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Where I Lived, and What I Lived For4

2006-07-29 00:00

  Though the view from my door was still more contracted, I did not feel crowded or confined in the least.  There was pasture enough for my imagination.  The low shrub oak plateau to which the opposite shore arose stretched away toward the prairies of the West and the steppes of Tartary, affording ample room for all the roving families of men.  "There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy freely a vast horizon" —— said Damodara, when his herds required new and larger pastures.

  Both place and time were changed, and I dwelt nearer to those parts of the universe and to those eras in history which had most attracted me.  Where I lived was as far off as many a region viewed nightly by astronomers.  We are wont to imagine rare and delectable places in some remote and more celestial corner of the system,behind the constellation of Cassiopeia's Chair, far from noise and disturbance.  I discovered that my house actually had its site in such a withdrawn, but forever new and unprofaned, part of the universe.  If it were worth the while to settle in those parts near to the Pleiades or the Hyades, to Aldebaran or Altair, then I was really there, or at an equal remoteness from the life which I had left behind, dwindled and twinkling with as fine a ray to my nearest neighbor, and to be seen only in moonless nights by him.  Such was that part of creation where I had squatted;

  "There was a shepherd that did live,And held his thoughts as high As were the mounts whereon his flocks Did hourly feed him by."

  What should we think of the shepherd's life if his flocks always wandered to higher pastures than his thoughts?

  Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.  I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora as the Greeks.  I got up early and bathed in the pond; that was a religious exercise, and one of the best things which I did.  They say that characters were engraven on the bathing tub of King Tchingthang to this effect:"Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again."  I can understand that.  Morning brings back the heroic ages.  I was as much affected by the faint hum of a mosquito making its invisible and unimaginable tour through my apartment at earliest dawn, when I was sitting with door and windows open, as I could be by any trumpet that ever sang of fame.  It was Homer's requiem; itself an Iliad and Odyssey in the air, singing its own wrath and wanderings.  There was something cosmical about it; a standing advertisement, till forbidden, of the everlasting vigor and fertility of the world.  The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour.  Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night.  Little is to be expected of that day, if it can be called a day, to which we are not awakened by our Genius, but by the mechanical nudgings of some servitor, are not awakened by our own newly acquired force and aspirations from within, accompanied by the undulations of celestial music, instead of factory bells, and a fragrance filling the air ——to a higher life than we fell asleep from; and thus the darkness bear its fruit, and prove itself to be good, no less than the light. That man who does not believe that each day contains an earlier,more sacred, and auroral hour than he has yet profaned, has despaired of life, and is pursuing a descending and darkening way. After a partial cessation of his sensuous life, the soul of man, or its organs rather, are reinvigorated each day, and his Genius tries again what noble life it can make.  All memorable events, I should say, transpire in morning time and in a morning atmosphere.  The Vedas say, "All intelligences awake with the morning."  Poetry and art, and the fairest and most memorable of the actions of men, date from such an hour.  All poets and heroes, like Memnon, are the children of Aurora, and emit their music at sunrise.  To him whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual morning.  It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes and labors of men.  Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me.  Moral reform is the effort to throw off sleep. Why is it that men give so poor an account of their day if they have not been slumbering?  They are not such poor calculators.  If they had not been overcome with drowsiness, they would have performed something.  The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive.  I have never yet met a man who was quite awake.  How could I have looked him in the face?

  虽然从我的门口望出去,风景范围更狭隘,我却一点不觉得它拥挤,更无被囚禁的感觉。尽够我的想象力在那里游牧的了。矮橡树丛生的高原升起在对岸,一直向西去的大平原和鞑靼式的草原伸展开去,给所有的流浪人家一个广阔的天地。当达摩达拉的牛羊群需要更大的新牧场时,他说过,“再没有比自由地欣赏广阔的地平线的人更快活的人了。”

