各人有各人的生活

博尔赫斯的《通天塔图书馆》里提到,图书馆里的书是无限的,销毁了一些书,还有好多其他书,其他类似的版本。书的核心内容其实不多,而且似是不断循环,以前的书,又会在后世相似地呈现,但即使相似,也不相同。所以说,永远没有一模一样的书。

人类几千年来,无论是口头还是书写,唠叨来唠叨去都是类似的东西:围绕我们人类的人性,人类跟自然的关系,生啊死啊,爱情和变心等等。前人说过的,后人不必要再说了,因为说的都一样?如果按照这样的逻辑,人类文明停留在几千年前就可以了。但人类社会又在不断发展,现在的世界,跟几千年前已经翻天覆地的变化。人类的更新换代,虽然围绕的是类似的东西,但是加上不同的形容词,加多一句话,换了一种表达方式,就会产生不同的效果?微小的不同,或者可以产生蝴蝶效应。就如人类跟黑猩猩的DNA只有1%的不同,分化出来的物种就如此的不一样。

具体到个人,我们过的生活,大概跟古人本质上没什么不同,只是形式上不一样。如果我们的生活没有新的元素,那么我们出生的意义何在?

阅读毛姆的《The Fall of Edward Barnard》,里面浓缩表现了两种人的生活。以Bateman和Isabel为代表的所谓上流社会,积累财富,富贵典雅,文质彬彬的生活,和以Edward Barnard和Arnold Jackson为代表的,看上去比较另类,生活简朴但懂得闲散生活乐趣,回归自然的生活。

Bateman:(How to get the best out of life?)by hard work, by meeting all the obligation of his state and station…His reward is the consciousness of having achieved what he set out to do..

Edward Barnard: Here I learned to read for pleasure. I learned to talk. Do you know that conversation is one of the greatest pleasures in life? But it wants leisure. I’d always been too busy before. And gradually all the life that had seemed so important to me began to seem rather trivial and vulgar. What is the use of all this hustle and this constant striving ? I think of Chicago now and I see a dark, grey city, all stone — it is like a prison –and a ceaseless turmoil. And what does all that activity amount to? Does one get there the best out of life? Is that what we come into the world for, to hurry to an office, and work hour after hour till night, then hurry home and dine and go to a theatre? Is that how I must spend my youth? Youth lasts so short a time, Bateman. And when I am old, what have I to look forward to? To hurry from my home in the morning to my office and work hour after hour till night, and then hurry home again, and dine and go to a theatre? That may be worth while if you make a fortune; I don’t know, it depends on your nature; but if you don’t, is it worth while then? I want to make more out of my life than that…

不同生活理念的人,不是互相不理解或者不聆听。其实聆听了又怎样,理解了又怎样?各人依然会按照自己的脾性、性格、理想去过自己的生活。就如同这对老朋友,人生轨迹开始走向不同方向,也耐心沟通过,但是依然会按照自己的轨迹继续生活。Bateman依然会认为像土著人一样生活是懒惰、堕落和没出色的。而Edward又没可能按照朋友和年轻时情人的意愿再回到芝加哥那种石屎森林的生活。

其实哪一种生活都没有所谓对错,如Edward说的,it depends on your nature。违反自己天性去勉强接受自己不喜欢的生活模式,才是最可悲和最痛苦的。无论富有还是贫穷,只要自己过得舒心满意,就是最好的生活。

每个人都以自己的一生去书写一本书。这些书会收藏在通天塔图书馆里,书的内容相似,但是少了一册都不可。这也许就是人类文明的动力所在,那么多姿多彩的生活,可是一个人只能过其中一种人生,于是唯有遵循自己的内心吧。我们这一生,并不是独特非凡的,但依然会在世界留下一点点痕迹。

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