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这是“美国最具影响十大毕业演讲之一”:你该如何面对“日复一日”的人生?

给大家推荐一篇非常、非常特别的毕业演讲 ... 这篇演讲,2005年发布后引起全世界的广泛共鸣,与同年乔布斯著名的斯坦福毕业演讲(文末相关阅读中有),一起入选了 “美国最具影响的十大毕业演讲”。

这篇演讲的作者叫大卫·福斯特·华莱士(David Foster Wallace,1962-2008),美国最优秀的当代作家之一。他的代表作 Infinite Jest《无尽的玩笑》,被《时代杂志》评选为“1923年以来世界百部最佳英语长篇小说之一”,与詹姆士·乔伊斯的《尤利西斯》、威廉·加迪斯的《承认》和托马斯·品钦的《万有引力之虹》等相提并论。

这个演讲最开始传开时,是一段音频,22分44秒。到了2013年5月,制作公司 The Glossary,根据内容做了一个9分多长的小短片,观看量数千万 ...

他在美国最好的文科大学之一,肯尼恩学院的2005年毕业典礼上发表了这篇“特立独行”的演讲。面对一群名校毕业生,他提出了异常深刻的问题:面对不可避免的、就要到来的看上去“日复一日、庸常孤单”的人生,你会如何思考、如何面对?

在拥挤的早高峰地铁中感到呼吸困难,在马路上的塞车长龙动弹不得……相信我们都体验过这种 “日复一日 Day In Day Out” 生活中的无力感 ... 如何面对?所以,这个演讲,作为步入社会多年的成人,我们更能感同身受 ... 

花友@安妮何 是位国际学校的老师,她十分喜爱这篇演讲,她说:

在我们教孩子时,到底教什么?是教他们 How to think ?还是 What to think ?初读时,会觉得说,这段演讲说清了人文教育的价值。隔上一段时间再读,会发现,何止是教育,应该是包含了我们这一生。 关于觉察,意念;关于情绪,感知;关于信仰,依托;关于在这颗头颅大小的王国里,我们一直在追寻的自由。 无论我们在哪,无论在经历什么,希望这段演讲,都能让我们各自有所得。

她一直有个心愿要把这篇整理出来,介绍给大家。最近一次带学生假期旅行的途中,她抽空就拿出电脑一句一句对,在前人Chou Jojo翻译的基础上,又做了一些改动和调整,终于成文。感谢!

这篇演讲,也非常具有“文学价值”,语言优美,意境不凡。所以,今天把英文全文和翻译一并拿来和大家分享 ~

本文原载于安妮何(公众号ID:Miss_Annie_He)

以下为演讲全文

这是水,这是人生 ...

Greetings and congratulations to Kenyon’s graduating class of 2005. There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”

欢迎并恭喜2005年毕业班的同学。

两条小鱼在水里游,恰好遇到一条老鱼迎面游过来。老鱼对他们点头致意,然后说:”小朋友早!水怎么样啊?”

小鱼继续游。游了一会儿,其中一条终于忍不住,看着它的同伴说:“水是什么东西?”

This is a standard requirement of US commencement speeches, the deployment of didactic little parable-ish stories. The story turns out to be one of the better, less bullshitty conventions of the genre. But if you’re worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise, older fish explaining what water is to you younger fish, please don’t be. I am not the wise old fish. The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.

这是标准的毕业演讲要求:要使用几个教化人心的寓言体小故事。

和那些喜欢瞎扯的文学比起来,这个故事的手法还不错。但如果你们担心,我今天会当那条睿智的老鱼,来向你们这些小鱼解释水为何物,那大可不必。我不是睿智的老鱼。

这个故事的重点只有一个:显而易见,且至关重要的事实,通常难以察觉,无法言说。

Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude. But the fact is that in the day-to-day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have a life or death importance, or so I wish to suggest to you on this dry and lovely morning. Of course the main requirement of speeches like this is that I’m supposed to talk about your liberal arts education’s meaning, to try to explain why the degree you are about to receive has actual human value instead of just a material payoff.

如果通过文字来表达,这段话就显得很平庸。但事实上,对日常生活即战场的成年人来说,这段平庸的文字,却有着关乎生与死的力量。因此,在这样一个清爽宜人的早晨,我希望能为你们指出这一点。

当然,类似这种演讲的主要目的,应该是由我来告诉你们,人文教育的意义何在;应该由我来试着解释,为什么你们即将被授与的学位,有其真正的人文价值,而非只是物质上的回报?

