2008年06月01日

CPC Central Committee Political Bureau Standing Committee and Premier of the State Council, the State Council earthquake relief headquarters commander Wen Jiabao here on the 22nd afternoon Zaifu Sichuan earthquake-stricken area, and condolences to the people involved in rescue of the People’s Liberation Army and armed police officers and soldiers, policemen, medical personnel, command Earthquake relief work.
亲临一线察看堰塞湖险情 Yanse Hu personally inspected the frontline of dangerous

22日下午5时10分许,一抵达绵阳机场,温家宝总理就和国务院副总理回良玉、国务委员马凯以及总指挥部其他成员一起改乘直升机前往北川察看唐家山堰塞湖,看望禹里乡准备转移的群众,并前往在地震中遭受严重毁坏的北川县城,了解受灾情况。 At 17:10 on the 22nd Xu, arrived at the airport in Mianyang, Premier Wen Jiabao on and Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, State Councilor Ma Kai and other members of the General Command Gaicheng helicopter to see the North Chuancha Tang Shan Yan Sehu, visit Yu, prepared to transfer the rural masses, and go to the earthquake suffered serious damage in the north-county, understanding disaster situation.
地震发生后,由于山体滑坡、塌方和泥石流堵塞河道,导致四川震区目前形成了33处堰塞湖,其中唐家山堰塞湖是险情较重的一座,对下游安全构成了一定威胁。 After the earthquake, the mountain landslides, mud-rock flow and landslides blocked the river in Sichuan Earthquake led to the formation of the current 33 Yanse Hu, Tang Shan Yan Sehu is a severe danger to the security of the lower reaches a certain threat. 目前,水利部门和武警水电部队已经对其进行24小时监控,并制定了相关应急处理预案。 At present, the water utilities sector and the armed police forces have their 24-hour surveillance, and developed a contingency plan.
直升机随后在禹里乡降落。 Yu then in the helicopter landed in the township. 这里位于唐家山堰塞湖的上游,是传说中大禹的故里。 Tang Jiaxuan here in the mountains upstream Yanse Hu, is the hometown legend in the Dayu. 为防范回水继续上涨淹没村庄,部队正在组织当地受灾群众转移。 To prevent backwater flooded villages continue to rise, the unit is organizing the transfer of local people in disaster areas.
温 家宝告诉乡亲们,现在威胁最大的就是堰塞湖,“你们放心,我们一定把这个问题处理好,一定会确保群众安全。”温家宝提出了处理堰塞湖问题的三条原则:一是 主动处理,避免被动处理;二是要立足早处理,防止因水量增大增加处理难度;三是同时制定工程排险方案和人员转移避险方案,确保群众安全,确保部队和抢救人 员安全,绝不能再造成人员伤亡…… Wen Jiabao told the villagers, is now the biggest threat Yanse Hu, "You rest assured that we will properly handle this issue, we will ensure that the safety of the masses." Yansai Hu Wen Jiabao put forward to address the issue of three principles: First, take the initiative To avoid passive; Second, we should base ourselves early treatment to prevent the increase due to increased water treatment more difficult; Third, it is also developing programmes and projects ranked risk transfer of hedge programme to ensure the safety of the masses to ensure that the security forces and rescue personnel, must no longer Causing casualties……
再造新北川老城可建博物馆当日下午7时许,温家宝来到北川县城外的一块高地上,眺望这座曾经山清水秀的县城。 The new North-recycling old city museum can be built at about 7 pm the same day, Wen Jiabao came to the North-county, one of the high ground, this has a beautiful view of the county. 两侧山体塌方,将县城许多房屋掩埋在石土之下,整座城镇满目疮痍,一片废墟。 On both sides of the mountain cave, the county will be many houses buried under soil in stone, devastated the whole town, in ruins.
当地干部向总理介绍,目前县城的救援工作已经告一段落,全部人员都已撤离,正在抓紧进行卫生防疫工作。 Local cadres to the Prime Minister, now the county seat of the rescue work has been concluded, all staff have been evacuated, is pay close attention to health and epidemic prevention work.
温家宝殷切地对当地干部说,我们要再造一个新北川。 Wen Jiabao keen on the local cadres said that we should recycling of a new North-chuan. 这座老县城可以作为地震遗址保留,变成地震博物馆。 The old county seat reservations can be used as the earthquake ruins, a quake museum. 另外,北川是我国唯一的羌族自治县,要保护好羌族特有的文化遗产,即使县城迁建到新的地址,也要做好这种保护工作。 In addition, the North River is China’s only Qiang Autonomous County, it is necessary to protect the unique cultural heritage of the Qiang, even if the county moving to a new address, to make such protection work.
23日,温家宝还到北川中学安置点慰问了同学们,并在黑板上写下“多难兴邦”几个大字。 23, Wen also to the north-secondary settlements condolences to the students, and on the blackboard and wrote "more difficult Xingbang" a few Chinese characters. 但最令人难忘的,是总理对同学们殷切勉励的一句话——“要昂起不屈的头颅,挺起不屈的脊梁,燃起那颗炽热的心。为了明天,充满希望地向前迈进!” But the most impressive is the premier encouraged the students have strong words – "Angqi unyielding to the skull, backbone Tingqi indomitable, ignite那颗overheated heart. For tomorrow, full of hope to move forward Forward! "

葛剑雄:从环境变迁看人与自然的关系
标签: 自然
● 葛剑雄
    气候变暖了吗?
    
    当大多数科学家预测未来变暖趋势时,也有科学家提出,地球已经到了小冰期的前叶。也就是说未来不是变暖而是变冷。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    近年来,地球上好像很少有人不再关心环境问题。首先大家比较关心的是全球变暖。到底地球是不是会越来越热,会热到什么程度?从历史地理的角度怎样来看这个问题?到底自然环境的变化与人类的活动有什么关系? ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    曾经有报道说,上个世纪是 有史以来最热的一个世纪。究竟情况怎么样?我觉得很难说。首先我们现在对过去气候变化的情况知道得非常有限。迄今为止,全球最老的一个现代气候观测站建立 的时间不会超过200年。中国大多数地方都是从上世纪50年代开始才有气象站,记录降水、气温等变化。所以我们讲一两千年前哪个地区的气候怎么样,并没有 现成的准确的数据,而只能依靠间接资料。还有,气候变化是有周期的,有的周期比较短,比如十几年或几十年,这个规律比较容易把握。有的周期非常长,比如 300年,甚至更长,因此就算根据目前已知的一些数据,我们还是很难判定气候变化的那根曲线是继续在上升还是已经开始下降。而且,全球大部分地方是海洋, 还有很多是无人区,气候资料匮乏。偏偏这些地区的气候变化对我们人类关系特别重大。比如南极,面积只有1400多万平方公里,但它上面的冰雪占了全球的 70%,淡水资源占全球的90%。这个地方气候稍微有些变化,对全球气候的影响比一个北京或上海要大得多。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    我们现在对人类活动注意观察比较多,但对自然规律的了解还缺乏实质性进展,很多变化原因讲不清楚。正因为如此,当大多数科学家预测未来变暖趋势时,也有科学家提出,地球已经到了小冰期的前叶。也就是说未来不是变暖而是变冷。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    对于到底二氧化碳是不是全球变暖的因素,其实也是有不同意见的。美国到现在为止不愿意接受京都协定书,它表面的理由就是二氧化碳是致暖因素证据不足。当然也有更深层的原因。但是如果撇开这些政治经济军事因素,这个结论也未必百分百正确。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    我们可以从中国历史上的气 候变化来看一下。发现中国历史气候变化已经不止一次了。比如甲骨文里多次提到“象”,也就是野象。而且记载了象的活动。甲骨文大多是在今天河南安阳殷墟一 带发现的。商朝首都殷,已经在今天黄河以北了。各位一定注意到,象生长在亚热带、热带,上海可以养象,但象是不能在野外过冬的。但当时黄河以北野象到处可 以找得到,证明当时的黄河流域气温要比今天高。竹子喜欢温暖。今天在淮河以北已经难以找到大片的天然竹林。但在春秋战国的时候,黄河以北的河南北部,有很 有名的竹园。这片竹园一直到公元前2世纪末,汉武帝堵塞黄河决口的时候还在派用场。这都是历史上比今天热的。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    那么,历史上有没有比今天冷的呢,也有。比如南宋的时候,太湖上全部冰冻,人跟车可以在冰上走。又比如说宋朝时,福州的柑橘树冬天被冻死了。这个情况今天也少见证据。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    所以我们看,历史时期极端气温,都曾经出现比今天更冷或更热。这说明什么?当时人口比今天少得多。商朝最多一两千万人,南宋大约1亿人,今天哪怕穷乡僻壤消耗的资源、污染也很可观。说明气候的变化并不完全是人类的活动造成的,还有自然本身的原因。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    这是我们拿气候作例子。正因为如此,我们如何应对全球气候变化?应该看到,全球变暖是近一阶段的现实。这没有问题,但这未必是未来唯一的可能。也许什么时候平了,也许什么时候开始下降,都有可能。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    但总的看来,全球气温还在 上升。这是其一。其二,导致气候变暖的主要原因,目前还很难确定。其三,人类还是要尽最大努力,消除不利影响,包括二氧化碳的排放。尽管它未必是唯一原 因,但人类能做的就是控制自己的因素,这没有坏处。但是同时,也要更加密切注意自然环境本身的变化。作为科学家来讲,有这个责任。一旦真正的原因找到了, 问题也就迎刃而解了。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    就算气候变暖成为事实, 那是不是就意味着我们人类就没有前途、就倒退、就毁灭呢?我不这样认为。三四千年前,中国的气温比现在高,当时的人既没有电扇,也没有空调,也过来了。我 们今天就难道一点出路也没有吗?如果说太平洋小岛担心气候过热,但中国幅员那么广,也许广州过热了,哈尔滨的气候正好呢,有调节的余地。何况事物是很复杂 的,在有些地方变成沙漠的同时,有些地方变成绿洲了。根据科学研究,撒哈拉沙漠一万年前很多地方还是漂亮的绿洲,也有很多漂亮的建筑,到今天为止撒哈拉沙 漠地下水还是很丰富的。今天的利比亚,有几个沙漠城市很发达,就是缘于地下水资源比较丰富,而且还有石油。所以并不是绝对的。有人跟我说,气候变暖,南极 冰川融化,海平面升高40米,那不完了吗?但是你为什么不看另一面,地球不是实心的,如果南极冰川全部落到海里面,说不定还把陆地抬上来了呢。我请教了地 质结构专家,这种可能也是有的。所以我们对气候变暖也要抱着实事求是的态度,不要盲目悲观。何况这个过程也是比较慢。至于说海平面升高,荷兰的1/4- 1/3国土比海平面低,不也靠大堤这样过来了吗? ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    
    灾害变多了吗?
    
    自然灾害的程度是不是越来越严重了呢?也不一定。比如说地震,1976年的唐山大地震是世界十大地震之一,根据官方公布的数据,死24万,伤16万。但是明朝嘉靖三十四年(公元1556年),陕西华州发生大地震,波及七省,全部死亡人数估计超过100万。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    近年来,大家觉得自然灾害 越来越频繁了。但如果跟历史上情况比较,这里有很大问题。有学者列了一个表,商朝时候平均每年一次灾害,周朝两次,清朝100次,现在500次,不是越来 越厉害了吗?但是他忽略了一个重要的科学前提,商朝有多少资料,现在有多少资料?历史越久远的年代,史料越少,离现在越近,史料越多。现在统计出来看,就 好像灾害越来越多。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    还有很多史料,因为作者 参照体系的不同,记载的结果也不同。比如本来生活在热带的人,一到了寒冷地方,就说这气候是有史以来最冷的,但当地人可能觉得今年也不算多么冷啊。所以读 者看到资料,一定要想想写的人是什么眼光。我们今天认为是灾的,也许历史上不算什么灾。比如沙尘暴,我们认为越来越厉害。但是科学家经过数据测量,发现沙 尘暴并不是越来越厉害,而且这几年还算好了点。问问年纪大的北京人,他们说以前每年春天都刮风,了不得的。但为什么现在那么重视呢?因为现在参照系高了, 生活质量要求提高了。所以光是根据感觉来讲是不对的。另外中国向来注重天人感应,部分灾害的记载其实出自政治需要。我们可以看到某一个皇帝在位的时期灾害 的记载特别多,比如明朝的崇祯,可这些灾害都是谁记的呢?都是下一个朝代记载的,不过是想证明改朝换代是理所当然的。所以自然灾害并不是像有些人说的,越 来越频繁了。自然灾害发生数量的规律到底是什么,还需要更多的探讨。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    自然灾害的程度是不是越 来越严重了呢?也不一定。比如说地震,1976年的唐山大地震是世界十大地震之一,根据官方公布的数据,死24万,伤16万。但是明朝嘉靖三十四年(公元 1556年),陕西华州发生大地震,波及七省,全部死亡人数估计超过100万。另外根据日本、南美的数据,也没有证据表示最大的地震一定发生在工业化以 后。再看洪水。黄河水灾很严重的。20世纪黄河中游测到的洪水量最大是23000立方米/秒,就叫23000个流量。20世纪下半期,测到的最大流量是 18000个流量。如果到20000个流量左右,情势就已经十分紧张了。但是清朝道光年间,发生过一次洪水,它在河南三门峡到陕县的流量达到了 36000。如果现在出现这样的灾难,简直不能想象。我们还可以举旱灾等其他例子,也可以说明它不是越来越严重。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    那么,人类活动和自然灾害之间的关系究竟是怎样的呢?应该承认人类活动是加剧了自然灾害。人类砍伐森林,当然加剧了水土流失;人类在一些很脆弱的地区,比如说黄土高原某些地方,盲目开垦,当然会造成自然灾害的增加。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    对于生产力的发展,应该从 两方面来看,它既可能加剧自然灾害,也能为人类防灾抗灾提供可能。科学技术是一把双刃剑,有人可以用它破坏环境,我们也可以用它来减少灾害。比如说,地震 后有生命探测器,用仪器可以探测到人的呼吸,可以有的放矢去施救。又比如说现在很多灾害可以预报的。只看到任何一方面都是片面的,应该全面对待科学技术。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    第三,即时预报预测能够 减少自然灾害损失,有没有预报是完全不一样的。比如宋朝最后的残余力量退到了崖山(今广东海宁岛一带),就是一阵台风,十万人全军覆没。但台风现在是可以 预报的,尽管我们没办法去干预台风,消除台风,预报也还不太准,可毕竟是可以预报的。比如浙江省这两年都有台风,第一次预报的时候,台风来了,动员老百姓 走,有人不走,结果造成损失,第二次预报来的时候大家都撤离了,几乎没有损失。在中国历史上,造成影响最大的是长时间大范围的旱灾,旱灾到来缓慢,等到人 支撑不住想走出灾区,发现已经走不出去了。今天,依靠准确的预报和方便的交通,已经不会造成这种损失。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    总的来讲,稳定的社会, 有效的组织,高素质的人口,先进的技术,丰富的物资都是消除自然灾害影响的有利条件。中国历史上最严重的灾害往往导致人口下降一半,甚至死掉2/3。这些 灾害往往就发生在政权更替、国家分裂的时期。这种情况下,统治者也稳定不了,社会体系混乱,小小的灾害就能造成损失。所以稳定的社会是很重要的。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    有效的组织,比如日本是 世界上地震灾害最严重的国家之一。但应该承认,日本在防治地震灾害方面的组织也是最有效的。如果在日本这样的房间作报告的,墙壁上会标出地震来了怎么走 法。每年它要进行演习,全民参加,真的发生事情井井有条。那年阪神地震,死了不到4000个人,如果这个灾害放在其他国家,损失要到几十万人口。而且地震 当中没有发生抢劫、盗窃,当时断了水,有些超市都赶快把储存的矿泉水拿出来卖,而且一人只能买一瓶,电话线路通的让人赶紧打电话。组织好就出现这个情况。 相反美国洛杉矶趁火打劫都出来了。有效的组织的确在灾害救援中起到重要作用。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    先进的技术也是需要的,还有丰富的物资。灾害很多情况不是直接造成的,而是间接造成的,中国很多灾害,恰恰不是当场死,而是饿死的,营养不良死的。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    
    人与自然无法和谐吗?
    
    改变与破坏,只有程度差别,没有什么本质区别。人类的任何进步都不得不改变甚至破坏自然环境。所以不要把这个事情看那么严重。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    既然这样,我们应该怎么样认识人和自然的关系?
     首先我们应该看到,自然为人类的产生发展提供了条件,但能否成为现实要靠人类自身的努力。我们地球从产生到这么多物种,人类只不过是万物之一,但为什么人 能成为万物之灵,这是凭了人类自身的努力,不是自然对人的偏爱。现在一般说法,认为人类产生在东非大裂谷。东非大裂谷,绵延6000多公里,像地球脸上最 长的疤痕,这里面任何地方发生剧烈变化,都有可能引起物种的变化。但是为什么人就出来了,这跟人自身努力有关。而人从早期的人变到现在,不断通过自身努力 在变。所以我们要坚定信念,人类自己的努力非常重要,绝不是人类在自然面前无所作为。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    第二,我们得认识到,人 类的任何进步都不得不改变甚至破坏自然环境。所以不要把这个事情看那么严重。人类发展那么久,一点都不改变环境?不可能的。学会用火,是人类的一大进步, 本来都吃生的,现在都吃熟的了,本来利用洞穴,现在都知道取暖了。但这个过程中,多少树木,多少柴禾被烧掉了?“伐薪烧炭南山中”是唐诗《卖炭翁》中的句 子。卖炭翁在秦岭里面伐树烧成炭,然后卖给长安城里面的达官贵人,供他们冬天取暖。唐朝200多年烧了多少炭,砍了多少树啊,但是你能说这一定是退步吗? 唐朝这样发达的文明,冬天就得靠炭来维持。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    城市是人类重要的文明标志,但是这也在改变环境。罗马、北京、长安的出现破坏了多少自然环境,但你能说这不是一大进步吗?甚至农民种地也在改变自然环境。有人说我们要天然的,但是今天有什么东西是天然的?都经过人类的改变了。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    可以说,改变与破坏,只有程度差别,没有什么本质区别。虽然我们不希望这样做,但作为唯物主义者、研究历史的人,得承认这个事实,没有哪个国家的繁荣不改变环境。但我这样讲,是不是听任人破坏自然?当然不是这样。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    人与自然的关系其实有一个 由必然到自由,由人类中心到人与自然和谐相处这样一个发展的过程。在一开始人的破坏是必然的,因为人在不了解自然规律之前,只能满足自己的要求,不然人就 生存不下来了。人发达了以后,逐步掌握了自然规律,有了比较高度发展的生产力和科学技术,慢慢地从必然走向自由。如果一开始人类不以自我为中心,那么是没 办法生存下来了。比如原始人,一开始生存要和动物斗,不斗就给它吃掉了,慢慢慢慢才学会了驯养。什么时候到真正和谐呢?是人既有了科学技术,又有了比较好 的观念。在这种情况下,才能达到平衡和自由。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    另一方面,现在人类并没 有达到完全的自由,有时候还要伤害动植物,这是不可避免的。比如说,现在为了达到国际先进水平,造了新的屠宰场,猪进去以后,用温水洗澡,听轻音乐,最后 猪进入屠宰线,进去的时候很舒服,传感器给它产生不痛苦的电压,刚好让它晕倒,然后一刀杀掉,安乐死。但再怎么样还是把它杀了。再比如,我们到南极去,在 南极保护的公约里面就有一条,如果考察队员碰到了生命危险,可以适当地掠杀海豹。这是国际社会的共识,在人和动物之间,人还是重要的。我们这样做,其实是 体现人的价值。现在也有这个情况,农民给老虎咬伤了,说你们保护动物,谁来保护我们呢?正确的做法应该是保护他,如果他被老虎咬了,主张动物保护的团体或 政府应该保护他,给予补偿。因为老百姓保护环境作出了贡献。在这种情况下,人和自然才能慢慢和谐。否则这个和谐是谈不上的。我们还要考虑到有很多标准是相 对的。比如说西方人对韩国人吃狗肉不理解,觉得他们野蛮。我跟西方人讲,韩国人吃的狗,不是你养的宠物。你说残酷,你们吃牛肉,印度人说牛是神牛,这不也 残酷吗?这里面还有文化上的标准。什么东西牵扯上人文,就没有完全的标准了。哪怕过一万年,人类也达不到统一的标准。那么怎么办呢,相互之间要有一点宽 容,这样才能慢慢地达到人与自然的和谐。这个过程是相当长的。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    要达到和谐,人类应该控制自己的欲望,要更加注重精神生活。这中间不仅需要正确的观念,还要有科学的技术。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    我们这些年一直讲天人合 一,人与自然和谐。天人合一是现代人的解释,过去更多地讲皇帝就是天的代表,这是天人合一的本来解释。现在解释成人和自然和谐,这是对的。但是就算你知道 了,就做得到吗?晚清时期,甚至更早,人们已经知道了把山上的树砍掉会引起当地江河淤塞,加剧水灾旱灾,但照样砍。为什么呢,人要活下去啊,到生产力发展 到一定阶段才可以。当然,只有正确观念,没有科学技术,好心也办不了好事。东晋的时候,有个不成文的规定,谁家里出了瘟疫,当官的就不上朝了。但有些大臣 不平衡,拿了皇帝的俸禄怎么能不上朝呢,结果上朝,死一大片。不能说这些人观念不对,观念对啊,但他没有科学技术。这样来看我们历史上的环境思想、人地关 系的见解,就可以看到,的确有它先进的方面,但是也有不足的一面。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    归结下来,我认为对待未来的变化,我们的态度应该是八个字:不应无忧,无须过虑。
     为什么不能无忧呢?因为面临很多困难。我们今天一天消耗的能量,增加的人口可能等于历史上很长的阶段,特别像我们这样一个历史悠久的国家。历史悠久意味 着,很多物资的应用比人家长得多。我们不仅人均资源比不过美国、加拿大、俄罗斯、澳洲等,家底也用得差不多了。从世界上看,很多国家在发展中消耗了大量的 能源,人口大量密集,何况我们对很多自然规律还不知道。所以不能无忧。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    另外也应该看到,满足了 上面讲的这些人与自然和谐相处的条件后,我们至少可以预见到未来,做一定程度的改善。比如我们讲中国缺水,水质不高,但是看看世界上,以色列,以前是阿拉 伯人游牧的地方,它的水量比我们低得多。但他们自建国始,就逐步把全国的水统一起来管理,逐步把明渠改成暗渠,减少蒸发与渗漏,实行大规模喷灌,把喷灌又 改成滴灌,直接滴到根上去,最大限度地循环利用水资源。所以以色列不仅出口花卉、蔬菜、水果,还出口节水技术。我们上海很多节能节水技术都是以色列进口 的。再比如日本,石油、天然气资源几乎为零,但它照样有石油化工产业,还一度将石油化工厂办在国外,出口化工设备。所以说我们还是有很大余地的。 ( http://www.tecn.cn )
    
    ------------
    葛剑雄 1945年12月生。复旦大学中国历史地理研究所教授、博士生导师,复旦大学图书馆馆长,复旦大学学术委员会委员,教育部社会科学委员会委员,上海高校都 市文化E-研究院特聘研究员。从事历史地理、中国史、人口史、移民史等方面研究。主要著作有《中国人口史》(主编,第一卷作者);《中国移民史》(主编, 第一、二卷作者);《西汉人口地理》;《中国人口发展史》;《未来生存空间·自然空间》;《统一与分裂:中国历史的启示》;《中国历代疆域的变迁》等。( http://www.tecn.cn )

人所拥有的任何东西,都可以被剥夺,惟独人性最后的自由,——也就是在任何境遇中选择一己态度和生活方式的自由——不能被剥夺。(奥)维克多.E.弗兰克尔
  背景
  床板上挤得只能侧身睡觉,偷偷摸摸地用污秽的、发臭的鞋作为枕头。
  为了让自己看上去很精神,用玻璃刮脸。
  冬天洗完澡,赤裸站立在操场上。
  粪水溅到脸上不能擦洗,不能露出嫌恶的表情。
  ……
  这些都是纳粹集中营中每天都发生的事情,也是《追寻生命的意义》的作者维克多.E.弗兰克尔在三年的囚徒生涯中,每天经历的事情。在这样的生存条件下:
  为什么有的人能够生存下来?
  为什么有的人能够把维系自己生命的面包给别人?
  为什么有的人虽然有强壮的躯体却趟在自己的排泄物中慢慢地等待死亡?
  ……
  太多的为什么,促使我看了三遍《追寻生命的意义》。现在写一些体会和大家一起探讨。
  快乐和意义
  我们所有人都在追求快乐,但是快乐不是说快乐就会快乐,我们需要快乐的理由。每天对着相机喊“茄子”那不是快乐。生命的意义就是在寻找快乐的 理由,有了这个理由自然而然就会快乐。如果没有这个“理由”,就像集中营中失去意义的囚徒,早晨五点,拒绝起床干活,留在窝棚里,躺在沾满着自己粪便的草 垫上。大约48小时候,看着他慢慢死去。
  西方文化主张快乐,鄙视痛苦。事实上有的痛苦并不应该被鄙视。比如有人为了搭救亲人,献出自己的器官。虽然这是一个痛苦的过程,但是捐献者乐意去这样做。捐献者在痛苦中感受到生命的意义。这样的痛苦不应该受到鄙视。
  人主要关心的并不在于获得快乐或避免痛苦,而是要了解生命中的意义。这就是为什么人在某些情况下,宁愿受苦,只要他确定自己的苦难具有意义即可。
  意义是什么?
  我们无时无刻不在接受生命的追问,完成生命不断安排给自己的使命。这个使命就是我们自己生命的意义。
  对于不同的人,生命的意义是不同的;同一个人在不同地点和时间意义也是不同的,所以我们的生命就在于寻求每时每刻的意义。意义的根本在于人与人之间的责任和爱。
  对意义的寻求是人的基本需要,是人的原始力量。当这种需要找不到明确的指向时,人就会感到精神空虚,弗兰克尔称之为“存在的空虚”,这种情形 普遍地存在于当今西方的“富裕社会”。当这种需要有明确的指向却不可能实现时,人就会有受挫之感,弗兰克尔称之谓“存在的挫折”。这种情形发生在人生的各 种逆境或困境中。
  “存在的空虚”:当一个人失去明确的指向后,人就会迷茫、空虚。很容易堕落,追寻生理的快感,性欲猖獗泛滥,所谓饱暖思淫欲。
  “存在的挫折”:当一个人明确的指向不能实现时,人就会有很大的挫败感,于是自我怀疑,自我否定。也很容易堕落。很多人年轻时有一个远大的报复,到后来就一点点,一点点变小,最后什么都没有实现。
  无论是“存在的空虚”还是“存在的挫折”,一个明确的意义致为重要。为“存在的空虚”指明方向,为“存在的挫折”明确痛苦的意义。
  什么是有意义的事
  人获得意义的三条大道
  第一条:
  通过创造一件作品或做一件实事。
  第二条:
  通过经历某些事或遇到某些人,换言之,意义不仅可以在工作中发现而且可以在爱中发现。
  爱是进入另一个人最深人格核心的唯一方法。没有一个人能完全了解另一个
  人的本质精髓,除非爱他。这句话说出了知彼解己、双赢、客户意识、共情感等概念的本质。也让我懂得幸福的前提是能为他人着想,这样才会理解别人的付出,才会懂得珍惜这种付出。
  第三条:
  甚至某一绝望场合的无助受难者,在面对他不能改变的命运时,也可能超越他自我,超越式地成长,由此来改变自己。注意这里说的是超越自我,而不是自我实现或自我表现。因为生命的意义是针对自己的,并不是别人来评价的,而自我实现或自我表现都是外界来评价自己。
  人的苦难:
  1、 痛苦
  2、 内疚
  3、 死亡。
  痛苦:
  痛苦是快速理解人生意义的一种手段。经历痛苦后可以让自己无可畏惧。陀
  斯妥耶夫斯基曾说:“我只害怕一件事:我怕我配不上自己所受的痛苦。”
  内疚:
  让自己变得更好的机会。
  死亡:
  如果生命是无限的,那么任何事情都有反悔的机会。正因为生命是有限的,所以每个人每时每刻都要过得有意义。
  
  我们有选择心灵自由的权利,对于苦难,我们只有选择悲剧的乐观主义。
  如何生活得有意义
  了解意义的方法:
  1、假设现在你已经80岁了,回顾自己的一生,你期望是怎么样的?
  2、假如你现在有10亿,你还会做现在手上的事情吗?
  3、如果你已经死了一回,你现在还会像今天一样过吗?
  4、迷茫的时候问问自己“为什么不自杀?”
  
  注意事项:
  1、 不知道做什么的时候,千万不要随便做一件事情,停下来好好想想:现在做什么事情对自己是有意义的?
  2、 如果一定要做一件事情,那么就为这件事寻找一个意义。
  
  总结
  追寻生命的意义,意味着为我们找到持续快乐的理由。
  追寻生命的意义,意味着只要我们懂得为什么活着,就能承受如何活的任何问题。
  追寻生命的意义,意味着每时每刻我们心理都是乐意做手上的事情,即使是在承受痛苦。
  追寻生命的意义,意味着每时每刻都明确意识到自己能做什么。每天清清楚楚地活着。
———————————————————————————————————————————————————

这个问题,见仁见智.

我觉得人之所以能生为人,就是上天给你一次机会去感受这个世界,去走一遭只属于自己的人生.看你的名字就知道你还挺迷茫的,其实既然生下了,就顺 着活就行了,好比今天你看见我的回答,都因为你是个活人,有自己的一套想法,有独一无二的位置.再想想你要是死了对的起谁呀,首先你对不起这个世界给你的 机会,再对不起父母.我也不太会说,给你帖几个有名的文章看能不能对你有所启发吧.我在百度知道上看过好多人问过这样的问题,觉得是有必要问的但不能想太 多,什么想多了都不好,好了,不说了,自己看吧!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

人为什么活着?这是一个比前年虫还古老的问题。

首先问题本身就有问题!很简单的语法上的歧义:人为什么要活着和人为什么而活着。也可以说一个是意义,一个是目的。

所谓意义,应该是客观的,自然的。我要说的是人类,而并非某一个人,那么所谓的奉献论就是谈不通的,对于博大而永恒的宇宙来说,人类连个垃圾都算 不上,人类只是为了自己而活,我们说保护环境也只是保护适合自己生存的环境。科学的发达以及进化论的突破,使人类越来越清楚自己的位置 -自然的产物。你来到这个世界上不是你自己决定的,甚至你离开这个世界时也不是。人类是渺小的,充其量不过是宇宙新陈代谢过程中微不足道的一环。芝麻大的 意义和饭粒大的意义有区别吗?这不是悲观,事实本来如此。但是反过来想,世界的其他组成部分也同样平凡,而且人还是万物之灵,说你“猪狗不如”你一定不爱 听,这也是足以令人类自豪的事情了。物竞天择,适者生存,至少在地球上,人类是呼风唤雨的霸主。

单独的一个人,宏观来看更没什么意义。我们是自然而然的存在,尽管没意义,但生存是我们的权利,至少还没人有权利剥夺我们的这个权力。如果说有意 义,应该是指相对的意义,是创造意义而不是寻找意义。小的范围来说我们报答了父母,养育了子女,愉悦了他人;大的范围,我们可能帮助过一些人,为社会做出 贡献,为人类发展做出贡献,从而载入史册。这也是社会的主流意识。不过我想强调的是人本来并没有任何义务,你可以选择什么都不做,如果你能够生存下去的 话。我们之所以,希望做得出色一点,无非是为了活得更好,活得更精彩。而这就是我们的目的。

人生就是人的生存,一切为了生存(达尔文语),更好的生存。人最根本的本性不是善与恶,而是追求快乐,回避痛苦。这是自然选择,似乎没有生物会是例外。

回头再看这个问题,你就不会惊讶人们煞有介事的活着,却回答不出来“人为什么要活着”这个问题。因为一切都是自然而然,谁活着的时候不是在向幸福 靠拢呢?记得“神探亨特”(美国老片)的口头禅就是“上帝安排的”,我想这也是一个不错的美国幽默式的回答。当然人类的上帝就是自然。

