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July 23
2013年7月23日

七月四日探京都

七彩能源一鑑開
二版後記之二

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粉壁朱門事甚繁,高牆大戶內如山;
莫言山林無休士,人若無心處處閒。 -- 唐.龍牙禪師

粉壁朱門的大戶裏,住著豪門鉅賈。他們雖然生活富裕,可是未必過得安適,睡得安然,因為高牆大宅內,庭院如山,諱莫如深,處處充滿著是非、豪奪、強取、空虛的陷阱。且不要說深山僻林裡有沒有隱者與休士。只要我們了無私心,就事論事,就可以進入慧開禪師「若無閒事掛心頭,便是人間好時節」凡事通達了悟的境界。

當代的大學,一定要採取當代的標準,專注學術,少講門面,避論街頭酒肉;當代的教師,一定要採用當代的標準,就事論事,關注學生,做好教研合一,不要躲在粉壁朱門裏,只顧著斤斤計較於無謂的是非、爭執著空虛的高論,或是豪奪、強取。

正因如此,我到香港的第一天,就標示出香港城市大學努力的目標:

大隱隱於巿,學研研出塵。

二〇一三年七月四日,我告別了密集參訪後的日本,在傾盆大雨中,走出曾經獲得八次諾貝爾獎、三次費爾茲獎、三次京都大獎的京都大學。

京都大學,那嬌小、不醒目但整潔規矩的大門,以及平凡、不奢華但運作(functionality)良好的建築,還有那樸實、不囉嗦但學富五車的教授,都像與世無爭的休士似的,完美詮釋了我所心嚮推廣的理念:

大門雖小處,休士必可觀。

從事教研,在大學享受學術自由,一定要實事求是,虛懷若谷。京都大學是個典範;城大的同仁、香港的高教界朋友,在漫漫的教研長路上,還有很多的努力空間。

 

Postscript 2 of the second edition of A spectrum of energies - Reflections on Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident

My trip to Tokyo on 4 July

 

The complicated rights and wrongs are hidden
In mansions with painted walls and red gates;
High hermits are not only found in the high mountains and deep forests,
For people with a contented heart feel happy with their fate.

By Longya, Zen master of the Tang Dynasty

Inside mansions with painted walls and red gates live the highest nobles and richest merchants. But, even though they are wealthy, they are not necessarily leading a happy or comfortable life. They may be involved in unscrupulous activities and knavery, so those mansions are in a sense a trap and a vanity fair.

Whether or not hermits and monks reside in remote mountains and thick forest, we need to purge ourselves of concerns that stem from our desire for mundane success. If we manage to reach that ideal sphere, we will be free and we can do anything we like. As Zen Master Huikai says, "it is the most enjoyable and sweetest time when we are free from cares and worries."

Modern universities should abide by modern standards. They should value real scholarship instead of meaningless venture and reputations. Modern teachers should also abide by modern standards. They should pay heed to the needs and values of the students. They should integrate teaching and research, instead of debating the rights or wrongs about trivial things. They should not be engaged in worthless rhetoric or be jostling for personal gain behind painted walls and red gates.

For that very reason, I set a goal for our University on my first day of work as President. "Just as a real hermit remains at peace amid the din of a city, so a great scholar remains well-accomplished through research based on practical teaching, without being distracted by what seems to dazzle."

On 4 July 2013, after a packed visit to Japan, I found myself walking in a downpour outside Kyoto University. Professors and alumni at this distinguished university have won eight Noble Prizes, three Fields Prizes and three Kyoto Prizes. Yet the gateway to the university is very small and quite plain; its buildings simple and efficient; and its professors erudite and quiet, like peaceful hermits. These characteristics exemplify ideas which I hold so dear: "There must be many accomplished hermits in spite of its unprepossessing gates."

People who are engaged in teaching and research and enjoy academic freedom should seek the truth from facts, and have an expansive mind to embrace new and advanced ideas. In this sense, Kyoto University is an excellent example for us all. My CityU colleagues and friends in the higher education sector in Hong Kong have a long way to go to further improve ourselves in our endeavours to achieve professional excellence.

July 23, 2013

 

 

 

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