重识你所认为是好的东西

About what am I now employing my own soul? On every occasion I must ask myself this question, and inquire, what I now in this part of me which they call the ruling principle? And whose soul have I now? That of a child, or of a young man, or of a feeble woman, or of a tyrant, or of a domestic animal, or of a wild beast?

What kind of things those are which appear good to the many, we may learn even from this. For if any man should conceive certain things as being really good, such as prudence , temperance, justice, fortitude, he would not after having first conceive these endure to listen to anything which should not be in harmony with what is really good, But if a man has first conceived as good the things which appear to the many to be good, he will listen and readily receive as very applicable that which was said by the comic writer. Thus even the many perceive the difference. For were it not so, this saying would not offend and would not be rejected in the first case, while we receive it when it is said of wealth and of the means which further luxury and fame, as said fitly and wittily. Go on then and ask if we should value and think those things to be good, to which after their first conception in the mind the words of the comic write might be aptly applied— that he who has them, through pure abundance has not a place to ease himself in.

我现在要把我自己的灵魂用于什么事情上呢?在任何场合我都必须问自己这个问题,我在我的这一被称为支配原则的部分中拥有什么呢?我现在拥有谁的灵魂呢?是一个孩子的灵魂?抑或一个年轻人、一个软弱的妇人、一个暴君、一个家畜、一个野兽的灵魂?

我们甚至可以从这个问题学习——即那些在许多人看来是好的事情是一种什么样的事物呢?因为,如果有人把诸如明智、节制、正义、坚定这样一些事情视作真正好的,他在首先抱有这种认识之后就将不耐烦听任何与真正好的东西相左的事情。但如果一个人首先把那些多数人认为好的东西理解为好的,那么他就可能把喜剧作家所说的东西作为真正适合的东西来倾听并欣然接受。这样,甚至多数人也觉出这差别。因为如果不是这样,当我们听到有关财富、有关促进奢侈和名声的手段的巧妙和机智的说法时,就不会觉得刺耳也不会从一开始就拒绝了。那么,接着问问自己,你是否重视这些事物,是否认为他们是好的?是否在心里抱有对它们的既定看法之后喜剧作家的话还可以恰点地应用于它们——那占有它们的人,由于纯粹的富足却没有办法使自己得到安宁。

xiaodao

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