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  • A few years ago,

    譯者: Lilian Chiu 審譯者: Yanyan Hong

  • I set out on a mission to find God.

    幾年前,

  • Now, I'm going to tell you right up front that I failed,

    我展開了一項尋找神的任務。

  • which, as a lawyer,

    我先告訴各位,我失敗了,

  • is a really hard thing for me to admit.

    身為律師,

  • But on that failed journey,

    我真的很難承認這件事。

  • a lot of what I found was enlightening.

    但,在那趟失敗的旅程中,

  • And one thing in particular gave me a lot of hope.

    許多發現都相當有啟發性。

  • It has to do with the magnitude and significance of our differences.

    其中特別有一項, 給了我許多希望。

  • So, I was raised in America by Indian parents -- culturally Hindu,

    它和我們的差異的大小 以及重要性有關。

  • but practicing a strict and relatively unknown religion outside of India

    我在美國長大,父母是 印度人——文化上是印度,

  • called Jainism.

    但他們信仰的是在印度外的宗教, 嚴格且相對不太為人所知,

  • To give you an idea of just how minority that makes me:

    叫做耆那教。

  • people from India represent roughly one percent of the US population;

    讓各位知道一下這種宗教 讓我變成多麼少數:

  • Hindus, about 0.7 percent;

    美國人口中,約有 1% 來自印度;

  • Jains, at most .00046 percent.

    印度人大約是 0.7%;

  • To put that in context:

    耆那教徒,最多 0.00046%。

  • more people visit the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory each year

    用情境來比喻:

  • than are followers of the Jain religion in America.

    每年造訪佛蒙特州泰迪熊工廠的人數

  • To add to my minority mix, my parents then decided,

    都比美國的耆那教徒還多。

  • "What a great idea! Let's send her to Catholic school" --

    我的少數狀況又再上一層樓, 因為我父母決定:

  • (Laughter)

    「好棒的點子!咱們送她 去讀天主教學校。」——

  • where my sister and I were the only non-white,

    (笑聲)

  • non-Catholic students in the entire school.

    全校只有我和我妹妹是

  • At the Infant Jesus of Prague School in Flossmoor, Illinois --

    非白人、非天主教的學生。

  • yes, that's really what it was called --

    在伊利諾州佛羅斯的 布拉格聖嬰耶穌學校——

  • we were taught to believe that there is a single Supreme Being

    是的,校名真的就是這樣——

  • who is responsible for everything,

    我們被教導要相信 有唯一的至高神存在,

  • the whole shebang,

    祂要對一切負責,

  • from the creation of the Universe to moral shepherding to eternal life.

    所有的狀況,

  • But at home,

    從創造宇宙,到道德指引, 到永生,都歸祂管。

  • I was being taught something entirely different.

    但在家裡,

  • Followers of the Jain religion

    我被教導的又完全不同了。

  • don't believe in a single Supreme Being

    耆那教的追隨者

  • or even a team of Supreme Beings.

    不相信單一的至高神,

  • Instead, we're taught that God manifests

    甚至不相信一組至高神。

  • as the perfection of each of us as individuals,

    反之,我們被教導的是,

  • and that we're actually spending our entire lives

    我們每個人身上的完美, 就是神現形的方式,

  • striving to remove the bad karmas

    我們其實窮盡我們的一生,

  • that stand in the way of us becoming our own godlike, perfect selves.

    努力消除不好的「業」,

  • On top of that, one of the core principles of Jainism

    因為它阻擋我們,不讓我們 成為那個如神般的完美自己。

  • is something called "non-absolutism."

    最重要的是,耆那教的核心原則之一

  • Non-absolutists believe that no single person

    是所謂的「非絕對主義」。

  • can hold ownership or knowledge of absolute truth,

    非絕對主義者認為,沒有一個人

  • even when it comes to religious beliefs.

    能夠持有絕對真相的所有權或知識,

  • Good luck testing that concept out

    即使在宗教信仰上也一樣。

  • on the priests and nuns in your Catholic school.

    若想在你的天主教學校中

  • (Laughter)

    對神父和修女完整測試 那個概念,祝你好運。

  • No wonder I was confused

    (笑聲)

  • and hyperaware of how different I was from my peers.

