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斯多葛哲学:如何在困难时期减少忧虑

STOICISM | How to Worry Less in Hard Times

Worse than war is the very fear of war.
比战争更糟的是对战争的恐惧
Seneca
——塞涅卡
Human history has never been free from adversity.
人类历史从来没有远离过逆境
Events like war, the outbreak of plagues, and natural disasters
像战争 瘟疫和自然灾害这样的大事件
have caused dark times tainted by suffering and death.
都会导致到处是痛苦和死亡的困难时期
Without a doubt, the ancient Stoics had their fair share of hardship.
毫无疑问 古代斯多葛学派也有自己的苦难时期
And the difficulties of life are the core of their philosophies.
他们的哲学思想核心就是生活的苦难
In hard times of great uncertainty,
在极具不确定性的困难时期
many people start worrying about their stable, comfortable lives falling apart,
很多人担心稳定舒适的生活会破碎
which is not only realistic; sometimes it’s inevitable.
这不仅现实 有时甚至是必然的
The prospect of undergoing significant changes by the hands of misfortune,
人们一想到厄运之手将发动巨变
not knowing where this change leads to, can be nerve-racking.
以及这种巨变会导致未知的结果 就感到焦虑
The Stoics had some profound things to say about dealing with external circumstances,
斯多葛学者有一些深奥见解 是关于应对外部环境
and how to live peacefully in the face of hardship and a troubled future.
以及在面对困难时期和不安未来时如何平静生活
身处困境 少些担忧
Living in a society in which mass consumption is the norm,
现代社会 大量消费变得正常
and companies brainwash us into believing that we need their products to feel complete,
企业让我们相信需要购买他们的产品才能感觉完整
the distinction between what we truly need and what’s obsolete has become invisible.
我们真正需要和不需要的界限已经变得模糊
In wealthy countries, people rarely concern themselves with their basic needs,
在富有之国 人们很少关心基本需求
because these are a given.
因为已经得到了满足
But when hard times are knocking on our door, it’s time to create clarity,
但是在困难时期到来时 需要明确
decide what our priorities are, and learn to deal with uncertainty.
决定我们的当务之急并且试着应对不确定性
First of all, it’s essential to remember the dichotomy of control and
首先 必须记住控制二分法
to be constantly aware of the fact that we only control our own actions.
并且一直明确我们只能控制自己的行为的客观事实
According to Epictetus, things like our body, property, and reputation are not up to us.
埃皮克提图说 我们的身体 财产和名誉不由我们掌控
When the economy declines, for example, there isn’t much we can do about it.
例如经济衰退时 我们就几乎无能为力
We could lose a lot of money in the stock market, our jobs
我们可能会在股市丢掉很多钱 失去工作
and, thus, our income.
从而失去收入
But from a Stoic point of view, by tying our happiness to these things in the first place,
但斯多葛的观点是 在一开始就把幸福和那些事情联系到一起
we have already set ourselves up for disappointment.
我们注定会大失所望
As Epictetus stated and I quote:
下面我将引用埃皮克提图所说的:
The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered;
我们能控制的是自然给予 不受限制的
but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others.
而不能掌控虚弱 奴性 受限的和他人的所有物
Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free,
记住 如果你认为被自然控制的也是免费的
and that what belongs to others is your own,
并且他人的财产是你的
then you will be hindered.
那么你一定会受阻
End quote.
引文结束
Now, the Stoics make a distinction between virtue, vice, and indifferents.
斯多葛学者区分了美德 恶行和中立的界限
Virtue and vice correspond with our own actions.
美德和恶行与我们自己的行为有关
For example: doing something for the benefit of the community,
例如 为了社区的利益做一些事情
like providing food to the poor and elderly, can be considered virtuous.
比如给穷人和老人提供食物就是高尚的
And trying to sell necessary goods for exorbitant prices can be considered a vice.
而以高价出售必需品就是恶行
But indifferents are neither good or bad.
但中立既不好也不坏
Examples of these are wealth, health, disease, weakness, and poverty.
例如财富 健康 疾病 虚弱和贫穷等都是中立因素
In short: indifferents are external circumstances that are beyond our control.
简而言之 中立是不能掌控的外部环境因素
Now, why is this important?
那么为什么它很重要?
Well, what characterizes difficult times is that these indifferences are threatened,
困难时期的特征就是这些因素受到威胁
but not our ability to act.
而不是我们的行动力受到威胁
Does that mean that we shouldn’t care about these external things at all?
那么是不是说根本不用管这些外部因素呢?
Not necessarily, as we need at least some of them to survive.
不一定 因为缺少部分外部因素我们无法生存
However, when we are facing hard times, we might want to reconsider what we truly need
