Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology
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Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
 
From The Brothers Karamazof

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881)
 
ASK 1 God for gladness. Be glad like children, like the birds of heaven. And let not the sin of men dismay you in your doings: Fear not lest it choke your work and hinder its accomplishment. Say not, Sin is powerful, Ungodliness is powerful, bad Conventionalism is powerful; while we are solitary and powerless: the world will choke us and will frustrate the good work. Away with such despondency, my children … If a man cast the blame of his sloth and inefficiency upon others, he will end by sharing the pride of Satan and murmuring against God. Now, about the pride of Satan, I think thus: it is difficult for us on earth to understand it, and therefore it is easy to be ensnared in it, and to share it, and even to imagine all the while that we are doing something great and wonderful. And in the profoundest sensations and impulses of our nature also there is much that we cannot now understand … On this earth we truly wander, and are as it were lost; so that were it not for the glorious figure of Christ before us, we should perish utterly … Much on earth is hidden from us, but there is given us in recompense the secret conviction of our living bond with another world, a celestial and loftier world: and the very roots of our thoughts and sensations are not here but there, in other worlds. And that is why the philosophers say that on earth it is impossible to know the essence of things.  1
 
Note 1. Dostoevsky. From Father Zossima’s discourse in ‘The Brothers Karamazof’. [back]
 
 
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