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猫咪教给我们的那些事

2018-05-15    来源:英语点津    【大乐透走势图浙江      美国外教 在线口语培训

本文地址:http://www.dmhes.com.cn/html/dailyfocus/culture/20180515/124893.html
文章摘要:猫咪教给我们的那些事,末梢神经苏秦匡威,委培性道德同人志。

对于爱猫人士而言,猫独立又慵懒,在自己的世界中自得其乐。猫的特质总是能深深抓住人们的心:它不惧过往,不忧未来,活在当下,其内在的和谐统一实在是令人望尘莫及……猫能教给我们的其实很多。那么关于生活,人类究竟可以从猫身上学到些什么呢?

 
A philosopher once assured me, many years ago, that he had converted his cat to veganism. Believing he was joking, I asked how he had achieved this feat. Had he supplied the cat with mouse-flavored vegan food? Had he presented his cat with other cats, already practicing veganism, as feline role models? Or had he argued with the cat and convinced it that eating meat is wrong? My interlocutor wasn’t amused, and I realized that he really believed the cat had opted for a meat-free diet.
 
很多年以前,有一位哲学家曾信誓旦旦地和我说,他让他的猫学会了吃纯素。我以为他是开玩笑,便问他是如何实现这一个壮举的。是给猫提供了老鼠口味的素食吗?还是通过其他猫成功吃素的案例给他的猫树立了榜样?又或者曾经和他的猫争论并使它相信吃肉是不对的?然而我面前的这位仁兄并没有被逗笑,这让我意识到他真的认为是他的猫自己选择了吃素。
 
The independence of cats is one of the features most admired by those of us who love them. Having entered into close proximity with human beings, cats were quickly recognized as being useful to them.
 
在猫的种种特质中,我们这些爱猫人士最欣赏的一点就是它的独立性。当猫与人的关系变得亲密之后,人们很快就意识到了猫的重要作用。
 
For many cat lovers, I suspect what they cherish is not how cats resemble us, but their differences from us. Living with cats opens a window into a world beyond our own and teaches us something important about what it means to be human.
 
我甚至怀疑许多爱猫人士喜欢的并不是猫与我们的相似点,而是它们与我们的不同之处。与猫同住不仅让我们有机会了解人类以外的世界,还教会我们一些重要的事情,即人类的意义所在。
 
One of the most attractive features of cats is that contentment is their default state. Unlike human beings—particularly of the modern variety—they do not spend their days in laborious pursuit of a fantasy of happiness. They are comfortable with themselves and their lives, and remain in that condition for as long as they are not threatened. When they are not eating or sleeping, they pass the time exploring and playing, never asking for reasons to live. Life itself is enough for them.
 
猫最吸引人的一点就是它们一向自得其乐,不像人类——特别是现代人——它们不会把时间花在汲汲于享乐上。猫对于自身和自己的生活怡然自得,并且只要四周没有威胁,它们就乐于保持现状。猫在不吃饭或不睡觉的时候,就会将时间花在探险和玩耍上,从不会追寻活着的意义,因为对它们来说只要活着就足够了。
 
If there are people who can’t stand cats—and it seems there are many—one reason may be envy. As Jeffrey Masson, whose The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats is the best book on cats ever published, has written:
 
如果有人不能忍受猫——似乎为数不少——那么原因之一可能是嫉妒。正如杰弗里•马森,目前出版的关于猫的最好的一本书——《猫咪的九种情感生活》的作者,曾经写道:
 
In English, if not in “cat”, the word contentment conveys something of a feeling of being at peace with the world or with yourself. It is more of a state than a fleeting emotion. A person can be happy (momentarily) without being content. Contentment cannot be purchased; happiness, on the other hand, has a price.
 
在英语中,如果不是用在猫身上,那么“满足”这个词代表的就是你与世界或者你与自己达到的和谐统一。相较于稍纵即逝的情绪,满足更似一种状态。一个人即使在不满足时也可以是快乐的(即使是暂时的)。满足感我们无法用钱来买到;而快乐,从另一方面来说,是有标价的。
 
Whereas human beings search for happiness in an ever-increasing plethora of religions and therapies, cats enjoy contentment as their birthright. Why this is so is worth exploring. Cats show no sign of regretting the past or fretting about the future. They live, absorbed in the present moment. It will be said that this is because they cannot envision he past or future. Perhaps so, though their habit of demanding their breakfast at the accustomed hour shows they do have a sense of the passage of time. But cats, unlike people, are not haunted by an anxious sense that time is slipping away. Not thinking of their lives as stories in which they are moving towards some better state, they meet each day as it comes. They do not waste their lives dreading the time when their lives must end. Not fearing death, they enjoy a kind of immortality. All animals have these qualities but they seem particularly pronounced in cats. Of all the animals that have lived closely with human beings, cats must surely be the least influenced by them.
 
人们在越来越多的宗教和治疗中寻求快乐,而猫却将满足视为其与生俱来的权利。这其中的原委值得我们探讨。猫既不会对过去感到遗憾,也不会对未来感到焦虑,它们全神贯注地活在当下。有人可能说,这是因为它们无法追忆过往和想象未来。可能是这样,虽然猫定时吃早餐的习惯证明它们有时间观念,但与人类不同的是,它们不会对时间的流逝产生焦虑感。猫不会像活在故事里一样去追求更好的生活状态,而只是迎接每一天的到来。它们不会浪费时间为生命必将迎来的终结而感到恐惧。它们不惧死亡,因此享受着一种不朽的状态。所有的动物都具有这些特质,但这些似乎在猫身上尤为彰显。而在所有与人类共同生活过的动物当中,猫一定是最不受人类影响的。
 
“When I play with my cat,” Montaigne wrote, “how do I know she is not playing with me?” With creatures that can be understood only partly by us, one can only speculate about their inner life. Yet it is tempting to suppose that the secret of feline contentment is that cats have no need to defer to a picture of themselves as they imagine they should be. Certainly they have a sense of dignity: they avoid people who treat them disrespectfully, for instance. Yet cats do not struggle to remake themselves according to any ideal self-image. Not inwardly divided, they are happy to be themselves.
 
“和我家猫玩耍的时候,”蒙田写道,“我怎么知道她并不是在和我玩呢?”我们往往不能完全地理解它们,只能猜测它们的内心所想。我们很想这样猜测:猫获得满足感的秘诀就在于它们不必成为自以为应该成为的样子(即安于现状)。当然它们会有尊严感:例如,它们拒绝接近不尊重它们的人。但猫还是不会按照任何完美的样子费力改造自己。它们内心从不矛盾,只乐于做自己。
 
The moralizing philosopher who believed he had persuaded his cat to adopt a meat-free diet only showed how silly philosophers can be. Rather than seek to teach his cat, he would have been wiser to learn from it, as Montaigne did. Living in accord with their nature, cats do not need moral instruction. Dissatisfaction with our natural condition, on the other hand, seems to be natural for human beings. The human animal never ceases to strive for some higher form of life. Cats make no such effort. Without any process of laborious cogitation, these lucid, playful and supremely adaptable creatures already know how to live.
 
那位对猫说教的哲学家相信他已经成功说服他的猫吃素,只证明了哲学家有多么愚蠢。他应当像蒙田一样,学得聪明一些,从他的猫咪身上学些什么,而不是去教导他的猫。猫顺从天性生活,不需要道德说教。而对自然条件感到不满,从另一方面说,似乎是人类的天性。人类从来不会停止追求更好的生活方式。猫不会为此做任何努力。无需任何深思熟虑,这种头脑清楚、顽皮而又适应性极强的生物早已知道该如何生活。


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