So let’s talk about the single most pervasive cliché in the commencement speech genre, which is that a liberal arts education is not so much about filling you up with knowledge as it is about “teaching you how to think”. If you’re like me as a student, you’ve never liked hearing this, and you tend to feel a bit insulted by the claim that you needed anybody to teach you how to think, since the fact that you even got admitted to a college this good seems like proof that you already know how to think. But I’m going to pose it to you that the liberal arts cliché turns out not to be insulting at all, because the really significant education in thinking that we’re supposed to get in a place like this, isn’t really about the capacity to think,but rather about the choice of what to think about.

所以,来聊聊毕业演讲中最常出现的陈词旧调。人文教育的目的,与其说是用知识填满你们,不如说是教会你们如何思考。

如果你们像学生时代的我一样,一定不会想听这种话。说不定还会觉得有点被侮辱,竟然说你们需要人教,才能知道如何思考?毕竟能被这么优秀的大学录取,就足以证明你们已经懂得如何思考。

但我要指出,人文教育里的陈词旧调一点也不侮辱人。因为像这样一个如此重要的思考教育,并非关于思考的能力,而是关于思考内容的选择。

If your total freedom of choice regarding what to think about seems too obvious to waste time discussing, I’d ask you to think about fish and water, and to bracket for just a few minutes your skepticism about the value of the totally obvious.

如果你们觉得,讨论你们原本就能够自主选择的思考内容,显然是在浪费时间,那么请想一下鱼和水,请将这个显而易见的事物究竟有何价值的疑虑,暂时地搁置一边。

Here’s another didactic little story: There are these two guys sitting together in a bar in the remote Alaskan wilderness. One of the guys is religious, the other is an atheist, and the two are arguing about the existence of God with that special intensity that comes after about the fourth beer. And the atheist says, “Look, it’s not like I don’t have actual reasons for not believing in God. It’s not like I haven’t ever experimented with the whole God and prayer thing. Just last month I got caught away from the camp in that terrible blizzard, and I was totally lost and I couldn’t see a thing, and it was 50 below, and so I tried it: I fell to my knees in the snow and cried out, ‘Oh, God, if there is a God, I’m lost in this blizzard, and I’m gonna die if you don’t help me.’” And now, in the bar, the religious guy looks at the atheist all puzzled. “Well, then you must believe now,” he says. “After all, here you are, alive.” The atheist just rolls his eyes, "No, man, all that was was a couple Eskimos happened to come wandering by and showed me the way back to camp.”

还有另外一个教化人心的小故事:

在荒蛮的阿拉斯加郊区,两个男人并肩坐在酒吧里。其中一个信仰虔诚,另一个则是无神论者。两人因为上帝是否存在而发生激辩。酒过三巡,气氛格外热烈。 无神论者说:“听我说,其实我不是毫无根据就否定神,我也不是没经历过那些奇迹和祈祷之类的事。就在上个月,我被一场可怕的暴风雪困住,完全搞不清方向,什么也看不见,当时的气温是零下五十度。 所以我就试了,我跪在雪地,大声呼喊:“上帝啊!如果你真的存在,我被暴风雪困住了,如果你不帮忙,我就会死啊!” 听到这,信仰者一脸纳闷地看着无神论者:“那你现在应该是信了神啊!毕竟你好好地活下来了啊!” 无神论者双眼一翻,继续说到:“才不是呢!是因为刚巧有几个爱斯基摩人经过,他们告诉了我要怎么回营区。”

It’s easy to run this story through kind of a standard liberal arts analysis: “The exact same experience can mean two totally different things to two different people, given those people’s two different belief templates and two different ways of constructing meaning from experience. ” Because we prize tolerance and diversity of belief, nowhere in our liberal arts analysis do we want to claim that one guy’s interpretation is true and the other guy’s is false or bad, which is fine, except we also never end up talking about just where these individual templates and beliefs come from. Meaning, where they come from INSIDE the two guys.

