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ROMIOSYNE 2007

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DOSTOEVSKY'S CONCEPT OF SPIRITUAL
REBIRTH
by Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky

FOREWORD

by

Archbishop Lazar Puhalo

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DOSTOEVSKY'S CONCEPT OF SPIRITUAL REBIRTH
by Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky

FOREWORD

by Archbishop Lazar Puhalo

Anthony Khrapovitsky, Metropolitan of Kiev, lived from 1863 to 1936. He reposed on 10 August, 1936 in
Sremski Karlovtsi, Serbia, in exile after the Russian civil war.

Of all the interpreters of Dostoevsky, Khrapovitsky is probably the most reliable. In addition to being a
scholar and Russian philosopher, he was also the foremost Orthodox Christian theologian of his era, and
arguably the most profound and patristic theologian in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Dostoevsky cannot be called a "theologian," but his mentality and writings are deeply penetrated by
Orthodox Christian concepts and ideals. His concept of morality was far removed from those Western
notions of legalistic norms of "good behaviour," which curse and condemn those who fall below a certain
minimum level of such "acceptable" conduct. Dostoevskys realm of morality is substantially that which
permeates Orthodox Christian dogmatic theology, that is, an ideal of active struggle with one's own
weaknesses and vices, and a gradual transformation and transfiguration of the entire being of the
individual: illumination and glorification.

A person's moral failings, vices and problems cannot be healed by legislation, contempt, condescension or
punishment, nor by the fear of such things, but only by the effective, grace-filled power of a co-suffering
love. Let us recall that the woman taken in adultery (Jn.8:4) knew very well that the penalty was being
publicly stoned to death. Neither this punishment nor the fear of this punishment was sufficient to deter
her from her falling. Indeed, Christ debased and shamed those who thought it would, or who thought that
morality was a condition that could be legislated. When he refused to condemn her, but lovingly told her:
"neither do I accuse you, but go, and sin no more," what power or strength did He impart to her so that
she would be able to obey this loving injunction? It was the power of His own co-suffering love that
healed her and delivered her. Indeed, the ideal of co-suffering love is the basis of Orthodox Christian
dogmatics and its moral concept. Let us say that it is the basis of all our theology. Let us also make it
clear that morality cannot be legislated, nor can it be enforced by law; for, no deed has any moral value
whatsoever unless it proceeds from the heart, motivated by unselfish love.

The sins of each and all are our own sins, for if we do not actually commit them, we nevertheless are both
capable and inclined to do so. Thus, when one judges and condemns one's brother or sister, one is actually
condemning himself. The power of serving for the regeneration of a fellow human being is found not in
the practice of theoretical morals, but in the miracle of co-suffering love. This is the mystery of the Cross.
Justification theology is pagan and unworthy of the Gospel of Christ.

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Ultimately, Dostoevsky cannot be properly understood or interpreted by anyone who does not have a firm
awareness of Orthodox Christian theological concepts and of the immense difference between them and
Augustinian moralism and the scholastic moral-theological concepts of the West. For this reason,
Metropolitan Antony Khrapovitsky's interpretations of Dostoevsky are especially valuable, and Dr
Ludmila Koehler has rendered a considerable service to Dostoevsky scholars and students of Russian
literature and thought by translating the series of treatises on Dostoevskys works by this great Russian
theologian and Church father.

PREFACE

Dostoevsky s works reveal a harmonious and highly integral world outlook. All the varied details of
life and thought that pass in an endless procession before the reader have been inspired by the same
moral idea. In portraying a vast number of characters, taken from widely differing levels of life __ from
ascetic hermits to socialists, from infants and philosophers to aged elders, from pilgrims to harlots __
Dostoevsky does not introduce a single image or line that is not connected in one way or another with
this moral idea. This author is filled with such a wealth of moral content, striving so impetuously to
find expression, that twelve large volumes and sixty years of labour were not sufficient to convey the
desired words to the world. Spurred on by this yearning to preach, he does not have time to perfect his
tales from the point of view of external artistry, and instead of dragging out and regurgitating what is
frequently an insipid idea on hundreds of pages of various pictures and characters, common to other
writers, our author on the contrary hurriedly piles one idea on top of another, one psychic law upon
another. The strained attention of the reader lacks the time to catch up with the eye and, interrupting
his reading every minute he turns to gaze once more at the lines just read, because of their pithiness
and importance. This is not caused, however, by an incomprehensible style or haziness of thought, but
rather by the overflowing fullness of content. Such an event as this is not known in all the rest of
Russian literature. To read Dostoevsky is an exhausting and difficult task, though it is also a delightful
one; fifty pages of his writings give food to the reader's thought like five hundred pages of other
writers and, in addition, frequently a sleepless night of anguished self-reproach or rapturous hopes
and aspirations.

II

DOUBLE LOGIC.

Setting out to divine the main ideas dominating Dostoevsky s world outlook, let us first discuss the
mode of their communication in the author's writings. There are two such methods for a thinker and
moral teacher: one is the scholastic, deductive or demonstrative method, the other is the psychologic,
inductive, or intuitive one. In the domain of religious morals proper, on which all conclusions from
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Dostoevskian tales border, both these methods of thought communication are rather sharply
delimited, and their effect is quite different. The demonstrative method, peculiar to school manuals
and to the vast majority of scholarly works, as well as to the practical life-teaching of some religions,
for example of Judaism and Roman Catholicism, bases moral commandments and ideas on
propositions of an historically recognizable authority, or on general principles of logic, metaphysics
and especially of law, or finally on the demands of legitimate authority. These are the morals of
nomism, laying claims to logical truth, or to the truth of a logically vindicated authority, allegedly
missing in the rival intuitive method. For the rest, this moral system has to admit, with bitterness, that
logic (thus understood) is a rather weak impeller of minds, because religions which find their support
in it __ nomistic religions __ do not gain proselytes. Even in their own religious community they take root
not on the strength of their ideas proper, but through the impact of external factors, only casually
connected with them, national or cultural factors, again implanted due to purely intuitive, spontaneous
feelings and national passions. Latins, for example, engage strongly in missionary activities; they
preach, however, not so much Roman Catholicism proper, but rather European culture with an
admixture of Roman Catholicism, inseparable from it in the eyes of the non-Christian. Culture in its
turn does have an effect. This effect is, however, not thanks to its basic philosophical principles and
ideas, but rather because it offers a means of comfort and social conveniences for the privileged
classes; it is appreciated because of selfishness. This is why Roman Catholicism and culture, and
contemporary science, as well as schools __ all this exists primarily for the privileged, all this acts and is
spread by eudemonistic motivations. Moreover, all this exerts such an insignificant influence on the
moral existence of society, as is so far removed from the ability to shake hearts by its own content that
it endeavours to appeal to other, immediate passion of accidental nature. Nobody will, of course, dare
to deny that among the representatives of nomistic religions, science and culture there are people who
are sincerely and unselfishly imbued with ideals corresponding to their convictions. The very word
"ideal," however, places them in the camp of intuitivists, makes them stand out among their associates,
apart in their style of life as well as in their thinking and preaching. For Jews this is Spinoza, or a
Roman Catholic humanist, such as the bishop in the novel Les Miserables or some sort of a J.J. Rousseau
in the history of culture, or Reed and Khomiakov (1) in science. The first stand out by their life among
their co-religionists, the second, due to their thought, among their fellow activists. People of science
and culture love them but only out of humanity, and as far as they themselves have not become utterly
engrossed in cold nomism and scholasticism, and so far as they themselves continue to belong to the
living society, which in turn treats rather coolly their scholasticism and the arguments of formal logic.

But what is intuitive moral? It is that moral, that philosophy which penetrates into the mind of the
people and inspires the masses, becoming __ apart from any extraneous motives __ such a treasure in
itself to the people that for the sake of it, statehood and nationality are forgotten, seclusive walls of
class distinctions crumble, and the partitions of different schools and educational levels are
obliterated. Be it the teaching of Confucius or Buddha, or the heavenly truth of evangelical Gospel, or
the fabrications of Mohammed's fantasy, once the word is skilfully directed at the inward experience of
the listeners and based on this experience by virtue of full or relative right it will fuse in one
triumphant flow all the distinctive traits of people. "Then was the iron, clay, the brass, the silver and the
gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind
carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great
mountain, and filled the whole earth" (Dn.2:35). In its fullest meaning this image applies solely to
Christianity; with some reservations, however, to the rest of intuitive teachings too. Intuitive logic, i.e.,
the doctrine which draws its propositions and axioms not from the mass of general formal concepts or
authority, but which rests on moral truths shared by everybody who is willing to lend an attentive ear,
speaks to man about the laws of his own inner life. In this manner it does not compel man's thought to
consent but rather leaves it to be examined in his own mind and conscience through constant testing.
Intuitive logic does not, of course, exclude formal logic and makes use of it, without being exhausted by
it. To realize clearly at least some aspects of one's psychic life and to be able to dominate it in this way,

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is the greatest of pleasures for a human being, restoring him harmony of reason, emotions and will;
that is why it is said in the Gospel that the multitudes of people were listening to the Lord's parables
"gladly" (Mk.12:37), that running from everywhere the people "pressed upon Him to hear the word of
God" (Lk.6:1), and it is boldly stated that "never man spake like this man" (Jn.7:46).

It is precisely this lofty pleasure, drawn from intuitive philosophy, that merges into a unified
congregation of peoples like the ones that formed Confucianism, Buddhism, Mohammedanism, giving
the religious millennia, and the true religion, eternal duration. the difference between Christianity, the
true religion, and the others, the false ones, is that whereas the latter sanctify passions, cherished
specifically by some temperaments, emphasizing one side of life, they either negate, or plunge into the
fog of mythology the others, and therefore, despite the strong convictions of their followers, they are
easily extinguished by the Gospel of the Galilean despite their wide dissemination, encompassing
kingdoms and peoples; its borders are set, however, by other types, other ideals. Over these wild
beasts only the Son of God "was given dominion and glory and a kingdom of all people, nations and
languages that should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away
and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Dn.7:14). The teachings of Christ are intuitive
teachings; the Lord concealed from His listeners, up to a certain time, His divine rank: it was His desire
that they examine, by the way of their inner experience, His commandments and, seeing His love and
His deeds, would realize that in one as well as in the other, divine life and thought are revealed so that
they themselves, directed by Christ's words and deeds, would exclaim like the Apostle Thomas: "My
Lord and my God" (Jn.20:28).

Expressing readiness to forgive the one who will say a word against the Son of God personally
(Lk.12:10), demanding at times not faith in Himself but His deeds (Jn.10:37-38), the Lord said that not
He Himself but His teachings, the word the He speaks to the people, shall be the accuser and the
judgment of the non-believers and the lawless on the last day (Jn.12:48). The dogma of the Trinity and
especially the dogma of the Divine Person of the Lord Jesus Christ has been examined and justified by
the Fathers of the Church not only from the point of exegesis but also from the moral-intuitive point as
the only true support of Christian virtue and in the struggle against the world. Their [the fathers']
moralizing works have the same character and the degree of this intuition determines the
effectiveness of contemporary sermons.

Belles-lettres are intuitive due to their very purpose as artistic creations Literature, however, maintains
its artistic character unimpaired, with great difficulty when it sets itself to the task of leading the
reader to higher generalizations, to various conclusions in the domain of ethics, politics, philosophy
and religion, not being content with futile descriptions of external day-to-day reality. Here the author
either distorts actual life, or __ in selecting chance characters __ is at pains to inspire in the reader a
general sympathy for the representatives of one camp, and hostile feelings toward the other, without
substantiation of the inner truth of ideas. The so-called tendentiousness is precisely one of the two
methods of a not entirely unscrupulous influence on the reader's thought and feelings, the method of
the missionary work of present Latins. Dostoevsky too, is accused of tendentiousness but only because
there is nothing to accuse him of as a man of letters: as a matter of fact, his novels are completely
devoid of party mindedness. I am not going to dwell on the fact that the author castigates believers
and non-believers, Westernizers and patriots in equal measure, finds something good in one or the
others alike; instead, I will refer to what I believe to be the genuine impression of the progress of the
writer's own spiritual development which is corroborated by his biographies. In Dostoevsky the
depiction of the laws of psychic life and the public every-day pictures were not the result of a pre-
formed philosophical world view with the same inductive gradualness with which it is absorbed by his
readers. Dostoevsky as a psychologist, as a chronicler of mores and everyday life, did not pass through
stages of development: picture of his heroes' inner life, their struggles with themselves, their fits of
repentance or suicidal tendencies are described in exactly the same way in his last novel, The Brothers

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Karamazov, as in his youthful works like Poor Folks, in novels written during exile and after exile, so
that having dismembered his writings into sheets and shuffled them, we would not have created
disharmony in either the nature of the intermingled pictures, or a grating effect in the monologues:
only the narrative sequence will be upset. Dostoevsky as a writer depicting reality remains the same
during the course of the thirty five years that span his literary career, while Dostoevsky, the direct
advocate of Orthodoxy was revealed to himself and to the world only in the last decade of his life, as a
Slavophile and Panslavist in the last five years or less. Meanwhile, if one were to look once again
through all his writings, starting with 1846, they all lead up to the same, they all tell the reader the
same thing as The Brothers Karamazov, begun two years before the writer's death. Having selected as
the object of his observations the human heart without any further philosophical notions, and thus
making it fully possible for the reader to pursue the author's thought step by step, Dostoevsky points
out the embryonic moral percepts and moral conclusions in these same laws of the heart, at first
purely subjective, anthropological as, for example, the harmfulness of pride __ in Netochka Nezvanova
(1849), or the power of humility in Poor folks (1846). He then goes on to look deeper into the
gradually widening circles of the moral atmosphere, which spread in width due to the vibrations of the
human heart, and reach the heights of the heavenly Throne and penetrate the underground depths of
the kingdom of Satan, opposed to God, encompassing on its way all the riches of various spheres of the
national, historical and universal community. The author looks at all these objects not from the outside
but from the inside, and makes his logic accessible to the reader by means of strict verification. Should
the reader leave him for some reason at one of the great circles of observations, both of them would
profit from keeping the riches of the previous inner circles. This is in complete contrast to the method
of inductive philosophy where usually one invalidated syllogism causes the collapse of the entire
building, often to the last stone. In short, Dostoevsky delineates properties and laws of man's inner
life, the laws of life and conscience, offering all further theological and social conclusions in the form of
logical postulates of the first, though without ceasing to test the latter by means of explorations of the
actual personal and public life. Thus, Dostoevsky does not carry the reader away; instead he shows
reality, leaving him in possession of this reality should he stubbornly refuse to draw the conclusions.
Should the reader, contemplating the Elder Zosima and the suicide of Smerdyakov with the almost
identical Ivan Karamazov, leave his attitude to both these characters unsettled, should he refuse to
pass judgment on the ideas that inspire them, these two types are still before him and he is not able to
deny their reality and the clearly represented relationship of their ideas.

And thus, Dostoevskys work should prove valuable and be appreciated by everybody, irrespective of
one's world outlook, because the author's method of thinking is the inductive, psychological, intuitive
one. The author is not a propagandist, tempting and tempted, but a preacher, confessing and causing
confessions __ an infinitely sincere preacher.

II
WHAT DOSTOEVSKY WROTE ABOUT.

We have said that Dostoevsky the psychologist was the same in the course of his entire literary activity.
We will say more! All the time, he was writing abut one and the same thing. About what, exactly? Many
find it difficult to answer this question; critics acknowledge that there is no area pertaining to
knowledge of life for which one could not draw on his works for some ideas. All, even embittered
enemies of the writer, admit his amazingly true psychological analysis, but I never did come across a
comprehensive summary of his writings; therefore, I offer my own.

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The all-encompassing idea of his works, for which many look in vain, was not patriotism, not
slavophilism, not even religion in the context of a collection of dogmas; this idea was drawn from the
inner, emotional, personal life, and was not a premise, not a tendency, but simply the central theme of
his work and this is his own reality, a living reality which is close to everyone. Regeneration is what
Dostoevsky wrote about in all his novels: repentance and regeneration, falling into sin, and correction,
and if not that, then embittered suicide. The life of all his heroes revolves solely around these moods,
and it is from this point of view alone the author is himself interested in various theological and social
questions in his last popular writings. Yes, it is that sacred trepidation of the beginning of a new life in
the human heart, a new life of love and virtue, which is so dear, so pleasant for everyone, that it impels
the reader to live, together with the heroes of the tales, through the feelings that almost tangibly
animate them. This is the decision or determination, prepared gradually, or sometimes arising
instantly before one's consciousness, the determination to give up serving self-love and the passions,
those tormenting sufferings of the soul which precede and accompany this [choice of] the cross of the
wise thief or, on the contrary, that of the blaspheming thief __ this is what Dostoevsky wrote about.
From this, the reader himself reaches the conclusion __ if he does not want to oppose reason and
conscience __ that between the two different crosses there must certainly be a third one, upon which
one thief puts his hope and saves himself, while the other one spews forth blasphemies and perishes.
Poor folks, The Adolescent, the hero of the House of the Dead, the heroes of The Possessed, Raskolnikov,
and Sonia, the Marmeladov couple, Nelly and Aliosha, with his hideous father the Karamazov family
and the women and girls of their acquaintance, monks, and the numerous types of children __ this
whole multitude of people, good, evil and the wavering, equally close to the author's heart which is
bursting with love, is forced to face the question of life and solve it in one way or another; and if they
have already solved it, to help others solve it. Some, for example Netochka Nezvanova and her Katia,
Polenka Marmeladova , The Little Hero, The Boy of Christ's Yule Tree, Nelly (partially) and especially
Kolia Krasotkin and Iliusha and their companions, solve it in childhood; others, like the Adolescent,
Natasha in the Insulted And Insulted, Raskolnikov and Sonia, Dmitri Karamazov and Smerdiakov, the
husband of The Meek One and the lucky rival of The Eternal Husband as well as almost all the female
characters are confronted by this question in their youth or on entering matrimony. Others finally are
faced with this same question in their old age, for example, Makar Devushkin, The Ridiculous Man, the
father of Natasha, and his enemy the prince, the Marmeladovs, Versilov in The Adolescent, and
Verkhovensky senior in The Possessed. Nobody can escape it while living or at least before one's death.
The high merit of the writer, depicting the sufferings and joys of the spiritual regeneration of a human
being, consists precisely in the fact that by dint of his all-penetrating analysis he defined the most
important spiritual qualities and movements in the conditions of which spiritual regeneration sets in,
as well as these externally induced, living impulses which propel a person toward self-analysis. Should
one reduce to one general concept all parts of Dostoevsky novels that examine this subject __ or, more
precisely, all the novels by this author, since all, in their totality, investigate just this one subject __ we
will arrive at an extremely clear and highly convincing theory which, although it makes little use of
such words as grace and Redeemer, invokes these concepts constantly by the very logic of things. It is
obvious from the above what keen interest the novels of Dostoevsky should arouse from the point of
view of moral theology and especially of pastoral theology. Why pastoral? Precisely because
Dostoevsky, as already mentioned, did not limit himself to descriptions of the inner life of the
regenerated, but depicted with special force and artistic beauty the characters of those people who
contributed to the regeneration of their neighbours. The frame of mind of his own creative spirit,
while depicting life, is exactly the one a pastor should have, i.e., an all-embracing love of people, an
ardent, compassionate zeal for their conversion to good and truth, a heart-rending grief about their
obstinacy and malice and with all that, a radiant hope in the return to good and to God of all the
defected sons. This trust in the all-triumphant power of Christian truth and Christian love,
corroborated by the pictures painted by the author, where the most embittered lawlessness bows
before Christ's invincible weapons, is truly a holy, apostolic hope. It is of special importance that this
hope lives not in the mind of a child or a sentimental "fortune's favourite," but in a soul that has

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suffered much and has seen plenty of sin and unbelief. We will speak about regeneration according to
Dostoevsky from the point of view of pastoral, not moral, theology, i.e., about the regenerating
influence of one will on another, touching on the depiction of the very subjective process of
regeneration only inasmuch as will be necessary for this primary task. The first question is: what
should the regenerator be like? The second: who can assist in the regeneration and in what measure?
The third: how does the assimilation of the former or the latter occur?

III
SERVICE OF REGENERATION.

By means of what properties of the spirit does a man become a participant of this highest service? The
writer provides an answer to this question either in his own name, for example, in The Dream of a
Ridiculous Man, or professes, on behalf of his heroes, the general motives which summon the chosen
one to the preaching of regeneration.

Cognition of Truth and Co-suffering Love are the chief motives toward preaching. It seems as if the
writer has seen God's paradise and contemplated in it the people who have become regenerated, pure
and blessed, who have emancipated themselves from all of life's contradictions, completely, quickly
and simply. >From these heights of a general spiritual bliss he gazes at the sinful and sorrowful world
and, in an impetuous burst of love and words, endeavours to lift the world to heaven; this love and
hope are so powerful that all the people's sneers are powerless before them: " .... they call me a
madman... But it no longer makes me angry. I find them all nice now, even when they laugh at me... I'd
laugh with them __ not really at myself but out of sheer love for them __ if looking at them did not make me
so sad. Sad, because they do not know the truth, while I do. Ah, it's so hard to be the only one to know the
truth. But they won't understand it. No, they won't." (The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, Vol 11 p.118,
Works, 1891 ed.). Knowledge of truth is painful when one loves people who do not know it, but this
suffering, this sinful darkness of the world only increased his love for the people. Dostoevsky returned
to this last thought often and with special force contrasting the present sinful state of the world with
the imaginary innocent state: "... `unfortunate, poor, yet dear and eternally beloved, and begetting such
love toward itself even in its most ungrateful children...' I cried out trembling with overwhelming,
rapturous love for the earth I had just left." (The Dream of a Ridiculous Man Vol.11, p.127. Works, 1891
ed.). "On our old earth, we can truly love only with suffering and only through suffering! We do not know
how to love otherwise; we do not know any other love. I am willing to suffer so that I may love. I want -I
am longing this very minute to kiss the earth I left behind with tears streaming down my cheeks. I do not
want any other earth, I will not consent to live on any other earth!..." (ibid, p132). "Saints came to those
people with tears and preached to them about their pride, their loss of a sense of proportion, their loss of
shame. The saints were laughed at or stoned. The blood of the saints splattered the doors of the temples.
Then came men who started to toy with ideas on how to reunite people. They tried to devise a society in
which each individual, while continuing to love himself above everyone else, would at the same time
abstain from interfering with others. They imagined that under such circumstances, men could live
together in a harmonious society.

"Whole wars were fought over that idea. Those who fought firmly believed that science, wisdom, and the
instinct of self-preservation would finally force men to unite in a harmonious, reasonable society. In the
meantime, these wise ones were in a hurry to exterminate the unwise who could not grasp their idea, and
thus prevent them from hindering the triumph. The feeling of self-preservation quickly began to give
way; there arrived the proud and voluptuous, who wanted all or nothing. To obtain all, they did not
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hesitate to commit crime and if that did not succeed they were prepared for suicide. Religions appeared
worshipping the non-being and self-annihilation for the sake of an eternal solace in nothingness. Finally
these people grew tired in their senseless efforts, and suffering appeared on their faces. Then they
proclaimed that suffering was beautiful because suffering alone contains thought. So they praised
suffering in their sons." (ibid)

This love, this tender love of the author for the sinful earth is, incidentally, expressed by the fact that
he always succeeds in clothing in a likeable attire, the most prosaic surroundings of the most prosaic
city of Russia, on which another Russian poet described:

The pale-green vault of heaven,

Boredom, coldness and granite.

When Dostoevsky is describing the dirty backyards of Petersburg, yardkeepers, cooks, landladies, the
lodgings of the intellectual proletariat and those of prostitutes, his descriptions of all this never gives
rise to a contemptuous aversion to those people. On the contrary, it gives rise to some kind of co-
suffering love, some hope on the possibility of making all these squalid haunts of beggars and of vice
resound with hymns celebrating Christ, and of creating in precisely these surroundings, a warm
atmosphere of tender love and joy. Herein lies the explanation of the fact that without closing his eyes
to sombre reality, the writer loves life so strongly in this radiant hope of regeneration, [a love of the]
life of man in particular: he is not deprived of a love of nature, he simply does not have time to speak
about nature, and prefers the pictures of urban life to all others. "It was a gloomy story, one of these
gloomy and disinteresting dramas which are so often played out unseen, almost mysteriously, under the
heavy sky of Petersburg, in the dark, secret corners of the vast town, in the midst of giddy ferment of life,
of dull egoism, of clashing interests, of dark vice and secret crimes, in that lowest hell of senseless and
abnormal life..." Defining life in such gloomy terms, he later looks on its evils as a misunderstanding (11,
p.1) and writes an article "About the fact that we all are good people" (10, pp. 45-46). "Good people"
because it is easy to convert them to truth? No, it is difficult to convert them but the truth itself is so
beautiful, love itself is so attractive, that no matter how difficult the task of the one who is preaching,
once he has understood the mystery of life and loves children, there is no other deed, nor substance of
life that he would want. The author presents this lofty mood of the preacher in the present story [The
Dream of a Ridiculous Man] as a result of mystic illumination; in another case it is visited upon a youth
dying from consumption; in its fulness, finally, the same mood is revealed in the conversations of the
Elder Zosima. The one chosen by heaven is to such an extent imbued with his calling, so closely allies
his life with the task of preaching and the regeneration of people that he begins to consider all their
shortcomings, all their sins his own, feeling that they prove how inadequate is his zeal and his lack of
wisdom and saintliness. This is why he considers himself guilty for everyone and in everything, and is
prepared even to think of himself as the original tempter and seducer of mankind, like the hero of The
Dream of a Ridiculous Man who is ready to accept suffering on behalf of all. This feeling is given an
explanation by the Elder Zosima. This is the lofty sense of the idea concerning the common guilt for all
and in everything, frequently repeated by Dostoevsky, a thought that was so grossly misunderstood
and vulgarized by some of the numerous unsuccessful interpreters of his.

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Now let us summarize all that has been said about the gift of spiritual regeneration: this gift is
achieved by those who; 1. have grasped, through inner experience, the delights of truth and of
communion with God; 2. love life with sorrow and hope to such extent that; 3. they lose completely the
thread of their personal life, and having died to themselves; and 4. call their brethren to repentance
and love not by means of affected sermons but through confessions, through the baring of their heart
and through their entire life.

Such is Dostoevskys Elder Zosima, and such is his disciple, Aliosha, who does not have a life of his
own as it were amidst the highly concentrated existence that he leads, who does not know today what
he is going to do tomorrow but who spreads all around him peace, repentance and love: the brothers,
the children, the women, all restrain themselves in the presence of his love like the beasts at the sound
of Orpheus' lyre and his whole life merges into the wonderful unity of his activity in Christ. Makar
Ivanovich in The Adolescent is like that too, the old wanderer who is at the same time a philosopher-
moralist who loves people ardently and who is concerned with the salvation of all; there is also
mention of such a man in the novel The Possessed (the retired bishop Tikhon).

IV
SERVANTS OF
REGENERATION AND LOVE

Who are these servants? We have now seen that in order to depict them, a type not simply religious,
but actually clerical, has been introduced. This is understandable not only from the dogmatic but the
purely psychologic point of view: in order to know another life through the experience of one's own
heart while still living in this vale of sin and suffering, one should know it not only as a mystical
abstraction, but as one functioning in reality and existing apart from oneself, consequently, as a
continuous historical force, i.e., one should be acquainted with the Church which teaches that the gates
of hell shall not prevail against it; one should live within the Church. But what should one say about
those who partake in one of the qualities of a preacher by calling, but who have not achieved the full
harmonious development of the others yet? The answer is: these people, too, are destined to exert a
partial influence on their neighbours, although by far not one so complete and broad. Even those
beings are not deprived of it who, while not possessing the positive qualities of the chosen ones, are at
least free from the opposite vices, inherent in every natural man, i.e., above all, of pride and cold
reserve or, as the author puts it, of wilful withdrawal. Such are, first of all, children and even infants.
Yes, children in Dostoevsky always acquire the importance of involuntary missionaries. Dostoevsky
has repeated this idea so frequently in various of his works that he could be accused of repetitiveness
were he not to endow every variant, so to speak, of this idea with a new feature like a new pearl in a
magnificent diadem. The foundling child forces the "Adolescent" to reject his proud idea for the sake of
compassion for its defencelessness; a child softens the wicked, callous heart of the pharisaic merchant
in Makar Ivanovich's tale (the novel The Adolescent); the child Nelly reconciles the insulted father with
the fallen daughter [The Insulted and the Injured], the child Polenka mollified the murderer
Raskolnikov [Crime and Punishment]. and so on. Finally, in the last minutes of the lives of impious
suicides, when their spirit finally rises against God, Providence puts before them, in reality or perhaps
in a feverish delirium, images of the innocently suffering little ones who either tear them from their
spiteful designs for some time, or entirely deliver them to repentance and life. Such is the encounter
with the beggar-child in The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and the suicide Svidrigailov [in Crime and
13
Punishment] has the same sort of meeting in his delirium, or such is Shatov's new-born child in The
Possessed. The purity and humility of children, particularly when coupled with their helplessness and
their sufferings, arouse transitory love even in villains. Non-believers like Ivan Karamazov find, in the
suffering of children, cause for pessimistic embitterment, while believers discover, on the contrary,
reasons for reconciliation and universal forgiveness like the father of Iliusha (in The Brothers
Karamazov) who forgave his enemy Dimitry, for the sake of the dying child whom he loved more then
anybody else in the world. The author himself obviously suggests the following idea in the story A Boy
at Christ's Yule Tree: if even innocent children are suffering here, then, surely there exists another
better world. But what practical meaning can this pointing to children have for us? What do children
mean for Pastoral Theology? They mean the same as Christ's words: "Except ye become converted and
become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Mt. 18:3). Children are pure
and lack self-love which is at the root of universal willful withdrawal. For them the difference between
inner life and external manifestation does not exist. Without the conscious wish to influence their
neighbours, they subconsciously achieve a greater influence than adults who lack purity and
frankness. An alienated man who is on the verge of perishing, searches among his neighbours for a
heart with which he could at once become intimately linked,and become one with; a heart which
would not be alien to him: such is the heart of children, these eternal cosmopolitans.

But do adults not also have the same qualities of spontaneous humility, purity, frankness and cordial
accessibility? All this may be found in those who either rise to it, or who had never lost it appear as the
strongest missionaries. Such a person immediately becomes close and dear to everybody, pouring out
the contents of his heart freely, without any apprehension of prideful rivalry on the part of the one
ministered to; such are "The Peasant Marey" (2)," Makar Ivanovich, Lekeria (in The Meek One) and
others yet more.

"What attracted one first of all, as I observed already was his [Makar Ivanovich's] extraordinary
pureheartedness and his freedom from self-love. One felt instinctively that he had an almost sinless
heart. He had `gaiety' of heart, and therefore `seemliness'. He was very fond of the word `gaiety' and
used it often. He sometimes showed an almost abnormal exaltation, an almost abnormal fervour,
partly, I imagine, because the fever never really left him. But that did not mar his beautiful serenity.
There were contrasts in him, too. Side by side with his marvellous simplicity (at times, to my vexation,
he completely failed to detect irony) there was a sort of sly subtlety, most frequently apparent in
controversy. And he was fond of controversy, though at times only through caprice. It was evident that
he had been on foot over a great part of Russia, had heard a great deal. But I repeat, what he liked best
of all was religious emotion, and therefore everything that led up to it, and he was fond of telling
incidents that moved one to tenderness and reverence." (3)

In pointing out this ability of the representatives of the simple people, we should protect out great
writer from any accusations of preaching ignorance and superstitions, hurled at him quite persistently
and insincerely by his literary enemies. His teachers from among the people or the monks always love
scholarship, even secular scholarship, and they do not belittle the merits of the latter in any way:
Makar Ivanovich knows even about telescopes. Dostoevsky himself says the following on education
and the need to spread it among the people, in The Diary of a Writer:

"Education already occupies the first rung in our society. Everything yields to it; it may be said that all
class advantages melt away with it... Our whole future is in an accelerated speedy development of the
educational process; our entire independence, our power, the only conscious road forward depends on it,
and what is even more important, a peaceful road, a road of general consent, the road to genuine power...
Only by means of education can we fill the chasm, separating us at the present time from out native soil.
Literacy and its accelerated spreading __ this is the initial step in the process of education." (9, 101-102).
The idealistic "Adolescent" is addressed in the following way by his tutor: "The plan that you should

14
enter the university will be of the greatest possible benefit for you. Study and life will undoubtedly, in
three or four years, widen the horizon of your ideas and aspirations, and if after university you still
desire to return to your `idea', there will be nothing to prevent it." (4) Obviously, it is not the ignorance
of people that is praised by Dostoevsky, but the absence in its best representatives of deceitful self-
centredness and morbid self-love, these worst enemies of our regeneration, [which are] alas,
completely overlooked by both cultural ethics and cultural education. Dostoevsky appreciates
scholarship and education,but he also proposes to learn from the people in questions of morals,and
ssecondly in questions of general culture,and universal questions, not however, in complete isolation
of Russian life from that of Europe. European culture, permeated by the motive of self-love, does not
unite but rather separates and estranges people and nations inwardly. The ability of a true spiritual
union with all is peculiar only to those who are humble at heart. Humility is not only a personal trait in
Russia, but a trait of the people as well, i.e., inculcated in the individual by the national culture which
has grown out of Orthodoxy, out of Orthodox asceticism, and therefore the whole of the Russian people
have the ability of spiritual communion. This ability was expressed by the genius of Pushkin, who was
able to become vivid in all nationalities, and neither Shakespeare nor Schiller was capable of it. This is
the meaning of the famous Pushkin Speech of Dostoevsky and of his teachings in general on the
universal mission of the Russian people. We are not going to discuss it here, but are pointing it out to
corroborate the thought that Dostoevskys social and philosophical views arise out of morally-
psychological observations and facts; they do not precede them. Let us return once more to the
examination of personal life. Before we proceed to describe how, according to Dostoevsky, humility
and love may effect the conversion of sinners and implant the Kingdom of God, let us first complete the
survey of the characters of missionaries after the servants of God, children and peasants, he calls on
women to fulfil this task. A loving and simultaneously a humble woman is a formidable force. Love
deprived of humility causes domestic discord and grief, hence the stronger this love is, and not only for
a husband, but also for the children, the more harm it causes if it lacks humility. Proud love is the cause
of adultery and hard drinking of husbands, the suicide of bridegrooms and the sufferings of children:
the love of Katerina Ivanovna __ the bride** (The Brothers Karamazov), and of Katerina Ivanovna __ the
mother and wife (Crime and Punishment), the love of Lisa __ daughter and bride, the love of Grushenka
(The Brothers Karamazov), of The Meek One and of Nelly (The Insulted and The Injured) of Katia
(Netochka Nezvanova), the wife of Shatov (The Possessed) and of all the proud characters in general is
the source of evil and unnecessary sufferings. The love of the humble and self-abashing ones, on the
contrary, is the source of peace and repentance. Such are the mother of Raskolnikov and Sonia ( Crime
and Punishment) who was worshipped even by the convicts who had divined her humble and contrite
heart, such is Natasha's mother (The Insulted and The Injured) and the mother of the "Adolescent," the
paralyzed sister of Iliusha (The Brothers Karamazov), Netochka Nezvanova, Aliosha Karamazov's
mother, and many others. They do not insist on having it their own way at all costs, but they are able to
achieve, in almost all cases, by means of love, tears, forgiveness and prayerful repentance and
conversion of their beloved husbands, parents or children. While taking the difficult step of
renouncing their former life, their beloved ones find inspiration in this constant example of self-denial,
they absorb, as it were, the power of self-denial, while the love of a humble being turns the very feat of
a formerly proud man into a sweet task.

The best missionary in Dostoevsky is the regenerated one himself in his sufferings.

"For he who has suffered in the flesh, has ceased from sin," said the Apostle (1Pt.4:1). Almost all cases of
conversion and repentance of Dostoevskys heroes take place during either a severe bereavement or
sickness. We will not elaborate on the thought that "though our outward man perish, yet the inward
man is renewed day by day" (2 Cor. 4:16), as it is well known to all who read the Holy Scripture. The
practical conclusion here __ particularly for pastors __ is that one should not look with horror and
discontent at the surrounding sufferings, one's own and those of others. This thought ought to
reconcile man with life and appease him in the face of persistently triumphant malice which is bound,

15
however, to make repentance possible at some future time through sufferings, and reconcile with the
non-repentance of sinners as well due to the bright hope in their future conversion as "the old grief of
human life turns gradually into quiet, moving joy," as the dying Elder Zosima put it. In the very
sufferings that befall man miraculously in the most dangerous moments of life, the Lord God Himself
becomes the preacher of repentance as an unexpected helper of the despairing friends of the sinner.
Having exhausted all means toward his conversion, they suddenly receive the object of hope not of
themselves, but from God's hand. Such a glorious enlightenment is described with special force in the
person of Verkhovensky senior (The Possessed), and Elder Zosima's youthful brother (The Brothers
Karamazov) __ an intensely real and highly animating idea for the servants of God and His love, calling
them to exercise patience, humility and prayer, according to the word of Apostle: "I have planted,
Apollos watered; but god gave the increase. So that neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that
waterth; but God that giveth the increase" (1Cor.3:6-7). Such is the final answer to our second question.

ENLIGHTENING INFLUENCE

OF ONE WILL ON ANOTHER.

It is now our task to discourse on Dostoevskys idea, regeneration itself, from the point of view of the
action of one will over another. Our writer has a conscious and complete view in this matter; he does
not confine himself to an artistically true but impartial description of two or three cases of conversion,
like Leo Tolstoy. In his last two novels, heroes such as Levin, Bezukhov, and Volkonsky arrive at rather
vague results under rather vague influences, taking a firm stand only in regard to condemning their
former self-love and their resolution to follow the feeling of compassion. True, this too is not devoid if
significant artistic and philosophical merit, so that Tolstoy himself is able to consider these characters
as the principal ones in his work, but they are like two or three fragrant violets, in an enormous
bouquet of lovely flowers, which lack any scent, lost in his voluptuous novels. In Dostoevsky, however,
as already mentioned, all the problems of principal, as well as secondary, heroes focus on conscience
and the call to repentance and revival, like a multitude of planets circling in different orbits around the
same sun. Now, let us add the striking richness, contained in his numerous novels, does not stem from
a heterogeneity of types, and not from the variety of the described areas and their inner life; no his
planets are not numerous and the orbits of rotation remain the same: the artist, depicting in different
novels and in diverse personages the same types, alters their position on the orbit of life, i.e., their
turning to the moral sun this side or the other. One and the same character but in different situations,
of different age and at different stages of his conversion or __ on the contrary __ of his embitterment,
passes through dozens of tales, so that Raskolnikov is the same Ivan Karamazov, the old Prince in The
Insulted and The Injured," the same Fedor Pavlovich Karamazov and Versilov, the mother of
Raskolnikov is also the mother of the "Adolescent," his father [Versilov] is also the Stavrogin of The
Possessed, the husband of The Meek One and of Akulka in The House of the Dead, etc, __ they all are
variants of a few types. Plots with a regular beginning and denouement are also not numerous in
Dostoevsky; there are hardly a dozen and a half of plots and characters to be found. If with all that, the
reader does not notice the repetitiousness and does not feel boredom in reading the novels, but on the
contrary becomes all the more fascinated by them, the more he has read __ it is obvious, given the
wealth of material and the resulting combining by turns of all the types with all the stages of spiritual
development, that this multiplication table of polynomial by polynomial has been carried out by the
16
author impeccably. In fact, he has thus succeeded in depicting the full range of the spiritual struggle,
with the will of each of his types taking that or the opposite direction totally true to life. This is
achieved only by a combination of artistic mastery with an expertness in the laws of the described
phenomena, i.e., that of a psychologist and even theologian. For the reader who wants to examine the
author, the totality of his works represents an additional advantage as it eliminates any suspicion of
the chance nature of various turning points in the inner life of his literary heroes, imbuing the basic
proposition of the author with a simply mathematical cogency: if all the characters of various ages,
sexes and positions, responding in this way to a specific call to life, did arrive at total inner harmony
and are now spreading happiness and love everywhere, while those responding in the opposite way
took their stand on the road to suicide, being pushed off the middle road against their own will by the
cast of their own proper nature __ then it is clear and mathematically irrefutable that the first road is
the right one, the only salutary one, etc. The same definitiveness of views is established by Dostoevsky
in the question that is of such interest to us, about the resuscitating influence of one will on another. It
is quite easy to see that the basis of this confident certainty of the author is formed by some
theological and metaphysical ideas. However, as already mentioned, nowhere does he subordinate
reality to those ideas, but deduces the former from the latter, or rather he does not draw the
conclusions himself, but unconsciously guided by them in his creative work, empowers the reader
himself to reach the conclusion.

Setting out to speak about the influence of one will on another, one should realize that this theory in
no way contradicts the doctrine on freedom of the will. The answer is that the frame of mind and
activity of a man are determined not solely by the deliberately assumed direction of his will, but also
by the consequences of his former actions, which make up his "second nature," as well as by the basic
features of this nature. It is true that man's will, struggling consciously against the better properties of
his moral self and against acquired habits of his upbringing, may in time repress them and turn the
man into a demon, but this sad phenomenon is possible only as the ultimate consequence of an
intentionally prolonged struggle. Meanwhile the common sinner, having succumbed to any one wicked
passion, is far from such embitterment. In him, even if in the sphere of the soul removed from
consciousness, there glimmers, a totally different substance, either completely unknown to him, or not
known to its full extent. The task of the servants of God consists precisely in calling these moods to the
surface even in the form of fleeting sensations, in order to demonstrate to man that the substance of
his personality is not alien to good and to truth, but is in essence far closer to them than to that wicked
passion which he is still gratifying. This is no violation of freedom for, as already mentioned, even after
such an enlightenment a man may become embittered and come to hate the good. Still, he will be able
to look at his passion from outside; a decisive battle takes place between it and the new content of his
life, while he clearly realizes that the choice between one and the other is inevitable. Like the Gadarene
man who was healed, man takes his stand between Christ and Satan, and the great majority turn to
Christ with repentance.

Hence, while it is impossible for the missionaries of life to break the conscious free will of a man (and
that is something God Himself does not do), they acquire, the ability to exert influence on the moral
nature of man, calling to life and into the consciousness the good sensations, concealed in human
nature, while removing the bad ones. The interpretation of such an impact represents the central
concerns of Pastoral Theology.

