我的人生追求(罗素)

我的人生追求

伯特兰·罗素
方舟子译
(感谢贤传、燕思的润色)

有三种简单然而无比强烈的激情左右了我的一生:对
爱的渴望,对知识的探索和对人类苦难的难以忍受的怜悯。
这些激情象飓风,无处不在、反复无常地吹拂着我,吹过
深重的苦海,濒于绝境。

我寻找爱,首先是因为它使人心醉神迷,这种陶醉是
如此的美妙,使我愿意牺牲所有的余生去换取几个小时这
样的欣喜。我寻找爱,还因为它解除孤独,在可怕的孤独
中,一颗颤抖的灵魂从世界的边缘看到冰冷、无底、死寂
的深渊。最后,我寻找爱,还因为在爱的交融中,神秘
而又具体而微地,我看到了圣贤和诗人们想象出的天堂的
前景。这就是我所寻找的,而且,虽然对人生来说似乎
过于美妙,这也是我终于找到了的。

以同样的激情我探索知识。我希望能够理解人类的心
灵。我希望能够知道群星为何闪烁。我试图领悟毕达哥拉
斯所景仰的数字力量,它支配着此消彼涨。仅在不大的一
定程度上,我达到了此目的。

爱和知识,只要有可能,通向着天堂。但是怜悯总把
我带回尘世。痛苦呼喊的回声回荡在我的内心。忍饥挨饿
的孩子,惨遭压迫者摧残的受害者,被儿女们视为可憎的
负担的无助的老人,连同这整个充满了孤独、贫穷和痛苦
的世界,使人类所应有的生活成为了笑柄。我渴望能够减
少邪恶,但是我无能为力,而且我自己也在忍受折磨。

这就是我的一生。我发现它值得一过。如果再给我一
次机会,我会很高兴地再活它一次。

(摘自罗素自传的前言)
What I have Lived For
——Bertrand Russell

Three passions,simple but overwhelmingly strong,have governed
my life:the longing for love,the search for knowledge,and unbearable
pity for the suffering of mankind.These passions,like great winds,have
blown me hither and thither,in a wayward course,over a deep ocean of
anguish,reaching to the very verge of despair.

I have sought love,first,because it brings ecstasy–ecstasy so
great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a
few hours of this joy.I have sought it,next,because it relieves
loneliness–that terrible loneliness in which one shivering
consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold
unfathomable lifeless abyss.I have sought it,finally,because in the
union of love I have seen,in a mystic miniature,the prefiguring
vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined.This is
what I sought,and though it might seem too good for human life,
this is what–at last–I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge.I have wished to
understand the hearts of men.I have wished to know why the stars
shine.And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which
number holds sway above the flux.A little of this,but not much,I
have achieved.

Love and knowledge,so far as they were possible,led upward
toward the heavens.But always pity brought me back to earth.Echoes
of cries of pain reverberate in my heart.Children in famine,victims
tortured by oppressors,helpless old people a hated burden to their
sons,and the whole world of loneliness,poverty,and pain make a
mockery of what human life should be.I long to alleviate the evil,
but I can’t ,and I too suffer.

This has been my life.I have found it worth living,and would
gladly live itagain if the chance were offered me.
NOTE:This is the prologue of Russell’s autobiography.

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