然而在困难时期 我们可能想重新考虑真正需要的
(basic needs like food and shelter for example)
(例如基本需求 比如食物和住所)
so we can let go of the rest and stop worrying about them.
这样我们可以放弃并且不再担心其他的因素
On the verge of economic collapse: how important is it really to possess all kinds of luxurious goods?
经济崩溃时 拥有各种奢侈品究竟重不重要
And to what extent does social status bring food to the table,
社会地位又在多大程度上决定了我们餐桌上的食物
and protect us from an illness that doesn’t discriminate between rich and poor?
和我们患上无论贫富都会得的疾病的可能
The more we are attached to these externals,
和外部因素联系越多
the more we are disturbed by the prospect of losing them.
一想到要失去它们 我们就越不安
The truth is that one can be perfectly happy and content without them.
事实是没有它们我们会十分开心满足
Another essential Stoic lesson concerns death and suffering.
另一个斯多葛基本理论是关于死亡和磨难的
This may sound blunt, but, at the end of the day, death and suffering are part of nature.
听起来可能很直接 但日暮 死亡和磨难都只是自然的一部分
In the West, this is kind of taboo.
在西方 这是一种忌讳
Death is seen as something negative, something tragic, and needs to be avoided at all costs.
死亡被认为是消极悲惨的 并且应该不惜一切避免
And our comfortable lives minimize the amount of pain and suffering as much as possible.
我们的舒适生活使痛苦和磨难最小化
But in hard times, we may want to consider that no one is entitled to a long and healthy life.
但在困难时期 没有人有资格拥有长寿健康的生活
The history of our planet is a bloody one.
我们星球的历史是血腥的
Animals and humans kill each other every day, children die at birth,
动物和人类互相残杀 婴儿一出生就死去
and the Black Death killed half of Europe’s population.
黑死病让半个欧洲的人们失去了生命
Why should we, modern humans, have the right to be spared by the ways of nature?
为什么现代人类就应该有权免受自然伤害?
Memento mori means the remembrance of death.
“记住你终有一死”意味着对死亡的铭记
By reminding ourselves that death and suffering are inescapable and inherent parts of life,
通过提醒自己死亡和磨难是不可逃避的 是生命与生俱来的一部分
we might find some tranquility in the idea that
我们可能从这种想法中获取些许平静
the worst things that can happen to us are actually quite natural.
就是那些可能发生在我们身上的最糟糕的事其实真的很正常
Like Socrates, Seneca died peacefully.
像苏格拉底 塞涅卡就死的很安详
Moreover, he saw relief in death.
而且他在死亡里看到了信念
I quote:
引文:
Death is a release from and an end of all pains: beyond it our sufferings cannot extend:
死亡是所有痛苦的释放和终结 苦难将不会再继续
it restores us to the peaceful rest in which we lay before we were born.
它让我们回到出生前的地方安息
If anyone pities the dead, he ought also to pity those who have not been born.
如果对逝者心存怜悯 那么也应该对未降临世间的人怀有同情
End quote.
引文结束
A final piece of Stoic advice for finding a sense of calm in adversity
斯多葛的最后一条建议是 想要在逆境中获得平静
is to remind ourselves that we do not control our destiny.
就要记住我们不能掌控命数
We can influence the future by our actions in the present,
我们可以通过现在的行为影响未来
but the results are so dependent on external circumstances
但结果通常取决于外部环境
that it’s impossible to guarantee a certain outcome.
所以无从知晓固定的结局
The economy may fall apart, we may lose our jobs,
经济可能崩溃 我们可能丢工作
mass poverty may kick in, and huge numbers of people may pass away,
贫穷可能袭来 大量的人可能死亡
and no single worry can change that.
担忧并不能改变事实
So why don’t we allow ourselves to just let go of the burden of the future,
所以为什么我们不放下未来的重担
knowing that whatever happens, we are in full control of the most powerful weapon available:
因为我们知道无论发生什么 我们有可控制的最有力的武器:
our own faculty.
我们自己的能力
If we can cope with death, we can also cope with life.
如果可以应对死亡 我们就可以应对生活
The good news is that everything is in flux, and born out of change,
好消息是万物从出现便不断变化
like night and day, and fall and spring.
像黑夜和白天 秋天和春天
So, this too shall pass.
所以这也会过去
History has shown us that people have endured the hardest of times and that
历史告诉我们人们经受了困难时期
this experience often made them more humble, more humane, and more grateful for life.
那些经历让他们更谦虚 更仁慈 对生活更加感恩
Thus, every outcome has its positive sides.
所以每种结果都有积极的一面
And regardless of what the future brings, no one takes away your power to make the best of it.
不管未来如何 什么都不能阻止你做到最好
Thank you for watching.
感谢观看

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困难时期不可避免,想要减少忧虑,来看看古希腊时期斯多葛学派的思想吧!

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