Dostoevsky knew how to speak with striking power about this distinction between the conscious
individual will and the inclinations of the moral nature (good and bad) which constantly manifest
themselves even against a human being's own desire that. He especially liked to depict the struggle of
the good personal nature with the evil, and the victory of the former over the latter. True, his novels
include the opposite too, when the evil nature of man appears, against his will, as the accuser of the
quasi good will. Such is the case in the story The Double, or the appearance of the devil to Ivan

17
Karamazov, but victory of the good in nature is encountered more often. This is the high point of his
achievement, the central question in the life of his heroes. We do realize the significance of these
pictures only in recalling that the author is not at all a sentimental Renan, according to whom all
people are actually "darlings." With Dostoevsky it is not the Zaccheuses who follow the Lord's first
words, not the Sauls, persecuting the Christians out of sheer ignorance and misunderstanding, but
rather the possessed Legions repent, indeed the thieves repent who were unwise for a long time. Once,
and a second, and a third time the sinner rejects the road to repentance, shown to him by the example
of his friends and their love, he becomes embittered, blasphemes, but still, it turns out that in the end
the good captivates even him. The author does not, on the other hand, close the reader's eyes to the
total lack of repentance in this life which leads to suicide. Oh, the author does not at all forget that in
our fallen nature there is an evil spirit: in the Notes From the House of the Dead he dwells at length (3,
185) on the special enjoyment people find in torturing defenceless innocence; his fellow prisoners are
not at all the repentant Magdalenas, they talk with cold cynicism about their crimes. But, according to
Dostoevsky, there is an anchor of salvation for them, there still is hope __ and this hope is in the
ineffaceable conscience. This is the principal condition of moral influence, not removable by evil will,
although concealed. Villains may be able to lull their conscience while awake, but it speaks in their
sleep; its voice is suppressed in conscious notions, but it bothers man through vague sensations that
arise on account of semi-conscious ideas and that force him to delve into himself. Of especial interest
in this latter context is the novel The Eternal Husband. A proud seducer sees in passing a ridiculous
husband whom he had deceived long ago; he does not recall him distinctly, does not recall his own
amorous transgression, but a gloomy, oppressive sensation weighs heavily on him, appears like a
nightmare in his dream and thus arouses in his soul all the sorrowful sensations that he was able to
suppress before, when he was consciously struggling against them. In this same sense the author
describes the agonizing delirium of convicts in their sleep who attempt to silence the conscience while
awake (3, 150 [Notes from the House of the Dead]. Belief in the power of conscience impels Dostoevsky
s best heroes to give little credence to the sincerity of atheists, seeing in them solely the desire to
move away from God, and not at all the conviction in the theoretical falsity of the tenets of religion. "I
am afraid of the unbeliever even now perhaps," the old man went on with concentrated intensity. "Only,
friend Alexander Semyonovich, I tell you what, I've never met an unbeliever, but I have met worldly men...
that's what one must call them. They are of all sorts, big and little, ignorant and learned, and even some
of the humblest class, but it's all vanity. They read and argue all their lives, filling themselves with the
sweetness of books, while they remain in perplexity and can come to no conclusion. Some quite let
themselves go, and give up taking notice of themselves. Some grow harder than stone, and their hearts
are full of wondering dreams. Others become heartless and frivolous, and all they can do is mock and jeer.
Another will, out of books, gather some flowers, and those according to his fancy, but he is still full of
vanity, and there is no decision in him. And then again, there is a great deal of dreariness... They are all
idolaters and not unbelievers, that is how we ought to describe them... Though we can't say there are no
unbelievers. There are men who are downright unbelievers, only they are far more terrible than those
others, for they come with God's name on their lips. I have heard of them more than once, but I have not
met them at all." (8, 370, 371).(5) Hence, lack of faith is insincere and this is why the turning of the
unbeliever's will from evil to good enables them to accept at once faith in their hearts, like Kolia
Krasotkin, or the brother of Father Zosima [The Brothers Karamazov]. Conscience that becomes lucid
under the influence of good and loving friends or the inner voice, not only does condemn, as we see,
bad actions; it suggests also to the consciousness some only vaguely discernible echoes of another life,
opposed to evil, that is either familiar from childhood, or seen in the surrounding people. These
echoes beg, they burst forth into the soul, but another passion is dear to man, with which they cannot
coexist __ man knows this and now he attempts to convince himself of some special, almost sacred
meaning of his passion __ that of pride predominantly, linking it to some higher plane of life, and with
the help of this self-deception, to which almost all kinds of religious unbelief belongs, strays from love
and unity with his neighbours and with God. It is in this sense that Verkhovensky senior in The
Possessed confesses before his death: "The hardest thing in life is to live and not to lie, __ and not to

18
believe your own lie." (7, 599). Such are the "Adolescent" and the husband of the "Meek One" with their
"great ideas" __ dreamers, infected by the desire of proud revenge who have therefore decided to get
rich even at the cost of wronging and tormenting their neighbours; such is Verkhovensky junior with
his socialist venture, Ivan Karamazov with his eudemonistic theory, (repeated nowadays literally by
Nietzsche, who is praised by our Muscovites.) Thus pride, lies and chance to torment, or violence and
discord __ these are the enemies of men turning to God; where there is one principle, there is the other,
too; lies in society are supported by discord, generating discord, while it originates with pride and,
leaning on it, produces violence __ and that is where people fall under the spell of demons. Dostoevsky
has the following to say on demons: "The principle of their kingdom is discord __ i.e., it is upon discord
that they seek to found it. Why do they need discord precisely here? __ Certainly: think only that discord, in
itself, is a terrible power, discord, after a protracted strife, leads men to folly to blindness and to
distortion of reason and feelings. In discord the affronter, having realized that he was the one who gave
the offence, does not go to make peace with the offended one, but rather he says: `I offended him, and so I
must avenge myself on him.' But the main point is that the demons know world history perfectly well, and
they especially remember everything that was based upon discord. For example, they know that if sects
persist in Europe __ those which detached themselves from Catholicism __ if they continue to adhere to their
beliefs as to religious creeds, this is solely due to the fact the in days past blood was shed on their
account" (10, 39)(6)

Humility, freedom, and a sincere frankness of the soul __ here is the medicine that contemporary
missionaries should administer to the people. But to give, to master, does not mean to demonstrate
only as a cold example or proof. The one and the other act on the consciousness from the outside, and
therefore can have meaning only in relation to such a consciousness that is seeking the truth, all this
can teach a person, but not convert him: It has been said "ne persuadere nolenti" (do not try to convince
one that does not want to be convinced), while we are talking precisely about the latter. Such a person
needs a direct influence upon his nature so that not from the outside, but from the inside the struggle
against his evil will would arise. But does such an immediate link exist in the nature of different
personalities? Yes, according to Dostoevskys theory it does exist, and it will achieve universal
expression and fill the world after the Last Judgement and resurrection. This principle is Christian love
or moral compassion. And this is what penetrates in the novels of our writer like physical warmth or
attraction into all spheres of life, ultimately without being stopped by anything. Slowly but persistently
it pierces the icy crusts of the hearts, and transforms the inner nature of the neighbours simply by its
own impact, without being visibly revealed, but creating at the bottom of their souls unconsciously a
good predisposition. The will, afflicted by evil, improves and turns away from it; the sinner thinks that
he is completely free of any influence, when suddenly, forced by circumstances of life to peer in his
inner world, he discovers in himself a different nature which encompasses, as it were, the moral make-
up of those souls that loved him, that suffered for him, that prayed for him. It is true that even now he
can arm himself against his own heart like the suicide Svidrigailov in Crime and Punishment. Still, a
conversation is at least possible, even easy, infinitely easier than new embitterment. Such is the almost
involuntary spiritual imprint that Dostoevskys favourite hero, Aliosha Karamazov, leaves on
everybody, not only and not so much by means of relaying some ideas of facts, but rather by his very
presence in the vicinity of the morally diseased, like both his brothers, partly his father, the high school
boys and the three women. They all sense his compassionate love, they all know what he would like to
tell them, what to caution against and what to call to: it is as if some life-giving water would moisten
their hearts in his presence; the repenting ones have in him a moral support, while the obstinate and
wavering ones like the boy Kolia, his old father and his brother Ivan, dash about but tremble beneath
the rays of his love, like the possessed seeing the Saviour. Aliosha expressed this very thought after his
meeting with Ivan: "As he [Aliosha] fell asleep he prayed for Mitia and Ivan. He began to understand
Ivan's illness. `The anguish of a proud determination. An earnest conscience!' God, in Whom he
disbelieved, and His truth were gaining mastery over his heart, which still refused to submit. `Yes,' the
thought floated through Aliosha's head as it lay on the pillow, `yes, if Smerdiakov is dead, no one will

19
believe Ivan's evidence; but he will go and give it.' Aliosha smiled softly. `God will conquer!' he thought.
`He will either rise up in the light of truth, or ... he'll perish in hate, revenging on himself and on
everyone his having served the cause he does not believe in,' Aliosha added bitterly, and again he
prayed for Ivan."(7)

The author does not deny the influence of words and proofs of course; he does not separate it from the
immediate impact as such. Quite the opposite: the task of missionaries turns out to be as much
attuned to the one to be converted as it is permeated by love. This very love appears as a mighty force
in itself in him; its impact is described in every great novel, and not merely described __ the key to its
philosophical understanding is provided too. In the novels of our writer this love is not only a
subjective mood, but rather some universal Divine power, the life of God, allotted to brotherly hearts
and through them __ to the ones they love. This love does not exist outside of God, and it is given only to
those who believe in His presence and mercy, and in return this love in the consciousness of the
believer is the basic law of existence, the only real existence. These very thoughts are professed by old
Verkhovensky, enlightened before his death, in a few but truly memorable words to his confessor and
his friends. "My friends, he [Stefan Trofimovich] said, God is necessary to me if only because He is the only
being whom one can love eternally... My immortality is necessary if only because God would not do
anything unjust to extinguish completely the flame of love for him once kindled in my heart. And what is
more precious than love? Love is higher than existence. Love is the crown of existence. And how is it
possible that existence should not be subjected to it? If I have come to love Him and rejoice in my love __ is
it possible the He should extinguish both me and my joy and turn us into nothingness? If God exists, then I,
too, am immortal!... The mere presence of the everlasting idea of the existence of something infinitely
more just and happy than I, already fills me with abiding tenderness and __ glory __ whoever I may be and
whatever I may have done! To know every moment, and to believe that somewhere there exists perfect
peace and happiness for everyone and for everything, is much more important to a man than his own
happiness. The whole law of human existence consists merely of making it possible for every man to bow
down before what is infinitely great." (7, 608-609).(8)

Love triumphs over death, as another dying man in Dostoevsky puts it: "You may forget me, dear ones,
but I love you from the tomb. I hear, my children, your gay voices. I hear your steps on the graves of your
kin.(9) Live for a while in the sunshine, rejoice, and I will pray to God for you, I will come to you in your
dreams... It is all the same ... even in death is love!" (8, 356). (10) From the work of Dostoevsky it is apparent
that the one who loves and feels compassion by entering into a spiritual union with his neighbour is not
accomplishing something supernatural: he is merely returning to the unity with God, lost due to our
sinfulness. This unity he described in The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, in depicting the life of innocent and
saintly people, a life of unity, so different from present day alienation of everybody. Only general pride,
causing a man to shrink into himself, or the frequently mentioned alienation, render this unity of our
nature incomprehensible, incredible to our beclouded mind, and this unity is restored through the love of
saintly people. It now becomes quite clear why, according to Dostoevsky, only humble love is salutary
while proud love is the cause of suffering: precisely because pride, concentrating the entire content of life
on a single "I" prevents the merging of souls and the flowing of one life into another, it is precisely the
absence of such limitations that is needed for it, i.e., humility. This is what eliminates the invisible
partitions, separating one human being from another, and, like the grafting of a sweet apple branch onto
a sour one, cleanses the soul of the neighbour by its touch, as Father Zosima explained it. "At some
thoughts one stands perplexed," he says, "especially at the sight of men's sin, and wonders whether one
should use force or humble love. Always decide to use humble love. If you resolve on that once for all, you
may subdue the whole world. Loving humility is marvellously strong, the strongest of all things and there
is nothing else like it. Every day and every hour, every minute, walk round yourself and watch yourself
and see that your image is a seemly one."(11)

20
This is not pantheism, but spiritual affinity on the basis of which the Apostles and the Fathers interpreted
the salutary power of grace in the sense of its assimilation (St. John of Damascus, Concise Exposition of
the Orthodox Faith), as it is said in the epistle to Romans: "For as by one man's disobedience many were
caused to fall short of the mark, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous" (Rm. 5:19).

The great idea of Dostoevsky is contained in the Divine Revelation of course, but it is he who stated it
clearly and vividly. The significance of this exposition is that through it a better direction of our love for
people is established than the one accepted in contemporary morals. Frequently one hears the phrase,
"one may demolish delusions of thought, but who and in what way can one break an evil will?" This is
why only material charity is acknowledged. Dostoevsky calling man to feats of love for his neighbour,
says through his heroes, "You will make a new man of him" (7, 394).

Humble compassionate love is that restoring force; love without humility is suffering, leading to torture
and suicide. Even absence of pride, but without energetic selflessness, results in a flabby, repulsive, and
sensually-erotic character like Prince Aliosha in The Insulted and The Injured who calmly destroys the
happiness of families for the sake of his pleasure. According to the comments of some readers, this type is
even more antipathetic than his openly dissolute and criminal father. Dostoevsky cannot be reproached
for narrowness of his moral ideal, for the preaching of obtuse submissiveness to fate.

VI
CO-SUFFERING AND TRUTHFULNESS.

What, then, is the third feature, this co-suffering which we have mentioned repeatedly? Co-suffering is
not just a general sensation, accompanying love and prayer. In a sense, it is like love itself, only a
condition for the regeneration of nature. Should people's errings consist directly and solely of an evil will,
exercised under conditions of a clear mind and cognition, (12) then conversion would be effected by contact
with the opposite will. We have already said, however, that delusions are expressed not only in the guise
of pride and discord, but also through falsehood and deception. Evil will is joined to a false world outlook
and this in its turn confuses the thoughts. "World outlook" means here not only false philosophical views,
but also a distorted view of people, incongruous ways in family relations, and cooling off towards one's
native country on principle, etc. True, by adopting a general attitude of repentance, man may finally be
able to extricate himself from this entanglement of thought and feeling, but even this is anticipated by
love, precisely of the co-suffering nature. Evil will is involved in most delusions, but more often than not
delusion and embitterment are generated by deception, while deception is strongest precisely when it
contains a grain of truth. The tragedy in the relationship of such a man with good people consists in the
fact that they do not understand each other, just as the heroes of The Possessed did not understand the
already enlightened Shatov. The kind of co-suffering we are talking about is, according to Dostoevsky,
precisely in the ability to understand man, fathom the good qualities he possesses, and to appreciate him,
freeing him from the admixture of falsehood. What is required for this __ in addition to humble love __ are a
power mind and broadness of education, and this is why the best champions of good, even the monks in
the monasteries, are, in Dostoevskys works, not only people of sensitive responsiveness, of the broadest
tolerance and keen understanding of people, but also thoroughly educated people. They find ideals to
share with Ivan Karamazov and with peasants, as well as with young ladies of the nobility. Among them,
everybody will find those that are akin to his mind or heart. They somehow manage to penetrate a

21
person completely, to appropriate all his thoughts, to become linked to his very heart and soul, to raise
his whole being to truth and love. All this requires knowledge, learning.

Thus, co-suffering is the ability __ in addition to a thorough familiarity with the man and his ideas __ of
inner self-identification with a person, a joyous blending with all that is good in him, and sorrow about
all that is destructive. It is in precisely this that a "fisher of men" is revealed.

It became clear that in Dostoevskys person all these requirements were brilliantly fulfilled when he
reconciled Westernizers and Slavophiles in his famous speech at the Pushkin celebration. In it he
succeeded in pointing out what the best representatives of both camps shared in common, adding that a
certain passionate peculiarity of temperaments had split them into two seemingly irreconcilable literary
parties. According to Dostoevsky, this principle amounts to the purely Russian ability to identify
spiritually with others, and this is what we are talking about: Dostoevsky called it re-embodiment. Out
Westernizers were carried away by this ability in the sense of a total absorption of their entire life by
European interests, to the extent of becoming totally oblivious of everything native. Extreme Slavophiles,
fully aware of this lofty advantage of the Russian people, were fearful of having it applied in practice for
fear of unleashing it and, therefore wanted to weaken our contact with foreign people as far as possible.
Dostoevsky described this very ability of taking to heart the interests of other nations as a distinct
characteristic of out popular character or genius. He urged the Westernizers to turn to the life of the
people in order to acquire this ability from them, while at the same time, preparing for that great task of
establishing the relatedness of all the people on the single principle of Christianity. This, he asserted, is
the calling of the Russian people.

Returning once more to the scrutiny of the regenerating property of re-embodiment or assimilation, we
will not discuss in what way it facilitates the road of conversion. This may be easily imagined by everyone
in view of what was said before. It is far more difficult to conceive of the ways in which this rarely
encountered property is fostered in the mind and heart of the converting-ones themselves. To this end it is
necessary, above all, to extensively and thoroughly study and apprehend life. But to study and to
apprehend is not enough: great learning in itself is no guarantee of understanding the motives and
sympathies of the people, and not infrequently it becomes a prop for one's own delusions. It is true,
though, that Dostoevsky is not prepared to endow his negative characters with a well rounded education,
invariably fancying the banal pseudo-liberals to be either smatterers, or imbecilic slaves of the last book
read. Still, he allowed for the possibility of a fairly comprehensive learning co-existing with a jaded heart
and a sombre world outlook in the person of Ivan Karamazov and Versilov: educated, talented, and
likeable as to their nature, but inwardly alien to each and everyone. Obviously, they were lacking in that
inner condition of understanding people and life, the assimilation and development of which are the most
important prerequisites for pastors too, in that ability of re-embodiment that we are preoccupied with.
Here the moral process, or spiritual activity, should take place in the soul of the preacher himself, in order
to embrace the ones to be converted. Let us not speak again of the co-suffering and humble love that are
necessary here; no, the discussion should rather turn to that intentional aspiring to truthfulness, to that
frankness and simplicity of soul which alone can unravel the lie of general alienation and which
Dostoevsky sees as the principle that __ in combination with humility __ enables the Russian people to
relate to the genius of every other nation and assimilate it. In the constant clashes in our life we are
inclined to meet every phenomenon with prejudice, with partiality, or, on the contrary, distrustfully, while
the character of our humble people is free of all that. And thus, the people with their open soul are better
prepared to be psychologists and psychiatrists. Makar Ivanovich [The Adolescent] and the peasant Marey
(and Leo Tolstoy created something similar in his Platon Karatayev [War and Peace]) relate at once to
everybody by means of their total lack of prejudice and their openness of soul, softening as if by a healing
balsam the chronic spiritual wound of their interlocutors. In a cultured person like Aliosha Karamazov,
such frankness and sincerity may be achieved only by means of feats of prayer and a spiritual watch over
oneself. In the life of the simple Russian people this truthfulness, necessary for spiritual transformation, is

22
manifested by the fact that although "the peasants are corrupted and cannot renounce their filthy sin, yet
they know it is cursed by God and that they do wrong in sinning. So that our people still believe in
righteousness, have faith in God, and weep tears of devotion... It is different with the upper classes they...
have already proclaimed that there is no crime, there is no sin." (13) Let us add that Dostoevsky saw the
singular advantage of the people in this difference in attitude toward one's sins, and he spoke of it
frequently in his novels as well as in his articles (for example, 10, 50). In this sense he counted believers
from society as belonging to the people; he believed that this consciousness gives unfailing hope for the
salvation of even the most hardened villain; and this is expressed by the drunkard Marmeladov in his
famous monologue, one of the brightest pearls in the work of the writer. (14) Even in a contemptible sinner
this condition*** is extraordinary, but if coupled with love, humility, and a luminous and deep education,
it will crown the preacher of truth with a golden wreath of regular success. It will reveal to him the road
to the understanding of the mysteries of the inner life of his neighbours, indicating the possibility to love
and comprehend the good in them and to conquer their hearts by means of this, for the eternal truth of
the Reconciler. The author does not value religiosity itself without this feature of truthfulness with a
concomitant illuminated broadness, as can be seen from a reference to Versilov by one of the heroes and
from such characters as Khokhiakova and Therapont [The Brothers Karamazov]. Wild fanatics and
proud men may appear to be pious, but the author wastes even less sympathy on them than on
enthusiastic skeptics or debauchees. The reason is obvious. These fanatics and proud ones turn to God to
avoid doing homage to men, without of course recognizing how it comes about in them. To do homage to
God is not so humiliating. They become the most fervent of believers, or to be more accurate, the most
fervently desirous of believing. But they mistake the desire for belief itself". (15) It is obvious from the above
how far from the truth are those who represent Dostoevsky as a party man. But those who maintain that,
in the person of Fr Therapont, he is condemning the asceticism of hermits are erring too. There is a direct
rejoinder to that in the discourse of Fr Zosima entitled the "Russian Monk," where the necessity of
seclusion and of spiritual feats in order to grow is mentioned.

The author condemns scholarly enlightenment which is devoid of Christian love and piety, alien to love or
opposed to illumination, but he is absolutely innocent of the improper reproaches which imply a lack of
love toward the Russian clergy on his part. On the contrary, he puts his hopes precisely on the clergy as
the ones who combine piety with enlightenment in the schools. Our author was discussing this already in
1873, before the government had ever raised the question about the parish schools [which then served as
public schools]. In this article (9,224) the author indignantly condemns the zemstvo (16) members who
prevented the clergy from teaching the people. The author states firmly: "... we have many good
shepherds __ perhaps more than we could hope for, or more than we ourselves deserve" (9,232). (17)

Let us repeat Dostoevskys requisite for the conditions of the influence of one will upon another: by
humbling oneself, loving and learning about people, a human being ascends or returns to a primordial
mysterious union with everyone and, in pouring the holy content (acquired through communion with
God) of his soul into the soul of his neighbour, he transfigures the inner nature if the latter in such a way
that merely by the consent of his will, the difficult path of his rebirth is almost accomplished, if only he
does not react to this with vicious obstinacy and hate.

"But Dostoevsky, the great teacher of personal virtue, turns away from the social, public and cultural
ideals". This unfair reproach has become a commonplace of his literary antagonists. Its falsity is obvious
from the fact that in almost every novel, Dostoevsky is speaking about Russia and about Europe, about
humanity, about history. True, he warns us of all the paths of influencing our neighbours which his
literary antipathists had taken __ he correlates them with three temptations to which our Saviour was
subjected by the evil-one in the wilderness. And he includes here all kinds of external influences upon the
citizenry __ all except the Christian path discussed above. But, according to their common method of
action, he lumps Roman Catholicism, socialism, the party press and Western state regulation in all its
forms, together, identifying them with one another. While not completely rejecting the principle of the

23
state in life, he advocates __ in spite of all these systems __ that it (the state) should only maintain and
protect the moral ideals that have been created by the subjective life of people, without attempting to
squeeze these ideals out of artificially invented legal designs (18). Ideals are created by personal geniuses,
and by their mysterious inner bond with the genius of the people; having once become the property of the
every-day life of the people, they form the cultural ideal, and turn finally into commonly accepted
customs and perhaps even state laws. The author expressed these thoughts in the defence of his Pushkin
speech, against Gradovsky. (19) Since, however, this path of influence is as the path of martyrdom, the Cross,
the path of Christ, slow and almost imperceptible, although necessary to the future, the public figure is
confronted by three temptations, to which Europe has completely succumbed in its religion and state and
cultural history, and even in its ideals. If true life is created by co-suffering love, humility and sincerity,
then the falsehood of European ideals __ not the falsehood of their content, but of their method __ consists
in the fact that, unable to believe in the actual possibility and effectiveness, on earth, of these three
virtues, people, especially with the Papists and socialists, choose as their tools: instead of love __ the
satisfaction of material needs, or, bread instead of humility, coercion instead of sincerity __ intimidating
deception or sham miracles, secrecy and outward (external) authority (especially the Papists __ the
fabrication about a vicar of Christ on earth), while socialists use baseless conclusions from a quasi-
science and utopian fantasies of a future, general happiness. On this Dostoevsky wrote in 1877 the
following:

"... Ah, I don't know how soon but it wasn't long before the first blood was shed. Those people of the other
earth were shocked and horrified and they started to break up and disperse. Alliances were formed only
to be directed against other alliances. Recriminations and accusations flew to and fro.

"They learned about shame and they made a virtue of it. The concept of honour appeared, and each
alliance hoisted its colours. They fought to secede for independence, for individual advantages, for what's
mine and what's yours. They ended speaking different languages; they experienced suffering and came to
love it; they declared the suffering was the only way to truth. Then silence spread among them.

"As they became evil, they talked about fraternity and humanitarianism and came to understand those
concepts; as they became criminal, they invented justice and drew up voluminous codes of laws to enforce
their justice __ and built a guillotine to enforce their laws.

"They only dimly recalled the things they had lost and refused to believe that there had been a time when
they were pure and happy. They even dismissed as ridiculous all possibility of return to that lost bliss,
branding it a pipe dream. They were unable to visualize of conceive of it.

"And a strange thing happened: while they ceased completely to believe in their lost bliss, dismissing it as
a fairy tale, they longed so much to become happy and innocent once more that they capitulated to their
own wishes and, like small children, proceeded to worship their longings." (10,133). (20)

But it is his characters who speak most eloquently against false social influences: Verkhovensky and the
socialists __ champions of the brutal, obtuse and malicious coercion, the unbelieving Westerniser
Karmazinov(21) __ a false and unnatural prophet, a man of petty and unconsciously egotistical disposition,
and finally such characters as Raskolnikov, the "Adolescent," Ivan [Karamazov] and Smerdiakov who
based their ideals not so much on mood, as on fantasy and abstract conclusions which lacked the
verifications of inner and practical life, always arriving at results at total variance with their ideals, and
frequently at results which were simply criminal. Their activity bears fruits rapidly, but bitter fruit full of
murderous poison: they had succumbed to the seduction of the devil, who tried the pastoral patience of
Christ. Their activity and their society are "possessed" and its fruit __ the swine that perished in the sea of
Galilee.

24
By contrast, the progress of the hermit Zosima is tortuous and slow, but once completed, he radiates the
power of spiritual regeneration like a broad, life-giving wave, taking root in the life of a great nation
which, according to Dostoevskys thinking, is destined to be a teacher, a Zosima among all mankind, and
to bring eternal peace and true bliss to all. Dostoevsky was no chiliast but even the few but triumphant
successes of co-suffering and humble love which were manifested in the activities he describes filled his
heart with such ecstasy. They forcefully reveal to him the wisdom and grace of God's ekonomy. In the light
of this revelation he observed the irrepressible advance of the radiant sphere of grace and the retreating
shadows of sin and ignorance. He therefore looks into the future radiantly and joyfully, with a firm and
undefeatable hope that even with the moral resources in the life surrounding us, a general regeneration
will set in, similar to the one that was introduced on earth by Christianity in the first century -- not in the
future life only, but in the present.

"But God will save His people, for Russia is great in her humility. I dream of seeing, and seem to see
clearly, our future. It will come to pass that even the most corrupt of our rich will end by being ashamed
of his riches before the poor, and the poor, seeing his humility, will understand and give way before him,
will respond joyfully and kindly to this honourable shame. Believe me that it will end in that; things are
moving to that. Equality is to be found only in the spiritual dignity of man, and that will only be
understood among us. If we were brothers, there would be fraternity... We preserve the image of Christ,
and it will shine forth like a precious diamond to the whole world... So may it be, so may it be!". (22)

Enraptured by a sense of brotherly love, mentally embracing the whole universe, Dostoevsky sometimes
dreamt of general and total bliss. Even though he was aware of the condemnation of Origenism, he dared
to think humbly and timidly that the ban of the Church on these teachings (23) speaks rather of a
judiciously concealed mystery than of a complete negation of those hopes. Indeed that is the kind of
notion he puts into the mouth of the devil, appearing in The Brothers Karamazov. "I know, of course,
there's a secret in it, but they won't tell me the secret for anything, for then perhaps, seeing the meaning
of it, I might bawl `hosannah', and the indispensable minus would disappear at once, and good sense
would reign supreme throughout the whole world... I know that at the end of all things I shall be
reconciled. I, too, shall walk my quadrillion and learn the secret. But till this happens I am sulking and
fulfil my destiny though it is against the grain __ that is, to ruin thousands for the sake of saving one. How
many souls have had to be ruined and how many honourable reputations destroyed for the sake of that
one righteous man, Job, over whom they made such a fool of me in the old days! Ye, till the secret is
revealed, there are two sorts of truth for me __ one, their truth, yonder, which I know nothing about so far,
and the other, my own."(24)

We will not follow the writer that far, but derive from him the conviction that there is no limit to the
influence of a humble and loving preacher of Christ's grace, but only a perpetually expanding and
enlightening sphere of the spiritual union of peoples, nations and generations in Christ's truth and virtue.

1. Thomas Reed, the Scottish philosopher (1710-1796). Alexis Khomiakov (1804-1860), the Russian poet,
philosopher of history and theological writer, was one of the foremost Slavophiles.

2. A short autobiographical sketch, interpolated in The Diary of a Writer, February, 1876.

3. A Raw Youth (The Adolescent), pp.415-416.

4. ibid, p.611.

5. ibid, pp.406-7.

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6. "Spiritism. Something about Devils..." in The Diary of a Writer, January, 1876, ch.3 (translated and
annotated by Boris Brasol, New York, 1954, p.193) [Translator's note.]

7. The Brothers Karamazov, London, 1968, p.695.

8. The Devils (The Possessed), Penguin Books, Baltimore, 1973, p.655.

9. A Raw Youth (The Adolescent), p.391.

10. [on the day of the commemoration of "those who have fallen asleep."]

11. The Brothers Karamazov, p.332.

12. Rather than, for example, as a mental illness.

13. ibid, p.328.

14. Crime and Punishment, part 1, ch.2.

15. A Raw Youth (The Adolescent), p.62. Those qualities were manifested literally by a journalist who
aspired in his conceit to improve on one of Dostoevskys aphorisms: "humble yourself, proud man...," by
adding: "humble yourself, proud man, before God." There were ignoramuses who considered this addition
to be of particular merit, surely out of ignorance of the teaching of the holy fathers, "Have obedience to
everyone."

16. [Elective district councils in pre-revolutionary Russia] [editor's note.]

17. Perplexed Air in The Diary of a Writer, 1873, p.64.

18. The idea that the state should respond to, rather than attempting to create, the moral standards of
society.

19. P.D. Gradovsky (1841-1889), professor of government law; noted Westernizer. [Translator's note.]

20. The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, p.221.

21. A secondary figure in The Possessed, assumed to be patterned after Turgenev. [Translator's note.]

22. The Brothers Karamazov, p.329.

23. Origen taught that all of humanity which had rejected God, and even Satan would be reconciled in the
end and redeemed. He thought that "hell" (i.e., separation from God and His love) was only a temporary
state.

24. ibid, p.687.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

CONCORDANCE TO THE WORKS OF DOSTOEVSKY


26
by Antony Khrapovitsky, Metropolitan of Kiev

Translated from the Russian by Dr Ludmila Koehler

1979
SYNAXIS PRESS
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONCORDANCE TO THE WORKS OF DOSTOEVSKY

The Philosophy of Feodor Dostoevsky on Specific Subjects

by Saint Antony (Khrapovitsky)


I
On the Nihilist Revolution
ONE
THE ATTITUDE TO DOSTOEVSKY'S PREDICTIONS
ABOUT THE REVOLUTION

Then people come to serious grief and see no way out either in the circumstances of life around them,
or in the teachings and ideas which they used to follow, they start looking to and fro, trying to
remember the teachers and prophets who attempted at one time to warn them away from a future
disaster. The people had, however, disregarded these warnings and had responded to them with
derision and abuse. And then the stern predictions came true exactly as prophesied: people did drown
in blood, they perished from hunger and cold, they rotted from diseases and all hated and feared each
other. Wringing their hands and clasping their heads, they cry: all this has been predicted, all this was
announced for the whole land to hear in books which we all read; but like madmen, we laughed at our
prophet precisely because of these predictions, although we revered the mind and talent of this genius.
Now, all that had seemed to us thenCfifty or even five years agoCto be the product of a macabre fantasy
of the great man, has now come to pass with such terrifying accuracy that we are now prepared to
regard these predictions as direct revelations of God, although the author himself did not pass them
off as such. Rather, he presented these revelations as the fruit of his observations of the life of Russia
and Europe, on mankind's history and on the Russian character.

Before long, people began to notice Moses' great humility, love and compassion. He was always helping
someone, and he tried to teach those who had plenty, to share with those who were poor. The saint
was always praying that people would learn to truly love God and their neighbours.

The enlightened reader will of course understand that I have in mind Dostoevsky and his predictions
concerning the future fate of Russian nihilism and the future of all of Russia and Europe, set forth in
many of his works, but particularly in the novel The Possessed as well as in Diary of a Writer.

27
We have said that people laughed at his predictions, but truth compels us to add that only a few made
fun of the prophet himself and the number of his readers was impressive not only during his lifetime,
not only in the last years of his lifeCwhen he had become the best loved (it is not enough to say the
most popular) man in RussiaCbut also after his death, which occurred a month before the murder of
Alexander the Second, and even until now.

Nobody has more power in Russia than do poets. Thinkers and public figures in other fields are valued
according to how well they are able to cater to the tastes of the general public. Such is the lot of
publicists, philosophers, professors, even, to a certain degree, of the clergy; but a gifted poet, a novelist
or a lyric author succeeds in being read and revered irrespective of his philosophical or political
disposition. The public will forgive him the most unattractive ideas and expressions; he is applauded
in theatres when he pitilessly ridicules all of society to its face, its authorities, its fashions, its science.
Is not this the content of Lev Tolstoy's The Fruits of Enlightenment which drew an enthusiastic
response from theatre viewers who were depicted right there on the stage in the most sorry and silly
manner? Such was the attitude of society contemporary to Dostoevsky, as well as of our present
society, to his works despite the fact that Dostoevsky not only relentlessly castigated public prejudices
or, more precisely, the very spirit of Europe, its civilization and Russian society itself in all its spheres:
the university, the zemstvo, the military, etc., but he also proposed (although with wise gradualness
during the whole course of his teaching) such perspectives, such means of public and individual
regeneration that, had they come from the pen of someone other than a novelist of genius, say from a
publicist or especially from a priest, they would have provoked only scornful derision from the public.
Or perhaps not even derision, they simply would not have been deigned worthy of attention. The case,
however, was quite different in this instance. Suffice it to recall that in his most popular novel at the
end of the 1870's, that is, at the time of the most powerful predominance of positivism and
materialism, Dostoevsky appeared as the prophet of "strange to say monasticism" and, in the words of
his ideal Elder Zosima, proclaimed that Russia's salvation would come out of the Russian monastery,
from the monk. Numerous representatives of society received such a verdict on their ideas and
influence far less graciously than had the spiritualists who applauded the deadly mockery of
themselves in Tolstoy's The Fruits of Enlightenment. And yet, The Brothers Karamazov was admired
more than The Fruits of Enlightenment. The author was literally lionized while the novel was still
being serialized, and right up to its conclusion. At literary gatherings he was greeted more
enthusiastically than the most celebrated European prima-donna on the stage. His conduct was, as a
speaker put it then, a triumphal march not seen until then either in St Petersburg or in the provinces.

Yes, the power of a poet of genius over Russian hearts is above the power of their self-love and
prejudices. Therefore, a genius can say and write whatever pleases him.

What can be said of this in regard to our society? Maybe it should be derided for such inconsistency?
Whoever wants to may make fun of it, but we will say: glory and honour to the people and to the
society which forgo all things before the self revelation of moral truth. It is the lot of geniuses, and
particularly that of poets of genius, to comprehend the moral truth and to reveal it to the minds and
hearts of the people. "Expose the wise one, and he will love you for it." Lacking in other qualities, our
people are wise in this, and even our society has preserved this quality of soul, although it has
departed from it in many ways.

We have already mentioned, however, that Dostoevsky's prophecies relating to contemporary events
were received with distrust and ridicule. This statement must be qualified. Outright malicious, even
abusive critical articles originated from a notorious literary camp in response to every novel of our
writer, but they had little impact on the general public and the youth. The novel The Possessed, which
appeared approximately fifty years ago, shared at that time and in subsequent years the success of

28
Dostoevsky's other works and provoked the animosity of his literary adversaries on a par with his
other novels and articles.

It is quite clear why Dostoevsky's stern prophecies caused little concern to the admirers of revolution
until the advent of the first revolution. At that time the publication of The Possessed, and until the
beginning of the 20 century, the state system of Russia seemed so strong that there was no need to
advocate a radical revolution: on the contrary, the representatives of the opposition C some of them
sincerely, others hypocritically C tried to convince society that they did not want a bloody upheaval
and that nothing of this sort was going to take place in Russia. Radical views were preached by quite
immature youths, and abroad at that, so that such conspirators were regarded as a gang of dreamers
completely apart from and alien to all of society. But then came the year 1905. People were forced to
rub their sleepy eyes and acknowledge that something similar had been predicted by the great writer
with the stipulation: "We won't live that long but our children will see all that." The nihilistic
revolution was approaching boldly with its head raised high, and although Dostoevsky's reputation
remained unshaken so that it was impossible to belittle his genius, it was imperative to take a stand in
regard to what had been pointed out by a small group of serious people. The revolution had to be
hailed and yet Dostoevsky's dark prophecies about it became known everywhere. What was there left
for the representatives of the literary position to say? We heard the public lecture of one professor of
literature in about 1910. He was an admirer of Dostoevsky, but also of the revolution. What was the
result? He said exactly the same as all the others who shared the opinion of the majority of the
newspapers. The novel The Possessed is a failure, a work written in irritation by our author who
considered the revolutionary movement not in its essence but only from its seamy side, from the side
of the dregs, identifying with them the entire movement which was in general sincere and respectable.
No mention was made, of course, of the fact that the same views which were expressed in The
Possessed were also expressed in Diary of a Writer for 1843-44, as well as in Crime and Punishment
and The Brothers Karamazov.

When, however, the first revolutionary thunder resounded in March 1917, our society and the
students began to speak out much more boldly against the prophecies of the author of The Possessed.
"See," they cried. "Dostoevsky had predicted a revolution with cannibalism, while we have established
one without executions. The Russian revolution is a bloodless one." The general (or liberal) public was
quite satisfied as long as it could direct the revolution and be in command in Russia. And why not?
Anybody who so desired could become a minister, a commissar, a public speaker, etc. But when, under
such stewardship, the army dispersed, leaving the front and billions in property to the enemy, when
the enemy tore a dozen provinces from Russia and when what was left of her began to crack and the
huge state disintegrated into a multitude of "independent republics" C then our triumphant rebels
began to groan. But this is not what they considered to be their undoing. This arose when, following
the lawyers, zemstvy, teachers and students, the peasants (the muzhichki) appeared saying: "We do
not at all agree to a mere substitution of the former masters and counts by the raznochintsy; if there is
to be equality, then equality there will be. You changed places with the former chamberlains, would it
please you to change your positions with us now C artisans, sailors, peasants. Vacate your apartments,
cars and theatres for us. We would also like to taste all this, especially power and money." There was
no longer any mention of the bloodless revolution; blood flowed not in streams as 120 years earlier in
France, but a whole ocean of it. Russians were attacked by aliens, the non-Russians; Russians fought
Russians; hostages who were known not even to be involved in the whole affair, were killed by the
hundreds. In a word, all that took place is occurring before our eyes now. The former exultant mood
was replaced by dejection and despair; many cases of suicide and insanity occurred in addition to
killings and executions. The leaders of the revolution themselves lost their calm and confidence. It is
now hardly possible to find a hundred people in Russia who would approve of what has happened in
the course of these two years. At this point, Dostoevsky's prophecies were seized upon once more.
They were now recognized as prophecies. People were cursing themselves for the insane undermining

29
of the former state, they bitterly blamed one another, calling each other perpetrators of the disaster.
Some put the blame on the Duma, others on the zemztvo, still others blamed the university, the public
schools, the press or the Jews.

Let us not deliberate who is correct in these accusations; it may be that all are correct. Let us rather
consider whether the situation in our former nativeland is that hopeless, whether Holy Russia has
perished as it now seems to many, if not to the majority. We are not going to speak on our own behalf.
The thinker who has so correctly predicted what took place has to be consulted. Previously, we did not
want to believe him, and we perished. Let us believe him now in order to find the path of general
salvation.

Inspired by these thoughts, I started, last winter, to compile a short index, a "Concordance to the
Works of Dostoevsky," extracting from them concise statements on the following categories, though
not in this order: 1.) Education C children and teenagers; 2.) People and society; 3.) Clergy and monks;
4.) Revolution and atheism; 5.) The call to society for regeneration. Pushkin and the Slavophiles; 6.)
Defects of our society, of its laws and customs; 7.) Orthodoxy and heresies; 8.) Russia and Europe, war,
foreigners; 9.) The Russian woman and her task; 10.) On religion in general and; 11.) The writer's own
characteristic and psychological observations on people and life in general.

As the reader may see, this is not a systematic program, but rather notes to remember. In fact, I did not
put them on paper with a preconceived plan, but made notes, reading all the twenty-one volumes of
the author (missing only the volume containing Notes From the House of the Dead, but it is possible
that I will be able to re-read that also before these articles are published).

Why did I approach this task which is outside my field? Because I have been interned abroad for over
six months and I decided to make use of the few books at my disposal in order not to sit idly in my
imprisonment. I have finished several works for publication in my own field and the question about
the moral regeneration of society and the nativeland it seems, should be the field of every enlightened
person: this is the essential cause for the appearance of the present articles.

TWO
DOSTOEVSKY'S PREDICTIONS ABOUT
THE SOCIALIST REVOLUTION

Thus, Dostoevsky did predict that which has been going on before our eyes for more than two years.
We are not going to repeat the plan of the Revolution which is set forth by its champions in The
Possessed, nor dwell on the one which has taken place now, fifty years later; let us rather quote from
our concordance some pronouncements of the author on the character of the future uprisings in
Europe, and in Russia in particular.

Dostoevsky considers Russian nihilism and revolution to be a phenomenon of an entirely borrowed


kind; it had developed in Western Europe on the grounds of the struggle between the bourgeoisie and
the proletariat after the first as well as the latter had lost all higher aspirations of life except for the
pursuit of comforts and pleasures. This sort of struggle is alien to Russia; it is possible to draw the
people into it only from the outside as into anything evil, by means of persistently corrupting them,
but even so not for long. The people will come to their senses and not only will they undergo a moral
regeneration but they will regenerate Europe too, which is even now on the brink of ruin, the
destruction of the entire civilization. But with all that, Dostoevsky maintained that this all-European
revolution will begin in Russia.

30
"The European Revolution," says Dostoevsky, "will begin in Russia because we do not have reliable
safe-guards either in the administration (the government) or in society." "Godless anarchism is close at
hand, our children will see it." "The internationale has decreed that the European Revolution should
start in Russia; if the nihilistic propaganda is so unsuccessful with us, this is due to the abject stupidity
and inexperience of the propagandists."

In defiance of the aspirations of our liberals that the revolution was to be bloodless, Dostoevsky
predicted its bloody terror, the dimming of the conscience of men, the defiant flouting of humaneness
in general (just like in the added chapter of Pushkin's The Captain's Daughter), an uninhibited plunder
with impunity, and public starvation. All this has been described in The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and
in even greater detail in the dream of Raskol'nikov [in Crime and Punishment]. People, desiring to
introduce complete unity on earth, start an uprising, depose the powers that be, but ultimately the
uprising turns into an internecine war, in which the warring parties undergo, in their turn, an internal
disintegration. Internecine strife breaks out in every warring party, the latter disintegrate again and
again, and finally a war of all against all breaks out, and the people forget what it was they were
fighting for, with whom and for what; they suffer terribly but continue to fight. This prophetic dream
of an anarchist who has been condemned to penal servitude for a murder committed on principle, is
highly significant. There are, however, other direct statements on this topic in the works of our writer.
Through his heroes he says about the revolutionists: "They will begin building a proud tower of Babel
and they will end with cannibalism." "The agitators of the proletariat will call their followers simply to
plunder." On Russian agitators in particular: "The Russian Europeans are prepared to commit any
cruelty if it is proven to them that this is required by Civilization." "Such an aberration of conscience is
possible with us." "The revolutionists are against morals: one has first to feed the people and then ask
for virtue but they will not be able to feed themselves, they will return to us to ask for food; freedom
and satiation are incompatible. Hungry and poor, they will be afraid of their liberty and they will come
to surrender it to us in slavish obedience. Such are the predictions of the 16th century pope." [The
Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov].

Such will be, according to Dostoevsky, the bloody and cruel sweep of the future revolution, with
starvation added. But will the revolution preserve the promised "free conscience"? On the contrary:
the inner spring of revolutionary movements is quite deadly to all such freedoms in the countries of
this world and in Russia, where the religious element is so strong, and the attitude of our liberals to it
is so inimical (as in general, to the life of the people). The revolution feeds on hatred of God, and this
hatred is its motor nerve. Revolution in Russia is not so much an economic movement, not even a
political one, as it is an anti-religious and anti-people, anti-Russian movement. And that is why it will
find expression in such pictures of cruel terror and bestiality. Let us quote from the works of our
writer: "Rejecting Christ, people want to introduce justice, but they will end by drowning the world in
blood." "They will destroy the temples, drown the world in blood and then become frightened."
"Socialism is not an economic theory but an atheistic one: the tower of Babel." If this is applicable to all
nations to a certain extent, with the Russian people this is the very essence of the revolutionary
movement. Dostoevsky expresses this approximately thus: "In Russia a rebellion can be started only
with the help of atheism," and Belinsky, as a socialist, had above all to turn against Christianity; he says
that Jesus Christ would now join the Socialists, just like the thirteen year old boy, Kolia Krasotkin [The
Brothers Karamazov].

Such is the character of the Russian Revolution: not an economic, but an anti-Christian, a mystic and
even a demagogic one: it was developed in the course of fifty or even seventy years, not by
proletarians but by well-to-do intellectuals, sometimes even wealthy people. Particularly impressive in
expressing this idea of our writer is the "engineer from among the seminarians," Kirillov, who
developed in detail, as the idea of his whole life and the cause of his suicide, a rebellion against God.
The consumptive teenager Ippolit is similar in attempting a rebellion against the Creator, but he is

31
kept from it and enlightened in time. Kirillov claimed: "Whoever will conquer the terror of death will
be a god C not in the sense of eternal life, but in that the very insubordination to the Creator, expressed
by the decision to commit suicide, emancipates him from the position of subordination to God, and by
that, he becomes a god himself" [see the chapter "Night" in The Possessed, Part 2]. Here, there is
rebellion for the sake of rebellion against God. In the West these elements of revolutionary theomachy
are also present, as the Grand Inquisitor pointed out, but Western people have long ago become
materialistic and public morality has drastically deviated from any religious interests, having turned
into the class war of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat as in ancient Rome. Therefore, revolution
there changed ground and embraced different principles which our nihilists are at pains C in a very
inept and ugly fashion C to transplant to Russian soil. "The European bourgeoisie," writes Dostoevsky,
"is selfish and leads a struggle for existence with the proletariat with all his power." "The European
powers will be destroyed by the proletarians, but not Russia, because they are content in Russia" (i.e.,
they had land and the means to earn a living).

Considering the revolutionary movement in Russia to be a movement of the intelligentsia and


absolutely not of the people, Dostoevsky did not close his eyes to the possibility of an artificial
corruption of a part of the people and their involvement in the nihilistic revolution; the convict Fed'ka
succumbed to such an influence of the nihilists to a significant degree. It is common knowledge what a
significant role common convicts played in the contemporary revolution, and even more so the semi-
intelligent flunkies like Smerdiakov [the lackey of The Brothers Karamazov], whom Dostoevsky called
"front-rank cannon-fodder when the time comes" [i.e., the revolution]. The first was corrupted by the
representative of the intelligentsia C Verkhovensky, who then shot him C while the second was
debauched by Ivan Karamazov who drove him to suicide.

"Although the revolution will start in Russia," we read in Dostoevsky, "it won't last for long: its real nest
will be in Europe." He continues, "It is not anticipated, it is true, but it was not anticipated in 18
century France either, as can be seen from the travelogues of Karamzin and Schiller. With us it is the
students who are fond of socialism, while in France, it was the hungry proletariat. Liberal political
figures hate socialism and the French republicans are most hostile to it. Once the bourgeoisie in France
manage to displace the proletarians, the latter will start a carnage and everything in Europe will break
asunder, except, perhaps, the Jews."

In general, Dostoevsky assigns a significant role to the Jews the development of the revolution. Once it
starts C he wrote C the Jews will get to the top from everywhere and will temporarily take over in
Russia (it is said that the Jews constitute eighty percent of the government officials in Soviet Russia
now); "they begin even now to fill Russia, and the educated ones among them, being extremely vain
and touchy, represent the most embittered element among the rebels."

But if the Russian revolution differs so radically from the Western European, proceeding not from
economic but from pseudo-philosophical needs, its immediate manifestations and consequences will
always be the same as in Western Europe, and this is already beginning to become apparent. The
revolution rises openly against religion; it does not shrink from moral transgressions but in addition
to the complete failure in achieving the material well-being of the land, which will be doomed to
endure hunger, the revolution is not only going to fail to fulfil its promise to give liberty to the people,
but will take away even the liberty they have always enjoyed in this country. All this can be seen
beforehand; a similar grievous fate will overtake science and education.

Let us cite Dostoevsky's corresponding ideas. Liberal equality, writes the author, is simply a jealous
spying on one another and envy; because of their inability to conduct their affairs, our revolutionists
suspect everybody of spying. The revolutionists want to promote education; afterward they will
function by spying and denunciations. Somebody by the name of Shigalev, a theoretician of

32
revolutionary programs, developed such a detailed system of mutual spying. He was also counting on
making use of that propaganda device which later made itself felt (in the 20 century) in the form of the
so-called "candle-ends," pornography, etc. Shigalev's program assumes a systematic corruption of
society and of youth in order to undermine religion and authority of the state. Under these
circumstances there can be no question, of course, of freedom, or of justice or enlightenment.
Moreover, the very union or, more correctly, the linking together of the revolutionary figures is
ensured by coercion, and the most terrible coercion at that C the common participation in some crime
and the fear of being handed over for criminal proceedings; the participants of the revolution are
glued together in advance by the blood of a victim which they spill. According to this principle, the
repentant revolutionary Shatov was killed in The Possessed, and he was the noblest and most sincere
idealist who spoke so contemptuously of the revolutionists.

Of course, not all of Dostoevsky's revolutionists deserve such a gloomy characterization, only those
who knew what they were doing. The majority of them, recruited from among the "green youth" like
Ertel in The Possessed, were honestly erring idealists about whom the writer said the following:
"Russian youth is chaste and the striving of some of them for political upheaval springs from a desire
for higher harmony. These elements, perhaps the most numerous in the revolutionary ranks, are so
naive, however, so trusting and so completely conditioned for a senseless, fanatic subordination that
not only are they unable to become a deterrent to the impending cannibalism, but on the contrary,
they provide the opportunity for the evil geniuses of the revolution, like Verkhovensky, to turn the
revolution into a bloody means toward other, even more repulsive goals, as has been demonstrated by
contemporary events. The same Verkhovensky was then secretly asserting that he wants to achieve a
dictatorship and oligarchy through the revolution. And this is by no means impossible, since the
revolutionary herd shows blind obedience to the band of its leaders. Verkhovensky's father was
already at a loss to understand `why communists and socialists are such desperate misers and money-
grubbers'."

For all that, Dostoevsky insists on the essential difference between our revolutionists and the Western
kind. Although they took their program from the latter, with the exception of the above mentioned evil
geniuses who were in charge of the turn the events took, our revolution is the result of an erroneous
idea accepted by the majority of its followers, while in the West it is an expression of the bestial
struggle for existence and there the victor will be the one who will take charge of the material
interests of the masses. This was made clear in the above quoted words of the Grand Inquisitor. The
author wrote the same in Diary of a Writer: turn stones into bread and rule over the masses.

