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我们最大的妄想

Our Greatest Delusion

我也不清楚我去切尔诺贝利(乌克兰城市)是想找什么 我是说
I’m not sure what I expected to find when I went to Chernobyl. I mean it’s been so long
自这儿的核反应堆熔毁 并在整个地区释放放射性物质以来 已经过了很久了
since the nuclear reactor there melted down and spewed radioactive atoms across the land.
所以近30年来 这块地方基本上已经废弃了 最近 工人们
So for almost thirty years this place has been virtually abandoned. These days workers
被允许进入这块地区 但每次最多只能呆两周 这并不是因为
are allowed into the zone but only for two weeks at a time. And that’s not because the
辐射程度过高 而是因为一些心理上的因素 在像这样的地方
levels of radiation are too high, it’s actually for psychological reasons. More than two weeks
呆两个礼拜以上 似乎总会让人想些奇怪的事情 我在这儿只呆了四天
in a place like this will apparently make you think strange things. And I was only here
但我已经开始思考岩石这种东西
for four days but I started to think about rocks.
是的……岩石
Yeah… rocks.
岩石看上去是永恒的 我的意思是我知道实际上并不是这样 山体一直持续地
Rocks appear to be permanent. I mean I know that they aren’t. Mountains are constantly
受到侵蚀 在某些地方 地壳融化 重新进入地幔
eroding and in places the crust is melting back into
显然 岩石并不是永久存在的 但是跟人的生命比 也可以称得上永恒了
the mantle. Rock obviously isn’t permanent but on the scale of a human life, it is.
千百年来 人们都接受了这样一个事实——岩石是永恒的 我认为这正是
And people have recognized that fact – rocks are permanent – for thousands of years and I think that’s
它在我们心中如此重要的原因 因为 “钻石恒久远”
what makes them important to us. I mean, ‘a diamond is forever’
我们之所以用岩石来建纪念碑 是因为岩石比我们 以及几乎任何我们可以想到的材料
We build these monuments out of rock because they will outlast us and virtually every other
都更能长久留存 我们现代建筑中所用到的金属和玻璃 也只不过是靠人类的智慧 被精炼出来的
material we can think of. Our modern structures of metal and glass are just rock refined by
岩石而已 岩石是实用而具有象征意义的 我们力图让自己和岩石一样永恒
our ingenuity. Rocks are both practical and symbolic. We seek to identify ourselves with
我们把英雄刻在岩石上 因为我们希望他们可以万古长存 并且 这也是
rocks. We carve our heroes in stone because we want them to last forever and there’s a
我们希望自己也能拥有这种永恒的一种方式 我觉得把名字刻在岩石上
way in which we want that kind of permanence for ourselves too. I think it’s in the core
将首字母刻在未干的水泥 也就是人造的石头上 或在桥上放把锁
of the desire to scratch our name into stone, put your initials in wet cement, really man-made
就是这种愿望最重要的体现 我们试着以这种方式来淡忘我们不是长生不老的
rock, or fasten a padlock to a bridge. In this way we try to push our impermanence from
纪念碑 雕塑和桥梁 这些都给我们一种存续和稳定的感觉
our minds. The monuments, statues and bridges, they give us a sense of continuity, stability
一种它们就是这样存在的 并且会一直会这么存在下去的感觉 就像我们第一次认识到
that this is the way it is and the way it’s always been. Like the way we first conceived
恒星这种事物:静止的 不变的 永恒的 这种认知世界的方式帮助我们继续维持
of stars: static, unchanging, eternal. And this way of viewing the world helps us maintain
我们最大的妄想:我们会以某种方式永存于世 我们想要相信
our greatest delusion: the thought that we are in any way eternal. We want to believe
我们的一部分 比如我们的意识 或灵魂会永远存在 但是当你意识到
that some part of us, our consciousness or our soul will last forever. But what do you
连岩石都不能永恒的时候 你如何让自己继续相信那个妄想?
make of it then when you see stone is not even so permanent?
在切尔诺贝利四处走动时 很自然地 除了岩石的永恒外 我开始思考
Walking around Chernobyl I think it’s understandable I started contemplating not only the permanence
它们的腐朽 推而广之 我想到了我们的腐朽——死亡 没有人存在的世界
of rocks but also their decay, and by extension, our decay, death, what the world would look
会是怎样的呢
like without people.
我能想到最接近真正虚无的是
You know the closest I can come to imagining true nothingness is to picture the universe
高速逆行的宇宙 所有的星系挤压在一起 恒星扩张
running really fast in reverse. All the galaxies squeezing closer together, stars expanding
变回气体云 所有的一切都温度升高 高度密集 持续挤压 直到
back into gas clouds and everything getting hotter and denser, compactifying until the
整个可观测宇宙压缩到能被塞进一个房间 然后越来越小 变成一个点
whole observable universe could fit into a room and then shrinking further into a tiny
然后……什么都没了 真正的虚无不是指真空
