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本南人说:Avatar并非虚构,原住民世界滋润现代空虚心灵

Posted by mayashanti5282046 于 一月 28, 2010

刊登于1月28日《独立新闻在线》

原住民世界滋润现代空虚心灵

作者/周泽南专栏 Jan 28, 2010 01:35:14 pm

【无主孤魂/周泽南】夺得金像奖并且风靡全球的电影Avatar成功向世人开启了一个“发展”并非万能的世界。导演James Cameron说,他主要想向观众呈现的,是一个人和人互相关联,人和森林和土地不能断绝关系的理想世界,重要的是,这样的世界确实还存在着。对清醒的人类而言,确保这样的世界继续存在,远远比确保Avatar卖座来得重要。当然,最后一句不是导演说的话,不过笔者相信,导演也乐于见到自己的电影,能够激起珍惜原住民文化以及他们的家园的具体行动。

Avatar固然“好看”,也赢得了各地原住民的共鸣和喝彩,然而,原住民的世界,或者世界观、宗教观、自然观,以及他们对当代艺术的贡献,远远不止于Avatar所能述说的。如果Avatar能够激发在马来西亚的我们,关注在砂拉越内陆地区的本南人以及东西马各原住民族群的命运和生存困境,进而借着对原住民信仰与文化的认识,反省现代性(modernity)以及理性化对我们的城市人或现代人的扭曲和异化,这才是让电影突破纯粹娱乐的限制,增值为反省和思考的契机。

本南人看了Avatar之后

1月25日,一名观赏过Avatar之后的本南人告诉一个叫Survival International的国际媒体说:“本南人没有热带雨林就无法生存。森林守护着我们,我们也守护着她。我们理解那里的一切植物和动物,因为自我们的祖先以来,我们就生活在热带雨林里面,经过了很久很久的年代。”

本南人还表示,Avatar电影情节里对原住民的描述并不是虚构的。

“Avatar里面的Na’vi人哭泣是因为他们的森林被毁灭了,我们本南人也一样。伐木公司正在砍伐我们的大树和污染我们的河流,我们狩猎的动物正步向死亡。”

以上是笔者所看过的,对Avatar这部电影最好的回应和影评,那是对一名用心的导演最无价的肯定。南非Kalahari丛林的原住民Jumanda Gakelebone也说:“我们是最早在南非居住的丛林人(Bushmen)。我们的土地拥有权被否定了,我们吁请全世界来帮助我们。Avatar让我高兴,因为它向世界展示了身为一名丛林人的本性,以及我们的土地对我们而言,意味着什么。土地和丛林人是一样的。”

土地和丛林人是一样的,森林就是本南人的生命,加央族则说,河流就是他们的父母和兄弟。

世界各角落的原住民,说着同样简单但是贴近本质的话语。笔者永远不相信马哈迪的狗嘴,说得出这样纯朴而充满智慧的词汇。他那充满阴谋论的现代性脑袋,只能够让他惶恐的表达他那更倾向于唯恐天下不乱的末日情绪。马哈迪应该很喜欢好莱坞另一部卖座却不叫好的电影2012,我们期望当那一年到来时,不必再听他的毒舌吐出来的垃圾影评。

导演说:人类是互相连接的

马哈迪是深受现代性影响的一个不懂得反省的可怜产物。他是物理世界观塑造下的一颗单子,自以为言论很有影响力,而从来不去反省他偏激和片言的种族主义言论,对深刻的人意味着什么,例如原住民以及所有反对种族主义言论的善良人民。

Avatar的导演James Cameron前往领取金像奖时,表达了他拍摄此片的主要概念。他说:“Avatar告诉我们去认识到全部事物都是相关的。全部人类和人类相关,以及我们和地球相关。”

电影中Na’vi.族使用的语言,据说是导演受到纽西兰原住民的毛利语启发的产物。走访和拍摄了世界各地原住民的Survival International媒体纪录片导演Stephen Corry则说:“就像Na’vi 人将潘多拉森林形容为他们的一切,对大多数原住民而言,生命和土地一直都具有深切的关联性。”

“当你去除掉长鼻马等怪兽之后,Avatar的基本故事实际上在我们的地球上不断上演。就和Avatar里面的Na’vi 人一样,从亚马逊到西伯利亚,世界上硕果仅存的原住民,也面对频临灭绝的危机,当他们的土地被有权势的力量剥夺作殖民、伐木、采矿等用途。”

