Embracing Monsters

This is a lovely quote from Lev Shestov’s All Things Are Possible about not only embracing, but celebrating the whole of life, even those aspects which terrify us. (Also a nice takedown of that moralizing simpleton Tolstoy 🙂

“True, certain optimists think that nature does not punish us, but educates us. So Tolstoy sees it. ‘Death and sufferings, like animated scarecrows, boo at man and drive him into the one way of life open to him: for life is subject to its own law of reason.’ Not a bad method of upbringing. Exactly like using wolves and bears. Unfortunate humanity, bolting from one booing monster, is not always in time to dodge into the one correct way, and dashes straight into the maw of another beast of prey. Then what? And this often happens. Without disparagement of the optimists, we may say that sooner or later it happens to every person. After which no more running. You won’t tear yourself out of the claws of madness or disease. Only one thing is left: in spite of traditions, theodicy, wiseacres, and most of all in spite of oneself, to go on praising mother nature and her great goodness. Let future generations reject us, let history stigmatize our names, as the names of traitors to the human cause- still we will compose hymns to deformity, destruction, madness, chaos, darkness. And after that- let the grass grow.”

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