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英文译文据John Burnet's Early Greek Philosophy，中文译文据商务版《西方哲学原著选读》。
(1) The car that bears me carried me as far as ever my heart desired, when it had brought me and set me on the renowned way of the goddess, which leads the man who knows through all the towns. On that way was I carried along; for on it the wise steeds carried me, drawing my car, and maidens showed the way. And the axle, glowing in the socket -- for it was urged round by the whirling wheels at each end -- gave a sound like a pipe, when the daughters of the Sun, to convey me into the light, threw back their veils from off their faces and left the abode of Night.
There are the gates of the ways of Night and Day, fitted above with a lintel and below with a threshold of stone. They themselves, high in the air, are closed by mighty doors, and Avenging justice keeps the keys that fit them. Her did the maidens entreat with gentle words and cunningly persuade to unfasten without demur the bolted bars from the gates. Then, when the doors were thrown back, they disclosed a wide opening, when their brazen posts fitted with rivets and nails swung back one after the other. Straight through them, on the broad way, did the maidens guide the horses and the car, and the goddess greeted me kindly, and took my right hand in hers, and spoke to me these words:
Welcome, O youth, that come to my abode on the car that bears you tended by immortal charioteers! It is no ill chance, but right and justice that has sent you to travel on this way. Far, indeed, does it lie from the beaten track of people! It is proper for you to learn all things, as well the unshaken heart of well-rounded truth, as the opinions of mortals in which is no true belief at all. Yet none the less will you learn these things also, -- how passing right through all things one should judge the things that seem to be.
But do you restrain your thought from this way of inquiry, nor let habit by its much experience force you to cast upon this way a wandering eye or sounding ear or tongue; but judge by argument the much disputed proof uttered by me. There is only one way left that can be spoken of ...
The Way of Truth
(2) Look steadfastly with your mind at things though afar as if they were at hand. You can not cut off what is from holding fast to what is, neither scattering itself abroad in order nor coming together.
(3) It is all one to me where I begin; for I will come back again there.
(4, 5) Come now, I will tell you -- and do you listen to my saying and carry it away -- the only two ways of search that can be thought of. The first, namely, that it is, and that it is impossible for it not to be, is the way of belief, for truth is its companion. The other, namely, that it is not, and that it must needs not be,-that, I tell you, is a path that none can learn of at all. For you can not know what is not-that is impossible-nor utter it; for it is the same thing that can be thought and that can be.
(6) It must be that what can be spoken and thought is; for it is possible for it to be, and it is not possible for what is nothing to be. This is what I bid you ponder. I hold you back from this first way of inquiry, and from this other also, upon which mortals knowing nothing wander two-faced; for helplessness guides the wandering thought in their breasts, so that they are carried along stupefied like people deaf and blind. Unreasonable crowds, who hold that it is and is not the same and not the same, all things travel in opposite directions!
(7) For this will never be proved, that the things that are not are; and do you restrain your thought from this way of inquiry.
(8) One path only is left for us to speak of, namely, that it is. In this path are very many tokens that what is is uncreated and indestructible; for it is complete, immovable, and without end. Nor was it ever, nor will it be; for now it is, all at once, a continuous one. For what kind of origin for it will you look for? In what way and from what source could it have drawn its increase? . . . I will not let you say nor think that it came from what is not; for it can neither be thought nor uttered that anything is not. And, if it came from nothing, what need could have made it arise later rather than sooner? Therefore must it either be altogether or be not at all. Nor will the force of truth suffer anything to arise besides itself from that which is not. For this reason, justice does not loose her fetters and let anything come into being or pass away, but holds it fast. Our judgment thereon depends on this: "Is it or is it not?" Surely it is decided, as it must be, that we are to set aside the one way as unthinkable and nameless (for it is no true way), and that the other path is real and true. How, then, can what is be going to be in the future? Or how could it come into being? If it came into being, it is not; nor is it if it is going to be in the future. Thus is becoming extinguished and passing away not to be heard of.
Nor is it divisible, since it is all alike, and there is no more of it in one place than in another, to hinder it from holding together, nor less of it, but everything is full of what is. For this reason it is wholly continuous; for what is, is in contact with what is.
Moreover, it is immovable in the bonds of mighty chains, without beginning and without end; since coming into being and passing away have been driven afar, and true belief has cast them away. It is the same, and it rests in the self-same place, abiding in itself. And thus it remains constant in its place; for hard necessity keeps it in the bonds of the limit that holds it fast on every side. For this reason it is not permitted to what is to be infinite; for it is in need of nothing; while, if it were infinite, it would stand in need of everything.
The thing that can be thought and that for the sake of which the thought exists is the same; for you cannot find thought without something that is, as to which it is uttered. And there is not, and never will be, anything besides what is, since fate has chained it so as to be whole and immovable. For this reason all these things are but names which mortals have given, believing them to be true-coming into being and passing away, being and not being, change of place and alteration of bright color.
Since, then, it has a furthest limit, it is complete on every side, like the mass of a rounded sphere, equally poised from the center in every direction; for it cannot be greater or smaller in one place than in another. For there is no nothing that could keep it from reaching out equally, nor can anything that is be more here and less there than what is, since it is all inviolable. For the point from which it is equal in every direction tends equally to the limits.
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