这里我再强调一个词就是“正义”,所谓正义就是对的,符合自然法则的;无私奉献和自私自利都不是自然的人生观。为什么?因为人的认识和能力都是有 限的,人的感受和感觉是真真切切的,谁愿意奉献得一无所有而活得生不如死?反之作为有群体意识的人类是欣赏真善美的,损人利己的行为终要受到抵制。所以古 人“修身,齐家,治国,安天下”的论点是现实和智慧的。按照幸福最大化原则,能给更多的人带来幸福你也会更加幸福,但前提是你必须先有这个能力。众乐乐与 独乐乐,孰乐?也许一个人越发成熟客观,他的判断就越发接近正义。

人生大抵就是这样,而人们的人生观或许千差万别,这和人们自己的经历品性有关。剩下的事情,就是应该如何去做。我们的先人几乎把所有智慧都用在做人的研究上面,这里我就不多费口舌了。

但还想告诫年轻人的是:

第一要现实,不要任性,不要在真空中思考虚设的问题,你们目前面临的最迫切问题是就业和生存,学好本领才是硬道理,这需要踏踏实实的下功夫。

第二,要自制。小孩子吃不到糖果会哭闹,你们是得不到爱情就苦恼。这有什么区别?伟大在哪里?如果你象挑剔你的情人一样挑剔自己的行为,那么你的情人要比现在的好很多。

第三,对一部分自卑的人,我劝你们勇敢一点。正如我前面所言,人们生而平等,你不要顾忌别人(有好人也有坏人)的脸色而委屈了自己,无论你是多么想把事情处理好。给自己过多的压力并不是好事,这并不能解决问题,要冷静沉着,可以循序渐进但不能自暴自弃。

第四,惰性是与生俱来的习惯,但绝不是好习惯。改变习惯要从行动开始。

第五,不要遇难而退,要知道为之则难者亦易矣,这不仅应用于大目标,而更实际的意义是能助你走出解决眼前的困境,并走得更远。很多时候你都会发现河水不象老牛说的那样浅,也不象松鼠说的那样深。

第六,不要问别人幸福是什么,你的快乐和痛苦自己清楚。

第七,从做好眼前的事情开始。不要以为思想压倒一切,多懂一些道理固然好,但是人的精力有限,行动其实更重要。不需要懂的道理就不用去懂,这也是一个道理。

第八,要懂得知足者常乐,你我皆凡人,肯定又很多事情不会尽如人意,要懂得不懈的追求,也要懂得珍惜的对待。

人为什么活着?那人为什么要死去呢?既然死不了,也不想死,那就好好活着吧!

人为什么活着?人活着为什么?生命到底有没有意义、价值、目的?

外国的加缪、弗兰克、陀斯妥也夫斯基,中国的周国平、李银河,历代还有谁正面回应过这《十万个为什么》中没有的,第一个为什么?

是为了活着而活着?是为了找到爱与幸福?是为了发展完善全面自身?是为了往上爬,追求更真更善更美?是为了穷尽自然社会一切领域,归纳出大统一理 论?是为了研透众生万物的奥秘,浩瀚宇宙的起源终结?是为了人类不可逆的进化和加速度的文明?是为了千秋万代后,最终的大同(孔子)、天堂(基督)、理想 国(柏拉图)、乌托邦(托马斯·莫尔)、美丽新世界(阿道斯·赫胥黎)、共产主义社会(卡尔·马克思)?

如果这一切都到达了,达到了,那接下去人又为什么活着?如果找到人活着的意义,那接下去宇宙又为什么存在?宇宙有边无界还是有界无边?宇宙会永恒膨涨成一片真空,还是临界坍缩成一粒奇点?

宇宙外还有宇宙吗?用地球尺度,人是一颗尘埃,用宇宙尺度,地球是一颗尘埃。若“天外有天”,宇宙外还有宇宙,那么我们存在的宇宙是否也是一颗尘埃,而我们将是尘埃的尘埃的尘埃……

“跟我一起老去/最好的还在后头/生命的最终/为了它才造成最初”,千古憧憬的A·阿西莫夫啊,娜娜出走了,最终之后呢?

“生年不满百,常怀千岁忧”,是否人类的智慧先天注定答不出这些元问题?是否得留待宇宙间更高级生物?然而宇宙间更高级生物有吗?是三维、四维、三点五维?他们若知道,他们自己又为什么活着?

是否我们全部的努力,都只能双曲线似无限接近,却不能真正接触?就象夸父追日,既悲壮又可笑,他前进多少它后退多少。甚至更惨——夸父前面毕竟燃着个金色的句号,我们却在捕风、在扑空、在寻求一个梦幻泡影般的问号。

面对希腊神庙上刻着的“人啊,认识你自己”,在根本意义上,人类是否注定无知,不知其然,不知其所以然?

如果死亡是另一种存在,另一种物质状态,另一种生命形式,是否只有死去后才会找到活着的意义?如果只有活着才能找到活着的意义,是否即使活得磨难,耻辱、毫无尊严,付出如何惨重的代价都值?如果这样,那一切后找到的意义是否还有意义吗?是否得不偿失?

“苦海无边”(佛陀),“寿者多辱”(庄周),越成长越污染越丑陋。是活得象一个人,清白、尊严、自由、不能就自杀是岸;还是为了找到活着的意义,什么都可忍、可苟且、好死不如赖活?成王败寇,是否真正的英雄应该选择跪着生,而不是站着死?目的与过程哪个更重要?

如果这是一枚永旋不倒的硬币,是否我们只能哈姆雷特式,陷入两难悖论?活不是,死不是,日子于是妥协过,“人生几何时,怀忧终年月”。直至临尽时,黯然念起那句自谶——早知今日灰灰去,深悔当年白白来。

解不出这终极的Why,我相信五千年地球文明长如万古黑夜,四十六亿年地球史等于一张白卷。所有伟人、圣贤、天才、思想家;所有科学、宗教、艺术、文化,世间种种皆失败得够呛!

忘不了暮年萨特的自省:“生活给了我很多,同时也让我明白,这一切并没多少意思”。他以毫不感恩的口吻,淡淡否定那传奇、轰动、影响好几代的一 生。“他人是地狱”,找不到活着的意义,人间就是地狱。找不到活着的意义,真善美的天堂不过粉饰出无数浅薄的乐观者,就象假丑恶的世道越来越逼人成深刻的 悲观者。找不到活着的意义,生活即使常有些小快乐、小满足、小兴趣,终究难味真正的大幸福。找不到活着的意义,日子无论怎阳光,内心终究虚不掉空虚感,灭 不了幻灭感。

萨德说,善其实是恶,恶才是善。绝望的心,有没权什么事都可做(象超现实主义者一样随意杀人,象无政府主义者一样到处暴乱),什么事都可不做(象释家一样四大皆空,象道家一样无为不争)?

夜深梦醒,仰望星穹,念天地之悠悠,在如今这个显生宙新生代第四纪全新世上, 有几人活着就是要猜出这个千古之谜?

有几人为寻找活着的意义而活着?

有几人活着的意义就是为了寻找活着的意义?

人活着是为了什么?
一种对死的恐惧,一种对生的感恩。
人的本能都有一种抗拒死亡,厌恶死亡。也许有的人,并没有想过活着是为什么,只知道,活着就是活着。至少我还是活着。(当然有的时候,某些事情,可以让某些人,放下这种抗拒本能)
当生,慢慢的变成一种坚强的生命,把死像一只蚂蚁一样踩在脚下的时候。有人开始问自己生的意义,因为已经没有了强大的敌人。让生感觉到孤独。
我认为生,就是爱,一种对生,对活着的爱。我们要懂得去爱上她。
只有当我们爱上她珍惜她的时候,才会感觉到生的伟大,生的可贵,我们要像一个情人一样的去呵护她。
如果你的情人整天愁眉苦脸,你会喜欢吗?就是喜欢也会随着时间的推移而反感。自已也会因此,而苦闷。那么现在唯一的方法是什么呢,那就是让她快乐起来,因为她快乐起来了,你也会快乐的。
人都有一个磁场,他可以改变物质某些特质,而物质也会传达这种精神。一切都是这样的循环。就像一个画家一样,他如果是悲伤的,那么他的作品画出 来,无论怎么样,画出来的作品都会透露出一种忧郁,当你看到这些作品的时候,这些作品就会通过这位画家忧伤的传达,而传送到你的思想里面。那么此时的你就 会有种悲伤的感觉。
生,是需要一种快乐来支持,有了这种支持,才会让他更加强大。更加有力。
但是快乐也不是自己快乐了就快乐了,自己幸福了就幸福了,介质的传播,才是你快乐幸福的根源。只有使你周围产生一种因为生,因为活着,而透析出来的一种快乐,一种幸福,你才会感觉到生命活着的意义。才会反射出生的快乐

参考资料:希望能帮上你的忙

我觉得,人活着一是为了邂逅,人之所以活得有意思,因为可以邂逅很多人。喜欢的,讨厌的。如果死了,拿这一切,就将结束,也不可能认识这么多人,发生这么多事
二是为了别人,人有时候不只是为了自己活着的,是为了一切认识,甚至不认识的人活着的,你的生存,也许正带动着他们,毕竟,我们不是一个人。
三是为了活着,没错,为了活着而活着,很奇怪么?一点也不~活着是一件最美妙的事。
  
  过得有意义的评判标准:自己觉得每天过得有意义。不断在超越自己。

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寻求生命的意义是我们作为人类的不懈追求。生命的意义使我们即使在面对愧疚、痛苦、不公、表面的混乱和无法避免的死亡时,仍然能找到存在的理由。
    
  他使我们以全新的角度审视一个价值走向衰落、对成功与享乐的崇拜占据主导的时代。
    
  意义分析使我们的注意力集中在人类的精神上,而这正是获得健康、爱心和完整的关键所在。
    
  意义分析强调我们身为价值载体的重要性,并强调我们有能力从过去吸取经验,对现在负责,充满希望地为未来规划。

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What is life? Something that has the following characteristics is considered: it moves, talks or makes noise. Basically, something that has some or one of its characteristics like us is "life" (according to us). If you see the movie Frankenstein, when the robot stands up (moves), the doctor exclaims "It’s alive!" Well, how did he reach that conclusion? Why was it alive when it moved? Couldn’t it have been alive all the time? Who knows? I believe that our perception of life has been and is something that moves, and therefore, to say that something is alive, something has "life" in it, is to imply that something moved. This might not be the best analogy to exemplify my point but it is the most famous one to use.
I have no problems in believing that Earth is not the only gifted planet with "life." If it were up to me, I would believe and proclaim there to be life on all planets, but our mission to constantly send automated systems to other planets to find out traces of "life" might never be successful. I believe that we might never be successful because we would look for "life" according to our perception, according to our definition. Now, the definition of life might or might not be the same on other planets like Mars. How can you necessarily bring things from Mars and say that they are just stones or rocks? How can you be sure about that? The perception of life, the definition of life, might not be the same on Mars. We perceive that Mars does not have any living beings and our search is on to find if there was ever life on Mars or there is any right now, but how do we know that our definition of life is the correct one? How do we determine that the definition of life on Mars, or any other planet for that matter, is the same? We consider ourselves to be right. We consider ourselves as the ones who can determine life. I believe that we might never find life on Mars.
Or another way of looking at it would be that we might be bringing what is "life" on planets like Mars to Earth. Rocks might be alive there. Who knows? There is no possible way of determining that it, a rock, is not alive. Reading this you might feel, "How can rocks be alive? That makes no sense." But it does when you do not know whether you are right or not.