    難怪我當時會困惑,

  • Cut to 20-something years later,

    且非常能意識到我和 我的同儕有多麼不同。

  • and I found myself to be a highly spiritual person,

    跳到二十多年後,

  • but I was floundering.

    我發現我自己是個高度靈性的人,

  • I was spiritually homeless.

    但我在掙扎。

  • I came to learn that I was a "None,"

    在精神世界中,我無家可歸。

  • which isn't an acronym or a clever play on words,

    我漸漸了解,我是一個 「無信仰者(none)」,

  • nor is it one of these.

    它不是字首縮寫或是 在文字上賣弄小聰明,

  • It's simply the painfully uninspired name

    也不是這些之一。 (註:修女 nun,英語發音近似)

  • given to everyone who checks off the box "none"

    它很單純,就是一個 痛苦且沒激情的名字,

  • when Pew Research asks them about their religious affiliation.

    給予那些被皮尤研究中心 (註:美國一民調和智庫機構)

  • (Laughter)

    問到宗教信仰時,勾選「無」的人。

  • Now, a couple of interesting things about Nones are:

    (笑聲)

  • there are a lot of us,

    關於無信仰者,有一些有趣的事:

  • and we skew young.

    我們人數很多,

  • In 2014, there were over 56 million religiously unaffiliated Nones

    我們偏年輕。

  • in the United States.

    2014 年,有 5600 萬人 沒有宗教信仰,

  • And Nones account for over one-third of adults

    這是美國的數據。

  • between the ages of 18 to 33.

    18 至 33 歲的成年人中

  • But the most interesting thing to me about Nones

    有三分之一以上是無信仰者。

  • is that we're often spiritual.

    但,關於無信仰者 我覺得最有趣的是,

  • In fact, 68 percent of us believe, with some degree of certainty,

    我們通常都是靈性的人。

  • that there is a God.

    事實上,我們當中 有 68% 的人相信

  • We're just not sure who it is.

    在某種程度上必然有神存在。

  • (Laughter)

    我們只是不確定祂是誰。

  • So the first takeaway for me

    (笑聲)

  • when I realized I was a None and had found that information out

    當我了解到我是個無信仰者,

  • was that I wasn't alone.

    且找出了那些資訊之後, 我學到的第一件事是,

  • I was finally part of a group in America

    我並不孤單。

  • that had a lot of members,

    終於,在美國,我隸屬一個

  • which felt really reassuring.

    人數眾多的團體了,

  • But then the second, not-so-reassuring takeaway

    這感覺挺令人寬慰的。

  • was that, oh, man, there are a lot of us.

    但我學到的第二件事 就不那麼令人寬慰了,

  • That can't be good,

    那就是,喔,天,我們人數好多啊。

  • because if a lot of highly spiritual people are currently godless,

    那不可能是好事,

  • maybe finding God is not going to be as easy as I had originally hoped.

    因為,如果目前有很多 高度靈性的人不信仰神,

  • So that is when I decided that on my spiritual journey,

    那麼,也許找到神並沒有 我原本希望的那麼容易。

  • I was going to avoid the obvious places

    那時,我下定決心, 在我的靈性之旅中,

  • and skip the big-box religions altogether

    我要避開明顯的地方,

  • and instead venture out into the spiritual fringe

    且略過所有的大型宗教,

  • of mediums

    取而代之,我要冒險 進入靈性的邊緣,

  • and faith healers

    去探索靈媒、

  • and godmen.

