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Schopenhauer: A Guide to Love and Happiness

时间:2006-11-08 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:nerlly   字体: [ ]
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In an 1)admittedly rather unromantic field, Schopenhauer is the one philosopher who seems to understand the 2)intensity1 of what we feel when we fall in love. He thought we were absolutely right to build our lives around love, nothing else in life was quite as important. But the mistake he thought we made was to imagine that happiness had anything to do with it.

Schopenhauer was born in Danzig in 1788 but spent most of his life in Frankfurt. From an early age he looked a lot for happiness.

He was intelligent, confident, good-looking and, after his father died when he was 17, extremely rich. But success with women 3)eluded him.

In 1821, at the age of 33, he did meet a woman who liked him, a 19 year-old singer called Caroline Maduog. But he was never comfortable enough in the relationship to settle down, he told her that two people to get married means to do everything possible to become an object of disgust to one another. After ten stormy years, the relationship broke up. Schopenhauer continued to search for love but with ever less success.

    In 1831, he developed a passion for Flora4 Vice5, a beautiful spirited girl who had just turned 17. During a boating party in attempted to charm her, Schopenhauer started talking to her about his philosophy. He smiled and offered her a bunch of grapes. Flora later 4)confided in her dairy, "I didn't want them. I felt 5)revolted because old Schopenhauer had touched them, so I let them slide quite gently into the water behind me."

So how could this romantically hapless philosopher have anything wise to tell us about love? Well, for a start, he tells us that love is not a 6)trivial subject, we shouldn't see it as a 7)distraction6 from more important or grown up concerns. It's no accident that love is such an overwhelming emotion, but it can take over our lives and fill our every waking moment. And Schopenhauer urges us not to be too hard on ourselves for the obsession7 and despair it can drive us to when it goes wrong, to be surprised at how much rejection8 hurts is to ignore just what acceptance would have involved. "Nothing in life is more important than love," wrote Schopenhauer, "because nothing less than the survival of our species is 8)at stake."

We imagine when we fall for someone that we are finding a partner whose going to make us happy, but Schopenhauer saw it very differently.

He thought that we put ourselves through the 9)subconscious9 phone calls and the expensive candle lit dinners for one reason only: an overwhelming biological drive to 10)propagate the species. He called it "The Will to Life": Love is a 11)cunning ruse10 designed by biology to push us towards having children. However romantic we like to think we are, we are all essentially11 slaves of "The Will to Life."

    It might seem odd to say that Schopenhauer could ever have anything helpful to tell us about love, given that he was such a misery12 himself, but I think he has some very consoling thing to say. Firstly, he tells us that we simply have no choice but to fall in love, biology is stronger than reason and so we are not unhappy by accident. In essence, we are just like all the other creatures in the zoo: we're 12)impelled to find a mate to 13)spawn14 14)offspring and to bring them up and only a force as strong as love could get us to do so.

A traditional view is that this couple will live happily ever after. The 15)cynical15 modern view is that they're doomed16 to 16)recrimination and a quick divorce.

Schopenhauer asks us to consider a different view: that happiness is simply not the point anymore than it is for porcupines17 or monkeys. To hear that happiness was never really part of the plan, the darkest thinkers can, sometimes, 17)paradoxically be the most cheering.

"If God made this world," he said, "then I would not like to be the God. Its misery and distress18 would break my heart."

 

叔本华论爱与幸福

叔本华被公认是个毫不浪漫的哲学家,他似乎很洞悉我们陷入爱河时的紧张感觉。他认为,我们以爱为中心来营造自己的生活是非常正确的,生命中再没有比爱更重要的了。但他认为,我们误以为幸福是爱带来的。

    1788年,叔本华出生于丹思克,可他一生的许多时间是在法兰克福度过的。他早早便开始寻找幸福。

他睿智、自信、相貌英俊,父亲的过世使他17岁便过上了富裕的生活。可情场得意却远离着他。

1821年,叔本华33岁的时候,遇到了一个喜欢他的女子,她叫嘉罗琳·玛朵,是个芳龄19的歌手。可叔本华总是不愿意结婚,他对她说:两人结婚只意味着要竭尽所能令彼此厌恶。他们的关系一波三折,过了十年就终止了。叔本华继续寻觅他的爱,可运气更不如前。

