LadderOfLife

In Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, Book II, Part Two, Chapter 12, Pierre Bezukhov speaks to a despondent Prince Andrei Bolkonsky:

"You say that you cannot see a reign of truth and goodness on earth. Nor could I, and it cannot be seen if we regard our life here as the end of everything. On earth, here on this earth" (Pierre pointed to the fields) "there is no truth—all is evil and deception. But in the universe, in the whole universe, there is a kingdom of truth, and we who are now the children of the earth are, in the eternal sense, children of the universe. Do I not feel in my soul that I am part of that vast, harmonious whole? Do I not feel that I constitute one link, one step from the lower to the higher beings in this infinite multitude of beings in which the Godhead—the supreme power, if you prefer—is manifest? If I see, clearly see, the ladder leading from plant to man, then why should I suppose that this ladder, the beginning of which I cannot discern below me—why should I suppose that it breaks off with me and does not go farther and farther up to higher beings? I feel not only that I cannot vanish, since nothing in the world vanishes, but that I shall always exist, have always existed. I feel that besides myself, above me, there are spirits, and in the world there is truth."

(from the Ann Dunnigan translation, 1968; see also TruthInBattle (11 Feb 2001), OozeOnVerst (22 Sep 2004), UntutoredVoice (3 Nov 2004), BodyMnemonic (4 Dec 2004), PerfectCommunication (14 Feb 2005), ...)


TopicLiterature - TopicFaith - TopicLife - Datetag20050410


(correlates: FabulousFormulae, NationalCharacters, AnalysisAndAlgebra, ...)