现代艺术向原始艺术取经

原住民鲜活、丰富而充满生命力的世界观和艺术表现,不但激发了该好莱坞电影导演的创造力,更不能忽略的是,它也曾经对20世纪初的西方现代艺术产生了突破性的影响;包括马蒂斯(Mattise)、高更(Gaugain)、毕加索(Picasso,见左下图画作)、克利(Klee)、蒙德里安(Mondrian)、亨利摩尔(Henri Moore,见右下图作品)等当代表现主义艺术大师们的作品,都含有受到原始艺术激发后所焕发的简化,神秘,夸张,和暗含爆发力的特色。

《艺术人类学》作者刘其伟认为,从原始艺术中可以探掘出艺术最原初,最内在的本质。结构主义人类学家李维史陀(Levi Strauss)则指出,越属于原始阶段的民族,它的神话越接近人类心灵的结构,也是最朴素、纯洁,也最能丰富的表现人类本性。

原始社会的世界观和艺术表现,和现代的所谓人文社会不同。我们今天的现代化社会,几乎毫无例外的是个人主义的。例如近代的绘画和雕塑等视觉艺术,不厌其烦的展现艺术家的气质和人格,或者艺术家个人感受和对世界的看法。即使到了今天,这样的个人艺术还是有越来越自闭和自恋的趋向,明显的和社会的脉搏脱节。反观原住民的艺术,则毫无例外的属于整个族群的。

许多不懂原住民的现代人把他们的原始当作“简陋、幼稚、粗糙”来看待,却不知道早在19世纪,当时最前卫的西方艺术家们发现,原始艺术其实意味着一种自发、冲动和热情的情绪和想象。这种活脱脱的艺术能量和惊人的创造力,正好可以弥补和滋润现代人那些陈腐、僵化、造作、虚无、形式化、琐碎和无病呻吟的理性文明。

人文和原始的互补

当然,当代的人文艺术不是一无是处,只是和原始艺术比较,人文艺术更倾向于反省的、理性的、诠释的;原始艺术则更倾向于直觉、真挚、感性和神秘。刘其伟说:“两者在表现的形式上颇有明显的区分;原始艺术是表达其所知,人文艺术是表现其所见。”

如果我们将上述的艺术观点挪用在世界观和生活领域,或许会发现,一个只有人文内涵和科学技术的现代世界将是过度理性和不完整的,它迫切需要具有原汁原味的原始世界观和生活方式的滋润,来保持对生命的热情和创造力。

所以当我们走进电影院,沉醉或娱乐在长达三小时的Avatar里的虚拟世界时,反而不觉时间消失,深深地被活力充沛而淳朴的Na’vi 人给吸引了。问题在于,我们其实可以不必将有活力的刹那,只留在电影院,然后继续回到毫无热情的现实社会,永远当一名旁观者。在东马砂拉越内陆,甚至离我们更近的西马原住民村,我们随时都能寻回那份失落的人性本质,活力和创造。

如果我们能够坚持人类的本质,不让自己的活力和动力瘫痪在自以为无力改造的现实面前,我们能够做的其实并不亚于剧情中的那名双脚瘫痪的美国大兵。如果看完风靡全球的Avatar之后,我们依然看不出自己所缺乏的活力、动力、创造力以及和原住民世界的关系,我们不能怪导演,而只能怪自己或许已经向铲泥机、电锯以及马哈迪的扭曲世界观屈服了。

Posted in 馬來西亞原住民, 反美學作品, 信仰paganism | 6 Comments »

明年今时,要超度多少H1N1亡灵?

Posted by mayashanti5282046 于 八月 24, 2009

周泽南

 

马来西亚A型(H1N1)流感肆虐,至今已经造成68人死亡,这群流感死者当中,不乏年幼的儿童,或不满周岁的婴儿,部分则是免疫力较低的老人。还有一些死者是孕妇,酿成一尸两命的悲剧。因此,如果把胎儿也计算在内,死亡人数其实已经超出了现有的68人。

 

潘永强和冯久玲已经在《当今大马》撰写了两篇鸿文,力数卫生部门的防疫和应变态度的偏差,故不赘述。笔者于农历6月29日(8月20日)拍摄了文良港热水湖上清宫为“婴灵”进行的超度仪式。浩大的场面,给人的不是毛骨悚然的恐怖气息,而是对于死者的惋惜和为他们办超度的亲人的尊敬,毕竟只有有良知和善心的人类,才会担心不得善终的亲人,死后还要孤苦无依的在阴间受苦。更叫人无奈兼愤怒的是,明年的今时,又有多少死于H1N1的亡灵要被超度。

 

如果这些病患早一点被发现,早一点接受治疗,或许就不会沦为明年必须超度的亡灵了。当一切都来不及时,超度是唯一可以抚平生者和死者双方的仪式;可是如果一切都还来得及,却没有采取应有的措施去预防和抢救,这样的罪过,却是再大的普度法会都无法赦免和挽回的。

多少幽灵死于人为的横祸?