1831年,他热烈地爱上了美丽活泼的弗洛拉·苇丝——她才刚满17岁。在一次划船会上,为了吸引她,叔本华大谈起自己的哲学。他微笑着献给她一串葡萄。后来弗洛拉在她的日记上坦言道:“我根本不想接过来。一想到这葡萄曾给老叔本华触摸过,我就感到恶心,因此我轻轻地将它们抛到我身后的水里。”

爱情如此不幸的一位哲学家又有什么爱的箴言可以告诉我们呢?他说,爱情从一开始便不是微不足道的,它不会把我们的精力从更重要的事情上转移开。爱成为如此具支配性的情感并非出于偶然,爱操控着我们的生活,填满我们清醒时的每一刻。叔本华还劝我们,爱情会带来迷恋,也会带来绝望,当爱情不如意的时候我们要善待自己;别在意自己的爱被接纳了多少,就不会因被拒绝而受伤害。“生活中没有什么比爱情更重要了,”叔本华写道,“因为能威胁到人类的,除了生存只有爱情。”

    当我们爱上某人,我们会想到自己找到了使我们幸福的伴侣,而叔本华对此持有异议。

    他认为,我们打无数通电话、吃烛光晚餐只出自于一个原因:无法抵抗的生物冲动——繁衍后代。他称之为“生命的意志”:爱情是生物冲动设下的花招,推动我们去繁衍子孙。然而我们喜欢把自己想像成是浪漫的人,其实我们全都是“生命意志”的奴隶。

    叔本华对爱情有一套金玉良言,这在我们听起来很奇怪,因为他本人的爱情之途非常坎坷。可我觉得他的一些想法是很能安慰人心的。首先,他告诉大家,我们爱上别人是毫无选择的,因为生物的本能要强于理智的思考,所以我们不会无缘无故地感到不幸福。从本质上说,我们就和动物园里的其他动物没有差别:急于找伴侣繁衍后代,然后养育后代长大——只有和爱一样强大的力量才会推动我们这么去做。

传统观点认为,这对情侣从今以后将一直幸福地生活下去。愤世嫉俗的现代观点则是,他们注定会翻脸相向并迅速离婚。

叔本华则让我们思考不同的观点:人享受的幸福不比豪猪和猴子的多。知道了幸福并非有赖于人为,那么再郁郁寡欢的人有时候也会感到莫名窃喜。

    “如果是上帝创造了这个世界,”他说,“那么我不愿成为上帝。人世的悲惨与不幸会让我心碎。”

 

注释:

