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On Pleasure
添加时间: 2013-9-27 16:11:49 点击次数: 5870 次 返 回

On Pleasure

 

Since pleasure is the first good and natural to us, for this very reason we do not choose every pleasure, but sometimes we pass over many pleasures, when greater discomfort accrues to us as the result of them: and similarly we think many pains better than pleasures, since a greater pleasure comes to us when we have endured pains for a long time. Every pleasure then because of its natural kinship to us is good, yet not every pleasure is to be chosen; even as every pain also is an evil, yet not all are always of a nature to be avoided. Yet by a scale of comparison and by the consideration of advantages and disadvantages we must form our judgment on all these matters. For the good on certain occasions we treat as bad, and conversely the bad as good.

 

   We must consider that of desires some are natural, others vain, and of the natural some are necessary and others merely natural; of the necessary some are necessary for happiness, others for the repose of the body, and still others for very life...

 

   Unhappiness comes either through fear or through vain and unbridled desire, but if a man curbs these, he can win for himself the blessedness of understanding ... Of desires, all that do not lead to a sense of pain, if they are not satisfied, are not necessary, but involve a craving which is easily dispelled, when the object is hard to procure or they seem likely to produce harm... Wherever in the case of desires which are natural, but do not lead to a sense of pain, if they are not fulfilled, the effort is intense, such pleasures are due to idle imagination, and it is not owing to their own nature that they fail to be dispelled, but owing to the empty imaginings of the man...

 

   The disturbance of the soul cannot be ended, nor true joy created either by the possession of the greatest wealth or by honor and respect in the eyes of the mob or by anything else that is associated with causes of unlimited desires ... We must not violate nature, but obey her; we shall obey her if we fulfill the necessary desires and also the natural, if they bring no harm to us ... The man who follows nature and not vain opinions is independent in all things. For in reference to what is enough for nature every possession is riches, but in reference to unlimited desires even the greatest wealth is not riches but poverty.

 

  Insofar as you are in difficulties, it is because you forget nature; for you create for yourself unlimited fears and desires. It is better for you to be free of fear lying upon a pallet, than to have a golden couch and a rich table and be full of trouble.