    信念治癒者

  • But remember, I'm a non-absolutist,

    及神人。

  • which means I was pretty inclined to keep a fairly open mind,

    但,切記,我是個非絕對主義者,

  • which turned out to be a good thing,

    這表示我很傾向保持很開放的心胸,

  • because I went to a witch's potluck dinner

    結果發現,這是件好事,

  • at the LGBT Center in New York City,

    因為我去參加了女巫的攜菜聚餐, (註:每人各自帶菜共享)

  • where I befriended two witches;

    位在紐約市的 LGBT 多元中心。 (註:同性戀、雙性戀和跨性別族群)

  • drank a five-gallon jerrican full of volcanic water

    我和兩位女巫交了朋友;

  • with a shaman in Peru;

    喝了滿滿五加崙汽油桶的火山水,

  • got a hug from a saint in the convention center --

    和秘魯的黃教僧一起喝;

  • she smelled really nice --

    在會議中心得到聖人的一個擁抱,

  • (Laughter)

    她真的很好聞;

  • chanted for hours in a smoke-filled, heat-infused sweat lodge

    (笑聲)

  • on the beaches of Mexico;

    在滿是煙且很熱的印第安 蒸汽浴室中吟誦了數小時,

  • worked with a tequila-drinking medium to convene with the dead,

    位在墨西哥的海灘上;

  • who oddly included both my deceased mother-in-law

    和喝龍舌蘭酒的靈某一起召喚亡者,

  • and the deceased manager of the hip-hop group The Roots.

    奇特的是她納入的人 同時有我已故的岳母

  • (Laughter)

    以及嬉哈扎根樂團 (The Roots)的已故經理。

  • Yeah, my mother-in-law told me she was really happy

    (笑聲)

  • her son had chosen me for his wife.

    是的,我的岳母告訴我, 她非常高興

  • Duh! But --

    她兒子選擇和我結婚。

  • (Laughter)

    那還用說!但

  • Yeah.

    (笑聲)

  • But the manager of The Roots

    是啊。

  • said that maybe I should cut back on all the pasta I was eating.

    但扎根樂團的經理

  • I think we can all agree

    說我也許應該要把 我在吃的義大利麵減量。

  • that it was lucky for my husband that it wasn't his dead mother

    我想,我們都認同

  • who suggested I lay off carbs.

    我先生很幸運,不是他的已故母親

  • (Laughter)

    建議我停止吃碳水化合物。

  • I also joined a laughing yoga group out of South Africa;

    (笑聲)

  • witnessed a woman have a 45-minute orgasm --

    我也加入了一個 來自非洲的笑瑜伽團體;

  • I am not making this up --

    我目擊了一位女子, 高潮長達四十五分鐘——

  • as she tapped into the energy of the universe --

    不是我編造的——

  • I think I'm going to go back there --

    當時她是在利用宇宙的能量——

  • (Laughter)

    我想我要再回去那裡——

  • called God from a phone booth in the Nevada desert at Burning Man,

    (笑聲)

  • wearing a unitard and ski goggles;

    在內華達州的燃燒人節慶上 從一間電話亭打電話給神,

  • and I had an old Indian guy lie on top of me,

    穿著彈力緊身衣和滑雪護目鏡;

  • and no, he wasn't my husband.

    我還讓一位老印度人躺在我上面,

  • This was a perfect stranger named Paramji,

    不,他不是我老公。

  • and he was chanting into my chakras

    這位素未平生的陌生人叫帕拉姆先生,

  • as he tapped into the energy forces of the Universe to heal my "yoni,"

    他在對著我的脈輪吟誦,

  • which is a Sanskrit word for "vagina."

    同時他利用宇宙的能量 來治癒我的「yoni」,

  • (Laughter)

    這個字是梵文,意思是「陰道」。

  • I was going to have a slide here,

    (笑聲)

  • but a few people suggested

    我本來要放一張投影片的,

  • that a slide of my yoni at TED -- even TEDWomen --

    但有些人建議,

  • not the best idea.

    在 TED 放我的 yoni 投影片, 就算在 TEDWomen,

  • (Laughter)

    不是個最好的主意。

  • Very early in my quest,

    (笑聲)

  • I also went to see the Brazilian faith healer John of God

    在追尋之旅的非常初期,

  • at his compound down in Brazil.

    我也去見了巴西的 信念治癒者,神的約翰,

  • Now, John of God is considered a full-trance medium,

    地點在巴西,他的院子中。

  • which basically means he can talk to dead people.

    神的約翰被認為是完全出神的靈媒,

  • But in his case, he claims to channel a very specific group

    基本上,這意味著他能和死人說話。

  • of dead saints and doctors

    但在他的案例中,他聲稱 他溝通的是一個非常明確的族群:

  • in order to heal whatever's wrong with you.

    死掉的聖人和醫生,

  • And although John of God does not have a medical degree

    目的是要治癒你的任何問題。

  • or even a high school diploma,

    雖然神的約翰沒有醫學學位,

  • he actually performs surgery --

    他甚至沒有高中畢業,

  • the real kind, with a scalpel,

    他會真的進行手術,

  • but no anesthesia.

    真正的手術,要用解剖刀的,

  • Yeah, I don't know.

    但不用麻醉。

  • He also offers invisible surgery, where there is no cutting,

    是啊,我不知道。

  • and surrogate surgery,

    他也提供隱形手術,不會有切口,

  • where he supposedly can treat somebody who is thousands of miles away

    還有代理手術,

  • by performing a procedure on a loved one.

    用這種手術,他可以 治療在數千英哩外的人,

  • Now, when you go to visit John of God,

    只要把治療程序用在他愛的人身上。

  • there are all kinds of rules and regulations.

    當你去造訪神的約翰時,

  • It's a whole complicated thing,

    有各種規則和規定要遵守。

  • but the bottom line is that you can visit John of God

    那是非常複雜的,

  • and present him with three things that you would like fixed,

    但若能遵守,你最後 就能見到神的約翰,

  • and he will set the dead saints and doctors to work on your behalf

    告訴他三樣你想要修好的事物,

  • to get the job done.

    他會讓死掉的聖人和醫生來代表你

  • (Laughter)

    把事情搞定。

  • Now, before you snicker,

    (笑聲)

  • consider

    在你竊笑之前,

  • that, at least according to his website,

    先想想,

  • over eight million people --

    至少,根據他的網站,

  • including Oprah,

    超過八百萬人——

  • the Goddess of Daytime TV --

    包括歐普拉,

  • have gone to see John of God,

    白天電視節目的女神——

  • and I was pre-wired to keep an open mind.

    都去見過神的約翰,

  • But to be honest, the whole thing for me was kind of weird and inconclusive,

    而我預先就採取了開放的心胸。

  • and in the end, I flew home,

    但,老實說,對我而言, 這整件事挺詭異且沒有說服力,

  • even more confused than I already started out.

    最終,我飛回家,

  • But that doesn't mean I came home empty-handed.

    比我一開始時還更困惑。

  • In the weeks leading up to my trip to Brazil,

    但那並不表示我兩手空空地回家。

  • I mentioned my upcoming plans to some friends

    在我為巴西之旅做準備的那幾週,

  • and to a couple of colleagues at Google,

    我向一些朋友提到我後續的計畫,

  • where I was a lawyer at the time.

    也對 Google 的幾個同事提到,

  • And I might have mentioned it to a couple more people

    當時我在那裡當律師。

  • because I'm chatty,

    我可能還有向一些其他人提到,

  • including my neighbor,

    因為我很愛聊天,

  • the guy who works at the local coffee shop I go to each morning,

    包括我的鄰居、

  • the checkout lady at Whole Foods

    在我每天早上要去的 當地咖啡廳工作的一個人、

  • and a stranger who sat next to me on the subway.

    全食超市結帳台的女員工,

  • I told each of them where I was going

    以及在地鐵上坐 我旁邊的一個陌生人。

  • and why,

    我告訴這些人,我要去哪裡,

  • and I offered to carry three wishes of theirs down to Brazil,

    以及為什麼去,

  • explaining that anyone going to see John of God

    我自願幫他們帶三個願望到巴西,

  • could act as a proxy for others

    我解釋說,任何人 只要去見神的約翰,

  • and save them the trip.

    就能夠當其他人的代理人,

  • And to my surprise, my in-box overflowed.

    幫其他人省下一趟旅行。

  • Friends told friends who told friends,

    我很意外,我的收件匣爆滿了。

  • and those friends apparently told more friends,

    朋友告訴朋友,朋友再告訴朋友,

  • other strangers and the guys at their coffee shops,

    顯然那些朋友又再告訴更多朋友、

  • until it seemed that days before I left for Brazil

    其他陌生人,及在咖啡廳的其他人,

  • that there was no one who did not have my email address.

    當我要前往巴西的前幾天,

  • And at the time, all I could conclude was that I had offered too much

    已經傳到沒人不知道 我的電子郵件地址了。

  • to too many.

    那時,我唯一的結論是, 我自願提供的協助太多,

  • But when I actually reread those messages a few years later,

    且提供給太多人。

  • I noticed something completely different.

    但,幾年後,我重新讀了那些訊息,

  • Those emails actually shared three commonalities,

    我注意到了完全不一樣的東西。

  • the first of which was rather curious.

    那些電子郵件其實有三項共通性,

  • Almost everyone sent me meticulous details about how they could be reached.

    第一項還蠻異常的。

  • I had told them, or their friends had told them,

    幾乎每個人都寄給我太細節的資訊, 說明如何聯絡到他們。

  • that along with the list of the three things they wanted fixed,

    我有告訴過他們, 或他們的朋友有告訴過他們,

  • I needed their photo, their name and their date of birth.

    除了寫一張猜單列出三件 他們想要修補的事情之外,

  • But they gave me full addresses, with, like, apartment numbers and zip codes,

    我也需要他們的 照片、姓名,以及生日。

  • as if John of God was going to stop by their house

    但他們給我完整的地址, 有門牌號碼和郵遞區號,

  • and see them in person or send along a package.

    好像神的約翰會 順道造訪他們家

  • It was as if, in the highly unlikely event that their wishes were granted

    親自會見他們, 或是寄個包裏過去似的。

  • by John of God,

    那就好像是,如果他們的 願望被神的約翰給實現,

  • they just wanted to make sure that they weren't delivered

    雖然不太可能,

  • to the wrong person or the wrong address.

    他們就是想要確保願望不會被送給

  • Even if they didn't believe,

    錯的人或是錯的地址。

  • they were hedging their bets.

    即使他們並不相信,

  • The second commonality was just as curious,

    他們也是腳踏兩條船。

  • but far more humbling.

    第二項共通性也一樣異常,

  • Virtually everyone --

    但更會讓人謙卑。

  • the stranger on the subway,

    差不多是每個人——

  • the guy at the coffee shop,

    地鐵上的陌生人、

  • the lawyer down the hall,

    咖啡廳的人、

  • the Jew, the atheist, the Muslim, the devout Catholic --

    走道另一頭的律師、

  • all asked for essentially the same three things.

    猶太人、無神論者、 穆斯林、虔誠的天主教徒——

  • OK, there were a couple of outliers, and yes, a few people asked for cash.

    基本上,都想要同樣的三樣東西。

  • But when I eliminated what were ultimately a handful of anomalies,

    是有些離群值,而且有人想要現金。

  • the similarities were staggering.

    但當我把一些最終被歸為 離群值的資料去除之後,

  • Almost every single person

    相似性挺驚人的。

  • first asked for good health for themselves and their families.

    幾乎每個人

  • Almost universally,

    都先祈求自己與家人的健康。

  • they next asked for happiness

    幾乎所有人

  • and then love,

    接著就會祈求快樂,

  • in that order:

    然後就是愛。

  • health, happiness, love.

    依這個順序:

  • Sometimes they asked for a specific health issue to be fixed,

    健康、快樂、愛。

  • but more often than not, they just asked for good health in general.

    有時,他們會明確祈求 某個健康議題能被解決,

  • When it came to happiness,

    但多數時候他們祈求一般性的健康。

  • they each phrased it slightly differently,

    至於快樂,

  • but they all asked for the same specific subtype of happiness, too --

    他們每個人的表達方式都不太一樣,

  • the kind of happiness that sinks in

    但他們也都會明確希望 能得到某種類的快樂——

  • and sets down roots in your soul;

    能滲入你的靈魂當中,

  • the kind of happiness that could sustain us,

    並且在那兒深深紮根的那種快樂;

  • even if we were to lose absolutely everything else.

    即使在我們肯定會失去其他一切,

  • And for love,

    仍然會支持著我們的那種快樂。

  • they all asked for the kind of romantic love,

    至於愛,

  • the soul mate that we read about