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Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Vladimir Solovyov
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Author: tomasz
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Tomasz Neugebauer

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 

   Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Vladimir Solovyov

Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov is one of my favorite books. The following is a quote by the gnostic monk, Father Zossima:

"What isolation?" I asked him

The isolation that you find everywhere, particularly in our age. But it won't come to an end right now, because the time has not yet come. Today everyone asserts his own personality and strives to live a full life as an individual. But these efforts lead not to a full life but to suicide, because, instead of realizing his personality, man only slips into total isolation. For in our age mankind has been broken up into self-contained individuals, each of whom retreats into his lair, trying to stay away from the rest of mankind, and finally isolating himself from people and people from him. And, while he accumulates material wealth in his isolation, he thinks with satisfaction how mighty and secure he has become, because he is mad and cannot see that the more goods he accumulates, the deeper he sinks into suicidal impotence. The reason for this is that he has become accustomed to relying only on himself; he has split off from the whole and become an isolated unit; he has trained his soul not to rely on human help, not to believe in men and mankind, and only worry that the wealth and privileges he has accumulated may get lost. Everywhere men today are turning scornfully away from the truth that the security of the individual cannot be achieved by his isolated efforts but only by mankind as a whole."

Brothers Karamazov, Chapter 2 Recollections of Father Zossima's Youth before he became a Monk.

I recently discovered the Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov. Solovyov's influence can be seen in Dostoyevsky's characters' discussions about nihilism and its rejection through faith.
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