Friday, February 29, 2008


“What shall we find the other side of the walls of the world we are abandoning?

“Fear will come upon us – a void, a vast emptiness, freedom – how are we to go forward not knowing where we are going, how face loss, not seeing hope of gain?... If Columbus had reasoned thus he would never have weighed anchor. It was madness to set off upon the ocean, not knowing the route, on the ocean on which no one had sailed, to sail toward a land whose existence was doubtful. By this madness he discovered a new world. Doubtless if the peoples of the world could simply transfer themselves from one furnished mansion to another and better one – it would make it much easier; but unluckily there is no one to get humanity’s new dwelling ready for it. The future is even worse than the ocean – there is nothing there – it will be what men and circumstances make it."

— Alexander Herzen, quoted by Leo Tolstoy in The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You: Christianity Not as a Mystic Religion but as a New Theory of Life, New York, Cassell Publishing Company, 1894, p 157

No comments: