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The Conquest of Happiness, by Bertrand Russell

Back Next  Part I, Chap.1 イントロ索引Contents(総目次)

 私が唱道したい人生哲学・世界観への最良の導入は,多分自伝を少し語ることにあるだろう。私は,幸福のもとに生まれなかった。(松下注:4歳までにラッセルの両親は死亡)子供のころ,私のお気に入りの賛美歌は,「この世に倦(う)み,罪を背負いて」(♪関連サイト1 ♪2 ♪3)であった。5歳のとき私は,もし70歳まで生きるとすればまだ生涯の14分の1耐え忍んだにすぎない,ということを繰り返し考え,この先続く長い退屈は,ほとんど耐えがたいものに思われた。思春期には私は人生を憎み,たえず自殺寸前の状態にいたが,もっと数学について知りたいという欲求から,なんとか自殺を思いとどまった。



 次第に私は,自分自身と自分の欠点に無関心になることを学んだ。(そして)徐々に注意を外界の事物に集中するようになった。(たとえば)世界の状況,知識のさまざまな分野,私が愛情を感じた人たちなどである。外界に対して種々の関心を持てば,確かに,いずれも苦しみの種になる可能性はある。世界は戦争に突入するかもしれないし,ある方面の知識はなかなか手に入らないかもしれないし,友人は死ぬかもしれない。しかし,こういった種類の苦しみは,自己嫌悪からわき出てくる苦しみと違って,人生の本質部分を破壊することはない。そして,対外的興味・関心は,いかなるものでも全て何らかの活動を刺激・促進し,(また)それらの興味が消えないかぎり,倦怠(感)を完全に予防してくれる。反対に,自分自身に対する興味・関心は,進歩的な活動に導くことは決してない。そういった興味は,日記をつけるとか,精神分析を受けるとか,もしかすると修道士になることに導くかもしれない。しかし,修道士になったとしても,修道院の日常業務(ルーティンワーク)のために自分の魂のことを忘れてしまうようになるまでは,幸福にはなれないだろう。彼が宗教のおかげで得られたとする幸福は,やむをえず交差点掃除人(注:crossing sweeper 当時のロンドンにはこのような職業があったそうです!)になっていたとしても得られたことだろう。極端に自己没入しており,他のいかなる方法でも治療のしようがないような不幸な人びとにとって,(面)的な訓練こそ幸福に至る唯一の道である。  
Perhaps the best introduction to the philosophy which I wish to advocate will be a few words of autobiography. I was not born happy. As a child, my favourite hymn was: 'Weary of earth and laden with my sin'. At the age of five, I reflected that, if I should live to be seventy, I had only endured, so far, a fourteenth part of my whole life, and I felt the long-spread-out boredom ahead of me to be almost unendurable. In adolescence, I hated life and was continually on the verge of suicide, from which, however, I was restrained by the desire to know more mathematics.
Now, on the contrary, I enjoy life; I might almost say that with every year that passes I enjoy it more. This is due partly to having discovered what were the things that I most desired and having gradually acquired many of these things. Partly it is due to having successfully dismissed certain objects of desire - such as the acquisition of indubitable knowledge about something or other - as essentially unattainable. But very largely it is due to a diminishing preoccupation with myself.
Like others who had a Puritan education, I had the habit of meditating on my sins, follies, and shortcomings. I seemed to myself - no doubt justly - a miserable specimen.
Gradually I learned to be indifferent to myself and my deficiencies; I came to centre my attention increasingly upon external objects: the state of the world, various branches of knowledge, individuals for whom I felt affection. External interests, it is true, bring each its own possibility of pain: the world may be plunged in war, knowledge in some direction may be hard to achieve, friends may die. But pains of these kinds do not destroy the essential quality of life, as do those that spring from disgust with self. And every external interest inspires some activity which, so long as the interest remains alive, is a complete preventive of ennui. Interest in oneself, on the contrary, leads to no activity of a progressive kind. It may lead to the keeping of a diary, to getting psycho-analysed, or perhaps to becoming a monk. But the monk will not be happy until the routine of the monastery has made him forget his own soul. The happiness which he attributes to religion he could have obtained from becoming a crossing-sweeper, provided he were compelled to remain one. External discipline is the only road to happiness for those unfortunates whose self-absorption is too profound to be cured in any other way.