多少幽灵死于人为的横祸?众多等待被超度的婴灵婴灵灵位眾靈準備住進去的靈屋為眾靈超度,下次選擇衛生制度比較完善的國家

等待被超度的應靈

等待被超度的應靈

應靈靈位

應靈靈位受超度後,將住進去的靈屋

Posted in 馬來西亞民俗, 信仰paganism | Leave a Comment »

马来西亚大仕爷/普度公造型和开光仪式

Posted by mayashanti5282046 于 八月 20, 2009

P1010519P1010523P1010528

刚制作完毕的大士爷。地点吉隆坡文良港热水湖新村
刚制作完毕的大士爷。地点吉隆坡文良港热水湖新村据说大士爷是观音大士的变身,把自己变得面目狰狞,是为了维持次序,以面孤魂野鬼在抢吃时乱了次序。大士爷头顶上的观音大士像大士爷的下半身。为了方便载送,制作工匠将大士爷分两部分制作,运送到目的地后才结合起来大士爷工作室。技术纯熟者也要花一整天时间才能完成一个大士爷模型工人在制作牛头马脸农历6月29日,鬼门大开的前夕,等待开光的大士爷,在孤台里。道士攀上楼梯,准备为大士爷揭开面纱,进行开光仪式道士先为大士爷头顶上的观音大士画符大士爷面纱被揭开的刹那大士爷开光成功,好兄弟开始进入这个看来未必比阴间更理想的人间世界
为大士爷开光

为大士爷开光开光的刹那宣告农历7月开始

Posted in 馬來西亞民俗, 信仰paganism | Leave a Comment »

招魂的季节又到了,别错过八打灵区的普度庆典

Posted by mayashanti5282046 于 八月 18, 2009

周泽南

 

一年一度的农历七月刚好落在马来西亚的国庆前后,今年的国庆日口号,不妨称为“因为你马来西亚,所以要招魂”。因为我们相信无论是在农历6月枉死的赵明福,还是冤情待雪的阿坦都雅,他们不安的灵魂,都感染着所有重视生命和人类存活基本权益的马来西亚和蒙古的子民。

 

整个农历七月,全马各大小乡镇都会在大街小巷设起“孤台”,摆设三牲四果,来招待“好兄弟”。这是一个佛道普天同庆的节日,也是华人民间社区活动最活络的时期。八打灵再也地区的“盂兰胜会”筹委会,在不同日期,不同地点,设立了孤台,祭拜管理好兄弟的“大士爷”和各路好兄弟。

 

参观这种丰富多彩的民俗活动,不仅可以增加我们对民俗信仰,仪式的认识,也是重拾社区精神的场所。以下为八打灵各区的盂兰胜会日期,必须注意的是,一般的节庆长达4至5天,高潮节目通常都落在“平安宴“的前一天。从晚上8点开始,信徒膜拜,舞台演出等节目将陆续登场,最高潮的节目是把纸扎的大士爷抬到空地去焚烧。

 

地点                                开始                高潮                平安宴            农历

 

SS2盂兰胜会                 8月17日       8月21日       8月23日       7月初4

Old town盂兰胜会 8月20日       8月24日       8月25日       7月初6

白沙罗新村                    8月23日       8月25日       8月26日       7月初7

Taman Paramount             8月22日       8月26日       8月27日       7月初8

巴生路成功花园            8月23日       8月27日       8月28日       7月初9

白沙罗                            8月27日       8月30日       8月31日       7月12

千百家村                        8月28日       8月31日       9月1日         7月13

14区                               8月28日       9月1日         9月2日         7月14

SS2早市盂兰胜会         9月2日         9月2日         9月2日         7月14

SS2夜市为食街             9月3日         9月3日         9月3日         7月15

Taman Megah                   8月29日       9月3日         9月4日         7月16

双威文打里                    9月2日         9月7日         9月8日         7月20

美阳花园                        9月12日       9月14日       9月15日       7月27

SEA PARK                      9月11日       9月16日       9月17日       7月29

17区花园                       9月12日       9月16日       9月18日       7月30

 

 

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没有高于人道的信仰和原则:赵明福的婚前性行为妨碍了谁?