如果用所谓的人文教育的标准去分析这个故事,其实相当简单:两个人的经历即使完全相同,也有可能产生两种完全不同的认知。

这是因为,他们各自信奉的思考模式不同,根据各自经历来构建认知的方式也不同。

因为我们推崇,要对不同的信奉模式,要对多样性,采取宽容的态度,所以人文教育不会要求我们去分析哪一种诠释为真,哪一种诠释为缪。

这样也很好,只不过我们从未讨论,这些来自个人的不一样的思考模式,究竟来自何处?也就是说,在他们的内心深处,这些不同,究竟来自何处?

As if a person’s most basic orientation toward the world, and the meaning of his experience were somehow just hard-wired, like height or shoe-size; or automatically absorbed from the culture, like language. As if how we construct meaning were not actually a matter of personal, intentional choice.

我们每个人对这世界的基本态度,以及如何看待自己的经历,仿佛是天生注定,就像身高,鞋子的尺寸那样。

或者说,这和语言一样,是一种吸收母体文化的自然产物。仿佛我们构建意义的方式,并不是出于个人有意识的选择,而是本就该如此。

Plus, there’s the whole matter of arrogance. The non-religious guy is so totally certain in his dismissal of the possibility that the passing Eskimos had anything to do with his prayer for help. True, there are plenty of religious people who seem arrogant and certain of their own interpretations, too. They’re probably even more repulsive than atheists, at least to most of us.But religious dogmatists’ problem is exactly the same as the story’s unbeliever: blind certainty, a close-mindedness that amounts to an imprisonment so total that the prisoner doesn’t even know he’s locked up.

此外,傲慢也是一个很重要的因素。这个没有信仰的家伙完全笃定,经过的爱斯基摩人,跟他祈求帮助这件事完全地没有任何关联。

话又说回来,许多有信仰的人也很傲慢,坚信着他们自己对事物的解读与诠释。对我们大多数人来说,他们甚至都有可能比那些无神论者更加地让人讨厌,

但宗教教条主义者们所面临的问题,其实和故事中那位不信神的人完全一样:毫不质疑,盲目深信;思想的封闭程度近乎自闭,甚至都意识不到自己已被囚禁。

The point here is that I think this is one part of what teaching me how to think is really supposed to mean. To be just a little less arrogant. To have just a little critical awareness about myself and my certainties.  Because a huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. I have learned this the hard way, as I predict you graduates will, too. Here is just one example of the total wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of:  Everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute centre of the universe; the realest, most vivid and important person in existence.

怎么才算真正地教会思考?其中的一部分真义是:稍微地,将姿态放低一点;稍微地,对自我,对百分百的确信,进行一下质疑。

那些不加思索就让我轻信的事,到后来发现,它们很多都错得离谱,让我深受其骗。我吃了不少苦头才学到这个教训。我想你们毕业后,估计也会遭遇类似经历。

接下来要说的,就是一个例子,错得离谱,但我不加思索就信了,而且我的所有经历,都在支撑我的这种深信。

这个错误就是:“所有一切,都应以我为中心;宇宙万物中,就数我最真实,我最生动,我最重要。”

We rarely think about this sort of natural, basic self-centredness because it’s so socially repulsive. But it’s pretty much the same for all of us. It is our default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth.  Think about it: there is no experience you have had that you are not the absolute center of.  The world as you experience it is there in front of YOU or behind YOU, to the left or right of YOU, on YOUR TV or YOUR monitor, and so on.  Other people’s thoughts and feelings have to be communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent, real.

我们很少去思考这种与生俱来的自我中心观,因为这会让人反感。但几乎我们每人都这样,这是我们的一个默认设置,从我们一出生起,就被写入大脑。

想想看,过去所有的经验都在告诉你:你才是世界的中心。你所经历的世界,就在你的眼前,身后,左右;就在你看的电视,你看的荧屏上......

别人的想法,感觉,会通过某种方式传递给你,但即使这样,只有来自你自己的想法,感觉,才更直接,更迫切,更真实。

Please don’t worry that I’m getting ready to lecture you about compassion or other- directedness or all the so-called virtues.  This is not a matter of virtue. It’s a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default setting, which is to be deeply and literally self-centered and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self.  People who can adjust their natural default setting this way are often described as being “well-adjusted”, which I suggest to you is not an accidental term.

