5. How to Live ? 如何生活?

How to Live ?

Live according to Nature.

On the Philosopher’s Mean

I commend you & rejoice in the fact that you are persistent in your studies, & that, putting all else aside,

you make it each day your endeavour to become a better person.

I do not merely exhort you to keep at it; I actually beg you to do so.

I warn you, however, not to act after the fashion of those who desire to be conspicuous rather than to improve,

by doing things which will rouse comment as regards your dress or general way of living.

Repellent attire, unkempt hair, open scorn of silver dishes, a couch on the bare earth,

& any other perverted forms of self-display, are to be avoided.

The mere name of philosophy, however quietly pursued, is an object of sufficient scorn;

& what would happen if we should begin to separate ourselves from the customs of our fellowships?

Inwardly, we ought to be different in all respects, but our exterior should conform to society.

Do not wear too fine, nor yet too frowzy, a toga.

One needs no silver plate, encrusted & embossed in solid gold;

but we should not believe the lack of silver & gold to be proof of the simple life.

Let us try to maintain a higher standard of life than that of the multitude, but not a contrary standard;

otherwise, we shall frighten away & repel the very persons whom we are trying to improve.

The first thing which philosophy undertakes to give is fellow-feeling with everyone;

in other words, sympathy & sociability.

We part company with our promise if we are unlike everyone else.

We must see to it that the means by which we wish to draw admiration be not absurd & odious.

Our motto, as you know, is

“Live according to Nature”;

but it is quite contrary to nature to torture the body, to hate unlaboured elegance, to be dirty on purpose,

to eat food that is not only plain, but disgusting & forbidding.

Just as it is a sign of luxury to seek out dainties,

so it is madness to avoid that which is customary & can be purchased at no great price.

Philosophy calls for plain living, but not for penance;

& we may perfectly well be plain & neat at the same time.

This is the mean of which I approve;

our life should observe a happy medium between the ways of a sage & the ways of the world at large;

all & one should admire it, but they should understand it also.

“Well then, shall we act like other people?

Shall there be no distinction between ourselves & the world?”

Yes, a very great one;

let people find that we are unlike the common herd, if they look closely.

If they visit us at home, they should admire us, rather than our household appointments.

One is a great person who uses earthenware dishes as if they were silver;

but One is equally great who uses silver as if it were earthenware.

It is the sign of an unstable mind not to be able to endure riches.

I wish to share with you to-day’s profit also, in the writings of Hecato that the limiting of desires helps also to cure fears:

“Cease to hope, & you will cease to fear.”

“But how,” you will reply, “can things so different go side by side?”

In this way, my dear Lucilius: though they do seem at variance, yet they are really united.

Just as the same chain fastens the prisoner & the soldier who guards them,

so hope & fear, dissimilar as they are, keep step together;

fear follows hope.

I am not surprised that they proceed in this way;

each alike belongs to a mind that is in suspense,

a mind that is fretted by looking forward to the future.

But the chief cause of both these ills is that we do not adapt ourselves to the present,

but send our thoughts a long way ahead.

And so foresight,

the noblest blessing of the human race, becomes perverted.

Many of our blessings bring bane to us;

for memory recalls the tortures of fear,

while foresight anticipates them.

The present alone can make no One wretched.

Beasts avoid the dangers which they see, & when they have escaped them are free from care;

but we torment ourselves

Over that which is to Come

as well as

Over that which is Past.

FareWell。

Stoic, Seneca, StoicTaoist。

如何生活?

按自然规律生活。

论哲学家的中庸

我赞扬你,并为你坚持不懈地学习而高兴,抛开其他一切,

你每天都在努力成为一个更好的人。

我不仅劝你坚持下去;我真的请求你这么做。

然而,我警告你们,不要仿效那些希望引人注目而不是改进的人,

做一些会引起人们对你的衣着或一般生活方式的评论的事情。

令人厌恶的衣着,蓬乱的头发,对银盘的公然蔑视,光秃的土地上,

&应避免任何其他扭曲的自我展示形式。

哲学的名称,不管它如何被悄悄地追求,都是一个备受蔑视的对象;

&如果我们开始脱离习俗,会发生什么?

在内心,我们应该在各个方面都有所不同,但我们的外表应该与社会相适应。

不要穿得太细,也不要穿得太邋遢。

一个人不需要镀银板,用纯金镶嵌;

但是,我们不应该相信金银的缺乏就是简单生活的证明。

让我们努力保持比大众更高的生活标准,但不要有相反的标准;

否则,我们将吓跑和排斥那些我们正试图改进的人。

哲学承诺给予的第一件事是与每个人的同情心;

换句话说,同情和社交。

如果我们与其他人不同,我们就会放弃自己的承诺。

我们必须确保我们希望获得赞赏的手段不是荒谬和可憎的。

你知道,我们的座右铭是

“按自然生活”;

但是,折磨身体,痛恨无拘无束的优雅,故意弄脏身体,是完全违背自然的,

吃不光是普通的食物,而且是令人厌恶和禁止的食物。

正如追求美味是奢侈的象征,

因此,避免那些习惯性的东西是疯狂的&可以用不高的价格买到。

哲学要求朴素的生活,但不要求忏悔;

&我们很有可能同时做到朴素和整洁。

这是我赞同的意思;

我们的生活应该在圣人的生活方式和整个世界的生活方式之间找到一个幸福的中介;

所有人都应该钦佩它,但他们也应该理解它。

“那么,我们应该像其他人一样行事吗?

难道我们和世界之间没有区别吗?”

是的,非常棒;

如果人们仔细观察的话,让他们发现我们与普通人群不同。

如果他们在家里拜访我们,他们应该钦佩我们,而不是我们的家具陈设。

一个伟人,能把陶器盘子当作银器来使用;

但同样伟人使用银就像使用陶器一样。

不能忍受财富是精神不稳定的标志。

我也希望与你们分享今天的利润,在赫卡托的著作中,欲望的限制也有助于治愈恐惧:

“停止希望,你将停止恐惧。”

“但是,”你会回答,“如此不同的事情怎么能同时发生呢?”

就这样,我亲爱的卢西柳斯:虽然他们看起来不一致,但他们真的是团结一致的。

就像同一条锁链把囚犯和看守他们的士兵拴在一起一样,

所以希望和恐惧,尽管它们是不同的,但却要步调一致;

恐惧伴随着希望。

我对他们这样做并不感到惊讶;

每个人都属于一个悬念中的心灵,

一颗因展望未来而烦恼的心。

但这两种弊病的主要原因是我们不适应现在,

但让我们的思想向前走很长一段路。

所以 有远见,,

人类最崇高的祝福,却被扭曲了。

我们的许多祝福给我们带来了祸害;

因为记忆回忆起恐惧的折磨,

而远见卓识则预示着他们。

不能使任何人痛苦的 是现在。

野兽逃避他们所看到的危险,一旦逃脱,他们就无忧无虑;

但我们折磨自己

在即将到来的事情上

以及

在过去的事情上。

再会。

斯多葛派,塞内卡派,坚道学。

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