Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Solzhenitsyn says this in Vol. 2 of The Gulag Archipelago:
[T]he ways of the Lord are imponderable. [W]e ourselves never know what we want. [H]ow many times in my life [have] I passionately sought what I did not need and been despondent over failures which were successes. (501, "The Muses in Gulag")
Profound truth! We chase after goals that we have set for ourselves (or perhaps goals that wider society has set for us and we pretend to have set for ourselves) and count as success when we meet them and failure when we do not.

Our children are told again and again to follow their dreams, to passionately pursue that which they most desire.

But this assumes that we are good judges of what we ought to pursue, that we can rightly distinguish those desires which are worthy from those that are not. But we are not good judges of this. Much that we desire we ought not desire, and much that would be good for us if we had it we do not desire.

What is your goal? Wealth? Money is but a means to an end, and to set it up as the end of one's life is thus profoundly mistaken. Power? Power corrupts (or rather feeds the innate corruption that is our inheritance from Adam). Fame? The world is foolish, and only a fool seeks fame among fools.

Be careful what you pursue, and do not assume at present that you know what you ought to do.

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