请不要担心,我不会开始训诫你们何谓同理心,为他人想,或者所谓的美德。

这也无关美德,而是一种选择。试着以某种方式,改变或者跳脱自有天性。这种天性,这种已经默认好的设置,深深地以自我为中心,用一种叫做自我的滤镜,来诠释一切。

那些可以做到调整自我中心预设的人,通常被称之为“适应力高超”。你们要知道,这种描述并非只是随口一说。

Given the triumphant academic setting here, an obvious question is how much of this work of adjusting our default setting involves actual knowledge or intellect.  This question gets very tricky. Probably the most dangerous thing about an academic education—at least in my own case—is that it enables my tendency to over- intellectualise stuff, to get lost in abstract argument inside my head, instead of simply paying attention to what is going on right in front of me, paying attention to what is going on inside me.

就以这所校史显赫的学院为例,一个显而易见的问题是:在调整这种以自我为中心的默认设置的过程中,究竟有多少内容,需要我们用到实际的知识,或者智力呢?

这个问题不好回答。而且很有可能就是学术教育中的最危险一环——至少我的个人体会是这样——学术教育,让我有了一种过度理智的倾向,让我沉浸于各种抽象辩证,而忽略了近在眼前的各种发生,忽略了由外向内地去看自己。

As I’m sure you guys know by now, it is extremely difficult to stay alert and attentive, instead of getting hypnotised by the constant monologue inside your own head (may be happening right now).   Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea:  Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think.

我想你们已经意识到,保持警醒与关注,比用滔滔不绝的内心独白来催眠自己(说不定你们此刻就是如此),要困难得多。

毕业二十年,我逐渐体会到,使我学会如何思考的,看似是陈词旧调式的人文教育,其实是萃取智慧后的吉光片羽,是更为深刻,更为严肃的思想:

学习如何思考,其实就是在锻练,对思考什么,对怎样思考,去做有意识地控制与引导。

It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.  Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.  Think of the old cliché about “The mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master”. This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth.  It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.

你得拥有足够清醒的意识力,能够选择自己的关注所在,能够决定通过怎样的方式,对自己的经历进行解读。

当你们进入成人阶段,如果还无法运用这种有意识的控制能力,你们会被暴虐的。

想想那句老话:心智,是优秀的仆人,糟糕的主人。

这话像许多陈腔滥调那样,从表面看,没有说服力,苍白又无趣。但实则却说出了一个伟大且可怕的事实。

比如,几乎每个开枪自杀的人,都会选择自己的脑袋,而这绝非巧合。因为他们要打死的,是那个糟糕的主人。事实上,在扣下板机之前,大部份的自杀者,早已死去。

I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: “How to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out. ”

在去掉华而不实的部份后,我认为人文教育真正的价值应该是:在经历舒适富足,受人尊敬的成年生活时,如何不流于行尸走肉,毫无意识;如何不被大脑奴役,不被自我中心奴役;不会因为认为自己是完完全全独一无二的主宰,而不幸陷入日复一日,年复一年的循环往复中。

That may sound like hyperbole, or abstract nonsense. Let’s get concrete.  The plain fact is that you graduating seniors do not yet have any clue what “day in day out” really means. There happen to be whole, large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches.  One such part involves boredom, routine and petty frustration. The parents and older folks here will know all too well what I’m talking about.

这些听起来或许夸张,好像在瞎扯一些抽象的道理。

那我们来说点具体的。摆在眼前的事实是,你们这些毕业生,到现在为止,对【日复一日】的真正意义还不是很了解。但这刚好就是大多数美国成年人的生活写照,一般的毕业演讲也不会和你们说这些。

它包含了无趣,一成不变的日常,以及散乱琐碎的挫败。在场的父母,以及年纪稍长的人,都很清楚我在说什么。

By way of example, let’s say it’s an average adult day, and you get up in the morning, go to your challenging, white-collar, college-graduate job, and you work hard for eight or ten hours, and at the end of the day you’re tired and somewhat stressed and all you want is to go home and have a good supper and maybe unwind for an hour, and then hit the sack early because, of course, you have to get up the next day and do it all again. But then you remember there’s no food at home. You haven’t had time to shop this week because of your challenging job, and so now after work you have to get in your car and drive to the supermarket. 

