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The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained.
Solzhenitsyn’s statement that “even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained,” is, I think, the single most hopeful statement regarding humanity that I have ever encountered. It is, first, an axiom of Orthodox Christian belief. A notion of total depravity, of human evil so thorough that nothing good remains, is alien to Orthodoxy. Whether it is Dostoevsky’s story of the old woman saved by a rotten onion (or “potentially saved” by that single miserable act of generosity), or the last-minute salvation of the thief on the Cross, the faith celebrates the extreme mercy found in such stories.
CS - Lewis - Great - Divorce - Take
C.S. Lewis, in The Great Divorce, offers an interesting take on the presence of this tiny bridgehead of goodness. People from what might become **** take a bus-ride to the edge of heaven, and may stay. It is an offer that reveals the innermost heart – the in’s and out’s of how someone might walk away from heaven itself. There is a woman in the story who seems to have nothing wrong with her other than the habit of grumbling about everything. Lewis wonders what is so wrong with her. He is told:
‘The whole difficulty of understanding **** is that the thing to be understood is so nearly Nothing.
Questions - Anthropology - Matters - Question - Times
I wrestle with questions of “anthropology” when I think of such matters. By that, I mean the question of exactly what it means to exist as a human being. I have written numerous times about the “ontological”...
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