Living According to Dostoevsky

“Do you know I’ve been sitting here thinking to myself: that if I didn’t believe in life, if I lost faith in the woman I love, lost faith in the order of things, were convinced in fact that everything is a disorderly, damnable, and perhaps devil-ridden chaos, if I were struck by every horror of man’s disillusionment—still I should want to live and, having once tasted of the cup, I would not turn away from it till I had drained it! At thirty, though, I shall be sure to leave the cup, even if I’ve not emptied it, and turn away—where I don’t know. But till I am thirty, I know that my youth will triumph over everything—every disillusionment, every disgust with life. I’ve asked myself many times whether there is in the world any despair that would overcome this frantic and perhaps unseemly thirst for life in me, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t… The centripedal force on our planet is still fearfully strong, Alyosha. I have a longing for life, and I go on living in spite of logic. Though I may not believe in the order of the universe, yet I love the sticky little leaves as they open in spring. I love the blue sky, I love some people, whom one loves you know sometimes without knowing why. I love some great deeds done by men, though I’ve long ceased perhaps to have faith in them, yet from old habit one’s heart prizes them.” — Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov


2 responses to “Living According to Dostoevsky

  1. Ah Brothers Karamozov. This is an argument I have never really understood from a christian standpoint. I have always thought, like paul, that christians would long to die (to be w/ christ) and yet stay behind as a sort of self-sacrifice. To love life seems almost sinful in a lot of christian narratives (though not so much in speech or action).

  2. i disagree. i think that because life is a gift from god, to want to die is like a fuck you, i don’t want your gift. i mean, i see what you’re saying, but i think the idea that loving life is a sin is too far.

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