A wondrous vision, from Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, Book IV, Part 3, Chapter 15, as Pierre falls asleep by a campfire, and dreams:

And suddenly there rose before him, as though alive, a long-forgotten, gentle old man who had given him geography lessons in Switzerland. "Wait," said the little old man. And he showed Pierre a globe. The globe was an animate, vibrating ball with no fixed dimensions. Its whole surface consisted of drops closely pressed together. These drops moved, changed, several merging into one, or one splitting into many. Each drop tended to expand, to occupy as much space as possible, but others, with a like tendency, compressed it, sometimes destroying it, sometimes merging with it.

"That is life," said the old teacher.

"How simple and clear it is," thought Pierre. "How is it I did not know this before?"

"In the center is God, and each drop strives to expand so as to reflect Him to the greatest extent. And it grows, merges, disappears from the surface, sinks to the depths, and again emerges. That's how it was with Karatayev: he expanded and disappeared. Do you understand, my child?" said the teacher.

... and then Pierre awakes.

(from the Ann Dunnigan translation, 1968; cf. TruthInBattle (2001-02-11), YouAreExtraordinary (2002-07-07), OozeOnVerst (2004-09-22), UntutoredVoice (2004-11-03), BodyMnemonic (2004-12-04), PerfectCommunication (2005-02-14), LadderOfLife (2005-04-10), BeaconOfHope (2005-04-17), ModernMedicine (2005-04-29), NationalCharacters (2005-05-16), ...)

TopicLiterature - TopicFaith - TopicPoetry - 2005-06-25

(correlates: CelebrationOfLife, UnconsciousAction, WarAndCheckers, ...)