Without repeating Dostoevsky's argument on the class-struggle in Europe as the cause of the
revolution, let us add that, according to his conviction this egoism of the Europeans has impoverished
even the theoretical thought in the West to such an extent that the people there cannot even
understand how ridiculous it is to expect a humane organization of life with the help of the egoistic,
utilitarian offices, like all kinds of associations and parliaments. Associations, says our writer, do not
unite, rather they disunite the people. We will come to grasp this (1918 has taught us that) while in
Europe this will never be understood. The French, he writes in another volume, ascribe the failure of
their republic to accidental causes and they cannot understand that the whole system is wrong, since
it is completely devoid of a moral foundation, and based solely on the struggle of various interests and
for various advantages: the rebellious personality has to start with self-sacrifice but Europe does not
understand this. The Russians, on the contrary, understand that the highest expression of a
personality lies in self-denial, while the ones who put their hopes solely in a combination of human
egoism, the Fourierists (Western Communists) for example, who spent 900 thousand dollars on
organizing a commune, did not achieve anything. And if a parliament will be established in Russia,

33
then all will use it to abuse one another (the history of the State Duma from 1905-1917 is a case in
point). If the socialist revolution does not achieve its direct goals C freedom and the well-being of its
followers C it is at the same time even less propitious for its country of origin, and of course, least of all
in Russia, and everywhere else. And this is because, as Dostoevsky notes, the forms (republic or
commune) are placed above everything else, above one's native country: "let France cease to exist, but
let there be a Republic," wrote and cried the French after Napoleon III. And if it was like this in France,
then the affair is going much further among us. Dostoevsky juxtaposes our liberal (not a
revolutionary) with the Western liberal in the sense that the latter does not like the present system in
his country, desiring a different, better one, while the Russian liberal, above all, hates Russia itself.
Dostoevsky turns to this idea repeatedly in The Idiot and in The Possessed (the professor's speech at
the charity ball). Such are Russian liberals, while our socialists, declares the writer, are obsessed by a
strange hatred of Russia: they would be unhappy if she were to fare well. Dostoevsky sees the main
reason for this, not in an evil will but in the total unfamiliarity of Russians with Russia; their custom of
being guided by alien reasoning coming from abroad and the self-assurance peculiar to ignoramuses.
The foolish pride of the revolutionists of the 60's and their ignorance astonished the writer. When
gathering, they talked about the division of Russia into small states, about the abolishment of religion,
about surrendering our land up to the Dnieper to Poland. The root cause of this moral and intellectual
obscurity lay in modern utilitarian philosophy and sociology, which was strongly ridiculed by the
author.

SEVEN

EXAMPLES OF GENUINE UNION WITH THE PEOPLE

Instead of encouraging the reader, however, by means of joyful expectations, would it not be better to
adduce real examples from Dostoevskys own works, examples of the merger of souls and lives of the
representatives of society with the life of the people? Such examples are not absent, but there are not
that many of them and they are scattered through all the novels of our writer. It is noteworthy that
Dostoevskys heroes achieve a union with the people immediately following an internal turning point
from grumbling and disbelief to faith, and from European pride to Christian humility. It even suffices if
one of the conditions -- piety and humility -- is present, in order to achieve a rapprochement with the
people. The grandmother in The Gambler was a typical landlady of the type which advocates serfdom,
but she was a deeply religious, guileless, open character and to her servants she was like one of them,
like their kin. Similarly, her lackeys and maid servants are, for her, like her own relatives whom she
involves in her private life, in her interests, with perhaps a greater intimacy than the relatives who are
alien to her because of their moral mood.

Stefan Tromfimovich Verkhovensky in The Possessed, a convinced Westernizer and an areligious


despiser of Russia, even before he turns to faith in God, which was granted to him only on his
deathbed, regrets having sympathized with the revolutionists after the bloody scenes of their cruel
activities, decides to flee from liberators "washing their hands in blood" (1), and goes to the people,
whom he previously shunned, intending now to become a tutor in some merchant's house.

He is not yet a full Christian but in his soul, has already renounced the proud ones and humbled
himself. And then what? His humble, helpless looks alone immediately gain him all the people's favour

34
on the highway and in the village inn. Various simple people surround him, take care of him, delight
the last days of his earthly life, teach him to believe and to die a Christian.

The humble-hearted colonel in The Village Stepanchikovo is so well liked by his peasants that they do
not want to hear of their transfer to Foma Fomich (a self-deluded proud man) and the whole village
pleads with their beloved lord to keep ownership as a great benefaction to them. Both the pious
patriarchal peasants, and even the most depraved element of the people, the Siberian convicts, looked
upon the atheistic advocate of equality, Raskol'nikov, with extreme dislike, but became wholeheartedly
attached to his pious and meek fiancee, the former unwilling prostitute, who has voluntarily followed
the luckless youth to the dreaded Siberia. Responding with sympathy to all their requests, she became
concerned with all their needs, wrote letters and petitions for them and they received her like an
angel, although she lacked external charm and was not even looking for a rapprochement.
Raskol'nikov's conversion to love, to the beginnings of faith, to the people, starts as well with the
reading of the Gospel by his fiancee.

The pious and pure-hearted novice, Alyosha Karamazov, who was devoid of all pride, according to the
author's description, retired to a monastery from the world, turned out to be a friend of everybody, not
only of the simple people, but the intelligentsia as well. He was beloved everywhere he went. Even his
depraved and cynical father cannot suppress his tender feelings for the youth, though he is utterly cold
toward his two older sons. He asks Alyosha to pray for him, as he himself was only a blasphemous
man. He was loved by his schoolmates and the spoiled, ill-bred city boys alike; he never cared for
himself, but was always taken care of by strangers who not only did not feel this as a burden but
rejoiced in his stay with them. He was a young man, desiring an active heroic struggle of self-sacrifice.
True, the author does not depict any scenes of his present contact with the simple people but as he
puts it: "Sometimes a similar `eccentric' carries within him the essence of public unification." And
indeed, no matter whom he approaches, all are excited, all confess to him, all demand instruction and
admonition from him, both brothers and the three proud girls belonging to different social circles, the
elderly lady and even the embittered nihilist, Rakitin, wavering between hate and friendship with
Alyosha who, though he is a living reproach to him, nevertheless attracts him.

Stated briefly, the writer assigns to his beloved hero a far more difficult task than unification with the
people; the author does not show this in detail, being rightly convinced that this "early lover of the
people," Alyosha Karamazov, has totally merged with the people in having become a novice and a
simple monastery cell-attendant of Fr Zosima, the great elder so beloved by the people. To make up for
it Dostoevsky completes the picture in the biography of the latter, showing the merging with the
people of any intellectual renegade once he gains a foothold on religious ground. In his youth, he was a
flippant officer who, having come to his senses on the day of a duel (and subsequently became a
schema-monk) immediately resigned and, by way of preparation for the monastic order, took to
wandering, according to Russian custom. At one point during his wanderings he met his former
orderly, Afanasii, whose face he had slapped the night before the duel. The intimidated orderly did not
take offence even then, since he considered his master, an officer, a being of a higher order. But when
he meets him as a humble wanderer, he receives him as a brother, as a kinsman and, having treated
him to food and drink as an equal, he feels bold enough to offer him half a ruble in his poverty.

In this episode as well as in the concluding chapter of The Possessed the author presents society and
the people as two nations, as two camps who, although they are not inimical, are so estranged that the
one who has left one side immediately finds himself in the other, and only those having dedicated
themselves to God and the Church, like Alyosha and the elder Zosima, can remain, without difficulty,
equally close to the one and the other. This last idea of the author does not mean that only monks can

35
remain equally close to society and to the people but it contributes to Elder Zosima's thoughts on the
future calling of the Russian monasteries and monasticism, a calling which was, to a certain extent,
always realized, though the author expects more from it now.

In this instance we have in mind the death-bed exhortations of Elder Zosima in The Brothers
Karamazov, representing the confession of his whole life and a solemn hymn to Christ as He remains
both in Heaven and in the hearts of the Russian people. The elder remarks, quite correctly, that the
Russian monastery was always with the people (The Brothers Karamazov). In enthusiastic terms he
describes the essence of the monastic achievement (we will not repeat it here) and finally he
expresses the hope that Russia's salvation will come from the monks. In an earlier chapter our writer
provides a vivid confirmation of these convictions and aspirations, namely in "the believing simple
woman" where he tells us with what reverence, with what deep feelings, and unshakable confidence,
our people look upon the elders, and with what peaceful reconciliation people leave their company
enriched in spiritual wisdom. Not only the pious pilgrims, wandering from one monastery to another
but even the lackey Smerdiakov, who was almost totally severed from the people, still preserved in his
heart the conviction common to all the people, that true, righteous life is not found in the world but at
the wilderness hermitages, and that these anchorites do exist even now, only a small number of them,
perhaps, but still two or three of them must exist.

In order to conclude our discourse of the monastic sympathies of our writer, let us mention that he
studied monasticism and the institutions of the elders personally in the Optina Hermitage, whose
elders Makarii and his pupil Amvrosii (+1862) served as the prototypes for Father Zosima.

Let nobody think that Dostoevskys hope in the apostolic calling of Russian monasticism was the fruit
of his own fantasy. On the contrary, not only the Russian monks, who always thought of themselves as
the shepherds of the people, but also the oldest founders of desert monasticism, took the same view of
their calling. St Neil of Sinai (+694) for example, wrote, "A monk is one who, retiring from everybody,
remains in spiritual contact with all and sees himself in every man." It was said that in high solemn
moments of history, the entire society shakes off the foreign deposits and merges with the people;
such were the years 1812 and 1877. What, then, does society experience in these moments, what do
its individual representatives of both sexes detect in these moments of their personal life and what do
they take for examples? Bows from the waist and even bowing down to the ground peasant fashion,
which is totally unexpected by those around, and perhaps even to the ones who carry them out
themselves. Thus, Katerina Ivanovna, stunned by the magnanimous and chaste deed of Dmitrii
Karamazov, suddenly bows to the ground before him. Raskol'nikov also bows to the ground before
Sonia, for the first time when he finds out what a heavy cross of degrading selflessness she took upon
herself, and for the second time when the decisive change takes place in his heart under the influence
of her example and of his own sufferings. Svidrigailov sends his regards to Razumikhin before his
death, having understood that the latter alone has chosen the right path in life -- that of humility and
selflessness.

Observe that the custom of bows from the waist and to the ground is a chief distinction between the
people and society, Russia and Europe; there they kneel on one knee, but do not even lower their head,
much less bow to the ground, even before God. In making such a bow a Russian renounces, as it were,
society for the time being and joins the people.

36
EIGHT

DOSTOEVSKY AND THE POLITICAL PARTIES

We had a special purpose in mind when we dwelt on the subject of monasticism. We intended to show
that our writer approaches even this centuries old institution, which many consider to be divorced
from life, from the same point of view as he approaches every subject -- from the point of view of the
people and service to the people. This is, so to speak, the central point of departure in all of
Dostoevskys preaching.

No matter what he is writing about: Pushkin or the revolution, or the Eastern question, or
enlightenment or faith, or lack of it, or questions of education, all of this interests him from the point of
view of its usefulness for the people, from the point of view of a more intimate communion with the
people. Critics who want to present Dostoevsky as a champion of one or another political orientation
or party completely misunderstand him. When, in his journal or novels, he responded to the issues of
the day, he naturally had to speak out on many subjects and questions, which give expressions to this
or that political orientation or even party. But Dostoevskys opinions and the opinion of the partisans
of the contemporary camps are another matter. For the majority of the political camps, a certain
political outlook is the essence of their worldview (for example, monarchism, constitutionalism,
panslavism or Ukrainophilism). And they assess every idea they encounter from this point of view,
even though some of these ideas are far more significant than their political banner. Thus, I can
understand that one may be for or against religion, for or against Russian poetry. When, however, a
Bulgarian chauvinist renounces Orthodoxy solely in order to sever all links with the hated Greeks,
when our Ukrainophiles attempt to convince secondary school students that Shevchenko (2) surpasses
Pushkin, and that Pushkin is in fact a non-entity, when a monarchist advocates the subordination of
our Church to the Tsar, and so on, I see in this a complete degeneration of those who speak thus as well
as of their very ideas, which have stifled their minds and consciences.

Such twisted logic is, of course, for the most part, insincere. When, for example, someone puts a rather
relative value above everything else, as Dostoevskys contemporary Frenchmen did with the idea of
the Republic (even if France itself perished!) and our own revolutionists of 1917 did with the
Revolution (even if Russia itself should perish!), then we understand that this is not a fascination with
the idea itself, but the person's orientation to personal gain and, secondly, with his personal welfare
and safety.

In countries where all of public life has long been limited to party struggles, this struggle has ceased to
be political and has turned into a personal or group struggle, guided by the self-interest of the
partisans, while the political slogans are mouthed only for the sake of decorum, and everybody is well
aware of it. In this manner, the Liberals, Radicals and "napredniki" (Progressives) fought in Serbia for
forty years. The principle advanced by all of them was identical, and the struggle was concerned only
with ministerial and other cabinet posts. Sometimes, however, there is more to it, particularly in
Russia. It happens, writes Dostoevsky, that a man becomes completely overpowered by his idea and is
swallowed up by it.(3) This pertains mostly to the revolutionary passions of youths (such as Erkel's in
The Possessed)(4) and of simple folk. For powerful minds, however, such states do not last. Nevertheless,
even Dostoevskyhimself could be subject to such a passion. We mention this because of the deeply
annoying habit of critics attempting to explainDostoevskys loftiest contemplations of a religious
nature, his psychological observations and his conclusions concerning the people's life, by his
Slavophile orientations, by monarchism, his nationalism, etc. His ideological dependence was -- as

37
with every great and honest thinker -- exactly the opposite. But the difficulty with our criticism, indeed
with our whole epoch, is that people are not able to see anything else in others but party-mindedness.
Our historians depict all world geniuses as partisans. Parties have been invented even for the Apostles
Peter and Paul, and their inspired words are interpreted from this absurd point of view. Judging
everybody by themselves, like D'Alambert's nurse, our contemporaries have such a conception of even
the best people, as if they start by selecting a party uniform for themselves and then reason: now I am
a monarchist, and I have to uphold: 1. religion, 2. patriotism, 3. large holdings of private property, 4.
strict schools for youth, 5. militarism, 6. friendship with Germany, 7. classical education, etc. And the
contemporary party member does not give the least thought to whether it is of interest to others to
consider whether religion is teaching the truth or is all inveterate superstition, does Russia deserve
independence, or is it regrettable that she was not absorbed forever by France in 1812 (as Smerdiakov
held),(5) is classical education conducive to mental development or, on the contrary, does it hinder the
growth of thinking, as Kolia Krasotkin asserted on the strength of Rakitin's suggestion. (6) This is the
ruin of our society and of all contemporary culture; this also explains the fact that from 1917 on, our
intelligentsia, almost to a man, turned into a "weather vane" of the Time of Troubles. (7)

As it is our duty to disengage Dostoevsky from the party uniform which our malicious and narrow-
minded critics have attempted unsuccessfully to force him into, we will remind the reader that he does
not spare the conservatives, or even the Slavophiles, when he considers them to be in the wrong or
their judgment to be shallow, to say nothing of the government circles, the chief support of the throne,
whom he unceremoniously castigates in his pronouncements as despisers of the Russian people and
even of Russia itself.

Let us also mention that he is not in the least inclined to defend, to the detriment of truth, the
representatives of the very summit of his idea, that is, of religion and the Church. While giving its idea
its due, he does not conceal the sins and blunders of its leaders, and sometimes even of their whole
trend. Thus, while having drawn the beautiful image of the Elder Zosima and the monastic life around
him, our writer does not shrink from representing in the same vivid colours, the seamy side of
monastic life and the monastic scandal which took place at the coffin. Here, he describes not only the
personal vices of the hermits, but the entire false, self-deluded trend in religious life which existed
right next to living sanctity. He expresses himself equally frankly about the false religiousness among
enlightened lay people. Some proud people, he says, acknowledge God solely in order not to have to
respect their neighbours.(8)

On the other hand, we will invite the reader's attention to Dostoevskys sympathetic references to
naive atheists, to very young revolutionists and, in time, we will introduce the reader to his most
sympathetic references to Western Europe, i.e., to his feelings toward it, and toward the human soul in
general, from which it will become apparent that Dostoevsky was a convinced optimist who believed
that good would triumph over evil. He looked at wicked people as a doctor would contemplate a
diseased, but not hopeless, patient.

For our part, we are concerned with revealing to the reader the correct concept, not of the form, but of
the content of Russian life, which could be preserved and even develop, even if Russia is not destined
to continue her existence as an independent state, but becomes a colony of another state or states. For
this reason, we value Dostoevsky so highly not only as an expert diagnostician of our country's life, but
as a teacher, a therapist who is capable of helping us even if our patient, Russia, had both its hands
amputated, that is, was deprived of its statehood. What is the state? Actually, it is the "people's police"
with threefold spying and tenfold executions, as the history of the French and Russian communes have
demonstrated. Pressing all the policies of public life into a state uniform, even the most Republican
"uniform," is above all highly unliberal. Dostoevsky was quite right when, in the "Epilogue" to the
Pushkin Address, he tried to convince Professor Gradovsky, an advocate of law and order, that the

38
patriarchal principles of the life of our people are not only much more moral, but even more liberal
than the constitutional and Republican orders which give incomparably less room for private initiative
and moral truth. The arbitrary Aleko (9) and the pessimist Onegin(10) who had fled, according to
Gradovsky, not from the European lie but from Russian society, are closely related to this society, in
Dostoevskys opinion, since they make short work of the gypsy girl and the friend, respectively. Do
not, therefore, consider Dostoevsky a representative of a party or a political trend: he stood far above
those secondary areas of life and thought, although as a thinking man he could not avoid having
definite opinions on these matters. Following our writer, we call upon our readers to keep separate the
concepts of public life and the concept of statehood and not to raise the idea of statehood to an
absolute, not to consider the state to be of the highest importance, so that all other values, all other
ideas would be evaluated from that point of view. One must recall that this is precisely the substance
of the falsehood of ancient pagan Rome, and this was the cause of its three century long vicious
hostility toward Christianity, a hostility which was inspired by the first commandment of the Old
Testament. The Roman Empire aspired to be the highest deity for all peoples and, therefore, executed
Christians with a cruelty unprecedented among barbarian people not because of their dogmas but
because they considered moral truths and virtue, rather than the state, to be the highest value, the
highest duty of humanity. Dostoevsky affirms such an understanding of ancient Rome. There is no
culture or idea more hostile to Christianity than the idea of ancient Rome, he writes (Diary of a
Writer).(11)

Secularized states embody the same fanaticism, especially the Socialist ones which, in their
persecution of religion, forgo their own legal norms and even propriety. When, for example, they
recognize the Church as only a private society, they deprive it of that right which all private societies
enjoy, namely, the right to own property. They unceremoniously take away its resources, its land and
even its educational institutions. At times they simply close monasteries and temples.

If Dostoevsky, like L. Tolstoy (in 1905), preferred monarchical autocracy to all the republics in the
world, this was precisely because previous forms of political life offered more room for purely social,
extra-political relationships among people, allowing for a free moral ascendancy of talent and genius
over public thought and will. This is why Dostoevskys significance will be preserved even if Russia
ceases to exist as an independent unity.

NINE

DOSTOEVSKY'S IDEA OF THE HIGHEST VALUE IN LIFE

Still, other objections regarding Dostoevsky are heard from another quarter. "Let us suppose that you
have completely cleared Dostoevsky of all accusations of party-mindedness, even a purely ideological
one. We agree that the state does not represent a concept of the highest value. If, however, the concept
is not accepted as the ultimate reference, the ultima ratio of thought, is it justifiable to raise the
concept of "the people" to such a dominant position in one's logic and morals? This concept is, of
course, far more attractive than the concepts of republic or monarchy; it is certainly more durable than
either of them. But Dostoevsky rose, in his contemplations and his recommendations, considerably
higher than the idea of "the people." He writes about eternity, about God, about Christ and the Church.
Is it right to summons men to such principles, proceeding solely from the idea of a union with the
people? Would not these principles be of value even apart from the Russian nationality? Did these

39
principles not fully exist even when the Russian people did not exist as a known unit? Finally, if
Dostoevsky finds the way to all these summits of thought and feeling only through the love of the
Russian people, what significance can he and his creative work have for a German or a Frenchman?"

Our answer to all this is that Dostoevsky did not at all establish a dependence of religious and moral
ideas in essence upon Russian national principles. He was, of course, primarily a preacher of
Christianity. He is therefore accessible to and understandable by enlightened readers of any nation.
This can be seen from the fact that his works, translated into different languages, are read abroad with
enthusiasm. In France there exists a whole school of writers of his orientation, and Paul Bourget (1) and
Eduard Rod,(2) and, one should think, Anatole France, (3) as well as others may be called his followers.
Dostoevsky is not only a national writer, but a universal writer. It was not without reason that shortly
before Dostoevsky's death, L. Tolstoy wrote to the philosopher Strakhov: (4) "I read The Brothers
Karamazov; this novel is better than anything that has been written in Europe or in America; if you are
going to see Dostoevsky, tell him that I love him."

It is however, time to give a direct answer to the question posed. Dostoevsky links belief in God and the
appeal for a moral uplift to love for the Russian people. He considers closeness to the people
absolutely essential for an enlightened person. Attempts were made to base almost every teaching and
particularly the revolutionary teachings, on this public moral axiom of the love of the people, and for
the majority -- at least at that time -- there was no hypocrisy in this. Even those Russians of that and
the preceding era who, for example, like Barazov(5) had almost completely lost the evangelical faith, did
not dare to renounce that moral rule of the Scripture which says: "And whoever of you will be the chief
among you, shall be servant of all" (Mk.10:44), although this rule lacks any base if the Christian dogma
is rejected. Dostoevsky is constantly reminding the reader of this, as in The Adolescent and elsewhere
(we will return to those thoughts of his presently). All of society, including the philosopher Nietzsche,
not noticing this inconsistency, continued to consider the second commandment of Christ's law
binding for themselves (thanks to God), although they rejected the first Commandment of Christ.
Moreover, it thought to monopolize this second commandment and reproached believers for
supposedly forgetting it in favour of "abstract" dogmas. Thus, the fact that Dostoevsky considered the
principle of love for the people and unity with them to be the initial principle for his loftiest calls to
man and humanity, in no way narrows his ideas and does not replace the order of the highest values of
our soul and thought; it only indicates the path by which his contemporaries might ascend to
perfection from that moral level on which they found themselves. Consequently, his logic is the logic of
pedagogy. Similarly, the first Christian admonitions to the Jews were based on the interpretation of
ancient prophecies and, to the Hellenes -- by means of interpreting their poets and myths. Apostle Paul
acted in this way, too (Act.17:23-29; Hb.1:4-14; 1Cor.9:20-22). Thus, the populist spirit of Dostoevsky's
highest philosophical and religious appeals in no way makes the absolute and eternal dependent on
the contemporary, the conditional. It only indicates the order of a gradual ascent, even as the Lord
indicated it in His parables.

Besides, it should be taken into consideration that according to Dostoevsky's conviction, the very
Russian populism, i.e., the acquisition of the spirit of the Russian people, is the acquisition of the
universal, all-human love and the recognition and acceptance of all the good existing in other
civilizations and nations. To conclude, let us cite Dostoevsky's words on his attitude to Europe, which
he constantly castigated, and on the attitude toward Europe of the true Russian people. "Never did the
Westernizer love Europe as we, Slavophiles did" (Diary of a Writer). True, contemporary Europe is, in
his opinion, "only a graveyard, although a most precious one." (6) But Shakespeare, Byron and other
European writers are known in Russia better than in other European countries (Diary of a Writer). We
Russians like some European writers more than do their countrymen -- Dickens, for example ( Diary of
a Writer).

40
"Europe," writes Dostoevsky in Diary of a Writer, "is our second native country; I love Europe."(7)

And thus Dostoevsky was a universal preacher and thinker. Actually, he was a preacher of Christianity,
or moral perfection. But he did not separate personal morals from patriotism or from the interests of
humanity, combining all this in his soul, in his lucid thought. To him may be applied with particular
force what was said by a poet in honour of another poet, Zhukovsky:8

"Be our guiding star,

Be our star of inspiration,

You, chastely-unrestrained spirit,

Who knew how to unite everything

In a sacred and whole harmony,

All that was humanely good,

Consolidating it in the Russian feeling."

We have grasped our writer's idea that religion is not merely a private matter of each person, but also
the main constructive public force, and that in Russian life in particular, it is impossible to
communicate with the Russian people without religion, without a sincere religious, even a Church-
oriented Orthodox conviction. Now we must dwell attentively on Dostoevsky's religious teachings in
vivid opposition to the public prejudice which reduces religion to the level of a vaguely mystical feeling
or an outward ritual, not only completely divorced from public life but also almost indifferent to the
realm of personal moral existence of an enlightened person.

True, we have already presented some of these ideas, when we dwelt on his views on the Russian
people and society, and the bond between the popular spirit and Orthodoxy. Let us now turn to his
broader generalizations.

TEN

ON THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF VIRTUE WITHOUT FAITH

41
Above all else it should be pointed out that Dostoevsky was perhaps the first to give firm voice against
the absurd prejudice, so often heard since the time of Voltaire, Hegel and Kant, that no one can be a
highly moral, noble, honest and humane person, without belief in God and in Christ, without religion
and prayers. Anyone who has tried to be such a person, not merely in word but in deeds, knows
through experience how difficult it is to achieve and remain on such a level, even with sincere faith and
prayers, and what struggles with oneself this costs. This false and hypocritical paradox of non-
religious virtue was boldly repeated not only by pamphleteers and professors, but by students and
officers, and even by secondary school pupils. All this has been going on for quite a long while and had
absolutely intimidated the more reasonable and sincere people, who by then were prepared to accept
the idea that the Christian religion is solely a collection of abstract beliefs and conventional rituals.

Such was the state of matters when Dostoevsky raised his voice passionately against such falsehood.
Through numerous characters in his novels he exposed the logical connection between atheism and
immorality, culminating in crime. Not only did our writer illustrate this through his characters, but he
made direct statements to this effect. "An atheist is not capable of distinguishing between good and
evil," he writes (in The Brothers Karamazov).(8) If God does not exist, commit any foul deed you wish,
many began to say, and fathers even said this to their children. Elsewhere, he writes that the concept of
immorality is the main and sole incentive to lead a moral life (Diary of a Writer). Immorality does exist,
concludes our writer, because (as a philosophical postulate) it is the logical condition of man's sensible
existence (Diary of a Writer).(9) In the same issue of Diary of a Writer he quotes the letter of a suicide
who had arrived at his fatal decision only because he had lost his faith in God. The letter presents a
short treatise, asserting that every consistent denier of faith in God has to act in this way. The same
idea is explored briefly in another issue of the journal. According to Dostoevsky, talk of love for
neighbour is senseless if accompanied by a negation of God and the life to come (The Adolescent), since
it is not easily achieved in any case, although everyone likes to talk about it. In reality, as such people
often admit themselves, they cannot love those near to them, but can only love those distant from
them (The Brothers Karamazov), i.e., not the real people, but imaginary ones, which does not commit
them to anything.

How can these aphorisms of our author be reconciled with the ones mentioned earlier in which he
pointed out that not all atheists are vicious, that many of them are even Christ's people, although they
themselves do not yet realize it? Thus, to the adolescent who had declared to his alleged father, the old
man Makar, that he does not believe in God, the old man replies laughingly: "No, you are not an atheist,
you are a merry fellow."(10) In general, he was convinced that a genuine atheist is necessarily a gloomy
and embittered person, while a believer, even though poor, is cheerful.

Losing faith, mostly under the influence of preposterous books or wicked people, as happened to Kolia
Krasotkin who was nearly reduced to a state of confusion by the malicious nihilist Rakitin, people do
not, of course, immediately realize all the logical conclusions and consequences of this negation. In
some cases this temporary inconsistency lasts for decades and this is their salvation, i.e., it provides
the possibility of stopping short of the terrifying but inevitable conclusion of the negation, and of a
return to faith. Faith itself is only discarded much later after a person has made a declaration of
atheism "on a trial basis." Expressing negative thoughts, he is, as it were, trying them out for size on his
mind and heart, like a shopper in a ready-made clothing store, while harbouring his former faith in his
soul, and sometimes even prayer, like the judge in Gogol's The Inspector General. This is why a decisive
turning-point of the will is at times enough for people to again profess faith in the fulness of dogma
and tradition. There are, as our writer says, certain convictions shared secretly by almost everybody,
which they are embarrassed to admit (Diary of a Writer).

42
Having taken such a tolerant and hopeful stand in regard to imaginary or simply unsettled atheists,
our writer nevertheless warned people about the fatal consequences of consistent, convinced atheism
as can be seen from the letter of the suicide. We have already called to the reader's attention
Dostoevsky's words which show that for one who consistently denies belief in God and immortality,
there is no difference between good and evil in relation to fellow men, while in relation to himself only
despair and suicide are left. The fruits of atheism are not, however, limited to these negative
conclusions: not only indifference toward one's fellow men but even crimes and murder, both physical
and moral, will almost certainly be committed by a consistent atheist. Thus, Verkhovensky (11) commits
several murders with delight, corrupts the convict Fed'ka, inciting him to commit murder. Ivan
Karamazov corrupts and half-deliberately convinces Smerdiakov to murder, though in his own soul he
was not a villain, but only desired to be consistent in his negation. Raskol'nikov commits an almost
aimless murder, having taken the same path of godless wilfulness, which led Kirillov, Ippolit and
Stavrogin to suicide.(12) Stavrogin had also corrupted or morally killed several young persons; and yet
he was not only likeable but charming by nature.

All these examples of the indissoluble link between consistent atheism and criminality are, it seems,
more than enough, although they do not exhaust all the pictures painted by our author with the same
idea in mind. His idea, as we said, was to dissuade society from the firmly established prejudice that it
is possible to remain a good and moral man, having rejected the principles of Christian faith. What an
incompetent thinker, what a spurious dreamer one has to be to claim --- as does one of Dostoevsky's
negative characters -- that with the loss of faith people who constantly tremble at the thought of death
will love and "cherish" each other more than when they were believers; they will enjoy life more,
knowing that there is nothing beyond the grave; and then the earthly ideal of man-god will appear
instead of the heavenly God.(13) Actually, reasoning in this way, such philosophers hated everybody and
were weary of life.

This is not all, however: Dostoevsky knew the first, Bazarovian, generation of atheists. Not all of those
belonging to this generation venture to immediately draw the practical conclusions from unbelief
about which our writer speaks so decisively. The rules of honesty and love of mankind, acquired from
childhood in Christian families and even in half-Christian schools, having penetrated deeply into the
folds of their souls, prevented Dostoevsky's contemporaries from becoming consistent deniers. Their
children, however, having been raised in an areligious environment, have no deterrent from becoming
cruel, inhuman villains, except for the criminal code. They have appeared as such in the last three
years of Russian life.(14) Dostoevsky, it is true, had predicted that also, asserting that his children would
live to see the bloody, terrible revolution when people would turn into cannibals. These events were, of
course, predicted in general terms; we will ask the reader to dwell for a few moments on a detailed
picture of this evolution of immorality which was observed in the generation following that of
Dostoevsky, by his follower, the French novelist Paul Bourget in the novel L'Etape. Bouget depicts a
secondary school teacher; an unbeliever but an honest man and scholar, a passionate classicist, and an
exemplary family man who ardently loves his already grown sons and daughter, but who is hypnotized
by the ideas of progress and extra-religious patriotism. He dreams that one of his sons will take to
literary or scholarly pursuits, the other become a lawyer, the third, an engineer, while the daughter will
marry an equally useful citizen. Then he suddenly finds out that one of his sons is kept by an old
woman, the second is a petty thief, the unmarried daughter is pregnant and intends to have an
abortion. He is horrified and in despair, when one of his sons laughingly tells him: why are you so
upset? You should rejoice in the fact that we turned out to be more consistent in your own convictions,
which you actually never dared to carry out yourself. You act more in accordance with the prejudices
of the priests (i.e., Christian teachings), which you yourself reject in theory. What could the
unfortunate father reply to all this?

43
We had little opportunity to follow Russian literature of recent years but something similar appears in
a literary parody of a rather talented drama, "Vaniushin's Children," (15) entitled "Vaniushin's
Grandchildren." If you wish, the generation of the Verkhovenskys, i.e., father and son, also anticipates
this evolution from theoretical irreligion to complete Nihilism and most brazen criminality. Stefan
Trofimovich Verkhovensky did not, of course, suggest an atheistic worldview to his son; still, he is
responsible for the latter's depravity because he neglected his paternal obligations due to his lack of
faith, abandoning his son to the hands of a stranger to bring him up. He completely forgot about him
until the son appeared before his father, no longer a youth, but a completely formed young man, a
convinced scoundrel who killed on purpose, completely devoid of shame and conscience.

Our ancestors would read these arguments and philosophical proofs of the obvious insolubility of
moral existence and religion with astonishment, but in our foolish age one has to waste time and
energy on the proof of such propositions which have been proven long ago by centuries of mankind's
existence and by common sense. In order to clarify this truth, let us point out the fact that not only
personal moral perfection, but even the kind of life and activity that make sense completely elude
those of Dostoevsky's heroes who, although endowed with natural talents and education lack in their
souls the highest and absolute regulator (or principle), i.e., strong religious convictions. They are not
able to attack any permanent and useful task, remaining idle good-for-nothings all their life. Such was
Versilov in The Adolescent who, although at times interested in religious problems, failed to
subordinate his will to a definite religious teaching. The broader nature of such people, the more
difficult is their life, the more incoherent and even criminal their life and activity turns out to be. Such
characters are: Ivan Karamazov, Nikolai Stavrogin, Svidrigailov, Versilov, Kirillov and many other
secondary characters.

On the contrary, when some of these heroes of the author settle firmly into religious principles, they
not only achieve complete reconciliation with life but also experience a joyful upsurge of energy in
regard to public activity, and they begin a life of convinced builders, as valiant fighters. Such is Shatov
in The Possessed, and The Adolescent, after their conversion; such is Alyosha Karamazov, Kolia Ivolgin
and Prince Myshkin in The Idiot, Razumikhin, Raskol'nikov's friend, The Ridiculous Man after his
awakening, etc.

When Shatov's wife, who had deserted him, unexpectedly thrusts herself on him, arriving from abroad,
to give birth on the spot to a child out of wedlock, he did not reproach the unfortunate woman by a
single word. Not only did he look after her with the tenderness of a mother, he sincerely considered
himself guilty before her although he was completely innocent. (16) He received her child with a joy
which not every father lavishes on his own offspring and showered the mother with tender care. This
marvellous picture of a purely evangelical forgiveness on one side, and the softening of an embittered
heart on the other raises the pen of our writer to the level of a Raphael or Nesterov, (17) although for the
nihilistic midwife, it is a pretext for laughter.

Dostoevsky surpasses himself here, for in his realistic picture he adheres to his concept of the
unreasonableness of human egoism, of the fact that society frequently regards the loftiest aspects of
life as ridiculous, and that one should not be afraid to appear ridiculous in the eyes of fools. Not only in
personal life but in man's public activity, both the energy of the good and stableness as well as the
necessary inspiration, are based on a religious idea; without it any popular creative activity not only
becomes impossible but destructive. Nationality, writes Dostoevsky, always originated in a religious
idea, and this latter determines all cultures (Diary of a Writer).(18) Lack of understanding of the
religious idea destroys the culture of the people. According to Dostoevsky, all popular wars are
struggles over religious ideals. "Leave your gods, declare the attackers, and accept ours, otherwise,
death to you and your gods." According to Dostoevsky, as we have seen, in application to Russian life,
its people understand all foreign relations as actions in defence of Orthodoxy, for the oppressed

44
brothers, or as self-defence. The wave of popular enthusiasm (religious and moral) gradually engulfs
even the intelligentsia, captures the government's will and then, in the heroic transport of war, the
century-old division of Russia into society and the people ceases to exist as it were, and the indivisible
popular Russia, or "Holy Russia" rushes forward to fulfil the heroic feat.

Now, passing again from the purely religious and morally-philosophical ground to the public and
cultural one, or, as our contemporaries put it, to that of reality, we hope to lay bare that picture of
international relations, cultural and political, which, to a great extent, preoccupied Dostoevsky, not as
the most important aspects in public life but rather in terms of applying ideological convictions to
existing realities.

ELEVEN

EUROPE AND RUSSIA ACCORDING TO DOSTOEVSKY

Having declared himself to be a friend of Europe, its history and its culture, Dostoevsky did not close
his eyes to the deep cleavage between the contemporary European upper strata of life and its former
highly humane and enlightened traditions, as well as Russian culture in particular. Our writer does not
conceal the facts about how much Europe hates us, about how on guard we must be and what a high
state of military preparedness Russia must maintain. Nor does he balk aT advising how highly Russia
should value her moral advantages as compared with the degenerating moral life of Europe, in order
not to be carried away by Europes appearance of refinement.

Let us quote the authors statements expressing such thoughts. Europe dislikes us very much and
considers us revolutionists (The Diary of a Writer); therefore we cannot gain victories in Europe with
impunity. Let us recall that the rescue of Europe by Alexander I was followed by the 1815 "Holy
Alliance," which was so humiliating for Russia. It returned to Austria three Russo-Galician provinces,
with a population of half a million Orthodox Christians, who were afterwards torn away from the
Church by force. Let us remember the disgraceful Berlin Congress of 1878 following the Russian
victories in Turkey. Russia should not, therefore, trust the straightforwardness of European friendship
but must maintain a state of military readiness and has to reinforce its army, since its borders and the
borderlands are never out of danger.

Dostoevsky, by the way, held a peculiar view of war. War is not mankinds scourge, writes he, but a
medicine (The Diary of a Writer).(19) The spiritual upsurge of the warring nation does not result in its
brutalization but acts to spur it forward (The Possessed). Not war but rather prolonged peace lowers a
nations spirit and may ultimately bestialize it. In his "

Conversations with an Eccentric,"(20) Dostoevsky presents his own thoughts on this subject in a detailed
way under the guise of the eccentric. We are not going to quote them in full, nor either refute or confirm
then. We will only mention and corroborate one of his observations which many of our recent enemies
have confirmed in the past few months. Namely, our writer reaffirms that war does not divide people but
draws them together, acquaints them with each other, and even makes them become friends at best,
teaching them at worst to respect each other. Finding ourselves for a prolonged time within the limits of
former Austria, we constantly hear praise of Russia and the Russians from all, especially from the former

45
Ukrainian prisoners of war (even those who are oriented toward Mazeppa), as well as from Poles,
Germans, Austrian Jews, Czechs, Slovaks and Rumanians. Many of them declared that nowhere is life so
good as in Russia, that no people are so kind as the Russians, that they are going to move to Russia once
order is restored there. We were particularly struck by the story of a young Ukrainian Cossack. "When the
Russians approached our village in 1914," he said, "we were warned beforehand about them. There were
tales that all Cossacks are one-eyed, and that they will place kettles on the square, seize the kids and boil
and eat them. On their arrival, we all hid in the oat fields and in ditches. Then, little by little, we climbed
out and, receiving only kindness from them and offers of food, we became attached to them with all our
hearts." When asked, "But how did you, being literate people, and you, a young man who was a high
school student, believe in such fables?" He replied, "Everybody in the village believed it because we had
been told all that for such a long time."

"Do you know, in 1886, I was told exactly the same story by an old Galician archpriest who was a
schoolboy in Sambor in 1848, when the same thing happened. There were the same fables and fears, and
they were replaced by the same friendship between Galicians and Russians in 1848. They had heard all
about the one-eyed Cossacks, and the kettles for the boiling of children. I heard about how they grew fond
of the Cossacks and the soldiers of Nicholas I. But then your people were totally unlearned, while now
almost everybody is literate, and besides your village is just 25 versts (21) from the Russian border. How
could you believe such nonsense?"

"Well, from now on, our people wont believe it even in a hundred years!"

"May God grant that."

Dostoevsky presents the liberation of Orthodox Christians as the aim of all our wars. He foresaw with
amazing accuracy the disappointments in this holy task, as well as Europes hostile reactions against it.
England would like the Eastern Christians to hate us, he writes in The Diary of a Writer.(22) Instead of
being grateful, the liberated Slavs will declare that they did not receive any benefits from Russia, and that
Europe would have liberated them without us (The Diary of a Writer), and that their culture and
parliaments are superior to those of Russia. (23) They will fight among themselves because of border
disputes (The Diary of a Writer). They will come to their senses and express their gratitude to Russia, as
well as their unity, only in about a hundred years. (24) Then, they will be of positive value to us and they
will broaden our souls.(25) Whoever has come in contact with Bulgarian and Montenegran troops, knows
that these prophecies are coming true with a photographic exactness. Europe has, in general, skilfully
befouled our struggle of liberation among the Orthodox peoples: in four of the newly formed Orthodox
states (excluding Montenegro), Roman Catholic or Lutheran kings were established, and only the
Serbians managed to maintain an Orthodox dynasty. Even the Greeks were, until recently, under the rule
of heterodox kings. These kings, together with Austria, initiated Roman Catholic propaganda
everywhere: in Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Montenegro, using bribery and other such shameful means.
Moreover, writes Dostoevsky, the infallible Pope is not ashamed to express his joy at the victory of the
Turks [over Eastern Christians].(26)

This is how Europe aided the selfless Russian effort. However, Europe as a whole entity, as an enlightened
union of Christian people, does not exist. Such a Europe existed only in the imagination of Alexander I,
who later became disillusioned with it, and in the addled heads of Russian Westernizers. In reality Europe
had become only a graveyard of great ideas and of great men who had long since disappeared from the
face of the earth. We have cited this statement of Dostoevsky before, and we must now add the following
quotation from his works: there are no Europeans in Europe, only nationalistic chauvinists. Only the
Russians are now Europeans. (27) Europe is only a small part of the globe. (28) In these words the author
wishes to express the idea that universal concerns, common to all of mankind, are alien to the European
states; they have been detracted and preoccupied with the egoistic struggle of the estates, a purely

46
animalistic fight.(29) They are now on the verge of firmly establishing this pitiful principle of preserving
their own narrow self interests. (30) In Europe they are at pains to organize a public anthill, based solely on
the principle of egoism.(31) Therefore, they boast in vain of their progress, for even now [in 1871] rivers of
blood are being shed in Europe and in America. Dostoevsky is referring to the unscrupulous, purely
egotistical Franco-Prussian war. "Contemporary agitation in Europe," wrote the author in 1876,
"presages thunderous events" (The Diary of a Writer). He has in mind the social revolution. Although he
also predicted that it would start in Russia, he hoped that Russia would emerge from the ordeal
victorious, but was convinced that Europe would be drawn in it already in the nineteenth century.
Actually, the fulfilment of this last prophecy [or a general war of the estates] was postponed in Europe
[until the early twentieth century] because European politicians managed to save their teetering
positions for the time being. The present times, however, do not augur well. (32)

As a matter of fact, Europes hatred of Russia may perhaps be explained by her complete lack of
information about and understanding of Russia. We did not find an answer to this question in the works
of our writer [Dostoevsky], but he expressed himself rather strongly on this lack of information about
Russia in Europe. Europe has remained surprisingly unfamiliar with Russia, more unfamiliar even than
they are with China (The Diary of a Writer).(33) Even the Westernizers have noted this fact, Turgenev the
most radical of them, in particular. It is understandable, then, why the author speaks with such grief
about Russians fawning on Europe. The Liberals of the 1860s were so subservient that they desired for
Russia some sort of "graduation diploma" from Europe (The Diary of a Writer).(34) We wag our tails
slavishly before Europe and receive her contempt in response. With displeasure, our author [ Dostoevsky]
mentions the predominance of Germans in our civil administration. (35)

But along with this rather silly ingratiating attitude, along with the other contradictions in the Russian
character, there is nevertheless room for a significant dose of aversion to the cold and insincere character
of European culture, a coldness and insincerity with which the Russian soul is essentially unfamiliar (The
Diary of a Writer). Russians actually enjoyed it immensely when Europe was exposed, for example, by von
Fizin.(36) Our author does not balk at such expositions of the degenerate aspects of contemporary
European culture, which does not exist as a complete entity. While admiring the European past, he
castigates its present condition and the detachment (and even hatred) among its nationalities. The
German, the French, and the English, whose countries he had travelled in, are all subjected to this
criticism by Dostoevsky. He depicted his impressions of their interrelations in his journal while still a
contributor to the journal The Citizen (Grazhdanin). Dostoevsky does not always spare the Russian
bureaucracy in his stories either. Not only is the negative type of German described in his story The
Crocodile, but he also castigates the Europeanized Russian bureaucracy. Then in the person of the doctor
who treats Iliusha in The Brothers Karamazov, and other works, he depicts the German as an attractive
personality, who has a Russian soul, though he mangles the Russian language -- Gertsenstube --(37) and
also the doctor who treated Nellie in The Humiliated. But the character of the Germans abroad was not
attractive to him. Their goal is profit, their ideal is the establishing of a family fortune. For them, the
acquisition of capital is the highest goal, and character and personality are only supplementary to the
possession of this capital.(38) I do not know why Dostoevsky was so much in favour of an alliance with
Germany and why he maintained that such an alliance should be a lasting one (The Diary of a Writer).
He felt that this would be more in the interests of Germany than of Russia, because Germany is in need of
such a durable peace.

The author also disliked scenes of London life. Five hundred thousand workers in London were so
dispirited that, having obtained one day of rest, they drink all night in ale-houses on the eve of Sunday. (39)
There, the poor people cannot even enter the church, much less get married in church, because the first
costs money and the second costs a substantial sum of it. The author considers the English to be the
foremost egoists, completely indifferent to everyone and everything else. Meeting them in Italy with their
Baedekers, he observed that they do not particulary admire the beauty of the cities, they merely check the

47
information in their printed guide books. (40) Dostoevsky himself at least pays attention. He does not like
some of the chef-doeuvres of European art. "Rubens," he says, "paints naked beef," while "the Cathedral
[of Koln]...lacks an idea: a lot of stone lace but no overall beauty." (41)

As regards the contemporary French, Dostoevsky felt that they were more problematic than the English.
We are already familiar with his comments on the base self-preservation ethos to which the civic activity
of their educated classes had been reduced. Dostoevsky, by the way, could not have known about the
disgraceful persecution which the French government unleashed against the popular faith and church of
the French people, which would last for almost twenty years and continues even now. (42)

"The Frenchman loves very much to dance to the music of power, and often without any selfish interests,"
while extolling Republican freedom.(43) And in fact, even the lowliest Frenchman has a noble
appearance(44) which will turn the heads of giddy Russian women, who do not know how to tell the gilded
from the gold. Such a self-deception ruins the lives of some, such as Polina in The Gambler and Aglaia in
The Idiot. Of all people, women should be the least carried away in this manner, since the ideal that
prevails there is purely sensual, denigrating to women and even barbarian. Many women, however, seem
to be afraid to talk about anything serious with the men, and confine themselves to ordinary matters. (45)
The forms affected by Frenchmen were shaped by the Revolution of the eighteenth century, following
which, all adopted the manners of the gentry while keeping their petty shopkeeper mentality intact. (46)
Art in France [in Dostoevsky's time] does little to lift the national spirit; in the theatre the spectator will
not find presentations that elevate the soul. The playwrights are concerned exclusively with pleasing the
bourgeoisie(47) and to assist it in its repression of the proletariat.

It should be suggested, however, that had Dostoevsky lived for another twenty years or so, he would have
had to improve his opinion somewhat, at least as concerns French literature and even of French life in
general. We have in mind the already mentioned "young school" of his followers in French literature
which, in the persons of the previously mentioned writers, is actually promoting moral and spiritual
ideals. It should be noted, incidentally, that the comments of these French writers on the moral state of
their native country are even more pessimistic than Dostoevskys, who wrote that "Bismarck grasped the
fact that France has had her day, and decided that the fate of Poland is in store for it." (48)

TWELVE

1. OBSTACLES THAT HINDER THIS

Having presented Dostoevsky's depiction of our people in such at attractive outline and of our society
with its irrational worshipping of a Europe which does not in any way deserve it. let us set forth the main
reasons for the author's bright hopes that this return of Russia home will still take place. But let us first
mention the obstacles to this regeneration which have already become firmly rooted in the Russian soil
and in some ways have maimed the Russian soul, i.e. the soul of the Russian intellectual, privy to certain
areas of life. We have in mind the areas which have complete or almost completely become Europeanized,
i.e. have lost their openness their warmth and breadth by which Russian society is still distinguished from
the European, which has gone cold and shallow. In this regard Dostoevsky, along with indignation at our
aping, expresses himself rather resolutely: we do not in the least resemble the other Europeans (The
Diary of a Writer). What precisely are those spheres that are the least national and the most
Europeanized?

