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自我实现真的是人的终极追求吗?

更新时间:2017-9-21 11:50:51 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

When Life Asks for Everythin
自我实现真的是人的终极追求吗?

I’d like to offer you two models of human development.

我想向你介绍两种人类发展模型。

The first is what you might call The Four Kinds of Happiness. The lowest kind of happiness is material pleasure, having nice food and clothing and a nice house. Then there is achievement, the pleasure we get from earned and recognized success. Third, there is generativity, the pleasure we get from giving back to others. Finally, the highest kind of happiness is moral joy, the glowing satisfaction we get when we have surrendered ourselves to some noble cause or unconditional love.

第一个模型,你可以称为“四种幸福”。最低等的幸福是物质享受,也就是享用美味的食物、精致的服装和漂亮的房子。然后是成就感,也就是我们从赢得或被承认的成功中获得的喜悦。第三种是贡献力,也就是我们从回馈他人中获得的快乐。最高等级的幸福是道德上的快乐,也就是我们把自己奉献给某种高尚的事业或无条件的爱时获得的强烈满足感。

The second model is Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs. In this conception, we start out trying to satisfy our physical needs, like hunger or thirst. Once those are satisfied we move up to safety needs, economic and physical security. Once those are satisfied we can move up to belonging and love. Then when those are satisfied we can move up to self-esteem. And when that is satisfied we can move up to the pinnacle of development, self-actualization, which is experiencing autonomy and living in a way that expresses our authentic self.

第二个模型是著名的马斯洛需求层次理论。根据这一理论,我们首先努力满足生理需求,比如饥饿和口渴。一旦生理需求得到满足,我们就转向安全需求,也就是经济和物质上的安全感。一旦安全感得到满足,我们就转向归属感和爱。当它们得到满足后,我们开始追求自尊。自尊得到满足后,我们开始追求发展的巅峰——自我实现,也就是体验自由意志,以表现真实自我的方式生活。

The big difference between these two schemes is that The Four Kinds of Happiness moves from the self-transcendence individual to the relational and finally to the transcendent and collective. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, on the other hand, moves from the collective to the relational and, at its peak, to the individual. In one the pinnacle of human existence is in quieting and transcending the self; in the other it is liberating and actualizing the self.

这两种体系之间的巨大差异在于,“四种幸福”理论认为自我实现是从自我超越的个体走向人际关系,最终走向卓越与集体的发展。另一方面,马斯洛的需求层次从集体转向人际关系,其巅峰则是个体的发展。人类存在体验的巅峰一方面在于超越自我;另一方面在于解放和实现自我。

Most religions and moral systems have aimed for self-quieting and, figuring that the great human problem is selfishness. But around the middle of the 20th century, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers and others aimed to liberate and enlarge the self. They brought us the self-esteem movement, humanistic psychology, and their thinking is still very influential today.

大多数宗教和道德体系都是为了实现内心的平静,认为自私是人类的大问题。但在20世纪中叶,亚伯拉罕·马斯洛(Abraham Maslow),卡尔·罗杰斯(Carl Rogers)等人则致力于自我的解放和扩展。他们给我们带来了自尊运动与人文心理学,他们的思想至今仍然很有影响力。

For example, on Tuesday one of America’s leading marriage researchers, Eli J. Finkel, publishes an important book called “The All-or-Nothing Marriage.” It’s quite a good book, full of interesting insights on contemporary marriage. But it conceives marriage completely within the Maslow frame.

例如,美国最重要的婚姻研究者之一埃利·J·芬克尔(Eli J. Finkel)于周二出版了一本名为《要么十全十美,要么一无是处的婚姻》的重要书籍。这本书非常精彩,充满了对当代婚姻的有趣见解。但它完全是依据马斯洛的框架来解释婚姻。

In this conception, a marriage exists to support the individual self-actualization of each of the partners. In a marriage, the psychologist Otto Rank wrote, “one individual is helping the other to develop and grow, without infringing too much on the other’s personality.” You should choose the spouse who will help you elicit the best version of yourself. Spouses coach each other as each seeks to realize his or her most authentic self.

在这种观念下,婚姻是为了以支持双方个体得到自我实现。心理学家奥托·兰克(Otto Rank)写道,在婚姻中,“一个人帮助另一个人发展、成长,同时不过多侵犯对方的个性。”你的配偶应当帮助你实现最好的自己。每个人都要努力去认识最真实的自我,与此同时,配偶双方也要相互指导对方。

“Increasingly,” Finkel writes, “Americans view this definition as a crucial component of the marital relationship.”

