A call to discover divine mystery by Dostoyevsky

You will perceive The divine mystery in things

A call to discover divine mystery by Dostoyevsky

The whole of it and every grain of sand

Love every leaf
Every ray of God’s light
Love the animals
Love the plants
Love everything
If you love everything
You will perceive
The divine mystery in things
And once you have perceived it
You will begin to comprehend it ceaselessly
More and more everyday
And you will at last come to love the whole world
With an abiding universal love

- Fyodor Dostoyevsky


1 On 25/05/2020 Mette wrote:

How utterly beautiful.

2 On 24/07/2020 Robert Bridge wrote:

These words are wonderful. They describe an event, a calling, that certainly brings God to mind. Like Moses and the burning bush. In these “mountain top” experiences we are unintentionally affected by otherness, particularity and difference that is excessive to what we expected. My reservation about these events is that they can become an end in themselves that is basically about self-concern - even giving rise to competitive piety!
Dostoyevsky describes another event in his novel “The Brothers Karamazov” where a character says “everyone of us is responsible for everyone else in every way, and I most of all”. What interests me is the event or experience that leads us to feel that awesome sense of responsibility. When I recognise the particularity, the difference and the need of the person before me I am disturbed and unintentionally affected by the presence of the other. There is an incessant demand that I must respond to the ethical needs of the person before me (This is the face-to-face confrontation that Levinas mentions).  I reckon this demand is from God, because it is an event that invariably brings God, my ultimate concern, to mind. And this is no still small voice! God bawls at me - take responsibility! So I am to be responsible for the stranger before me, for how I deal with close relationships, for the needs of my body, for my immune system, my emotions, my mind, my self, for the mistakes I make, for the environment, for other creatures, for the future and probably for the weather!
As I see it the demand that we take responsibility for others (love our neighbour) is the motivation to work for justice and fairness in our world and move forward on a journey from mundane self-obsessed hedonism to other-obsessed altruism. I suggest this is following Christ and applies to every person, whether they verbalise it religiously or not. And not only that! I recognise this positive mental attitude of ethical concern in most of the people I meet and it makes life wonderful, amazing and meaningful. Of course in practice we have to compromise. This is not a failing on our part but our duty to work with the world as it is - rendering unto Caesar.
Now. Here is the crunch question. Levinas made the audacious statement that God ONLY arises in the context of the ethical concern we have for others. Is this true?


Comment on this entry



Your comment:

Please note all comment will be moderated by the site administrator.

Back to Blogs