January 14, 2011


Things are in such a kind of envelopment that they have seemed to philosophers, not a few nor those common philosophers, altogether unintelligible; nay even to the Stoics themselves they seem difficult to understand. And all our assent is changeable; for where is the man who never changers? Carry thy thoughts then to the objects themselves, and that they may be in the possession of a filthy wretch or a whore or a robber. Then turn to the morals of those who live with thee, and it is hardly possible to endure even the most agreeable of them, to say nothing of a man being hardly able to endure himself. In such darkness then and dirt and in so constant a flux both of substance and of time, and of motion and of things moved, what there is worth being highly prized or even an object of serious pursuit, I cannot imagine, But on the contrary it is a man's duty to comfort himself, and to wait for the natural dissolution and not to be vexed at the delay, but to rest in these principles only:the one, that nothing will happen to me which is not conformable to the nature of the universe; and the other, that it is in my power never to act contrary to my god and daemon: for there is no man who will compel me to this.

事物是在如此一种包围之中,以致在哲学家们(不是少数的也不是那些普通的哲学家)看来是完全不可解的,甚至对斯多葛派哲学家本身来说也是难于理解的。所有我们的同意都在变化不居之中,从不改变的人哪儿有呢?那么把你的思想带到对象本身,考虑他们的存在是多么短促而无价值吧,它们可能是为一个卑鄙的可怜虫,活一个娼妓、一个强盗说占有。然后在想想那些和你生活在一起的人们的道德水平,即使容忍一个几乎不能容忍自己的人了。那么在如此黑暗和肮脏中,在如此不断流动的实体和时间、运动和被推动的物体的急流中,有什么值得高度赞扬甚活值得认真追求的对象呢? 我想象不出有这样的对象。反之,顺应自身,等待自然的分解,不为延缓而烦恼,却是一个人的义务,但仅仅使你在这些原则中得到安宁把:一是对我发生的一切事务都符合宇宙的本性的;二是决不违反我身外和身内的神而行动是在我的力量范围之内,因为没有人将迫使我违反。