Fyodor Dostoyevsky Describes The Dark Side Of Humanity Perfectly
The journey to penetrate deep into the suffering of the human soul.
“The wisest of all, in my opinion, is he who can, if only once a month, call himself a fool.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Wisdom is about the ability to call yourself a fool. Thus spoke Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist whose works explored the human condition. His writing style peeked into his characters inner lives, penetrating deep into the darkness of the soul.
Humanity for him was a mystery. One that he spent his entire life studying. Why? Because he wanted to be human.
“To study the meaning of man and of life — I am making significant progress here. I have faith in myself. Man is a mystery: if you spend your entire life trying to puzzle it out, then do not say that you have wasted your time. I occupy myself with this mystery, because I want to be a man.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
In a way, Dostoyevsky’s work reflected the principles coming down from Socrates of ancient Greece. Know thyself. The wisest man is the one who knows he knows nothing.
The Russian novelist took it a step further. He asked one fundamental question. Why are people so dark?
This is as pertinent as ever. The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine has reminded us of the evil that lurks in human nature. It is as present now as it was in the 19th century when Dostoyevsky was writing. Sometimes it goes into hiding, only for it to awaken with full fury in the worst of times.
The traditional view of evil gets it backwards. The darkness in humanity is not a reflection of the Devil. Rather, the Devil is a reflection of humanity. In one of his works, Dostoyevsky commented that humans created him in their own image.
“I think the devil doesn’t exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Society is corrupt, and always will be
The defining moment in Dostoyevsky’s life came right at the instant his life was about to be extinguished. As a young…