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The Pursuit of Happiness文章及翻译


The Pursuit of Happiness The right to pursue happiness is promised to Americans by the US Constitution,but no one seems quite sure which way happiness ran.It may be we are issued a hunting license but offered no game.Jonathan Swift conceived of happiness as“the state of being well—deceived, of being“a fool ”or among idiots,’for Swift saw society as a land of false goals. ’ It is, course, of un—American to think in terms of false goals. do, We however, seem to be dedicated to the idea of buying our way to happiness.We shall all have made it to Heaven when we possess enough. And at the same time the forces of American business are hugely dedicated to making US deliberately unhappy.Advertising is one of our major industries,and advertising exists not to satisfy desires but to create them--and to create them faster than anyone’s budget can satisfy them. that matter, For our whole economy is based on addicting US to greed.We are even told it is our patriotic duty to support the national economy by buying things. Look at any of the magazines that cater to women.There advertising begins as art and slogans in the front pages and ends as pills and therapy in the back pages.The art at the front illustrates the dream of perfect beauty.This is the baby skin that must be hers.This,the perfumed breath she must breathe out.This,the sixteen-year-old figure she must display at forty, at fifty, at sixty, and forever.This is the harness into which Mother must strap herself in order to display that perfect figure.This is the cream that restores skin, these are the tablets that melt away fat around the thighs, these are the pills of perpetual and youth. Obviously no reasonable person can be completely persuaded either by such art or by such pills and devices.Yet someone is obviously trying to buy this dream and spending billions every year in the attempt.Clearly the happiness—market is not running out of customers,but what is it they are trying to buy? Actually, the essence of happiness is in the pursuit itself, in the pursuit of what is engaging and life— changing, which is to say, in the idea of becoming. nation is not measured by what it possesses or wants A to possess,but by what it wants to become.(399 words)

追求幸福:美国宪法赋予美国人民追求幸福的权利,但是似乎谁也说不清幸福跑到哪里去了。 这就好比我们获得 了打猎许可却无猎物可打一样。 乔纳森·斯威夫特认为幸福是 "一种大上其当而浑然不觉的状态", 或者是充当" 一名白痴中的傻瓜"的感觉 ,因为斯威夫特把社会看作是一片布满虚假目标的土地。 虚假目标的提法当然不是美国式思维。 然而,我们似乎执迷于花钱买幸福的理念。 当我们拥有足够的财力时, 我们就会获得极大的成功。 与此同时,美国商业势力却大肆渲染,人为地使我们感到不幸福。 广告业是我们的主要产业之一,它的存在不 是为了满足欲望,而是为了制造欲望,其速度之快为任何人的预算所不及。 这样一来,我们整个的经济就建立在 使我们沉溺于贪婪的基础上。 甚至有人告诉我们通过购物来支持国家经济是我们的爱国义务。 随便翻开一本迎合妇女口味的杂志,不难发现,开头的几页广告都是艺术和口号,到了结尾的几页就都变成了 药丸和疗法。 开头几页的艺术包装所展示的是对至尊美丽的渴望。 她拥有的是婴儿般的细腻皮肤。 她呼出来的

是芬芳的气息。 无论她40岁、50岁、60岁,还是任何时候,她永远都拥有16岁的身段。 这就是母亲为了展示她的 优美体形所使用的束带。 这是可使人肌肤恢复细嫩的护肤霜,这些是减去大腿脂肪的药片,这些是青春永驻的药 丸。 很明显,任何有理智的人都不会完全被此类广告艺术、药丸或器械所打动。 不过确实有人想要花钱买这个梦, 不惜为此每年花销数十亿美元。 显然,幸福市场不乏顾客,但是他们想要购买的又是什么呢? 给"幸福"下定义是一个令人困惑的问题:最好的办法是先设定两个极端,然后寻求中庸。 认为幸福就是高人一 等,住的是大理石豪宅,衣柜里有上百套衣服,这可成为贪婪的极端。 认为幸福就是印度圣人似的快乐,这将成 为精神生活的极端。 圣人打坐,冥想着现实的本质,超脱于肉身的拖累。 如果有崇敬者给他端上食物,他就吃; 如果没人给,他就饿着。 何苦为此事烦恼?一切物质的东西对他都微不足道。 冥想就是他的快乐。他凭借常人难 以想像的自律达到高度的精神集中,对他来说,能够达到如此境界,这本身就是快乐。 他是一个幸福的人吗?也许他的幸福不过是又一种幻觉罢了。 但是,谁能剥夺他的幻觉呢?谁又敢说这种幸福 比靠分期付款购买的幸福更虚假呢? 尽管圣人的幸福观在东方享有很高的声誉,但我却怀疑是否真有这样静态的幸福。 可以肯定的是,他的幸福方 式几乎对于任何具有西方性格的人来说都是一种折磨。 但这些极端认识仍将有助于说明幸福的概念,我们每个人 都能从中找到某种平衡。 梭罗自己的坚定平衡信念是:小事省一省,大事有保证。 为了占有而占有,或是为了与邻里攀比而占有,可能就是梭罗认为的小事。 自觉提高自己对自然界中永恒价值 的认识能力,应该属于梭罗认识中的大事。 从小事上省下来的时间可以花在大事上。 梭罗当然不会让自己挨饿, 但是他的进食仅仅是为了保持其体能,以便有精力做大事。 努力是幸福的精髓:只有接受了挑战,我们才会有幸福感。 除非不可能,我们一生的满足均取决于我们把困难 定位到怎样的高度。 广告版幸福的致命缺陷在于它声称幸福不需要做出任何努力。 即使是在娱乐中,我们也希望有点难度。 我们想要难度,因为没有难度就没有了游戏乐趣;游戏要靠制造难度 来生成乐趣。 游戏的规则是人为地增加难度。 如果可以自行改变棋赛规则,赢一盘棋将会容易得多。然而,下棋 赢棋的乐趣是在规则下赢棋。 如果我们自己就能够造钱,那么即使造出一座金山也了然无趣。 没有难度,就没有 乐趣。 广告中推销的东西似乎常常因缺少难度而缺少乐趣。 我想,印度圣人在我们看来似乎也提不起兴趣,因为他好 像拒绝任何游戏。 西方幸福观的弱点可能在于他们幻想幸福是可以买来的。 而东方幸福观的弱点或许在于他们相 信存在完美的幸福。 幸福从来就是不圆满的。 不管我们对幸福还有什么别的解释,它都既不是拥有,也不是存在,而是过程。 美 国宪法的制订者为我们公布的天赋人权,不是幸福权,而是对幸福的追求权。 如果当年的爱国者能够预见后来的 幸福市场,他们或许会强调这样一个基本事实:幸福在于追求本身,在于参与和改变人生,也就是说,在于相信"

过程"这一理念。 评估一个国家的标准,不是看它已经拥有什么,或者想要拥有什么,而是看它想要成为什么。


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