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[T]he meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment. To put the question in general terms would be comparable to the question posed to a chess champion: "Tell me, Master, what is the best move in the world?" There simply is no such thing as the best or even a good move apart from a particular situation in a game and the particular personality of one’s opponent. The same holds for human existence. One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.



When we are no longer able to change a situation – just think of an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer – we are challenged to change ourselves.

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In this final post in the Meaning of Life Series, I’ll attempt to present a broader view of why personal development is so important and why I believe that investing in your own growth is the best investment you can make.

Conscious Evolution

When I used the word “evolution” to describe my world view, I was not using the word in the biological sense of natural selection, breeding, and mutation. A few people seemed to get stuck on that term. I was using the broader definition of evolution: a process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage, especially a more advanced or mature stage (source = Wordnet).

This includes the evolution of thought, society, knowledge, and the capabilities of life — the evolution of the noosphere moreso than of the biosphere. The noosphere is our collective knowledge and wisdom, and today it “evolves” far faster than any biological entities. In fact, the ongoing biological evolution of human beings is so slow as to be virtually irrelevant compared to the rate at which the noosphere is evolving. Our biology has evolved little in the past 1000 years, but our technology, knowledge, and culture have evolved massively.

So when I said I wanted to serve the process of evolution, I did not mean it in the biological sense — biological evolution is too slow and has become largely irrelevant. If the biological evolution of humans does continue, it is likely to occur by choice, not as a result of ongoing breeding and mutation over eons. But what matters most right now is the evolution of the noosphere.

What About The Biosphere Though?

I agree that the planet is in bad shape environmentally. But we can’t afford to wait for biological evolution to fix these problems. If we do that, humans will almost certainly become extinct before we have the chance to evolve into something better. Some experts assert that the environment is in such bad shape that we won’t make it to the end of this century… that the destructive processes we’ve put in motion may already be irreversible, even if we we were to immediately start doing everything we could to correct them.

Ignoring these problems isn’t a viable option, but I also think that attacking these problems directly is doomed to failure. There are already people doing that now, but they seem to be making little progress. They may slow the rate of decay a bit, but they’re nowhere near reversing it. There’s too much resistance, and by the time the resistance can be effectively overcome, we’ll be way past the point of no return.

Consider something as simple as diet. The environmental consequences of the Standard American Diet are severe — to say it wastes resources and pollutes the environment is a gross understatement. The U.S. government subsidizes most of it, which hides the true costs. It takes 18 times as much land to grow the food for someone eating the SAD diet compared to someone eating a vegan-plant based diet. If someone eating the SAD diet were to eat vegan for just one day, they’d save more water than they would by not showering for a year. Your decision to eat a burger for dinner is not merely a health choice — it’s an environmental and political one as well. In fact, virtually anything you might do environmentally or politically in your lifetime is irrelevant compared to the simple decision of what to eat each day. You could devote your entire life to Greenpeace, and it will only amount to a puny fraction of what you’d accomplish by living as a resource-guzzling playboy who happens to be vegetarian.

And yet, so few people are aware of the long-range consequences of what they do because their “knowledge” is fed to them by marketers. They buy into the social context instead of thinking for themselves. People make billions off the SAD diet, and it doesn’t hurt them financially if you want to plant a few trees on the side or clean up some trash to feel good about yourself, as long as you keep downing the burgers. But try to attack the diet that makes them rich, and they’ll drown you in marketing until you submit.

I could write about this stuff all day, but it’s already been written. The average person will simply avoid it, and to the degree it does get read, it will only be resisted or ignored. People must have the wherewithal to seek it out because they really want to know what’s going on. But so few people currently have the courage and discipline to do that.

I don’t see the solution as spending more time and energy attacking such problems directly. If I attempt that, I’ll only be outmarketed by those with a massive financial stake in perpetuating the current belief system, however false it may be. I could spend my whole life attacking smoking, for instance, but in the end it won’t make much difference — I might convince a fair number of people to quit, but many more will become smokers, and many who do quit will simply adopt a substitute vice. So overall there won’t be much impact. My resistance will simply be met with stronger resistance. Force will fail.

So What’s the Solution?

The best solution I can think of is to work on human awareness itself, to help more people see the benefits and navigate the obstacles in pursuing their own conscious growth. I don’t think this requires a change in our biology but rather a shift in the noosphere. I think we already have the biological capabilities necessary to fix the problems of this planet if they’re fixable at all, but we currently lack the awareness, discipline, and courage as a species to step up and take personal responsibility for doing what is right. Most people would rather live an illusion than spend time thinking about the best possible contribution they could make with their lives. But I think I can help change that. A good number of people seem to be reaching similar conclusions.

I figure that over the course of my lifetime, the absolute best thing I can do is to implant and strengthen the seed of conscious personal growth into the noosphere, in cooperation with other people who have similar missions.

Human beings have so much untapped capacity it’s ridiculous. If we can edge up the realization of this capacity and raise the average level of awareness of human beings, then more people will “wake up” and start living with greater consciousness and courage. They’ll begin to drop destructive habits and adopt more positive ones. They’ll start to define a meaningful purpose for their lives, and along the way they’ll encourage others to do the same. They’ll stop living in fear of their own shadow and obsessing over trivialities. And these “upgraded” human beings, living more consciously and courageously, will have a far better chance of solving the greatest problems of humanity and of successfully managing the greatest risks that threaten us.

My mission then is to encourage and assist people in pursuing their conscious growth, to help them find a path away from a life of quiet desperation and towards a life of courage, purpose, and responsibility. I have not been able to think of any better contribution I could make with my life than this.

For me this mission is deeply intertwined with the pursuit of my own personal growth. By working on myself, I increase my capacity to help others. And by helping others to become more conscious and conscientious, I build an environment that reinforces my own growth and which helps to insulate me from the forces that threaten to suck me back down into low-awareness living.

Right now I’m manifesting this mission in the form of articles, blog entries, and an upcoming book. Over the next decade I expect to extend it across a variety of different media: articles, books, audio programs, speeches, seminars, etc. Beyond that I envision putting together a formal organization of some kind to help people grow more consciously and to upgrade their courage, discipline, and awareness, and also to serve as an outlet for people who wish to team up with others who have similar missions.

One challenge is figuring out how to live within the current noosphere while working to change it. You have to rely on the current economic system to provide for your basic needs. My solution thus far has been to systematize and automate my income as much as possible, so I have the freedom to pursue higher level projects without having to invest too much time and energy in making a living. I have a few other ideas that should improve that situation even more.

I don’t really see the solving of social/global problems as the primary end though. I think that’s mainly a side effect of the pursuit of growth, not the purpose of growth itself. I see the pursuit of greater courage, consciousness, and conscience as an end in itself. However, such pursuits will solve many problems along the way, and often this is easier than attacking such problems directly. For example, you can attack problems like being overweight, being addicted to smoking, and having unsatisfying relationships and make very little progress across the board. But if you work on developing your courage, awareness, and self-discipline, these problems will solve themselves — in fact, they’ll become almost trivially easy.

Investing in your own growth is the best investment you can make. Don’t think for a minute that it’s a selfish pursuit. Quite the contrary — it is in fact the best thing you can do to help others. If you feel you are not contributing much with your life right now, don’t beat yourself up about it or deny what you could become if you were only strong enough. Instead, turn inward and work on yourself until you become the kind of person on the inside who automatically expresses good as a manifestation of who you are.

Conquer your fear, and the rest is easy.

 

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Isn’t life pointless? Why should the atheist bother? It’s all just going to end anyway, right? How does the atheist’s life have meaning?

The mere fact that consciousness exists, that some person exists who can see and know and create and manifest everything good for others and find happiness in living, is the most astounding thing of all. It does not matter if it is brief, for merely the opportunity itself is priceless and our being here, to acknowledge it, to study it, to know it, and to love it, gives the universe meaning. If we did not exist at all, then the universe would indeed be pointless, but since it becomes meaningful the moment we come to know and appreciate it, our lives share in that meaning and become the most valuable thing that can ever exist. From a point of view outside of time, everything, past and present, exists eternally: our lives sit forever like pearls on a string of time. What we do with our life, what we make of it, how we enjoy it, can never be taken away. It becomes a part of what exists, adding to it’s value, like gems in a purse.

The sages have said it for millenia, and it is true. It really is love that is key: love of learning, love of doing, love of others, love of ideals, love of country or cause, anything, everything, is the foundation of meaning. If we lacked that, we would be miserable and our lives pointless even if we lived forever. Even if we droned on with praises for a supreme being in heaven for all eternity our existence would be superficial, trite, unsatisfying, and ultimately a torture. Thus, the key lies in finding your loves and pursuing them, manifesting that love in defiance of a universe that won’t. What is worth loving? The potential of humanity, the power of reason, the comfort of another’s love, the pursuit of knowledge and truth, the beauty and joy of human experience, and the nearly unlimited power of the human will to endure almost any hardship or solve almost any problem. And that is just the short list. How many wonderful people do we know, or could we know if we sought them out, who are worth loving, loving merely for the fact that we wished there were more of them in the world, and that they alone would give us a meaning to live? Even when I look at something magnificent in nature, the stars, the wilds, the musculature of a sea lion, the beauty of a nebula, I think to myself "How fantastic!" How pointless that beauty would be if I didn’t notice and appreciate it. How valuable I am because I can.

Immortality is inconsequential in this equation. We have no ground to fear death, for death is the end of fear itself, and what is to fear in that? We live for only one reason: because we love life, all of it, any of it. And if it disappoints us that there is not enough happiness in the world, not enough goodness, we can contribute toward rectifying that, and that is what gives our lives meaning. The more good things we can create or teach and thus leave behind for others, the more lives we can light up with our company and companionship, the more precious our short existence will have been, and the more satisfied we will be that we used our bank account of life well, and thus deserved our measure. I have faced death on a few occasions, and yet I was always calm and accepting. On the one hand I knew I would no longer have any worries or pains when I no longer exist, and on the other hand I had lived a good life and done some small good, things that would never have been had I not existed at all, and my short span of knowing, enjoying, loving it all was well worth it. By making the universe that little bit brighter and more meaningful, my own life had value and meaning as a consequence.

