# 時間的錯覺

" Time present and time past / Are both perhaps present in time future . / And time future contained in time past. / If all time is eternally present , / All time is unredeemable. " The opening lines of TS Eliot's Burnt Norton, the first of his Four Quartets, were written in the 1930s. , but while they may be familiar to many of you listening, I wonder if any of us have really stopped to consider their fault full import. True, Eliot sounds a speculative of know without note with that " perhaps" in the second line. , yet his meaning still seems clear enough . - if our perception of time is as moving ever forward like a river , is purely subjective. In , and the whole span of time , - together with all actual events - has already transpired. And , then nothing we will ever do or say can alter the future, let alone the past. The internation inclination is, I think, to relate Eliot's inside insight directly to notions of free willthen , and hence tomorrow to moral responsibility . - the attribution of which is the thing that most preoccupies us in our social existence. However, I don't really want to discuss that , but instead , focus on time itself, and our conception of it.

The fourth dimension appears so much slipperier to us than the first three . - so slippery, indeed, that when we attempt to fix it in our minds , it slithers away from our grasp in a thankly faintly nauseating way. Consider this , - if we reject Eliot inside Eliot's insight and cleave to the view of that the past, together with everything in it, no longer exists, while the future is has yet to come into being. , then all of reality must be bounded by what we think of as the present.

• Words worth to be remembered:
• I wonder if any of us have really stopped to consider their full import: 但你们也许从来没有思考过它们的意义。
• speculative: adj. 推测出的；投机的
• subjective: adj. 主观的；个人的；自觉的
• unredeemable [‘ʌnrɪ’di:məbl]adj.不能收回的，不能赎回的 例句： They will be unredeemable for two years, and will be redeemed in eight years. 必须保存2年， 8年内偿还。
• transpire: v. 使蒸发；蒸发；发散 : 例句： We don't know what will transpire when we have a new boss. 当我们有位新老板时,不知会发生什么。
• let alone: 更不必说；听任；不打扰
• inclination: n. 倾向；意愿；倾斜度
• attribution: n. 归属；属性；归属物；归因判断
• preoccupy: v. 使出神；抢先占有
• slipperier: adj. 滑的；狡猾的；不稳定的 (slippery的变形)
• slither: vi. 蜿蜒地滑行 vt. 使滑动 n. 滑动；滑行
• nauseating: adj. 令人恶心的；厌恶的 v. 使恶心（nauseate的ing形式）
• cleave: v. 劈开，使分开；坚守；披荆斩棘地前进；粘住
• cleave to: 粘着；坚持 例句： The tribe cleave to their old belief even after the european arrive。即使在欧洲人到来之后,这些部落仍固守著它们古老的信仰.
• 托马斯‧史特恩‧艾略特(Thomas Stearns Eliot 1888-1965) 是位出版者、剧作家、文学、社会评论者，及二十世纪最受争议的重要英语诗人，生于美国，在1914年搬至英国。他以《J.阿弗雷德•普鲁弗洛克的情歌》(The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock)奠定诗名，是现代主义运动的重要作品，写于1910年，在1915年发表；此诗具有很浓的讽刺意味，刻画当时社会背景下，人们对爱情及生活的复杂心理。他重要的诗作包括《Poems》(诗集1919)、《The Waste Land》(荒原1922)、《The Hollowmen》(中空的人1925)、《Ash Wednesday》(圣灰星期三1930)及《Four Quartets》(四个四重奏1945)。他写过七部剧本，其中以《Murder in the Cathedral》(教堂谋杀1935)为着。他在1948年以《Order of Merit》得诺贝尔文学奖。《焦灼的诺顿》（Burnt Norton）是 《四个四重奏》(Four Quartets)中的第一首诗；他书写时间与救赎(Time and Redemption)的特质，他的意旨在强调个人对目前状况及了解宇宙秩序的需要。

## 譯文

“现在和过去的时光， 也许都存在于未来之中，且未来的时光包含于过往。假如所有时间都永恒存在，所有时间都无法履行。”这是写于20世纪30年代，艾略特《四个四重奏》中《焦灼的诺顿》的开场白。虽然你们可能很熟悉这几句，但你们也许从来没有思考过它们的意义。诚然，因为一个词“也许”，艾略特的语气听起来不是十分确定，但他的意思已经很清晰：如果时间向一条河流一样滚滚向前只是我们的主观臆测（译者注：就是时间没有先后），所有的时间和事件都已经发生，那么我们就根本无力改变未来，更别说过去了（译者注：看过interstellar的人可以联想电影中四维空间的相关镜头）。人会倾向于将艾略特的这个观点和自由意志以及道德责任联系起来，毕竟这是人作为社会动物最为关心的问题。不过，在这里我只想着眼于时间本身，探讨一下人对时间的感知。

##### Chaochen Wang 王　超辰
###### Assistant Professor

All models are wrong, but some are useful.