──詩意從我身上飛離,拋下我的想像力、意志與記憶,讓它們兀自枯乾空洞。我必須再次學習在寂靜、禱告、閱讀(不論新書或舊書)與重新發掘音樂裡,將詩意找回來。我凝望眼前綿延無盡的高樓,尤其在夜幕將垂之際,任由心思遨遊,這樣也能找到詩意。我給自己時間創造富含詩意的東西──素描、繪畫、短文與「公務」之外的電子郵件;我把它們當作小藝術品來慢慢雕鑿,並且從中獲得樂趣。我也決定要多走些路,不管外在環境如何,步行有些特質與詩意類似。說到底,古代許多詩詞都是為了搭配田野裡的工作、道途上的漫遊與祭典期間的舞蹈而寫成的。

 

在新環境裡,詩意會以新形式湧現。為了讓氧氣般的詩意注入與填滿我們的生活,我們必須擁有超越時間的本領與特質:保持童心;自在;願意暫停腳步與豎耳傾聽;擁有以吟誦、言語與作品來回應的欲望──回應我們在人生道途上行進與吞吐詩意時所獲得的贈禮。

 

撰文∣魏明德 翻譯∣謝靜雯

繪圖∣笨篤

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九月─以詩釀歌

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Tuesday, 14 August 2012 00:00

Breathing Poetry

Where is Poetry to be found in our life? Like oxygen, Poetry is to be found everywhere – and nowhere in particular. Like oxygen also, Poetry is rarely found pure and unmixed – it reaches us in composition with other gases, and this is what makes us able to breathe and flourish. Still, when oxygen becomes too rarefied we need a bottle of it, and inhale it at its purest. Poems – sometimes only one verse, a couple of lines - are like supply bottles that make us able to go on when we feel asphyxiated. But Poetry comes under many garbs, and likes to mix with the profane and the ordinary.

Living without Poetry makes one wither and dry out. Life has no taste, resonance or nuance anymore, thoughts and projects pile up in the shelves of the mind like strings of empty shells. But Poetry is always at hand. For sure, there are environments that naturally bathe our life in Poetry – when we live near forests, lakes or mountains, when people around us walk at a leisurely pace, when music resonates at our gate. However, breathing Poetry throughout our life is first and foremost a question of inner attention: I am the one who decides to stop my work for a while and to listen to some beloved piece of music or take time to discover an author, some of whose verses I had heard one day. I may choose to go to the park and marvel at the trees and their birds rather than staying at my computer. I can rediscover the smile of the people living near me, and offer them in gratitude the smile I so often forget to illuminate my face with.

It's not so easy, for sure. I am presently living in an apartment located on the 20th floor, and my office is in a tower, on the 26th floor. No matter what window I look out of, I just see roads and groups of towers… At the start, I did suffer a lot from it: the landscape and rhythm of life made me feel dry. Poetry flew away from me, leaving my imagination, my will, my memory, dried out and empty. Step by step, I had to learn again, to find Poetry in silence, prayer, the reading of a book – a new one or an old companion -, the rediscovery of music. I also found Poetry in dreaming over these endless ranges of towers, especially when night is falling. And I gave myself time to create objects of Poetry – drawings and paintings, short texts, emails that were not for “business” but which I took pleasure to carve as if they were little artworks. Also, I decided to walk more. Whatever the environment, there is something in walking that is akin to Poetry. Many poems after all were composed, in ancient times, to accompany the work in the fields, the wandering on the roads, the dance during the ritual…

In new environments, Poetry surges in new forms. For its oxygen to fill and replenish our life Poetry requires from us skills and virtues that are timeless: a sense of playfulness and gratuitousness, a willingness to pause and to listen, and a desire to respond in chants, words and works to the gift we receive when we walk on the road and we breathe Poetry.

 

Tuesday, 03 July 2012 20:15

攝影的重量

攝影越來越普及,甚至已到了人人隨手可拍的程度。輕易按下的快門,真能顯影生命的特殊質量嗎?

拍攝照片的方式多采多姿,正如觀看世界的角度。有些照片展現對主題的同理心;其他照片創造距離感,甚至引發嫌惡感。有些照片籠罩於光線與柔情裡,有些照片則瀰漫著怒氣或絕望。有些照片將焦點放在日常生活上,流露出某種耐性、冥想般的基調。其他照片試圖捕捉稍縱即逝的時刻、捕捉改變群眾情緒或臉部表情的變革事件。有些照片對世界與人類生活的意義帶來衝擊,其他照片則呈現無意義的漂泊。有些照片似乎是閒蕩漫遊的產物;有些照片針對都市與個人的靈魂,進行熾烈的探求……

 

我正在教授「宗教人類學」這門課。我發現讓學生先接觸「視覺人類學」,是帶領他們進入這個主題的最佳方式之一。我讓他們觀看紀錄片與照片,讓他們慢慢意識到,最好的與最能增廣見聞的紀錄,並不是嘗試以客觀角度記錄資料的那些,而是見證導演或攝影師與相遇對象的互動關係。某種冒險與困惑的感受、敘述一個人的觀點如何產生變化、鼓起勇氣把自己放進正在探索的環境──這些都是我們正在尋找的特質。在最好的狀況之下,視覺人類學能給我們一種無以倫比的記述,記錄人們如何生活、如何表達信仰、如何投入儀式、如何理解與形塑自己居住其中的世界。

 

相片含有豐富的資訊,可是不只有資訊而已。它們是可以呈現關係的物品:表達我們如何與挑起個人興趣的物品建立關係或不建立關係;我們彼此的交流如何創造機會,得以拍攝豐富搶眼的相片;如何融入自己所記錄的場景之中(鄉間景致或是街頭場景);疆界模糊到我們分不清是自己在攝影,還是被自己的所見所聞攝走心魂。

 

攝影這樣的行為走到了極端瑣碎化的地步。人們時時用手機與其他裝置來拍照(大多是自拍)。我們花幾分鐘觀看這些照片,之後就把它們拋進數位回收桶,永遠將之遺忘。就我來說,我喜歡感受真正的相機重量靠在肩上的感覺,這個重量象徵著拍攝相片所必須付出的代價——就是那種我會投入心力來領略、感受與創作的照片。說到底,總是有那些拍完就該扔進回收桶的照片,還有那種由淚水與歡笑構成、真正可以稱為「人生精華時刻」的持久照片。

 

撰文∣魏明德 翻譯∣謝靜雯 攝影∣笨篤

 

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七月─按下人間快門

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