Monday, May 3, 2010

Volume II, Book II, Chapter XII

Andrei is coming around. Pierre asks him in the carriage to Bald Hills why he believes what he does. Pierre tells him of the masons and feeling something larger than himself - there's a good analogy of a ladder that we see that goes from plants to man, and why would we suppose that it doesn't go deeper than the plants and larger than us.
Andrei is mourning his wife. It's clear he has some guilt and hoped to absolve himself but instead watched her die. Heart-wrenching.
They speak for a long while, and for just a moment Andrei's heart opens up, and "for the first time since Austerlitz saw that high, eternal sky he had seen as he lay on the battlefield, and something long asleep, something that was best in him, suddenly awakened joyful and young in his soul."
It goes away as soon as he gets back in the house, but he touches it. Maybe not all is lost.

And all this before genetics, really. I was thinking that they didn't know what we do about universes, or the even smaller parts that make everyone of us. What would have Tolstoy made of that, that we are made of small universes ourselves, working together in one large being. Dust swept up into consciousness, perhaps. Multiple universes.

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