For those who want to know more about how one can be happy in the face of death, I always recommend Bertrand Russell’s The Conquest of Happiness. It was written for a social climate that has changed somewhat, but the fundamental ideas are universal, and well-put. I also always recommend a twenty-four-hundred year old epistle that remains as poignant today as then: Epicurus’ Letter to Menoeceus. Avid readers might consider a wealth of other things that might be worth looking up. E. D. Klemke has also compiled numerous essays on the subject in his book The Meaning of Life, and previous authors have also touched on the issue here on the Secular Web: see Keith Augustine’s Death and the Meaning of Life, and James Still’s Death Is Not an Event in Life (to which Christian critic Kevin D. Huddleston responded in Afterlife and Meaning). In addition to all this, on love I have written more myself, in Of Love, Brunettes, and Biology. And I have written more on the reasons to live a moral life in Does the Christian Theism Advocated by J.P. Moreland Provide a Better Reason to be Moral than Secular Humanism? Others have recommended the essays of a man who really looked into the Abyss and addressed it more honestly and directly than any other: Albert Camus, especially The Myth of Sisyphus.

But when you seem trapped by depression, you are probably as unwell as you would be with a dangerous flu, and the reaction should be the same: to seek medical help. The cure often requires a professional touch. Therapy can help you discover (or rediscover) what you love about life, and to come to terms with your fears. For example, an atheist, Dr. Albert Ellis, is the father of REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy) for the treatment of depression and other problems. On this matter, David Burns has written a book for the layman called Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy that comes highly recommended. However, sometimes the emotions that torture you are a chemical or other biological malfunction and thus need medications to correct, and thus professional diagnosis should always be sought when things get bad. If you feel you need a counsellor with a secular perspective, you can seek a referral through the American Humanist Association or the Humanist Society of Friends. But even as you seek help, also keep in mind home remedies that supplement the professional. Eat well and exercise. Take long walks in nice places. Take up a cause you feel good about and work to help others in some way that comes easily or comfortably to you, do any sort of good works. And above all, seek to maintain a happy, social interaction with other people. Studies have proven that people with a cause they care about and who have even a small but enriching social life live longer, happier, and healthier, and if it’s good for your health it’s good for your mind.

For I can summarize all of this in one sentence: a healthy mind in a healthy body, pursuing and manifesting what it loves, is the meaning of life.

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Scientific approaches to the meaning of life

The empirical method of science has shed light on questions related to the meaning of life. Five such questions are described below.

What is the origin of life?

The question "What is the origin of life?" is addressed in the sciences in the areas of abiogenesis (for the origins of biological life) and cosmogeny (for the origins of the universe). Both of these areas are quite hypothetical, cosmogeny because no existing physical model can accurately describe the very early universe (the instant of the Big Bang),[6] and abiogenesis because the environment of the young earth is not known, and because the conditions and chemical processes that may have taken billions of years to produce life cannot (as of yet) be reproduced in a laboratory.[citation needed] Nevertheless, biologists think an early protein replicator was formed by the gradual build up of amino acids in the oceans, and then proceeded to dominate the primeval soup, occasionally mutating into a more (or less) successful form.[citation needed] Eventually a primitive cell was formed, and life continued to evolve by the mechanisms of mutation and natural selection.[7] Based on these or similar theories, some philosophers[attribution needed] say that because life was entirely coincidental, one cannot expect life to have any meaning at all, other than its own self-perpetuation — reproduction.

What is the nature of life?

Scientists in the biological and medical fields have studied the human body to acquire an understanding of the nature of human life. Near the end of the 20th century, equipped with insights from the gene-centered view of evolution, some biologists suggested that insofar as there may be a primary function to life, it is the survival of genes; following this approach, success isn’t measured in terms of the survival of species, but one level deeper, in terms of the successful replication of genes.[citation needed]

What is valuable in life?

Science may not be able to tell us what is most valuable in life in a philosophical sense, but some studies bear on related questions: Researchers in "positive psychology" study factors that lead to life satisfaction (and before them less rigorously in Humanistic Psychology), in Social psychology factors that lead to infants thriving or failing to thrive, and in other areas of psychology questions of motivation, preference, and what people value; Economists have learned a great deal about what is valued in the marketplace; and sociology examines value at a social level using theoretical constructs such as value theory, norms, anomie, etc.

What is the purpose of, or in, (one’s) life?"

Natural scientists look for the purpose of life within the structure and function of life itself.to find happiness within [8]

Analysis of teleology based on science

The "debunking" of teleology is said to have coincided with or resulted from advances in biological knowledge such as the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (i.e. Natural selection).[citation needed] It is not unlikely however, that it was thought long before that teleology (perceived meaning or purpose) is an illusion that has no bearing on reality and that ultimately there is no objective purpose to anything. Best-selling author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins puts forward his explanation in his Discovery Science video .

Philosophy of the meaning of life

While scientific approaches to the meaning of life aim to describe empirical facts about human existence, philosophers are usually more concerned about the relationship between ideas. For example, philosophers have considered such questions as: "Is the question ‘What is the meaning of life?’ a meaningful question?";[9] "What does the question ‘What is the meaning of life?’ mean?";[10] and "If there are no objective values, then is life meaningless?"[11] Some philosophical disciplines have also aimed to develop an understanding of life that explains, regardless of how we came to be here, what we should do now that we are here (such as humanism, which presents a code of conduct – see the ethics of humanism explained below).

Value as meaning

Theories of value bear on the question of the meaning of life. Philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, and many others had views about what sort of life was best (and hence most meaningful).[citation needed] Aristotle, for example, believed that the pursuit of happiness was the Highest Good and that such is achievable through our uniquely human capacity to reason.[citation needed]

Existentialist views of the meaning of life

Main article: Existentialism

Arthur Schopenhauer offered a bleak answer to "what is the meaning of life?" by determining one’s life as a reflection of one’s will and the will (and thus life) as being an aimless, irrational, and painful drive. He saw salvation, deliverance, or escape from suffering in aesthetic contemplation, sympathy for others, and asceticism.[citation needed]Søren Kierkegaard invented the term "leap of faith" and argued that life is full of absurdity and the individual must make his or her own values in an indifferent world. For Kierkegaard, an individual can have a meaningful life (or at least one free of despair) if the individual relates the self in an unconditional commitment to something finite, and devotes his or her life to the commitment despite the inherent vulnerability of doing so.[citation needed]

Humanist views of the meaning of life

Main article: Humanism

According to humanism the human race came to be by reproducing in a progression of unguided evolution as an integral part of nature, which is self-existing.[12] Knowledge does not come from supernatural sources, rather it flows from human observation, experimentation, and rational analysis preferably utilizing the scientific method: the nature of the universe is what we discern it to be.[12] As are "values and realities", which are determined "by means of intelligent inquiry"[12] and "are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience", that is, by critical intelligence.[13][14] "As far as we know, the total personality is [a function] of the biological organism transacting in a social and cultural context."[15]

The purpose of human life

Human purpose is determined by humans, completely without supernatural influence; it is human personality (in the broadest sense) that is the purpose of a human’s life, and this humanism seeks to develop and fulfill:[12] "Humanism affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity."[13]

Enlightened self-interest and the common good
See also: enlightened self-interest and common good

The most significant thing in life (the very focus of humanism) is the human being, and by extension, the human race and the environment in which we live. The happiness of the individual is inextricably linked to the well-being of humanity as a whole, in part because we are social animals which find meaning in relationships, and because cultural progress benefits everybody who lives in that culture. [13]

When the world improves, life in general improves, so, while the individual desires to live well and fully, humanists feel it is important to do so in a way that will enhance the well being of all. While the evolution of the human species is still (for the most part) a function of nature, the evolution of humanity is in our hands and it is our responsibility to progress it toward its highest ideals. In the same way, humanism itself is evolving, because humanists recognize that values and ideals, and therefore the meaning of life, are subject to change as our understanding improves.[13]

Humanist doctrines and life stance

The original doctrine of humanism is set forth in the Humanist Manifesto[12] and has been revised and refined in A Secular Humanist Declaration,[14] the Humanist Manifesto II, and the Humanist Manifesto III (in which humanism is referred to as a life stance).[13]

Theistic beliefs about the meaning of life

Main articles: Religion and Religious humanism

Relationship to God

Many people who believe in a personal God would agree that it is God "in whom we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). Although belief is also based on knowing God "through the things he has made," the decision to believe in such an authority is called the "leap of faith".

What is the purpose in one’s life?

An example of how religion sets purpose can be found in the biblical story of creation in the Old Testament of the Bible (Genesis 1:28), in which God orders Man to "Be fruitful, and multiply; fill the earth, and subdue it". This indicates that the propagation of the human race, the care and population of the earth, and the control of the earth are the first three commandments God has set for man.

Spiritual and mystical views of the meaning of life

The Book of Light presents the nature of God and the purpose of creation.[16] According to Michael Sharp, God is consciousness and the purpose of creation is to have fun (alleviate boredom). Creation exists "as a dream inside the mind of God" and we are all Sparks of the One Creator Consciousness.

Mystical views

The view of mysticism varies widely according to how each speaker describes it. In general the view is broadly that life is a happening, an unfolding. There is no duality, it is a nondual worldview, in which subject and object are the same, the sense of doer-ship is illusionary. This view is central to Buddhism, and is also found in certain non-dual sects of Hinduism. To become enlightened as to the nature and oneness of the universe

Popular beliefs of the purpose of life

"What is the meaning of life?" is a question many people ask themselves at some point during their lives, most in the context "What is the purpose of life?"[3] Here are some of the life goals people choose, and some of their beliefs on what the purpose of life is:

…to survive

  • …to survive,[17] that is, to live as long as possible,[18] including pursuit of indefinite lifespan (the closest thing to immortality that is theoretically possible) through scientific means (see life extension)[19]
  • …to evolve[20][21]
  • …to replicate, "the dream of a bacteria is to become two bacteria," since DNA replication has a mutation rate, this results in evolution.

"The meaning of life is whatever you want it to be" – Nic Chappell

…to succeed

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The meaning of life


Introduction

If I believe that everything in the world consists of matter how can there be a meaning to anything? If all there is in the world are particles moving around randomly, if the universe is just a lump of meaningless matter how can such a view be justified? This is my answer to that question.

