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Authors

Cuiting Chen

Abstract 摘要

Two major issues in hospice care are pain and death. For those who are facing death and dying, the issues are intensified. This paper discusses the issues relating to death and hospice care in a framework of the Daoist philosophy on life and death, as outlined in the Zhuangzi. The author attempts to show that the wisdom of Daoism can help us to deal with the finitude and vulnerability of human life when facing death. According to the Zhuangzi, the world of experience is constantly transforming and death is part of that transformation. Therefore, it is possible for the adaptive qualities of the perfectly well-adjusted person to remain balanced in the midst of this unavoidable stage of change and transformation (hua). This realization of the impermanence of life and the transient nature of worldly things, even human relations, leads to the Daoist attitude of non-attachment that enables one to realize the true nature of life and death. The paper concludes that a positive attitude toward life and death, as represented in the Zhuangzi, can help patients and their family members to deal with the pain of illness and death. The author also points out that embracing natural transformation is a way for the Daoist to attain the self-transcendence that ultimately dismantles the dichotomy between life and death.

臨終關懷的兩大議題是疼痛和死亡,對於臨終患者來說,死亡的話題有為凸顯,患者在死亡面前普遍表現出濃重的焦慮和恐懼。本文試圖通過追溯《莊子》的生命哲學,從中汲取面對死亡的智慧,揭開死亡的神秘面紗,消解臨終患者對死亡的恐懼。將死亡從繁複的人倫關係中抽離出來,以期還原死亡的本真狀態。本文闡述了莊子自然主義思想對人們面對生死問題的啟發,並進一步論述從“觀化”的角度,消融狹隘的個體本位,才能實現形上生命的自我超越。而明瞭生死一條的道理,將死亡視作一種可能性經驗,則是對生的最為深刻的覺醒。

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