举个例子,就拿一个成年人的一天作息来说明。

早上起床,迎接那份需要大学学历,且富有挑战的白领工作。你辛苦工作八到十小时,一日将尽时,身心疲惫,压力莫名。只想回家好好吃顿饭,然后把自己放空半把个小时。之后早早上床,因为明天起床后,这一切一切,还得重来。

但此时,你想到家里没有吃的了。做着这样一份处处挑战的工作,你已经一个星期都没空出时间进行采购。所以一下班,你就得把自己塞进车里,开去超市。

It’s the end of the work day and the traffic is very bad. So getting to the store takes way longer than it should, and when you finally get there, the supermarket is very crowded, because, of course, it’s the time of day when all the other people with jobs also try to squeeze in some grocery shopping.   And the store's hideously, fluorescently lit, and infused with soul-killing Muzak or corporate pop, and it's pretty much the last place you want to be, but you can't just get in and quickly out: You have to wander all over the huge, overlit store's crowded aisles to find the stuff you want, and you have to maneuver your junky cart through all these other tired, hurried people with carts, and of course there are also the glacially slow old people and the spacey people and the ADHD kids who all block the aisle and you have to grit your teeth and try to be polite as you ask them to let you by.

下班高峰,交通堵到爆,路上花的时间远远超预期。当你终于抵达,超市却人满为患。因为当然啦,所有上班族都想趁着这个时间,挤进超市,采购生活用品。

超市里的照明亮得可怕,充斥着闷人的背景音乐,偶像团体的流行歌曲。可以说,此刻你最不想待的地方,就是这。

但你却无法速战速决:在这巨大的,灯光刺眼的商店里,为了找到自己想要的物品,你得在一条条拥挤的过道上来回穿梭。你还得指挥眼前的这辆破推车,在同样推着购物车,满脸倦容,行色匆匆的人群中,迂回前进。

人群中,有面色冷淡的老者,嗑药迷幻的顾客,还有精力过于充沛的顽童,他们堵在过道,你不得不咬紧牙关,竭力保持风度,请他们让你过去。

And eventually you get all your supper supplies, except now it turns out there aren’t enough check-out lanes open even though it’s the end-of-the-day rush. So the checkout line is incredibly long, which is stupid and infuriating. But you can’t take your frustration out on the frantic lady working the register, who is overworked at a job whose daily tedium and meaninglessness surpasses the imagination of any of us here at a prestigious college. But anyway, you finally get to the checkout line’s front, and you pay for your food, and you get told to “Have a nice day” in a voice that is the absolute voice of death. Then you have to take your creepy, flimsy, plastic bags of groceries in your cart with the one crazy wheel that pulls maddeningly to the left, all the way out through the crowded, bumpy, littery parking lot, and then you have to drive all the way home through slow, heavy, SUV-intensive, rush-hour traffic, et cetera et cetera.

终于,晚餐的材料凑齐了。你发现,虽然正值下班的高峰时段,开放结帐的柜台却不够多,所以结帐的队伍长到不可思议。  

这种破事真是让人火大,但你又不能将自己的挫败,发泄在那位因为负责结帐而忙到发疯的女士身上。

她超时工作,而且这份工作的单调程度,并不是你们这些名校的毕业生们所能想象到。

无论如何,你终于排到了柜台前。你付了钱,听到一句"祝您今天愉快”,说话的语气却是死气沉沉,听起来好丧。

你推着购物车,载着那些薄薄的看起来有些诡异的塑料购物袋;推车的一个轮子也像发了疯似地,总是往左偏。

你费力地,一颠一簸地,穿过拥挤杂乱的停车场。你开车回家,道路继续拥堵,你加入了缓慢笨拙的车潮中......

Everyone here has done this, of course. But it hasn’t yet been part of you graduates’ actual life routine, day after week after month after year. But it will be. And many more dreary, annoying, seemingly meaningless routines besides. But that is not the point. The point is that petty, frustrating crap like this is exactly where the work of choosing is gonna come in.  Because the traffic jams and crowded aisles and long checkout lines give me time to think, and if I don’t make a conscious decision about how to think and what to pay attention to, I’m gonna be pissed and miserable every time I have to shop.  Because my natural default setting is the certainty that situations like this are really all about me. About MY hungriness and MY fatigue and MY desire to just get home, and it’s going to seem for all the world like everybody else is just in my way.  And who are all these people in my way? And look at how repulsive most of them are, and how stupid and cow-like and dead-eyed and nonhuman they seem in the checkout line, or at how annoying and rude it is that people are talking loudly on cell phones in the middle of the line. And look at how deeply and personally unfair this is.

