曖昧な噯

オーウェルの引用を転載。英語だけでごめん。

Here's a quote from Orwell.


Close friendships, Gandhi says, are dangerous, because "friends react on one another" and through loyalty to a friend one can be led into wrongdoing. This is unquestionably true. Moreover, if one is to love God, or to love humanity as a whole, one cannot give one's preference to any individual person. This again is true, and it marks the point at which the humanistic and the religious attitude cease to be reconcilable. To an ordinary human being, love means nothing it if does not mean loving some people more than others.... There must be, he says, some limit to what we will do to stay alive.... This attitude is perhaps a noble one, but, in the sense which—I think—most people would give to the word, it is inhuman. The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not pursue asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitalbe price of fastening one's love upon other human beings. No doubt alcohol, tobacco, and so forth, are things that a saint must avoid, but sainthood is also a thing that human beings must avoid. There is an obvious retort to this, but one should be wary about making it. In this yogi-ridden age, it is too readily assumed that "non-attachment" is not only better than a full acceptance of earthly life, but that the ordinary man only rejects it because it is too difficult; in other words, that the average human being is a failed saint. It is doubtful whether this is true. Many people genuinely do not wish to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings. If one could follow it to its psychological roots, one would, I believe, find that the main motive for "non-attachment" is a desire to escape from the pain of living, and above all from love, which sexual or non-sexual, is hard work. But it is not necessary here to argue whether the other-worldly or the humanistic ideal is "higher". The point is that they are incompatible. One must choose between God and Man...

 

—"Reflections on Gandhi"

友情は危険。オーウェルが言うとおりに、友情に左右されて悪を犯す危険もあるけれど、もう一つの危険もある。それは、他人に知られるという危険。

Close friendships are also dangerous because they expose one to the risk of being known by others.


神秘的に「みんな」を愛する前に、果たして誰か一人の人、あるいは数人の人を愛しなくてもいいのか。一人でも「この人だけを」愛することによって自分に、自分が愛せる人だと証明しなくてもいいのか。

Can one love "everyone" without first proving the capability to love by loving just one person, or a small number of them? It seems self-deceptive to imagine that one can leap-frog straight to mystic, universal love.


僕も昔「無念」を憧れることがあった。憧れる動機は臆病だった。

I also once idealized non-attachment; my motive was cowardice.


オーウェルが最後に書く「神か人間か選ばざるを得ない」を少し書き換えてみると、僕は「神か人間か自己か選ばざるを得ない」というふうに書くかもしれない。しかし問題は、オーウェルが立証したように神と人間は相容れない選択肢だし、そして同じように人間と自己も相容れない選択肢かもしれないけれど、人間だけを除いて神と自己だけにすることは可能であるし、世の中によくあることだと思う。

I might reformulate Orwell's last line ("One must choose between God and Man") as, "One must choose between God, The People Around and Self." However, while, as he demonstrates, God and The People Around are incompatible choices, and The People Around and Self may also be incompatible (though this is debatable), it is both possible and quite common to choose God and Self, leaving out only The People Around.