讀《莊子》和《物性論》時，可以發現這兩部傑作經常表現人類對死 亡的恐懼。顯然兩部作品的哲學立場― 道和原子論，與表達它們的用語 ― 神秘性的寫法和邏輯性的論證，都相距遙遠。儘管如此，即使兩部作 品中作者都認為聖人或賢人應居於不被外在事件干擾的安寧裡，但他們也 都對人類命運表現出了極大的同情。對死亡的恐懼會傷害到生命，因為野 心、對權力和財富的渴望等― 這種恐懼帶來的後果― 足以污染生命的 本質。兩位作家提供的療癒之道都是相同的:人們要了解自己只不過是宇 宙中的一小部分。這種恐懼並不是從一開始就困擾著人類，而是在某個歷 史階段出現，從那時起人類就迷失了方向。如果這種焦慮不是人類本性的 一部分，而是一些因素導致的結果，那麼克服這種焦慮並解除它是可能的。 從這個角度來看，《莊子》和《物性論》都表現出對改善人類處境的信心。 綜上所述，這篇文章中，我將試圖以人類對死亡的恐懼為主題，展開詳細 的研究。為避免兩部作品間出現任何邏輯性的重疊，我將會把這個主題納 入兩個作者不同的哲學立場脈絡來進行討論。
Reading the pages of Zhuangzi and De rerum natura, one could easily be struck by the frequency with which the two works address the human fear of death. Obvi- ously, the respective philosophical positions –Taoism and atomism – and the tone in which they are expressed – mysticism for the first and logical and consequential ar- gumentation for the second – couldn’t be more distant. However, even though both authors maintain that the sage should live in a dimension of achieved imperturbabil- ity, nonetheless they show a notable degree of compassion for the human fate. The fear of death is considered extremely harmful to life, because, with its result of ambi- tion, careerism, desire for power and wealth, it contaminates the very essence of the life. Thus, the fear of death is linked to the inability to live. For both works, the cure is not to isolate man, but to contextualize him within the cosmos of which he is a part. It also appears that human life has not always been troubled by such fears, which materialized in a precise historical moment, when at the rise of the first state forma- tions, man lost his way. Then, given that anxiety is not part of human nature, but is the result of induced fears, it is possible to fight it and eliminate it. Seen in this way, Zhuangzi and De rerum natura appear animated by a similar confidence in human- kind’s capacity for improvement. In the light of what has just been said, this study seeks to examine the approach to this problematic in the two works in as much detail as possible. In order to avoid imposition of one text on the other, the theme will be placed within a broader discourse on their respective philosophical positions.