2016年2月22日 星期一

《中西思維隨筆》:009.「齊太后的玉連環」與「亞歷山大的繩扣」


  前篇的關鍵字是「曼德拉草」,這篇便來談談草繩。只是這草繩是用茱萸(cornel,艾草)編織而成的。
  亞歷山大到達高地亞這地方前,老早就聽說著名的高地亞繩扣,聽說神諭指示誰若能解開它,誰將成為亞洲的霸主。亞歷山大自然不想錯過這個機會,於是一到高地亞,就馬上跑去看了這繩扣。結果跟其他人一樣看不出繩扣的頭尾,為了怕人質疑他不是亞洲霸主的既定人選,於是他就用寶劍把繩扣砍斷了(cut),然後大喊:「我把它解開了!(loosed)」

 



  中國方面。秦始皇為了刁難齊國,於是請使者贈送君王后(齊太后)一件玉連環,然後說:「聽說齊國有很多智者,不知道能不能解開此環?」齊太后便把這玉連環拿給群臣看,群臣都不知道怎麼解開它。於是齊太后就拿了把椎子把它砸斷,然後告訴秦國使者:「已恭敬的把它解開了。」
  當然還有一個人不得不提,那人便是高洋。高洋是高歡的兒子,後來成為北齊文宣帝。高歡想要測試一下諸位兒子的能耐,於是請他們整理亂絲(治亂絲),高洋卻獨自抽刀砍斷它們(獨抽刀斬之),並宣稱「亂者須斬」。

  「解開」是非破壞性之方法,然而亞歷山大、齊太后皆以破壞性方法解之,可以說是一種「暴力破解法」而非「智慧破解法」。「Gordian Knot」(γόρδιοσ δεσμόσ)是否可解開不可知,「玉連環」本就是雕刻巧手所為,本來就不可解;對於不可解開的東西,還要想解開它,必然也只剩下了暴力破解一途。
  戰國時代還有一個相近的故事:魯國人送給了宋元王兩個「結」,宋元王號令其國人:「有巧思的人都來解這個結。」結果無人能解。兒說的弟子請求兒說讓他去試試看,於是前往宋國解結,然而只解開了其中的一個,另一個卻無論如何解不開,於是兒說的弟子向宋元王說道:「不是這個結可以解而我解不開,實在是它本來就是個不可解開的結啊!」於是宋元王便就此事詢問那個送結給他的魯國人,魯國人回答道:「是的!這個結確實是本來就不可解開的啊!我設計它而知道它不可解,如今不是設計它的人卻能知道它不可解,是比我還要巧妙啊!」所以說兒說的弟子是以「不解」解開了這個結啊(〈呂氏春秋.君守〉)!
  古羅馬哲學家塞涅卡(Seneca,前4-前65)對於解結這件事,也曾發表過高見,他說:「我主張你拋棄那種生活,或者乾脆死去;我是勸你採取最溫和的辦法:解開而不是弄斷你打壞了的那個結。萬一沒有別的辦法解開,那你就將它扯斷。人沒有那麼膽小的,竟然不肯一下做出決斷而寧願永遠搖擺。」(《蒙田隨筆》)
  塞涅卡是尼祿皇帝的老師,其實尼祿也是個心狠手辣的用毒高手,一代暴君。這個日後都會再提到。

附註:
  齊太后就是齊襄王的老婆。那茱萸,古代又稱「艾」,屈原曾經把她比擬成小人,以來與象徵君子的「幽蘭」作對比。屈原《離騷》:「戶服艾以盈要兮,謂幽蘭其不可佩。……何昔日之芳草兮,今直為此蕭艾也。」屈原的死跟下集才躍升要角的張儀有關,不過看完下集,或許大家對張儀的惡感就不會那麼深了!
  此外,講到「連環」就不能忘記善於詭辯的魏國宰相惠施,〈莊子.天下〉記載:「惠施多方,其書五車,其道舛駁,其言也不中。厤物之意,曰:至大無外,謂之大一;至小無內,謂之小一。無厚,不可積也,其大千里。天與地卑,山與澤平。日方中方睨,物方生方死。大同而與小同異,此之謂小同異;萬物畢同畢異,此之謂大同異。南方無窮而有窮,今日適越而昔來。連環可解也。」惠施不久後便會出場,是非常難寫的一個人,因為要寫他,顯然不得不把他善於比喻、詭辯的特性好好發揮出來。而事實上,僅以「連環可解」這個命題,今人便很難想像他當初是怎樣做出相關的詭辯的。


參考文獻:

《亞歷山大遠征記》卷二(W.W. Tarn, Alexander the Great, II, 262 Arr. 2.3.1-8)