Posted by mayashanti5282046 于 八月 4, 2009

周泽南

 

欧阳捍华政治秘书赵明福的死,引起的集体的悲情,被一名华裔穆斯林郑全行的言论火上添油,让同情赵和家人遭遇的华人普遍觉得,马来西亚的宗教极端,几乎病入膏肓了。

 

马来西亚华裔穆斯林副主席郑全行是一名转教者,他认为让赵明福的女友(他们来不及注册结婚)产下孩子,等于鼓励婚前性行为,因此是不道德的。他的论点是,对所有宗教而言,婚前性行为都是不道德的。我不知道现在的身份是穆斯林的郑全行如何获得所有宗教都反对婚前性行为的结论,可是身为一名有信仰和原则的人,在这个关键时刻,不去为赵明福和家人讨公道,还人民一个民主,透明,负责的国家,反而在别人是否已经注册结婚前有性行为方面作文章,不仅犯了轻重不分的错,还为自己惹来落井下石之嫌。

 

马来西亚的种族主义,文化民族主义,宗教极端,阶级剥削等等所带来的不公和不义,归根究底,源自个人主体性的缺乏。主体性的薄弱导致大部分人民缺乏基本的价值和道德判断能力,因此容易受国家机器和主流价值观的渗透和控制,这也是造成种族极端分子等的廉价言论,能够得逞的主要原因。我必须指出,郑全行对赵明福婚前性行为的指责,不但无法显示他自己对宗教信仰的坚持,反而暴露了他对宗教了解的偏狭,让教条超越了人道和尊严,甚至扭曲了信仰的原本目的。

 

郑全行的不当言论,反映了他价值上的盲目选择和混乱,也凸现了他主体意识的缺乏。主体意识的缺乏,对个人而言,是健全人格(或称真正的理性/价值理性)的缺席,对国家社会而言,则是种族冲突,歧视偏见得以大行其道的思想温床。

 

对于主体性的养成,个人认为必须让所有人民,特别是年轻人,都经历过“怀疑一切旧价值”的虚无主义之锻炼。若缺乏这一层思考的炼狱,思考和批判不会内化为人民生活的一部分,没有这样的内化,人民随时都会成为集体非理性的言论和意识形态的工具和牺牲品。

Posted in 形而上解構, 信仰paganism | 1 Comment »

Is ethics possible without religion?

Posted by mayashanti5282046 于 十一月 22, 2008

Sim Kwang Yang | Jul 5, 08 1:26pm
We are all condemned to be moral agents. When we choose a course of actions, we make the decision according to whether it is morally good or bad.

MCPX

In this confusing and increasingly secular world, a pertinent question would be: Is ethics possible without religion?

If this question is one on matter of fact, then the answer is a resounding “yes”. In Socrates and Confucius, we have two great philosophers who have expounded their ethics without recourse to any supernatural being.

The authority of Socratic system of ethics is his Form or Idea of the Good, which can be achieved by his epistemological method of dialectic. Many of his tenets have since haunted the Western world. Is it really true that ethics can neither be legislated nor taught? Is it really the case that to know the good is to do the good, and nobody does bad things intentionally?

Confucius too, teaching around roughly the same era as Socrates 25 centuries ago, derived the commanding authority for his system of ethics from his idea of “humanness”. He never made any reference to a personal god. In fact, he advised his followers to “respect and avoid ghosts and spirits”! When asked about death and the possibility of an afterlife, his cryptic answer was: “how do we know anything about death, when we have yet to understand life?”

In the end, Confucius’ most memorable teaching has been his canon that “we must not do unto others what we do not want them to do unto us”. It echoes the teaching by Jesus Christ for us to love our neighbours as ourselves.

Then, closer to our modern age, there is utilitarianism, first proposed by Jeremy Bentham, and later modified and refined by JS Mill, and Henry Sedgwick.

Again, without appealing to the authority and the existence of a Supreme Being, Utilitarianism exalts the value of happiness as the greatest good in the life of the individual and the nation-state.

Since then, utilitarianism has become the moral ideology for the political, economic, penal, social, and moral transformation of the industrialised West, and increasingly in the rapidly developing countries of the Third World. Despite our charade of being a deeply religious society, I suspect most Malaysians of all races are utilitarian at heart, some without realising it.Question of justification

Therefore, the question of whether ethics without religion is not a question about a matter of fact, since secular ethics has existed in various parts of the world for millennia. Rather, it is a question of justification: can ethics without religion be justified, ultimately?

