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  • Very many of us suffer from a peculiar-sounding problem: an inability properly to inhabit the stretch of time we call "the present".

    很多人都有一個聽起來很奇怪的問題:沒有辦法好好活在一段叫做「當下」的時間。

  • Maybe we're on a beautiful beach on a sunny day, the sky is azure and the palm trees slender and implausibly delicate, but most of "us" isn't actually here at all.

    也許我們在美麗的海灘上,那天天氣很好,柔美的棕櫚樹在一片蔚藍的天空下,但是大部分的「我們」並不在這裡。

  • It's somewhere at work or in imaginary discussion with a rival or plotting a new enterprise.

    我們在想工作上的事情,或是在想像我們和對手的論爭,或是在籌劃新的事業。

  • Or maybe we're at the birthday of a child: it's enormously significant for her and we love her dearly, but we are elsewhere.

    又或許我們在幫一個小孩慶生,小女孩很重視這個生日,我們也非常愛她,可是我們的心卻在其他地方。

  • Our body is rooted in the "now", but our minds are skipping to points in both the future and the past.

    我們的身體在「當下」沒錯,但我們的心卻同時在未來與過去中徘徊。

  • What is it that makes the present, especially the nicer moments of the present, so difficult to experience properly?

    是什麼讓我們那麼不容易去好好的感受當下,尤其是美好的當下?

  • And why, conversely, can so many events feel easier to enjoy, appreciate and perceive, when they are firmly over?

    反過來看,為什麼很多事情已經結束了,我們才比較容易去享受、欣賞跟感受?

  • One benefit of the past is that it is a dramatically foreshortened, edited version of the present.

    「過去」的一個優點是,它是一個剪接過的、非常精簡版的當下。

  • Even the best days of our lives contain a range of dull and uncomfortable moments.

    即使是我們過得最順的那幾天也有單調和不安的時候。

  • But in memory, like skilled editors of hours of raw and often uninspired footage, we can lock on to the most consequential moments; and therefore construct sequences that feel a great deal more meaningful and interesting than the settings that generated them.

    但是在記憶裡,如同一個熟練的影片剪接者般,我們會自動略過數小時的平淡鏡頭,鎖定在最關鍵的幾個時刻;然後因此建立比當時真實環境感覺起來還要更有意義跟有趣的回憶片段。

  • Hours of mediocrity can be reduced to five or six perfect images.

    數小時的平淡鏡頭被縮短成五、六張完美的畫面。

  • Nostalgia is the present enhanced by an editing machine.

    懷舊是被剪接過的當下。

  • Much of what ruins the present is sheer anxiety.

    所謂的「當下」大部分是純粹被焦慮感給摧毀了。

  • The present always contains an enormous number of possibilities, some hugely gruesome, which we are constantly aware of.

    「當下」永遠都存在數不清的可能性,有一些很黑暗,我們心理一直都很清楚。

  • Anything could theoretically happen, an earthquake, an aneurysm, a rejectionwhich gives rise to a non-specific anxiety that trails around us most of the time: the simple dread at the unknownness of what is to come.

    理論上,任何事情都可能發生,地震、中風、被拒絕,導致我們一直帶著不明確的的焦慮:對未知的恐懼。

  • But then, of course, only a very limited range of awful things do ever come to pass, and we forget the anxiety at once (or, rather, shift it to the new present).

    不過當然,只有一小部分的不幸會真的發生,之後我們就完全忘記之前焦慮的部分,或者不如說是我們把焦慮的部分放到了未來。

  • So when we remember an event, what we leave out of it is how much of that event we actually spent anticipating an appalling future that never came.

    所以當我們回憶一件事情的時候,我們會忽略我們當時花了多少心思在擔憂未來並不會發生的糟糕狀況。

  • Our bodies further contribute to our distraction from the present.

    而我們的身體也會使我們在當下分心。

  • They have their own moods and itineraries.

    它們有自己的心情和行程。

  • They might feel tired and timid at just the moment when the landscape around us would demand grandeur and confidence.

    它們可能在周圍的環境很壯觀的時候感覺疲乏或虛弱。

  • But these dissonant moods also get edited out of memory.

    但是這些不搭調的時刻也會被剪接掉。

  • We'll remember the view over the ocean far longer than the slight queasiness which turned us in on ourselves at the time.

    在我們的記憶裡,大海的景象比我們當時暈船的感覺存留更久。

  • Our minds are cavernous, chaotic places.

    我們的大腦是一個混亂又複雜的地方。

  • So much courses through them that has little to do with what is right in front of our eyes.

    許多經過大腦的都是和我們眼前完全不相關的東西。

  • We can end up seeming ungrateful to where are.

    我們可能會看起來不想要在這裡。

  • Someone is telling us an important story, and not from any evil motive, just from the difficulty of having to manage the entity called "I", we digest some regret or other instead.

    有人在和我們講一個重要的故事,我們並沒有任何惡意,只是我們真的管不住自己的腦袋,於是開始後悔某件以前做過的事情或是想其他事。

  • We are at a beautiful location, but we can barely take in the vegetation and the extraordinary views.

    我們在一個很漂亮的地方,卻無法好好享受眼前的花草和非凡的景色。

  • So fixated are we on an event that will only occur in six months' time.

    因為我們太專注在一件六個月後才會發生的事情上。

  • We need to be prepared for the weird way in which we align with the world.

    我們需要做好心理準備來面對我們跟這個世界互動的奇怪方式。

  • And not berate ourselves unduly for our difficulties at doing justice to where our bodies and minds happen to be.

    而不是過度的責怪我們大腦和身體無法活在當下。

  • We should be ready for this disloyalty in other people, tooat moments when they look strangely worried at a party we've laid on, or don’t seem to be listening to a story we're telling them.

    我們應該知道其他人也有無法活在當下的時候。當他們在派對上看起來憂心忡忡的時候,或者看起來沒有在聽我們講故事的時候。

  • They, too, may just be experiencing some of the major difficulties of being in the present.

    他們很可能也只是在經歷一段很難專注在當下的時候。

  • Like us, they'll probably enjoy our encounter with us so much more when the present has safely given way to memory.

    像我們一樣,當他們可以安心回憶而不用活在當下的時候,他們應該會更加享受和我們相處的時光。

Very many of us suffer from a peculiar-sounding problem: an inability properly to inhabit the stretch of time we call "the present".

很多人都有一個聽起來很奇怪的問題:沒有辦法好好活在一段叫做「當下」的時間。

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B1 中級 中文 英國腔 焦慮 大腦 好好 眼前 鏡頭 身體

為什麼活在當下這麼困難? (Why It Is So Hard to Live in the Present)

  • 74555 5612
    韓澐 發佈於 2016 年 09 月 28 日
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