4. Why do we Fear Death ? 我们为什么害怕死亡?

Why do we fear death ?
Unwilling to live, yet know not to die.

On the TERRORS of DEATH

Keep on as you have begun, & make all possible haste, so that you may have longer enjoyment of an improved mind,

One that is at peace with itself.

Doubtless you will derive enjoyment during the time when you are improving your mind & setting it at peace with itself;

but quite different is the pleasure which comes from contemplation when one’s mind is so cleansed from every stain that it shines.

Nevertheless, you may look for a still greater joy when you have laid aside the mind of childhood & when wisdom has enrolled you among adults.

For it is not childhood that still stays with us, but something worse, – childishness.

And this condition is all the more serious because we possess the authority of old age, together with the follies of childhood, yea, even the follies of infancy.

Babies fear trifles, children fear shadows, we fear both.

All you need to do is to advance; you will thus understand that some things are less to be dreaded,

Precisely because they inspire us with great fear.

No evil is great which is the last evil of all.

Death arrives;

it would be a thing to dread, if it could remain with you.

But death must either not come at all, or else must come and pass away.

“It is difficult, however,” you say, “to bring the mind to a point where it can scorn life.”

But do you not see what trifling reasons impel people to scorn life?

One hangs oneself before the door of their lovers; another hurls themself from the house-top that they may no longer be compelled to bear the taunts of the bad-tempered; a third, to be saved from arrest after running away, drives a sword into their vitals.

Do you not suppose that virtue will be as efficacious as excessive fear?

No one can have a peaceful life who thinks too much about lengthening it, or believes that living through many consulships is a great blessing.

Rehearse this thought every day, that you may be able to depart from life contentedly;

for many people clutch & cling to life, even as those who are carried down a rushing stream clutch & cling to briars & sharp rocks.

Most people ebb & flow in wretchedness between the fear of death & the hardships of life;

They are unwilling to live, & yet they do not know how to die.

For this reason, make life as a whole agreeable to yourself by banishing all worry about it.

No good thing renders its possessor happy, unless their mind is reconciled to the possibility of loss;

Nothing, however, is lost with less discomfort than that which, when lost, cannot be missed.

Therefore, encourage and toughen your spirit against the mishaps that afflict even the most powerful.

No one has ever been so far advanced by Fortune that it did not threaten them as greatly as it had previously indulged them.

Do not trust it’s seeming calm; in a moment the sea is moved to its depths.

Reflect that an enemy may cut your throat; &, though they are not your master, every slave wields the power of life & death over you.

Therefore I declare to you: One is lord of their life that scorns their own.

Think of those who have perished through plots in their own homes, slain either openly or by guile; you will then understand that just as many have been killed by angry slaves as by angry kings.

What matter, therefore, how powerful one be whom you fear, when everyone possesses the power which inspires your fear?

“But,” you will say, “if you should chance to fall into the hands of the enemy, the conqueror will command that you be led away,”

– Yes, whither, you are already being led.

Why do you voluntarily deceive yourself & require to be told now for the first time what fate it is that you have long been labouring under?

Take my word for it: since the day you were born you are being led thither.

We must ponder this thought, & thoughts of the like nature, if we desire to be calm as we await that last hour, the fear of which makes all previous hours uneasy.

But I must end my letter. Let me share with you the saying which pleased me to-day. It, too, is culled from another man’s Garden:

“Poverty brought into conformity with the law of nature, is great wealth.”

Do you know what limits that law of nature ordains for us?

Merely to avert hunger, thirst, and cold.

In order to banish hunger & thirst, it is not necessary for you to pay court at the doors of the purse-proud, or to submit to the stern frown, or to the kindness that humiliates;

nor is it necessary for you to scour the seas, or go campaigning; nature’s needs are easily provided & ready to hand.

It is the superfluous things for which people sweat, – the superfluous things that wear our clothes threadbare, that force us to grow old in camp, that dash us upon foreign shores.

That which is enough is ready to our hands.

One who has made a fair compact with poverty is rich.