芬克尔写道:“越来越多的美国人认为这一定义是婚姻关系中的重要组成部分。”

Now I confess, this strikes me as a cold and detached conception of marriage. If you go into marriage seeking self-actualization, you will always feel frustrated because marriage, and especially parenting, will constantly be dragging you away from the goals of self.

现在我承认,我觉得这种婚姻观念冷漠而疏离。如果你是为了追求自我实现而结婚,那么你会经常感到沮丧,因为婚姻,特别是育儿,会不断地拖着你远离自我目标。

In the Four Happiness frame, by contrast, marriage can be a school in joy. You might go into marriage in a fit of passion, but, if all works out, pretty soon you’re chopping vegetables side by side in the kitchen, chasing a naked toddler as he careens giddily down the hall after bath -time, staying up nights anxiously waiting for your absent teenager, and every once in a while looking out over a picnic table at the whole crew on some summer evening, feeling a wave of gratitude sweep over you, and experiencing a joy that is greater than anything you could feel as a “self.”

相比之下,在“四种幸福”这个框架中,婚姻可以成为一个喜悦的学校。你可以因为一时激情而结婚,但是如果一切顺利,很快你们就会肩并肩地在厨房里切蔬菜;追逐一个洗完澡光着身子在厅里歪歪斜斜到处乱跑的小孩;整夜不睡,焦急地等待着没回家的青少年子女;每隔一段时间,在夏夜的野餐桌边看着全家人,内心涌上一阵感激,体验到一种更高的喜悦,这是仅以“自我”的身份完全无法体验到的。

And it all happens precisely because the self melded into a single unit called the marriage. Your identity changed. The distinction between giving and receiving, altruism and selfishness faded away because in giving to the unit you are giving to a piece of yourself.

这一切恰恰是因为你的自我融入了一个名为婚姻的单元之中。你的身份发生了改变。在为这个单元做贡献的同时,你投入了一部分自我,因此给予和接受,利他主义和利己主义之间的区别消失了。

It’s not just in marriage, but in everything, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has always pointed toward a chilly, unsatisfying version of self-fulfillment. Most people experience their deepest sense of meaning not when they have placidly met their other needs, but when they come together in crisis.

不仅仅是结婚,而且在一切事情上,马斯洛的需求层次理论一贯指向一种冷静而难以得到满足的自我实现。然而,大多数人不是在其他需求得到满足的平静状态下体会到最深刻的人生意义,而是在遇到危机的时候才能体会到。

Rabbi Wolfe Kelman’s life was fraught with every insecurity when he marched with Dr. King in Selma, but, he reported: “We felt connected, in song, to the transcendental, the ineffable. We felt triumph and celebration. We felt that things change for the good and nothing is congealed forever. That was a warming, transcendental spiritual experience. Meaning and purpose and mission were beyond exact words.”

在塞尔玛同马丁·路德·金博士一起游行的时候,伍尔夫·凯尔曼(Wolfe Kelman)拉比的生活中充满了各种不安全感,但他写道:“在歌声中,我们感觉自己同某些超凡脱俗、难以言喻的东西联系在一起。我们体验着胜利与欢庆。我们觉得事情永远不一样了,没有什么是永远一成不变的。那是一种温暖、超越自身的精神体验。是超越了语言的意义、目的和使命。”

In one of his many interesting data points, Finkel reports that starting around 1995, both fathers and mothers began spending a lot more time looking after their children. Today, parents spend almost three times more hours in shared parenting than parents in 1975 did. Finkel says this is an extension of the Maslow/Rogers pursuit of self-actualization.

芬克尔的书中列举了许多有趣的数据,其中一则指出,从1995年开始,父亲和母亲都开始花更多的时间照顾孩子。如今,父母用于共同养育子女的时间比1975年的父母多三倍。芬克尔说,这是马斯洛/罗杰斯追求自我实现理论的延伸。

I’d say it’s evidence of a repudiation of it. I’d say many of today’s parents are moving away from the me-generation ethos and toward covenant, fusion and surrendering love.

我却认为这是对马斯洛理论的否定。我认为,如今许多父母正在摆脱我们这一代人的道德观,走向注重契约与融合,并且相互让步的爱情。

None of us lives up to our ideals in marriage or anything else. But at least we can aim high. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs too easily devolves into self-absorption. It’s time to put it away.

我们当中没有任何人能够实现我们在婚姻或其他方面的理想。但是我们至少可以制定高一点的目标。马斯洛的需求层次很容易转化为过度自我中心。现在是时候丢弃它了。

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