This question is central to revealed monotheistic religions of the world, covering probably nearly half of the world’s population. For worshippers of the Islamic, Christian, and Judaic faiths, there is only one God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Holy of Holies, the Beginning and the End of all Things in the Universe.  God is the ultimate justification of all morality. The teaching of his Word on the destiny of man as revealed in his prophets’ holy books containing the rules to a good life is the final authority on moral and ethics. Any transgression of those numerous rules on all aspects of man’s spiritual and mundane earthly living will condemn him to the eternal damnation of Hell’s fire.

One immediately thinks of the Ten Commandments.

Since God is worshipped as being absolutely good, all moral judgements must use God’s absolute goodness as a standard. Since what is absolute is eternal, necessary, and universal, it is not subject to the vagaries of space and time.

Without this absoluteness, secular morality tends to be situational, relative, and contingent. It lacks the authority of religious ethics to command people to do the good and right things. It cannot command all men because its justification is weaker than the justification in the absolute command of God. For Christians, Muslims, and Jews, morality without religion is indeed unthinkable.

Therefore, the debate on whether ethics without religion is possible will only arise between people who have embraced monotheistic faiths and others who do not share their faith, especially the atheists and the agnostics.

Such a debate is obviously futile, because not only is it impossible to arrive at any consensus, it is doubtful that it would improve goodwill between the two groups of human beings.

For instance, a learned secular moralist will argue that even within the ambit of monotheistic theology, it would be impossible for any mortal human being to know about the nature of God. According to St. Anselm for instance, whatever you think God is, God is greater than that, or else he is not the God revealed by the prophets. That is why you need faith, when knowledge does not serve you anymore. As Immanuel Kant said, he had to deny knowledge (of God), in order to make room for faith.

To the rejoinder by the religious faithful that at least they have their holy books as the words of God, the atheist or the agnostic would say books give you imprecise words and quotations accompanied by their contexts. You have the space between the sky and the earth for interpretation of those words and their contexts. Can the fluctuating slippery language of human beings really reveal the eternal universal and holy truths about God?

And then, the opponent of religious ethics will simply say that since the only thing to compel anybody to follow the ethical system of any organised faith is precisely faith, and since the God of monotheism has decided to give human beings their free will, then the free thinker is merely exercising that right not to believe, and therefore morality is possible without religion.

This is the sort of endless argument engaged by undergraduate students in western universities for hours on end; it is a welcome distraction from the boredom of studying books for too long. But at the end of the day, nobody would be swayed by the argument on either side. Either you believe in a personalised monotheistic god, or you do not.

In the business of living a good life though here in multi-religious Malaysia, the question of whether ethics is possible without religion does underlie people’s attitude to their own faith, and to others who have other forms of religious affinity.

To Christians and Muslims alike, is it necessarily the case that they are the chosen people of God, and all others who do not share their belief are “infidels”, “pagans”, and therefore immoral sinners, predestined and condemned to eternal damnation?

There are many ways to skin a cat, and this question can be answered many ways by different religious scholars and clerics quoting profusely from their holy books.

We have to appeal to lived experience. Religious belief remains as a very personal thing. People will worship whatever they want to worship, and our Federal Constitution does guarantee a certain degree of freedom of religion.

‘Paganism’ in Malaysia

In Malaysia, there are numerous forms of “paganism”, and there are those who are steadfast in their conviction that God is but a figment of the human imagination. Yet they are generally good citizens and good human beings, obeying all the laws of the land, and observing all the mores prevailing in the Malaysian society. They do not set fire to houses, rob other people, or commit murder. In other words, they have perfectly working morals, and they can distinguish what is bad from what is good, most of the time.

Of course they will hold various views on contentious social issues of the day, such as abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage, euthanasia, the death sentence, prostitution, premarital sex, and such other matters that bear on personal behaviour. But by and large, generally speaking, Malaysians seem to be quite a tolerant people. Whatever their personal conviction on these matters, they seem to be relatively liberal to people who prefer to live a different lifestyle.

A young friend who used to write columns for the Chinese papers and who is studying for a PhD in New York recently declared himself to be gay. As far as I am concerned, that is his personal business, and none of my business. Most Chinese commentators seem to share my feelings. His problem is that he is also a self-professed Christian, and the various Christian denominations do not look kindly upon so-called sexual deviations from the norm.

For my Christian friends, I can only appeal to the spirit of Christ’s teaching, as embodied in the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father, forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us”.

Then, whether there is ethics outside of religion is no longer an important question.

P.S.  The writer wishes to thank Mr. Lim Boo Choong, a personal friend and a faithful reader, for suggesting the topic for this article

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