我的世界观 The World as I See It

我的世界观

人人皆知爱因斯坦是20世纪最伟大的物理学家,却很少有人知道他还是一位伟大的思想家和哲学家。让我们一起通过他的文章,来领略一下这位伟人的思想精粹吧!

How strange is the lot1) of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn2); for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people—first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself3) in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. I am strongly drawn to4) a frugal5) life and am often oppressively6) aware that I am engrossing7) an undue8) amount of the labor of my fellowmen. I regard class distinctions as unjustified and, in the last resort9), based on force. I also believe that a simple and unassuming10) life is good for everybody, physically and mentally.
爱因斯坦  我们这些肉体凡胎是多么奇怪啊!每个人来到这个世上都只作短暂停留,究竟为了什么目的却无从知晓,虽然有时觉得自己好像有所感悟。但是,无需深入思考,仅从日常生活就可明白,人是为他人而存在的——首先是为这样一些人:他们的欢笑、健康和福祉与我们的幸福息息相关;其次是为那些为数众多的陌生人,因为同情他们,使得我们与他们的命运联系在了一起。每一天,我都上百次地提醒自己,我的精神和物质生活都是建立在他人(包括生者和死者)的劳动基础上,对于我已经得到和正在得到的一切,我必须尽力给以相同程度的回报。我深深向往一种俭朴的生活,由于经常意识到自己占用了同胞太多的劳动而心有不安。我认为阶级区分是不正当的,其最终的达成方式常常诉诸暴力。我还认为,无论是在身体上还是心理上,过一种简单而不铺张浪费的生活对每个人都有好处。

I do not at all believe in human freedom in the philosophical sense. Everybody acts not only under external compulsion11) but also in accordance with12) inner necessity. Schopenhauer’s saying, “A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants,” has been a very real inspiration13) to me since my youth; it has been a continual consolation14) in the face of life’s hardships, my own and others’, and an unfailing wellspring15) of tolerance. This realization mercifully mitigates16) the easily paralyzing17) sense of responsibility and prevents us from taking ourselves and other people all too seriously; it is conducive18) to a view of life which, in particular, gives humor its due19).
我完全不相信哲学意义上的人的自由。每个人的行为不仅受外在力量的约束,还要与内在需求协调一致。叔本华说:“人可以任意而为,却不能心想事成。”这句话从我年轻时起就一直深深地启发着我。在面对生活的艰辛时——无论是我自己还是他人的艰辛,这句话总能不断地给我安慰,成为永不枯竭的忍耐的源泉。这一认识能够仁慈地缓和那份令人几欲崩溃的责任感,并防止我们太把自己或者他人当回事,还有助于形成一种尤其幽默的人生观。

To inquire after20) the meaning or object of one’s own existence or that of all creatures has always seemed to me absurd from an objective point of view. And yet everybody has certain ideals which determine the direction of his endeavors21) and his judgments. In this sense I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves—this ethical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty22). The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship23) with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable24) in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed to me empty. The trite25) objects of human efforts—possessions, outward success, luxury—have always seemed to me contemptible26).
客观地说,探求自己或者其他所有生命存在的意义或者目标,我一直都认为是荒唐之举。然而,每个人多少都有自己的理想,决定着他的奋斗目标和他对事情的看法。从这个意义上说,我从来都不会把安逸和幸福看作终极目标——我将这种伦理道德的基础称之为“猪圈理想”。一直以来,是对真、善、美的追求照亮了我的道路,一次又一次给我以新的勇气,让我愉快地面对生活。如果没有对志同道合者的那种亲近感,如果没有对客观世界——那个艺术和科学研究永远也无法穷极的世界——的孜孜以求,生命对我来说就是一场空。那些向来为世人竞相追求的目标——财产、奢华和外在的成功——我对此不屑一顾。

My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced27) lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a “lone traveler” and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friend, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude-feelings which increase with the years. One becomes sharply aware, but without regret, of the limits of mutual understanding and consonance28) with other people. No doubt, such a person loses some of his innocence and unconcern; on the other hand, he is largely independent, of the opinions, habits, and judgments of his fellows and avoids the temptation29) to build his inner equilibrium30) upon such insecure foundations.
一方面,我有着强烈的社会正义感和社会责任感,另一方面,我的内心又明显没有与他人和社会直接接触的需求,二者形成了一个奇怪的对比。我确实是一个“孤独的旅者”,我的心从未完全地属于过我的祖国、我的家庭、我的朋友,甚至我最亲近的家人。在面对所有这些羁绊时,我从来没有失去过距离感,也没有摆脱掉孤独感——这种感觉随着年岁的增长还在增加。一个人开始强烈地意识到人与人之间的相互理解与和谐一致是有限度的,但却并不为此遗憾时,此人毫无疑问已经失去了部分天真无邪、无忧无虑的童心,但另一方面,他也在很大程度上获得了独立,不再受他人观点、习惯和判断的影响,同时也能避免内心那种要将平衡建立在这种不可靠的基础之上的强烈愿望。