在场的每个人应该都有过这种经历,但它还没成为你们这些毕业生日常生活的一部分,日复一日,年复一年,周而复始。

但这是迟早的事,而且除此外,你们还会遇到更多的例行琐碎,枯燥乏味,让人讨厌,看起来毫无意义。

但这不是重点。重点是,当这些琐碎又让人挫败的事情发生时,正是发挥出你的决择能力的绝好时刻。

塞车,拥挤的走道,以及排成长龙的结帐队伍,都会让我有时间思考。如果没有足够的自我觉察,对自己的思考方式以及关注目标,做到有意识地控制与引导,那么之后的每次购物,我都会很生气,很痛苦。

因为我自有的默认设置,我会认定这种情况都是冲我而来。因为我饥肠辘辘,因为我疲惫不堪,因为我归心似箭,所以看起来就好像,整个世界,所有所有人,都在此时此刻,挡在我面前。

那些挡路的人是谁?几乎每个都面目可憎,相貌愚蠢,笨得跟牛一样,还有一双死鱼眼。排队结帐也没个人样,有些还特没品,大声讲着手机不懂得克制音量。看看,看看,这些对我个人来说,是多大的不公平!

Or, of course, if I’m in a more socially conscious liberal arts form of my default setting, I can spend time in the end-of-the-day traffic being disgusted about all the huge, stupid, lane-blocking SUV’s and Hummers and V-12 pickup trucks, burning their wasteful, selfish, 40-gallon tanks of gas. And I can dwell on the fact that the patriotic or religious bumper-stickers always seem to be on the biggest, most disgustingly selfish vehicles, driven by the ugliest, most inconsiderate and aggressive drivers. And I can think about how our children’s children will despise us for wasting all the future’s fuel, and probably screwing up the climate, and how spoiled and stupid and selfish and disgusting we all are, and how modern consumer society just sucks, and so forth and so on. You get the idea.

如果我自己的默认设置,更具社会意识与人文素养,那么我会在黄昏的车阵中花上一点时间,对所有巨大的,笨重的,又特别碍事的休旅车,悍马车,以及十二汽缸卡车,心生厌恶。它们自私又浪费,正在消耗着油箱里的四十加仑油。

我可以详尽地说出一个我自以为真的事实:那些保险杆上的爱国标语,宗教箴言,总是贴在最大,最自私,最令人厌恶的汽车上,由最丑陋,最不体谅人,最好斗的司机驾驶着。

我也能想像到我们的子孙后代会如何鄙视我们,因为我们正在浪费未来的石油,或许把气候也给搞坏了!

我们如此地娇纵,愚笨,自私,可憎。这个现代的以消费为主的社会,实在是太糟太烂了!......类似的想法,还可以说上很多很多,你们懂我意思。

If I choose to think this way in a store and on the freeway, fine. Lots of us do. Except thinking this way tends to be so easy and automatic that it doesn’t have to be a choice. It is my natural default setting.  It’s the automatic way that I experience the boring, frustrating, crowded parts of adult life when I’m operating on the automatic, unconscious belief that I am the centre of the world, and that my immediate needs and feelings are what should determine the world’s priorities.

在商店,在高速公路,如果我选择像刚才说的那样想,无可厚非,毕竟我们很多人都会这么做。不过这种思维方式很容易自动产生,以至于我甚至连选都不用选。这是我的先天预设,已经默认好的设置。

当我的思考处于自动模式,而无法察觉我已将自己放在世界的中心时,顺理成章地,我就会去经历成年生活中的无趣,挫败,拥挤。我自己的当下需求与感受,决定了这个世界的轻重缓急。

The thing is that, of course, there are totally different ways to think about these kinds of situations.  In this traffic, all these vehicles stopped and idling in my way, it’s not impossible that some of these people in SUV’s have been in horrible auto accidents in the past, and now find driving so terrifying that their therapist has all but ordered them to get a huge, heavy SUV so they can feel safe enough to drive.  Or that the Hummer that just cut me off is maybe being driven by a father whose little child is hurt or sick in the seat next to him, and he’s trying to get this kid to the hospital, and he’s in a bigger, more legitimate hurry than I am: it is actually I, who am in HIS way. Or I can choose to force myself to consider the likelihood that everyone else in the supermarket’s checkout line is just as bored and frustrated as I am, and that some of these people probably have harder, more tedious and painful lives than I do.