In the first place, our courts. Dostoevsky attentively followed the new courts. As a former convict of the
old courts, he expected only the best from the new ones but was disappointed. This disappointment

48
surfaced in a detailed way in the description of the judicial process of Dmitri Karamazov, when an
innocent man was condemned according to all the rules of legal proceedings. The novel The Brothers
Karamazov appeared in The Russian Herald (Russkii vestnik) and it was known even then that the
lawyers of the capital and other legal professionals followed the description of the above-mentioned
process with fury but with intense interest too. Frequently, they could not wait until the appearance of
the issue of the journal and on the eve of its appearance, they dropped in at the editorial office, asking to
be given the proofs. It was said that the author described the well-known lawyer Spasovich under the
name of Fetiukovich, but he also exposed directly in The Diary of a Writer as a typical representative of
the uri%Russian and unattractive trade which "produces an effect instead of an action" (The Diary of a
Writer).(49) The bar driesup people's conscience, writes Dostoevsky, the lawyer Utin ventured to
blaspheme from the tribune about Christ's word "her many sins are forgiven, because great was her love,
" applying them to a dirty process involving murder, possibly on erotic grounds (The Diary of a Writer).
(50)
In general, declares the author, contemporary courts are not Russian, the lawyers and prosecutors are
not upright men, young Russia needs a Russian court, (51) i.e. a less bureaucratically formal and more
conscientious one.

Further, the spheres of life best 1oved and most respected by the author, literature and science, also turn
into a trade following Western models, completely disassociating themselves from Pushkin's behests
addressed to the poet and thinker: "You are a Tsar, live alone, take a free path to where your free mind is
drawing you."(52) Contemporary writers, laments Dostoevsky, write in order to gain new readers, literary
pursuits corrupt a man.(53) I can't stand it, confides our author, when scholarly or literary pursuits are
turned into a pompous ceremony (The Adolsecent), i.e. when they put on airs and beceome inflated.
Dostoevsky had an intense dislike for the tendetious, accusatory press which was frequently venal and
which in seldom refrained from slander. In the story The Crocodile and the novel The Idiot he presents
examples of such malicious calumny, combined with cruel, inhuman defamation under the guise of, being
carried away by progressive enthusiasm and holy indignation. (54) According to his observations, even
scholars are no longer the former unselfish professor/idealists but egoists (Diary of a Writer. A learned
idealistic patriot will not be spared by the press, even to the detriment of truth. Dostoevsky dwells on the
shocking case of our historian Illovaisky, who was arrested in Austria while doing research on antiquities
in Russian Galicia. The Petersburg teachers were inclined to side with the political inquisitors and to
"accuse" this armchair scholar of Russian propaganda (The Diary of a Writer).(55) Not for nothing does
the devil who visits Ivan Karamazov justify his activity on earth by the consideration that if he desist from
it, virtue would triumph everywhere, and people would stop subscribing to newspapers and journals,
(because they are so firmly are they connected with sin and vice), and thus progress andenlightenment
would stop (The Brothers Karamazov).(56) Even with the devil's help, in our author's considered opinion,
enlightenment was not moving forward at that time (while after his death, it seems to have sunk even
lower, particularly in the 20th century). In place of the former broadly educated Russian intellectual,
writes Dostoevsky, uneducated technicians, engineers and other specialists raise their noses (The
Adolescent) and oddly enough, we have very few original thinkers. (57)

The mendacious press, the mercenary spirit of science, imitation of foreign braggarts create. in Russia the
type of fibbers who are presently distinguishing themselves using the new means of communication and
thus coming in contact with people who can not check their statements, i.e. neighbours on trains and
ships. A new type of "Russian intellectual who lies endlessly and is not ashamed" has appeared: this is the
type of a totally brazen liar.(58) Such types love to lie and and to introduce themselves in railroad coaches
and on ships. But it is also easy to come across another completely harmless phenomenon: Russian people
who will unexpectedly tell their whole life story to you, though you are a total stranger. (59) This is a purely
Russian phenomenon.

49
In general, post-Reform Russia does not make him too happy because it is the non- Russian spirit of St.
Petersburg,which leaves its imprint on everything. Because of that spirit, the liberation of 1861, longed
for by all the Russian people, failed to correct the previous absurd side of life (The Diary of a Writer).

Yes, the Petersburg spirit is not Russian. The character of Petersburg life is gloomy and fatalistic, and the
best view, i.e. the view of Petersburg from the River Neva, he writes, is imbued with the spirit of coldness,
as if deaf and mute. (60) Sleep dulls the frankness and sincerity which is peculiar to the Russian soul. If this
were the spirit of the wealthy landowner tyrants, then it estranged the of the society of the capital
following the reforms even more from the people and deprived it of naturalness. "I despise," wrote
Dostoevsky, the high society device of pretending that one does not hear unpleasant words, unabashedly
changing the topic.(61) The totally modern young tirl Aglaiia, reproaches Prince Myshkin for displaying
what is the highest evangelical virtue: "why don't you have any pride?" she asks. (62)

Despite my desire to remain silent about one more reproach which the author addressed to current
Russian life, I do not feel entitled to do so. I am convinced, however, that he would have spoken of this
milieu more favourably had he known it better, I mean the parish clergy. The liberated people, left to
their own devices, are above all else in need of spiritual guidance. People left without the word of God are
slated for perdition, exclaims our writer through the Elder:there must be teaching and setting of good
examples.(63) However only the genuine ascetic priests concern themselves with this, whereas the rest
remain indifferent to the people (The Diary of a Writer). There is only the constant whining about
salaries, but .an unwillingness to teach the people. With all that, the author is completely in sympathy
with the idea of providing for the clergy. He desires, however, that the spiritual fathers follow their calling
with more zeal. The author does not indicate the causes of such indifference; they have to be looked for in
the unnatural and non-pastoral spirit of the seminary and academic education which gave the author
the right to describe the seminanians, along with the gentry, as estranged from the people.

Finally, among the sad phenomena of the post-Reform life the author points to some depravity among the
modern women. To be sure, Dostoevsky admires the Russian woman in general, as we have seen earlier,
and advocates granting to her the right to higher education. Here he apparently has in-mind 7 above
all2the high-society ladies of the capital. Society ladies are utterly depraved and are capable of anything
in this respect (The Adolescent).(64) A cold libertine will not ruin herself before marriage but the husband
is, for her, merely the first lover. In general, she is inclined to blind, mad jealousy. (65) This is, to a certain
degree, inherent in the female nature, and sometimes in children. as well. (66) As can be seen, our writer
does not close his eyes to the dreary state of Russian life and even to contemporary Russian character.
Therefore, reading farther on his statements and thoughts on the imminent possibility of the moral
regeneration of the Russian soul, do not think that he is a dreamer who sees everything in a rosy light.
This man who did experience life's misfortunes, who has studied human malice and criminality, and who
still has not now lost faith in humanity, now opens bright perspectives, .before our eyes.

2. Auspicious Conditions, Ingrained in the Human Soul

From the preceding the reader knows already that Dostoevsky's appeal to society pointed out the way of
moral rebirth by means of repudiating the pagan view of life, through a realization of any guilt we may
have before God and one's fellow men, and a struggle with the spirit of pride and self-justification. This
leads toward a belief in Christ's words and the life to come, and then to a sympathy with and respect for
the people who have been guided by this faith for almost a thousand years, the people who acquired their
view of life from the Gospel.

50
As the reader knows, Dostoevsky teaches that only that educated or privileged Russian who looks for a
cordial and everyday rapprochement with the people and who wishes to serve the people by means of his
advantageous education and social position, is able to preserve a steadfast faith and to become firmly
rooted in it. This is not that easy for the intellectual, maimed by an alien way of life and un-Chnistian
German prejudices which are alien to the people. But there are left in the hearts and minds of the
intelligentsia quite a few auspicious preconditions, notwithstanding many obstacles, for spiritual rebirth
and the merging with those of our people who are believers and love all. Those auspicious conditions,
representing characteristic features which distinguish a Russian from other Europeans, bringing him
close to the Russian folk type, have already been indicated, according to Dostoevsky. But there are still
others, which have to be seen as universal in mankind, calling all humans to what is lofty and beautiful in
general, and to what is natural and holy in particular.

It has to be admitted that Dostoevsky, despite the opinion of his adversaries, was a consistent optimist,
firmly established in his worldview, in its philosophical as well as in its patriotic aspect. According to
some of his pronouncements, he may, as has been said, appear a naive optimist who thinks too well and
who imagines too easily the possibility of passing from evil to good, who considers the merging of society
with the people and the passage of Russia to a life according to national and moral principles to be too
close at hand. But we hope to show that Dostoevsky does not consider this to be so simple; it is only the
initial resolution that is simple. However, in order not to frighten the reader away by his ideas and hopes,
Dostoevsky ascribes them now to the "Ridiculous Man, " now to "The Idiot," then again to the inveterate
drunkard Marmeladov, or the halfwit maniac Kirillov (67) and similar characters, to whom the reader may
show more tolerance and indulgence than if the author would say all this in his own name or in the name
of his positive heroes. The reader will consider these freaks without any bias and will deign to get
acquainted with their thoughts as with gibberish. Having once familiarized himself with it, he will realize
that if is not the "Ridiculous Man" who is a fool, and not "The Idiot," but those who consider them as such.
Then, having gained authority in the eyes of the reading public, our writer began to outline before them,
also with cautious gradualness) the positive type of the Russian intellectual, normal in all physical
aspects but in secondary or even third-rate roles in his novels. They are little different from "The Idiot" or
the "Ridiculous Man," for they, too, have suppressed their self love (this constitutes half and perhaps even
nine-tenths of the passage to moral regeneration) and live not for themselves but for others. >From the
contemporary view, the view of the Guardsmen, they are also ridiculous, but the sequence of events in the
midst of which they appear as the good spirits of their fellow men demonstrates that it is not they who
are ridiculous but those who laughed at them. Such is Vania, who himself brought over his fiancee who
fell out of love for the sake of her worthless lover; such is Razumikhin who constantly fussed over
Raskolnikov, such is Shatov who was delighted to accept his unfaithful wife and the illegitimate child she
was about to give birth to. Such also is old man Makar, the father of "The Adolescent" who cedes his wife
to her lover.(68) But long before all this, the author had written: "The greatest feat for a man is to limit
himself to the position of a secondary person in life." (69) Subsequently, he expressed this even more
definitely, speaking about secondary characters. Humble natures sometimes carry within themselves
more moral treasures than the rest (The Adolescent). Such is his Makar Devushkin (70) and "The Meek
One," and the unfortunate bridegroom in A Weak Heart, and Netochka Nezvanova and her patroness in
the novel's epilogue, and the heroine of The Little Hero, and many other similar characters, particularly
in the first volumes of his works. Only a few years before his death when all of society was under the spell
of his genius, Dostoevsky ventured to depict the same character as the central one in hIs last novel, and
now without any comic attributes. I have in mind Aliosha Karamazov and the Elder Zosima whose
stature the former has yet to reach

. Thus, Dostoevsky as the only one among Russian, and perhaps even world, writers, was not only able to
bring his hero to repentance, which all our novelists were successfully engaged in, but to portray the
positive type of a Russian and a public man active for the people, first veiled by a cloud of illness, and
then in all the fascination of his spiritual beauty. This alone shows that Dostoevsky was not building

51
castles in the air; that he did not idealize people, that he knew their weaknesses and depravity. He
understood very well the greatness of the struggle he was calling them to, and what the path is they have
to take to reach that lofty goal. Dostoevsky considered only the initial resolve to turn to the good and
toward the people to be easy, although even that is not easy for everybody. I am asking the reader to see
the greater part of the aphorisms of our writeer, which I am going to quote now, in this light. This call to
love and truth Dostoevsky based on the fact that love and truth are by themselves dear to every human
being. Why am I wicked,he asks, when it is so good to be always kind?

There is more good in everybody than it seems at first glance . People seem more forbidding than they are
in reality. They are often embarrased by their own kind feelings. Dostoevsky makes the following
observation based on this idea: a portrait is not the same as a photograph. A photograph which may
catch a casual or momentary expression because a person rarely appears in a photography as he looks
only in his better moments (The Adolesecent )(71)while an artist is able to divine and to portray you as you
are, your essence, rather than at only a given moment in your life.

Our author acknowledges the predominant presence of the good and the reasonable in the soul and the
mind of men, and to a far greater degree than it appears to the people around then. Writers prefer to
depict rare characters, writes he, but try to find the rare (i.e., the valuable) in a trite man.(72)

It can be seen from this, how unfair the banal critics are, who have come to the absurd conclusion that
Dostoevsky's heroes are psychopaths to a man, are hysterical, epileptic, etc. This is one of the absurdities
that has become a clich. True, in the works of our writer one frequently comes across tragic pictures but
whose life is devoid them? Who has not mourned the death of ones relatives? Faithlessness on the part of
a wife or a husband? Ruin and infamy? Who has not lost one's temper both at home and in public? Who
has not agonized over one's misdeeds, etc?. The difference between the heros of Dostoevsky and those of
the"drawing room writers" lies not simply in their respective choice of the heros, but in the fact that
Dostoevsky describes their deeper experiences, whereas others dwell on their life in society or the sins of
youth. Here one should recall Chichikov's anecdote: try to love us when we are "black," for everybody
loves us when we are "white." Finally, almost no writer has avoided tragic events in the lives of his heroes,
but few of them described their deeper emotional experiences in such detail and with such skill as
Dostoevsky. The majority of our writers only describe events.

The author expressed the opinion that people themselves do not realize how deeply ingrained is their
yearning for truth and love. When all will finally grasp that their estrangement from each other is of no
use, then the sign of the Son of Man will appear. Paradise is all around us and inside us; one has only to
realize this. Therefore, according to Dostoevsky, "Whoever is happy inwardly has fulfilled God's intention
about man" (The Brothers Karamazov). Only embitterment, resulting in the current inability to love, is a
sign of the destruction of the soul. Eternal self-imposed suffering, therefore, will be the choice of only
those who hated God and the life given by Him, not simply a punishment for sins. (73) Close to such a frame
of mind was the renegade seminarian, Kirillov, who said that God had tormented him all his life (The
Possessed).(74) But even to him, the suicide, Dostoevsky does not refuse the possibility of kind feelings and
beautiful thoughts, shared by the writer himself who felt that when people are not good, it is because they
do not know that they are good.(75)

Stepan Trofimovich, having returned to faith, says, as he is dying, that life is endless joy. (76) The discourses
of the Elder Zosima before his death and of the old man Makar Dolgorukov (The Adolescent) are imbued
with the same spirit. The reader of Dostoevsky's novels knows that one of his chief ideas, to which he
constantly returned, consists in the belief that there is a lot of good in everybody, even in a villain, and
that the good is more intimately linked with and more deeper rooted in the soul than evil. Such are even
the sad "'heroes" of The House of the Dead who so sincerely and bitterly repent before the Communion of

52
the Holy Gifts. People, even villains, declares the writer, are much more naive than it initially appears,
including ourselves (i.e. writers and progressive people in general).(77)

In this way Dostoevsky facilitates the return of the renegades of faith and to patriotism, to native
principles. He suggests persuasively to every Russain person: you are better than it seems to you, and God
and Russia are closer to you than you thought. Your proud scorn of faith and nationality borders on
despair, but do not give way to despair. You are better than you yourself thought. Our writer looks at this
idea from different angles in many a work of his. It is possible to trace in his works the reasons which
account for people not understanding themselves, as well as for their inability to get along with their
fellow human being, constantly embittered in consequence. The first reason is the habit of pretense, the
second is shyness. People like to pretend even when this is detrimental to their own advantage. (78) In this
way old man Karamazov, Versilov, Stavrogin, Svidrigailov, the youth Ippolit, Polzunkov, Lebedev in The
Idiot, general Ivolgin, and many others completely distort their depraved characters. (79) Their reasoning
goes like this: "I am a depraved person, worthy of being despised then let them despise me to the end. I do
not desire men's praise nor the blessing of God. If I am not a righteous man, then let my soul perish with
the demons." Nastasia Filippovna is also like this, and Grushen'ka, (80) both admitting that for several
years they lived bearing heavy grudges against people because of the wrongs (real or imagined) done to
them. This mood is particularly peculiar to people embittered by some grave misfortune which ruined
their life. Such are the majority of the above-mentioned types. There are people, writes the author about
Nastasia Filippovna, who find a malicious rapture in receiving insults. (81) People, especially women, like to
believe themselves insulted, and--even-to actually be so insulted. Such natures find fault with their
neighbours and undeservedly hurt their best friends when grieved. (82) Such is the father in The Insulted
and Humiliated, Nellie, Katerina Ivanovna in Crime and Punishment and many others. If those closest to
them are aware of the nature of such outbreaks, domestic peace is not ruptured. In general, according to
Dostoevsky, human quarrels are due more to misunderstandings than to ill will. People abuse each other,
according to him, mostly because they cannot explain their thoughts to each other in a sensible way. This
is also the reason why children constantly fight with each other (The Diary of a Writer).

3. Dostoevsky and Byronism.

Glory and praise to that member of a family or society who understands all this and knows how to
prevent such unreasonable irritation of oneself or his close ones. But woe to people who, though they are
kind, do not fight their irritation and who, from false shame suppress or conceal their being kindly
disposed toward their fellow human beings. It is the lot of a genius to reveal to people that which was
close to their mind and heart but which they themselves were

not aware of. Shyness and false shame are phenomena that have been known to all for a long time.
Exhortations concerning false shame are found in ancient times, as for example in the Old Testament
book of Jesus, son of Sirach (Joshua). Dostoevsky, however, imputes such fatal significance to the errors of
the human heart. In The Insulted and Humiliated our writer explains that even the most loving parents of
blameless life who feel too shy to show their love for their children may in this way completely derange
family life, so that it will become subject to fatal calamities.. The kindest and purest girl, missing kindness
on her father's part, gave herself and surrendered her honour to a most fatuous boy, capable of treating
her tenderly, and left her highly deserving family. The reserved treatment of the husband in The Meek
One, his unwillingness to show his deeply felt love to his wife, drove this pious and honest woman to
suicide. In general, Dostoevsky returned repeatedly to the thought that morbid shyness peculiar to some
people, prevents them from revealing their feelings (83) There are both male and female characters, full of
love, who cannot manifest it because of shyness (The Diary of a writer). Even in regard to women, the
author suggests the same. Some very tender natures cannot ever reveal their feelings and appear callous

53
and indifferent. This affects their families in a disastrous way. The bitterness of family quarrels, he
suggests, is augmented by the fact that the woman often does not admit the injustice of her actions. She
may, however, be deeply repentant afterwards (when it is already too, late, (The Insulted and
Humiliated)(84).

Such is contemporary man, more precisely the contemporary intellectual, and not only the Russian one,
but in general anyone who has adopted pagan European culture, inherited from ancient Rome and the
German barbarians. This was to some degree softened during knightly times; but the same knights made
it more lasting, investing it with numerous prejudices of paganism in the guise of Christian beliefs and
interpreting the very dogma of redemption in the form of duels. What, then, induces the self-loving, vain
European who is above all preoccupied with pleasing people and basking in praise for merits which he
lacks to conceal his real merits and to be ashamed of them even in front of his parents? Amidst young
bachelors this perversion of notions goes even further: among cadets, students, and ensigns it is
customary to brag about what they should be ashamed of, and to be ashamed of what is praiseworthy.
They boast of their depravity, drinking, cockiness, disobedience to parents and are ashamed of chastity,
soberness, tractability, obedience, kindness. Schoolboys, says Dostoevsky, are angels separately, whereas
together they become little devils: they are cruel, they will torture a comrade who complains ( The Diary
of a writer). Therefore, child republics with mob law should not be tolerated (The Diary of a writer) But
it is not only the slow-witted teenagers who may become confused; grown-ups also like to slander
themselves, as did for example the writer Heine. Let us add by the way that a similar trait was
demonstrated by one of the heroes of The Idiot, when the company, assembled at Nastasia Filippovna's
flat agreed to own up to the most immoral deed of their lives. (85) In this manner this character hoped to
draw the others into being frank; but does not succeed.

It appears that Dostoevsky himself had once attempted to carry out such an experiment with the
Strakhov who we had mentioned earlier.

Let us return to the question: why are people sometimes ashamed of their good feelings, and under what
circumstances is this so? Why do they brag about their negative actions? Because European culture
advocates (not in so many words but by the very tenor of life) the worship of force, might, wilfulness,
pride and such negative qualities. We have already noted Dostoevsky's words to the effect that there was
no culture more inimical to Christianity than the Roman, but it is also the culture upon with all
subsequent European culture is founded upon. Dostoevsky considered it to me, in some sense, demonic.
Do not be bewildered by Dostoevsky's conclusion. You, my readers, will know that the worship of Satan
takes place now [at the beginning of the 20 th century] in all the capitals of Europe. (86) Moreover, in the
most progressive circles of society one often finds the greater superstition in these Satanic movements. If
somebody had predicted this seventy years ago, people would have been horrified and would not have
believed him. But actually, even from the end of the 18th century, worship started to pass from the
Saviour to the adversary in a somewhat occult and covert forms.

From that time on, the devil becomes one of the favourite heroes of first-rate poets such as Goethe,
Schiller and others ;first as the personification of temptation and protest against God, but increasingly as
a noble being who refused to submit to Providence. Such a character became the favourite in Byron's
poetry; if not in the guise of a demon, then at least a similar character: gloomy, rebellious, proud, cold
and mocking. As such he passed into the poetry of Lermontov and even of Pushkin in the early period of
his life. What is remarkable here is the fact that this epoch in literature and poetry deprived the devil of
even that single virtue that he did have (though it was a merely formal virtue) which was accorded to
him by theology, i.e. chastity. In European poetry he appears now as a prisoner, now as even being in
love.. This is not the problem, however. The problem is the fact that this fatal being, or this fatal state of
the soul that he represents, which is so repugnant to all follower of Christ's teachings, becomes something
of an ideal or even a standard for the European intellectual. Even, if the contemporary intellectual does

54
not acquiesce to this disposition, in his inner life and repulses it in his family life, he is prepared to comply
with it lavishly in public life, or at any rate to observe it with far more exactitude than he observes the
commandments of the Scripture. Who would deny that the abominable custom of duelling is based fully
on such worship of power, pride and malice? And how cruelly has this brutal habit subordinated the
public life of conservatives, and even some liberal circles?

This worship of protest, rage and negation has increased, particularly since the time when the greater
part of the elite crossed into the camp of professional enemies of the people and of Christ, and secondly,
when revolutions became imminent everywhere. Humility, obedience, open-hearted forgiveness began to
appear as something weak and foolish, though sweet, while evil and pride were seen as something
mighty, majestic and wise. The German philosopher Nietzsche declared himself and the world's intellect
an enemy of evangelical love and mercy and glorified brutality in the struggle for survival, without any
concealment or mitigation. Actually, he uttered with more frankness what followed logically from
theories of Socialism. But until that time, people still hesitated to speak out so frankly, glossing over the
immoral spirit of their systems by hypocritical declarations to the effect that it was only the dogmas of
religion that they doubted, while accepting with reverence the moral teachings of the Scripture.
Nietzsche had real integrity and discarded the mask and was read with rapture for twenty five years,
particularly in Russia, where people are less adept at hypocrisy than abroad. He and his popularizers
have contributed in no small measure to the bloody executions and ugly blasphemies of the last two
years. And so too did the earlier Byronism.

One of Dostoevsky's enormous (but still little appreciated) services was the dethroning of Byronism and
of the devil. Contrary to the majestic though gloomy image of the devil presented by the German classical
writers and especially by the Byronists, our writer depicts him as a paltry hanger-on. (87) He appears as
such to Ivan Karamazov; as such he is experienced by Raskol'nikov, and perhaps even by Versilov. (88) He
was precisely a petty demon (it is remarkable that this is exactly how he appears in our Russian folk
poetry).(89) He appears in the guise of a gentleman who wants to look elegant but looks like a shabby
failure, an expatriate. This last trait does not immediately strike one at the sight of his fashionable dress
but becomes apparent to an attentive glance. Stavrogin, carrying out the will of the devil, also appeared
magnificent to his Fool-in-Christ wife (he was handsome but had a lifeless expression), but then his true
nature as a fake, a double showed through; and she, having divined the paltriness of his soul, shouted
after him: "anathema to the imposter, Grishka Otrep'ev." (90)

The reader should not think that I am leading him into the realm of the mystical or, as he would perhaps
put it, of mythology: Dostoevsky was less concerned with communicating his teachings on the real devil;
rather, he presented in this guise the mood with which a person becomes imbued after a diabolical
intention has become firmly rooted in him: a man proudly denying obedience to God, worshipping
negation and wilfulness which he raises to a kind of apotheosis, sometimes actually sympathizing with
the devil. But, if he rejects the very existence of the latter as well as the existence of God, he still pictures
the denier as a superman in his imagination -- proud, strong, and beautiful. For a time, like Stavrogin, he
appears as such to foolish girls, but then only for a time, and then, like Stavrogin, he is exposed. Actually,
he soon begins to rot, succumbing to petty insignificant passions: to debauchery as F. P. Karamazov,
drinking as Stefan Trofimovich [Verkhovensky] or to small servile vanity as Karmazinov. (91) At times such
demonic types are not able to conceal their pettiness, turning out to be kept men and sycophants as
Rakitin,(92) and even petty thieves like Grushen'ka's proud fiance. In order to preserve an independent,
authoritative look while serving their passions, they have to conceal a lot and therefore they cheat, lie,
and. even swindle. This is how another demonic type, Prince Valkovsky, acts in The Insulted and
Humiliated. He grandly mocked people, deriding virtue in a condescending way, and did not fear
anybody. But when, after a vile action, he received a slap in the face from the meek Vania and is spit upon,
he swallows all this and retreats. (93)

55
Evil cannot be endowed with greatness and beauty for beauty, according to Dostoevsky, is the norm, the
state of health; and this is why all aspire to it (The Diary of a writer).(94). If women temporarily get
carried away by the supposed beauty of vice, it is because yielding to fantasy they see in such cases not
the real person before them but a very different, imaginary one. A woman, writes the author, adores her
dream, even in a worthless man; Grushen'ka, Aglaiia, Natasha all act in this way. (95)

Several original observations of Dostoevsky's can be adduced to support the notion that outward beauty
is inseparable from moral beauty. He writes: a woman who has preserved a lucid spirit, retains an
imprint of beauty on her face until old age. (96) True, some people possess an animalistic beauty as an
expression of a passionate temperament. It, too, attracts the passions of others but this is neither genuine
love nor genuine beauty, Judging by Dostoevsky's heroes, in these cases a passionate attachment is
intermingled with hate and may become the cause of crime. Such is Rogozhin's love for Nastasia
Filippovna, and Versilov's love. Many other examples of such double allegiance are presented by our
writer in his heroes' relationships which lead to a fatal outcome.

Thus our writer shatters that sham fortress which kept people with European education from acquiring
the spirit of Christ and the spirit of the people. He reduced the "melancholy demon, the exiled spirit" (97) to
the level of a petty demon and warned all theomachists that proudly withdrawing from Christ and the
people , they will not turn into Lord Byrons or into Napoleons, but into Fedor Karamazovs, or even
murderer Stavrogin, who seems a hero at first glance, a god of protest, but in reality turns out to be just a
debauched rowdy brawler. People should not be ashamed of their better feelings, of the cordial tender
display of them. Let them arrange their family life and every sphere of their influence by means of love
and to the question in their mind, is it better to prevail by force or by love? let them answer in the words
of the Elder Zosima: "I will prevail by humble love." (98)

4. In What Does the Author See the Real Strength of the Human Soul.

Madmen dream of fighting God and attempt to see beauty and grandeur in resistance to Him What they
do not realize in time is that not only do they have to struggle against God and man, but against
themselves also. God's voice is implanted in the human soul quite apart from the fact does the latter want
to obey it or not. A man can every minute disobey it: this is even easier than to obey constantly. But
constant disobedience to this voice or brazen disregard, breaking the most important commandment!
turns man not only into an enemy of God's but an enemy of himself, and this enemy of his is invincible. No
matter how strongly a man attempts to drown it in wine, to burn it in the flame of debauchery, to
strangle it by cruelly wicked deeds, he is not able to kill it, and although he may persist and not submit to
it, he only subjects himself to new sufferings from unremitting pangs and pricks of remorse. It sometimes
seems to him that he has found the means to kill or at least to put to sleep his conscience: he procures
hooks, he finds people who assure him that conscience is only the voice of blind habit, that his unbelief
and cruelty are justified by science He may remain with these thoughts for some tine, cautiously evading
all that has been produced by science to repudiate other science. A young man of this type rudely cuts
short the advice to read this or that boos containing teachings in accord with the voice of human
conscience. He can do all this until life itself does arouse in his soul a whole galaxy of new attitudes, kind,
compassionate and tender, or at lease until he, does not brutally outrage his conscience by means of some
criminal offence or no less grave a sin against the Spirit Then the voice of conscience raises in his soul

56
such a storm that he cannot remain any longer in his present moral state and has to either return with
heartfelt repentance to obeying his concseience and, consequently, to faith, or he has to destroy himself.

One of the central ideas in Dostoevsky's novels -- one may say their central drama -- is this struggle of
conscience with an ill-disposed will of a man, or with wrong views, acquired from books on faith, or
purposely formed in order to justify his negative will. This conflict is sometimes resolved by a sudden
change of will under a beneficial influence. Then the sophisms on which it rests are shattered to pieces:
this is what happened to The Adolescent, and perhaps to Ippolit. Sometimes, though passions having
taken firm root, do not yield to the impact of sacred feelings which are crying out to be admitted into
man's soul.He may then succumb to his passions once more and perishes. This is what happened to
Stavrogin and Svidrigailov, and the affairs of The Eternal Husband(99) were moving in the same direction.
It also happens that man's theoretical delusions are more persistent even without the presence of such a
falsehood, taking firm root in his distorted mind; it was thus with the suicide Kirillov. If one succeeds in
freeing oneself from them, it is only after the bitter experiences of life and prolonged severe suffering.
Thus it was with the murderer Raskol'nikov. In every case, the voice of conscience triumphs over the self
idolization of man, even when it seems to him that he has condemned himself to suicide according to his
self will, for in reality he was simply suffocating from longing for the truth, but did not want to bow to it.
He was aware of the dullness and insignificance of his nihilistic passions but did not want to admit it
before the others. Thus Kirillov, deeply despising any revolution and the nihilists and being moved by
Shatov's moral regeneration, lied in his death note, calling himself a Socialist.

We have already stated that Dostoevsky was not only a diagnostician but also a therapeutist. lie studied
with affection the beneficial influences, by means of which under the present conditions of our Russian
life, the renegades are brought to their senses and are reborn.

Above all, the author suggests to people that conscience is stronger than their thought stronger than
their will. He particularly liked to describe cases when man's consciousness does not retain a clear
memory of a bad deed but some accidental impression and sometimes a dream arouse in him the
tormenting feeling which persistently tortures him, sometimes for several days, until he remembers what,
i.e. which action of his life, temporarily completely forgotten, has caused it. Thus, the seducer of the wife
of the Eternal Husband(100) is tormented by some fleeting impression, puzzles over the reasons of his
depression, recalling finally that he has met somebody, whom he has badly treated but can't remember
whom, where, and when, until he meets face to face with the Eternal Husband. The Elder Zosima, while
still a flippant officer, awakening during the night before his duel in a state of anguish did not
understand his mood, but realized clearly that it did not at all depend on the anticipated duel. He finally
recalls that he has hit his orderly in the face without any fault on the man's part. He asks his orderly's
forgiveness, and having forced himself to such a Christian feat no matter how insignificant, realizes the
senseless and even criminal nature of duels and, disregarding all military and society prejudices, submits
resignation. He then takes upon himself the struggle of poverty and vagrancy, later to join the rank of the
monks.

Dostoevsky's two above mentioned types were not malicious people, even during their most frivolous
period: they did not approve of their transgressions, and although they forgot about them lightmindedly,
they did not fight their conscience. Matters are different with people whose affinity to evil or theomachia
is stronger. These people have assimilated the evil principle in themselves, and although at times they
protest against it, they seek to vindicate it to others, justifying its essence. A smouldering struggle of
which they are not always aware, takes place in them. The individual will of such people vacillates, now
taking the side of conscience, then turning against it, and this constant split, becoming more and more
acute, creates around them the fantastic aura of the double or devil (who is perhaps really involved in
their dad lives). This double or devil is experienced only by the moral split personalities who, subject to a
tormenting struggle, strive for the better but fall into doubt or are seized by passions, and fall again.

57
On the contrary, such characters as Stavrogin or Aliosha Valkhovsky (101) who change easily from one
mood to another apparently without pangs of conscience, do not see devils and doubles but, to make up
for it they themselves appear to other people to be doubles, surprising them by unexpected actions, at
times highly cruel. ones, which seem to be quite natural for them. Such characters as Tersilov,
Raskol'nikov, Ivan Karamazov are quite a different matter Though they approve evil at times and become
absorbed in it, they cannot remain in this state constantly even though they themselves have consciously
nurtured it and inculcated it upon their habits and moods. On occasions, it r ises before their consciences
in all its bare abonminalness, appearing to them as something inimical to their hearts and, in cases of
extreme weariness and agitation, it seems to them to he a separate being, intruding upon their person
and demanding obedience. Thus, it seemed to Raskol 'nikov that there is a devil next to him. (102)

Before Ivan Karamazov recognized the devil, there "stood before his conscious-less a being, or an object
which he could not recall:" it happens with everybody, explains the author; you cannot remember and
you agonize over it.(103) Then, glancing back, Ivan saw the devil in the same shape as described above. He
tries to assure himself that the devil is simply the personification of everything base, and evil that had
settled into his soul, a product of his sick imagination. In the same way, Versilov feels a double to be next
to him, as if carrying him within himself. (104) The double of Mr. Goliadkin has a slightly different meaning;
he appeared in the period of his gradually going mad. (105) Goliadkin was a harmless man; he was,
however, constantly indulging in vainglorious dreaming, aspiring to play the role of a particularly noble
and respected person and a useful public servant.He-was simultaneously in doubt about his merits,
suspecting his insignificance, perhaps even exaggerating it, since he was actually not a bad sort. His
madness was caused by something different. It was not as result of an inner schism or split, but a result of
heredity. But the struggle he went through in the developnment of his mental illness took the shape of a
double pursuing him.(106) He mistook it for his own reflection in the mirror or the coach window pane and
also in the author of the joking letter sent to him by his mischievous fellow workers. We have already said
that this novel is an amendment to Gogol's The Nose and Diary of a Madman, but Gogol saw in his pitiful
heroes only their negative traits. Dostoevsky completed the picture of this inner struggle and the pangs of
conscience which such characters experience. This, then, is the significance of doubles and devils
appearing to people in Dostoevsky's novels and stories.(107) It is the very deviation of a man from the true
path which brings him to his senses, that is, his conscience revealaing to him the wrong way of his life in
its true, ugly shape, as if telling him this is what you have made yourself into, but you are not like this, you
do not have to acquiesce in your fatal and ruinous way of life. Thus these mysterious visions and these
dim and painful dreamlike states appear as warnings and threats to a man who has lost his way.
Dostoevsky knows another means, too, by which human conscience calls a being to regenerate and to
repent in a positive way; and this is nightmares and illness. Dreams that reveal a person to himself
frequently determine a turning point in the life of Dostoevsky's heroes. Such is the Dream of a Ridiculous
Man, revealing to him a whole new world view and forcing him to change his life's direction from evil to
good. Versilov's dream was supposed to have a similar impact but this affected man did not want to
submit to the truth which was thus revealed to him by his own sub-conscious mind through his dream,
even though, for a long time, he he remained under the influence of his dream, which was not unlike the
dream of the Ridiculous Man in its content. (108) For Dmitri Karamazov, however, the fateful dream had a
reconciling meaning. It revealed to him man's calling in the face of the deep sufferings and privations
("Why does the babe cry?" (109)). Raskol'nikov's dream in Siberia had a similar convicting significance,
leading him to repentance. (110) Here it was revealed to him what horrible consequences the principle of
wilfulness and crime which he had embraced would result in for Russia and the entire world. He saw in
his dream the prophetic picture of a war of all against all which faced Europe in 1914 and Russia in
1918. On the contrary, Aliosha Karamozov, when confused by the "putrid smell" of the deceased Elder's
body and the ordeal in his own family, he dreamed of the "Marriage in Cana of Galilee" and saw the Elder
among the blessed participants. Thus reconciled and imbued with an unshakable faith in the power and
triumph of good and of Christ's truth, he will awaken from sleep in order to spread love, repentance, and
reconciliation everywhere. Svidrigailov, however, was not enlightened by his prophetic dream and shot

58
himself in desperation. As in a dream, man may be enlightened by illness, and particularly by an illness
with delirium. This, The Adolescent rises as a different person after is prolonged illness. His real father,
Versilov, was also supposed to change after his illness at the end of the novel. Similarly, Nellie's
embittered hear in The Insulted and Humiliated was softened after her illness. Stepan Trofimovich's
spiritual eyes were opened on his deathbed, while righteous people as the Elder Zosima and Makar
Dolgoruky are enlightened in this state by a purely blessed light of love and reason. There are many other
examples in Dostoevsky which could be adduced to clarify this idea of his, but the ones mentioned should
suffice.

Let us now ask why a certain weakening of consciousness -- such as in a heavy illness -- is helpful for the
enlightenment of the human soul. Some sketics will retort that reason is inimical to faith and spiritual
energization. The point here, however, is that it is not reason but an evil will which fights against the
conscience and closes the mind's eyes to it, all the while defending itself with logical sophistries. In the
lower consciousness states described by the author, it is precisely this will that weakens, leaving an
unimpeded conscience to reveal to man his own self and the truth that he, like Nekrasov's "Uncle Vlas,"
rejected.(111) Apostle Peter indicates this very condition when he writes, "He who has endured bodily
suffering has moved away from sin, with the result that he does not live the rest of his eartly life for evil
desires, but for the will of God" (1Pt.4:1-2). Life confirms that the most malisious enemy of truth, the
enemy of reason, is an evil will, and the conscience reveals man to himself only when his will weakens
under the influence of suffering. On the later condition the writer once said that suffering is the cause of
consciousness.(112) The will of a person in good health is able to fight consciousness, that is, the voice of the
conscience and that which his soul and un-prejudiced reason suggest to him; but when a man has a
dream or a nightmare, or is depressed by suffering and the thought of imminent death while ill, then soul
and conscience come into their own. Now, they reveal to him in "visions" what they had whispered to him
when awake, but which he had persistently deflected his attention from. Thus, the convicts, murderers
and robbers do not like to speak about their crimes in The House of the Dead. If they did have to speak of
them, each one was at pains to conceal any remorse from his interlocutor. In the case of dreaming and
delirium, however, the pangs of conscience were manifested and the memory of all the gruesome details
of their crimes were laid bare. Dreams and delirium complete the revelation to us of that which we did
not wan to (or could not) consider attentively while awake. thus, if we have the opportuity to weep and
grieve over a deceased, we will seldom see him in a dream. If, however, the matter of the burial, the
settleing of affiars, the provision for orphaned children, etc. have not provided time for sincere weeping
and grieving over our sorrow, then we will often see the beloved deceased in a dream even on the first
night after the burial. This is a psychological phenomenon created by the feeling in our conscience that
we have left unfulfilled some duty to the departed one whom we loved. The prophetic dreams in
Dostoevsky's works have the same purpose for his heroes who did not heed the voice of conscience and
truth while awake.

Without keeping the reader's attention on this same matter any longer, let us add a few words which
illucidate why we speak here of "conscience and soul," that is, why we add the word "soul." In one of
Gogol's fantastic stories(113) the soul of a sleeping girl becomes separated from her, has a conversation
with a supernatural being, and tells him, among other things, "Katerina does not know even one tenth
part of what her soul knows." In recent years,[i.e. the last half of the 19 th century], experimental
psychology has distinguish the centre of consciousness from the field of consciousness or from the sphere
of semi-consciousness. Our consciousness does not note and incorporate all the richness of impressions
and feelings contiguous to it, particularly if this is not desirable, but also as a consequence of
absentmindedness or tiredness. Such lack of attention likely concerns mostly what is unpleasant to us,
above all, pangs of conscience. Sometimes these half conscious impressions do not have such a close link
with the conscience; still, they bother a person until one is able to render an account of them to oneself,
moving them into the centre of consciousness. Let us adduce one example from among many in
Dostoevsky's work. Prince Myshkin, while preparing for his nearly forced wedding with Nastasya

59
Filippovna, remembered two eyes fixed on him from the crowd. Only later did he guess that these were
the eyes of his rival, Rogozhin.(114)

5. Compassion and Children.

Such is the most purifying and potent means for the regeneration of an erring soul, embittered, turning
away from its fellow men and from its people and its Creator We have just spoken of the prophetic heart,
of man's soul which knows tenfold more than "the person itself." It is in this soul which according to its
very nature and also owing to the recollections of childhood preserved, in soul even disfigured by
passions, lies and theomachia [fighting against God] that there still remains a deep penchant for holy
salutary compassion. If only man would not rudely repulse this sacred emotion but would follow its
indications. Sometimes, though, even if it were rejected, it overwhelms one's soul even against one's will,
even in a dream, and commands imperiously to follow it. Thus The Ridiculous Man repulsed the begging
little orphan, and went on to consider his wicked suicide plan; he then had the prophetic dream and on
awakening, was reconciled and ready for a new life. Now he did not even think about suicide anymore
but exclaimed: I'll find the little orphan and take care of her.

Dostoevsky is an optimist and simultaneously a realist, too: he does not want to lull us to sleep with sweet
persuasions that all people are good, even against their own will, that there are no sinners on the verge of
perdition, that the sacred feeling of compassion may be repulsed because of anger or a corrupt heart. The
hero of the underground acted in this way' Svidrigailov acted in this way in his prophetic dream, shooting
himself on awakening, Versilov and Stavrogin and Fedor Pavlovich Karamazov acted in the same way in
regard to the holy feelings bursting into their souls. The author is not preaching "rosy Christianity" as K.
Leontiev accused him: his task is to persuade people of the possibility of regeneration offered to them by
God and their own soul; their using it depends on their free will.

Who among Dostoevsky's heroes, besides the already quoted examples, did make good use of it? The
Adolescent seized upon it, discarding his brutal intention of enrichment after a foundling was left at their
house, and, the children of the Karamazov city next to Iliusha's deathbed, whose sufferings and death
completely regenerated them, and the children in Switzerland, the friends of Prince Myshkin, who pitied
The Insulted and Humiliated girl and whose hearts were softened in their cares for her. (115) Finally, we are
convinced that all the listeners and we hope most readers of the moving story of Dostoevsky A Boy at
Christ's Christmas Party should be included, which the author, and sometimes his friend, the writer
Grigorivich, read at literary gatherings. On these occasions tears of Christian compassion for the little
orphan, freezing under the lighted windows of a lordly house where children enjoyed themselves around
the Christmas tree, welled up in the eyes of many even of the male listeners, not to mention most of the
female ones. Christ the Saviour came to the boy and carried him to heaven to enjoy an eternal Christmas.
He was met there by his mother who had died an hour earlier in the basement; her corpse, growing cold,
had frightened the child.

This is how strong compassion is. Not for nothing does our author write: if you pity an unprotected being,
you will get attached to it, and strongly attached. (116) Sometimes as such an unprotected being, attracting
a person of strong will and regenerating it morally appear in Dostoevsky not only sweet children, uniting
around the deathbed comrade so many adults in his last novel, and not only pure girls of attractive
character as in Poor Folk or Sonia Marmeladova who restores Raskolnikov, but even repulsive characters
as, for example, in the story The Honest Thief. And if even the cold, egoistical Swiss fall under the spell of
such compassion (in the above mentioned story of Prince Myshkin's), in Russians such service to feebler

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beings is inherent to such a degree that it gives cause to a drunkard officer in the contemporary play of
great merit, The Strong and the Weak, to set forth to another intelligent good-for-nothing a whole theory
to the effect that in Russia the "weak", i.e. the lazy, the drunkards, the worthless are the "strong" ones,
since the honest, industrious and talented constantly work for them, intercede on their behalf, worry
about them, and come to their rescue.

Children, as the reader has seen, provide the strongest inducement for holy compassion. Dostoevsky was
fond of them in particular! He promised to write a special long novel about children (The Diary of a
Writer)(117) on top of what he had written in his youth (The Christmas Tree and the Wedding, Netochka
Nezvanova, The Little Hero) and in addition to what we have briefly set forth in his last novel. Let us add
here two or three other highly significant thoughts on them. Children vary considerably from adults, as if
they were a different species (The Brothers Karamazov).(118) Childrens' faces are never ugly (ibidem).
Therefore our most precious recollections are about the family, about our childhood, if there was at least
a tiny bit of love there (The Brothers Karamazov)(119) because the family and is created by the feat of love
and held together by it. A recollection, especially from childhood, lifts the soul up more than anything else
(The Diary of a Writer). Children are better than we and one should not be horrified by their
misdemeanours. If city children (including Aliosha Karamazov's school fellows) like to utter obscenities,
they do so not at all because they are depraved (The Brothers Karamazov). This rather resembles how
Adam and Eve were not ashamed of being naked as long as they were innocent. We are not going to refer
here to Aliosha Karamazov's splendid speech, in which he so movingly speaks about the regenerative
power of sacred recollections, since the reader probably remembers and cherishes it.

Children and even young people should not be made to leave this semi-fantastic world, in which they
dwell, in too much of a hurry. It is better to give to youth Don Quixote for reading, instead of their
worshipping their stupid surroundings (The Diary of a Writer) writes the author. But nothing should be
kept secret from children, says he, neither should one cheat them, they understand everything. (120) Not
everything should be made easy for children (The Diary of a Writer), because a person who has not
known labour, privations and feats from childhood is not worth anything. A man becomes kind and
honest through work. Dreaminess, or rather a poetic frame of mind is peculiar to youth, it is particularly
valuable if coupled with ennobling labour and not With idleness. It softens the soul to such a degree that,
for example, a dreamer carried away by scholarship, loves the gloomy walls of his dog-hole. Such was the
hero of one of our writers most likeable stories, (The White Nights).(121) This is why Dostoevsky once
addressed the following wish to the reader: May God grant that the virtues of the young would visit you,
my reader, often (The White Nights). The dreaminess that is meant here does not stay aloof from life, but
aspires to transform life into something better, without closing one's eyes to its defects and lies.

People consider children almost foolish beings, whom they should instruct and develop, in fact they look
upon the simple people in the same way. Dostoevsky, however, tells us to learn from the people, and to
learn through children as well. But he also requires us to teach children as well as the people, but in
accordance with the nature of the former and the convictions of the latter. With all that we have already
seen that our writer does not close his eyes to the faults of the people; neither does he deny the
shortcomings of children. He was in this case, as in all others, an optimist, but not a blind one, not
onesided. Precisely at the start of his literary career he wrote the sketch (The Christmas Tree and The
Wedding), where he described the separation in games between the rich and the poor starting at an early
age, the servility of the latter before the former, etc. In the novel about children, Netochka Nezvanova, the
despotism of children and the tormenting of Netochka by her girl-friend Katia are described. In (The
Brothers Karamazov) the spite and vindictiveness of the insulted Iliusha, is depicted the childish vanity of
Kolia Krastkin, etc. These incipient passions are healed through the sufferings of the children , for
example, through the illness of Netochka and particularly the illness and death of Iliusha. This latter
brought down from heaven to earth the blessings of love and reconciliation to all those around him, the
little and the big. This is the author s answer to the "rebellion" of Ivan Karamazov, who could not

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reconcile divine justice with the sufferings of innocent children. Helas' innocence, i.e. complete absence of
sin, the absence of anger and humility are lost with the awakening of consciousness, resulting in the
perception of sufferings. Suffering is perceived simultaneously with the setting in of sinfulness and
sufferings cleanse the hearts of good children from sin. Until now the critics did not understand the
author's statement to the effect that the last of novels was an answer to the "Rebellion" and to the "Grand
Inquisitor", discounting our article, (122) published in the Theological Messenger for 1895 (and later in The
Complete Collected Works), unnoticed of course by the critics. The same article contains an explanation
as regards the authors reply to the "Grand Inquisitor"; we will return to this later.