Levels of organisation

Take a look at a picture in a newspaper. It consists of simple dots. One can not see the picture by observing the dots one at a time, to do so you must step back and look at the whole picture. Or take the words in this document. They are built on letters, but from analyzing the letters alone, one at a time, you can’t get any understanding of what I’m trying to say. My thoughts only appear when you consider a higher level of organisation – the letters build words, the words build sentences, and the sentences build an insight in my philosophy. The important thing here is that the whole is more than the sum of the parts. The dots build a picture, the letters build thoughts and give rise to a higher level of organisation.

Where to find the meaning of life

Because the mind lies on a higher level than does atoms the meaning of life can’t be explained by looking at atoms. Atoms are in fact totally meaningless, so that makes the universe a useless lump of atoms if one studies atoms. But our minds are more than just atoms moving around randomly, an atom can’t ask questions about the meaning of life, because it is dead. The mind, on the other hand, can do that so the meaning of life should be sought by studying people not atoms. I read a good analogy once (on the matter of moral) in a file called The Human Basis of Laws and Ethics, the headline "The source of morality", by Frederick Edwords.

There is also a tendency for some to seek the meaning of life in the mechanisms of evolution or the market. This is an even higher level of organisation than the mind, but just like I don’t care if I lose one or a few skin cells or sweat drops (in fact a human body loses more than 10 000 particles every minute by just standing still) so is the market completely unconcerned about the wellfare of an individual. The meaning of human life must not be found at the higher levels of organisation, but on the human level.

So what is the meaning of life?

I’m sorry, but I can’t answer that for anybody. To find the meaning of your life everybody must look for themselves. This is what I have found.

First I thought that there is no meaning of life, and there isn’t, not in life itself as a phenomenon. But then I realised that there is a meaning to every creature’s life. The meaning of somebodys life, I said, is to spread it’s genes in the population (Don’t worry folks, I didn’t live by this rule.), but now I have realized that I looked for the meaning of life in the wrong places. Procreating is fun, and part of the meaning of life, but we have reached a part of the development where procreating only leads to overpopulation. Overpopulation leads to wars and may be good for the genetic evolution of mankind, but is bad in the long run.

I totally agree with Julian Huxley in the preface of his book Essays of a Humanist (1964), that with the birth of civilization evolution has changed from being quantitive to becoming qualitive:

"Among the points which seem to me important are the following. First the fact that, though biological evolution operates by a purely quantitive mechanism, in the shape of natural selection, it results in the qualitative improvement of actual organisms. In the present period of psychosocial evolution, however, quantitative increase is leading to a decrease of quality in people and in many aspects of their lives. This makes it necessary to change our sights, and to aim at psychological satisfaction and fulfilment rather than quantitative acquisitiveness in regard to material goods or technological utilitarianism, to strive for right direction of advance rather than any fixed goal or ideal static state."

My present view is that the meaning is to enjoy your life to the fullest without stepping on people’s toes. One should not look for peaks of pleasure but try too get the most longlasting pleasure. For example, there is very intensive pleasure in drugs (Don’t worry, I don’t know this from personal experience), but becoming a drug addict will lead to discomforts which exceeds the pleasure of being turned on. For the same reason real love is much greater than a one night stand.

Because there are many people in the universe, whith different needs, there is no absolute meaning of life. The meaning is different for different people, but we share many common needs so there should be a common meaning. Enlightened self interest is a good way to achieve maximum happiness to a maximal amount of people. If you live to make everybody else happy there will be more happieness, but if nobody looks at his best self interest nobody will be able to get that happiness.

I have not read anything by J. S. Mill, but I figure my view is quite similar to Utilitariansm and "The pursuit of happiness". That is one of the reasons why I call myself a Humanist.


‘The Lion King’

One might ask how "The Lion King" has anything to do with this passionate fight in the name of Mother Earth. In its entirety, it is a celebration of Mother Earth and all the beauty it reaps. As the story goes, when the hero Simba leaves his home, the evil Scar becomes king. During his reign, the land becomes barren, animals die en masse and the earth is essentially pillaged and taken for granted. It is a harsh and heavy reminder of what can happen if the environment is neglected, if people are allowed to have their way with our precious Earth. So next time you watch this movie, take a different perspective and give a nod to how vital and precious our Earth truly is.

– Ravi Antani


‘Aguirre, the Wrath of God’

There are many reasons to revisit Werner Herzog’s ("Grizzly Man," "Rescue Dawn") unforgettably haunting 1972 historical epic about the doomed Spanish voyage to El Dorado. For one, it features what might be the defining performance by the legendary Klaus Kinski. Another reason is its interesting take on man’s relationship with nature. In the film, conquistadors set out foolishly into the jungle, never for an instant considering the consequences of their greed in an organic world. They don’t understand or respect the environment around them, and it spells their demise. The film ends as a disturbing cautionary tale, as the insane Aguirre stands adrift on his raft on some endless river, surrounded by dead bodies and screeching monkeys – swallowed by the natural world he hoped to exploit.

– Jack Frink


‘The Day After Tomorrow’

Yeah, it might be cliche but no other film shows the true ferocity of Mother Nature quite like this 2004 Roland Emmerich-directed feature. Dennis Quaid plays the coolest climatologist this side of Willard Scott who unleashes the best line of dialogue to the vice president with: "Mr. Vice President, we’ve hit a critical desalinization point in the North Atlantic Drift." Rich and compelling. Sure, every professor in the geological sciences department will tell you that most of the film is malarkey, but nothing says "Stop Global Warming" like Jake Gyllenhaal outrunning a pack of wolves or super-tornadoes in L.A. or temperatures dropping so fast that people instantaneously freeze like a Push Pop.

– Alex Regnery

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Relationship Between Man And Nature

  The Spring-Autumn and the Warring States periods were marked by the emancipation, the great leap forward the creative exploration of the ancient Chinese philosophies. Many philosophers showed sparks of creative wisdom. In these days, rites collapsed and music deteriorated, unrest and upheaval set in and the states waged wars against each other striving for hegemony. The distressed scholars either traveled to different states to put forward their views and proposals to deliver the people from their sufferings, or taught disciples, or retreated in seclusion to write books to expound their doctrines. Within a short time , many philosophical schools arose , among which were Confucianism , Master Lao’s Doctrine , Master Mo’s Doctrine , Legalists , Yin-Yang Doctrine , etc., each propounding its own systematic philosophical viewpoints as well as its social and political proposals . Their ideological contest laid a sound foundation for the development of Chinese philosophy.
   The pre-Qin philosophies represented the wisdom of ancient Chinese philosophers, whether the high ideal state of “unity of nature and man”, or the high social value of peace and harmony, or the “people-loving” benevolent mentality, or the “self restraining observation of rites” of the modest persons, or the doctrine of “forever changing”, all were sparks of wisdom of the ancient Chinese sages and philosophies, which is a precious spiritual wealth for the modern Chinese people.
In the relationship between nature and man there existed three schools of philosophy, viz, the nature and man in unity” school, interrelated, the “man distinguished from nature” school and the “joining in the nature” school. The first school stressed that the law of human and the law of nature were interrelated and so were the behaviors of the human and the behaviors of the nature.

  The main exponents of this school were Maclius and Master Zhuang. Mencius proposed the theory of “exerting the mind to understand the behaviors of man and nature”. He advocated that human instincts and natural laws were interrelated, and that the mind was the subject to be affected. If man exerted fully his mind, he could understand his instincts, which was endowed by nature. So, to understand instincts was to understand nature. Nature was the ultimate dictator and the inexorable laws. Master Zhuang was another exponent of the “unity of nature and man” school. He said, “Nature grow with me,” and “All things and I blending into one, represent the loftiest ideal state.” (From the “Book of Master Zhuang”: “On Nature”) The second philosophical school advocating “distinguishing man from nature” was represented by Master Xun. He emphasized the distinction between nature and man, and stated that positive human behaviors should be directed to change nature. He defied that nature had consciousness and could exert power over the auspiciousness and ominousness, the disasters and fortunes of man. Instead, he argued that nature was material and an objective existence. He wrote, “Nature is progressing; earth has resources; and man should manage.” (From the “Book of Master Xun: On Nature”.)The third philosophical school advocating “man joining in nature” pointed out that man could participate in the changes of nature since man and nature are both distinguishable and united . In the “Book of golden Mean” it was stated: “Exerting fully the mind leads to using fully all the things. Using fully all the things leads to contribution to the progress of nature. Contributing to the progres of nature is joining in the nature”. This statement was a clear and systematic representation of the philosophy of this school.

 

 

 

 

Relationship Between Man and Nature in The Sun Also Rises

by Daniel James Wood

February 03, 2004

Bright daylight, a river, cool breezes, green and rolling countryside, oxen, cattle, pigeons, valleys, hills stretching off back toward the sea, children playing in the hot sun – when Jake and his company first perceive ‘Nature’ in The Sun Also Rises (in chapter ten) it is amazing in its unrestrained, unrelenting beauty, yet it fails to amaze those men who actually perceive it; men who, instead, adopt a blase attitude of nonchalance towards the extraordinary settings into which they venture. In Jake’s own words: "While we were waiting [for Robert Cohn] I saw a cockroach on the parquet floor that must have been at least three inches long. I pointed him out to Bill and then put my shoe on him. We agreed he must have just come in from the garden. It was really an awfully clean hotel." Such is the relationship between nature and the misguided youth of the ‘Lost Generation’: nature is to be seen, to be appreciated, to be enjoyed, but also to be altered or destroyed or even belittled for the amusement of a generation who find their very identity in having been involved in one of history’s greatest acts of destruction.

"We’re going trout-fishing," says Bill. "We’re going trout-fishing in the Irati River, and we’re going to get tight now and at lunch on the wine of the country, and then take a swell bus ride." Nature, in the novel, is depicted as something in possession of astounding beauty, but it is not described as being astoundingly beautiful; that is, its beauty is apparent to the reader, yet the characters in the novel, most especially the narrator, do not respond to – or offer an opinion on – that beauty; and sometimes the very opposite is true. Consider Bill’s adamant claim, above, in which he speaks as though he is somehow entitled to take fish from the river for whatever purpose he pleases, and in which the river and its bountiful contents – "the wine of the country" – excite him only as much as the prospect of a simple bus ride. Later, in chapter twelve, similar sentiments arise:

"We have to follow this road along the ridge, cross these hills, go through the woods on the far hills, and come down to the Irati valley," I pointed out to Bill.

"That’s a hell of a hike."

"It’s too far to go and fish and come back the same day, comfortably."

"Comfortably. That’s a nice word. We’ll have to go like hell to get there and back and have any fishing at all."

Here, nature is held in stark contrast against the world-weary, pleasure-seeking youth of the narrative. ‘Comfort’ is essentially the only thing these characters care about; it is the only value they hold. Even when they are in wild, rugged, unfamiliar country, they stay indoors in hotels getting drunk instead of going outside to see the local sights, they kill the local wildlife whether it be a cockroach or a fish, and they do so for purposes of personal fulfillment, for fun, or, again, simply for ‘comfort.’ Not even the river is held sacred, not even after the effort the party goes to in order to reach it in the first place. Instead of savoring its subtle beauty and isolation, which are made evident to us, Jake appreciates only its chillingly cold temperature, which he uses to cool two bottles of wine. The attitude of the characters towards the nature that surrounds them, here, is one of ambivalence.