1) admittedly [Ed5mitidli] adv. 诚然,公认地

2) intensity [in5tensiti] n. 强度,强烈

3) elude3 [i5lu:d] v. 躲避

4) confide2 [kEn5faid] v. 倾诉

5) revolt [ri5vEult] v. 厌恶

6) trivial [5triviEl] a. 微不足道的

7) distraction [dis5trAkFEn] n. 分心,分心的事物

8) at stake 在危险中

9) subconscious [5sQb5kCnFEs] a. 下意识的

10) propagate [5prCpE^eit] v. 繁殖

11) cunning [5kQniN] a. 狡猾的

12) impel13 [im5pel] v. 推动,驱使

13) spawn [spC:n] v. 产卵

14) offspring [5RfspriN] n. 后代,子孙

15) cynical [5sinikEl] a. 愤世嫉俗的

16) recrimination [rikrimi5neiF(E)n] n. 反责

17) paradoxically [7pArE5dCksikEli] adv. 自相矛盾地


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 intensity 45Ixd     
n.强烈,剧烈;强度;烈度
参考例句:
  • I didn't realize the intensity of people's feelings on this issue.我没有意识到这一问题能引起群情激奋。
  • The strike is growing in intensity.罢工日益加剧。
2 confide WYbyd     
v.向某人吐露秘密
参考例句:
  • I would never readily confide in anybody.我从不轻易向人吐露秘密。
  • He is going to confide the secrets of his heart to us.他将向我们吐露他心里的秘密。
3 elude hjuzc     
v.躲避,困惑
参考例句:
  • If you chase it,it will elude you.如果你追逐着它, 它会躲避你。
  • I had dared and baffled his fury.I must elude his sorrow.我曾经面对过他的愤怒,并且把它挫败了;现在我必须躲避他的悲哀。
4 flora 4j7x1     
n.(某一地区的)植物群
参考例句:
  • The subtropical island has a remarkably rich native flora.这个亚热带岛屿有相当丰富的乡土植物种类。
  • All flora need water and light.一切草木都需要水和阳光。
5 vice NU0zQ     
n.坏事;恶习;[pl.]台钳,老虎钳;adj.副的
参考例句:
  • He guarded himself against vice.他避免染上坏习惯。
  • They are sunk in the depth of vice.他们堕入了罪恶的深渊。
6 distraction muOz3l     
n.精神涣散,精神不集中,消遣,娱乐
参考例句:
  • Total concentration is required with no distractions.要全神贯注,不能有丝毫分神。
  • Their national distraction is going to the disco.他们的全民消遣就是去蹦迪。
7 obsession eIdxt     
n.困扰,无法摆脱的思想(或情感)
参考例句:
  • I was suffering from obsession that my career would be ended.那时的我陷入了我的事业有可能就此终止的困扰当中。
  • She would try to forget her obsession with Christopher.她会努力忘记对克里斯托弗的迷恋。
8 rejection FVpxp     
n.拒绝,被拒,抛弃,被弃
参考例句:
  • He decided not to approach her for fear of rejection.他因怕遭拒绝决定不再去找她。
  • The rejection plunged her into the dark depths of despair.遭到拒绝使她陷入了绝望的深渊。
9 subconscious Oqryw     
n./adj.潜意识(的),下意识(的)
参考例句:
  • Nail biting is often a subconscious reaction to tension.咬指甲通常是紧张时的下意识反映。
  • My answer seemed to come from the subconscious.我的回答似乎出自下意识。
10 ruse 5Ynxv     
n.诡计,计策;诡计
参考例句:
  • The children thought of a clever ruse to get their mother to leave the house so they could get ready for her surprise.孩子们想出一个聪明的办法使妈妈离家,以便他们能准备给她一个惊喜。It is now clear that this was a ruse to divide them.现在已清楚这是一个离间他们的诡计。
11 essentially nntxw     
adv.本质上,实质上,基本上
参考例句:
  • Really great men are essentially modest.真正的伟人大都很谦虚。
  • She is an essentially selfish person.她本质上是个自私自利的人。
12 misery G10yi     
n.痛苦,苦恼,苦难;悲惨的境遇,贫苦
参考例句:
  • Business depression usually causes misery among the working class.商业不景气常使工薪阶层受苦。
  • He has rescued me from the mire of misery.他把我从苦海里救了出来。
13 impel NaLxG     
v.推动;激励,迫使
参考例句:
  • Financial pressures impel the firm to cut back on spending.财政压力迫使公司减少开支。
  • The progress in science and technical will powerfully impel the education's development.科学和技术的进步将有力地推动教育的发展。
14 spawn qFUzL     
n.卵,产物,后代,结果;vt.产卵,种菌丝于,产生,造成;vi.产卵,大量生产
参考例句:
  • The fish were madly pushing their way upstream to spawn.鱼群为产卵而疯狂地向上游挤进。
  • These fish will lay spawn in about one month from now.这些鱼大约一个月内会产卵。
15 cynical Dnbz9     
adj.(对人性或动机)怀疑的,不信世道向善的
参考例句:
  • The enormous difficulty makes him cynical about the feasibility of the idea.由于困难很大,他对这个主意是否可行持怀疑态度。
  • He was cynical that any good could come of democracy.他不相信民主会带来什么好处。
16 doomed EuuzC1     
命定的
参考例句:
  • The court doomed the accused to a long term of imprisonment. 法庭判处被告长期监禁。
  • A country ruled by an iron hand is doomed to suffer. 被铁腕人物统治的国家定会遭受不幸的。
17 porcupines 863c07e5a89089680762a3ad5a732827     
n.豪猪,箭猪( porcupine的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Porcupines use their spines to protect themselves. 豪猪用身上的刺毛来自卫。
  • The59 victims so far include an elephant, dromedaries, monkeys and porcupines. 目前为止,死亡的动物包括大象、峰骆驼、子以及豪猪。 来自互联网
18 distress 3llzX     
n.苦恼,痛苦,不舒适;不幸;vt.使悲痛
参考例句:
  • Nothing could alleviate his distress.什么都不能减轻他的痛苦。
  • Please don't distress yourself.请你不要忧愁了。
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TAG标签:   疯狂英语  guide  happiness
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