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生命与表现 Life and Expression

(2009-06-25 15:12:55)
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教育

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分类: 人文经典双语阅读


 生命表现

阿尔伯特·哈伯德( Elbert Hubbard  海瑞两千译

     

      随着官能的历练,精神亦会渐渐成熟起来,恰如肌肉日渐强健缘于不断运用一样。表现是必然的。生命即是表现,压抑就是停滞——死亡。

     然而,却可能有正确的表现和错误的表现。如果一个人任由他的生命肆无忌惮,只是容许其天性中兽性的一面去自在表现,那么,他就是在压抑自己的崇高和卓越,于是,那些优秀品质就会因不用而萎缩、衰亡。

    
人,是由其罪孽来惩罚的,而不是因其罪孽而受惩。声色狗马、暴饮暴食,放荡的生命压抑精神的生命,灵魂就决不会开花结果;这就是丧失灵魂的缘由。千百年来,凡是有思想的人都在讲述这些道理,而且我们也一再发现:许多人深恶痛绝地摒弃了感官的生命,而全身心致力于精神的生命。是经精神还是经感官来表现——是经灵魂还是经肉体来表现,这个问题一直是所有哲学的理论支点,也是所有宗教启示的支点。

      任何一种宗教都是由两种元素构成的,这两种元素无法混合,就如油不能溶于水一样。宗教就是一种道德与教旨机械混合的产物,并非一种化合作用的结果。教旨是关乎“不可见”的学问,即:关乎未知与不可知的学说。为了赋予这门学问近乎真理的面貌,其传播者总是把它同道德绞在一起。道德完全可以并且也确是截然有别于教旨、脱离教旨而存在的。不过,教旨永远是附着在道德上的蜾赢,而将教旨和道德这两者混淆起来却是神父、牧师的本分。

      然而,道德和宗教却从未皂化溶合过。道德只关乎你的生命力如何展现的问题,即:如何使用它们?你这么富有活力;你当何以处之?人群中总有一些人会走向前来给你一份体贴的劝告。没有他们这些无形中教人信以为真的影响,我们也许就不会接受他们对何谓正确、何谓错误的界说。不过,他们确信他们的劝告有神的支持,于是,如果我们信奉之,就给一番褒奖,如若不信,就以会受到可怕的惩罚威胁之,这些自封的优秀等级行使意志力把人们到处驱使。凡正式宗教的演进,并不是一个很复杂的过程,他们把教旨和道德这两个不可混溶的东西搅和在一起,这个事实是再明白晓畅不过的实情,显而易见,任何通情达理的人都不会对此提出异议。有人说:多数宗教的道德是好的,博爱、诚实、仁慈、正义以及温和,在所有这些宗教之中都有传授。但是,就像希腊语法中的一个规则规定的那样,存在着很多例外。因此,在各宗教的道德之中,例外的事例也是屡见不鲜:博爱、诚实、仁慈、温和与正义,皆因“优秀等级”的提议而被宣布取消了,接着被取消的恐怕就是善了。若没有这些例外,也就没有基督教各民族间的战争。

      由于人们在性格、意趣上各不相同,如何表现你的生命?这个问题也许永远都是莫衷一是。有些人,天生就没有某些造就肉体欲孽的能力;而另一些人,则因过度纵欲而遗失了声色狗马的癖好,从而变成了禁欲者。然而,所有的说教却只有一个主题:生命当如何表现?人们及各种族总是在禁欲主义和放荡形骸之间徘徊。

     我们今日之禁欲主义的一个有趣的表现,就要数特拉普派修士了。他们住在高山之巅,几乎与世隔绝,他们把自己最后那一点点肉体的安逸也褫夺殆尽,好几天不吃东西,穿着令体肤不适的衣服,饱罹严寒之苦;这个团体中一旦有一个人望见了女人的面庞,他立即就会被认为有下地狱的危险。这里,我们看到的是一个人们为了有足够的时间和机会来历练精神而不惜压抑自身肉体机能的极端的例子。