However, it worsens; it changes from ambivalence to destruction, and finally falls victim to the notion that the destruction these characters inflict upon nature is actually an improvement on the original scenario. Consider the scene in which Jake catches a number of trout on the fishing expedition: "I felt that I had [a trout on the line] and brought him, fighting and bending the rod almost double, out of the boiling water at the foot of the falls, and swung him up and onto the dam." First, he simply catches the fish; then, he utterly destroys it: "He was a good trout, and I banged his head against the timber so that he quivered out straight, and then slipped him into my bag." Later, Jake finds himself with six trout to his credit: "I laid them all out, side by side, all their heads pointing the same way, and looked at them." This is the first time on the entire expedition that any of the characters take a step back from their own little self-contained party and look at something outside of themselves; and, as is true of their nature, Jake chooses to look at something completely devoid of life. As he does so, he remarks that "they were beautifully colored" and this is the first time, too, that he uses the word ‘beautiful’ even though the beauty in his surroundings is always apparent to the reader, while the beauty in the subject he focuses on – the fish – has been tainted by death. Jake continues: "I slit [the fish] and shucked out the insides, gills and all, and tossed them over across the river. I took the trout ashore, washed them in the cold, smoothly heavy water above the dam, and then picked some ferns and packed them all in the bag." Now, not only does he utterly tear the six fish to shreds, and then pollute the river from which they came with their innards and offal, but he also rips away at the foliage around the river in order to preserve his catch, and finally, he marvels at the beauty of his own handiwork: "[The trout] looked nice in the ferns," he says, almost as if they were of no use whatsoever when they were in the river. This is a complete inversion of traditional aesthetic priorities, held by a man typical of his generation who holds no regard for the preservation of a balanced environment in which he is only a visitor.

His status as a visitor – and the status of his companions as visitors – is exemplified nowhere more-so than in an example of their joint behavior whilst on the fishing trip, which exposes their naivete and self-centeredness when in an environment that exists outside of the confines of ‘comfort’:

It was a beech wood and the trees were very old. Their roots bulked above the ground and the branches were twisted. We walked on the road between the thick trunks of the old beeches and the sunlight came through the leaves in light patches on the grass. The trees were big, and the foliage was thick but it was not gloomy. There was no undergrowth, only the smooth grass, very green and fresh, and the big gray trees well spaced as though it were a park.

"This is country," Bill said.

But Bill is wrong – it cannot completely be country, or as distant from civilization as he implies it is; after all, Jake notes that it is not unlike a park, which is in itself nothing more than nature tamed by man; and, moreover, forever following the scent of ‘comfort’ even in the wilderness, the party of young men always follows the beaten path of the road, taking special care not to veer away from the visible track. Indeed, the first time they even see the mountains that provide a backdrop to the scenery in which their expedition takes place, they are sitting in a car on a road: "As the bus ground slowly up the road we could see other mountains coming up in the south." And when they are as comfortable as can be in the wilds of nature – that is, eating roast chicken for lunch and getting drunk on the wine they chilled in the river – Bill once again pokes fun at nature: "Let no man be ashamed to kneel here in the great out-of-doors. Remember the woods were God’s first temples." Their attitudes towards nature, then, expose the inner conflict of these lost young men: they are willing to poke fun, to provoke and belittle, but not insofar as it would take them away from the luxuries that might otherwise constitute their everyday lives. Nature, for Jake and for Mike and for Bill, is something to be undervalued, chided, trivialized, provoked like a wild animal until violence erupts – if the bull is a symbol of nature’s fury unleashed, then their fascination with bullfighting is evidence enough of this. Further, this attitude towards nature and towards things ‘beneath them’ in general manifests itself in the overall character of these men by way of Mike’s intense dislike of Robert Cohn, the only member of the group who has enough strength and skill (via his training as a boxer) to actually provoke violence that he could overcome, and also the only member of the group who chooses not to do so.

The novel is prefaced with a quote from Ecclesiastes: "The sun also riseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose. … The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. …All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." This quote serves a number of purposes. Chief amongst these is the assurance that, even after this misguided generation of lost souls has passed on, there will come subsequent generations of people who are just as lost and just as misguided. However, the Biblical passage also reminds us of the eternality of nature, of the rising and setting and rising of the sun and the flowing of waters from the rivers into the sea and back again. Therefore, it underscores just how desperately the youth of the lost generation wander and meander through life. If it is in their attitude to provoke that which is ‘beneath’ them, as outlined above, and if nature is considered to be ‘beneath’ them, as they see it, with the bull being the epitome of all that is wild and untamed in nature, then the quote from Ecclesiastes is the proverbial carrot dangling from a wire in front of the donkey’s eyes. No matter how assuredly or conscientiously these men search for something to belittle or provoke, and no matter how often they attempt to spoil the natural surroundings in which they find themselves – whether that attempt springs from the belief that they are making an improvement on those surroundings, or from a knee-jerk reaction to provoke a fight – those surroundings, nature, its cockroaches and its bulls and its cattle, its oxen, its hillsides and rivers and pigeons, will always be greater, bigger and more elusive than the men who seek to change it.

This is how nature fits into Hemingway’s story: not merely as a picturesque backdrop to the events of the narrative, but also as the gentle backdrop against which the alternately violent and self-centered nature of the characters is revealed to us, so as to show by way of comparison and contrast just how ‘lost’ they are. It is also as a reminder that the world is an enormously mystifying and diverse place; and we realize that these characters have simplified that diversity to fit within the confines of a pre-planned idealized sense of ‘comfort’; and therefore, whenever they do seek to alter or belittle nature in some way, whether it be passively or violently, then they, being from a smaller world, are inevitably fighting a losing battle. They are not simply the ‘Lost Generation’ because they wander on aimlessly, pointlessly; but rather, they are the ‘Lost Generation’ because, when they do identify a goal to be achieved – usually a negative or ego-centric ambition, at that – it is not only a similarly pointless aspiration, but it is also too big to be grasped by any man: they frequently set their sights on the violent alteration of something that could easily destroy them; and, in those instances where they are too timid to do so, they simply step aside and watch others partake in that reciprocal destruction; that is, bullfighting. The sun also rises, and sets, and rises again; theirs is a world of violence born from restlessness, and that restlessness, in turn, is born from the violence – the war – that gave them such a life in the first place. Nature, more than that, is what they pursue to abate their restlessness, yet at the same time it is the target of their frustration and their destructive impulses, as instigators and spectators alike.

曾经美丽灵秀的山川,曾经生机勃勃的城市,瞬间变成埋葬数以万计生命的坟场!汶川大地震再次告诉我们:景观充满杀机,人造城市也充满恐怖。因而,城市、景观和建筑的规划设计是生存的艺术,这种生存艺术至少在四个层面上展开:
   1.相地选址:如何通过选址在宏观尺度上处理人的活动与自然过程,以及地形地貌的和谐关系,从一开始便远离灾难。风水就在如何相地择基方面有特别的关 注,诸如城市和村落的选址要避免直接在大山脚下,应在所谓的“胎息”之地或在大体量山体的余脉和小山包上,用现代的眼光来看,这无疑是避免山体滑坡和泥石 流掩埋危险的安全地带;又如,风水以乳突形的穴位为上佳之地,大抵在平坦之地上的高亢台地,则同样有避免与地震相关的灾难之功能。
  2.开 放的空间系统:通过城市开放空间的规划和设计,在危险降临城市时,使居民仍有方便的逃生机会。一个连续的、面积充裕的城市开放空间系统,对于人流疏散和避 难具有不可替代的作用,这对于大城市尤其重要。都江堰广场等一系列开放空间在汶川地震中发挥的作用便充分证明了这一点。
  3.场地设计:场地的可达性、开放性、穿透性、无障碍设计以及和建筑物的关系,包括后院通道和出口,甚至种植方式,都使场地对身处其中的生命有至关生死的意义。户外场所既可以是死亡陷阱,也可以使生命逢凶化吉。如汶川地震中,就有多起因场院围墙而毙命的悲剧。
   4.建、构筑物的设计:构、建筑物的抗震设计当然是致命因素,他们既可以是生命的庇护所,同样也可以成为死亡陷阱。汶川地震造成的最大受害群体是学生, 而根本的人为原因是建筑质量的低劣,这是中国建筑行业永远抹不去的耻辱。城市开放场所中的构筑物的设计有同样的生存意义。
  像汶川这样的恐 怖景象在中国大地上曾经上演过无数次,史前的记录包括4000年前青海喇家遗址那大房子里一族人的遗骨;中国最早的文字和史书就充满了地震灾害的经验, 《易经》的六十四卦中专门有《辰》卦(同《震》卦);1556年的“关中大地震”使80万人死亡,被认为是全世界有史以来死亡人数最多的一次地震;夺去近 25万生命的唐山大地震仿佛如昨天。这些灾害经验在我们的生物与文化基因上都留下了宝贵的基因。然而,人类的生物避灾基因往往被深埋在现世文化的尘埃之 下,现代人的避灾本能甚至不如洞中的老鼠、林中的蟾蜍和水中的游鱼。对前科学时代的先民来说,人的避灾本能往往借助图腾和禁忌,成功地进行日常行为,在灾 难来临时能驱吉避凶,甚至成为审美标准,如中国山水画中关于山的审美评价就有可观、可行、可游和可居之说,而以居为上。所谓可居,便是自然山川中的安全庇 护所。中国古代的风水术在某种程度上便是这种灾害经验的图腾和禁忌文化,也是景观的审美文化。
  我们可以自信地说,这个时代并不比使用易经 和风水术那个时代落后。当代科学和技术的发展,包括地理信息系统技术、遥感技术和空间分析技术,都赋予当代的人类比生物的本能、比前科学时代的风水先生, 有更多的能力和智慧来选址、来规划城镇的景观安全格局和生态基础设施,来设计日常的户外活动场所。而今天的灾难根源在于人们生活在一个充满科学技术和知识 的时代,却又不遵守必要的科学规范和原则,加上人口数量和密度的巨大,自然灾害的破坏力和杀伤力都被放大了。因此,当代中国在破除旧的经验图腾和禁忌的同 时,必须建立新的科学“图腾”和“禁忌”,那就是使科学的防灾避灾知识和法规成为日常行为,特别是人居环境设计和管理的自觉意识;必须时刻牢记城市、景观 和建筑的规划和设计是生存的艺术:通过设计使我们的家园不但美丽和高效,更应该安全并有利与健康。

  注:俞孔坚,北京大学景观设计学研究院院长,北京土人景观与建筑规划设计研究院院长兼首席设计师。