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The Conquest of Happiness(松下彰良・訳)

Back Next  Part I(Causes of Unhappiness), Chap.2: Byronic unhappiness  Contents(総目次)

* 右カット写真:京都東山「哲学の道」(2004.11.07 撮影)






.... I lived too long myself in the Victorian age to be a modern according to Mr. Krutch's standards. I have by no means lost my belief in love, but the kind of love that I can believe in is not the kind that the Victorians admired; it is adventurous and open-eyed, and, while it gives knowledge of good, it does not involve forgetfulness of evil, nor does it pretend to be sanctified or holy. The attribution of these qualities to the kind of love that was admired was an outcome of the sex taboo. The Victorian was profoundly convinced that most sex is evil, and had to attach exaggerated adjectives to the kind of which he could approve. There was more sex hunger than there is now, and this no doubt caused people to exaggerate the importance of sex just as the ascetics have always done. We are at the present day passing through a somewhat confused period, when many people have thrown over the old standards without acquiring new ones. This leads them into various troubles, and as their unconscious usually still believes in the old standards, the troubles, when they come, produce despair, remorse, and cynicism. I do not think the number of people to whom this happens is very large, but they are among the most vocal people of our time. I believe that if one took the average of well-to-do young people in our day and in the Victorian epoch, one would find that there is now a great deal more happiness in connection with love, and a great deal more genuine belief in the value of love than there was sixty years ago. The reasons which lead certain persons to cynicism are connected with the tyranny of the old ideals over the unconscious, and with the absence of a rational ethic by which present-day people can regulate their conduct. The cure lies not in lamentation and nostalgia for the past, but in a more courageous acceptance of the modern outlook and a determination to root out nominally discarded superstitions from all their obscure hiding places.