借尸还魂

 
jiè shī huán hún (jie shi huan hun)
borrow a corpse to raise the spirit (revive in a new guise, often something evil)

Take an institution, a technology, or a method that has been forgotten or discarded and appropriate it for your own purpose. Revive something from the past by giving it a new purpose or to reinterpret and bring to life old ideas, customs, and traditions.

Han Dynasty China

When the emperor Huidi died in 188 BC he left no heir. His mother, the empress Lu, bought a child several years before his death and had her daughter-in-law pretend that it was her own. To cover her tracks the empress had the boy's natural mother executed. After the emperor's death, the empress had this boy installed on the throne with herself as regent. However, within two years the boy, after learning that his true mother had been executed, was heard to say: "When I become emperor I will know what to do." When the empress's spies reported the words spoken by the young emperor she had him murdered and another puppet set in his place. The empress ruled a prosperous empire for eight years through the six successive child emperors that she installed on the throne before dying of a mysterious illness. Rumor said her death was the result of a curse from one of her late husband's concubines, who was horribly mutilated and tortured according to the empress's precise instructions. The empress Lu is remembered in Chinese history as one of three notorious `dragon ladies' who had seized the imperial throne.

Eastern Han Dynasty

Towards the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, the allied forces of Liu Bei and Sun Quan defeated Cao Cao's army in the Battle of Chibi. Liu Bei seized part of the regions under the control of Jingzhou Prefecture.

Jingzhou was barren after many years of warfare. Liu Bei felt that he needed to expand his base. Cao Cao also decided to expand his base, he launched an attack on Hanzhong which was defended by Zhang Lu.

Yizhou administrator Liu Zhang whose state was bordered by Hanzhong became very worried. Liu Bei and Liu Zhang were scions of the Han dynasty and Cao Cao's enemy. Liu Zhang thought that it was best to seek Liu Bei's help.

Liu Zhang despatched Fa Zheng to seek Liu Bei's help. Fa Zheng told Liu Bei, "Liu Zhang is weak, incompetent and unpopular with many officials. I hope you'll take this chance to sieze Yizhou. Zhang Song and I will help you secretly.". Liu Bei was pleased.

Under the pretext of fighting Zhang Lu, Liu Bei entered Yizhou's territory and obtained much supplies and reinforcements. Liu Bei also took the opportunity to improve the people's lot and win their support.

Liu Bei's military advisor Pang Tong told him, "Pretend to return to Jingzhou then find a pretext to sieze Baisui Pass and use it as a base to attack Yizhou."

After two years of warfare, Liu Bei conquered the territory in today's Sichuan and built his power base.

Meaning: 迷信者认为,人死后可将灵魂附于他人尸体而复活。比喻已经消灭或没落的事物又以另一种形式出现。

Context: 元·岳伯川《铁拐李·楔子》:“岳寿,谁想你浑家将你尸骸烧化了,我如今着你借尸还魂,尸骸是小李屠,魂灵是岳寿。”

Example: 可是地主就在那边,工作团刚刚走,斗争刚刚过后,人家就来报仇,也能够~哩! ◎孙犁《诉苦翻心》

Synonyms: 东山再起、死灰复燃

Grammar: 连动式;作谓语、宾语、定语;含贬义

有用者,不可借①;不能用者,求借②。借不能用者而用之,匪我求童蒙,童蒙求我③。

【注释】

①有用者,不可借;意为世间许多看上去很有用处的东西,往往不容易去驾驭而为已用。

②不能用者,求借:此句意与①句相对言之。即有些看上去无什用途的东西,往往有时我还可以借助它而为己发挥作用。犹如我欲“还魂”还必得借助看似无用的 “尸体”的道理。此言兵法,是说兵家要善于抓住一切机会,甚至是看去无什用处的东西,努力争取主动,壮大自己,即时利用而转不利为有利,乃至转败为胜。

③匪我求童蒙,童蒙求我:语出《易经.蒙》卦。蒙,卦名。本纷是异卦相叠(下坎上艮)。本卦上卦为艮为山,下卦为坎为水为险。山下有险,草木丛生,故说 “蒙”。这是蒙卦卦象。这里“童蒙”是指幼稚无知、求师教诲的儿童。此句意为不是我求助于愚昧之人,而是愚昧之人有求于我了。