6. Relapses into Evil.

Direct Instructions for Regeneration of Oneself and Others.

If the reader did not yet satisfy himself that Dostoevsky's optimism was not rosy, not unreal, but a very
real one based on personal experience and a broad study of life, then he should familiarize himself with
those pictures of life which show that already the decision made in order to start on the path of virtue
and even some steps made in this direction, do not at all ensure the achieving of virtue. This is wishful
thinking of Protestant preachers and theologians, according , to whom man's turning to repentance and
faith constitute already complete salvation; from then on man has nothing to complain about and
nothing to struggle against or exert himself -- in spite of the words of the Apostle: "Brethren, I count not
myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and
reaching forth unto those things which are before" (Phil.III, 13). Thus, the Apostle did lead a spiritual
struggle against himself. Is it, then, surprising that those who have fallen deeply, fall again in this
struggle and relapse into their passions. Dostoevsky does not shut his eyes to the power of evil in man and
in mankind. The reader does, of course, recall how artistically truthful is his depiction of the despotic
incoherent power of sinful passions over their victims: Marmeladov's insuperable drinking, the
indomitable fire of debauchery in the old Karamazov, the unreceptivness to good influences of Aliosha's
friend, Rakitin, the callous heart of Nellie's grandfather, that half-pauper German (123) who did not want to
forgive his daughter even on her deathbed. What is there to talk about: there hardly exists another writer
who is capable of describing so truthfully the persistence of human passions as Dostoevsky. Shakespeare
depicts people's crimes, inspired by passions and their fight with their enemies, while Dostoevsky
describes their stubborn resistance to the call for love and correction. This is equally as far removed from
naive optimism as from pessimism, as well as far from being a "cruel talent" as a literary critic of
Western orientation Mikhaihovsky,(124) dared to call Dostoevsky, resenting his influence on society and the
young people. Indeed, not Mikhailovsky alone. Not knowing how to tarnish Dostoevsky's reputation, the
critics little by little appropriated the device of falsifying his writings. This brings back the epoch of
Magnistsky and reminds one of the fate of the notorious cookbook, using the expression "Open Air" (125).
This device suited the tastes of our men of letters so well that even prominent ones like Merezhkovsky
began to duplicate it almost to a man, using, for example, the speech of the Karamazov prosecutor who

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says that this family is able to contemplate simultaneously the abyss above and the abyss below, i.e. to
admire virtue as well as godless vice. (126) Dostoevsky's skillful depiction of human passions gave his
enviers occasion to transfer suspicion (of these passions) to the author himself then and even onto his
teachings. What can be said of the pornography of Kuprin, Artsybashev and others, they are not ashamed
to say about Dostoevsky. Vice and sin are, however, never depicted in an attractive way in his works. On
the contrary, they are censured and all the false teachings of his heroes are refuted, either by the train of
events, or by the retorts of their interlocutors. It is now left to our critics to accuse Gogol' of advocating
bribe- taking and Alexei Tolstoy (127) of advocating drinking, since they depicted these vices so masterfully.

We would like to draw the reader's attention to the return of malicious inclinations and biases of
Dostoevsky's heroes, who either have already started on the path of repentance or are, it appears, ready
to change the trust of their life in the direction of the good, truth and faith. Perhaps the most
characteristic example of this is Versilov. A highly educated man, inquisitive, a philosopher almost, he
voluntarily gives up the large property, won in a lawsuit and remains a poor man. He yields to this noble
impulse much under the influence of his youthful son, who has just joined him, under the influence of the
latter's pure, radiant soul. Showered with rapturous endearments on the part of this son, surrounded by
the beneficial influence of a righteous old man, who has come to him to die, whose wife he had formerly
enticed away, but who has forgiven him, he has, it seems, totally relented and become an apostle of virtue
and patriotism. But there arrives one of his many lady-friends, the good name of whom depends on him,
and once more he attempts to make her a slave of his passion. In a vicious split of personality, he smashes
against a stove an icon, bequeathed to him by the above mentioned old man and shuns the marriage with
the woman he has seduced, the mother of his children. Such is also Marmeladov, a tender-hearted man,
who married an abaned noble widow solely out of pity. After many failures of this wretched family, he is
finally given a job. His consumptive wife and tattered children are anticipating life's pleasures, but once
more he rushes to the dirty dens of drinking, perishes on the street while drunk, and thus deals the final
blow to his wife, who also bleeds to death on the street. But not only these people, who wallowed in sin
from youth, the teenage Nellie, honest and pure, does not part easily from her resentment toward the
people who had shown so much cruelty before her very eyes. She irritably rejects repeatedly the most
selfless services of her new friends, who have come to love her, despite the fact that she would remain in
the state of poverty and helplessness without them. It takes a long time for her to mellow, and even then
not totally, before her death.

We have pointed out that Dostoevsky is not only a diagnostician but also a theurapeutist of mental
disorders. All his works are therapeutic, unmasking the false views, theoretical and moral, which are the
basis of evil and falsehood in human life. He calls people to communion with God and their simple folk for
moral regeneration. But our writer states that it is easier to overcome of the errors of the mind than
errors of the heart, i.e. human passions and the evil will of people who indulge in them, who do not want
to follow good advice and exhortations. If they agree to talk at all with the remonstrator, they will justify
their frame of mind and deviations from the right path by all sorts of sophisms. If, however, they notice a
strong logical bent and persistence in their interlocutor, they will attempt to cut the exchange short
under any plausib1e pretext, or become rude. "Ne persuadere nolentem", do not admonish the unwilling
goes the Latin saying. What help is there available in such cases? You can find a direct answer to this
question in our writer, and more than once. For the feeling of the one in error another equally strong
feeling (equalling his passion) should be substituted, he then may agree to examine himself ( The
Adolescent).(128) In order to reroute a man away from his evil desires, says the writer in another novel,
another, better desire has to be set off against it, i.e. he should be won over to take another path. A
graphic example of such an impact is presented in The Insulted and Humiliated. The old man, Natasha's
father, cursed his daughter, who left to live with her lover, and did not want to forgive her. His friends
bring to him the victim of similar or even greater paternal strictness, the adolescent girl Nellie, and ask
her to tell in detail in what poverty and grief her unfortunate mother lived and ended her life, cursed by
her father for a similar passion; she could not secure his pardon until her death. It was a tremendously

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impressive story, and Natasha's father came to his senses under its impact and accepted his repentant
daughter with tender care.(129) The conciliatory attitude of Makar Ivanovich, constantly filled with tender
emotion and an unshakeable faith in the triumph of the eternal truth, did have a similar effect on the
permanently indignant Adolescent. All the above mentioned cases demonstrate a radical impact on
passionate or callous hearts of the sufferings of children and the helpless in need, and follow the same
rule. These pictures arouse in men holy compassion and while experiencing it, they cool toward their
former criminal goals and repulse in revulsion that, which formerly lured them.

In this contrasting with another or even a stronger feeling consists the whole secret of the influence on
human hearts of the Elder Zosima and Aliosha. Filled with love for the people, with gentle benevolence
toward them, they carry in their hearts a constant hymn to the Creator and the longing for a general
conversion to Him. These personalities transmit through themselves the light of a better world,
constantly descending from heaven to earth, these angel-like people imbue by their very appearance, by
their approaching their fellow-men with a whole gamut of new, sacred harmonies, i.e. with heartfelt
inspiration and bright hope; they generate in the souls of their fellow-men a decisive battle of the
embryonic beginnings of new life with the former passions, opposed to them. The final outcome of this
struggle in one direction or the other depends, of course, on man's free will. This is faciliatated by a
messenger who is able to add to the revealed moral beauty of the good and the true a reasonable
justification, too, and a refutation of his interlocutors delusions. But it is not so much the power of these
refutations as the power of the sacred sentiments and the compassionate feeling of the admonisher
himself which influence the sinner and denier. The brotherly and tender kiss with which Aliosha
concluded the conversation with Ivan after their exchange of thoughts in regard to the "Grand Inquisitor"
stirred Ivan much more, of course, and resulted in a deeper emotional experience than the theoretical
and also reasonable objections of the younger brother. His inner struggle between faith and disbelief,
submission to God and crime was intensified to an utmost degree, as Aliosha guessed during his
nocturnal prayer and drove the stubborn sceptic to hallucinations and a nervous fever. Aliosha's
conversations with his father, his brother Dmitrii, Grushen'ka and Liza, and Kolia Krasotkin, as well as
with Iliusha's other school friends, provoked a similar inner struggle, now with an auspicious, then again
with an unfavourable outcome. The power of moral influence inherent in the Elder Zosima is, of course,
incomparably greater. Notice the picture, remarkable in its depth, of the visit to the Elder by a whole
group of completely church-alien intellectuals, the majority of whom looked down on the church. Seeing
the Elder, and especially hearing his words, however, they immediately felt a deep agitation in their souls
and began to express their perplexity and aspirations, and almost blasphemed. In a word, they could not
keep to themselves what excited them and filled their souls not only in their personal life but also in their
interrelationships with each other. What happened to them was almost what had happened to the
possessed of the Gospel on meeting the Saviour.Some are touched and repent, others abuse one another,
the third blaspheme. The "believing peasant women" present a different picture. They accept the Elder's
exhortations and counsels with repentance, tender emotion, and spiritual transports, literally, like God's
word. They leave him, nearly regenerated, cleansed of their sins, and reconciled with their fellow-men.

This is a rejoinder to the second reason for the rejection of Christianity, advanced by Ivan Karamazov in
the "Grand Inquisitor".

Dostoevsky considered these two causes, advanced by his heroes, as more serious than anything negating
Europe had hit upon, and declared that he had disproved them by his novel. We have already talked
about the first cause, as well as about its refutation; let us now elucidate the second and its refutation.

The Grand Inquisitor announces to the Saviour that his teachings are too lofty for the pitiful human race,
enslaved by the body, even the stomach, to take the road of selflessness and chastity. People will submit
only to despotic rule, coupled with deception and spiritual enslavement. Take possession of the bread, act
by means of miracle, mystery, and authority, and then mankind will submit to you, while it will not

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submit to voluntary persuasion, excluding a few moral heroes. This is precisely what the tempter
suggested to Jesus Christ in the desert but was rejected, and this is why the Saviour will never subordinate
all of mankind until His followers will not change His teachings in essence according to the tempter's
advice. We have carried this out, says the Inquisitor. According to his and Ivan's opinion pure Christianity
will remain the religion not of mankind and the people but of moral heroes. Those thoughts about
Christianity and the redemptor occupied Dostoevsky even earlier. Already in The Adolescent it was, it
seems, Versilov who spoke of people along the same lines as the Inquisitor: "Turn stones into bread, and
you will control people but for a short time only; this is not enough: a miracle is needed (i.e. in order to
captivate their mind and conscience).(130)

What then is the rejoinder Dostoevsky's story provides to this

objection? Criticism refrained from providing an explanation. The explanation or reply consists in the
characters of the Elder Zosima and Aliosha Karamazov as well as in that all-inclusive influence which
they and similar righteous people exert, for example, Makar Ivanovich and Prince Myshkin in The
Adolescent and The Idiot. Here is this answer: yes, the full and total absorbing of Christianity is the lot of
only a few, and not of all the people, even less of of all mankind, but to make up for it these few enlighten,
soften, and draw to Christ all or almost all among those with whom they come in contact like long
awaited for luminaries of the people or society,so that the powerful impact of Christianity becomes
visible on the vast majority of people, who have heard of Christ. It penetrates their every-day life, forms
their mores, customs, laws, and entire cultures. It does not in the least remain the individual bent of a
few, as some contemporary silly publicists, philosophers, and then students, cadets and high-school girls
said and wrote, but remains a vast public, national and international force, determining the existence of
the nations believers to an incomparably greater degree than all the other folk and pan-human features.
Roughly this last thought can be found in Shatov's monologues and in the answer of the author himself to
Gradovsky,(131) as well as in previous issues of his Diary of a Writer. In this way people and nations are
drawn to Christ.

We have somewhat exceeded the bounds of this last thought, dwelling on the Inquisitor, but we were able
in this way to reveal to the reader interested in Dostoevsky, his main idea, his most sacred and dearest
idea of Christianity, of mankind and its destinies. Let us also add that the saving influence of Christianity,
even if it does not have full effect on the majority of the characters depicted by the author, this fullness is
regained at the time of the passing of people into the life to come; on the moral significance of this latter
Dostoevsky expressed himself with singular depth and power.

We quoted this earlier. Now we will only say that our author loved to depict particularly the death-bed
regeneration of man as a pledge of eternal life revealed in him. We have already reminded the reader of
the death-bed illumination and enlightenment of the old Verkhovensky, Makar Dolgoruki, the Elder
Zosima. Let us now add Ippolit, the Honest Thief, Iliusha, even Nellie, the brother of the Elder Zosima,
who died while still young, and other, sometimes quite ordinary people, who did not take a definite stand
on purely religious matters in this life, who were, however, granted this on entering the future, i.e. life
eternal.

Thus, Christian teachings, contrary to the words of the Inquisitor, remain a forver potent public force,
calling forth all the good of which every human generation turns out to be capable, and although these
teachings are assimilated in all their possible fullness only by the best people and the best generations of
the best nations, these latter draw to it the hearts of the other people of less lofty spirit, who, while living
on earth, continue to vacillate between piety and impiety. However, they enter the life to come (and is not
this the meaning of life in general) for the most part purified by means of repentance, i.e. perfected.
According to the above quoted opinion of Dostoevsky, any sense of the present life disappears with the

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denial of the life to come, since the difference between good and evil disappears -- the attractiveness of
the former, as well as the reprehendsibility of the latter.

Such are Dostoevsky's rejoinders to the two most difficult objections to Christianity, which all of negating
Europe did not hit upon. These answers serve as advice and instruction to the zealots of faith and love in
order to attract to faith and love their fellow men who have moved away; they should become involved in
one's own beneficial frame of mind of faith and sympathy.

This is, of course, not a recipe or a detailed course in pastoral theology. The writer indicated here solely
the general law, governing the moral regenerating influence of one personality on another. What is not
indicated, is how to acquire the necessary qualities of the soul. But the picture of such regeneration,
drawn by the writer, represent a priceless treasure of world literature, imbued with unquestionable
beauty and ambition. They fill the soul of the reader with the loftiest feelings of love of mankind and
piety, revealing to him in addition the highest qualities of human nature, destined for moral
perfectability filled with love and in unity with the souls of the other people.

Before concluding this psychological and moral chapter, let us provide an answer to one more question:
what kind of instructions -will a person, who has already dedicated himself to a change of his life in order
to enter the path of moral regeneration, find in Dostoevsky. Such a question was put to the Elder Zosima
half in mockery, but half in earnest, by Fedor Karamazov. What, then, did the Elder answer to him? He
answered without evasion, directly and definitively, but in such a way that when I read this novel at the
age of sixteen, this answer surprised me but did not satisfy me. I came to appreciate its meaning later,
when I was approaching the half-century mark of my life.

The Elder answered: start by ceasing to lie, especially to yourself. (132) The same advice is qiven in The
Adolescent to an intelligent youth as the basic guiding principle of his entire life

"Do not everlie and remember the tenth and the rest of the ten commandments." (133)

I had a very kind brother. He was five years my senior, very clever, but weak-willed, inquisitive, but a
careless student. Frequently he would get poor marks in school and, seeing how this upset our mother, he
concealed these failtures from her, resorting to lies. This caused deep sorrow to our parents. True, in time
my brother received a Master's degree natural sciences but being exceptionally kind-hearted and not
being able to stand any painful conversations, he concealed even later his debts which were a
consequence of his giving away all that he earned. To such a man, who is almost righteous, the following
advice should be given: do not lie, because he was otherwise almost blameless. But to teach truthfulness
to a man who is steeped through and through in many vices -- simply a criminal, seemed to me, a youth
(even a boy) then, like treating somebody suffering from galloping consumption as if he merely had a
cold. But Dostoevsky showed me that the Elder Zosima gave exactly that advice, which, if a sinner would
fullfil it, he could begin his moral regeneration. A life of vice is impossible without constant self-delusion,
and is therefore always, or nearly always, accompanied by narcosis -- predominantly by drinking. This is
the easiest means of self-delusion, making unpleasant falsehood seem plausible and making it easier to
find a justification for every abominal deed. If there were no vodka, wine, hashish, opium, morphium and
other narcotics, nine-tenth of crimes would not have been committed. This is obvious from criminal
statistics between the time of the prohibition of the sale of vodka by the Tsar and the renewal alcohol
distilling at the time of the Revolution. The statistics for suicides is almost the same.

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The conviction of our writer to the effect that lying to oneself and to others is the chief and indispensable
condition of evil and vice taking root, is closely connected to his conviction that people are better in their
hearts than in their behaviour, and that if they would examine their transient intentions and actions in
the light of the deeper and more constant aspirations of their souls, they would cease to sink lower and
lower, and would not tolerate their hearts becoming totally callous. We have quoted the author's
optimistic statements to this effect to a sufficient degree. Let us now recall that some of them were
expressed precisely on account of the personality of Karamazov himself, his donations in memory of his
first wife which he almost tortured to death, and some manifestations of tender feelings for Aliosha, his
youngest, who had entered the monastery.

The depth and the practical side of the first advice of our writer, more than once indicated in his works, to
a depraved person, who desires of his own free will to correct his life, consists in that this advice has an
external character, in a manner of speaking, a physical and a special one.

This is important, because if one were to overwhelm the first inquiry of an awakening feeble conscience
and corrupt will with a veritable deluge of advice and requests, it will feel itself completely suppressed,
and the person may retreat with hopelessness before the thorny path opening up before him.

It is, of course, a different matter if this person has a deep faith in Christ, like uncle Vlas. Such a man, the
more sharply he etches our the path of his correction, the more trust worthy he becomes. "Vlas gave away
his property, Remained barefoot and naked as he left to collect money for the building of a temple of
God."

But a non- or half-believer can neither stand his ground in the difficult ascetic struggles, nor is he able to
recall some positive qood deed at once, since his soul, wrapped in lies, will immediately begin the deviate
from the feat undertaken by means of his habitual sophisms. It is sufficient if he will turn his whole
attention to the elimination of the main obstacle for improvement, that he would stop making a fool of
himself and mutilating himself. Evil passions will probably succeed in pushing him repeatedly into
committing some vile deeds, but if he will stand fast in this small feat admonished by the Elder Zosima, he
will stop justifying his misdemeaners and falls, and by means of this alone he will cool to that which
attracted him before. He then will cool to all that is evil his soul will become increasingly more accessible
to noble and gentle feelings. More and more frequently he will act in a humane and honest way, giving
way to these feelings. In this manner he will acquire a taste for virtue; he will be then in the position to
consecrate on a broader struggle against evil in himself. He will experience the need to learn more about
faith and prayer. And finally the bright road to a total regeneration and a new righteous life will open up
before him.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

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7.

8. Part One, Book II, 'Why is Such a Man Alive?"

9. The Diary of a Writer, Oxt. 1876, II, "A Belated Admonition and Unsubstantiated Allegations."

10. The Adolescent, Part II, Chapter 2; actually it is the doctor treating Makar who receives this answer.

11. A reference to Peter Verkhovensky in The Possessed.

12. All three, Kirillov (The Possessed), Ippolit (The Idiot), and Stavrogin (The Possessed) either commit or
attempt to commit suicide.

13. Cp. Versilov's discourse on "the utopian society without God" in The Adolescent, part 3,Chapter Seven,
and Kirillov's idea about the "man-god, in The Possessed, part 2, Chapter One, "Night").

14. The reference here is to the Revolution and the ensuing years of civil strife.

15. The play, "Vaniushin's Children" (Deti Vaniushina) was the most successful work of playright S.A.
Alexeev (1869-1922). He wrote under the pen-name "Naidenov."

16. "The Globe Trotter," Part 3,Chapter 5, The Possessed.

17. M.V. Nesterov (1862-1942). A Russian painter with a preference for historical and religious subjects.

18. Entry for August 1880, Chapter 3, III.

19. The Diary of a Writer, April 1877, Chapter I, "War."

20. ibid, April 1876, Chapter II. The original title was "The man speaks in paradoxes" (paraksalis).

21. A verst is 1200 metres, or .66 of a mile.

22. The Diary of a Writer, March 1877, Chapter One, III.

23. ibid.

24. The Diary of a Writer, November 1877, Chapter Two, III.

25. ibid.

26. The Diary of a Writer, September 1877, Chapter One, III.

27. The words of Versilov in The Adolescent, Part III, Chapter 7.

28. Diary of a Writer, August 1880, Chapter Three, III.

29. [Translator's Note:] This petty, but often bloody strife, would carry Europe through the First and
Second World Wars, after which the European states were compelled to act otherwise, for the benefit of
all.

68
30. The Diary of a Writer, August 1880, Chapter Three, III.

31. Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, Chapter 5.

32. [Translator's Note:] Metropolitan Antony was speaking at the end of the 19th century. Dostoevsky
had foreseen a war among the empires and states of Western Europe, and he believed that the war would
be fought over pitiful vanities rather than over any serious matters. He recognized the social strife among
the estates (i.e., social classes) in Europe, and in Russia. While he predicted the bloodshed and strife in
Russia also, he held out a hope that Russia would emerge from it whole. As it turned out, this hope was
not fulfilled.

33. The Diary of a Writer, Critical Essays, Introduction (1873).

34. [Translator's Note:] And remember that the Europe of that day was dominated by the repressive
Hapsburg Empire, the Germany of the Kaisers and the slowly decaying Turkish Ottoman Empire. British
colonialism was at its height and the overseas empires of France, Portugal and Belgium were far from
democratic or egalitarian. Russia was not being criticised by democratic, egalitarian states, but by
competing empires.

35. The Possessed, Part Two, Chapter 4, "All Agog," III.

36. Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, Chapter II.

37. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Four, Book XIII, 3, "The Medical Experts and a Pound of Nuts."

38. The Gambler, Chapter IV.

39. Winter Notes on Summer impressions, Chapter V, "Baal." On the other hand, Dostoevsky was
impressed by the English and London for certain characteristics. He painted a verbal picture of England
as having sombre grandeur and might.

40. Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, Chapter Three.

41. Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, Chapter One.

42. Metropolitan Antony was writing this in ****

43. Winter notes on Summer Impressions, Chapter VIII.

44. ibid.

45. The Gambler, Chapter V.

46. The Gambler, Chapter XVI.

47. Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, Chapter VIII "Bribri et Ma Biche."

48. The Diary of a Writer.

49. The Diary of a Writer, Feb.1876, Chapter Two "Apropros of the Kroneberg case."
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50. The Diary of a Writer, May 1876, Chapter One, IV and V.

51. The Diary of a Writer, Oct. 1877, Chapter Two, III.

52. Two lines from the 2nd stanza of Pushkin's "The Poet" (1830)

53. The Adolescent, Part One, Chapter 1.

54. The Idiot, Part Two, Chapter 9.

55. The Diary of a Writer, October 1877, Chapter Three, III

56. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Four, Book XI, 9 "The Devil. Ivan's Nightmare"

57. Crime and Punishment, Part Three, V

58. The Diary of a Writer, 1873, "On Lying."

59. The Diary of a Writer, 1873, "Little Pictures. On the Road."

60. Crime and Punishment, Part Two, Chapter Two.

61. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Three, Chapter VIII

62. The Idiot, Part Three, Chapter 2.

63. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Two, Book VI, "The Russian Monk."

64. The Adolescent, Part One, Chapter Two, III

65. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Four, Chapter IV

66. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Four, Chapter IV

67. in Crime and Punishment and The Possessed, respectively.

68. Vania, the hero of The Insulted and Humiliated; cf. Part One, chapters VIII & IX;
Razumikhin is a secondary character in Crime and Punishment, Shatov in The Possessed and
Makar in The Adolescent.

69. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Three, Chapter X

70. Makar Devushkin is the hero of Poor Folk.

71. The Adolescent, Part Three, Chapter Seven (Versilov's words about a picture of Sophia).

72. The Idiot, Part Four, Chapter 1.

70
73. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Two, Book Six, chapter II "From the Vita of Hieromonk
Elder Zosima, Reposed in God..."

74. The Possessed, Part One, Chapter Three, "Another Man's Sins," VIII

75. The Possessed, Part Two, "Night." (2)

76. The Possessed, Part Three, Chapter 7 "Stepan Verkhovensky's Last Pilgrimage?

77. The Brothers Karamazov, Part One, Book I, "The History of a Family"

78. The Brothers Karamazov, ibidem, applies specifically to F. Karamazov

79. The Heroes of respectively, The Brothers Karamazov, The Adolescent, The Possessed,
Crime and Punishment, Polzunkov (a story written in 1848), The Idiot (both Lebedev and
General Ivolgin).

80. In The Brothers Karamazov.

81. The Idiot, Part Three, Chapter 8.

82. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part One, Chapter XIII.

83. The Gambler, chapter III.

84. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Three, Chapter One

85. This is suggested by Perdyshchenko, The Idiot, Part One, Chapter 13.

86. Theosophy and spiritualism were quite widespread in Europe and Russia in the last
quarter of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. In Russia, this took place among the
bored upper classes. It is know that not only some bishops, but the Imperial Family were also
involved in seances and other forms of spiritualism. Even so famous a bishop as Ignati
Brianchaninov accepted and taught a theosophical and spiritualistic doctrine of the soul.

87. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Four, Book XI, Chapter 9 "The Devil. Ivan's Nightmare."

88. The Possessed, Part Five, IV and The Adolescent, Part Three, Chapter X

89. Saint Antony the Great, after is long struggle with the devil, remarks that Satan is but an
actor on a stage. He has no power except that of delusion and deceit. The fact that we are so
willing to fall for that deceit, however, makes this an often formidable power.

90. The Possessed, Part Two, "Night (continued) The Reference is to the Pretender, the "false
Dmitrii" at the Time of Troubles.

91. A secondary character in The Possessed;

71
92. A secondary character in The Brothers Karamazov.

93. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Four, Chapter VI.

94. The Diary of a Writer, 1873, "Mr **bov and the Question of Art."

95. The heroines of The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot, and The Insulted and Humiliated,
respectively.

96. Crime and Punishment, Part Three, Chapter 1.

97. A line from Lermontov's poem "The Demon"

98. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Two, Book VI, "Conversations and Exhortations of Father
Zosima."

99. Velchaninov, hero of The Eternal Husband.

100. Verchaninov, hero of The Eternal Husband

101. in The Insulted and Humiliated

102. Crime and Punishment, Part Five, IV

103. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Four, Book XI, Chapters "The Devil. Ivan's nightmare" and "It Was He
Who Said It."

104. The Adolescent, Part Three, Chapter Ten, II

105. The Double.

106. There is a connection in this, because people who allow themselves to become cruel through
jealousy, malice or envy also create their own mental illness because of the schism they create between
themselves and their consciences

107. It is also the significance of the appearance of devils to people in the lives of the saints, though the
magical understanding of peasant religion and the mythologies imposed by legalism and scholastic
thought are unable to grasp this great truth. These are the sort of visions that St Antony the Great had,
and with God's help and the grace of the Holy Spirit, he overcame them all, and in the end realized and
tuaght that Satan has no power over us at all except the power of deceit and delusion; and this only if we
allow it.

108. The Adolescent, Part Three, Chapter Seven (III).

109. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Three, Book IX, "The Evidence of the Witnesses. The Babe."

110. Dostoevsky is, perhaps, the only writer to excel Shakespeare in the exploration of how the
subconsciously known reality or our being is revealed to us in dreams that shake our souls and lead us to
a radical change -- either to the better or the worse -- in our lives.

72
111. One of Dostovsky's favourite poems. N. Nekrasov's poem "Vlas" (1855) on which Dostoevsky
commented in The Diary of a Writer repeatedly, for example, in The Diary of a Writer for 1873, "Vlas";
also in The Adolescent where Versilov quotes a line from the poem to describe Makar Ivanovich.

112. Notes from the Underground, Part I, IX

113. The Terrible Vengeance.

114. The Idiot, part Four, 10

115. This is the Marie episode, see The Idiot, Part One, 10.

116. The Adolescent, Part One, Chapter One, V.

117. The Diary of a Writer, January 1876, Chapter I and II "The Future novel. Once more an Accidental
Family."

118. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Two, Book V, 4. "Rebellion"

119. The Brothers Karamazov, Epilogue, 3. "Iliusha's Funeral. The Speech at the Stone."

120. The Idiot, Part One, 6 (Marie and the children in Switzerland).

121. The White Nights, Second Night

122. i.e., an article by Metropolitan Antony.

123. He is actually an Englishman.

124. The critic N.M.Mikhlaiovsky (1842-1904) who wrote his notorious article on Dostoevsky in 1882.

125. "Vol'nii dukh" was construed to mean "liberal spirit" The Brothers Karamazov, Part Four, Book XII,
"The Prosecutor's Speech."

126. A.A.Kuprin (1870-1938) and M.P.Artsybachev (1878-1927) author of Sanin.

127. Count A.K.Tolstoy (1817-1875), a gifted poet, playwright, prose writer.

128. The Adolescent, Part One, Chapter Three, III (Vasin's words in regard to Kraft)

129. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Four, Chapters VII, VIII and IX

130. The Adolescent, Part Two, II

131. A.D.Gradovsky professor of law and publicist (1841-1889). Cf. The Diary of a Writer for August 1880,
Chapter III.

132. The Brothers Karamazov, Part One, Book II, "The Old Buffoon."

133. The Adolescent, Part Two, Chapter One, IV. Actually, it is Versib who speaks to The Adolescent about
the Ten Commandments.

73
CONCORDANCE TO THE WORKS OF DOSTOEVSKY
III
Russian People And Russian Society
"We ought to renew not so much the form as the essence of the life of the people."

Let our writer speak now for himself. Let us remove ourselves, for the time being, from conjectures
about the future and, instead, fix our gaze on the past. Forty years have already passed since the time
of Dostoevsky's repose, and forty-two years have gone by since the last issue of his Diary of a Writer,
not counting the last two booklets of this journal. Serfdom was not yet quite forgotten at that time and
the intelligentsia consisted primarily of the gentry. The notions and sympathies of the public and the
readers were quite different from contemporary ones. And yet, the point of departure, for all that
appeals to a complete substantiation of Dostoevsky's thoughts, was that banner which is raised by the
present organizers of the revolution with, however, less sincerity, but not less obstinacy: "the people!
to the people! for the people!" Therefore, nobody should think Dostoevsky's teachings are outdated.
Let us, therefore, start with an exposition of his central idea, with his teachings on the Russian people
and on the relationship between the intelligentsia and the people.

"Our people are God-bearers." So begins the passionate discourse of the converted Socialist Shatov in
The Possessed. "Great and holy are the ideals of the Russian people," elucidated Dostoevsky in Diary of
a Writer. "Russia is great in her humility," he writes elsewhere (in The Brothers Karamazov).

Our pitiful critics ridiculed these utterances as general and vague, which they are not. The author put
them in a highly definite form. He also explained what qualities of the soul speak of the predominant
virtues of the Russian person in which the merits of his piety find expression, what his universal quest
and aspirations are, as well as what his attitude is toward various people and peoples.

However, in order to elucidate the primary distinguishing qualities of the Russian soul, I have to
digress again from the writer. Indeed, I would prefer to limit myself to a collection of his aphorisms,
under headings, but I feel that without an interpretation, the most important thoughts of our author
will pass unnoticed, as has been demonstrated by our literary critics, who were more unfair in regard
to Dostoevsky than to any other writer.

I ask the reader to pay attention to the following dicta of the writer: "Our people do not consider a fact
the norm, and they are far from self-justification, while the young intelligentsia is exactly the reverse"
(Diary of a Writer). "Our people, even if they sin, are conscious of their transgressions and repent"
(Diary of a Writer). And that is why contempt for the fallen is so alien to a Russian. The people, writes
Dostoevsky, are great in referring to criminals as "the unfortunate ones" (The Brothers Karamazov).
Dostoevsky repeatedly returns to these thoughts: the Russian people, while not free of sins and vices,
do not approve of evil or justify vices. And it is his petty official Marmeladov (Crime and Punishment)
who develops this thought with particular power. He speaks prophetically of God's judgment after
death, when he and other fallen people like him will accept the Saviour's accusations as to their deep
moral degradation, but simultaneously, His merciful forgiveness, because they never justified their
degradation, were conscious of their culpability, and reproached themselves. Although Marmeladov

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was not, properly speaking, of the common people, he, like the more superficial Repetilov of
Griboedov, preserved the purely popular attitude and the purely popular serene conscience.

Does the reader realize what a great spiritual characteristic Dostoevsky discovered in the Russian
people? Does one perhaps think that this is of minor importance? Woe to the ones who do! They
should know that this characteristic determined the ruin or salvation of a human soul when the word
of Christ or the Apostles was addressed to it. Many respectable people rejected this word of life and
perished forever; many depraved and despised ones accepted it, and were saved. What were those
qualities of the soul that determined their attitude to the words of eternal life? Precisely those which
Dostoevsky had pointed out in the Russian soul. People who do not justify their evil doing, who realize
that they are sinners, accept the preaching of the Gospel even if they are depraved and criminal, while
people who are filled with proud self-justification rejected it, even if they were endowed with many
respectable qualities and surrounded by universal esteem. The first and principal commandment of
the [ten of the] Old Testament was the commandment of monotheism, while the first and principal
commandment among the nine of the New Testament is "Blessed are the poor in spirit, because theirs
is the Heavenly Kingdom." And the Russian people did fulfil this commandment and filled their souls
with it. Thus, even according to this alone, they are the God-bearing, the Gospel people.

But lest the reader think that the above-named qualities alone determine the religious consciousness
and the religious life of the Russian people, there are other considerations too. The readiness always to
admit one's guilt and to rise above a proud justification reveals a high level of spiritual culture of the
soul or, as Dostoevsky put it, the one who does not want to consider a fact the norm and to be a slave
of circumstances, does not deserve this reproach of Pushkin's:

"O people. Pitiful race, deserving of tears and laughter, slaves of the transient, admirers of success."

In this sense, Dostoevsky liked to contrast Western European and Russian men in the same way as L.
Tolstoy opposed P. Bezukhov to the presumptuous Frenchman, whose life he had saved. Remember
The Gambler, with the following partners: Grandmother, the self-styled French count and the market
woman Julie (actually, her name is Blanche); or Grushen'ka's first fiance in The Brothers Karamazov.
We will return, incidentally, to the comparative characterization of Russians and foreigners in
Dostoevsky; for the moment, let us say only that, should you meet a person filled with the spirit of self-
justification, and not only in the religious sphere, but in the social, family, educational, or any other
sphere, know that he is not suited for any serious and difficult task and is completely unbearable on
terms of intimacy. On the other hand, if you have met a person willing to admit his faults and guilt,
hang on to him with both hands C you have found a treasure. You come across this treasure constantly
among the Russian people, but comparatively seldom in society. There, a fact is identified with the
norm. There, the contemporary state of mind and government are considered model, and historical
epochs are evaluated not according to their essence, but according to the degree of their resemblance
to the present. This is the source of the false teaching of progress; the recent past is more like the
present and is, therefore, better than the earlier past because that one bears less similarity to the
present.

The European evaluation of alien cultures is likewise superficial and reveals a complete inability to
understand the latter and to communicate with them. The European cultivation of America, Australia
and Africa manifested itself in the fact that the original population of two and a half continents was
practically annihilated.

We mention all this in order to show the enormous significance of the serene conscience of Russian
man, pointed out by Dostoevsky, which even the drunkard Marmeladov and the heroes of The House
of the Dead had managed to preserve, and even the corrupted Socialist, the convict Fed'ka, who

75
reproaches his master, the Socialist Verkhovensky for his "callousness and godlessness" (The
Possessed). Here is the contrast of the Russian and the European, or Europeanized, character. Our
convicts, writes Dostoevsky, acknowledge their guilt; Beaconsfield and the Europeans justify cruelty
(Diary of a Writer). This serenity of conscience, this constant holding up of the idea of what ought to
be and this dissatisfaction with oneself generates many moral, intellectual and social talents which our
writer speaks about.

Above all, according to Dostoevsky, in distinguishing between what is and what ought to be, the
Russian is never a slave in his heart, neither in serfdom, nor when reduced to the state of extreme
poverty. The poorer and lower a man's station is, the author declares, the more there is in him of God
inspired truth (The Brothers Karamazov). A Russian preserves his dignity even in the state of bondage,
and keeps his calm. The archetype of such a character, sublime in his poverty, is represented by Makar
Ivanovich in The Adolescent (also known as A Raw Youth). The Adolescent himself, nearly a student
and an atheist was inspired with such reverence for his teacher that he venerated him as a "healer of
every emotional ailment" (in his interlocutors). What struck him most about the old man was the
complete absence of self-love and the state of "constant tender emotion" (umilenie). Not only did this
not retreat in the face of the impending hour of death, but it flooded the soul of the old man with an
even brighter light and Makar Ivanovich, as he died, warmheartedly invited his neighbours to visit his
grave and confide their thoughts to him. Along with preserving inner freedom while practising
obedience and being in outer bondage, the feeling of mercy and compassion is more developed in the
Russian than in people of other nations. It is also closely allied with the already mentioned serenity of
conscience and the capability of renouncing one's selfishness. The peasant Marey is a typical
representative of such an evangelical quality of the Russian soul... The Russian does not have "sword-
honour," says Dostoevsky, but is purer in soul than the intelligentsia (Diary of a Writer). In earlier
times, even our boyars did not know European honour (this is a purely pagan concept, inimical to our
religion) but they knew moral honour.

And, concludes Dostoevsky, the idea of the people is the universal Church: this is our Socialism.

It is fit to dwell on this proposition, since Dostoevsky develops it persistently and sees in it the essence
of that pernicious separation of society from the people, which he considers the source of all ills of
Russia as a whole and of all the emotional ailments of society, of the melancholy of the Russian
intellectual. Patterning the history of their country on German models, whose authors C ikonoclasts C
look at Orthodoxy (as at Roman Catholicism) as idolatry, they have developed a highly preposterous
bias, completely at variance with history, that our ancestors, as well as present day Russian peasantry,
accepted from Christianity only its ritual, but not its moral teachings. Dostoevsky energetically asserts
exactly the opposite. He says: our people understand Christianity far better than does our society (let
us recall the commandment of the beatitudes, completely rejected in Europe and in her imitators C
Diary of a Writer C). The principles of the people's life are based entirely on Orthodoxy. Our rural
commune is a lesser monastery. Our people have long ago been enlightened by the understanding of
Christianity; therefore we cannot teach the common Russian people, but should learn from them.
Society does not understand the people because it does not understand Orthodoxy and whoever does
not understand Orthodoxy, will never understand the Russian people, while the people will never
accept him as one of their own. Even a man who is talented, but an unbeliever, will never succeed with
the Russian people. They will meet an atheist and they will overcome him, because they are God-
bearers (bogonostsy). Tolstoy's unbeliever Levin has not yet arrived at clear convictions, he is still a
question mark, he will not become one of the people no matter how long he lives with the people. "An
atheist cannot be a Russian" (The Possessed). One who tears himself away from the people tears
himself away from God and vice versa (The Possessed). The Redstock vogue (Stunda) is a
manifestation of alienation from the people (Diary). This is Dostoevsky's basic theme in all his novels,
to which we will return, but let us continue with the aphorisms about the people.

76
We have said that the folk ideal broadly accommodates the confessional (religious) principle with the
universal, the craving for general peace and the striving for military feats in a holy war. According to
Dostoevsky, our people see their calling in the realization of the unity of the triumph of genuine faith
and the universal well-being of earth. A great people, claims Dostoevsky, should believe in their
messianic (universal) calling. And the Russian people believe in it and at fervent intervals, even the
hearts of the representatives of society are gripped by this faith.

This is what Dostoevsky wrote at the time of the Slavo-Turkic war of 1876-78: the enormous sacrifices
in Hertsegovina have shown that this, our task, is a national one. The religious upsurge in the face of
the uprising of the Slavs united all the forces of Russian society and the people. In the eyes of the
people, the Turkish War is a defence of Christianity and this is why the people join the war effort, and
they do it not only in the interest of the Slavs, but of all Orthodox Christians, so that if Russia were to
renounce this war for the faith, it would renounce itself. The power of the war of 1877 rests on the
union of the Tsar and the people; our Westernizers missed this point (Diary of a Writer). Let us
mention in passing that the truth of this aphorism has been artistically dealt with by a writer of the
opposite camp C V. Garshin in his sketch "Four Days." The people look up to the Tsar, Dostoevsky
continues, as the defender of Orthodox Christianity from Eastern Mohammedanism and Western
heresies. The people had embodied the same idea in the ancient hero of epic songs (byliny), Ilia
Muromets, a defender of all the offended. In general, our people were unanimous when setting out to
carry out a historical deed (as in 1877); European people lack this. Under these and similar
circumstances, the people absorb society and government, and it is not the latter but the people who
dictate the decision to the rulers. Thus it was, let us add, in 1812 and in 1877 as well as in 1914,
because this war was also undertaken exclusively for religious and charitable considerations, in order
to protect Serbia from destruction by Austria. Let us quote our writer's statement on the war of 1877:
"Russia is the people, and in the responsible moments of history, it is precisely the people (and not the
government) who represent it. Russia will carry out (the liberation of Eastern Christianity) as a labour
of love and for the future benefit of the nations" (Diary of a Writer).

Indeed, although the convictions and aspirations of our people are strictly confessional and they do
not have any idea other than Orthodoxy, this idea is broad and humane. This is, as Dostoevsky puts it,
"the idea of the Universal Church" C the unification of all the peoples in Christ. Unification is envisaged
as a free action, unification in love, according to the spirit of Christ, and the image of Christ, our author
writes, has been preserved solely in Orthodoxy, while in other peoples it has been obscured. We will
return to Dostoevsky's very definite statements on Protestantism, Sectarians and Catholicism. There is
no mysticism, he declares, in Russian Christianity, solely the preaching of love.

Let us add that this last observation is of especial significance in our time. In Dostoevsky's time, the
enemy of our faith was, in Europe as well as in Russia, pseudo-rationalism, while now, following the
example of V. Soloviev, our society and even our philosophical thought have been overwhelmed by
superstitious mysticism and Khlystovshchina4 with its outrageous superstitions and vile orgies. All
this became linked to Theosophy and neo-Buddhism and resulted in such an ugly jumble that, seeing
such distortions of religious ideas and feelings one is tempted to regret the passing of the times of
materialism, since no one can remain a materialist beyond the age of thirty five or forty, while the
present day Khlystovian superstitions are kept by people until old age. Dostoevsky foresaw this
enthusiasm and wrote: having lost the true faith, mankind turned to superstitions, and the Russian
people in particular will reach terrible outrages. The time has come, he says, when deceivers will
confuse the people, saying: Christ is here. Speaking about the absence of mysticism in Christianity,
Dostoevsky says exactly the same as contemporary teachers of the Church: Bishop Theophan ["The
Recluse"] (1894) and Ignaty Brianchaninov, who sternly censured his contemporaries for their
adherence to the works of the mystics C Thomas a Kempis, Teresa of Avila and other "lunatics."

77
The faith of the people is quite different: there the two principles, all-embracing commandments of the
Gospel, are taken to heart C humility and compassionate love, and these commandments have made
both all the Orthodox and all of mankind, close to the Russian heart.

The power of these convictions is great and it engulfs every sincere person, drawing them nearer to
the people. Dostoevsky testified: I found Christ once more through the people after having lost Him in
European schools. This is that European higher education in Russia that killed the faith of the youth,
while the convicts from among the simple people became, for Dostoevsky, the missionaries, because
his conversion took place in penal servitude as his Notes From the House of the Dead testify. It was not
the years of exile that broke us, writes the author, but becoming one with the people, becoming close
to them. While he was an unbeliever, the convicts kept aloof from him and considered him to be more
criminal than all the convicts. They looked at Raskol'nikov in the same way [Crime and Punishment]
and they considered themselves to be of a different nationality than him. In the same way, the Russian
dislikes renegades from the faith, without being inimical to the heterodox.

IV
The Russian People And Pushkin

According to Dostoevsky
The Russian idea," reiterated Dostoevsky elsewhere, "is service to all mankind." He clarified this idea
by means of epilogues which may be found in other writers too, even in Tolstoy. A Russian is the most
sociable and gregarious of all the people in the whole world; he will get along with everybody, declares
the author: he is the universal man.

The idea that the Russian people possess a moral affinity to all the peoples of the world, that they are
able to understand their souls and are, as it were, able to be transformed into them without, however,
compromising with their own principles, is repeated by Dostoevsky more than once in Diary of a
Writer as well as in the novels. He developed it with particular breadth and brilliance in the Pushkin
address in 1880, becoming the hero of the day, even of the entire celebration at the opening of the
Pushkin monument in Moscow. All the representatives of Russian literature unanimously
acknowledged his speech as an event and a means to reconcile the Slavophiles and Westernizers.
Listeners were moved to tears and fell into each other's arms: two people who had been enemies for
twenty years were reconciled on the spot and declared this in public. Dostoevsky lived less than a year
after this celebration but managed to publish Diary of a Writer as a separate issue for 1880 and the
first issue for 1881, which was also the last issue. On 29 January, its editor and author died at the time
of the greatest flowering of his talent, with a heart filled with the brightest hopes for Russia.

In order to picture more clearly the missionary calling of the Russian people according to Dostoevsky,
in order to understand the transition of his thought from the characterization of the popular life to his
understanding of Russian society, the goals and calling of the latter, it is necessary to pause at this,
seemingly particular (or private), point of his world-view (which has been used as the title of this
chapter: The Russian people and Pushkin).

Bitterly decrying our society's lack of understanding of the people during the course of two hundred
years, Dostoevsky presents Pushkin as a brilliant exception among his contemporaries: he understood
the people and believed in them and carried in his genius that faculty which has been preserved in
embryonic form in the soul of the common people; he was a Russian patriot and a citizen of the world

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in the sense that he was capable of understanding and sympathizing with all that is beautiful in the
soul of every people and their poets. In his speech as well as in the less significant "Reply to Professor
Gradovsky" to his criticism, Dostoevsky collected and developed everything he had said and written
on Pushkin in the preceding twenty years.

What, then, does he say on Pushkin's attitude to the Russian people? Pushkin was the first one to
declare that the Russian people are not slaves ("I am going to see the liberated people" etc). He bowed
to the truth of the people ("Pimen the Chronicler" and "I need other pictures").

Therefore, he had divined the universal predestination of the Russian people; he depicted the
yearnings of the uprooted Russian intellectual, innerly alienated from the people. Onegin, says
Dostoevsky, was the first one to realize that he is cut off from the Russian people and from their life; he
is the first self-conscious sufferer (martyr) of Russian public life divorced from the people. Not for
nothing is Pushkin the banner or the point of unity for all the Russians who were looking for the light.
Not to understand Pushkin amounts to not being a Russian. And although the people themselves do
not know Pushkin and our classics yet: they need sacred history and novels in school, but the time will
come when the people will understand him and will follow consciously in Pushkin's footsteps, just as
Pushkin understood the people and consciously took their path. This understanding of the people
Pushkin expressed in the anticipation that serfdom will be abolished not by means of an uprising of
the serfs, but on the "initiative of the tsar." Dostoevsky rightly maintains that the peasant reform would
have been impossible if the tsar had not trusted the people like a father. Yes, according to Dostoevsky,
the tsar is the all-unifying force, which the people cultivated in their hearts. He was conceived of by the
people as the embodiment of the entire nation. Peter, in Pushkin's Poltava, is like this on the day of the
battle.

