Sunday, December 16, 2007

"Hurrah for Karamazov!"

I just accomplished a major goal of mine. I finally finished reading The Brothers Karamazov. A couple of years ago I also took on the task of reading Crime and Punishment by the same author (Fyodor Dostoevsky). Both were chosen voluntarily, and no I am not a masochist, for those of you who don't read. I can't really sum up what a wonderful, inspiring book this was, so I thought I'd post a few quotes that really impressed me and enticed me to take a pen to my book. Dostoevsky covers topics ranging from the question of life after death, to infatuation, to the devil, to fathers, to murder and deceit, the existence of God, and on and on. If you're ever feeling adventurous or feel like you need a little culture in your life, read it.
"Strive to love your neighbour actively and indefatigably. In as far as you advance in love you will grow surer of the reality of God and of the immortality of your soul. If you attain to perfect self-forgetfulness in the love of your neighbour, then you will believe without doubt, and no doubt can possibly enter your soul. This has been tried. This is certain."

"Do what you can, and it will be reckoned unto you."

"What seems to you bad within you will grow purer from the very fact of your observing it in yourself."

"...the stupider one is, the closer one is to reality. The stupider one is, the clearer one is. Stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence wriggles and hides itself. Intelligence is a knave, but stupidity is honest and straightforward."

"For any one to love a man, he must be hidden, for as soon as he shows his face, love is gone....the face of man often hinders many people not practised in love, from loving him."
There are several knocks towards what seems like a particular religion. When I was in Argentina, one of the ministers knew that what he was teaching was false, but he asked us, "Would you have the heart to tell an 80 year old woman who's been coming every mass to pray to her saints that her whole life has been a lie?" Ivan Karamazov describes such men as those that
"lead men consciously to death and destruction, and yet deceive them all the way so that they may not notice where they are being led, that the poor blind creatures may at least on the way think themselves happy."
"One who does not believe in God will not believe in God's people. He who believes in God's people will see His Holiness too, even though he had not believed in it till then. Only the people and their future spiritual power will convert our atheists, who have torn themselves away from their native soil."
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
"...man loves to see the downfall and disgrace of the righteous."
"You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, of home. People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory, preserved from childhood is perhaps the best education. If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in one's heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving us."
You'll have to read the book to get anything more out of it.

3 comments:

Lindsay said...

Wow. Blake would be so proud of you! He got me to read the book a few years ago and even though it took me an eon to get through it and even though I complained a bit along the way, I eventually did end up really liking it.

Aimee said...

I really liked those quotes. Maybe after I graduate and have time I will read it.

don&janet said...

Wow, Lee! I am going to have to figure out a way to get interested in reading this book. The quotes were shared are so true. I am printing them up for further insight! I love you!