     在修道士的极端压抑与声色狗马者的放任之间的某个地方,掩藏着道理。然而,恰恰是在那个地方出了大问题;于是,某个以为自己已经发现了行为准则的人,便渴望强迫其他所有的人都在那里止步,正是这种渴望导致了数不清的战争和冲突。所有的律法都围绕着这样一个基本点——人应该被准许做什么?于是,我们知道有了处罚“巡回表演者”、“乱拉小提琴者”、“蛊惑人心者”、“疯狂舞者”、“辱骂者”的法律条款;1800年,在英格兰,有37种犯罪可依法被处以死刑。什么样的表现是正确的,什么样的表现是不正确的,这只是一个有着不同看法的问题。某个现存的宗教教派不允许歌唱;在某些教派看来,器乐音乐就是跌人的磐石,它经过听觉器官使精神亢奋,导致下流的想法——“经由鲁特琴那令人愉悦的淫靡之音”;另一些派别则认为跳舞是邪恶的,而少数人则只允许管风琴音乐,但却拒绝小提琴;然而,还有一些教派却在他们的宗教机构中使用完整的管弦乐队。也有一些教派则把绘画看作是偶像崇拜的工具;而钩孔派浸信会会众(Hook-and-Eye Baptists)则把纽扣视为不道德的东西。

     在个体生活的领域之中,千奇百怪的演变也是屡见不鲜。例如:列夫·托尔斯泰,一个大好人,一度也曾是个声色狗马之徒,现在却转变为一个苦行者;过起了圣徒般的生活,这是一种一般的演变。然而,尽管这个人很优秀,但在他的宇宙之中,也依然存有一个严重的缺陷,这多少有损于他渴望教书的道理:他把他信条中美的元素丢掉了。他不喜欢展现色彩、形态以及美音的和谐,倒颇乐于反对其他所有人也享有这些有益于他们身心康乐的事物。多数人的心灵中都有追求美的渴望,就如有肉体的渴望一样。美,经过人们的感官提悦他们的精神,可是,托尔斯泰要让你的房子简陋至困苦的边缘。我崇敬托尔斯泰伯爵是因为他的博学,然而,我在这里提及他是要说明:允许任何人哪怕是最聪明的人,仗势把所谓最好的东西强加给我们,也都隐含着严重的危险。我们自己就是很好的判官。以往,人们遭受的骇人听闻的残忍行径,大多都只是因性格上的不同从而引起意见上的不同使然。什么样的表现是最好的?亦即:我们做什么才会得救?这个问题,在今天,就像两千年前一样,依然是活力昭昭。最确凿无疑的荒谬莫过于说:我们都必须做同样的事情。人类是否会发展到人们乐于将表现生命的事情交由某个个人决定的那一天,这是个问题;但是,只要人们一天不停止强使其他所有人都遵从一种方式生活,太平盛世就决不会到来。

      大多数人都渴望做到:最大利己,最小损他。现在,就连普通人都智慧多多:只要那些拿着报酬还自诩管理我们、教导我们的特等人,乐于有一份己所不欲勿施于人之心,说得更确切一点,只要他们专心于自己的事业,不再觊觎属于别人的东西,那么,“乌有之乡”就不会很远。民族国家间的战争、个人之间的纷争全都是贪婪的占有欲使然。

     多一点耐心、多一点普度之心、多一点爱;少拘泥于既往、默然无视虚假的权威;勇敢地寄望于未来、多一些自信、多一些对我们同道的信任,那么,人类就会等到生命和光明大放异彩的那一天。

Life and Expression


Love, Life & Work
by Elbert Hubbard

 

By exercise of its faculties the spirit grows, just as a muscle grows strong thru continued use. Expression is necessary. Life is expression, and repression is stagnation--death.

Yet, there can be right and wrong expression. If a man permits his life to run riot and only the animal side of his nature is allowed to express itself, he is repressing his highest and best, and the qualities not used atrophy and die.

Men are punished by their sins, not for them. Sensuality, gluttony, and the life of license repress the life of the spirit, and the soul never blossoms; and this is what it is to lose one's soul. All adown the centuries thinking men have noted these truths, and again and again we find individuals forsaking in horror the life of the senses and devoting themselves to the life of the spirit. This question of expression through the spirit, or through the senses--through soul or body--has been the pivotal point of all philosophy and the inspiration of all religion.

Every religion is made up of two elements that never mix any more than oil and water mix. A religion is a mechanical mixture, not a chemical combination, of morality and dogma. Dogma is the science of the unseen: the doctrine of the unknown and unknowable. And in order to give this science plausibility, its promulgators have always fastened upon it morality. Morality can and does exist entirely separate and apart from dogma, but dogma is ever a parasite on morality, and the business of the priest is to confuse the two.

