宇宙为我们开的药方

A prayer of the Athenians: Rain, rain, O dear Zeus, down on the ploughed fields of the Athenians and on the plains.—-In truth we ought not pray in this simple and noble fashion.

Just as we must understand when it is said, That Aesculapius prescribed to this man horse-exercise, or bathing in cold water or going without shoes; so we must understand it when it is said, That the nature of the universe prescribed to this man disease or mutilation or loss or anything else of the kind. For in the first case Prescribed means something like this: he prescribed this for this man as a thing adapted to procure health; and in the second case it means: That which happens to (or, suits) every man is fixed in a manner for him suitably to his destiny. For this is what we mean when we say that things are suitable to us, as the workmen say of squared stones in walls or the pyramids, that they are suitable, when they fit them to one another in some kind of connection. For there is altogether one fitness, harmony. And as the universe is made up out of all bodies to be such a body as it is, so out of all existing causes necessity (destiny) is made up to be such a cause as it is. And even those who are completely ignorant understand what I mean, for they say, It (necessity, destiny) brought this to such a person.—-This then was brought and this was prescribed to him. Let us then receive these things, as well as those which Aesculapius prescriptions. Many as a matter of course even among his prescriptions are disagreeable, but we accept them in the hope of health. Let the perfecting and accomplishment of the things, which the common nature judges to be good, be judged by thee to be of the same kind as thy health. And so accept everything which happens, even if it same disagreeable, because it leads to this, to the health of the universe and to the prosperity and felicity of Zeus (the universe). For he would not have brought on any man what he has brought, if it were not useful for the whole. Neither does the nature of anything, whatever it may be, cause anything which is directed by it. For two reasons then it is right to be content with that which happens to thee; the one, because it was done for thee and prescribed for thee, and in a manner had reference to thee, originally from the most ancient cause spun with thy destiny; and the other, because even that which comes severally to every man is to the power which administers the universe a cause of felicity and perfection, nay even of its very continuance. For the in tegrity of the whole I mutilated, if thou cutest off anything whatever from the conjunction and continuity either of the parts or of the causes. And thou dost cut off, as far as it is in thy power, when thou are dissatisfied, and in a manner triest to put anything out of the way.

正像我们一定理解这样的话:爱斯库拉普给这个人开药方,让他练骑马或洗冷水或赤足走路,同样我们也一定理解这样的话:宇宙本性给这个人开药方,让他生病、损折之体,丧失或别的这类事情。因为在前一种情况里,开药方的意思是这样的,他为这个人开药方是作为适于获得健康的东西;在后一种情况里它的意思则是:对每个人发生(或适合于他)的事情,都是以某种方式为他确定的,是与他的命运相适应的。因为这就是我们所谓事情对我们合适,正像工匠把石头相互适合地连接起来时,说墙壁上或金字塔里的方块石头合适一样。因为这整个就是一个合适、和谐。正如宇宙之成为这样的一个物体,乃是由所有个别的物体构成的,同样,必然性(命运)之成为这样一个原因,乃是由于所有的实在的个别原因造成。甚至那些完全无知的人也了解我的意思,因为他们说:它(必然性、命令)给这样一个人带来这样的事情。——那么,就是这件事带给了他,这件事作为药方开给了他。那么,我们就连同爱斯库拉普的药方接受这些事情吧!在他的药方中当然也有许多并不一致,但由于希望健康,我们都接受了。各样事情的完满与成就——这种为共同的本性断定是好的东西,你也把它断定为与你的健康属于同类的吧!要接受每一件发生的事情,即使它看来不一致,因为它导致宇宙的健康与宙斯(宇宙)的成功和幸福。因为宙斯带给任何人的,如果不是对整体有用,就不会带给他了。无论是什么东西,它的本性都不会引起任何与它所支配的东西不相合的事情。因此,你有两个理由应该满足于对你发生的事情,第一,因为它是为你而做的,是给你开的药方,并且在某种程度上它对你的关联是源于与你的命运交织在一起的那些最古老的原因;第二,因为即使那个别的降临于每个人的,对于支配宇宙的力量来说也是一种幸福和完满的原因,甚至于就是它继续存在的原因。如果你从各个部分或各个原因的联结与继续中间打断任何事情,整体的完整就破坏了。而当你不满意并且以某种方式企图消灭什么事物时,你确是力所能及地把它打断了。

xiaodao

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