Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Belonging To ...

The Orlov Trotter has been immortalized by Count Lev Tolstoy, in the short story titled Kholstomer. This is, indeed, a wonderful story ... reflecting on some of the events that happened, and at the same time, a reflection on the rationale behind some of the things people do ... like the treatment of Kholstomer at the hands of people ... from a celebrated descendant of Smetanka, to the gelding it died.

Why am i writing about this? There are a few reasons ... One, the chord the story touches. For its amazing description of Russian society as it looked then, to the attitudes of people, which only someone with the genius of Count Tolstoy can depict. Another, probably larger reason, is one part of the story, which goes somewhat like ...

The mistake he made was to think of me belonging to him. Human beings believe that others belong to them, which is not true. We after all belong only to God, and to ourselves.

Something to that effect ... i am sure something would have gotten lost in the translation, and not knowing Russian myself, i would prefer to let someone better than me at the translation (which is a lot of people, i must say!) dwell on the details of the passage. All i would like to write about is the idea ... that we belong only to God, and to ourselves. We do not belong to anything or anyone else in this world. That such a belonging, while being obvious, is only temporary, and must go away. So it would only stand to reason that all belonging must be only to the soul, and to the Supreme Soul ...

Interesting ... especially if we try to understand what this could imply.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

We only belong to God is a philanthropic way of looking at life. Good theory, but I guess its difficult to accept in the real life. I mean its one of those ideal kinda situations which you can only hope to be in but never quite achieve, simply becos it doesnt exist - how do i put it - its ideal but not realistic.

and whats more important is the consequence of such a theory - i think this theory can become dangerous, if its twisted n manipulated according to our convi=enience, then the outcome can be disastrous.

Anjali said...

Atul I haven't read this story but abot " We belong only to GOD" while this is true and should be a reminder to us at all times. However it is not pragmatic to announce it to people especially people close to us. After all as Shakespeare said "The world is a stage"....We all play our roles but are we that character?

Atul said...

i agree, actually, and i dont think what you are saying is actually different from the philosophy here.

first, yes, this is an ideal state. but then, more than state, its a thought.

also, when the thought of belonging to God comes, then definitely, the stage being also a part of God's creation, one is a part of the stage, and must play the part ... what this talks about, i guess, is ownership? or rather, that was the way i was reading it! :-)

Anjali said...

Was keen to see your reply and now want to check that story out for sure.

Nimmy said...

intriguing post... :-)
half-baked thoughts for now...would we behave like howard roark in ayn rand's fountainhead if we were to adopt this philosophy...??? think about it....!! isn't the Gita somewhat like this? Krishna asks Arjuna to forget his attachments and submit everything to Him....huh?

Atul said...

why half-baked, Nimmy? i actually didnt get round to reading Fountainhead ... found the sheer size too daunting. But yes, thats somewhat the idea, as you mentioned about Sri Krishna saying in the Gita! of course, its Utopian, but nevertheless ...

Nimmy said...

half-baked coz i just wrote spontaneously. dont think i really thought it through till the 'end'...your post triggered off some thoughts on FH and BG and i just scribbled on without thinking further... :-) see...that's the world we are living in....i've got to finish off a few things today and that made me rush through my comments...thought it'd be better for me to admit that my thoughts are half-baked...

Nimmy said...

and please do read FH...one of my favourite books ever...and not just mine, btw....a must-read for people passionate about some thing in life...s o m e t h i n g

Atul said...

with that recommendation, i must try to read. :-)

Nimmy said...

and oh ya....in case you are not familiar with Ayn Rand's life...coincidentally for this post, Rand was a Russian who ran away to America. :-)