But morality and religion never saponify. Morality is simply the question of expressing your life forces--how to use them? You have so much energy; and what will you do with it? And from out the multitude there have always been men to step forward and give you advice for a consideration. Without their supposed influence with the unseen we might not accept their interpretation of what is right and wrong. But with the assurance that their advice is backed up by Deity, followed with an offer of reward if we believe it, and a threat of dire punishment if we do not, the Self-appointed Superior Class has driven men wheresoever it willed. The evolution of formal religions is not a complex process, and the fact that they embody these two unmixable things, dogma and morality, is a very plain and simple truth, easily seen, undisputed by all reasonable men. And be it said that the morality of most religions is good. Love, truth, charity, justice and gentleness are taught in them all. But, like a rule in Greek grammar, there are many exceptions. And so in the morality of religions there are exceptional instances that constantly arise where love, truth, charity, gentleness and justice are waived on suggestion of the Superior Class, that good may follow. Were it not for these exceptions there would be no wars between Christian nations.

The question of how to express your life will probably never down, for the reason that men vary in temperament and inclination. Some men have no capacity for certain sins of the flesh; others there be, who, having lost their inclination for sensuality through too much indulgence, turn ascetics. Yet all sermons have but one theme: how shall life be expressed? Between asceticism and indulgence men and races swing.

Asceticism in our day finds an interesting manifestation in the Trappists, who live on a mountain top, nearly inaccessible, and deprive themselves of almost every vestige of bodily comfort, going without food for days, wearing uncomfortable garments, suffering severe cold; and should one of this community look upon the face of a woman he would think he was in instant danger of damnation. So here we find the extreme instance of men repressing the faculties of the body in order that the spirit may find ample time and opportunity for exercise.

Somewhere between this extreme repression of the monk and the license of the sensualist lies the truth. But just where is the great question; and the desire of one person, who thinks he has discovered the norm, to compel all other men to stop there, has led to war and strife untold. All law centers around this point--what shall men be allowed to do? And so we find statutes to punish "strolling play actors," "players on fiddles," "disturbers of the public conscience," "persons who dance wantonly," "blasphemers," and in England there were, in the year 1800, thirty-seven offenses that were legally punishable by death. What expression is right and what is not, is simply a matter of opinion. One religious denomination that now exists does not allow singing; instrumental music has been to some a rock of offense, exciting the spirit through the sense of hearing, to improper thoughts--"through the lascivious pleasing of the lute"; others think dancing wicked, while a few allow pipe-organ music, but draw the line at the violin; while still others use a whole orchestra in their religious service. Some there be who regard pictures as implements of idolatry; while the Hook-and-Eye Baptists look upon buttons as immoral.

Strange evolutions are often witnessed within the life of one individual. For instance, Leo Tolstoy, a great and good man, at one time a sensualist, has now turned ascetic; a common evolution in the lives of the saints. But excellent as this man is, there is yet a grave imperfection in his cosmos which to a degree vitiates the truth he desires to teach: he leaves the element of beauty out of his formula. Not caring for harmony as set forth in color, form and sweet sounds, he is quite willing to deny all others these things which minister to their well-being. There is in most souls a hunger for beauty, just as there is physical hunger. Beauty speaks to their spirits through the senses; but Tolstoy would have your house barren to the verge of hardship. My veneration for Count Tolstoy is profound, yet I mention him here to show the grave danger that lies in allowing any man, even one of the wisest of men, to dictate to us what is best. We ourselves are the better judges. Most of the frightful cruelties inflicted on men during the past have arisen simply out of a difference of opinion that arose through a difference in temperament. The question is as alive to-day as it was two thousand years ago--what expression is best? That is, what shall we do to be saved? And concrete absurdity consists in saying that we must all do the same thing. Whether the race will ever grow to a point where men will be willing to leave the matter of life-expression to the individual is a question; but the millennium will never arrive until men cease trying to compel all other men to live after one pattern.

Most people are anxious to do what is best for themselves and least harmful for others. The average man now has intelligence enough: Utopia is not far off, if the self-appointed folk who rule us, and teach us for a consideration, would only be willing to do unto others as they would be done by, that is to say, mind their own business and cease coveting things that belong to other people. War among nations and strife among individuals is a result of the covetous spirit to possess.

A little more patience, a little more charity for all, a little more love; with less bowing down to the past, and the silent ignoring of pretended authority; a brave looking forward to the future, with more self-confidence and more faith in our fellow men, and the race will be ripe for a great burst of life and light.

 

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