How did the ability of Pushkin's genius to become re-embodied in all other nations find expression? In
that, as Dostoevsky describes it in detail, all the foreigners of different epochs depicted in his poems
are real characters of these peoples and of these epochs, while the Moors and Italians of Shakespeare
are Englishmen in disguise, while the Spaniards of Schiller are Germans in disguise, etc. The ability to
merge mentally with the spirit and character of other nations and epochs is the exclusive property of
the Russian genius, of the genius of Pushkin and perhaps of Zhukovsky who was a deep Russian
patriot too. And this ability of embodiment is an all-Russian ability of all the people. To be a Russian
means to strive to appease all people. And Pushkin is not only a Russian: he is a universal man and all
of Russia is like this. Russians are universal men. Pushkin in particular encompassed in his heart the
Russian attitude to the Eastern question. His "Songs of the Western Slavs" are a prophecy: here the
poet is entirely imbued with the great idea of liberating the Slavs from the Mohammedan yoke;
therefore he shares the point of view of the people on the historical calling of our country. In general,
concludes Dostoevsky, Pushkin divined the mission of the Russian people with such depth as nobody
else; he understood that our people are not slaves but the bearers of a great idea.

CONCORDANCE TO THE WORKS OF DOSTOEVSKY


by Saint Antony Khrapovitsky, Metropolitan of Kiev

Translated from the Russian by Dr Ludmila Koehler

FIVE
The People And The Intelligentsia

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Ushkin and his ideas are the bridge by means of which our denationalized society may become
reunited with the people. We have already mentioned that this split was caused by the different
emotional dispositions: the people are Orthodox, and humblehearted, while society does not love its
Church and has been raised on proud chivalrous novels.

But allow me, the contemporary reader will finally interject: I understand that Dostoevsky could
idealize the people forty years ago, but to idealize villains, murderers, blasphemers, robbers C this is
preposterous, absurd. It seems the events of the last two years should bury forever the Slavophile
fantasies about Russia and the Russian peasant. But, as a matter of fact, Dostoevsky, as we have seen,
does not close his eyes to the possibility of a revolution and of cannibalism. Moreover, he noted that
"The people begin to waver in their religious convictions" (The Possessed), that the railroads have a
detrimental impact on the people, diverting them from land and family to make easy money; he
warned against a bookish idealization of the people, of a love not of the real people but of one created
by our fantasy. Here even the Slavophiles were not without blame. He understood perfectly well that it
is possible to corrupt by Nihilism not only Smerdiakov with the help of German millions, but also
significant layers of the youth of the people, and yet he did not renounce his hopes. Besides, one
should not confuse the people with a bunch of convicts, Chinese and Latvians, who have conquered
Russia. The people are tired of them and of all that has happened no less than the intelligentsia. The
people do rise now here, now there in rebellions, but what can an unarmed village achieve against a
well-equipped army? The people's aspirations are the same and its prayer is the same as before, but it
has to keep quiet for the time being. The people are going to fulfil its destiny and expiate its temporary
fall, not as isolated individuals, but in union with enlightened society. This is Dostoevsky's idea and
this is his appeal to society C to unite with the people. He believed in the possibility of such a union,
although he felt free to criticize the society harshly for its alienation, but he chided with love and hope,
and he based his hope on the fact that "ideals will always triumph over practical politics." Was he in
error? Only the future will tell. At any rate, he was not as wrong as his antagonists as, for example,
Struve and his leftist Duma members. The Duma representatives, when blamed that they do not at all
express the will and the aspirations of the people (this was especially hotly debated by L. Tolstoy in
1905 in the article "On the Contemporary Public Movement," in which he called all Zemstvo members
and Duma deputies "imposters"), replied: "Soon the people will be with us, soon we will walk hand in
hand." The second revolution was prepared in 1914 but it had to be postponed on account of the war,
and in order to move the revolution ahead, using the war setbacks and fatigue as was done in 1905. In
both cases a moment of general discontent on the eve of a favourable turn of events on the front was
chosen in order to prevent this turn, which was clearly assured. Thus, in 1914, the editor of the
antagonistic Russian Thought wrote that the eyes of the people had been opened; the wall separating
the intelligentsia and the people had ceased to exist, there was no disunity any longer; in the "period
from 1905-1914 the people merged chemically with the intelligentsia." The last phrase was reiterated
in several articles in which it was italicized. The chronological indications, designating a rounded-off
nine year period from the first revolution to the second, set for the summer of 1914, is characteristic.
Even earlier our tribunes, both in newspapers as well as in meetings, customarily asserted that the
revolutionary minority alone stood for the intelligentsia, unerringly relying on the childish credulity of
their readers who immediately believed that "intelligentsia" and "revolutionists" are two concepts
which coincide in composition. They did not go to the trouble to ponder the fact that among their
acquaintances, close as well as casual, hardly a tenth or the twentieth part were revolutionists. In
these instances the herd instinct of the Russian people, pointed out by Dostoevsky, should not be
praised but laughed at or decried.

Thus the year 1917 and the ensuing years proved to the Duma members and Mr Struve how well our
people had "merged chemically with the intelligentsia," when the people began unceremoniously to
rip out the intelligentsia's stomachs. This process is, if you like, a chemical one, even a physiological
one, and it was predominantly the ones who were looking forward to a chemical union with the people

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in the overthrowing of the throne and the temples, that is, the KD party and the students, who had to
undergo it. Journals and newspapers which had predicted the chemical union were closed too, while
the intelligentsia opposition was declared to be bourgeois, along with counts, gentlemen-in-waiting,
ministers and bankers; the latter however, managed to pay off and survive.

I had the opportunity to observe repeatedly that present degree of bitterness in regard to the
revolution, which took root in the hearts of our shortsighted liberals. The younger people are
especially outspoken in this respect, students in particular. The majority of them, that is, precisely the
former liberals and not the Slavophiles, not only no longer wish for a chemical blending, but not even
for a purely mechanical rapproachment, and are rather inclined to repeat the arrogant lines of the
Latin poet: Odi profanum vulgus et arceo.

And yet a union is necessary: even Lenin is aware of this, judging by his public declarations, since it is
impossible to get far with generals, captured against their will and put at the head of the army. And
thus let us return quickly to our teacher C Dostoevsky C and ask: how is it possible in fact to mend
matters, to heal the split between society and the people in order to arrive at a real merger and not
one precipitated by the police, not a chemical one (with bloodletting), but a deeply-felt, psychological
and, therefore, a viable merger?

As the reader can see, Dostoevsky not only loved the people ardently but also venerated them. But he
also ardently and agonizingly loved the intelligentsia, and not only its sensible part but the
antagonistic ones also. We already quoted one of his utterances, justifying the inner motive of our
youth, contemplating a coup d'etat. Let us cite other aphorisms of his on the same topic.

Here is what our writer preached on the problem, most dear to his heart C the religious question. One
should not hate atheists, as there are some good souls among them (The Brothers Karamazov). The
ones rebelling against Christ are frequently close to Christ in their hearts, since there is no higher
principle than Christ.

Here is what our writer preached on the problem, most dear to his heart C the religious question. One
should not hate atheists, as there are some good souls among them (The Brothers Karamazov). The
ones rebelling against Christ are frequently close to Christ in their hearts, since there is no higher
principle than Christ.

The split between the intelligentsia and the people is not represented by Dostoevsky as the work of
conscious, evil will on the part of the first. Everybody's heart is aching, he remarks, on the breach
between society and the people; it is only in some Petersburg dandies that one can observe a frenzied
aversion to the people. While the liberals disdain the people it is, according to him, nothing more than
a residue of serfdom. These persons could never become close to the people. Dostoevsky was
particularly tired of the avant la lettre [trivial and hypocritical] liberals of the 60's with their cliches on
all questions. Liberals of the 60's are obsolete, writes Dostoevsky, but they still consider themselves
progressive. Let us add, by the way, that this was written in 1876 and the little old men have not
learned anything even till now and have now renewed their ideas. Mechnikov, Sechenov, Kovalevsky,
Bobyrikin, Mikhailovsky and the likes of them outlived Dostoevsky by many years, and yet until their
death the only thing they knew was to repeat Pisarev's ABC.

Dostoevsky does not spare criticism of that part of society which consciously does not love its own
people, as well as that part which, although unconsciously, repeats their silly phrases, though its
position in society is such that lack of consciousness is unpardonable. In this sense Dostoevsky speaks
thus: our professors are the very same Russian boys (The Brothers Karamazov) that is, they, knowing
nothing about life, repeat the very same cliches. The very liberalism of such windbags is an external

81
one, an affected one; when it came to a real test, our Zemstvo and self-management (divorced from
popular life too) immediately turned completely and arbitrarily into the former bureaucracy (Diary of
a Writer ). Contemporary Russian intellectuals, being the sergeants-major of civilization, despise the
people, being fully convinced of the infallibility of European life forms (Winter Notes on Summer
Impressions). On top of it they boast of their lack of knowledge instead of being ashamed of it, when
they say: I do not understand Russia, I do not understand religion.

Small wonder though, that they boast of this: the absence of a practical familiarity with Russia was
considered in certain circles of the capital a virtue for a higher official and if one adds to this that, in
general, people's characters are mangled in Petersburg and that "Russia is ruled by Petersburg
characters," it is understandable that among our officials as well as our society, liberals and
conservatives alike are "non-nationalists." These liberals-cosmopolites are a product of serfdom. They
would be unhappy if Russia would be happy: they hate Russia. Yet, the Russian liberal hates Russia and
gloats over her misfortunes. In any other country a liberal is something different: there is no such
hatred of one's native country there. Russian satire, remarked a Frenchman, is afraid of a good deed, of
a gratifying phenomenon in Russia (Diary of a Writer C Shchedrin, to begin with). The higher nobility
school, even the military (in all probability, he refers to the three privileged educational institutions in
the capital), writes the author, provided an education in the spirit of Western and not of Russian ideas.
Is it a small wonder, then, that to our high-born intelligentsia, folk religion and spirit are alien? But the
"intelligent raznochintsy" also offered small consolation to Dostoevsky: they are educated but they are
"office-seekers, despising their parents" (Diary of a Writer ). Such are, in particular, the renegades of
clerical schools, seminarians who abandoned their education, their hatred of God and religion is
particularly strong (The Brothers Karamazov), they are the ones who slipped pornography into the
Gospel which was being sold (The Possessed). Their pride knows no bounds, therefore they do not
understand jokes and are easily offended, but they are good at making careers. Rakitin will certainly
acquire a house in the capital and an editorship. In their propagandization of revolutionist ideas they
are limited, but are noted for unparalleled impudence and brazenness. The nihilists in general are
either gentry or seminarians and both are non-nationalists.

Hatred of Russia and everything Russian reached such proportions toward the 70's that when a half-
mad professor appeared at a literary gathering with a most rudely abusive pamphlet about Russia, the
hall "howled with ecstasy." "Could there be anything more pleasing to the audience C its native country
was being disgraced, mud was slung at it?" exclaims the author. The speaker earned a loud ovation; in
fact, he was carried out on their shoulders (The Possessed).

What, then, does Dostoevsky say about such a society in general? In gloomy dismay, he says: "The
contemporary intellectual is a mental proletarian, a rootless half-wit" (Diary of a Writer ).

SIX
DOSTOEVSKY'S BRIGHT HOPES
Here, then, does the author see a more encouraging phenomenon in our society? First of all, among the
Slavophiles, second, among the youth and, third, in certain features of the very Russian apostasy itself.

The Slavophiles, he writes, are a hundred times more well educated than the Westernizers (Diary of a
Writer ). "In many respects I am of a purely Slavophile persuasion," writes Dostoevsky. By
"Slavophilism" he does not mean chauvinism, as the slander of its adversaries understand it, but a
combination of patriotism and cosmopolitanism. He states, "Our party, the Russian party,
acknowledges the all-European calling of the Russian people" (Diary of a Writer ). He also extols the

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most sympathetic among the Slavophiles, K.S. Aksakov. Despite the great fame that the celebrated
speech of the summer of 1880 had brought to Dostoevsky, it was later drowned in the malicious howl
of the journalistic mongrels and the author was grieved by these people: "They are now smearing me
with dirt for the Pushkin address," he wrote not long before his death, "even those who clasped me in
their arms then." Such were the literary morals even then. Not without reason does the author at times
speak rather pessimistically of our society in general: "If everybody spoke frankly, it would become
impossible to live because of the great moral stench."

Seeing in the Slavophiles the dawn of the future bright Russian day, Dostoevsky nevertheless considers
it necessary for them to learn more about Russia, to become close to it in reality and not in fantasy
only; he recommends the same to the young people, who were so close to his heart, and does not yield
the hope that a significant part of the whole society will join them, because of some peculiar features
of the apostasy, as already mentioned, and also because the Europeanized Russian gentry has a lot of
that noble cosmopolitanism which found expression in the patriotic Pushkin, that is, breadth of heart.

Let us quote some of Dostoevsky's statements about the young people and the writer's aspirations in
regard to them. There would, perhaps, be more of them, if secondary education in Russia had not been
vandalized and mangled. Dostoevsky placed high hopes in the schools and the general upswing in
education under D. Tolstoy. "The whole future of Russia lies in the school reform of the present reign,"
he wrote. "Education is of paramount importance with us now; all the glory of future Russia lies in it.
Earlier, even in the military schools, good children were corrupted beyond recognition." However, even
now, "there are no leaders for our young people." "I do not recall one genuine teacher in my entire life,"
complains the author. Dostoevsky appreciated the classical system of education but asked for the
intensification of the national element in school education and, in particular, the broadening of the
teaching of native literature, as so far, "the young people do not get anything out of school but satire"
(Criticism of courses on history and literature, Diary of a Writer ). The classical system, however, was
abolished in order to please the uneducated gutter, and the national element was not strengthened
either. Educational standards declined, however, and it is not surprising, therefore, that the above-
mentioned aspirations of the writer were realized to only an insignificant degree.

Dostoevsky's bright hopes in regard to the young people were greatly helped by the fact that, being the
favourite of youth, he constantly received letters from many students, containing confessions of the
heart and requests for advice and elucidation. He was also frequently visited by completely unknown
young people with the same spiritual problems. Here is what he writes about young people.

Above all I put my hopes in the young people because they are imbued with the quest for truth. The
people of the new generation are looking sincerely for truth, although they are as yet unsettled. Such is
Tolstoy's Levin, his sense of guilt is of high value. True, the philosophy of the search of the youngsters
is at times ridiculous in their hasty conclusions; it points, however, to their idealistic turn of mind. Our
greenhorns are constantly preoccupied with the finding of solutions of century-old questions, he
writes. Still, he puts his hopes in this generation. The young generation will understand better the soul
and needs of our people and will find a common ground with them. We have said that these
expectations of Dostoevsky were hardly realized; and yet this generation gave society a number of
highly useful public figures who were admirers of the great writer, in the realm of literature as well as
among teachers (particularly of literature), scholars and even priests. This latter aspect of
Dostoevsky's influence is little known to society but there were many admirers of Dostoevsky among
the priesthood and they were more consistent and constant admirers than were found in the secular
world.

Dostoevsky did not look entirely without hope at the opposing part of society, particularly the young
people who had not yet become inveterate liars. What encouraging signs of a possible conversion and

83
union did he see? First of all, a primarily unselfish ideology and not the partisan self-seeking, so
common abroad at that time, which became standard practice in Russia too in the twentieth century.
Ideological, not practical liberalism, exists only in Russia and according to him, it is much easier to
correct a theoretical error than evil intentions. Further, he asserted that Russian atheists simply "came
to believe in atheism," and therefore are fanatics, i.e., they came to believe without proof, having
submitted rather credulously to somebody's influence. Let us recall Shchedrin's fable, The Boy In
Trousers, etc.: "You Germans have sold your soul to the devil for a pittance. And you Russians have
surrendered it for nothing. Well, if we gave it for nothing, we can take it back."

"Only a broad Russian character," said Dostoevsky, "can contain so many contradictions in it." The
apostasy of society in regard to the people, he writes on another occasion, happened because of a
misunderstanding, and errors of the mind are easier to correct than errors of the heart. "Society
desires to save the native country but does not know how to do it." These sympathetic words of the
author do not apply of course to those classes of society which hate the people with malice, hate it on
account of Orthodoxy: we already know Dostoevsky's verdict in regard to them. Here he has in mind
people whose heads are crammed with ideas alien to Russia but who quickly discard their terrible
views after getting acquainted with the real life of Russia and Europe, and perhaps with life in general,
as happened to Shatov in his youth, and to S.T. Verkhovensky in his old age; finally to Raskol'nikov
when he was in penal servitude, and to some other heroes of our author, and also to the hero of
Turgenev's Smoke as well as to some other heroes of his novels and to many other writers, for
example, Pisemsky in Goncharov's The Precipice, and others. One can observe that the type of the
spiritually regenerated hero, returning to the people, is the central character in Russian literature of
the nineteenth century, that is, its most brilliant period.

So far as Dostoevsky is concerned there is only one thing he focuses on in his novels: repentance and
regeneration of the Russian soul and its conversion to the people and the striving to merge with them.
With all that, our writer does not conceal what inner difficulties this entails and how radically the
estranged Russian has to change in order to achieve this. The author defines his first step thus: "to
become a Russian means to stop despising one's people." The abyss separating society and the people
is deep and broad: even the well-wishers do not know how to draw nearer to it, and with what book to
approach it. Yes, society has moved away so far from the people that nobody knows how to compile a
book for popular reading.

Thus, the intellectual's second step toward the people is the conscientious and sympathetic studying
of Russia and the Russians. As one can see, this is not easy. Knowledge of Russia has increased with us,
says the author, but intuition has decreased (i.e., the understanding of the Russian man and his faith);
even now, though, Europe is twice, nay even ten times as well known to us as Russia."

Having become cognizant of one's own people, the educated renegade has to humble himself
(Dostoevsky's famous exclamation in his Pushkin address: humble yourself, proud man and above all
labour on your native soil!); like the prodigal son, he has to return to the people and their faith.
Important here is the resolution: to undertake a heroic struggle; as far as the form of the struggle is
concerned C your heart will prompt you. The point lies not in an externally plain life but in service to
the people in every possible way (in any position); but do not ever justify your being remiss by
claiming that the government prevents you from serving the people. The field is so wide that even
under restrictive circumstances your work is cut out for you. Particularly the village is in need of being
ensured of all the rights of citizens: Dostoevsky advocated equal rights for all classes, the
dissemination of literacy and the extending of school education to all classes. He advocated a broad
enlightenment of the people. "Yes, there is plenty an educated man can do in Russia," says Prince
Myshkin, the favourite hero of our author, after returning to Russia after a prolonged stay abroad.

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Having mentioned education, we feel obliged to note Dostoevsky's opinion that women should be
given the opportunity of higher education, since their striving for it is highly interesting and noble.

In general, Dostoevsky is an admirer of the Russian woman: she is less mendacious than man and
more industrious; the Russian woman has high spiritual aspirations. She craves serious talks and
clarifications of vital questions; salvation of society is her task, and not only in the family life but on a
broader arena; she, above all, is to renew Russian life (Diary of a Writer ).

The main precondition for the reunification of society with the people and their faith is, however,
based on the unforfeited capability on the part of the intelligentsia to become unanimously inspired by
the idea of an unselfish deed to merge with the people at great historical moments. In Europe the path
of a moral union of the people is lost, writes Dostoevsky, because there, all the paths of life do not go
beyond the limits of the interests of individuals and classes, while with us it is not lost, since we go
even now to war with the Turks as to a holy sacrifice. Thus, it is possible for a Russian intellectual to
humble himself before the people and their faith, and to return to one and the other like the prodigal
son. Having imagined such a scene, our writer exclaims: oh, how powerful we would be if the
intelligentsia would enter a spiritual union with the people. At the present historical moment we
notice an intensification in the split; it is, however, possible that the end of it is at hand, and even close
at hand.

CONCORDANCE TO THE WORKS OF DOSTOEVSKY


by Antony Khrapovitsky, Metropolitan of Kiev
Translated from the Russian by Dr Ludmila Koehler

1979
SYNAXIS PRESS

SEVEN

EXAMPLES OF GENUINE UNION WITH THE PEOPLE

Instead of encouraging the reader, however, by means of joyful expectations, would it not be better to
adduce real examples from Dostoevsky's own works, examples of the merger of souls and lives of the
representatives of society with the life of the people? Such examples are not absent, but there are not
that many of them and they are scattered through all the novels of our writer. It is noteworthy that
Dostoevsky's heroes achieve a union with the people immediately following an internal turning point
from grumbling and disbelief to faith, and from European pride to Christian humility. It even suffices if
one of the conditions -- piety and humility -- is present, in order to achieve a rapprochement with the
people. The grandmother in The Gambler was a typical landlady of the type which advocates serfdom,
but she was a deeply religious, guileless, open character and to her servants she was like one of them,
like their kin. Similarly, her lackeys and maid servants are, for her, like her own relatives whom she
involves in her private life, in her interests, with perhaps a greater intimacy than the relatives who are
alien to her because of their moral mood.

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Stefan Tromfimovich Verkhovensky in The Possessed, a convinced Westernizer and an areligious
despiser of Russia, even before he turns to faith in God, which was granted to him only on his
deathbed, regrets having sympathized with the revolutionists after the bloody scenes of their cruel
activities, decides to flee from liberators "washing their hands in blood" (1), and goes to the people,
whom he previously shunned, intending now to become a tutor in some merchant's house.

He is not yet a full Christian but in his soul, has already renounced the proud ones and humbled
himself. And then what? His humble, helpless looks alone immediately gain him all the people's favour
on the highway and in the village inn. Various simple people surround him, take care of him, delight
the last days of his earthly life, teach him to believe and to die a Christian.

The humble-hearted colonel in The Village Stepanchikovo is so well liked by his peasants that they do
not want to hear of their transfer to Foma Fomich (a self-deluded proud man) and the whole village
pleads with their beloved lord to keep ownership as a great benefaction to them. Both the pious
patriarchal peasants, and even the most depraved element of the people, the Siberian convicts, looked
upon the atheistic advocate of equality, Raskol'nikov, with extreme dislike, but became wholeheartedly
attached to his pious and meek fiancee, the former unwilling prostitute, who has voluntarily followed
the luckless youth to the dreaded Siberia. Responding with sympathy to all their requests, she became
concerned with all their needs, wrote letters and petitions for them and they received her like an
angel, although she lacked external charm and was not even looking for a rapprochement.
Raskol'nikov's conversion to love, to the beginnings of faith, to the people, starts as well with the
reading of the Gospel by his fiancee.

The pious and pure-hearted novice, Alyosha Karamazov, who was devoid of all pride, according to the
author's description, retired to a monastery from the world, turned out to be a friend of everybody, not
only of the simple people, but the intelligentsia as well. He was beloved everywhere he went. Even his
depraved and cynical father cannot suppress his tender feelings for the youth, though he is utterly cold
toward his two older sons. He asks Alyosha to pray for him, as he himself was only a blasphemous
man. He was loved by his schoolmates and the spoiled, ill-bred city boys alike; he never cared for
himself, but was always taken care of by strangers who not only did not feel this as a burden but
rejoiced in his stay with them. He was a young man, desiring an active heroic struggle of self-sacrifice.
True, the author does not depict any scenes of his present contact with the simple people but as he
puts it: "Sometimes a similar `eccentric' carries within him the essence of public unification." And
indeed, no matter whom he approaches, all are excited, all confess to him, all demand instruction and
admonition from him, both brothers and the three proud girls belonging to different social circles, the
elderly lady and even the embittered nihilist, Rakitin, wavering between hate and friendship with
Alyosha who, though he is a living reproach to him, nevertheless attracts him.

Stated briefly, the writer assigns to his beloved hero a far more difficult task than unification with the
people; the author does not show this in detail, being rightly convinced that this "early lover of the
people," Alyosha Karamazov, has totally merged with the people in having become a novice and a
simple monastery cell-attendant of Fr Zosima, the great elder so beloved by the people. To make up for
it Dostoevsky completes the picture in the biography of the latter, showing the merging with the
people of any intellectual renegade once he gains a foothold on religious ground. In his youth, he was a
flippant officer who, having come to his senses on the day of a duel (and subsequently became a
schema-monk) immediately resigned and, by way of preparation for the monastic order, took to
wandering, according to Russian custom. At one point during his wanderings he met his former
orderly, Afanasii, whose face he had slapped the night before the duel. The intimidated orderly did not
take offence even then, since he considered his master, an officer, a being of a higher order. But when
he meets him as a humble wanderer, he receives him as a brother, as a kinsman and, having treated
him to food and drink as an equal, he feels bold enough to offer him half a ruble in his poverty.

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In this episode as well as in the concluding chapter of The Possessed the author presents society and
the people as two nations, as two camps who, although they are not inimical, are so estranged that the
one who has left one side immediately finds himself in the other, and only those having dedicated
themselves to God and the Church, like Alyosha and the elder Zosima, can remain, without difficulty,
equally close to the one and the other. This last idea of the author does not mean that only monks can
remain equally close to society and to the people but it contributes to Elder Zosima's thoughts on the
future calling of the Russian monasteries and monasticism, a calling which was, to a certain extent,
always realized, though the author expects more from it now.

In this instance we have in mind the death-bed exhortations of Elder Zosima in The Brothers
Karamazov, representing the confession of his whole life and a solemn hymn to Christ as He remains
both in Heaven and in the hearts of the Russian people. The elder remarks, quite correctly, that the
Russian monastery was always with the people (The Brothers Karamazov). In enthusiastic terms he
describes the essence of the monastic achievement (we will not repeat it here) and finally he
expresses the hope that Russia's salvation will come from the monks. In an earlier chapter our writer
provides a vivid confirmation of these convictions and aspirations, namely in "the believing simple
woman" where he tells us with what reverence, with what deep feelings, and unshakable confidence,
our people look upon the elders, and with what peaceful reconciliation people leave their company
enriched in spiritual wisdom. Not only the pious pilgrims, wandering from one monastery to another
but even the lackey Smerdiakov, who was almost totally severed from the people, still preserved in his
heart the conviction common to all the people, that true, righteous life is not found in the world but at
the wilderness hermitages, and that these anchorites do exist even now, only a small number of them,
perhaps, but still two or three of them must exist.

In order to conclude our discourse of the monastic sympathies of our writer, let us mention that he
studied monasticism and the institutions of the elders personally in the Optina Hermitage, whose
elders Makarii and his pupil Amvrosii (+1862) served as the prototypes for Father Zosima.

Let nobody think that Dostoevsky's hope in the apostolic calling of Russian monasticism was the fruit
of his own fantasy. On the contrary, not only the Russian monks, who always thought of themselves as
the shepherds of the people, but also the oldest founders of desert monasticism, took the same view of
their calling. St Neil of Sinai (+694) for example, wrote, "A monk is one who, retiring from everybody,
remains in spiritual contact with all and sees himself in every man." It was said that in high solemn
moments of history, the entire society shakes off the foreign deposits and merges with the people;
such were the years 1812 and 1877. What, then, does society experience in these moments, what do
its individual representatives of both sexes detect in these moments of their personal life and what do
they take for examples? Bows from the waist and even bowing down to the ground peasant fashion,
which is totally unexpected by those around, and perhaps even to the ones who carry them out
themselves. Thus, Katerina Ivanovna, stunned by the magnanimous and chaste deed of Dmitrii
Karamazov, suddenly bows to the ground before him. Raskol'nikov also bows to the ground before
Sonia, for the first time when he finds out what a heavy cross of degrading selflessness she took upon
herself, and for the second time when the decisive change takes place in his heart under the influence
of her example and of his own sufferings. Svidrigailov sends his regards to Razumikhin before his
death, having understood that the latter alone has chosen the right path in life -- that of humility and
selflessness.

Observe that the custom of bows from the waist and to the ground is a chief distinction between the
people and society, Russia and Europe; there they kneel on one knee, but do not even lower their head,
much less bow to the ground, even before God. In making such a bow a Russian renounces, as it were,
society for the time being and joins the people.

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EIGHT

DOSTOEVSKY AND THE POLITICAL PARTIES

We had a special purpose in mind when we dwelt on the subject of monasticism. We intended to show
that our writer approaches even this centuries old institution, which many consider to be divorced
from life, from the same point of view as he approaches every subject -- from the point of view of the
people and service to the people. This is, so to speak, the central point of departure in all of
Dostoevsky's preaching.

No matter what he is writing about: Pushkin or the revolution, or the Eastern question, or
enlightenment or faith, or lack of it, or questions of education, all of this interests him from the point of
view of its usefulness for the people, from the point of view of a more intimate communion with the
people. Critics who want to present Dostoevsky as a champion of one or another political orientation
or party completely misunderstand him. When, in his journal or novels, he responded to the issues of
the day, he naturally had to speak out on many subjects and questions, which give expressions to this
or that political orientation or even party. But Dostoevsky's opinions and the opinion of the partisans
of the contemporary camps are another matter. For the majority of the political camps, a certain
political outlook is the essence of their worldview (for example, monarchism, constitutionalism,
panslavism or Ukrainophilism). And they assess every idea they encounter from this point of view,
even though some of these ideas are far more significant than their political banner. Thus, I can
understand that one may be for or against religion, for or against Russian poetry. When, however, a
Bulgarian chauvinist renounces Orthodoxy solely in order to sever all links with the hated Greeks,
when our Ukrainophiles attempt to convince secondary school students that Shevchenko (2) surpasses
Pushkin, and that Pushkin is in fact a non-entity, when a monarchist advocates the subordination of
our Church to the Tsar, and so on, I see in this a complete degeneration of those who speak thus as well
as of their very ideas, which have stifled their minds and consciences.

Such twisted logic is, of course, for the most part, insincere. When, for example, someone puts a rather
relative value above everything else, as Dostoevsky's contemporary Frenchmen did with the idea of
the Republic (even if France itself perished!) and our own revolutionists of 1917 did with the
Revolution (even if Russia itself should perish!), then we understand that this is not a fascination with
the idea itself, but the person's orientation to personal gain and, secondly, with his personal welfare
and safety.

In countries where all of public life has long been limited to party struggles, this struggle has ceased to
be political and has turned into a personal or group struggle, guided by the self-interest of the
partisans, while the political slogans are mouthed only for the sake of decorum, and everybody is well
aware of it. In this manner, the Liberals, Radicals and "napredniki" (Progressives) fought in Serbia for
forty years. The principle advanced by all of them was identical, and the struggle was concerned only
with ministerial and other cabinet posts. Sometimes, however, there is more to it, particularly in
Russia. It happens, writes Dostoevsky, that a man becomes completely overpowered by his idea and is
swallowed up by it.(3) This pertains mostly to the revolutionary passions of youths (such as Erkel's in
The Possessed)(4) and of simple folk. For powerful minds, however, such states do not last. Nevertheless,
even Dostoevsky himself could be subject to such a passion. We mention this because of the deeply

88
annoying habit of critics attempting to explain Dostoevsky's loftiest contemplations of a religious
nature, his psychological observations and his conclusions concerning the people's life, by his
Slavophile orientations, by monarchism, his nationalism, etc. His ideological dependence was -- as
with every great and honest thinker -- exactly the opposite. But the difficulty with our criticism, indeed
with our whole epoch, is that people are not able to see anything else in others but party-mindedness.
Our historians depict all world geniuses as partisans. Parties have been invented even for the Apostles
Peter and Paul, and their inspired words are interpreted from this absurd point of view. Judging
everybody by themselves, like D'Alambert's nurse, our contemporaries have such a conception of even
the best people, as if they start by selecting a party uniform for themselves and then reason: now I am
a monarchist, and I have to uphold: 1. religion, 2. patriotism, 3. large holdings of private property, 4.
strict schools for youth, 5. militarism, 6. friendship with Germany, 7. classical education, etc. And the
contemporary party member does not give the least thought to whether it is of interest to others to
consider whether religion is teaching the truth or is all inveterate superstition, does Russia deserve
independence, or is it regrettable that she was not absorbed forever by France in 1812 (as Smerdiakov
held),(5) is classical education conducive to mental development or, on the contrary, does it hinder the
growth of thinking, as Kolia Krasotkin asserted on the strength of Rakitin's suggestion. (6) This is the
ruin of our society and of all contemporary culture; this also explains the fact that from 1917 on, our
intelligentsia, almost to a man, turned into a "weather vane" of the Time of Troubles. (7)

As it is our duty to disengage Dostoevsky from the party uniform which our malicious and narrow-
minded critics have attempted unsuccessfully to force him into, we will remind the reader that he does
not spare the conservatives, or even the Slavophiles, when he considers them to be in the wrong or
their judgment to be shallow, to say nothing of the government circles, the chief support of the throne,
whom he unceremoniously castigates in his pronouncements as despisers of the Russian people and
even of Russia itself.

Let us also mention that he is not in the least inclined to defend, to the detriment of truth, the
representatives of the very summit of his idea, that is, of religion and the Church. While giving its idea
its due, he does not conceal the sins and blunders of its leaders, and sometimes even of their whole
trend. Thus, while having drawn the beautiful image of the Elder Zosima and the monastic life around
him, our writer does not shrink from representing in the same vivid colours, the seamy side of
monastic life and the monastic scandal which took place at the coffin. Here, he describes not only the
personal vices of the hermits, but the entire false, self-deluded trend in religious life which existed
right next to living sanctity. He expresses himself equally frankly about the false religiousness among
enlightened lay people. Some proud people, he says, acknowledge God solely in order not to have to
respect their neighbours.(8)

On the other hand, we will invite the reader's attention to Dostoevsky's sympathetic references to
naive atheists, to very young revolutionists and, in time, we will introduce the reader to his most
sympathetic references to Western Europe, i.e., to his feelings toward it, and toward the human soul in
general, from which it will become apparent that Dostoevsky was a convinced optimist who believed
that good would triumph over evil. He looked at wicked people as a doctor would contemplate a
diseased, but not hopeless, patient.

For our part, we are concerned with revealing to the reader the correct concept, not of the form, but of
the content of Russian life, which could be preserved and even develop, even if Russia is not destined
to continue her existence as an independent state, but becomes a colony of another state or states. For
this reason, we value Dostoevsky so highly not only as an expert diagnostician of our country's life, but
as a teacher, a therapist who is capable of helping us even if our patient, Russia, had both its hands
amputated, that is, was deprived of its statehood. What is the state? Actually, it is the "people's police"
with threefold spying and tenfold executions, as the history of the French and Russian communes have

89
demonstrated. Pressing all the policies of public life into a state uniform, even the most Republican
"uniform," is above all highly unliberal. Dostoevsky was quite right when, in the "Epilogue" to the
Pushkin Address, he tried to convince Professor Gradovsky, an advocate of law and order, that the
patriarchal principles of the life of our people are not only much more moral, but even more liberal
than the constitutional and Republican orders which give incomparably less room for private initiative
and moral truth. The arbitrary Aleko (9) and the pessimist Onegin(10) who had fled, according to
Gradovsky, not from the European lie but from Russian society, are closely related to this society, in
Dostoevsky's opinion, since they make short work of the gypsy girl and the friend, respectively. Do not,
therefore, consider Dostoevsky a representative of a party or a political trend: he stood far above those
secondary areas of life and thought, although as a thinking man he could not avoid having definite
opinions on these matters. Following our writer, we call upon our readers to keep separate the
concepts of public life and the concept of statehood and not to raise the idea of statehood to an
absolute, not to consider the state to be of the highest importance, so that all other values, all other
ideas would be evaluated from that point of view. One must recall that this is precisely the substance
of the falsehood of ancient pagan Rome, and this was the cause of its three century long vicious
hostility toward Christianity, a hostility which was inspired by the first commandment of the Old
Testament. The Roman Empire aspired to be the highest deity for all peoples and, therefore, executed
Christians with a cruelty unprecedented among barbarian people not because of their dogmas but
because they considered moral truths and virtue, rather than the state, to be the highest value, the
highest duty of humanity. Dostoevsky affirms such an understanding of ancient Rome. There is no
culture or idea more hostile to Christianity than the idea of ancient Rome, he writes (Diary of a
Writer).(11)

Secularized states embody the same fanaticism, especially the Socialist ones which, in their
persecution of religion, forgo their own legal norms and even propriety. When, for example, they
recognize the Church as only a private society, they deprive it of that right which all private societies
enjoy, namely, the right to own property. They unceremoniously take away its resources, its land and
even its educational institutions. At times they simply close monasteries and temples.

If Dostoevsky, like L. Tolstoy (in 1905), preferred monarchical autocracy to all the republics in the
world, this was precisely because previous forms of political life offered more room for purely social,
extra-political relationships among people, allowing for a free moral ascendancy of talent and genius
over public thought and will. This is why Dostoevsky's significance will be preserved even if Russia
ceases to exist as an independent unity.

1.

2. ***

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

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9.

10.

11.

CONCORDANCE TO THE WORKS OF DOSTOEVSKY


by Antony Khrapovitsky, Metropolitan of Kiev

NINE

DOSTOEVSKY'S IDEA OF THE HIGHEST VALUE IN LIFE

Still, other objections regarding Dostoevsky are heard from another quarter. "Let us suppose that you
have completely cleared Dostoevsky of all accusations of party-mindedness, even a purely ideological
one. We agree that the state does not represent a concept of the highest value. If, however, the concept
is not accepted as the ultimate reference, the ultima ratio of thought, is it justifiable to raise the
concept of "the people" to such a dominant position in one's logic and morals? This concept is, of
course, far more attractive than the concepts of republic or monarchy; it is certainly more durable than
either of them. But Dostoevsky rose, in his contemplations and his recommendations, considerably
higher than the idea of "the people." He writes about eternity, about God, about Christ and the Church.
Is it right to summons men to such principles, proceeding solely from the idea of a union with the
people? Would not these principles be of value even apart from the Russian nationality? Did these
principles not fully exist even when the Russian people did not exist as a known unit? Finally, if
Dostoevsky finds the way to all these summits of thought and feeling only through the love of the
Russian people, what significance can he and his creative work have for a German or a Frenchman?"

Our answer to all this is that Dostoevsky did not at all establish a dependence of religious and moral
ideas in essence upon Russian national principles. He was, of course, primarily a preacher of
Christianity. He is therefore accessible to and understandable by enlightened readers of any nation.
This can be seen from the fact that his works, translated into different languages, are read abroad with
enthusiasm. In France there exists a whole school of writers of his orientation, and Paul Bourget (1) and
Eduard Rod,(2) and, one should think, Anatole France, (3) as well as others may be called his followers.
Dostoevsky is not only a national writer, but a universal writer. It was not without reason that shortly
before Dostoevsky's death, L. Tolstoy wrote to the philosopher Strakhov: (4) "I read The Brothers
Karamazov; this novel is better than anything that has been written in Europe or in America; if you are
going to see Dostoevsky, tell him that I love him."

It is however, time to give a direct answer to the question posed. Dostoevsky links belief in God and the
appeal for a moral uplift to love for the Russian people. He considers closeness to the people
absolutely essential for an enlightened person. Attempts were made to base almost every teaching and
particularly the revolutionary teachings, on this public moral axiom of the love of the people, and for
the majority -- at least at that time -- there was no hypocrisy in this. Even those Russians of that and
the preceding era who, for example, like Barazov(5) had almost completely lost the evangelical faith, did
not dare to renounce that moral rule of the Scripture which says: "And whoever of you will be the chief
among you, shall be servant of all" (Mk.10:44), although this rule lacks any base if the Christian dogma

91
is rejected. Dostoevsky is constantly reminding the reader of this, as in The Adolescent and elsewhere
(we will return to those thoughts of his presently). All of society, including the philosopher Nietzsche,
not noticing this inconsistency, continued to consider the second commandment of Christ's law
binding for themselves (thanks to God), although they rejected the first Commandment of Christ.
Moreover, it thought to monopolize this second commandment and reproached believers for
supposedly forgetting it in favour of "abstract" dogmas. Thus, the fact that Dostoevsky considered the
principle of love for the people and unity with them to be the initial principle for his loftiest calls to
man and humanity, in no way narrows his ideas and does not replace the order of the highest values of
our soul and thought; it only indicates the path by which his contemporaries might ascend to
perfection from that moral level on which they found themselves. Consequently, his logic is the logic of
pedagogy. Similarly, the first Christian admonitions to the Jews were based on the interpretation of
ancient prophecies and, to the Hellenes -- by means of interpreting their poets and myths. Apostle Paul
acted in this way, too (Act.17:23-29; Hb.1:4-14; 1Cor.9:20-22). Thus, the populist spirit of Dostoevsky's
highest philosophical and religious appeals in no way makes the absolute and eternal dependent on
the contemporary, the conditional. It only indicates the order of a gradual ascent, even as the Lord
indicated it in His parables.

Besides, it should be taken into consideration that according to Dostoevsky's conviction, the very
Russian populism, i.e., the acquisition of the spirit of the Russian people, is the acquisition of the
universal, all-human love and the recognition and acceptance of all the good existing in other
civilizations and nations. To conclude, let us cite Dostoevsky's words on his attitude to Europe, which
he constantly castigated, and on the attitude toward Europe of the true Russian people. "Never did the
Westernizer love Europe as we, Slavophiles did" (Diary of a Writer). True, contemporary Europe is, in
his opinion, "only a graveyard, although a most precious one." (6) But Shakespeare, Byron and other
European writers are known in Russia better than in other European countries (Diary of a Writer). We
Russians like some European writers more than do their countrymen -- Dickens, for example ( Diary of
a Writer).

"Europe," writes Dostoevsky in Diary of a Writer, "is our second native country; I love Europe."(7)

And thus Dostoevsky was a universal preacher and thinker. Actually, he was a preacher of Christianity,
or moral perfection. But he did not separate personal morals from patriotism or from the interests of
humanity, combining all this in his soul, in his lucid thought. To him may be applied with particular
force what was said by a poet in honour of another poet, Zhukovsky:8

"Be our guiding star,

Be our star of inspiration,

You, chastely-unrestrained spirit,

Who knew how to unite everything

In a sacred and whole harmony,

All that was humanely good,

Consolidating it in the Russian feeling."

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We have grasped our writer's idea that religion is not merely a private matter of each person, but also
the main constructive public force, and that in Russian life in particular, it is impossible to
communicate with the Russian people without religion, without a sincere religious, even a Church-
oriented Orthodox conviction. Now we must dwell attentively on Dostoevsky's religious teachings in
vivid opposition to the public prejudice which reduces religion to the level of a vaguely mystical feeling
or an outward ritual, not only completely divorced from public life but also almost indifferent to the
realm of personal moral existence of an enlightened person.

True, we have already presented some of these ideas, when we dwelt on his views on the Russian
people and society, and the bond between the popular spirit and Orthodoxy. Let us now turn to his
broader generalizations.

TEN

ON THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF VIRTUE WITHOUT FAITH

Above all else it should be pointed out that Dostoevsky was perhaps the first to give firm voice against
the absurd prejudice, so often heard since the time of Voltaire, Hegel and Kant, that no one can be a
highly moral, noble, honest and humane person, without belief in God and in Christ, without religion
and prayers. Anyone who has tried to be such a person, not merely in word but in deeds, knows
through experience how difficult it is to achieve and remain on such a level, even with sincere faith and
prayers, and what struggles with oneself this costs. This false and hypocritical paradox of non-
religious virtue was boldly repeated not only by pamphleteers and professors, but by students and
officers, and even by secondary school pupils. All this has been going on for quite a long while and had
absolutely intimidated the more reasonable and sincere people, who by then were prepared to accept
the idea that the Christian religion is solely a collection of abstract beliefs and conventional rituals.

Such was the state of matters when Dostoevsky raised his voice passionately against such falsehood.
Through numerous characters in his novels he exposed the logical connection between atheism and
immorality, culminating in crime. Not only did our writer illustrate this through his characters, but he
made direct statements to this effect. "An atheist is not capable of distinguishing between good and
evil," he writes (in The Brothers Karamazov).(8) If God does not exist, commit any foul deed you wish,
many began to say, and fathers even said this to their children. Elsewhere, he writes that the concept of
immorality is the main and sole incentive to lead a moral life (Diary of a Writer). Immorality does exist,
concludes our writer, because (as a philosophical postulate) it is the logical condition of man's sensible
existence (Diary of a Writer).(9) In the same issue of Diary of a Writer he quotes the letter of a suicide
who had arrived at his fatal decision only because he had lost his faith in God. The letter presents a
short treatise, asserting that every consistent denier of faith in God has to act in this way. The same
idea is explored briefly in another issue of the journal. According to Dostoevsky, talk of love for
neighbour is senseless if accompanied by a negation of God and the life to come (The Adolescent), since
it is not easily achieved in any case, although everyone likes to talk about it. In reality, as such people
often admit themselves, they cannot love those near to them, but can only love those distant from

93
them (The Brothers Karamazov), i.e., not the real people, but imaginary ones, which does not commit
them to anything.

How can these aphorisms of our author be reconciled with the ones mentioned earlier in which he
pointed out that not all atheists are vicious, that many of them are even Christ's people, although they
themselves do not yet realize it? Thus, to the adolescent who had declared to his alleged father, the old
man Makar, that he does not believe in God, the old man replies laughingly: "No, you are not an atheist,
you are a merry fellow."(10) In general, he was convinced that a genuine atheist is necessarily a gloomy
and embittered person, while a believer, even though poor, is cheerful.

Losing faith, mostly under the influence of preposterous books or wicked people, as happened to Kolia
Krasotkin who was nearly reduced to a state of confusion by the malicious nihilist Rakitin, people do
not, of course, immediately realize all the logical conclusions and consequences of this negation. In
some cases this temporary inconsistency lasts for decades and this is their salvation, i.e., it provides
the possibility of stopping short of the terrifying but inevitable conclusion of the negation, and of a
return to faith. Faith itself is only discarded much later after a person has made a declaration of
atheism "on a trial basis." Expressing negative thoughts, he is, as it were, trying them out for size on his
mind and heart, like a shopper in a ready-made clothing store, while harbouring his former faith in his
soul, and sometimes even prayer, like the judge in Gogol's The Inspector General. This is why a decisive
turning-point of the will is at times enough for people to again profess faith in the fulness of dogma
and tradition. There are, as our writer says, certain convictions shared secretly by almost everybody,
which they are embarrassed to admit (Diary of a Writer).

Having taken such a tolerant and hopeful stand in regard to imaginary or simply unsettled atheists,
our writer nevertheless warned people about the fatal consequences of consistent, convinced atheism
as can be seen from the letter of the suicide. We have already called to the reader's attention
Dostoevsky's words which show that for one who consistently denies belief in God and immortality,
there is no difference between good and evil in relation to fellow men, while in relation to himself only
despair and suicide are left. The fruits of atheism are not, however, limited to these negative
conclusions: not only indifference toward one's fellow men but even crimes and murder, both physical
and moral, will almost certainly be committed by a consistent atheist. Thus, Verkhovensky (11) commits
several murders with delight, corrupts the convict Fed'ka, inciting him to commit murder. Ivan
Karamazov corrupts and half-deliberately convinces Smerdiakov to murder, though in his own soul he
was not a villain, but only desired to be consistent in his negation. Raskol'nikov commits an almost
aimless murder, having taken the same path of godless wilfulness, which led Kirillov, Ippolit and
Stavrogin to suicide.(12) Stavrogin had also corrupted or morally killed several young persons; and yet
he was not only likeable but charming by nature.

All these examples of the indissoluble link between consistent atheism and criminality are, it seems,
more than enough, although they do not exhaust all the pictures painted by our author with the same
idea in mind. His idea, as we said, was to dissuade society from the firmly established prejudice that it
is possible to remain a good and moral man, having rejected the principles of Christian faith. What an
incompetent thinker, what a spurious dreamer one has to be to claim --- as does one of Dostoevsky's
negative characters -- that with the loss of faith people who constantly tremble at the thought of death
will love and "cherish" each other more than when they were believers; they will enjoy life more,
knowing that there is nothing beyond the grave; and then the earthly ideal of man-god will appear
instead of the heavenly God.(13) Actually, reasoning in this way, such philosophers hated everybody and
were weary of life.

