Sunday, June 6, 2010

Volume II, Book III, Chapter X

No backdating, just trudging forward.

So - a series of journal entries from November 24th to December 9th. Also a chance for Pierre to just explore what an awful person he is, and how far he is falling short of ideals, especially when it comes to his wife and Boris Drubetskoy. (They, of course, are feeling no guilt, and T has made it clear if not explicit that something is going on. Pierre does not have guilty feelings of hatred toward Boris for nothing.

November 24th
Pierre gets home, doesn't join anyone for dinner since he doesn't like the guests, but in spite of himself goes downstairs and tells a funny story. Everyone laughs and then he remembers he shouldn't have done it. Here's his prayer: "(1)to overcome the part of wrath by gentleness and slowness: (2) of lust by restraint and repulsion; (3) to withdraw from vanity, yet not lose the habit of (a)work in government service, (b) family cares, (c) friendly relations and (d) economic concerns."

Okay, that will be easy for him.

November 27th

Indulged in laziness by lounging in bed. Bad Pierre! He has been given the duty of "rhetor", but feels unworthy. He speaks with another brother (since 3 & 7 are the numbers) of the seven pillars and seven steps of the temple, seven sciences, seven virtues, seven sciences, seven gifts of the holy spirit. I'm reading "Motherless Brooklyn" right now, and the detective with tourettes counts things - he's currently on the number six. This feels similar.

Anyhow, wouldn't you know that the person he has to receive first is Boris Drubetskoy. Of course, he feels that Boris is doing this for the wrong reasons, but he's the one who nominated him! He thinks Boris is only doing this for the connections. Ding, ding, ding, right answer!

Later he goes on a jag about how religious science is good, because it builds but human science fragments and kills everything in order to understand it. Here's a little of the religious science:

The Trinity - the three basic elements of thing - sulfur, mercury, and salt. Sulfur has the properties of oil and fire; united with salt, by its fiery quality, it arouses a craving in it through which it attracts mercury, seizes it, retains it, and together they produce separate bodies. Mercury is liquid and volatile spiritual essence - Christ, the Holy Spirit, He.

Far be it from me to pooh pooh this, but wha? I guess he has it straight for himself. I wonder if there's a test. He is truly spiritually searching, but it's sad to see that under all this, he's jealous, not in love with his wife, and taking all these actions to deny his feelings.

December 3rd

Imagining that he meets Dolokhov again, and what he should have said to him that he didn't. Angry, and unhappy about it. Then Boris comes in and he's rude to him. Feels bad about that. Then dreams about dogs attacking him, which he likens with his passions. He's a in a bad way.

December 7th

Dreams now that he meets Ioseff Alexeevich again, who is now young. He's asking Pierre what his main "predeliction" is, and at base it's that he's not being a husband to his wife. Then he wakes up and gets a letter from his benefactor about marriage duties.

December 9th

Another dream with Ioseff, who is now younger, and gives him a book with pictures of a beautiful woman who is in his mind the object/beloved in Songs of Songs. He feels bad about it.

This chapter should be titled, Pierre discovers more fundamentalism, and feels more fundamentally bad about himself. I'm still holding out hope for him. But, to borrow a Christian metaphor, he's still wondering in the desert.

I read a quote from CJ Jung that he believed every problem of anyone coming to him past the age of 35 could always and only be solved by a spiritual solution. I've also heard that in Indian society one starts to work on spiritual stuff after 40. And you're not supposed to study Kabbalah until you're 40. Maybe there's something to that. I'm turning 42 in 10 days, so perhaps its on my mind. In any case, Pierre is barely cracking 30, so I'm really worried about his future from this indication. Where can he go from here.

That said, I kind of identify with him. My brother's favorite character is Andrei, and I get admiring his power and touch with things. He's also well-liked by all the right people effortlessly, which can be so attractive in a character. Meanwhile, Pierre is just a lost orphan looking for someone to give him an answer. Inheriting all that money from the dying count (even though he was his father) was like winning the lottery. He was happy for a bit with Helene, but saw that there was emptiness at the center. And he's clueless in business. I'm crossing my fingers that this masonry stuff works out for him, but I can't help feeling he would be best matched with the big-eyes Marya, Andrei's sister. We'll see. sigh

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