Quote

Anna Karenina

Levin went along the high-road with long strides, attending not so much to his thoughts – he could not yet disentangle them – as to a condition of his soul he had never before experienced.

The words the peasant had spoken produced in his soul the effect of an electric spark, suddenly transforming and welding into one a whole group of disjointed impotent separate ideas which had always interested him.  These ideas, through he had been unconscious of them, had been in his mind when he was talking about letting the land.

He felt something new in his soul and probed this something with pleasure, not yet knowing what it was.

‘To live not for one’s needs but fo God!  For what God?  What could be more senseless than what he said?  He said we must not live for our needs – that is, we must not live for what we understand and what attracts us, what we wish for, but must live for something incomprehensible, for God whom nobody can understand or define.’

from Leo Tolstoy “Anna Karenina” (Translated by Louise & Aylmer Maude)

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Köln, Germany in November, 2010.

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