Journal

國內與國外的老師

很大膽的寫了這篇小文章。像西方諺語,屋子裡的大象,大家視而不見,說起來卻令人吃驚。玻璃心讀者慎入。

國內外遊學三十載,讓我體會到國內外老師的區別。誠然每一位老師都有他的特點,不能以偏概全。不過,兩者之間就教學的方法和態度上,還是有一些明顯的差異。

國外有兩種老師,一種是很專業的,就是要把學生教曉。這種老師無有定法,但目標很清晰,讓學生學習,把他們的錯誤糾正,讓他們各方面能力提高,如閱讀、寫作、組織、甚至學風和學養等。日本的教授就是這樣的,當了教授的學生,不可以丟老師的面子,薪火相傳,要好好學習。日本的F教授便是這種老師,對我來說像嚴父一樣。

還有另外一種老師,亦師亦友,跟你一起探討問題,從來不會狠狠地批評或批改學生,什麼都是輕輕帶過,讓學生摸出自己的思路。這種老師不會把自己的學問甚至是意見強加於學生,但是會給學生提供足夠的資源和養分,讓他們自己作出適合的抉擇。歐美的教授一般都是這類型的。像德國的H教授便是,感覺像慈母。

過去二十年佛學和印度學的學習,大多從這兩種老師身上學到不少東西。

至於中國人(包括香港)的老師又是怎樣的呢?

有少部分的老師也包含了以上兩種類型老師的特點。總的來說不是沒有,但真的不多。我的博導W教授就是傾向第二類的老師,很善良,可以交談,一同思考。不過教授沒有時間,既沒有時間教學,也沒有時間指導學生。這是很可惜的。

至於其他中國人的老師,一般有幾個類型,十分特別。

高高在上型。這種老師一般只有他說,學生只管聽著去學,至於學了多少他也不太理。他的著作說起來應該是這個領域裡的權威,但事實上很少人會引用或關注,學生只覺得老師深不可測,就像武林高手一樣,擁有深藏不露的絕技。像神一樣,這種老師不會跟學生溝通。因為學生沒有能力,也沒有資格跟神溝通。所以只可以把老師放在心裡,不斷的去景仰他,讓他成為心靈的指引。

偶像崇拜型。與前者不同,他直接告訴學生他就是權威,不用學別的。當了他的學生就是無比的榮幸,簡直是碰上千載難逢的機會。這種老師和學生建立很密切的關係,因為他會製造很多機會讓學生表達他們對他的忠誠。老師偶爾會給一些高徒「過招」,讓他們以為學得曠世絕技。學生自己也有一種說不出來的優越感。說不出來可以說是不想說,因為學到東西都是寶,是秘密,要藏起來。不過有時候確實說不出來,因為歸根究底最後真的不知道學了什麼。偶像型老師不鼓勵學生互相切磋或跟外界交流,交流的話也只可以以老師為中心。那麼不怕獨學無友,孤陋寡聞嗎?不怕,大家只管閉關苦修,總有一天會練成仙的。

老闆型。這種老師感覺就是在招兵買馬,勞役學生。學生的學習淪為次要。小的老闆偶爾會給學生一些小恩小惠,讓學生感激不盡。厲害的老闆資源豐富,人脈甚廣。關係搞得好的話,可以給學生處理學費、研究資金、甚至就業的問題。關係搞的不好,他可以把學生弄得雞毛鴨血,痛不欲生。老闆型的老師大家都不敢得罪,所以他的學術能力大家從來不會拿來談論,也不敢質疑。當了他的學生就是進入了他的權力網裡,相互利益緊扣。心裡感到壓抑嗎?不要怕,若干年後,學生也會變老闆,犧牲一定有回報。

看透紅塵型。這種老師有不同的形態,有的木訥,有的善良,不過教學的模式都十分類似,就是應付校務,應付學生。所謂應付就是「交貨」,課程定下來什麼就講什麼,哪怕他的筆記是二十年前的,那也沒關係,反正他也不會再去思考學生學習的問題,就連學術的問題他也不再思考了。畢竟教書也是一份工作,學生也是功利主義的動物,所以雙方達標就好。人還有很多別的事情要應付嘛,不用那麼認真投入。學術的世界對於他們來說也不外如是,塵世中什麼也看透了。

Confucius vs Christ – A short discussion

Analects 5.11 “What I do not wish men to do to me, I also wish not to do to men…” 我不欲人之加諸我也,吾亦欲無加諸人。(己所不欲,勿施於人)

Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you: do ye even so to them…”

Commenting on these two important dicta, James Legge suggested that the statement from the Analects is a “simple, unconstrained negation,” whereas the golden rule of the Gospel is higher.