FareWell。

Stoic, Seneca, StoicTaoist。

Death Arrives

我们为什么害怕死亡?
不愿活,却不知如何死。

论死亡的恐怖

继续你已经开始的生活,尽可能地加快速度,这样你就可以更长久地享受心灵的改善,

与自己和平相处的人。

毫无疑问,当你在改善你的思想时,你会得到快乐&让它平静下来;

但完全不同的是,当一个人的思想从它所闪耀的每一个污点上被如此净化时,来自沉思的快乐。

然而,当你抛开童年的思想&当智慧将你招入成人行列时,你可能会寻找更大的快乐。

因为与我们同在的不是童年,而是更糟糕的事情——孩子气。

这种情况更加严重,因为我们拥有老年的权威,以及童年的愚蠢,甚至是婴儿期的愚笨。

婴儿害怕琐事,孩子害怕阴影,我们两者都害怕。

你所需要做的就是前进;这样你就会明白有些事情不那么可怕,

正是因为它们激发了我们极大的恐惧。

没有什么邪恶是伟大的,它是所有邪恶中的最后一个。

死亡 得来临;

如果它能留在你身边,那将是一件可怕的事。

但死亡要么根本不来,要么就来了又走。

“然而,”你说,“很难让思维达到可以蔑视生命的地步。”

但你难道看不出是什么微不足道的理由促使人们蔑视生活吗?

一个人挂在爱人的门前;另一个人把自己从屋顶上摔下来,这样他们就不会再被迫忍受坏脾气的嘲笑;第三个逃走后被从逮捕中解救出来,用剑刺入他的要害。

你不认为美德和过度恐惧一样的效应吗?

没有人能拥有一个和平的生活,谁想延长它太多,或相信通过许多领事生活是一个伟大的祝福。

每天排练这个想法,这样你就可以心满意足地离开生活;

对许多人来说,他们紧紧抓住生命,就像那些被急流冲走的人紧紧抓住荆棘和尖锐的岩石一样。

大多数人在对死亡的恐惧和生活的艰辛之间的痛苦中起伏;

他们不愿生,但不知道如何死。

出于这个原因,让生活作为一个整体,让自己愉快的放逐所有担心它。

没有什么好东西能使拥有它的人快乐,除非他们的心能接受可能的损失;

然而,没有什么比失去时不能错过的东西更令人不安。

因此,鼓励和磨练你的精神,对抗那些折磨最强大的人的灾难。

从来没有人会因为命运的安排而受到如此大的威胁,以至于没有人会像以前那样放纵他们。

不要相信它看起来很平静;顷刻间,大海被移动到了它的深处。

反映出敌人可能会割断你的喉咙;&,虽然他们不是你的主人,但每一个奴隶都对你拥有生与死的力量。

想想那些在自己家中被阴谋杀害的人,他们要么被公开杀害,要么被狡诈杀害;你会明白,被愤怒的奴隶杀害的人和被愤怒的国王杀害的人一样多。

因此,当每个人都拥有激发你恐惧的力量时,你所恐惧的人有多强大又有什么关系呢?

“但是,”你会说,“如果你有机会落入敌人手中,征服者会命令你被带走。”

–是的,你已经被带到了哪里。

你为什么要自欺欺人&现在第一次要求别人告诉你,你长期以来所受的命运是什么?

相信我的话:从你出生的那天起,你就被带到了那里。

如果我们希望在等待最后一个小时时保持冷静,我们必须思考这种想法&类似性质的想法,因为对这一点的恐惧使之前的所有时间都感到不安。

但我必须结束我的信。让我和你分享一句今天令我高兴的话。它也是从另一个人的花园里挑选出来的:

符合自然规律的贫困是巨大的财富

你知道自然法则给我们规定了什么限制吗?

只是为了避免饥饿、干渴和寒冷。

为了消除饥饿和干渴,你没有必要在钱包门口高傲地求爱,也没有必要屈从于严厉的皱眉,或者屈从于羞辱你的仁慈;

你也没有必要去搜海,或者去竞选;大自然的需求很容易满足,随时可以满足。

正是那些让人们流失多余的东西,那些让我们衣衫褴褛多余的东西,迫使我们在营地变老,让我们冲向异国他乡。

足够的东西已经准备好交给我们了。

一个与贫穷达成了公平契约的人是富有的。

再会。

斯多葛派,塞内卡派,坚道学。

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