有声双语阅读 | 我们周围隐秘的世界

2020-11-09 09:16:23  每日学英语
The Hidden World Around Us


By Professor Harry A Overstreet


Ever since Socrates was introduced to my adolescent mind he has been one chief master of my thinking. What he believed still seems to me to be indispensable for carrying on an intelligent and responsible life. He believed that he did not know. For myself, I have come to change his negative into a positive. I know that there is far more in this universe for me to know than I now know.


I recently had a dramatic illustration of this. My wife and I, driving through Arizona, stopped at a “collector’s shop” in Tucson, where stones and minerals of many kinds were on display. In the course of the visit, we were taken into a small room where rocks were laid out on shelves. They were quite ordinary-looking rocks. Had I seen them on some hillside, I would not have given them a second thought. Then the man closed the door so that the room was in total darkness and turned on an ultraviolet lamp.


Instantly the prosaic rocks leaped into a kind of glory. Brilliant colors of an indescribable beauty were there before our eyes.


A very simple thing—and yet a very tremendous thing—had happened. A certain power had been snapped on; and a hidden world leaped into life.


As I look at my universe and walk among my fellow humans, I have the deep belief that hidden realities are all around us. These hidden realities are there in the physical world; and they are there, also, in the human world. If I am foolish enough to think that I see all there is to be seen in front of my eyes, I simply miss the glory.


I believe, then, that my chief job in life—and my astonishing privilege—is to snap on an extra power so that I can see what my naked eyes—or my naked mind—cannot now see. I believe that I have to do this particularly with my human fellows. My ordinary eyes tend to stop short at those opaque envelopes we call human bodies. But we have learned that by turning on a certain power we can penetrate to the inside of these envelopes.


We call this extra power “imagination.” At its highest, we call it “empathy,” the power to see through and to feel through to the inner life of other human beings. It is a kind of ultraviolet lamp of our psychic life. When we turn on this lamp of imaginative sensitivity, we make the prosaic human beings around us come excitingly alive. Zona Gale once set down as the first article of her creed: “I believe in expanding the areas of my awareness.” I’d do the same. If I expand the areas of my awareness, I move understandingly into realities beyond me. When I move into them understandingly, I know what I can do and what I should do. If I don’t move in understandingly, if I stay in ignorance on the outside, then, in all likelihood, I will do mistaken things.


The great principle of love depends on this. He who loves another tries truly to understand the other. We can reverse this: he who tries truly to understand another is not likely to hate that other.


Socrates gave no finished catalogue of the “truths” of the world. He gave, rather, the impulse to search. This is far better, I feel, than dogmatic certainty. When we are aware that there are glories of life still hidden from us, we walk humbly before the Great Unknown. But we do more than this: we try manfully to increase our powers of seeing and feeling so that we can turn what is still unknown into what is warmly and understandingly known…This, I believe, is our great human adventure.