沒有用的書,兼及「超人吃什麽」

(一)李嘉誠篇

看完《南方週末》的兩篇報導很容易得出結論:李嘉誠是培根名言的出色實踐者。早年因失學而至舊書攤買書自學、親自為兒孫上課、投資辦汕頭大學、辦工廠訂閱相關行業的雜誌、每天早上專人整理新聞報紙……比起煽情的標題「孤獨是他的能量」,滿篇滿眼,在在都是強調:知識就是力量。

這話在過去的幾百年內,已經激勵了無數的人、促成無數宏業了,今天的李嘉誠之所以深具勵志性,更因為這話進一步引申為「知識就是金錢」,也因為他曾跟我們一樣一無所有。從人到「超人」,從生活到傳奇,書本與知識成了通往天堂的巴別塔。

但這個結論,說了跟沒說出差不多。如果「超人」可以造就,那麼我們更想問李先生:你都看些什麽書?或者更確切地問:你的腦袋都吸收什麽養料?

直接的答案其實是有的,只是似乎略有出入。正是在他極力所強調者,與無意中所忽視者,讓我們可以好好探討:「哪種知識是力量?」當然,此問題乃拋開西方哲學上對知識概念的界定與辨析,取最大意義的「知識」而言,包含了智慧、智力、知識、技能等。

在李嘉誠直接給出的答案中,最重要者無疑包括:專業資訊(報紙、網絡、雜誌、新聞、專業書籍、公司年報)、具體學科知識與技能(教科書、《辭海》、科技投資、醫療設施、工廠製造)、宏觀資訊(三中全會、政治與經濟)、抽象處世價值(匾額、各種名言理念、所提及的儒釋道、為兒孫講文化)。這些零零散散的答案加起來,剛好印證他自己的總結:

「我喜欢看书,什么书都看,这对我都有用,今天有用,明天也有用。所以,很多大事来的时候,我也能解决」。

李嘉诚此處所指「大事」,包括(但不僅限於)當年兒子被綁架之事。事隔近二十年,據記者的說法,李嘉誠「回忆当时的情形时,语气平静,就像是在讲述一段别人的历史。其中的惊险和锥心之痛,似乎全都烟消云散。」這種泰山壓頂而不亂的大度,以及臨大事能有所斷的應變能力,李嘉誠將之歸功於無書不看——在記者的敘述中。

但到底真的是無書不看嗎?

報導一開頭即強調,日理萬機的李嘉誠始終保持睡前看書的習慣。看什麽書呢?沒說。「非专业书籍,他会抓重点看,如果跟公司的专业有关,就算再难看,他也会把它看完」,由此話判斷,大概所閱書籍還是圍繞建城大業展開。

有趣的是,同文在強調李嘉誠自學之路毅力時,記者來了這麼一句:

「李嘉诚自律惊人,除了《三国志》与《水浒传》,他不看小说,不看『没有用』的书。」

光是「自律驚人」一詞,就大可推敲。言下之意,若耽迷於閱讀「小說」,或者「『没有用』的书」——這兩種書是同意指稱,或者小說只是「沒有用的書」中的一種,不能確定,大概也許是後一種意思罷——總之,這些書都只是海妖的歌聲,雖美妙醉人,卻會徒勞浪費心力,甚至可使人誤入歧途。用古人的話,純係荒誕不經,讓人玩物喪志。

真要吹毛求疵,既然小說不讀,沒有用的書不讀,李嘉誠當然不能算作「甚麼書都看」——當然,這一點都不重要,重要的是,可以好好想想,什麽是「沒有用的書」?若從培根的話逆推,凡是不能給予力量的書,都算作沒有用,它們也不能構成知識;稱之為「書」,不過取其包裝形式而言。這很對,盲目崇拜書本,將之當成權威,那就忘記兩千年前孟子的警告了:「盡信書不如無書」。只是,到底什麽書能給予力量?什麽叫知識?《三國志》(該是《三國演義》吧)與《水滸傳》在什麽意義上成了「有用的書」?小說為何首當其衝被點名歸入「沒有用的書」?

還是回到李嘉誠雲淡風輕談起的「大事」,從他接到電話的那瞬間開始說。李嘉誠將他的危機處理能力歸功於看書。那麼我們來嘗試勾勒這個過程。按常情推測,在一陣難免的心慌後,聽到兒子被綁架的自然考衡可能是:二十億與長子,孰輕孰重?可幫助回答這個問題的書有幾種:1)專業知識判斷:從商業最看重的數字看,二十億在他的總資產中實在不過是零頭數字,若論損失,就當成未來2013年集團在香港貨櫃碼頭投資虧損一半——我沒考察當時長江實業的資產,但以商業發展的眼光看,滿腦子是數據的李嘉誠當能瞬間推算。至於長子,培養至三十幾歲,所費之心力與財力可想而知,事業又開始騰飛,豈是這區區數字所能覆蓋?換成普通人的數字,這個天秤的兩端是:貳仟圓跟一條命,孰輕孰重?這問題若還需要計算才有答案,那李嘉誠也就不是李嘉誠了。

顯然,兒子被綁之所以是「大事」,絕非指索票數字之大而言,也當非因考慮集團繼承人身份必然引起的各種內部與外部風波,我們可以更為平常心地推測,這只是指一個父親突然獲知,兒子身處險境,生命遭到嚴重威脅。人生大事,無過於此。

香港傳媒糾結於為何李嘉誠無端自動爆料曾經諱莫如深的事件,在另一篇更為直接的問答採訪記錄中,我們找不到李嘉誠敘述此事的語境。在記者的整理敘述中,此事被寫成李嘉誠善於控制情感的例子,也許是有道理的,但卻未必是全部。報導轉述了李嘉誠在此事中的反應:

「李的镇静,连张子强都很意外,张问他:你为何这么冷静?

