夜读,偶遇David Brooks的Ted演讲。虽然并不完全同意,但是反主流文化的,都有意义。我节选翻译了演讲的一部分,与大家分享。没有视频的演讲节选,就如闭着眼睛听演唱会 – 你会听到很多细节,包括瑕疵。But it doesn’t make it bad. It makes it real。一种缺憾的美。

And loneliness, unexpectedly, came to me in the form of — it felt like fear, a burning in my stomach. And it felt a little like drunkenness, just making bad decisions, just fluidity, lack of solidity. And the painful part of that moment was the awareness that the emptiness in my apartment was just reflective of the emptiness in myself, and that I had fallen for some of the lies that our culture tells us.


The first lie is that career success is fulfilling. I’ve had a fair bit of career success, and I’ve found that it helps me avoid the shame I would feel if I felt myself a failure, but it hasn’t given me any positive good.


The second lie is I can make myself happy, that if I just win one more victory, lose 15 pounds, do a little more yoga, I’ll get happy. And that’s the lie of self-sufficiency. But as anybody on their deathbed will tell you, the things that make people happy is the deep relationships of life,the losing of self-sufficiency.

The third lie is the lie of the meritocracy. The message of the meritocracy is you are what you accomplish. The myth of the meritocracy is you can earn dignity by attaching yourself to prestigious brands. The emotion of the meritocracy is conditional love, you can “earn” your way to love. The anthropology of the meritocracy is you’re not a soul to be purified, you’re a set of skills to be maximized. And the evil of the meritocracy is that people who’ve achieved a little more than others are actually worth a little more than others. And so the wages of sin are sin.And my sins were the sins of omission– not reaching out, failing to show up for my friends, evasion, avoiding conflict.

第二个谎言,是我凭自己就可以让自己快乐,不需要别人。如果我可以实现一个小目标,比如减掉15磅,又或者做个瑜伽,我就会快乐。其实,那只是一个关于自我独立的谎言。任何一个垂死的人都会告诉你,真正让人快乐的,是生命中那些最真挚醇厚的感情 – 拥有这些感情,恰恰也意味着放弃自我的独立。


And … how do you get out of a valley?The Greeks used to say, “You suffer your way to wisdom.” And from that dark period where I started, I’ve had a few realizations. The first is, freedom sucks. Economic freedom is OK, political freedom is great,social freedom sucks. The unrooted man is the adrift man. The unrooted man is the unremembered man, because he’s uncommitted to things. Freedom is not an ocean you want to swim in, it’s a river you want to get across, so you can commit and plant yourself on the other side.


The second thing I learned is that when you have one of those bad moments in life, you can either be broken, or you can be broken open. And we all know people who are broken. They’ve endured some pain or grief, they get smaller, they get angrier, resentful, they lash out. As the saying is, “Pain that is not transformed gets transmitted.” But other people are broken open. Suffering’s great power is that it’s an interruption of life. It reminds you you’re not the person you thought you were.


The theologian Paul Tillich said what suffering does is it carves through what you thought was the floor of the basement of your soul, and it carves through that, revealing a cavity below, and it carves through that, revealing a cavity below. You realize there are depths of yourself you never anticipated, and only spiritual and relational food will fill those depths. And when you get down there, you get out of the head of the ego and you get into the heart, the desiring heart.

神学家Paul Tillich说,苦难触及到你灵魂的最深处,还不断地刨根揭底,揭底刨根,直到你意识到,这是你深深埋藏着的本我。这里的裂缝,只有精神的食粮和真挚的情感可以填充。在这里,你超脱了自我,走进了心灵深处,那个期待被安抚的心灵。

The idea that what we really yearn for is longing and love for another, the kind of thing that Louis de Bernières described in his book, “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.” He had an old guy talking to his daughter about his relationship with his late wife, and the old guy says, “Love itself is whatever is leftover when being in love is burned away. And this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it. We had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches, we discovered that we are one tree and not two.” That’s what the heart yearns for.

我们真正渴望的,是一种归属感,和互相的爱慕。在Louis de Bernieres的小说《战地情人》里,那个老人和女儿谈及他的故妻。“爱是爱情燃烧之后的灰烬。这是一门艺术,也是一次幸运的邂逅。你妈妈和我有过。我们的根在地下交互盘绕。当花儿落尽时,我们才发现,我们是一棵树,而不是独立的两棵”。这种归属感,才是我们心之所向。

The second thing you discover is your soul. Now, I don’t ask you to believe in God or not believe in God, but I do ask you to believe that there’s a piece of you that has no shape, size, color or weight, but that gives you infinite dignity and value. Rich and successful people don’t have more of this than less successful people. Slavery is wrong because it’s an obliteration of another soul. Rape is not just an attack on a bunch of physical molecules, it’s an attempt to insult another person’s soul. And what the soul does is it yearns for righteousness. The heart yearns for fusion with another, the soul yearns for righteousness. And that led to my third realization, which I borrowed from Einstein: “The problem you have is not going to be solved at the level of consciousness on which you created it. You have to expand to a different level of consciousness.”


So what do you do? Well, the first thing you do is you throw yourself on your friends and you have deeper conversations that you ever had before.But the second thing you do, you have to go out alone into the wilderness. You go out into that place where there’s nobody there to perform, and the ego has nothing to do, and it crumbles, and only then are you capable of being loved.


And so what I’m trying to describe is two different life mindsets. The first mountain mindset, which is about individual happiness and career success. And it’s a good mindset, I have nothing against it. But we’re in a national valley, because we don’t have the other mindset to balance it. We no longer feel good about ourselves as a people, we’ve lost our defining faith in our future, we don’t see each other deeply, we don’t treat each other as well. And we need a lot of changes. We need an economic change and environmental change. But we also need a cultural and relational revolution. My theory of social change is that society changes when a small group of people find a better way to live, and the rest of us copy them. We need to name the language of a recovered society. And to me, the weavers have found that language. And if we do that, the hole inside ourselves gets filled, but more important, the social unity gets repaired.






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