【按语】

换代之际,纷立亡国之后者,固借尸还境之意也。凡—切寄兵权于人,而代其攻宁者,皆此用也。

【解析】

历史上常有这种情况,在改朝换代的时候,都喜欢推出亡国之君的后代,打着他们的旗号,来号召天下。用这种“借尸还魂”的方法,达到夺取天下的目的。在军事上,指挥官一定要善于分析战争中各种力量的变化,要善于利用一切可以利用的力量。有时,我方即使受挫,处于被动局面,如果我方善于利用敌方矛盾,利用一切可以利用的力量,也能够转被动为主动,改变战争形势,达到取胜的目的。

【探源】

借尸还魂:原意是说已经死亡的东西,又借助某种形式得以复活,用在军事上,是指利用、支配那些没有作为的势力来达到我方目的的策略。战争中往往有这类情况,对双方都有用的势力.往往难以驾驭,很难加以利用。而没有什么作为的势力,往往要寻求靠山。这个时候,利用和控制这部分势力,往往可以达到敢胜的目的。

秦朝实行暴政,天下百姓“欲为乱者,十室有五。”大家都有反秦的愿望,但是如果没有强有力的领导者和组织者,也就难成大事。秦二世元年,陈胜、吴广被征发到渔阳戍边。当这些戌卒走到大泽乡时,连降大雨,道路被水淹没,眼看无法按时到达渔阳了。秦朝法律规定,凡是不能按时到达指定地点的戌卒,一律处斩。陈胜、吴广知道,即使到达渔阳,也会误期被杀,不如一拼,寻求一条活路。他们知道同去的戍卒也都有这种思想,正是举兵起义的大好时机。

陈胜又想到,自己地位低下,恐怕没有号召力。当时有两位名人深受人民尊敬,一个是秦始皇的大儿子扶苏,温良贤明,已被阴险狠毒的秦二世暗中杀害,老百姓却不知情,另一个是楚将项燕,功勋卓著,爱护将士,威望极高,在秦灭六国之后不知去向。于是陈胜,公开打出他们的旗号,以期能够得到大家拥护。他们还利用当时人们的迷信心理,巧妙地作了其它安排。有一天,士兵做饭时,在鱼腹中发现一块丝帛,上写“陈胜王”(这个王字是称王的意思),士兵大惊,暗中传开。吴广又趁夜深人静之时,在旷野荒庙中学狐狸叫,士兵们还隐隐约约地听到空中有“大楚兴,陈胜王”的口号。他们以为陈胜不是一般的人,肯定是“天意”让他来领导大家的。陈胜、吴广见时机已到,率领戍卒杀死朝廷派来的将尉。陈胜登高一呼.揭竿而起。他说:我们反正活不成了,不如和他们拼个你死我活,就是死,也要死出个样儿来。于是,陈胜自号为将军,吴广为都尉,攻占大泽乡,天下云集响应,节节胜利,所向披靡。后来,部下拥立陈胜为王,国号“张楚”。

【故事】

赤壁大战之后,刘备势力增强,但还不雄厚。他和孙权都把眼睛盯住四川,那里地理位置好,资源丰富,是个可以大展宏图的好地方。但是,曹操统一中原的决心已定,虎视眈眈,牵制住了孙权的力量。刘备、孙权一时都对四川无法下手。公元215年,曹操进攻汉中,张鲁降曹。益州刘璋集团形势危急。这时,刘璋集团内部争权夺利,分崩离析。刘璋深怕曹操进攻四川,心想,不如请刘备来,共同抵御曹操。刘备得讯,喜不自胜,正中下怀,这不正是他进军四川的大好时机吗,他派关羽留守荆州,亲自率步卒万人进入益州。刘璋推举刘备为大司马领司隶校尉,自己为镇西大将军兼益州牧。

刘备、刘璋的这段“蜜月”肯定长不了。一日,刘备接到荆州来信,说曹操兴兵侵犯孙权。刘备请刘璋派三万精兵、十万斛军粮前去助战。刘璋怕削弱了自己的力量,只同意派三千老兵出川。刘备乘机大骂刘璋:我为你抵御曹操,你却吝惜钱财,我怎能和你这种人合作共事!于是向刘璋宣战,乘胜直捣成都,完成了占领四川的计划。刘备就是借刘璋这个“尸”,扩充了实力,占据了四川,为以后建国打下了基础。

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