  时间和地点都已变换,我生活在更靠近了宇宙中的这些部分,更挨紧了历史中最吸引我的那些时代。我生活的地方遥远得跟天文家每晚观察的太空一样,我们惯于幻想,在天体的更远更僻的一角,有着更稀罕、更愉快的地方,在仙后星座的椅子形状的后面,远远地离了嚣闹和骚扰。我发现我的房屋位置正是这样一个遁隐之处,它是终古常新的没有受到污染的宇宙一部分。如果说,居住在这些部分,更靠近昴星团或毕星团,牵牛星座或天鹰星座更加值得的话,那末,我真正是住在那些地方的,至少是,就跟那些星座一样远离我抛在后面的人世,那些闪闪的小光,那些柔美的光线,传给我最近的邻居,只有在没有月亮的夜间才能够看得到。我所居住的便是创造物中那部分;——曾有个牧羊人活在世上,他的思想有高山那样崇高,在那里他的羊群每小时都给与他营养。如果牧羊人的羊群老是走到比他的思想还要高的牧场上,我们会觉得他的生活是怎样的呢?

  每一个早晨都是一个愉快的邀请,使得我的生活跟大自然自己同样地简单,也许我可以说,同样地纯洁无暇。我向曙光顶礼,忠诚如同希腊人。我起身很早,在湖中洗澡;这是个宗教意味的运动,我所做到的最好的一件事。据说在成汤王的浴盆上就刻着这样的字:“苟日新,日日新,又日新。”我懂得这个道理。黎明带国来了英雄时代。在最早的黎明中,我坐着,门窗大开,一只看不到也想象不到的蚊虫在我的房中飞,它那微弱的吟声都能感动我,就像我听到了宣扬美名的金属喇叭声一样。这是荷马的一首安魂曲,空中的《伊利亚特》和《奥德赛》,歌唱着它的愤怒与漂泊。此中大有宇宙本体之感;宣告着世界的无穷精力与生生不息,直到它被禁。黎明啊,一天之中最值得纪念的时节,是觉醒的时辰。那时候,我们的昏沉欲睡的感觉是最少的了;至少可有一小时之久,整日夜昏昏沉沉的官能大都要清醒起来。但是,如果我们并不是给我们自己的禀赋所唤醒,而是给什么仆人机械地用肘子推醒的;如果并不是由我们内心的新生力量和内心的要求来唤醒我们,既没有那空中的芬香,也没有回荡的天籁的音乐,而是工厂的汽笛唤醒了我们的,——如果我们醒时,并没有比睡前有了更崇高的生命,那末这样的白天,即便能称之为白天,也不会有什么希望可言;要知道,黑暗可以产生这样的好果子,黑暗是可以证明它自己的功能并不下于白昼的。一个人如果不能相信每一天都有一个比他亵读过的更早、更神圣的曙光时辰,他一定是已经对于生命失望的了,正在摸索着一条降入黑暗去的道路。感官的生活在休息了一夜之后,人的灵魂,或者就说是人的官能吧,每天都重新精力弥漫一次,而他的禀赋又可以去试探他能完成何等崇高的生活了。

  可以纪念的一切事,我敢说,都在黎明时间的氛围中发生。《吠陀经》说:“一切知,俱于黎明中醒。”诗歌与艺术,人类行为中最美丽最值得纪念的事都出发于这一个时刻。

  所有的诗人和英雄都像曼依,那曙光之神的儿子,在日出时他播送竖琴音乐。以富于弹性的和精力充沛的思想追随着太阳步伐的人,白昼对于他便是一个永恒的黎明。这和时钟的鸣声不相干,也不用管人们是什么态度,在从事什么劳动。早晨是我醒来时内心有黎明感觉的一个时候。改良德性就是为了把昏沉的睡眠抛弃。人们如果不是在浑浑噩噩地睡觉,那为什么他们回顾每一天的时候要说得这么可怜呢?他们都是精明人嘛。如果他们没有给昏睡所征服,他们是可以干成一些事的。几百万人清醒得足以从事体力劳动,但是一百万人中,只有一个人才清醒得足以有效地服役于智慧;一亿人中,才能有一个人,生活得诗意而神圣。清醒就是生活。我还没有遇到过一个非常清醒的人。要是见到了他,我怎敢凝视他呢?

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