李回答道:因为这次是我错了,我们在香港知名度这么高,但是一点防备都没有,比如我去打球,早上五点多自己开车去新界,在路上,几部车就可以把我围下来,而我竟然一点防备都没有,我要仔细检讨一下。」

硬是轉譯成廣東話,也還是不能想像,兩人在那通電話中就這麼對話?大概後面那個例子是採訪時李自己的補充說明。綁架之事之所以具衝擊力,除了感情慌亂外,還在於它讓李嘉誠驚覺到生命危機無所不在。讓人在瞬間鎮定、並且做出判斷,這實在不是只有「不要慌」這麼三個字就可以搞定。如果數字運算確實曾進入考衡,也已是第二步的理性推算,但在最快的時間內,平復並做出準確判斷,將生命危急轉成常人也能一看就知道答案的數學運算題,此中確實不是一般意義上所講的知識所負責解決——不,分析哲學大概要跳出來說,理性力量無所不在。確實,最能解決問題的是理性,但實在不是所有人都可以迅速訴諸理性、駕馭情感、並且正確運用理性。在到達理性判斷之前,大腦曾做過什麽事?不妨再引用一次原話,回答這個問題:

「李嘉诚将这种冷静归于他喜欢看书,『我喜欢看书,什么书都看,这对我都有用,今天有用,明天也有用。所以,很多大事来的时候,我也能解决』。」

如此我们接著回答,到底哪些書是可以給予力量、能夠解決問題的「有用的書」:2)取最籠統的意義,此類書關含一切討論人生智慧與文化的書,以此區別於提供專業知識、技能與資訊的書,李嘉诚所謂「甚麼書都看」,當取此意:

「南方周末:我们注意到,你今天一直都非常平静,据说平常你也是这样。你会因为什么而激动、伤心、生气、兴奋吗?

李嘉诚:我一直都很冷静。如果认识儒、释、道的精粹,便会明白人生很短,不应浪费时间去理会这些事情,应从正途去做对的事,例如基金会的工作每天都在进步中,每天都有成果,像在荒芜之地,种下大树,让后人有收获,这是很高兴的事。」

人生智慧,包括價值得失、處世方式,以及性格磨練,如毅力勇氣、平淡安寧等,對於成大事者,尤其不可或缺。毛澤東也好讀《水滸》、《三國》,或許在安邦定國、商場廝殺中,此兩小說所能提供的參考處,為一般書籍所不能及。

 

(二)跟李嘉誠無關、有關的小說和電影

除了好讀《水滸》、《三國》外,據說毛澤東還有個跟李嘉誠一樣的愛好:看電影。有趣的是,正如看電影愛好非李本人主動提及;毛澤東愛看電影之事也不及他好讀書為人關注。一般人自然會強調書籍就是力量,但電影?

在這裡,終於談到我最關心的問題:傳統文藝觀如何影響人們的價值判斷,以及文藝媒介的呈現差異如何轉而獲得或失去其潛在位置?

還是先嘗試說說為何李嘉誠喜歡看電影吧:

「另一位跟了李十几年的下属透露,李嘉诚喜欢看电影,而且,看电影时,他的『代入感』很强,每次都会选择一个自己喜欢的角色,然后随着剧情起伏,『过他们的生活』。」

用時髦的話說,娛樂的同時,李嘉誠看電影更致力於experience learning。在拓展人生經驗與閱歷、豐富各種細節與情感體驗、刻畫人性細微處與人生情景的複雜度上,目前所能提供的文藝類別,大概非電影莫屬——在影視興起之前,此特徵歸諸於敘事文學的大宗:小說與戲劇。不同於以說理或思辨見長的思想哲學著作,敘事文學中的人物、情境以其栩栩如生的存在,幻化出無數個世界——在此意義上,偉大的文學作家,真宛如上帝一般。人的經歷再豐富,一輩子還是只能有一種生活,但在故事中,如李嘉誠般,通過代入觀閱,閱讀一部小說,或者觀看一部電影,確實頗像過了另一種生活——至於真實程度,端看觀者的投入程度,就好像參加每次活動一樣,不同人的收穫各自不同。

然而,除了《三國》、《水滸》,李嘉誠是不讀小說的。就反應他的實際閱讀書目而言,這說法沒有錯;但畢竟還是錯了,李嘉誠只是不讀(在他看來)寫得不好的小說。或許他認為,小說都只是講了些「假」的故事——很不幸,我們中國傳統的小說確實偉大作品少之又少。

但李嘉誠是愛看電影的,在那最緊急的時刻,或者每一個需要下判斷、做決定的選擇關口,除了專業知識、判斷外,更需要的也許是智慧與魄力。誰能否認,人生經歷方是此兩者的重要塑造者?我幾乎不看電影,無以證明觀影經歷對他的影響,也不甚愛小說,但確曾浸迷於一兩部,知道敘事文學的力量——只是這種力量無從察覺、無以說起,而所有的偉大與光榮,我們都下意識地歸諸於「書」與「知識」。

說到底,如民諺所言「行行出狀元」,有用或者無用並不因它是書或小說、電影,全在於質量的好壞。偉大者自有其偉大——當然,能否理解偉大,也是個問題。孤獨本身不是能量,只是在獨處的時候,大腦更容易出入於不同的世界。

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