Do we ever learn anything from history? Do we really ever make "progress"? Or are we as humans suffer from extreme short memory spans of maximum 10 years?
I am reading Dostoevsky's "Karamazov Brother's." 129 years gone, and people suffer from the same ills and delusions, fight the same problems, make the same mistakes and lose in the end. This is terrifying me.
The other day, I read a quotation from Jose Luis Borges On the back of Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment":
"Discovering Dostoevsky is as important as seeing the sea for the first time in ones life. This usually happens in the youth, we prefer more soothing books when we get older. I read Crime and Punishment in 1915 in Geneve. This book, whose heroes were a murderer and a whore, seemed more destructive than the war surrounding me. Reading Dostoevsky is like going into the shade of a war..."
Here I am, 73 years, 2 World Wars, 2 Atom Bombs, 2 Global Financial Depressions, 2 Intifadas later, reading the same lines, and going into the shade of another war. Do we ever learn anything?
I learned something:
One of the main characters of Brothers Karamazov is Father Zosima. He turns himself to God and the Church life on the morning of a duel. He is inspired by his big brother who dies when he was 7. His brother, knowing that he would die in a year, sees clearly that he is responsible for the sins an the sufferings of all his fellow humans. Only then is he able to find paradise. Not in the life afterwards, but here.
I am, you are, we are all guilty for the people dying in Gazza, or died in Israel. There is no winner, no loser.
Just a bunch of guilty people in denial...