2.3 (1) Alexander, then reached Gordium, and was seized with an ardent desire [pothos] to ascend to the acropolis, where was the palace of Gordius and his son Midas, and to look at Gordius' wagon and the knot of the chariot's yoke. (2) There was a widespread tradition about this chariot around the countryside; Gordius, they said, was a poor man of the Phrygians of old, who tilled a scanty parcel of earth and had but two yoke of oxen: with one he ploughed, with the other he drove his wagon. (3) Once, as he was ploughing, an eagle settled on the yoke and stayed, perched there, till it was time to loose the oxen: Gordius was astonished at the portent, and went off to consult the Telmissian prophets, who were skilled in interpretation of prodigies, inheriting--women and children too--the prophetic gift. (4) Approaching a Telmissian village, he met a girl drawing water and told her the story of the eagle; she, being also of the prophetic line, bade him return to the spot and sacrifice to Zeus the King. So then Gordius begged her to come along with him and assist in the sacrifice; and at the spot duly sacrificed as she directed, married the girl, and had a son called Midas.
(5) Midas was already a grown man, handsome and noble, when the Phrygians were in trouble with civil war; they received an oracle that a chariot would bring them a king and he would stop the war. True enough, while they were discussing this, there arrived Midas, with his parents, and drove, chariot and all, into the assembly. (6) The Phrygians, interpreting the oracle, decided that he was the man whom the gods had told them would come in a chariot; they thereupon made him king, and he put an end to the civil war. The chariot of his father he set up in the acropolis as a thank-offering to Zeus the King for sending the eagle. Over and above this there was a story about the wagon, that anyone who should untie the knot of the yoke should be lord of Asia. (7) This knot was of cornel bark, and you could see neither the beginning nor end of it. Alexander, unable to find how to untie the knot, and not brooking to leave it tied, lest this might cause some disturbance in the vulgar, smote it with his sword, cut the knot, and exclaimed, "I have loosed it!"--so at least say some, but Aristobulus puts it that he took out the pole pin, a dowel driven right through the pole, holding the knot together, and so removed the yoke from the pole. (8) I do not attempt to be precise how Alexander actually dealt with this knot. Anyway, he and his suite left the wagon with the impression that the oracle about the loosed knot had been duly fulfilled. It is certain that there were that night thunderings and lightnings, which indicated this; so Alexander in thanksgiving offered sacrifice next day to whatever gods had sent the signs and certified the undoing of the knot.

〈戰國策.齊策六.齊閔王之遇殺〉:
  秦始皇嘗使使者遺君王后玉連環,曰:「齊多知,而解此環不?」君王后以示群臣,群臣不知解。君王后引椎椎破之,謝秦使曰:「謹以解矣。」

〈北齊書.帝紀.文宣帝〉:
  顯祖文宣皇帝諱洋,字子進,高祖第二子,世宗之母弟。后初孕,每夜有赤光照室,后私嘗怪之。初,高祖之歸尒朱榮,時經危亂,家徒壁立,后與親姻相對,共憂寒餒。帝時尚未能言,欻然應曰「得活」,太后及左右大驚而不敢言。鱗身,重踝,不好戲弄,深沉有大度。晉陽曾有沙門,乍愚乍智,時人不測,呼為阿禿師。帝曾與諸童共見之,歷問祿位,至帝,舉手再三指天而已,口無所言。見者異之。高祖嘗試觀諸子意識,各使治亂絲,帝獨抽刀斬之,曰:「亂者須斬。」

〈呂氏春秋.君守〉:
  夫一能應萬、無方而出之務者,唯有道者能之。魯鄙人遺宋元王閉,元王號令於國,有巧者皆來解閉。人莫之能解。兒說之弟子請往解之,乃能解其一,不能解其一,且曰:「非可解而我不能解也,固不可解也。」問之魯鄙人。鄙人曰:「然,固不可解也,我為之而知其不可解也。今不為而知其不可解也,是巧於我。」故如兒說之弟子者,以「不解」解之也。鄭大師文終日鼓瑟而興,再拜其瑟前曰:「我效於子,效於不窮也。」故若大師文者,以其獸者先之,所以中之也。故思慮自心傷也,智差自亡也,奮能自殃,其有處自狂也。故至神逍遙倏忽而不見其容,至聖變習移俗而莫知其所從,離世別群而無不同,君民孤寡而不可障壅,此則姦邪之情得,而險陂讒慝諂諛巧佞之人無由入。凡姦邪險陂之人,必有因也。何因哉﹖因主之為。人主好以己為,則守職者舍職而阿主之為矣。阿主之為,有過則主無以責之,則人主日侵而人臣日得。是宜動者靜,宜靜者動也;尊之為卑,卑之為尊,從此生矣。此國之所以衰,而敵之所以攻之者也。

朔雪寒《策略的哲學》。

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