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安居乐业 Living in Peace
2005-8-3 14:36:37     
春秋时,有一位著名的哲学家和思想家,他姓李,名耳,字老聃(“老子”是人们对他的尊称)。He was a famous philosopher named Li Er. He was so erudite and well-known that people admiringly called him Lao Zi.

课文 Text:

春秋时,有一位著名的哲学家和思想家,他姓李,名耳,字老聃(“老子”是人们对他的尊称)。

老子对当时的社会不满,并反对当时政治革新,他怀念着远古的社会,认为社会的发展给人们带来了痛苦。他的理想社会是“小国寡民”的社会。 他的“小国寡民”社会大概的样子是:

国家很小,人民稀少。即使有许多的器具,人们也不去用它。不让人民用去冒险,也不向远处迁移,即使有车辆和船只,也无人去乘坐;即使有兵器装备,也无处去使用。要使人民重新使用古代结绳记事的方法,吃得很香甜,穿得很舒服,住得很安适,满足于原有的风俗习惯。邻近各国互相望得见,鸡鸣狗叫互相听得见,但是人们直到老死,也不互相往来。

生词 New words: ( 4个)

尊称 zūn chēng: address sb. respectfully, honorific title

革新 gé xīn: reform

冒险 mào xiǎn: risk

结绳记事 jié shén jì shì: to keep a record of events by knots

翻译 Translation:
  
Living in Peace

He was a famous philosopher named Li Er. He was so erudite and well-known that people admiringly called him Lao Zi. Many non-Chinese people have heard of Lao Zi. He is, of course, said to be the founder of Daoism.

Lao Zi was very dissatisfied: he opposed the social changes that he saw happening around him, and missed the old days. He believed that material prosperity and the development of a complicated culture contaminated people’s minds, and would only bring them pain.

Lao Zi dreamed of small countries, with few people, leading simple, contented lives, like those of their ancestors. Such people would not feel the need for lots of possessions. They might have vehicles, but would rarely use them, for they would lead quite solitary lives, and rarely go and visit people in other places. The people would not want to go out in search of adventure, or move to another country. Even if they had weapons, there was no need or desire to use them.

There should be no barriers between countries. People could even hear the cries of hens and dogs of neighboring states.
From Lao Zi’s utopian ideas, people drew the idiom An Ju Le Ye - to live in peace and be contented with one’s life and work. Now it is used to describe people enjoying a happy, prosperous life. So if someone asks you how you are, I hope you can reply with a smile, An Ju Le Ye, whose tone pattern is first, first, fourth, fourth.

练习 Exercises:

(1) Do you like the life of “安居乐业”?

(2) How much do you know 老子?Do you agree to his opinion? 

If you have any question about this idiom, please send usa mail at zhaopingping@crifm.com, or you can deliver the question online.

We'll be happy if you've made progress in your Chinese!


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