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle31) of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery—even if mixed with fear—that engendered32) religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity33); in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. I cannot conceive34) of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble35) souls, from fear or absurd egoism36), cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.
人类所能享有的最美妙的体验就是神秘感,这是真正的科学与艺术的根源中最基础的情感。无论是谁,如果没有感受过它的魅力,如果不再感到好奇,不再发出惊叹,他就无异于行尸走肉,瞎眼盲心。正是这种神秘的体验——即使夹杂着恐惧——促进了宗教的产生。我们知道有某种事物的存在我们无法参透,我们对最深刻的理性与最绚丽的美的感知,只有在它们以最原始的形式出现时才能有所理解——正是这种认知和情感构成了真正的宗教信仰。在这种意义上,也只有在这种意义上,我是一个笃信宗教的人。我无法臆想出一个对自己创造出来的生命加以奖赏和惩罚的上帝,也无法想象他会拥有我们自身所拥有的意志。我无法也不愿想象一个人在肉体死去之后仍然可以活着。让那些脆弱的灵魂,出于恐惧或者可笑的私利,去拥抱这种想法吧。我满足于对生命的永恒保持神秘感,满足于对现存世界神奇结构的粗浅感知和匆匆一瞥,也满足于通过不懈的努力,对自然本身显露出的一部分“道”进行理解,哪怕只是极其微小的一部分。

1. the lot: 全部,整个儿
2. sojourn [ˈsɒdʒə(r)n] n. 逗留;旅居
3. exert oneself: 努力,尽力
4. be drawn to: 被……吸引
5. frugal [ˈfruːɡ(ə)l] adj. 节约的,俭省的
6. oppressively [əˈpresɪvli] adv. 压抑地;沉重地;令人烦恼地
7. engross [ɪnˈɡrəʊs] vt. 占去(全部时间等)
8. undue [ʌnˈdjuː] adj. 过分的,过度的;不应有的
9. in the last resort: (= as a last resource)作为最后一招,最后的手段
10. unassuming [ˌʌnəˈsjuːmɪŋ] adj. 不铺张浪费的
11. compulsion [kəmˈpʌlʃ(ə)n] n. 强迫力,强制力
12. in accordance with: 与……一致;依照,根据
13. inspiration [ˌɪnspəˈreɪʃ(ə)n] n. 鼓舞人心的人(或事物)
14. consolation [ˌkɒnsəˈleɪʃ(ə)n] n. 安慰,慰藉
15. wellspring [ˈwelˌsprɪŋ] n. 源泉
16. mitigate [ˈmɪtɪɡeɪt] vt. 使缓和,使温和
17. paralyze [ˈpærəlaɪz] vt. 使失去勇气,使气馁
18. conducive [kənˈdjuːsɪv] adj. 有助的,有益的
19. due [djuː] n. 应得的东西
20. inquire after: 询问,探求
21. endeavor [ɪnˈdevə(r)] n. 努力,尽力
22. pigsty [ˈpɪɡˌstaɪ] n. 猪栏,猪圈
23. kinship [ˈkɪnʃɪp] n. 密切关系
24. unattainable [ˌʌnəˈteɪnəb(ə)l] adj. 达不到的,不可获得的
25. trite [traɪt] adj. (字句、意见、引语等)陈腐的,老一套的
26. contemptible [kənˈtemptəb(ə)l] adj. 不值得一顾的;可鄙的,卑劣的
27. pronounced [prəˈnaʊnst] adj. 显著的,明显的
28. consonance [ˈkɒnsənəns] n. 协调,一致
29. temptation [tempˈteɪʃ(ə)n] n. 引诱,诱惑
30. equilibrium [ˌiːkwɪˈlɪbriəm] n. 平衡;(心情的)平静
31. cradle [ˈkreɪd(ə)l] n. 摇篮;发源地
32. engender [ɪnˈdʒendə(r)] vt. 使发生,使出现;产生,造成
33. religiosity [rɪˌlɪdʒiˈɒsəti] n. 笃信宗教,虔诚
34. conceive [kənˈsiːv] vi. 构想出;设想(of)
35. feeble [ˈfiːb(ə)l] adj. (智力、性格等)软弱的
36. egoism [ˈiːɡəʊˌɪz(ə)m] n. 【哲】利己主义,自我主义