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瓦尔登湖:经济篇5

2006-07-28 18:18

  We might try our lives by a thousand simple tests; as, for instance, that the same sun which ripens my beans illumines at once a system of earths like ours.  If I had remembered this it would have prevented some mistakes.  This was not the light in which I hoed them.  The stars are the apexes of what wonderful triangles!

  What distant and different beings in the various mansions of the universe are contemplating the same one at the same moment!  Nature and human life are as various as our several constitutions.  Who shall say what prospect life offers to another?  Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?  We should live in all the ages of the world in an hour;ay, in all the worlds of the ages.  History, Poetry, Mythology! —— I know of no reading of another's experience so startling and informing as this would be.

  The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.  What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?

  You may say the wisest thing you can, old man —— you who have lived seventy years, not without honor of a kind —— I hear an irresistible voice which invites me away from all that.  One generation abandons the enterprises of another like stranded vessels.

  I think that we may safely trust a good deal more than we do. We may waive just so much care of ourselves as we honestly bestow elsewhere.  Nature is as well adapted to our weakness as to our strength.  The incessant anxiety and strain of some is a well-nigh incurable form of disease.  We are made to exaggerate the importance of what work we do; and yet how much is not done by us! or, what if we had been taken sick?  How vigilant we are! determined not to live by faith if we can avoid it; all the day long on the alert, at night we unwillingly say our prayers and commit ourselves to uncertainties.  So thoroughly and sincerely are we compelled to live, reverencing our life, and denying the possibility of change. This is the only way, we say; but there are as many ways as there can be drawn radii from one centre.  All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant.  Confucius said, "To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge." When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact to his understanding, I foresee that all men at length establish their lives on that basis.

  我们可以用一千种简单的方法来测定我们的生命;举例以明之,这是同一个太阳,它使我种的豆子成熟,同时竟然照耀了像我们的地球之类的整个太阳系。如果我记住了这一点,那就能预防若干的错误。可是我锄草时并没有这样去想。星星是何等神奇的三角形的尖顶!字宙各处,有多少远远隔开的不同的物种在同时思考着同一事实啊!正如我们的各种体制一样,大自然和人生也是变化多端的。谁能预知别人的生命有着什么远景?难道还有比一瞬之间通过彼此的眼睛来观察更伟大的奇迹吗?我们本应该在一小时之内就经历了这人世的所有时代;是的,甚至经历了所有时代中所有的世界。历史、诗歌、神话!——我不知道读别人的经验还有什么能像读这些这样地惊人而又详尽的。

  凡我的邻人说是好的,有一大部分在我灵魂中却认为是坏的,至于我,如果要有所仟悔,我悔恨的反而是我的善良品行。是什么魔鬼攫住了我,使我品行这样善良的呢?

  老年人啊,你说了那些最聪明的话,你已经活了七十年了,而且活得很光荣,我却听到一个不可抗拒的声音,要求我不听你的话。新的世代抛弃前一代的业绩,好像它们是些搁浅的船。

  我想,我们可以泰然相信,比我们实际上相信的,更加多的事物。我们对自己的关怀能放弃多少,便可以忠实地给别人多少的关怀。大自然既能适应我们的长处,也能适应我们的弱点。有些人无穷无尽的忧患焦虑,成了一种几乎医治不好的疾病。我们又生就的爱夸耀我们所做工作的重要性;然而却有多少工作我们没有做!要是我们病倒了,怎么办呢?我们多么谨慎!决心不依照信仰而生活,我们尽可能避免它,从早到晚警戒着,到夜晚违心地析祷着,然后把自己交托给未定的运数。我们被迫生活得这样周到和认真,崇奉自己的生活,而否定变革的可能。我们说,只能这样子生活呵;可是从圆心可以画出多少条半径来,而生活方式就有这样的多。一切变革,都是值得思考的奇迹,每一刹那发生的事都可以是奇迹。孔夫予曾说:“知之为知之,不知为不知,是知也。”

  当一个人把他想象的事实提炼为他的理论之时,我预见到,一切人最后都要在这样的基础上建筑起他们的生活来。

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