我想说的是,遇到这些状况时,我们可以采取完全不同的思考方式。

当身处车阵,当所有车子都好像停下来挡住了我的去路时,这些开着大型休旅车的人,或许有的曾经遭遇过可怕的交通事故,觉得开车很恐怖,以至于他们的心理治疗师都要求他们去弄一辆又大又重的车,从而保证足够的安全感。这种情况不是不可能。

或者刚刚超我车的那辆悍马,说不定就是由一位父亲驾驶,坐在他旁边的小孩受伤了,生病了,他想赶快带着孩子去医院。他的理由要比我的正当且迫切得多。事实上,其实是我,在挡他的路。

或者我也可以选择强迫自己,去考虑一种可能:结帐队伍中的每个人都跟我一样,厌烦,挫败。其中有些人的生活,说不定比我的更艰难,更无趣,更痛苦。

Again, please don’t think that I’m giving you moral advice, or that I’m saying you are supposed to think this way, or that anyone expects you to just automatically do it.  Because it’s hard. It takes will and effort, and if you are like me, some days you won’t be able to do it, or you just flat out won’t want to.

我要再说一次,请不要认为我在对你们进行道德劝戒,告诉你们应当这样这样去思考,或者期望你们可以自发地这么做。

因为这很难,需要意志力,需要努力。如果你们跟我一样,有一天也会感到力不从心,或是干脆就选择放弃。

But most days, if you’re aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line.  Maybe she’s not usually like this. Maybe she’s been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer.  Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness.  Of course, none of this is likely, but it’s also not impossible. It just depends what you want to consider.

然而大部分的日子里,如果你们的清醒程度可以帮助你们做出选择,你们就可以做到,从另外一个角度,去看结帐队伍中的那位胖女人。

她两眼呆滞,浓妆艳抹,对着自己的小孩大声吼叫。也许她平常不是这样,也许她为了陪伴自己骨癌末期的丈夫,一直握着他的手,已经连续三晚没有睡。

又或者这位女士就是汽车监理所的基层员工,昨天刚刚发挥了公务人员的一点善举,顺手帮助你的爱人解决了一些令人火大又讨怒的繁文缛节。

当然,这些看起来好像都不太像,但也不是没可能。这取决于你们自己想要怎么看。

If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won’t consider possibilities that aren’t annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down. 

如果你们不加思索地就认为自己知道真相,如果你们一直遵循已有的默认设置,那么你们会和我一样,不太会去考虑说,事情本身也许还有其他可能,也许并不恼人,并不痛苦。

如果你们真的学会如何控制思考方向,就会发现还有其他情境可以选,而这会成为你们内在的真正力量。

即使身处拥挤,闷热,迟钝,给你带来极大痛苦的场景中,也能感受到其中的意义与神圣,感受到烈火燃烧中,繁星得以诞生的力量:爱,义,宇宙万物皆为一,内在深处的神秘。

Not that mystical stuff is necessarily true. The only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re gonna try to see it.  This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted.  You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship.

不是说神秘事物必为真理。事实上,独一无二的真理是,你们要去决定,将以何种角度去看这身边万物。  

这才是真正的教育,真正地学会如何高度适应,所能孕育出的心灵自由。

你们能够有意识地去选择,什么有意义,什么只为虚。你们能够决定,什么才是自己的崇拜与追寻。

Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships.  The only choice we get is what to worship.  And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship–be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles–is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

有些事情看似诡异却是事实:在成年人的日常战场上,其实没有所谓的无神论者。没有人不崇拜某种事物,我们每个人都崇拜。

我们唯一能够选择的,是崇拜的对象。

我们之所以选择某个神祇,某种心灵皈依,不论是耶稣基督,阿拉,耶和华,现代巫术的母神,佛教的四圣谛,抑或某种神圣不容质疑的道德准则,那是因为,若是做了其他选择,我们的生命,也就差不多都会被其吞噬掉。

If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough.  It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables, the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness. Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear.  Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out.  But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings. They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.