This is not all, however: Dostoevsky knew the first, Bazarovian, generation of atheists. Not all of those
belonging to this generation venture to immediately draw the practical conclusions from unbelief

94
about which our writer speaks so decisively. The rules of honesty and love of mankind, acquired from
childhood in Christian families and even in half-Christian schools, having penetrated deeply into the
folds of their souls, prevented Dostoevsky's contemporaries from becoming consistent deniers. Their
children, however, having been raised in an areligious environment, have no deterrent from becoming
cruel, inhuman villains, except for the criminal code. They have appeared as such in the last three
years of Russian life.(14) Dostoevsky, it is true, had predicted that also, asserting that his children would
live to see the bloody, terrible revolution when people would turn into cannibals. These events were, of
course, predicted in general terms; we will ask the reader to dwell for a few moments on a detailed
picture of this evolution of immorality which was observed in the generation following that of
Dostoevsky, by his follower, the French novelist Paul Bourget in the novel L'Etape. Bouget depicts a
secondary school teacher; an unbeliever but an honest man and scholar, a passionate classicist, and an
exemplary family man who ardently loves his already grown sons and daughter, but who is hypnotized
by the ideas of progress and extra-religious patriotism. He dreams that one of his sons will take to
literary or scholarly pursuits, the other become a lawyer, the third, an engineer, while the daughter will
marry an equally useful citizen. Then he suddenly finds out that one of his sons is kept by an old
woman, the second is a petty thief, the unmarried daughter is pregnant and intends to have an
abortion. He is horrified and in despair, when one of his sons laughingly tells him: why are you so
upset? You should rejoice in the fact that we turned out to be more consistent in your own convictions,
which you actually never dared to carry out yourself. You act more in accordance with the prejudices
of the priests (i.e., Christian teachings), which you yourself reject in theory. What could the
unfortunate father reply to all this?

We had little opportunity to follow Russian literature of recent years but something similar appears in
a literary parody of a rather talented drama, "Vaniushin's Children," (15) entitled "Vaniushin's
Grandchildren." If you wish, the generation of the Verkhovenskys, i.e., father and son, also anticipates
this evolution from theoretical irreligion to complete Nihilism and most brazen criminality. Stefan
Trofimovich Verkhovensky did not, of course, suggest an atheistic worldview to his son; still, he is
responsible for the latter's depravity because he neglected his paternal obligations due to his lack of
faith, abandoning his son to the hands of a stranger to bring him up. He completely forgot about him
until the son appeared before his father, no longer a youth, but a completely formed young man, a
convinced scoundrel who killed on purpose, completely devoid of shame and conscience.

Our ancestors would read these arguments and philosophical proofs of the obvious insolubility of
moral existence and religion with astonishment, but in our foolish age one has to waste time and
energy on the proof of such propositions which have been proven long ago by centuries of mankind's
existence and by common sense. In order to clarify this truth, let us point out the fact that not only
personal moral perfection, but even the kind of life and activity that make sense completely elude
those of Dostoevsky's heroes who, although endowed with natural talents and education lack in their
souls the highest and absolute regulator (or principle), i.e., strong religious convictions. They are not
able to attack any permanent and useful task, remaining idle good-for-nothings all their life. Such was
Versilov in The Adolescent who, although at times interested in religious problems, failed to
subordinate his will to a definite religious teaching. The broader nature of such people, the more
difficult is their life, the more incoherent and even criminal their life and activity turns out to be. Such
characters are: Ivan Karamazov, Nikolai Stavrogin, Svidrigailov, Versilov, Kirillov and many other
secondary characters.

On the contrary, when some of these heroes of the author settle firmly into religious principles, they
not only achieve complete reconciliation with life but also experience a joyful upsurge of energy in
regard to public activity, and they begin a life of convinced builders, as valiant fighters. Such is Shatov
in The Possessed, and The Adolescent, after their conversion; such is Alyosha Karamazov, Kolia Ivolgin

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and Prince Myshkin in The Idiot, Razumikhin, Raskol'nikov's friend, The Ridiculous Man after his
awakening, etc.

When Shatov's wife, who had deserted him, unexpectedly thrusts herself on him, arriving from abroad,
to give birth on the spot to a child out of wedlock, he did not reproach the unfortunate woman by a
single word. Not only did he look after her with the tenderness of a mother, he sincerely considered
himself guilty before her although he was completely innocent. (16) He received her child with a joy
which not every father lavishes on his own offspring and showered the mother with tender care. This
marvellous picture of a purely evangelical forgiveness on one side, and the softening of an embittered
heart on the other raises the pen of our writer to the level of a Raphael or Nesterov, (17) although for the
nihilistic midwife, it is a pretext for laughter.

Dostoevsky surpasses himself here, for in his realistic picture he adheres to his concept of the
unreasonableness of human egoism, of the fact that society frequently regards the loftiest aspects of
life as ridiculous, and that one should not be afraid to appear ridiculous in the eyes of fools. Not only in
personal life but in man's public activity, both the energy of the good and stableness as well as the
necessary inspiration, are based on a religious idea; without it any popular creative activity not only
becomes impossible but destructive. Nationality, writes Dostoevsky, always originated in a religious
idea, and this latter determines all cultures (Diary of a Writer).(18) Lack of understanding of the
religious idea destroys the culture of the people. According to Dostoevsky, all popular wars are
struggles over religious ideals. "Leave your gods, declare the attackers, and accept ours, otherwise,
death to you and your gods." According to Dostoevsky, as we have seen, in application to Russian life,
its people understand all foreign relations as actions in defence of Orthodoxy, for the oppressed
brothers, or as self-defence. The wave of popular enthusiasm (religious and moral) gradually engulfs
even the intelligentsia, captures the government's will and then, in the heroic transport of war, the
century-old division of Russia into society and the people ceases to exist as it were, and the indivisible
popular Russia, or "Holy Russia" rushes forward to fulfil the heroic feat.

Now, passing again from the purely religious and morally-philosophical ground to the public and
cultural one, or, as our contemporaries put it, to that of reality, we hope to lay bare that picture of
international relations, cultural and political, which, to a great extent, preoccupied Dostoevsky, not as
the most important aspects in public life but rather in terms of applying ideological convictions to
existing realities.

Chapter XI
Europe and Russia According to Dostoevsky.

Having declared himself to be a friend of Europe, its history and its culture, Dostoevsky did not close
his eyes to the deep cleavage between the contemporary European upper strata of life and its former
highly humane and enlightened traditions, as well as Russian culture in particular. Our writer does not
conceal the facts about how much Europe hates us, about how on guard we must be and what a high
state of military preparedness Russia must maintain. Nor does he balk aT advising how highly Russia
should value her moral advantages as compared with the degenerating moral life of Europe, in order
not to be carried away by Europes appearance of refinement.

Let us quote the authors statements expressing such thoughts. Europe dislikes us very much and
considers us revolutionists (The Diary of a Writer); therefore we cannot gain victories in Europe with

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impunity. Let us recall that the rescue of Europe by Alexander I was followed by the 1815 "Holy
Alliance," which was so humiliating for Russia. It returned to Austria three Russo-Galician provinces,
with a population of half a million Orthodox Christians, who were afterwards torn away from the
Church by force. Let us remember the disgraceful Berlin Congress of 1878 following the Russian
victories in Turkey. Russia should not, therefore, trust the straightforwardness of European friendship
but must maintain a state of military readiness and has to reinforce its army, since its borders and the
borderlands are never out of danger.

Dostoevsky, by the way, held a peculiar view of war. War is not mankinds scourge, writes he, but a
medicine (The Diary of a Writer).(19) The spiritual upsurge of the warring nation does not result in its
brutalization but acts to spur it forward (The Possessed). Not war but rather prolonged peace lowers a
nations spirit and may ultimately bestialize it. In his "

Conversations with an Eccentric,"(20) Dostoevsky presents his own thoughts on this subject in a detailed
way under the guise of the eccentric. We are not going to quote them in full, nor either refute or confirm
then. We will only mention and corroborate one of his observations which many of our recent enemies
have confirmed in the past few months. Namely, our writer reaffirms that war does not divide people but
draws them together, acquaints them with each other, and even makes them become friends at best,
teaching them at worst to respect each other. Finding ourselves for a prolonged time within the limits of
former Austria, we constantly hear praise of Russia and the Russians from all, especially from the former
Ukrainian prisoners of war (even those who are oriented toward Mazeppa), as well as from Poles,
Germans, Austrian Jews, Czechs, Slovaks and Rumanians. Many of them declared that nowhere is life so
good as in Russia, that no people are so kind as the Russians, that they are going to move to Russia once
order is restored there. We were particularly struck by the story of a young Ukrainian Cossack. "When the
Russians approached our village in 1914," he said, "we were warned beforehand about them. There were
tales that all Cossacks are one-eyed, and that they will place kettles on the square, seize the kids and boil
and eat them. On their arrival, we all hid in the oat fields and in ditches. Then, little by little, we climbed
out and, receiving only kindness from them and offers of food, we became attached to them with all our
hearts." When asked, "But how did you, being literate people, and you, a young man who was a high
school student, believe in such fables?" He replied, "Everybody in the village believed it because we had
been told all that for such a long time."

"Do you know, in 1886, I was told exactly the same story by an old Galician archpriest who was a
schoolboy in Sambor in 1848, when the same thing happened. There were the same fables and fears, and
they were replaced by the same friendship between Galicians and Russians in 1848. They had heard all
about the one-eyed Cossacks, and the kettles for the boiling of children. I heard about how they grew fond
of the Cossacks and the soldiers of Nicholas I. But then your people were totally unlearned, while now
almost everybody is literate, and besides your village is just 25 versts (21) from the Russian border. How
could you believe such nonsense?"

"Well, from now on, our people wont believe it even in a hundred years!"

"May God grant that."

Dostoevsky presents the liberation of Orthodox Christians as the aim of all our wars. He foresaw with
amazing accuracy the disappointments in this holy task, as well as Europes hostile reactions against it.
England would like the Eastern Christians to hate us, he writes in The Diary of a Writer.(22) Instead of
being grateful, the liberated Slavs will declare that they did not receive any benefits from Russia, and that
Europe would have liberated them without us (The Diary of a Writer), and that their culture and
parliaments are superior to those of Russia. (23) They will fight among themselves because of border
disputes (The Diary of a Writer). They will come to their senses and express their gratitude to Russia, as

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well as their unity, only in about a hundred years. (24) Then, they will be of positive value to us and they
will broaden our souls.(25) Whoever has come in contact with Bulgarian and Montenegran troops, knows
that these prophecies are coming true with a photographic exactness. Europe has, in general, skilfully
befouled our struggle of liberation among the Orthodox peoples: in four of the newly formed Orthodox
states (excluding Montenegro), Roman Catholic or Lutheran kings were established, and only the
Serbians managed to maintain an Orthodox dynasty. Even the Greeks were, until recently, under the rule
of heterodox kings. These kings, together with Austria, initiated Roman Catholic propaganda
everywhere: in Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Montenegro, using bribery and other such shameful means.
Moreover, writes Dostoevsky, the infallible Pope is not ashamed to express his joy at the victory of the
Turks [over Eastern Christians].(26)

This is how Europe aided the selfless Russian effort. However, Europe as a whole entity, as an enlightened
union of Christian people, does not exist. Such a Europe existed only in the imagination of Alexander I,
who later became disillusioned with it, and in the addled heads of Russian Westernizers. In reality Europe
had become only a graveyard of great ideas and of great men who had long since disappeared from the
face of the earth. We have cited this statement of Dostoevsky before, and we must now add the following
quotation from his works: there are no Europeans in Europe, only nationalistic chauvinists. Only the
Russians are now Europeans. (27) Europe is only a small part of the globe. (28) In these words the author
wishes to express the idea that universal concerns, common to all of mankind, are alien to the European
states; they have been detracted and preoccupied with the egoistic struggle of the estates, a purely
animalistic fight.(29) They are now on the verge of firmly establishing this pitiful principle of preserving
their own narrow self interests. (30) In Europe they are at pains to organize a public anthill, based solely on
the principle of egoism.(31) Therefore, they boast in vain of their progress, for even now [in 1871] rivers of
blood are being shed in Europe and in America. Dostoevsky is referring to the unscrupulous, purely
egotistical Franco-Prussian war. "Contemporary agitation in Europe," wrote the author in 1876,
"presages thunderous events" (The Diary of a Writer). He has in mind the social revolution. Although he
also predicted that it would start in Russia, he hoped that Russia would emerge from the ordeal
victorious, but was convinced that Europe would be drawn in it already in the nineteenth century.
Actually, the fulfilment of this last prophecy [or a general war of the estates] was postponed in Europe
[until the early twentieth century] because European politicians managed to save their teetering
positions for the time being. The present times, however, do not augur well. (32)

As a matter of fact, Europes hatred of Russia may perhaps be explained by her complete lack of
information about and understanding of Russia. We did not find an answer to this question in the works
of our writer [Dostoevsky], but he expressed himself rather strongly on this lack of information about
Russia in Europe. Europe has remained surprisingly unfamiliar with Russia, more unfamiliar even than
they are with China (The Diary of a Writer).(33) Even the Westernizers have noted this fact, Turgenev the
most radical of them, in particular. It is understandable, then, why the author speaks with such grief
about Russians fawning on Europe. The Liberals of the 1860s were so subservient that they desired for
Russia some sort of "graduation diploma" from Europe (The Diary of a Writer).(34) We wag our tails
slavishly before Europe and receive her contempt in response. With displeasure, our author [Dostoevsky]
mentions the predominance of Germans in our civil administration. (35)

But along with this rather silly ingratiating attitude, along with the other contradictions in the Russian
character, there is nevertheless room for a significant dose of aversion to the cold and insincere character
of European culture, a coldness and insincerity with which the Russian soul is essentially unfamiliar (The
Diary of a Writer). Russians actually enjoyed it immensely when Europe was exposed, for example, by von
Fizin.(36) Our author does not balk at such expositions of the degenerate aspects of contemporary
European culture, which does not exist as a complete entity. While admiring the European past, he
castigates its present condition and the detachment (and even hatred) among its nationalities. The
German, the French, and the English, whose countries he had travelled in, are all subjected to this

98
criticism by Dostoevsky. He depicted his impressions of their interrelations in his journal while still a
contributor to the journal The Citizen (Grazhdanin). Dostoevsky does not always spare the Russian
bureaucracy in his stories either. Not only is the negative type of German described in his story The
Crocodile, but he also castigates the Europeanized Russian bureaucracy. Then in the person of the doctor
who treats Iliusha in The Brothers Karamazov, and other works, he depicts the German as an attractive
personality, who has a Russian soul, though he mangles the Russian language -- Gertsenstube --(37) and
also the doctor who treated Nellie in The Humiliated. But the character of the Germans abroad was not
attractive to him. Their goal is profit, their ideal is the establishing of a family fortune. For them, the
acquisition of capital is the highest goal, and character and personality are only supplementary to the
possession of this capital.(38) I do not know why Dostoevsky was so much in favour of an alliance with
Germany and why he maintained that such an alliance should be a lasting one (The Diary of a Writer).
He felt that this would be more in the interests of Germany than of Russia, because Germany is in need of
such a durable peace.

The author also disliked scenes of London life. Five hundred thousand workers in London were so
dispirited that, having obtained one day of rest, they drink all night in ale-houses on the eve of Sunday. (39)
There, the poor people cannot even enter the church, much less get married in church, because the first
costs money and the second costs a substantial sum of it. The author considers the English to be the
foremost egoists, completely indifferent to everyone and everything else. Meeting them in Italy with their
Baedekers, he observed that they do not particulary admire the beauty of the cities, they merely check the
information in their printed guide books. (40) Dostoevsky himself at least pays attention. He does not like
some of the chef-doeuvres of European art. "Rubens," he says, "paints naked beef," while "the Cathedral
[of Koln]...lacks an idea: a lot of stone lace but no overall beauty." (41)

As regards the contemporary French, Dostoevsky felt that they were more problematic than the English.
We are already familiar with his comments on the base self-preservation ethos to which the civic activity
of their educated classes had been reduced. Dostoevsky, by the way, could not have known about the
disgraceful persecution which the French government unleashed against the popular faith and church of
the French people, which would last for almost twenty years and continues even now. (42)

"The Frenchman loves very much to dance to the music of power, and often without any selfish interests,"
while extolling Republican freedom.(43) And in fact, even the lowliest Frenchman has a noble
appearance(44) which will turn the heads of giddy Russian women, who do not know how to tell the gilded
from the gold. Such a self-deception ruins the lives of some, such as Polina in The Gambler and Aglaia in
The Idiot. Of all people, women should be the least carried away in this manner, since the ideal that
prevails there is purely sensual, denigrating to women and even barbarian. Many women, however, seem
to be afraid to talk about anything serious with the men, and confine themselves to ordinary matters. (45)
The forms affected by Frenchmen were shaped by the Revolution of the eighteenth century, following
which, all adopted the manners of the gentry while keeping their petty shopkeeper mentality intact. (46)
Art in France [in Dostoevsky's time] does little to lift the national spirit; in the theatre the spectator will
not find presentations that elevate the soul. The playwrights are concerned exclusively with pleasing the
bourgeoisie(47) and to assist it in its repression of the proletariat.

It should be suggested, however, that had Dostoevsky lived for another twenty years or so, he would have
had to improve his opinion somewhat, at least as concerns French literature and even of French life in
general. We have in mind the already mentioned "young school" of his followers in French literature
which, in the persons of the previously mentioned writers, is actually promoting moral and spiritual
ideals. It should be noted, incidentally, that the comments of these French writers on the moral state of
their native country are even more pessimistic than Dostoevskys, who wrote that "Bismarck grasped the
fact that France has had her day, and decided that the fate of Poland is in store for it." (48)

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Chapter 12
The Return of Society to Faith and Nationality.

1. Obstacles That Hinder this.

Having presented Dostoevsky's depiction of our people in such at attractive outline and of our society
with its irrational worshipping of a Europe which does not in any way deserve it. let us set forth the main
reasons for the author's bright hopes that this return of Russia home will still take place. But let us first
mention the obstacles to this regeneration which have already become firmly rooted in the Russian soil
and in some ways have maimed the Russian soul, i.e. the soul of the Russian intellectual, privy to certain
areas of life. We have in mind the areas which have complete or almost completely become Europeanized,
i.e. have lost their openness their warmth and breadth by which Russian society is still distinguished from
the European, which has gone cold and shallow. In this regard Dostoevsky, along with indignation at our
aping, expresses himself rather resolutely: we do not in the least resemble the other Europeans (The
Diary of a Writer). What precisely are those spheres that are the least national and the most
Europeanized?

In the first place, our courts. Dostoevsky attentively followed the new courts. As a former convict of the
old courts, he expected only the best from the new ones but was disappointed. This disappointment
surfaced in a detailed way in the description of the judicial process of Dmitri Karamazov, when an
innocent man was condemned according to all the rules of legal proceedings. The novel The Brothers
Karamazov appeared in The Russian Herald (Russkii vestnik) and it was known even then that the
lawyers of the capital and other legal professionals followed the description of the above-mentioned
process with fury but with intense interest too. Frequently, they could not wait until the appearance of
the issue of the journal and on the eve of its appearance, they dropped in at the editorial office, asking to
be given the proofs. It was said that the author described the well-known lawyer Spasovich under the
name of Fetiukovich, but he also exposed directly in The Diary of a Writer as a typical representative of
the uri%Russian and unattractive trade which "produces an effect instead of an action" (The Diary of a
Writer).(49) The bar driesup people's conscience, writes Dostoevsky, the lawyer Utin ventured to
blaspheme from the tribune about Christ's word "her many sins are forgiven, because great was her love,
" applying them to a dirty process involving murder, possibly on erotic grounds (The Diary of a Writer).
(50)
In general, declares the author, contemporary courts are not Russian, the lawyers and prosecutors are
not upright men, young Russia needs a Russian court, (51) i.e. a less bureaucratically formal and more
conscientious one.

Further, the spheres of life best 1oved and most respected by the author, literature and science, also turn
into a trade following Western models, completely disassociating themselves from Pushkin's behests
addressed to the poet and thinker: "You are a Tsar, live alone, take a free path to where your free mind is
drawing you."(52) Contemporary writers, laments Dostoevsky, write in order to gain new readers, literary
pursuits corrupt a man.(53) I can't stand it, confides our author, when scholarly or literary pursuits are
turned into a pompous ceremony (The Adolsecent), i.e. when they put on airs and beceome inflated.
Dostoevsky had an intense dislike for the tendetious, accusatory press which was frequently venal and
which in seldom refrained from slander. In the story The Crocodile and the novel The Idiot he presents
examples of such malicious calumny, combined with cruel, inhuman defamation under the guise of, being
carried away by progressive enthusiasm and holy indignation. (54) According to his observations, even
scholars are no longer the former unselfish professor/idealists but egoists (Diary of a Writer. A learned
idealistic patriot will not be spared by the press, even to the detriment of truth. Dostoevsky dwells on the
shocking case of our historian Illovaisky, who was arrested in Austria while doing research on antiquities
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in Russian Galicia. The Petersburg teachers were inclined to side with the political inquisitors and to
"accuse" this armchair scholar of Russian propaganda (The Diary of a Writer).(55) Not for nothing does
the devil who visits Ivan Karamazov justify his activity on earth by the consideration that if he desist from
it, virtue would triumph everywhere, and people would stop subscribing to newspapers and journals,
(because they are so firmly are they connected with sin and vice), and thus progress andenlightenment
would stop (The Brothers Karamazov).(56) Even with the devil's help, in our author's considered opinion,
enlightenment was not moving forward at that time (while after his death, it seems to have sunk even
lower, particularly in the 20th century). In place of the former broadly educated Russian intellectual,
writes Dostoevsky, uneducated technicians, engineers and other specialists raise their noses (The
Adolescent) and oddly enough, we have very few original thinkers. (57)

The mendacious press, the mercenary spirit of science, imitation of foreign braggarts create. in Russia the
type of fibbers who are presently distinguishing themselves using the new means of communication and
thus coming in contact with people who can not check their statements, i.e. neighbours on trains and
ships. A new type of "Russian intellectual who lies endlessly and is not ashamed" has appeared: this is the
type of a totally brazen liar.(58) Such types love to lie and and to introduce themselves in railroad coaches
and on ships. But it is also easy to come across another completely harmless phenomenon: Russian people
who will unexpectedly tell their whole life story to you, though you are a total stranger. (59) This is a purely
Russian phenomenon.

In general, post-Reform Russia does not make him too happy because it is the non- Russian spirit of St.
Petersburg,which leaves its imprint on everything. Because of that spirit, the liberation of 1861, longed
for by all the Russian people, failed to correct the previous absurd side of life (The Diary of a Writer).

Yes, the Petersburg spirit is not Russian. The character of Petersburg life is gloomy and fatalistic, and the
best view, i.e. the view of Petersburg from the River Neva, he writes, is imbued with the spirit of coldness,
as if deaf and mute. (60) Sleep dulls the frankness and sincerity which is peculiar to the Russian soul. If this
were the spirit of the wealthy landowner tyrants, then it estranged the of the society of the capital
following the reforms even more from the people and deprived it of naturalness. "I despise," wrote
Dostoevsky, the high society device of pretending that one does not hear unpleasant words, unabashedly
changing the topic.(61) The totally modern young tirl Aglaiia, reproaches Prince Myshkin for displaying
what is the highest evangelical virtue: "why don't you have any pride?" she asks. (62)

Despite my desire to remain silent about one more reproach which the author addressed to current
Russian life, I do not feel entitled to do so. I am convinced, however, that he would have spoken of this
milieu more favourably had he known it better, I mean the parish clergy. The liberated people, left to
their own devices, are above all else in need of spiritual guidance. People left without the word of God are
slated for perdition, exclaims our writer through the Elder:there must be teaching and setting of good
examples.(63) However only the genuine ascetic priests concern themselves with this, whereas the rest
remain indifferent to the people (The Diary of a Writer). There is only the constant whining about
salaries, but .an unwillingness to teach the people. With all that, the author is completely in sympathy
with the idea of providing for the clergy. He desires, however, that the spiritual fathers follow their calling
with more zeal. The author does not indicate the causes of such indifference; they have to be looked for in
the unnatural and non-pastoral spirit of the seminary and academic education which gave the author
the right to describe the seminanians, along with the gentry, as estranged from the people.

Finally, among the sad phenomena of the post-Reform life the author points to some depravity among the
modern women. To be sure, Dostoevsky admires the Russian woman in general, as we have seen earlier,

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and advocates granting to her the right to higher education. Here he apparently has in-mind 7 above
all2the high-society ladies of the capital. Society ladies are utterly depraved and are capable of anything
in this respect (The Adolescent).(64) A cold libertine will not ruin herself before marriage but the husband
is, for her, merely the first lover. In general, she is inclined to blind, mad jealousy. (65) This is, to a certain
degree, inherent in the female nature, and sometimes in children. as well. (66) As can be seen, our writer
does not close his eyes to the dreary state of Russian life and even to contemporary Russian character.
Therefore, reading farther on his statements and thoughts on the imminent possibility of the moral
regeneration of the Russian soul, do not think that he is a dreamer who sees everything in a rosy light.
This man who did experience life's misfortunes, who has studied human malice and criminality, and who
still has not now lost faith in humanity, now opens bright perspectives, .before our eyes.

2. Auspicious Conditions, Ingrained in the Human Soul

From the preceding the reader knows already that Dostoevsky's appeal to society pointed out the way of
moral rebirth by means of repudiating the pagan view of life, through a realization of any guilt we may
have before God and one's fellow men, and a struggle with the spirit of pride and self-justification. This
leads toward a belief in Christ's words and the life to come, and then to a sympathy with and respect for
the people who have been guided by this faith for almost a thousand years, the people who acquired their
view of life from the Gospel.

As the reader knows, Dostoevsky teaches that only that educated or privileged Russian who looks for a
cordial and everyday rapprochement with the people and who wishes to serve the people by means of his
advantageous education and social position, is able to preserve a steadfast faith and to become firmly
rooted in it. This is not that easy for the intellectual, maimed by an alien way of life and un-Chnistian
German prejudices which are alien to the people. But there are left in the hearts and minds of the
intelligentsia quite a few auspicious preconditions, notwithstanding many obstacles, for spiritual rebirth
and the merging with those of our people who are believers and love all. Those auspicious conditions,
representing characteristic features which distinguish a Russian from other Europeans, bringing him
close to the Russian folk type, have already been indicated, according to Dostoevsky. But there are still
others, which have to be seen as universal in mankind, calling all humans to what is lofty and beautiful in
general, and to what is natural and holy in particular.

It has to be admitted that Dostoevsky, despite the opinion of his adversaries, was a consistent optimist,
firmly established in his worldview, in its philosophical as well as in its patriotic aspect. According to
some of his pronouncements, he may, as has been said, appear a naive optimist who thinks too well and
who imagines too easily the possibility of passing from evil to good, who considers the merging of society
with the people and the passage of Russia to a life according to national and moral principles to be too
close at hand. But we hope to show that Dostoevsky does not consider this to be so simple; it is only the
initial resolution that is simple. However, in order not to frighten the reader away by his ideas and hopes,
Dostoevsky ascribes them now to the "Ridiculous Man, " now to "The Idiot," then again to the inveterate
drunkard Marmeladov, or the halfwit maniac Kirillov (67) and similar characters, to whom the reader may
show more tolerance and indulgence than if the author would say all this in his own name or in the name
of his positive heroes. The reader will consider these freaks without any bias and will deign to get
acquainted with their thoughts as with gibberish. Having once familiarized himself with it, he will realize
that if is not the "Ridiculous Man" who is a fool, and not "The Idiot," but those who consider them as such.
Then, having gained authority in the eyes of the reading public, our writer began to outline before them,
also with cautious gradualness) the positive type of the Russian intellectual, normal in all physical

102
aspects but in secondary or even third-rate roles in his novels. They are little different from "The Idiot" or
the "Ridiculous Man," for they, too, have suppressed their self love (this constitutes half and perhaps even
nine-tenths of the passage to moral regeneration) and live not for themselves but for others. >From the
contemporary view, the view of the Guardsmen, they are also ridiculous, but the sequence of events in the
midst of which they appear as the good spirits of their fellow men demonstrates that it is not they who
are ridiculous but those who laughed at them. Such is Vania, who himself brought over his fiancee who
fell out of love for the sake of her worthless lover; such is Razumikhin who constantly fussed over
Raskolnikov, such is Shatov who was delighted to accept his unfaithful wife and the illegitimate child she
was about to give birth to. Such also is old man Makar, the father of "The Adolescent" who cedes his wife
to her lover.(68) But long before all this, the author had written: "The greatest feat for a man is to limit
himself to the position of a secondary person in life." (69) Subsequently, he expressed this even more
definitely, speaking about secondary characters. Humble natures sometimes carry within themselves
more moral treasures than the rest (The Adolescent). Such is his Makar Devushkin(70) and "The Meek
One," and the unfortunate bridegroom in A Weak Heart, and Netochka Nezvanova and her patroness in
the novel's epilogue, and the heroine of The Little Hero, and many other similar characters, particularly
in the first volumes of his works. Only a few years before his death when all of society was under the spell
of his genius, Dostoevsky ventured to depict the same character as the central one in hIs last novel, and
now without any comic attributes. I have in mind Aliosha Karamazov and the Elder Zosima whose
stature the former has yet to reach

. Thus, Dostoevsky as the only one among Russian, and perhaps even world, writers, was not only able to
bring his hero to repentance, which all our novelists were successfully engaged in, but to portray the
positive type of a Russian and a public man active for the people, first veiled by a cloud of illness, and
then in all the fascination of his spiritual beauty. This alone shows that Dostoevsky was not building
castles in the air; that he did not idealize people, that he knew their weaknesses and depravity. He
understood very well the greatness of the struggle he was calling them to, and what the path is they have
to take to reach that lofty goal. Dostoevsky considered only the initial resolve to turn to the good and
toward the people to be easy, although even that is not easy for everybody. I am asking the reader to see
the greater part of the aphorisms of our writeer, which I am going to quote now, in this light. This call to
love and truth Dostoevsky based on the fact that love and truth are by themselves dear to every human
being. Why am I wicked,he asks, when it is so good to be always kind?

There is more good in everybody than it seems at first glance . People seem more forbidding than they are
in reality. They are often embarrased by their own kind feelings. Dostoevsky makes the following
observation based on this idea: a portrait is not the same as a photograph. A photograph which may
catch a casual or momentary expression because a person rarely appears in a photography as he looks
only in his better moments (The Adolesecent )(71)while an artist is able to divine and to portray you as you
are, your essence, rather than at only a given moment in your life.

Our author acknowledges the predominant presence of the good and the reasonable in the soul and the
mind of men, and to a far greater degree than it appears to the people around then. Writers prefer to
depict rare characters, writes he, but try to find the rare (i.e., the valuable) in a trite man.(72)

It can be seen from this, how unfair the banal critics are, who have come to the absurd conclusion that
Dostoevsky's heroes are psychopaths to a man, are hysterical, epileptic, etc. This is one of the absurdities
that has become a clich. True, in the works of our writer one frequently comes across tragic pictures but
whose life is devoid them? Who has not mourned the death of ones relatives? Faithlessness on the part of
a wife or a husband? Ruin and infamy? Who has not lost one's temper both at home and in public? Who
has not agonized over one's misdeeds, etc?. The difference between the heros of Dostoevsky and those of
the"drawing room writers" lies not simply in their respective choice of the heros, but in the fact that
Dostoevsky describes their deeper experiences, whereas others dwell on their life in society or the sins of

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youth. Here one should recall Chichikov's anecdote: try to love us when we are "black," for everybody
loves us when we are "white." Finally, almost no writer has avoided tragic events in the lives of his heroes,
but few of them described their deeper emotional experiences in such detail and with such skill as
Dostoevsky. The majority of our writers only describe events.

The author expressed the opinion that people themselves do not realize how deeply ingrained is their
yearning for truth and love. When all will finally grasp that their estrangement from each other is of no
use, then the sign of the Son of Man will appear. Paradise is all around us and inside us; one has only to
realize this. Therefore, according to Dostoevsky, "Whoever is happy inwardly has fulfilled God's intention
about man" (The Brothers Karamazov). Only embitterment, resulting in the current inability to love, is a
sign of the destruction of the soul. Eternal self-imposed suffering, therefore, will be the choice of only
those who hated God and the life given by Him, not simply a punishment for sins. (73) Close to such a frame
of mind was the renegade seminarian, Kirillov, who said that God had tormented him all his life (The
Possessed).(74) But even to him, the suicide, Dostoevsky does not refuse the possibility of kind feelings and
beautiful thoughts, shared by the writer himself who felt that when people are not good, it is because they
do not know that they are good.(75)

Stepan Trofimovich, having returned to faith, says, as he is dying, that life is endless joy. (76) The discourses
of the Elder Zosima before his death and of the old man Makar Dolgorukov (The Adolescent) are imbued
with the same spirit. The reader of Dostoevsky's novels knows that one of his chief ideas, to which he
constantly returned, consists in the belief that there is a lot of good in everybody, even in a villain, and
that the good is more intimately linked with and more deeper rooted in the soul than evil. Such are even
the sad "'heroes" of The House of the Dead who so sincerely and bitterly repent before the Communion of
the Holy Gifts. People, even villains, declares the writer, are much more naive than it initially appears,
including ourselves (i.e. writers and progressive people in general).(77)

In this way Dostoevsky facilitates the return of the renegades of faith and to patriotism, to native
principles. He suggests persuasively to every Russain person: you are better than it seems to you, and God
and Russia are closer to you than you thought. Your proud scorn of faith and nationality borders on
despair, but do not give way to despair. You are better than you yourself thought. Our writer looks at this
idea from different angles in many a work of his. It is possible to trace in his works the reasons which
account for people not understanding themselves, as well as for their inability to get along with their
fellow human being, constantly embittered in consequence. The first reason is the habit of pretense, the
second is shyness. People like to pretend even when this is detrimental to their own advantage. (78) In this
way old man Karamazov, Versilov, Stavrogin, Svidrigailov, the youth Ippolit, Polzunkov, Lebedev in The
Idiot, general Ivolgin, and many others completely distort their depraved characters. (79) Their reasoning
goes like this: "I am a depraved person, worthy of being despised then let them despise me to the end. I do
not desire men's praise nor the blessing of God. If I am not a righteous man, then let my soul perish with
the demons." Nastasia Filippovna is also like this, and Grushen'ka, (80) both admitting that for several
years they lived bearing heavy grudges against people because of the wrongs (real or imagined) done to
them. This mood is particularly peculiar to people embittered by some grave misfortune which ruined
their life. Such are the majority of the above-mentioned types. There are people, writes the author about
Nastasia Filippovna, who find a malicious rapture in receiving insults. (81) People, especially women, like to
believe themselves insulted, and--even-to actually be so insulted. Such natures find fault with their
neighbours and undeservedly hurt their best friends when grieved. (82) Such is the father in The Insulted
and Humiliated, Nellie, Katerina Ivanovna in Crime and Punishment and many others. If those closest to
them are aware of the nature of such outbreaks, domestic peace is not ruptured. In general, according to
Dostoevsky, human quarrels are due more to misunderstandings than to ill will. People abuse each other,
according to him, mostly because they cannot explain their thoughts to each other in a sensible way. This
is also the reason why children constantly fight with each other (The Diary of a Writer).

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3. Dostoevsky and Byronism.

Glory and praise to that member of a family or society who understands all this and knows how to
prevent such unreasonable irritation of oneself or his close ones. But woe to people who, though they are
kind, do not fight their irritation and who, from false shame suppress or conceal their being kindly
disposed toward their fellow human beings. It is the lot of a genius to reveal to people that which was
close to their mind and heart but which they themselves were

not aware of. Shyness and false shame are phenomena that have been known to all for a long time.
Exhortations concerning false shame are found in ancient times, as for example in the Old Testament
book of Jesus, son of Sirach (Joshua). Dostoevsky, however, imputes such fatal significance to the errors of
the human heart. In The Insulted and Humiliated our writer explains that even the most loving parents of
blameless life who feel too shy to show their love for their children may in this way completely derange
family life, so that it will become subject to fatal calamities.. The kindest and purest girl, missing kindness
on her father's part, gave herself and surrendered her honour to a most fatuous boy, capable of treating
her tenderly, and left her highly deserving family. The reserved treatment of the husband in The Meek
One, his unwillingness to show his deeply felt love to his wife, drove this pious and honest woman to
suicide. In general, Dostoevsky returned repeatedly to the thought that morbid shyness peculiar to some
people, prevents them from revealing their feelings (83) There are both male and female characters, full of
love, who cannot manifest it because of shyness (The Diary of a writer). Even in regard to women, the
author suggests the same. Some very tender natures cannot ever reveal their feelings and appear callous
and indifferent. This affects their families in a disastrous way. The bitterness of family quarrels, he
suggests, is augmented by the fact that the woman often does not admit the injustice of her actions. She
may, however, be deeply repentant afterwards (when it is already too, late, (The Insulted and
Humiliated)(84).

Such is contemporary man, more precisely the contemporary intellectual, and not only the Russian one,
but in general anyone who has adopted pagan European culture, inherited from ancient Rome and the
German barbarians. This was to some degree softened during knightly times; but the same knights made
it more lasting, investing it with numerous prejudices of paganism in the guise of Christian beliefs and
interpreting the very dogma of redemption in the form of duels. What, then, induces the self-loving, vain
European who is above all preoccupied with pleasing people and basking in praise for merits which he
lacks to conceal his real merits and to be ashamed of them even in front of his parents? Amidst young
bachelors this perversion of notions goes even further: among cadets, students, and ensigns it is
customary to brag about what they should be ashamed of, and to be ashamed of what is praiseworthy.
They boast of their depravity, drinking, cockiness, disobedience to parents and are ashamed of chastity,
soberness, tractability, obedience, kindness. Schoolboys, says Dostoevsky, are angels separately, whereas
together they become little devils: they are cruel, they will torture a comrade who complains ( The Diary
of a writer). Therefore, child republics with mob law should not be tolerated (The Diary of a writer) But
it is not only the slow-witted teenagers who may become confused; grown-ups also like to slander
themselves, as did for example the writer Heine. Let us add by the way that a similar trait was
demonstrated by one of the heroes of The Idiot, when the company, assembled at Nastasia Filippovna's
flat agreed to own up to the most immoral deed of their lives. (85) In this manner this character hoped to
draw the others into being frank; but does not succeed.

It appears that Dostoevsky himself had once attempted to carry out such an experiment with the
Strakhov who we had mentioned earlier.

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Let us return to the question: why are people sometimes ashamed of their good feelings, and under what
circumstances is this so? Why do they brag about their negative actions? Because European culture
advocates (not in so many words but by the very tenor of life) the worship of force, might, wilfulness,
pride and such negative qualities. We have already noted Dostoevsky's words to the effect that there was
no culture more inimical to Christianity than the Roman, but it is also the culture upon with all
subsequent European culture is founded upon. Dostoevsky considered it to me, in some sense, demonic.
Do not be bewildered by Dostoevsky's conclusion. You, my readers, will know that the worship of Satan
takes place now [at the beginning of the 20 th century] in all the capitals of Europe. (86) Moreover, in the
most progressive circles of society one often finds the greater superstition in these Satanic movements. If
somebody had predicted this seventy years ago, people would have been horrified and would not have
believed him. But actually, even from the end of the 18th century, worship started to pass from the
Saviour to the adversary in a somewhat occult and covert forms.

From that time on, the devil becomes one of the favourite heroes of first-rate poets such as Goethe,
Schiller and others ;first as the personification of temptation and protest against God, but increasingly as
a noble being who refused to submit to Providence. Such a character became the favourite in Byron's
poetry; if not in the guise of a demon, then at least a similar character: gloomy, rebellious, proud, cold
and mocking. As such he passed into the poetry of Lermontov and even of Pushkin in the early period of
his life. What is remarkable here is the fact that this epoch in literature and poetry deprived the devil of
even that single virtue that he did have (though it was a merely formal virtue) which was accorded to
him by theology, i.e. chastity. In European poetry he appears now as a prisoner, now as even being in
love.. This is not the problem, however. The problem is the fact that this fatal being, or this fatal state of
the soul that he represents, which is so repugnant to all follower of Christ's teachings, becomes something
of an ideal or even a standard for the European intellectual. Even, if the contemporary intellectual does
not acquiesce to this disposition, in his inner life and repulses it in his family life, he is prepared to comply
with it lavishly in public life, or at any rate to observe it with far more exactitude than he observes the
commandments of the Scripture. Who would deny that the abominable custom of duelling is based fully
on such worship of power, pride and malice? And how cruelly has this brutal habit subordinated the
public life of conservatives, and even some liberal circles?

This worship of protest, rage and negation has increased, particularly since the time when the greater
part of the elite crossed into the camp of professional enemies of the people and of Christ, and secondly,
when revolutions became imminent everywhere. Humility, obedience, open-hearted forgiveness began to
appear as something weak and foolish, though sweet, while evil and pride were seen as something
mighty, majestic and wise. The German philosopher Nietzsche declared himself and the world's intellect
an enemy of evangelical love and mercy and glorified brutality in the struggle for survival, without any
concealment or mitigation. Actually, he uttered with more frankness what followed logically from
theories of Socialism. But until that time, people still hesitated to speak out so frankly, glossing over the
immoral spirit of their systems by hypocritical declarations to the effect that it was only the dogmas of
religion that they doubted, while accepting with reverence the moral teachings of the Scripture.
Nietzsche had real integrity and discarded the mask and was read with rapture for twenty five years,
particularly in Russia, where people are less adept at hypocrisy than abroad. He and his popularizers
have contributed in no small measure to the bloody executions and ugly blasphemies of the last two
years. And so too did the earlier Byronism.

One of Dostoevsky's enormous (but still little appreciated) services was the dethroning of Byronism and
of the devil. Contrary to the majestic though gloomy image of the devil presented by the German classical
writers and especially by the Byronists, our writer depicts him as a paltry hanger-on. (87) He appears as
such to Ivan Karamazov; as such he is experienced by Raskol'nikov, and perhaps even by Versilov. (88) He
was precisely a petty demon (it is remarkable that this is exactly how he appears in our Russian folk
poetry).(89) He appears in the guise of a gentleman who wants to look elegant but looks like a shabby

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failure, an expatriate. This last trait does not immediately strike one at the sight of his fashionable dress
but becomes apparent to an attentive glance. Stavrogin, carrying out the will of the devil, also appeared
magnificent to his Fool-in-Christ wife (he was handsome but had a lifeless expression), but then his true
nature as a fake, a double showed through; and she, having divined the paltriness of his soul, shouted
after him: "anathema to the imposter, Grishka Otrep'ev." (90)

The reader should not think that I am leading him into the realm of the mystical or, as he would perhaps
put it, of mythology: Dostoevsky was less concerned with communicating his teachings on the real devil;
rather, he presented in this guise the mood with which a person becomes imbued after a diabolical
intention has become firmly rooted in him: a man proudly denying obedience to God, worshipping
negation and wilfulness which he raises to a kind of apotheosis, sometimes actually sympathizing with
the devil. But, if he rejects the very existence of the latter as well as the existence of God, he still pictures
the denier as a superman in his imagination -- proud, strong, and beautiful. For a time, like Stavrogin, he
appears as such to foolish girls, but then only for a time, and then, like Stavrogin, he is exposed. Actually,
he soon begins to rot, succumbing to petty insignificant passions: to debauchery as F. P. Karamazov,
drinking as Stefan Trofimovich [Verkhovensky] or to small servile vanity as Karmazinov. (91) At times such
demonic types are not able to conceal their pettiness, turning out to be kept men and sycophants as
Rakitin,(92) and even petty thieves like Grushen'ka's proud fiance. In order to preserve an independent,
authoritative look while serving their passions, they have to conceal a lot and therefore they cheat, lie,
and. even swindle. This is how another demonic type, Prince Valkovsky, acts in The Insulted and
Humiliated. He grandly mocked people, deriding virtue in a condescending way, and did not fear
anybody. But when, after a vile action, he received a slap in the face from the meek Vania and is spit upon,
he swallows all this and retreats. (93)

Evil cannot be endowed with greatness and beauty for beauty, according to Dostoevsky, is the norm, the
state of health; and this is why all aspire to it (The Diary of a writer).(94). If women temporarily get
carried away by the supposed beauty of vice, it is because yielding to fantasy they see in such cases not
the real person before them but a very different, imaginary one. A woman, writes the author, adores her
dream, even in a worthless man; Grushen'ka, Aglaiia, Natasha all act in this way. (95)

Several original observations of Dostoevsky's can be adduced to support the notion that outward beauty
is inseparable from moral beauty. He writes: a woman who has preserved a lucid spirit, retains an
imprint of beauty on her face until old age. (96) True, some people possess an animalistic beauty as an
expression of a passionate temperament. It, too, attracts the passions of others but this is neither genuine
love nor genuine beauty, Judging by Dostoevsky's heroes, in these cases a passionate attachment is
intermingled with hate and may become the cause of crime. Such is Rogozhin's love for Nastasia
Filippovna, and Versilov's love. Many other examples of such double allegiance are presented by our
writer in his heroes' relationships which lead to a fatal outcome.

Thus our writer shatters that sham fortress which kept people with European education from acquiring
the spirit of Christ and the spirit of the people. He reduced the "melancholy demon, the exiled spirit" (97) to
the level of a petty demon and warned all theomachists that proudly withdrawing from Christ and the
people , they will not turn into Lord Byrons or into Napoleons, but into Fedor Karamazovs, or even
murderer Stavrogin, who seems a hero at first glance, a god of protest, but in reality turns out to be just a
debauched rowdy brawler. People should not be ashamed of their better feelings, of the cordial tender
display of them. Let them arrange their family life and every sphere of their influence by means of love
and to the question in their mind, is it better to prevail by force or by love? let them answer in the words
of the Elder Zosima: "I will prevail by humble love." (98)

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4. In What Does the Author See the Real Strength of the Human Soul.

Madmen dream of fighting God and attempt to see beauty and grandeur in resistance to Him What they
do not realize in time is that not only do they have to struggle against Godand man, but against
themselves also. God's voice is implanted in the human soul quite apart from the fact does the latter want
to obey it or not. A man can every minute disobey it: this is even easier than to obey constantly. But
constant disobedience to this voice or brazen disregard, breaking the most important commandment!
turns man not only into an enemy of God's but an enemy of himself, and this enemy of his is invincible. No
matter how strongly a man attempts to drown it in wine, to burn it in the flame of debauchery, to
strangle it by cruelly wicked deeds, he is not able to kill it, and although he may persist and not submit to
it, he only subjects himself to new sufferings from unremitting pangs and pricks of remorse. It sometimes
seems to him that he has found the means to kill or at least to put to sleep his conscience: he procures
hooks, he finds people who assure him that conscience is only the voice of blind habit, that his unbelief
and cruelty are justified by science He may remain with these thoughts for some tine, cautiously evading
all that has been produced by science to repudiate other science. A young man of this type rudely cuts
short the advice to read this or that boos containing teachings in accord with the voice of human
conscience. He can do all this until life itself does arouse in his soul a whole galaxy of new attitudes, kind,
compassionate and tender, or at lease until he, does not brutally outrage his conscience by means of some
criminal offence or no less grave a sin against the Spirit Then the voice of conscience raises in his soul
such a storm that he cannot remain any longer in his present moral state and has to either return with
heartfelt repentance to obeying his concseience and, consequently, to faith, or he has to destroy himself.

One of the central ideas in Dostoevsky's novels -- one may say their central drama -- is this struggle of
conscience with an ill-disposed will of a man, or with wrong views, acquired from books on faith, or
purposely formed in order to justify his negative will. This conflict is sometimes resolved by a sudden
change of will under a beneficial influence. Then the sophisms on which it rests are shattered to pieces:
this is what happened to The Adolescent, and perhaps to Ippolit. Sometimes, though passions having
taken firm root, do not yield to the impact of sacred feelings which are crying out to be admitted into
man's soul.He may then succumb to his passions once more and perishes. This is what happened to
Stavrogin and Svidrigailov, and the affairs of The Eternal Husband(99) were moving in the same direction.
It also happens that man's theoretical delusions are more persistent even without the presence of such a
falsehood, taking firm root in his distorted mind; it was thus with the suicide Kirillov. If one succeeds in
freeing oneself from them, it is only after the bitter experiences of life and prolonged severe suffering.
Thus it was with the murderer Raskol'nikov. In every case, the voice of conscience triumphs over the self
idolization of man, even when it seems to him that he has condemned himself to suicide according to his
self will, for in reality he was simply suffocating from longing for the truth, but did not want to bow to it.
He was aware of the dullness and insignificance of his nihilistic passions but did not want to admit it
before the others. Thus Kirillov, deeply despising any revolution and the nihilists and being moved by
Shatov's moral regeneration, lied in his death note, calling himself a Socialist.