point and then… nothing. Not the nothingness of empty space but real nothingness which has
而是连空间和时间这种概念都没有 对我来说 死亡可能就是这样的 这是一种你根本无法忘记的
no size and no time. To me that is probably what death looks like, a nothingness so complete
完全虚无 因为 你终究会去到那里 但是我一有这个想法
you wouldn’t even miss it. For that, you’d have to be there. But just as soon as I can
它就像根本没存在过一样消失了 整个世界都在高速运行 空隙一下子就被填满
form this thought, it evaporates like a void in nature. The world rushes in to fill it.
而这也很容易理解 因为我所处的这个星球已经存在并发展了数十亿年
And this makes sense because the hardware I’m running has been developed over billions of
而它唯一的工作就是准确地不断地复制
years with the only requirement being that it frequently and accurately makes copies
自己的每一天 而如果地球能模拟出自己不存在的情景的话
of itself and it would help not in the slightest in the goal of making copies if the hardware
这种复制也就没有任何意义了 当我们确实承认我们不是永恒的 这种思想
could accurately simulate its own non-existence. When we do acknowledge our impermanence, it
就会贯穿于我们平常的口头禅 例如“你只能活一次” 或是艺术作品中 例如达米恩·赫斯特
is often through insipid catch phrases like ‘yolo’ or it’s in art projects like Damien
的“生者对死者无动於衷” 这件作品其实就是
Hirst’s ‘The physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living’, which is just
一条用甲醛保存在玻璃柜里的大鲨鱼 意识到自己的生命是有限的常常会让我们
a huge shark in a tank of formaldehyde. A sense of our mortality should strike fear
感到害怕 就像我在远离海岸数百米的地方游泳时的感觉
into us, like the sense I have when I’m swimming hundreds of meters off shore and the water
水下既深且暗 我都能想象到鲨鱼从我脚下游过的情景 相同的命运
below is deep and dark and I can picture the shark swimming beneath me. The same kind of
每天都在向我们逼近 但不是以这种内在的方式 而是以一种琐碎的 容易被忽视的方式 所以
fate stalks us daily but not in this visceral way, just in a trivial ignorable way. Hence
我们才会有这种妄想 你就像岩石一样不朽 此时存在 并将永远存在 所以我们
the delusion. You’re permanent like stone, always were and always will be. So we are
习惯了去否定 注定无法想象出真正的虚无
left hardwired for denial, a selected inability to imagine true nothingness, an ephemeral
明明作为渺小的微粒 却又妄想自己能永恒 这种妄想使我们感到安慰
sack of particles that thinks itself eternal. This delusion is comforting and it
并使生活变得更容易 你可能会因此被逼疯 不得不一直面对最终的
makes living easier. It might drive you crazy to be confronted with the ultimate meaninglessness
一切的无意义 也就是所谓的虚无主义 但是我提到的这种妄想也很脆弱
of everything all the time, what we call nihilism. But the same delusion I’d argue is also debilitating.
这会使你陷入一种虚假的安全感 一种无作为的状态中 就像是距离最终时限还很遥远
It lulls you into a false sense of security, inaction, like a due date a long time in the
因为总想着还有明天 所以我们把自己真正想过的生活一再搁置 整天生活在
future. There’s always tomorrow so we procrastinate living the life we truly desire and we live
担忧恐惧中 如果你相信灵魂是不灭的 那么你会因此变得怯懦 因为这样一来你所遭受过的失败
in more fear. The sense that your soul is eternal makes you cowardly because failure
也会一直如影随形 一直 耻辱 窘迫 失望
would stick with you forever. For really ever. Shame, embarassment, disappointment, they
永远不会离开你 遥远的地平线使你变得小心翼翼 活下去 为了明天的战斗
would never leave you. A distant horizon encourages you to play it safe. Live to fight another
毕竟总有明天 而这就是为什么我觉得虚无主义使人解放
day, for after all there is always another day. And this is why I find nihilism liberating
给人力量 如果你真的能想象出 你终将遇见的虚无 那还有什么
and emboldening. If you can really picture the nothingness that awaits you then what is
好怕的呢? 过错和屈辱都会被遗忘 而伟大的成就也许
there to be afraid of? Errors and humiliations will be forgotten but great achievements may
会被世人铭记 在茫茫宇宙中 我们的存在也许没有任何意义 但我们却可以和身边的人一起
not. We may have no meaning in the cosmic context of the universe but we make our own
一天天地创造意义 而这种想法会让你有所行动:你的一生
meaning daily with each other and this is the thought that leads to action: your days
是有定数的 你不能知道具体的数字 但终归是有限的 所以为你真正想做的事
are numbered, you don’t know what that number is but it’s finite, so get busy with what
努力吧 时间不多了
it is you want to do. Time is running out.
努力吧 时间不多了
it is you want to do. Time is running out.

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