如果崇拜金钱与物质,认为这些才是生命的意义,那么你们所得的,将会永远不够,你们也将永远都不会感到足够。

事实就是如此。如果崇拜身体,美貌,性魅力,永远都会自觉丑陋。当岁月的痕迹开始浮现,即使生命并未终结,也将死过千百回。

道理我们多少都懂。这个道理也被编入神话,谚语,陈词,警句,寓言中,是所有伟大故事的基本框架。  

这其中的诀窍只有一个:通过日常的意识觉察,从而意识到,真相在前,而非已知。

崇拜权力,会使自己感到虚弱,害怕,因此便会追求更多权力,以求凌驾他人,好能麻痹自己的内心恐惧。

崇拜自己的智识,希望被视为一个聪明的人,最后会觉得自己其实是个愚蠢的骗子,永远处于害怕事迹败露的恐惧中。

这些隐隐而生的崇拜模式,并非本质邪恶,或者罪不可赦,而是因为,它们是无意识的反应,是我们对自己的默认设置。

这些崇拜之心会让人逐渐沉沦,日复一日,在毫无意识,并不自知的情况下,对自己的所见所闻,对自己的评价标准,逐渐有了越来越多的片面选择。

And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self.  Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull- sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving….

这个所谓的真实世界,并不会阻挡你们去遵循自己的默认设置。因为这个由人,财富,权力所组成的世界,正愉悦地浸泡在恐惧,愤怒,挫败,欲望,以及自我崇拜的染缸中。

我们当前的文化,又推崇了这样一种趋势的产生,以求带来惊人的财富,舒适的生活,还有个体的自由。

然而,能够自由掌控这颗头颅大小的王国,才是万事万物的中心,才是值得我们去极力推崇的自由。

自由有很多种,可以控制自己头脑意识的自由,才是最最重要的。只不过在这样一个充满欲望与企图的大千世界中,我们很少听到它,说起它。 

The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.

这种自由非常重要。它需要注意力,觉察力,自制力;需要在每天的日常中,在各种细微琐碎中,用不那么惊天动地的方式,对他人的经历,想法,做上自己的思考,并能保持,在思考后,做出一个平衡选择。

这才是真正的自由,这才是何谓接受教育,何谓懂得如何思考。否则则会进入没有意识的默认设置,本能反应。在激烈的且毫无意义的竞争中,在得与失的无限循环往复中,一直地,痛苦着。

I know that this stuff probably doesn’t sound fun and breezy or grandly inspirational the way a commencement speech is supposed to sound.  What it is, as far as I can see, is the capital-T Truth, with a whole lot of rhetorical niceties stripped away. You are, of course, free to think of it whatever you wish.  But please don’t just dismiss it as just some finger-wagging Dr Laura sermon. None of this stuff is really about morality or religion or dogma or big fancy questions of life after death.

我知道我的这些话,大概既无聊又沉闷,不像你们对一个毕业演讲所有的预期,发人深省,引人深思。

我想说的是,在我已知的范围内,这是褪去了所有华美修辞,独一无二的真理。当然,你们可以用自己的角度去诠释。

但请不要把它看成是一场摇摇手指就好了的布道大会,而对它毫不在意。我说的这些,无关道德,无关宗教,信仰,教条,也无关死后世界的各种疑问与探寻。

The capital-T Truth is about life BEFORE death. It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:“This is water.”“This is water.”

我说的这些,关于我们人的这一生在世。

关于教育的真正价值,不是知识,而是意识的觉察。对事物的本真进行觉察,对隐于我们身边的平凡无奇进行觉察。

因为它们如此本真,如此隐匿,以至于我们必须一直地不断地提醒自己说:

这就是水。

这就是水。

It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out. Which means yet another grand cliché turns out to be true: Your education really IS the job of a lifetime. And it commences: now. I wish you way more than luck.

在日复一日,年复一年的成年生活中,保持觉察,保持活力,有着无法想象的难。

这刚好验证了另一句老话:

活到老,学到老。开始于现在,终其这一生。

......  

最后,祝你们拥有的,不止是运气。

———————— END —————————

安妮何:国际学校里,蹦跶十四年。技术流写文,有理论,有示范,有讲解,用轻松又柔软的语言,阐述复杂的学术理论。运营同名微信公众号:安妮何(ID:Miss_Annie_He )

文章来源:公众号“小花生网”

2019-06-13 20:38
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