“The strangeness and absurdity of these replies arise from the fact that modern history , like a deaf man, answers questions no one has asked”
Leo Tolstoy,Epilogue 2 of War and Peace.
In our reading discussion, we went through some works of Leo Tolstoy whose birthday was on Sep 9 (1828).
Adana-the Turkish restaurant- where we used to have many discussions, is closed.
A LETTER TO A HINDU
While reading the doctrine of Non resistance to Evil, and how Tolstoy makes it clear in his letter that not the English, but the Indians, have enslaved themselves. He makes us understand and act upon the irresistible power of the soul over the body , of love, which is an attribute of the soul, over the brute or body force generated by the stirring in us of evil passions.
The letter made us focus on the present –Resistance to Evil by trying to meet force by force and the three years of result which one sees in present Libya .
Wonder how many Libyans-common and those in power, have read and reflected upon this famous letter-written by Tolstoy from Yasyana Polyana on December 14,1908.
WAR AND PEACE
In the epilogues –there is discussion regarding the different forces which act in human history. He makes for three types of historians-the specific, the general and the cultural.
200 years on, one is left wondering who is attacking whom? If you ask a Russian, they will say, that the coup in Kiev was engineered by Financial aristocrats-Bankers and was a dress rehearsal for similar actions in Russia. If you ask a EU official- they have a very different story to tell. Leaves us common people confused.
Is the idea of European Union over? Have financial oligarchies breached the social contract. Disappearing social securities make us wonder about the many movements in different parts of Europe.
The migration-wars-killings from the Western Europe, led by Napoleon, the background of the French revolution and African and Russian campaigns of around 200 years ago, are being repeated. Alexander I was the Russian czar who countered it then.
FIRST 100 ROUBLES-ANNA KARENINA
On a lighter note- do you remember the first 100 dollars you spent.
Reflecting on the passage-describing Levin’s memories of the first 100 roubles he spent-
….Levin compares this matter to what is said to happen to drunkards- the first glass sticks in the throat, the second flies down like a hawk, but after the third they’re like tiny little birds.
The first 100 dollars spent question led to some interesting answers.
- A Libyan friend… I spent it on books, the latest edition of Neurology texts
An Indian diaspora…I bought a bottle of Whisky for my father from Duty free-Dubai
(so the first 100 did flow down like little birds in this case)
We all knowingly or unknowingly participate in different systems
which may have violence or exploitation in them.