Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Brothers Karamazov

Over the holidays I reloaded my reading list and under the influence of books Joe has read and found worth while, 'The Brothers Karamazov' was added. Initially, I was intimidated to read my first Russian novel because it was first published 130 years ago and I was concerned with its readability, however, I am about 80 pages into it and have been surprised how it has be very accessible and flowed easily.

Zosima, an elder monk, plays a very prominent role in the first part of the novel and conversations with the monk help establish the philosophical and theological function of the novel. As I am making my way through the tome, there are two quotes from the elder that I found very profound and wanted to share.

"Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him..."
-This, coupled with some interesting research on Motivation and Achievement, highlights the importance of being true to ourselves and taking the plank out of our own eyes before being so critical of the specks in others.

"-'How can we be certain of the presence of God?'
-By the experience of active love. Try to love your neighbors actively and tirelessly. The more you succeed in loving, the more you'll be convinced of the existence of God and the immortality of your soul. "

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