在天堂遇見的五個人找到共業

《在天堂遇見的五個人》固然寫了五個與主角相關的「重要」人物,其實也寫了五個Lesson,是教訓也好,功課也罷,全書無疑充滿了說教味。此中的「教」,除了有「教訓」之意,也有宗教意味。

既有「天堂」,最易令人想到廣義基督教的教義。大概都有吧,但我想說的反而是佛教概念;沒錯,就是「業」。小說的故事和人物與「業」或更明確點說「共業」有何關係,都不難找到例子。

什麼是「業」,可以參考維基百科。試摘引一些說明﹕

(梵文:कर्मन्,英文:karma)……。業力是指有情個人過去、現在的行為所引發的結果的集合,業力的結果會主導現在及將來的經歷,所以,個人的生命經歷及與他人的遭遇均是受自己的行為影響。因此,個人有為自己生命負責的必要以及責任。而業力也是主導有情眾生輪迴六趣的因,所以業力不單是影響現世的結果,還會生生不息地延伸至來世。

由這個簡介,再聯想《在天堂遇見的五個人》的故事梗概,「在天堂上,主角遇上了五個曾經出現在他生命裡的人,當中有部分人跟主角認識,有部分人素未謀面;他們當中有可能曾經改變了主角的人生,亦有可能曾被他改變了命運。」就算小說作者不知道有佛教「業」這回事,卻「無巧不成書」,卻寫出了一個可以解釋甚而「印證」這個宗教觀念的故事。正是有心栽花也好,無心插柳也罷,在我看來,已是花已發柳亦成蔭。

我的想法有沒有穿鑿附會的成份,其實不重要,反正小說都不離想像,附會愈好,何嘗不是好事。

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5 thoughts on “在天堂遇見的五個人找到共業

  1. 小說若在講故事之外,還可供多視角解讀,或曰想像、附會、闡釋,甚至曲解,其實更是好事。

  2. 維基百科 uses 個人與他人, but it can be a dog. Maybe I should write 個狗 and 他狗. If 維基 uses 人 differently, it should state it. Later it uses the Buddhist terms 有情眾生 and 六趣. 人 is only one of the 六趣. 人 is only one of the many species of 有情眾生.
    Maybe 個人 is a bad translation from the English word individual.

    • //以人為主要對象說法// Of course, who else are listening?

      But my point is that karma is based on the Buddhist concept (or one can say it’s borrowed from Hinduism) of rebirth and reincarnation into one of the six realms of sentient beings. When one talks about karma (as in Buddhism), rebirth and reincarnation are mentioned. The many books I read, in Chinese or English, by writers of Mahayana or Vajrayana sects, would use sentient beings or use the six realms (or use several of the realms as examples), not persons only, when they talk about karma and rebirth and reincarnation.
      Let’s say, I read a book to a kid. He is the one who I tell the story to. In the story, there is a boy, a dog, and a ghost. But they are all the same sentient being or soul in different forms, in different times. (Obviously, this is a simplified version.) One day, the boy transforms into the dog. The next day, the dog becomes the ghost. The next day, the ghost changes into the boy. The next day, the boy is reborn as the ghost. The next day, the ghost reincarnates into the dog. The next day, the dog changes back into the ghost. What he changes into on a certain day depends on what he did the day or the days before and what he was the day before. I could say it is the person (boy) does all these transformations. He is the main character after all. But the morale of the story is like this: you’d better be a good person (again, simplified), or else you may become a ghost or a dog; don’t take it for granted that you will be a human being always. With this in mind, I say that the sentient being or the soul does all this. That’s how the story has been told and handed down from generations to generations.

      Disclaimer: I just read the story being told this way many times. I am not a believer of such story.

      Another point:
      (Somehow I didn’t pay attention to 有情個人 before.)
      Now it seems to me that 有情個人 in 維基 (my guess: translated from “a sentient being") is the singular of 有情眾生 (sentient beings, English translation for that Buddhist term). But 眾生 isn’t necessarily be 人. So, 個人 can be problematic or confusing. 個人 is probably not the translation of the word individual after all but the word being. If 個人 really means 人, 有情 is redundant in 有情個人. 有情個人 sounds awkward anyway, no matter what 個人 means.
      In Buddhism, not all 眾生 are 有情.

      BTW, in Buddhism it says that is hard to get reincarnation into the realm of human beings, compared to that of (rebirth, for some realms) the other realms. So, “we" are in the other realms most of the time, disproportionately large number of and disproportionately long periods of time.

  3. Zpdrmn Chang﹕

    再講佛學,我已見底了。

    就我所知,佛教的很多名詞,在中文中,意思往往與日常用法有點甚或有很大不同。所以用文字演繹時,可能出現一些歧義。例如談共業,因為涉及輪迴,自然不止人這一「道」或「趣」。所以,解說時用了「個人」「他人」,可能與人不夠全面之感;但這疑是「方便」的說法。這個我已不能多說了。

    另外,據我所知,所謂「有情」「有情眾生」「眾生」,其實都是同一意思,即梵文Sattva 的意譯,也即對人和一切有情識生物的通稱。至於草木、大地、山河等無情識的東西,一般中文用詞會是「非情」或「無情」。此中的「情」,跟我們慣說的「情」就有不同的意思。

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