I disagree completely. The latter may in fact lead to imposing on others what is unwanted and possibly other forms of harm. In contrast, the former at least avoids causing harm to others as one experiences and understands.

YH: I don’t know Chinese, but the two sayings do seem subtly different. If I understand the translation, the gist of the Confucian maxim is ‘what I don’t want others to do to me [evil] I don’t wish on others [or perhaps ‘I should not wish on others’]. The Christian version seems to be enjoining positive treatment of others.

BM: Not subtly, but practically different!

ML: Greek prepositions are tricky, though. A more recent translation says ‘do *for* others, which has a different resonance in English compared to ‘do *to* others’. I wonder which came first? Confucius before Matthew, but Matthew was referring to Hebrew scriptures, and I’m hazy about when they were written down.

BM: Are you thinking of this? Πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν θέλητε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι,
οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς· If I understand correctly it was based on Deuteronomy 6:5. But Jesus had a new and radical interpretation according to Reginald Fuller.

ML: I hadn’t got as far as actually looking at the Greek! This makes it all way more complicated! ‘poiein’ means ‘do’ or ‘act’ but it also means ‘bear’ as in ‘bear fruit’. So it could mean ‘bear witness’ or ‘see’ or ‘behave towards’ others. No wonder there is work for so many theologians in the world. It’s a bit beyond my Greek skills! Though I could see that there were lots of dative cases which can mean ‘to’ or ‘for’ or ‘with’ or all kinds of different things.

NK: The history of western christian civilization was all about imposing others.

BM: Alas Christians have done a lot of good but also a lot of harm.

VR: I don’t think you can blame the Rabbi Jesus for all that’s been done in his name!

BM: I believe in all monotheistic religions, it’s my way or no way – from Jehovah, Moses, Jesus, to Mohamed. Confucianism advocates pluralism and inclusivity.

VR: Those forms of Christianity are not common in the UK as they are in the USA. I think the evangelical sects at work in Asia and South America have enormous amounts of funding from the USA. None of my Christian friends here would associate themselves with them.

BM: This is precisely my point, ordinary “Christians” in the West would not want to associate with fundamentalism. But radicalism is not limited to the evangelical sects which are in the minority here in Asia. The three founders of the “Occupy Central” movement here in Hong Kong belong to the “ordinary” churches including a pastor from the Baptist church. The local terrorist movement advocating martydom and self-destruction was a university professor and a Christian, and even the poster boy teenager Joshua Wong who famously declared “war” and “independence” are from the big churches including the Anglican. This is something that is left unreported in Western media but discussed with great concern here. Of course the perpetrators themselves have a different perspective and narrative:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/podcasts/quick-to-listen/christian-backstory-of-hong-kongs-anti-government-protests.html?fbclid=IwAR0Bhw75BlzqQmFsUrnQXEpuW5vNd6JxLcLEzxGsZQglpZH8sMa0Yuk9YVc

[ANNOUNCEMENT] China, India, and Iran – Scientific Exchange and Cultural Contact through the First Millennium CE / 2021 NRI-AIIT-FAMES Workshop

Draft programme of the NRI-AIIT-FAMES workshop that is scheduled to take place next year, October 8-9, 2021. Beside the keynote speech by Prof. Samuel Lieu, we have a dozen of papers by both senior and young scholars who present a wide range of exciting topics, from languages, astronomy, mathematics, metallurgy, materia medica, to material culture, all related to the scientific exchange and cultural contact between China, India, and Iran through the first millennium CE.

NRI_AIIT_FAMES 2021 program (Oct 2020)

https://www.academia.edu/44206400/NRI_AIIT_FAMES_2021_program_Oct_2020_?fbclid=IwAR0GvB28nmRaDPKDWEPSPbLrsrbPS28tUiMrzLlOMkj66TCr8bNw545i_E4