We have already stated that Dostoevsky was not only a diagnostician but also a therapeutist. lie studied
with affection the beneficial influences, by means of which under the present conditions of our Russian
life, the renegades are brought to their senses and are reborn.

Above all, the author suggests to people that conscience is stronger than their thought stronger than
their will. He particularly liked to describe cases when man's consciousness does not retain a clear
memory of a bad deed but some accidental impression and sometimes a dream arouse in him the

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tormenting feeling which persistently tortures him, sometimes for several days, until he remembers what,
i.e. which action of his life, temporarily completely forgotten, has caused it. Thus, the seducer of the wife
of the Eternal Husband(100) is tormented by some fleeting impression, puzzles over the reasons of his
depression, recalling finally that he has met somebody, whom he has badly treated but can't remember
whom, where, and when, until he meets face to face with the Eternal Husband. The Elder Zosima, while
still a flippant officer, awakening during the night before his duel in a state of anguish did not
understand his mood, but realized clearly that it did not at all depend on the anticipated duel. He finally
recalls that he has hit his orderly in the face without any fault on the man's part. He asks his orderly's
forgiveness, and having forced himself to such a Christian feat no matter how insignificant, realizes the
senseless and even criminal nature of duels and, disregarding all military and society prejudices, submits
resignation. He then takes upon himself the struggle of poverty and vagrancy, later to join the rank of the
monks.

Dostoevsky's two above mentioned types were not malicious people, even during their most frivolous
period: they did not approve of their transgressions, and although they forgot about them lightmindedly,
they did not fight their conscience. Matters are different with people whose affinity to evil or theomachia
is stronger. These people have assimilated the evil principle in themselves, and although at times they
protest against it, they seek to vindicate it to others, justifying its essence. A smouldering struggle of
which they are not always aware, takes place in them. The individual will of such people vacillates, now
taking the side of conscience, then turning against it, and this constant split, becoming more and more
acute, creates around them the fantastic aura of the double or devil (who is perhaps really involved in
their dad lives). This double or devil is experienced only by the moral split personalities who, subject to a
tormenting struggle, strive for the better but fall into doubt or are seized by passions, and fall again.

On the contrary, such characters as Stavrogin or Aliosha Valkhovsky (101) who change easily from one
mood to another apparently without pangs of conscience, do not see devils and doubles but, to make up
for it they themselves appear to other people to be doubles, surprising them by unexpected actions, at
times highly cruel. ones, which seem to be quite natural for them. Such characters as Tersilov,
Raskol'nikov, Ivan Karamazov are quite a different matter Though they approve evil at times and become
absorbed in it, they cannot remain in this state constantly even though they themselves have consciously
nurtured it and inculcated it upon their habits and moods. On occasions, it r ises before their consciences
in all its bare abonminalness, appearing to them as something inimical to their hearts and, in cases of
extreme weariness and agitation, it seems to them to he a separate being, intruding upon their person
and demanding obedience. Thus, it seemed to Raskol 'nikov that there is a devil next to him. (102)

Before Ivan Karamazov recognized the devil, there "stood before his conscious-less a being, or an object
which he could not recall:" it happens with everybody, explains the author; you cannot remember and
you agonize over it.(103) Then, glancing back, Ivan saw the devil in the same shape as described above. He
tries to assure himself that the devil is simply the personification of everything base, and evil that had
settled into his soul, a product of his sick imagination. In the same way, Versilov feels a double to be next
to him, as if carrying him within himself. (104) The double of Mr. Goliadkin has a slightly different meaning;
he appeared in the period of his gradually going mad. (105) Goliadkin was a harmless man; he was,
however, constantly indulging in vainglorious dreaming, aspiring to play the role of a particularly noble
and respected person and a useful public servant.He-was simultaneously in doubt about his merits,
suspecting his insignificance, perhaps even exaggerating it, since he was actually not a bad sort. His
madness was caused by something different. It was not as result of an inner schism or split, but a result of
heredity. But the struggle he went through in the developnment of his mental illness took the shape of a
double pursuing him.(106) He mistook it for his own reflection in the mirror or the coach window pane and
also in the author of the joking letter sent to him by his mischievous fellow workers. We have already said
that this novel is an amendment to Gogol's The Nose and Diary of a Madman, but Gogol saw in his pitiful
heroes only their negative traits. Dostoevsky completed the picture of this inner struggle and the pangs of

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conscience which such characters experience. This, then, is the significance of doubles and devils
appearing to people in Dostoevsky's novels and stories. (107) It is the very deviation of a man from the true
path which brings him to his senses, that is, his conscience revealaing to him the wrong way of his life in
its true, ugly shape, as if telling him this is what you have made yourself into, but you are not like this, you
do not have to acquiesce in your fatal and ruinous way of life. Thus these mysterious visions and these
dim and painful dreamlike states appear as warnings and threats to a man who has lost his way.
Dostoevsky knows another means, too, by which human conscience calls a being to regenerate and to
repent in a positive way; and this is nightmares and illness. Dreams that reveal a person to himself
frequently determine a turning point in the life of Dostoevsky's heroes. Such is the Dream of a Ridiculous
Man, revealing to him a whole new world view and forcing him to change his life's direction from evil to
good. Versilov's dream was supposed to have a similar impact but this affected man did not want to
submit to the truth which was thus revealed to him by his own sub-conscious mind through his dream,
even though, for a long time, he he remained under the influence of his dream, which was not unlike the
dream of the Ridiculous Man in its content. (108) For Dmitri Karamazov, however, the fateful dream had a
reconciling meaning. It revealed to him man's calling in the face of the deep sufferings and privations
("Why does the babe cry?" (109)). Raskol'nikov's dream in Siberia had a similar convicting significance,
leading him to repentance. (110) Here it was revealed to him what horrible consequences the principle of
wilfulness and crime which he had embraced would result in for Russia and the entire world. He saw in
his dream the prophetic picture of a war of all against all which faced Europe in 1914 and Russia in
1918. On the contrary, Aliosha Karamozov, when confused by the "putrid smell" of the deceased Elder's
body and the ordeal in his own family, he dreamed of the "Marriage in Cana of Galilee" and saw the Elder
among the blessed participants. Thus reconciled and imbued with an unshakable faith in the power and
triumph of good and of Christ's truth, he will awaken from sleep in order to spread love, repentance, and
reconciliation everywhere. Svidrigailov, however, was not enlightened by his prophetic dream and shot
himself in desperation. As in a dream, man may be enlightened by illness, and particularly by an illness
with delirium. This, The Adolescent rises as a different person after is prolonged illness. His real father,
Versilov, was also supposed to change after his illness at the end of the novel. Similarly, Nellie's
embittered hear in The Insulted and Humiliated was softened after her illness. Stepan Trofimovich's
spiritual eyes were opened on his deathbed, while righteous people as the Elder Zosima and Makar
Dolgoruky are enlightened in this state by a purely blessed light of love and reason. There are many other
examples in Dostoevsky which could be adduced to clarify this idea of his, but the ones mentioned should
suffice.

Let us now ask why a certain weakening of consciousness -- such as in a heavy illness -- is helpful for the
enlightenment of the human soul. Some sketics will retort that reason is inimical to faith and spiritual
energization. The point here, however, is that it is not reason but an evil will which fights against the
conscience and closes the mind's eyes to it, all the while defending itself with logical sophistries. In the
lower consciousness states described by the author, it is precisely this will that weakens, leaving an
unimpeded conscience to reveal to man his own self and the truth that he, like Nekrasov's "Uncle Vlas,"
rejected.(111) Apostle Peter indicates this very condition when he writes, "He who has endured bodily
suffering has moved away from sin, with the result that he does not live the rest of his eartly life for evil
desires, but for the will of God" (1Pt.4:1-2). Life confirms that the most malisious enemy of truth, the
enemy of reason, is an evil will, and the conscience reveals man to himself only when his will weakens
under the influence of suffering. On the later condition the writer once said that suffering is the cause of
consciousness.(112) The will of a person in good health is able to fight consciousness, that is, the voice of the
conscience and that which his soul and un-prejudiced reason suggest to him; but when a man has a
dream or a nightmare, or is depressed by suffering and the thought of imminent death while ill, then soul
and conscience come into their own. Now, they reveal to him in "visions" what they had whispered to him
when awake, but which he had persistently deflected his attention from. Thus, the convicts, murderers
and robbers do not like to speak about their crimes in The House of the Dead. If they did have to speak of
them, each one was at pains to conceal any remorse from his interlocutor. In the case of dreaming and

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delirium, however, the pangs of conscience were manifested and the memory of all the gruesome details
of their crimes were laid bare. Dreams and delirium complete the revelation to us of that which we did
not wan to (or could not) consider attentively while awake. thus, if we have the opportuity to weep and
grieve over a deceased, we will seldom see him in a dream. If, however, the matter of the burial, the
settleing of affiars, the provision for orphaned children, etc. have not provided time for sincere weeping
and grieving over our sorrow, then we will often see the beloved deceased in a dream even on the first
night after the burial. This is a psychological phenomenon created by the feeling in our conscience that
we have left unfulfilled some duty to the departed one whom we loved. The prophetic dreams in
Dostoevsky's works have the same purpose for his heroes who did not heed the voice of conscience and
truth while awake.

Without keeping the reader's attention on this same matter any longer, let us add a few words which
illucidate why we speak here of "conscience and soul," that is, why we add the word "soul." In one of
Gogol's fantastic stories(113) the soul of a sleeping girl becomes separated from her, has a conversation
with a supernatural being, and tells him, among other things, "Katerina does not know even one tenth
part of what her soul knows." In recent years,[i.e. the last half of the 19 th century], experimental
psychology has distinguish the centre of consciousness from the field of consciousness or from the sphere
of semi-consciousness. Our consciousness does not note and incorporate all the richness of impressions
and feelings contiguous to it, particularly if this is not desirable, but also as a consequence of
absentmindedness or tiredness. Such lack of attention likely concerns mostly what is unpleasant to us,
above all, pangs of conscience. Sometimes these half conscious impressions do not have such a close link
with the conscience; still, they bother a person until one is able to render an account of them to oneself,
moving them into the centre of consciousness. Let us adduce one example from among many in
Dostoevsky's work. Prince Myshkin, while preparing for his nearly forced wedding with Nastasya
Filippovna, remembered two eyes fixed on him from the crowd. Only later did he guess that these were
the eyes of his rival, Rogozhin.(114)

5. Compassion and Children.

Such is the most purifying and potent means for the regeneration of an erring soul, embittered, turning
away from its fellow men and from its people and its Creator We have just spoken of the prophetic heart,
of man's soul which knows tenfold more than "the person itself." It is in this soul which according to its
very nature and also owing to the recollections of childhood preserved, in soul even disfigured by
passions, lies and theomachia [fighting against God] that there still remains a deep penchant for holy
salutary compassion. If only man would not rudely repulse this sacred emotion but would follow its
indications. Sometimes, though, even if it were rejected, it overwhelms one's soul even against one's will,
even in a dream, and commands imperiously to follow it. Thus The Ridiculous Man repulsed the begging
little orphan, and went on to consider his wicked suicide plan; he then had the prophetic dream and on
awakening, was reconciled and ready for a new life. Now he did not even think about suicide anymore
but exclaimed: I'll find the little orphan and take care of her.

Dostoevsky is an optimist and simultaneously a realist, too: he does not want to lull us to sleep with sweet
persuasions that all people are good, even against their own will, that there are no sinners on the verge of
perdition, that the sacred feeling of compassion may be repulsed because of anger or a corrupt heart. The
hero of the underground acted in this way' Svidrigailov acted in this way in his prophetic dream, shooting
himself on awakening, Versilov and Stavrogin and Fedor Pavlovich Karamazov acted in the same way in
regard to the holy feelings bursting into their souls. The author is not preaching "rosy Christianity" as K.

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Leontiev accused him: his task is to persuade people of the possibility of regeneration offered to them by
God and their own soul; their using it depends on their free will.

Who among Dostoevsky's heroes, besides the already quoted examples, did make good use of it? The
Adolescent seized upon it, discarding his brutal intention of enrichment after a foundling was left at their
house, and, the children of the Karamazov city next to Iliusha's deathbed, whose sufferings and death
completely regenerated them, and the children in Switzerland, the friends of Prince Myshkin, who pitied
The Insulted and Humiliated girl and whose hearts were softened in their cares for her. (115) Finally, we are
convinced that all the listeners and we hope most readers of the moving story of Dostoevsky A Boy at
Christ's Christmas Party should be included, which the author, and sometimes his friend, the writer
Grigorivich, read at literary gatherings. On these occasions tears of Christian compassion for the little
orphan, freezing under the lighted windows of a lordly house where children enjoyed themselves around
the Christmas tree, welled up in the eyes of many even of the male listeners, not to mention most of the
female ones. Christ the Saviour came to the boy and carried him to heaven to enjoy an eternal Christmas.
He was met there by his mother who had died an hour earlier in the basement; her corpse, growing cold,
had frightened the child.

This is how strong compassion is. Not for nothing does our author write: if you pity an unprotected being,
you will get attached to it, and strongly attached. (116) Sometimes as such an unprotected being, attracting
a person of strong will and regenerating it morally appear in Dostoevsky not only sweet children, uniting
around the deathbed comrade so many adults in his last novel, and not only pure girls of attractive
character as in Poor Folk or Sonia Marmeladova who restores Raskolnikov, but even repulsive characters
as, for example, in the story The Honest Thief. And if even the cold, egoistical Swiss fall under the spell of
such compassion (in the above mentioned story of Prince Myshkin's), in Russians such service to feebler
beings is inherent to such a degree that it gives cause to a drunkard officer in the contemporary play of
great merit, The Strong and the Weak, to set forth to another intelligent good-for-nothing a whole theory
to the effect that in Russia the "weak", i.e. the lazy, the drunkards, the worthless are the "strong" ones,
since the honest, industrious and talented constantly work for them, intercede on their behalf, worry
about them, and come to their rescue.

Children, as the reader has seen, provide the strongest inducement for holy compassion. Dostoevsky was
fond of them in particular! He promised to write a special long novel about children (The Diary of a
Writer)(117) on top of what he had written in his youth (The Christmas Tree and the Wedding, Netochka
Nezvanova, The Little Hero) and in addition to what we have briefly set forth in his last novel. Let us add
here two or three other highly significant thoughts on them. Children vary considerably from adults, as if
they were a different species (The Brothers Karamazov).(118) Childrens' faces are never ugly (ibidem).
Therefore our most precious recollections are about the family, about our childhood, if there was at least
a tiny bit of love there (The Brothers Karamazov)(119) because the family and is created by the feat of love
and held together by it. A recollection, especially from childhood, lifts the soul up more than anything else
(The Diary of a Writer). Children are better than we and one should not be horrified by their
misdemeanours. If city children (including Aliosha Karamazov's school fellows) like to utter obscenities,
they do so not at all because they are depraved (The Brothers Karamazov). This rather resembles how
Adam and Eve were not ashamed of being naked as long as they were innocent. We are not going to refer
here to Aliosha Karamazov's splendid speech, in which he so movingly speaks about the regenerative
power of sacred recollections, since the reader probably remembers and cherishes it.

Children and even young people should not be made to leave this semi-fantastic world, in which they
dwell, in too much of a hurry. It is better to give to youth Don Quixote for reading, instead of their
worshipping their stupid surroundings (The Diary of a Writer) writes the author. But nothing should be
kept secret from children, says he, neither should one cheat them, they understand everything. (120) Not
everything should be made easy for children (The Diary of a Writer), because a person who has not

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known labour, privations and feats from childhood is not worth anything. A man becomes kind and
honest through work. Dreaminess, or rather a poetic frame of mind is peculiar to youth, it is particularly
valuable if coupled with ennobling labour and not With idleness. It softens the soul to such a degree that,
for example, a dreamer carried away by scholarship, loves the gloomy walls of his dog-hole. Such was the
hero of one of our writers most likeable stories, (The White Nights).(121) This is why Dostoevsky once
addressed the following wish to the reader: May God grant that the virtues of the young would visit you,
my reader, often (The White Nights). The dreaminess that is meant here does not stay aloof from life, but
aspires to transform life into something better, without closing one's eyes to its defects and lies.

People consider children almost foolish beings, whom they should instruct and develop, in fact they look
upon the simple people in the same way. Dostoevsky, however, tells us to learn from the people, and to
learn through children as well. But he also requires us to teach children as well as the people, but in
accordance with the nature of the former and the convictions of the latter. With all that we have already
seen that our writer does not close his eyes to the faults of the people; neither does he deny the
shortcomings of children. He was in this case, as in all others, an optimist, but not a blind one, not
onesided. Precisely at the start of his literary career he wrote the sketch (The Christmas Tree and The
Wedding), where he described the separation in games between the rich and the poor starting at an early
age, the servility of the latter before the former, etc. In the novel about children, Netochka Nezvanova, the
despotism of children and the tormenting of Netochka by her girl-friend Katia are described. In (The
Brothers Karamazov) the spite and vindictiveness of the insulted Iliusha, is depicted the childish vanity of
Kolia Krastkin, etc. These incipient passions are healed through the sufferings of the children , for
example, through the illness of Netochka and particularly the illness and death of Iliusha. This latter
brought down from heaven to earth the blessings of love and reconciliation to all those around him, the
little and the big. This is the author s answer to the "rebellion" of Ivan Karamazov, who could not
reconcile divine justice with the sufferings of innocent children. Helas' innocence, i.e. complete absence of
sin, the absence of anger and humility are lost with the awakening of consciousness, resulting in the
perception of sufferings. Suffering is perceived simultaneously with the setting in of sinfulness and
sufferings cleanse the hearts of good children from sin. Until now the critics did not understand the
author's statement to the effect that the last of novels was an answer to the "Rebellion" and to the "Grand
Inquisitor", discounting our article, (122) published in the Theological Messenger for 1895 (and later in The
Complete Collected Works), unnoticed of course by the critics. The same article contains an explanation
as regards the authors reply to the "Grand Inquisitor"; we will return to this later.

6. Relapses into Evil.

Direct Instructions for Regeneration of Oneself and Others.

If the reader did not yet satisfy himself that Dostoevsky's optimism was not rosy, not unreal, but a very
real one based on personal experience and a broad study of life, then he should familiarize himself with

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those pictures of life which show that already the decision made in order to start on the path of virtue
and even some steps made in this direction, do not at all ensure the achieving of virtue. This is wishful
thinking of Protestant preachers and theologians, according , to whom man's turning to repentance and
faith constitute already complete salvation; from then on man has nothing to complain about and
nothing to struggle against or exert himself -- in spite of the words of the Apostle: "Brethren, I count not
myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and
reaching forth unto those things which are before" (Phil.III, 13). Thus, the Apostle did lead a spiritual
struggle against himself. Is it, then, surprising that those who have fallen deeply, fall again in this
struggle and relapse into their passions. Dostoevsky does not shut his eyes to the power of evil in man and
in mankind. The reader does, of course, recall how artistically truthful is his depiction of the despotic
incoherent power of sinful passions over their victims: Marmeladov's insuperable drinking, the
indomitable fire of debauchery in the old Karamazov, the unreceptivness to good influences of Aliosha's
friend, Rakitin, the callous heart of Nellie's grandfather, that half-pauper German (123) who did not want to
forgive his daughter even on her deathbed. What is there to talk about: there hardly exists another writer
who is capable of describing so truthfully the persistence of human passions as Dostoevsky. Shakespeare
depicts people's crimes, inspired by passions and their fight with their enemies, while Dostoevsky
describes their stubborn resistance to the call for love and correction. This is equally as far removed from
naive optimism as from pessimism, as well as far from being a "cruel talent" as a literary critic of
Western orientation Mikhaihovsky,(124) dared to call Dostoevsky, resenting his influence on society and the
young people. Indeed, not Mikhailovsky alone. Not knowing how to tarnish Dostoevsky's reputation, the
critics little by little appropriated the device of falsifying his writings. This brings back the epoch of
Magnistsky and reminds one of the fate of the notorious cookbook, using the expression "Open Air" (125).
This device suited the tastes of our men of letters so well that even prominent ones like Merezhkovsky
began to duplicate it almost to a man, using, for example, the speech of the Karamazov prosecutor who
says that this family is able to contemplate simultaneously the abyss above and the abyss below, i.e. to
admire virtue as well as godless vice. (126) Dostoevsky's skillful depiction of human passions gave his
enviers occasion to transfer suspicion (of these passions) to the author himself then and even onto his
teachings. What can be said of the pornography of Kuprin, Artsybashev and others, they are not ashamed
to say about Dostoevsky. Vice and sin are, however, never depicted in an attractive way in his works. On
the contrary, they are censured and all the false teachings of his heroes are refuted, either by the train of
events, or by the retorts of their interlocutors. It is now left to our critics to accuse Gogol' of advocating
bribe- taking and Alexei Tolstoy (127) of advocating drinking, since they depicted these vices so masterfully.

We would like to draw the reader's attention to the return of malicious inclinations and biases of
Dostoevsky's heroes, who either have already started on the path of repentance or are, it appears, ready
to change the trust of their life in the direction of the good, truth and faith. Perhaps the most
characteristic example of this is Versilov. A highly educated man, inquisitive, a philosopher almost, he
voluntarily gives up the large property, won in a lawsuit and remains a poor man. He yields to this noble
impulse much under the influence of his youthful son, who has just joined him, under the influence of the
latter's pure, radiant soul. Showered with rapturous endearments on the part of this son, surrounded by
the beneficial influence of a righteous old man, who has come to him to die, whose wife he had formerly
enticed away, but who has forgiven him, he has, it seems, totally relented and become an apostle of virtue
and patriotism. But there arrives one of his many lady-friends, the good name of whom depends on him,
and once more he attempts to make her a slave of his passion. In a vicious split of personality, he smashes
against a stove an icon, bequeathed to him by the above mentioned old man and shuns the marriage with
the woman he has seduced, the mother of his children. Such is also Marmeladov, a tender-hearted man,
who married an abaned noble widow solely out of pity. After many failures of this wretched family, he is
finally given a job. His consumptive wife and tattered children are anticipating life's pleasures, but once
more he rushes to the dirty dens of drinking, perishes on the street while drunk, and thus deals the final
blow to his wife, who also bleeds to death on the street. But not only these people, who wallowed in sin
from youth, the teenage Nellie, honest and pure, does not part easily from her resentment toward the

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people who had shown so much cruelty before her very eyes. She irritably rejects repeatedly the most
selfless services of her new friends, who have come to love her, despite the fact that she would remain in
the state of poverty and helplessness without them. It takes a long time for her to mellow, and even then
not totally, before her death.

We have pointed out that Dostoevsky is not only a diagnostician but also a theurapeutist of mental
disorders. All his works are therapeutic, unmasking the false views, theoretical and moral, which are the
basis of evil and falsehood in human life. He calls people to communion with God and their simple folk for
moral regeneration. But our writer states that it is easier to overcome of the errors of the mind than
errors of the heart, i.e. human passions and the evil will of people who indulge in them, who do not want
to follow good advice and exhortations. If they agree to talk at all with the remonstrator, they will justify
their frame of mind and deviations from the right path by all sorts of sophisms. If, however, they notice a
strong logical bent and persistence in their interlocutor, they will attempt to cut the exchange short
under any plausib1e pretext, or become rude. "Ne persuadere nolentem", do not admonish the unwilling
goes the Latin saying. What help is there available in such cases? You can find a direct answer to this
question in our writer, and more than once. For the feeling of the one in error another equally strong
feeling (equalling his passion) should be substituted, he then may agree to examine himself ( The
Adolescent).(128) In order to reroute a man away from his evil desires, says the writer in another novel,
another, better desire has to be set off against it, i.e. he should be won over to take another path. A
graphic example of such an impact is presented in The Insulted and Humiliated. The old man, Natasha's
father, cursed his daughter, who left to live with her lover, and did not want to forgive her. His friends
bring to him the victim of similar or even greater paternal strictness, the adolescent girl Nellie, and ask
her to tell in detail in what poverty and grief her unfortunate mother lived and ended her life, cursed by
her father for a similar passion; she could not secure his pardon until her death. It was a tremendously
impressive story, and Natasha's father came to his senses under its impact and accepted his repentant
daughter with tender care.(129) The conciliatory attitude of Makar Ivanovich, constantly filled with tender
emotion and an unshakeable faith in the triumph of the eternal truth, did have a similar effect on the
permanently indignant Adolescent. All the above mentioned cases demonstrate a radical impact on
passionate or callous hearts of the sufferings of children and the helpless in need, and follow the same
rule. These pictures arouse in men holy compassion and while experiencing it, they cool toward their
former criminal goals and repulse in revulsion that, which formerly lured them.

In this contrasting with another or even a stronger feeling consists the whole secret of the influence on
human hearts of the Elder Zosima and Aliosha. Filled with love for the people, with gentle benevolence
toward them, they carry in their hearts a constant hymn to the Creator and the longing for a general
conversion to Him. These personalities transmit through themselves the light of a better world,
constantly descending from heaven to earth, these angel-like people imbue by their very appearance, by
their approaching their fellow-men with a whole gamut of new, sacred harmonies, i.e. with heartfelt
inspiration and bright hope; they generate in the souls of their fellow-men a decisive battle of the
embryonic beginnings of new life with the former passions, opposed to them. The final outcome of this
struggle in one direction or the other depends, of course, on man's free will. This is faciliatated by a
messenger who is able to add to the revealed moral beauty of the good and the true a reasonable
justification, too, and a refutation of his interlocutors delusions. But it is not so much the power of these
refutations as the power of the sacred sentiments and the compassionate feeling of the admonisher
himself which influence the sinner and denier. The brotherly and tender kiss with which Aliosha
concluded the conversation with Ivan after their exchange of thoughts in regard to the "Grand Inquisitor"
stirred Ivan much more, of course, and resulted in a deeper emotional experience than the theoretical
and also reasonable objections of the younger brother. His inner struggle between faith and disbelief,
submission to God and crime was intensified to an utmost degree, as Aliosha guessed during his
nocturnal prayer and drove the stubborn sceptic to hallucinations and a nervous fever. Aliosha's
conversations with his father, his brother Dmitrii, Grushen'ka and Liza, and Kolia Krasotkin, as well as

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with Iliusha's other school friends, provoked a similar inner struggle, now with an auspicious, then again
with an unfavourable outcome. The power of moral influence inherent in the Elder Zosima is, of course,
incomparably greater. Notice the picture, remarkable in its depth, of the visit to the Elder by a whole
group of completely church-alien intellectuals, the majority of whom looked down on the church. Seeing
the Elder, and especially hearing his words, however, they immediately felt a deep agitation in their souls
and began to express their perplexity and aspirations, and almost blasphemed. In a word, they could not
keep to themselves what excited them and filled their souls not only in their personal life but also in their
interrelationships with each other. What happened to them was almost what had happened to the
possessed of the Gospel on meeting the Saviour.Some are touched and repent, others abuse one another,
the third blaspheme. The "believing peasant women" present a different picture. They accept the Elder's
exhortations and counsels with repentance, tender emotion, and spiritual transports, literally, like God's
word. They leave him, nearly regenerated, cleansed of their sins, and reconciled with their fellow-men.

This is a rejoinder to the second reason for the rejection of Christianity, advanced by Ivan Karamazov in
the "Grand Inquisitor".

Dostoevsky considered these two causes, advanced by his heroes, as more serious than anything negating
Europe had hit upon, and declared that he had disproved them by his novel. We have already talked
about the first cause, as well as about its refutation; let us now elucidate the second and its refutation.

The Grand Inquisitor announces to the Saviour that his teachings are too lofty for the pitiful human race,
enslaved by the body, even the stomach, to take the road of selflessness and chastity. People will submit
only to despotic rule, coupled with deception and spiritual enslavement. Take possession of the bread, act
by means of miracle, mystery, and authority, and then mankind will submit to you, while it will not
submit to voluntary persuasion, excluding a few moral heroes. This is precisely what the tempter
suggested to Jesus Christ in the desert but was rejected, and this is why the Saviour will never subordinate
all of mankind until His followers will not change His teachings in essence according to the tempter's
advice. We have carried this out, says the Inquisitor. According to his and Ivan's opinion pure Christianity
will remain the religion not of mankind and the people but of moral heroes. Those thoughts about
Christianity and the redemptor occupied Dostoevsky even earlier. Already in The Adolescent it was, it
seems, Versilov who spoke of people along the same lines as the Inquisitor: "Turn stones into bread, and
you will control people but for a short time only; this is not enough: a miracle is needed (i.e. in order to
captivate their mind and conscience).(130)

What then is the rejoinder Dostoevsky's story provides to this

objection? Criticism refrained from providing an explanation. The explanation or reply consists in the
characters of the Elder Zosima and Aliosha Karamazov as well as in that all-inclusive influence which
they and similar righteous people exert, for example, Makar Ivanovich and Prince Myshkin in The
Adolescent and The Idiot. Here is this answer: yes, the full and total absorbing of Christianity is the lot of
only a few, and not of all the people, even less of of all mankind, but to make up for it these few enlighten,
soften, and draw to Christ all or almost all among those with whom they come in contact like long
awaited for luminaries of the people or society,so that the powerful impact of Christianity becomes
visible on the vast majority of people, who have heard of Christ. It penetrates their every-day life, forms
their mores, customs, laws, and entire cultures. It does not in the least remain the individual bent of a
few, as some contemporary silly publicists, philosophers, and then students, cadets and high-school girls
said and wrote, but remains a vast public, national and international force, determining the existence of
the nations believers to an incomparably greater degree than all the other folk and pan-human features.
Roughly this last thought can be found in Shatov's monologues and in the answer of the author himself to
Gradovsky,(131) as well as in previous issues of his Diary of a Writer. In this way people and nations are
drawn to Christ.

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We have somewhat exceeded the bounds of this last thought, dwelling on the Inquisitor, but we were able
in this way to reveal to the reader interested in Dostoevsky, his main idea, his most sacred and dearest
idea of Christianity, of mankind and its destinies. Let us also add that the saving influence of Christianity,
even if it does not have full effect on the majority of the characters depicted by the author, this fullness is
regained at the time of the passing of people into the life to come; on the moral significance of this latter
Dostoevsky expressed himself with singular depth and power.

We quoted this earlier. Now we will only say that our author loved to depict particularly the death-bed
regeneration of man as a pledge of eternal life revealed in him. We have already reminded the reader of
the death-bed illumination and enlightenment of the old Verkhovensky, Makar Dolgoruki, the Elder
Zosima. Let us now add Ippolit, the Honest Thief, Iliusha, even Nellie, the brother of the Elder Zosima,
who died while still young, and other, sometimes quite ordinary people, who did not take a definite stand
on purely religious matters in this life, who were, however, granted this on entering the future, i.e. life
eternal.

Thus, Christian teachings, contrary to the words of the Inquisitor, remain a forver potent public force,
calling forth all the good of which every human generation turns out to be capable, and although these
teachings are assimilated in all their possible fullness only by the best people and the best generations of
the best nations, these latter draw to it the hearts of the other people of less lofty spirit, who, while living
on earth, continue to vacillate between piety and impiety. However, they enter the life to come (and is not
this the meaning of life in general) for the most part purified by means of repentance, i.e. perfected.
According to the above quoted opinion of Dostoevsky, any sense of the present life disappears with the
denial of the life to come, since the difference between good and evil disappears -- the attractiveness of
the former, as well as the reprehendsibility of the latter.

Such are Dostoevsky's rejoinders to the two most difficult objections to Christianity, which all of negating
Europe did not hit upon. These answers serve as advice and instruction to the zealots of faith and love in
order to attract to faith and love their fellow men who have moved away; they should become involved in
one's own beneficial frame of mind of faith and sympathy.

This is, of course, not a recipe or a detailed course in pastoral theology. The writer indicated here solely
the general law, governing the moral regenerating influence of one personality on another. What is not
indicated, is how to acquire the necessary qualities of the soul. But the picture of such regeneration,
drawn by the writer, represent a priceless treasure of world literature, imbued with unquestionable
beauty and ambition. They fill the soul of the reader with the loftiest feelings of love of mankind and
piety, revealing to him in addition the highest qualities of human nature, destined for moral
perfectability filled with love and in unity with the souls of the other people.

Before concluding this psychological and moral chapter, let us provide an answer to one more question:
what kind of instructions -will a person, who has already dedicated himself to a change of his life in order
to enter the path of moral regeneration, find in Dostoevsky. Such a question was put to the Elder Zosima
half in mockery, but half in earnest, by Fedor Karamazov. What, then, did the Elder answer to him? He
answered without evasion, directly and definitively, but in such a way that when I read this novel at the
age of sixteen, this answer surprised me but did not satisfy me. I came to appreciate its meaning later,
when I was approaching the half-century mark of my life.

The Elder answered: start by ceasing to lie, especially to yourself. (132) The same advice is qiven in The
Adolescent to an intelligent youth as the basic guiding principle of his entire life

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"Do not everlie and remember the tenth and the rest of the ten commandments." (133)

I had a very kind brother. He was five years my senior, very clever, but weak-willed, inquisitive, but a
careless student. Frequently he would get poor marks in school and, seeing how this upset our mother, he
concealed these failtures from her, resorting to lies. This caused deep sorrow to our parents. True, in time
my brother received a Master's degree natural sciences but being exceptionally kind-hearted and not
being able to stand any painful conversations, he concealed even later his debts which were a
consequence of his giving away all that he earned. To such a man, who is almost righteous, the following
advice should be given: do not lie, because he was otherwise almost blameless. But to teach truthfulness
to a man who is steeped through and through in many vices -- simply a criminal, seemed to me, a youth
(even a boy) then, like treating somebody suffering from galloping consumption as if he merely had a
cold. But Dostoevsky showed me that the Elder Zosima gave exactly that advice, which, if a sinner would
fullfil it, he could begin his moral regeneration. A life of vice is impossible without constant self-delusion,
and is therefore always, or nearly always, accompanied by narcosis -- predominantly by drinking. This is
the easiest means of self-delusion, making unpleasant falsehood seem plausible and making it easier to
find a justification for every abominal deed. If there were no vodka, wine, hashish, opium, morphium and
other narcotics, nine-tenth of crimes would not have been committed. This is obvious from criminal
statistics between the time of the prohibition of the sale of vodka by the Tsar and the renewal alcohol
distilling at the time of the Revolution. The statistics for suicides is almost the same.

The conviction of our writer to the effect that lying to oneself and to others is the chief and indispensable
condition of evil and vice taking root, is closely connected to his conviction that people are better in their
hearts than in their behaviour, and that if they would examine their transient intentions and actions in
the light of the deeper and more constant aspirations of their souls, they would cease to sink lower and
lower, and would not tolerate their hearts becoming totally callous. We have quoted the author's
optimistic statements to this effect to a sufficient degree. Let us now recall that some of them were
expressed precisely on account of the personality of Karamazov himself, his donations in memory of his
first wife which he almost tortured to death, and some manifestations of tender feelings for Aliosha, his
youngest, who had entered the monastery.

The depth and the practical side of the first advice of our writer, more than once indicated in his works, to
a depraved person, who desires of his own free will to correct his life, consists in that this advice has an
external character, in a manner of speaking, a physical and a special one.

This is important, because if one were to overwhelm the first inquiry of an awakening feeble conscience
and corrupt will with a veritable deluge of advice and requests, it will feel itself completely suppressed,
and the person may retreat with hopelessness before the thorny path opening up before him.

It is, of course, a different matter if this person has a deep faith in Christ, like uncle Vlas. Such a man, the
more sharply he etches our the path of his correction, the more trust worthy he becomes. "Vlas gave away
his property, Remained barefoot and naked as he left to collect money for the building of a temple of
God."

But a non- or half-believer can neither stand his ground in the difficult ascetic struggles, nor is he able to
recall some positive qood deed at once, since his soul, wrapped in lies, will immediately begin the deviate
from the feat undertaken by means of his habitual sophisms. It is sufficient if he will turn his whole
attention to the elimination of the main obstacle for improvement, that he would stop making a fool of
himself and mutilating himself. Evil passions will probably succeed in pushing him repeatedly into

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committing some vile deeds, but if he will stand fast in this small feat admonished by the Elder Zosima, he
will stop justifying his misdemeaners and falls, and by means of this alone he will cool to that which
attracted him before. He then will cool to all that is evil his soul will become increasingly more accessible
to noble and gentle feelings. More and more frequently he will act in a humane and honest way, giving
way to these feelings. In this manner he will acquire a taste for virtue; he will be then in the position to
consecrate on a broader struggle against evil in himself. He will experience the need to learn more about
faith and prayer. And finally the bright road to a total regeneration and a new righteous life will open up
before him.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8. Part One, Book II, 'Why is Such a Man Alive?"

9. The Diary of a Writer, Oxt. 1876, II, "A Belated Admonition and Unsubstantiated Allegations."

10. The Adolescent, Part II, Chapter 2; actually it is the doctor treating Makar who receives this answer.

11. A reference to Peter Verkhovensky in The Possessed.

12. All three, Kirillov (The Possessed), Ippolit (The Idiot), and Stavrogin (The Possessed) either commit or
attempt to commit suicide.

13. Cp. Versilov's discourse on "the utopian society without God" in The Adolescent, part 3,Chapter Seven,
and Kirillov's idea about the "man-god, in The Possessed, part 2, Chapter One, "Night").

14. The reference here is to the Revolution and the ensuing years of civil strife.

15. The play, "Vaniushin's Children" (Deti Vaniushina) was the most successful work of playright S.A.
Alexeev (1869-1922). He wrote under the pen-name "Naidenov."

16. "The Globe Trotter," Part 3,Chapter 5, The Possessed.

17. M.V. Nesterov (1862-1942). A Russian painter with a preference for historical and religious subjects.

18. Entry for August 1880, Chapter 3, III.

19. The Diary of a Writer, April 1877, Chapter I, "War."

20. ibid, April 1876, Chapter II. The original title was "The man speaks in paradoxes" (paraksalis).

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21. A verst is 1200 metres, or .66 of a mile.

22. The Diary of a Writer, March 1877, Chapter One, III.

23. ibid.

24. The Diary of a Writer, November 1877, Chapter Two, III.

25. ibid.

26. The Diary of a Writer, September 1877, Chapter One, III.

27. The words of Versilov in The Adolescent, Part III, Chapter 7.

28. Diary of a Writer, August 1880, Chapter Three, III.

29. [Translator's Note:] This petty, but often bloody strife, would carry Europe through the First and
Second World Wars, after which the European states were compelled to act otherwise, for the benefit of
all.

30. The Diary of a Writer, August 1880, Chapter Three, III.

31. Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, Chapter 5.

32. [Translator's Note:] Metropolitan Antony was speaking at the end of the 19th century. Dostoevsky
had foreseen a war among the empires and states of Western Europe, and he believed that the war would
be fought over pitiful vanities rather than over any serious matters. He recognized the social strife among
the estates (i.e., social classes) in Europe, and in Russia. While he predicted the bloodshed and strife in
Russia also, he held out a hope that Russia would emerge from it whole. As it turned out, this hope was
not fulfilled.

33. The Diary of a Writer, Critical Essays, Introduction (1873).

34. [Translator's Note:] And remember that the Europe of that day was dominated by the repressive
Hapsburg Empire, the Germany of the Kaisers and the slowly decaying Turkish Ottoman Empire. British
colonialism was at its height and the overseas empires of France, Portugal and Belgium were far from
democratic or egalitarian. Russia was not being criticised by democratic, egalitarian states, but by
competing empires.

35. The Possessed, Part Two, Chapter 4, "All Agog," III.

36. Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, Chapter II.

37. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Four, Book XIII, 3, "The Medical Experts and a Pound of Nuts."

38. The Gambler, Chapter IV.

39. Winter Notes on Summer impressions, Chapter V, "Baal." On the other hand, Dostoevsky was
impressed by the English and London for certain characteristics. He painted a verbal picture of England
as having sombre grandeur and might.

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40. Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, Chapter Three.

41. Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, Chapter One.

42. Metropolitan Antony was writing this in ****

43. Winter notes on Summer Impressions, Chapter VIII.

44. ibid.

45. The Gambler, Chapter V.

46. The Gambler, Chapter XVI.

47. Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, Chapter VIII "Bribri et Ma Biche."

48. The Diary of a Writer.

49. The Diary of a Writer, Feb.1876, Chapter Two "Apropros of the Kroneberg case."

50. The Diary of a Writer, May 1876, Chapter One, IV and V.

51. The Diary of a Writer, Oct. 1877, Chapter Two, III.

52. Two lines from the 2nd stanza of Pushkin's "The Poet" (1830)

53. The Adolescent, Part One, Chapter 1.

54. The Idiot, Part Two, Chapter 9.

55. The Diary of a Writer, October 1877, Chapter Three, III

56. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Four, Book XI, 9 "The Devil. Ivan's Nightmare"

57. Crime and Punishment, Part Three, V

58. The Diary of a Writer, 1873, "On Lying."

59. The Diary of a Writer, 1873, "Little Pictures. On the Road."

60. Crime and Punishment, Part Two, Chapter Two.

61. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Three, Chapter VIII

62. The Idiot, Part Three, Chapter 2.

63. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Two, Book VI, "The Russian Monk."

64. The Adolescent, Part One, Chapter Two, III


121
65. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Four, Chapter IV

66. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Four, Chapter IV

67. in Crime and Punishment and The Possessed, respectively.

68. Vania, the hero of The Insulted and Humiliated; cf. Part One, chapters VIII & IX;
Razumikhin is a secondary character in Crime and Punishment, Shatov in The Possessed and
Makar in The Adolescent.

69. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Three, Chapter X

70. Makar Devushkin is the hero of Poor Folk.

71. The Adolescent, Part Three, Chapter Seven (Versilov's words about a picture of Sophia).

72. The Idiot, Part Four, Chapter 1.

73. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Two, Book Six, chapter II "From the Vita of Hieromonk
Elder Zosima, Reposed in God..."

74. The Possessed, Part One, Chapter Three, "Another Man's Sins," VIII

75. The Possessed, Part Two, "Night." (2)

76. The Possessed, Part Three, Chapter 7 "Stepan Verkhovensky's Last Pilgrimage?

77. The Brothers Karamazov, Part One, Book I, "The History of a Family"

78. The Brothers Karamazov, ibidem, applies specifically to F. Karamazov

79. The Heroes of respectively, The Brothers Karamazov, The Adolescent, The Possessed,
Crime and Punishment, Polzunkov (a story written in 1848), The Idiot (both Lebedev and
General Ivolgin).

80. In The Brothers Karamazov.

81. The Idiot, Part Three, Chapter 8.

82. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part One, Chapter XIII.

83. The Gambler, chapter III.

84. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Three, Chapter One

85. This is suggested by Perdyshchenko, The Idiot, Part One, Chapter 13.

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86. Theosophy and spiritualism were quite widespread in Europe and Russia in the last
quarter of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. In Russia, this took place among the
bored upper classes. It is know that not only some bishops, but the Imperial Family were also
involved in seances and other forms of spiritualism. Even so famous a bishop as Ignati
Brianchaninov accepted and taught a theosophical and spiritualistic doctrine of the soul.

87. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Four, Book XI, Chapter 9 "The Devil. Ivan's Nightmare."

88. The Possessed, Part Five, IV and The Adolescent, Part Three, Chapter X

89. Saint Antony the Great, after is long struggle with the devil, remarks that Satan is but an
actor on a stage. He has no power except that of delusion and deceit. The fact that we are so
willing to fall for that deceit, however, makes this an often formidable power.

90. The Possessed, Part Two, "Night (continued) The Reference is to the Pretender, the "false
Dmitrii" at the Time of Troubles.

91. A secondary character in The Possessed;

92. A secondary character in The Brothers Karamazov.

93. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Four, Chapter VI.

94. The Diary of a Writer, 1873, "Mr **bov and the Question of Art."

95. The heroines of The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot, and The Insulted and Humiliated,
respectively.

96. Crime and Punishment, Part Three, Chapter 1.

97. A line from Lermontov's poem "The Demon"

98. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Two, Book VI, "Conversations and Exhortations of Father
Zosima."

99. Velchaninov, hero of The Eternal Husband.

100. Verchaninov, hero of The Eternal Husband

101. in The Insulted and Humiliated

102. Crime and Punishment, Part Five, IV

103. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Four, Book XI, Chapters "The Devil. Ivan's nightmare" and "It Was He
Who Said It."

104. The Adolescent, Part Three, Chapter Ten, II

105. The Double.


123
106. There is a connection in this, because people who allow themselves to become cruel through
jealousy, malice or envy also create their own mental illness because of the schism they create between
themselves and their consciences

107. It is also the significance of the appearance of devils to people in the lives of the saints, though the
magical understanding of peasant religion and the mythologies imposed by legalism and scholastic
thought are unable to grasp this great truth. These are the sort of visions that St Antony the Great had,
and with God's help and the grace of the Holy Spirit, he overcame them all, and in the end realized and
tuaght that Satan has no power over us at all except the power of deceit and delusion; and this only if we
allow it.

108. The Adolescent, Part Three, Chapter Seven (III).

109. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Three, Book IX, "The Evidence of the Witnesses. The Babe."

110. Dostoevsky is, perhaps, the only writer to excel Shakespeare in the exploration of how the
subconsciously known reality or our being is revealed to us in dreams that shake our souls and lead us to
a radical change -- either to the better or the worse -- in our lives.

111. One of Dostovsky's favourite poems. N. Nekrasov's poem "Vlas" (1855) on which Dostoevsky
commented in The Diary of a Writer repeatedly, for example, in The Diary of a Writer for 1873, "Vlas";
also in The Adolescent where Versilov quotes a line from the poem to describe Makar Ivanovich.

112. Notes from the Underground, Part I, IX

113. The Terrible Vengeance.

114. The Idiot, part Four, 10

115. This is the Marie episode, see The Idiot, Part One, 10.

116. The Adolescent, Part One, Chapter One, V.

117. The Diary of a Writer, January 1876, Chapter I and II "The Future novel. Once more an Accidental
Family."

118. The Brothers Karamazov, Part Two, Book V, 4. "Rebellion"

119. The Brothers Karamazov, Epilogue, 3. "Iliusha's Funeral. The Speech at the Stone."

120. The Idiot, Part One, 6 (Marie and the children in Switzerland).

121. The White Nights, Second Night

122. i.e., an article by Metropolitan Antony.

123. He is actually an Englishman.

124. The critic N.M.Mikhlaiovsky (1842-1904) who wrote his notorious article on Dostoevsky in 1882.

124
125. "Vol'nii dukh" was construed to mean "liberal spirit" The Brothers Karamazov, Part Four, Book XII,
"The Prosecutor's Speech."

126. A.A.Kuprin (1870-1938) and M.P.Artsybachev (1878-1927) author of Sanin.

127. Count A.K.Tolstoy (1817-1875), a gifted poet, playwright, prose writer.

128. The Adolescent, Part One, Chapter Three, III (Vasin's words in regard to Kraft)

129. The Insulted and Humiliated, Part Four, Chapters VII, VIII and IX

130. The Adolescent, Part Two, II

131. A.D.Gradovsky professor of law and publicist (1841-1889). Cf. The Diary of a Writer for August 1880,
Chapter III.

132. The Brothers Karamazov, Part One, Book II, "The Old Buffoon."

133. The Adolescent, Part Two, Chapter One, IV. Actually, it is Versib who speaks to The Adolescent about
the Ten Commandments

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