Human Life a Poem 人生如诗
I think that, from a biological standpoint, human life almost reads like a poem. It has its own rhythm and beat, its internal cycles of growth and decay. It begins with innocent childhood, followed by awkward adolescence trying awkwardly to adapt itself to mature society, with its young passions and follies, its ideals and ambitions; then it reaches a manhood of intense activities, profiting from experience and learning more about society and human nature; at middle age, there is a slight easing of tension, a mellowing of character like the ripening of fruit or the mellowing of good wine, and the gradual acquiring of a more tolerant, more cynical and at the same time a kindlier view of life; then In the sunset of our life, the endocrine glands decrease their activity, and if we have a true philosophy of old age and have ordered our life pattern according to it, it is for us the age of peace and security and leisure and contentment; finally, life flickers out and one goes into eternal sleep, never to wake up again. One should be able to sense the beauty of this rhythm of life, to appreciate, as we do in grand symphonies, its main theme, its strains of conflict and the final resolution. The movements of these cycles are very much the same in a normal life, but the music must be provided by the individual himself. In some souls, the discordant note becomes harsher and harsher and finally overwhelms or submerges the main melody. Sometimes the discordant note gains so much power that the music can no longer go on, and the individual shoots himself with a pistol or jump into a river. But that is because his original leitmotif has been hopelessly over-showed through the lack of a good self-education. Otherwise the normal human life runs to its normal end in kind of dignified movement and procession. There are sometimes in many of us too many staccatos or impetuosos, and because the tempo is wrong, the music is not pleasing to the ear; we might have more of the grand rhythm and majestic tempo o the Ganges, flowing slowly and eternally into the sea. No one can say that life with childhood, manhood and old age is not a beautiful arrangement; the day has its morning, noon and sunset, and the year has its seasons, and it is good that it is so. There is no good or bad in life, except what is good according to its own season. And if we take this biological view of life and try to live according to the seasons, no one but a conceited fool or an impossible idealist can deny that human life can be lived like a poem. Shakespeare has expressed this idea more graphically in his passage about the seven stages of life, and a good many Chinese writers have said about the same thing. It is curious that Shakespeare was never very religious, or very much concerned with religion. I think this was his greatness; he took human life largely as it was, and intruded himself as little upon the general scheme of things as he did upon the characters of his plays. Shakespeare was like Nature itself, and that is the greatest compliment we can pay to a writer or thinker. He merely lived, observed life and went away.
我以为,从生物学角度看,人的一生恰如诗歌。人生自有其韵律和节奏,自有内在的生成与衰亡。人生始于无邪的童年,经过少年的青涩,带着激情与无知,理想与雄心,笨拙而努力地走向成熟;后来人到壮年,经历渐广,阅人渐多,涉世渐深,收益也渐大;及至中年,人生的紧张得以舒缓,人的性格日渐成熟,如芳馥之果实,如醇美之佳酿,更具容忍之心,处世虽更悲观,但对人生的态度趋于和善;再后来就是人生迟暮,内分泌系统活动减少,若此时吾辈已经悟得老年真谛,并据此安排残年,那生活将和平,宁静,安详而知足;终于,生命之烛摇曳而终熄灭,人开始永恒的长眠,不再醒来。 人们当学会感受生命韵律之美,像听交响乐一样,欣赏其主旋律、激昂的高潮和舒缓的尾声。这些反复的乐章对于我们的生命都大同小异,但个人的乐曲却要自己去谱写。在某些人心中,不和谐音会越来越刺耳,最终竟然能掩盖主曲;有时不和谐音会积蓄巨大的能量,令乐曲不能继续,这时人们或举枪自杀或投河自尽。 这是他最初的主题被无望地遮蔽,只因他缺少自我教育。否则,常人将以体面的运动和进程走向既定的终点。在我们多数人胸中常常会有太多的断奏或强音,那是因为节奏错了,生命的乐曲因此而不再悦耳。我们应该如恒河,学她气势恢弘而豪迈地缓缓流向大海。 人生有童年、少年和老年,谁也不能否认这是一种美好的安排,一天要有清晨、正午和日落,一年要有四季之分,如此才好。人生本无好坏之分,只是各个季节有各自的好处。如若我们持此种生物学的观点,并循着季节去生活,除了狂妄自大的傻瓜和无可救药的理想主义者,谁能说人生不能像诗一般度过呢。莎翁在他的一段话中形象地阐述了人生分七个阶段的观点,很多中国作家也说过类似的话。奇怪的是,莎士比亚并不是虔诚的宗教徒,也不怎么关心宗教。我想这正是他的伟大之处,他对人生秉着顺其自然的态度,他对生活之事的干涉和改动很少,正如他对戏剧人物那样。莎翁就像自然一样,这是我们能给作家或思想家的最高褒奖。对人生,他只是一路经历着,观察着,离我们远去了。