“The more stupid one is, the closer one is to reality. The more stupid one is, the clearer one is. Stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence squirms and hides itself. Intelligence is unprincipled, but stupidity is honest and straightforward.” – The Brothers Karamazov [Fyodor Dostoevsky]

Tyler’s commentary… truth is often disdained and dismissed in favor of our preferences, and in an effort to elevate our predilections we commit all our intellectual power to the cause of modulating, mangling, and maiming the truth. Simply put, we lie to ourselves, and subsequently we condemn anyone who remains committed to childlike, straightforward, truth; and we label proponents of simple truth “stupid”, “bigoted,” and “foolish.”

For instance, there is an absolutely authoritative story about navigating abuse in the book of Genesis. The story involves a dude named Joseph. Joseph was the victim of verbal, emotional, spiritual, and physical abuse. There are lots of folks blogging and publishing books about abuse nowadays, and they are squirming with all their might to avoid and amend the simple principles of Joseph’s story. Joseph’s decision to reject “victimhood” as his primary identity is considered “stupid” according to modern ‘abuse experts.’ Furthermore, Joseph’s emphatic decision to retain his identity as agent and privileged leader is regarded by modern ‘abuse experts’ as bigoted! And, Joseph’s decision to forgive his abusers and reconcile with them, and resume living with them is considered immoral! These bloggers and authors profess great concern for humanity in general, but their love for people in particular is non-existent or in short supply! Fyodor Dostoevsky would say, ‘the simple and profound principles of Gospel forgiveness, shrewdness, reconciliation, and redemption are being butchered and discarded by intellectuals; and the “stupid folks” remain committed to the honest and straightforward story of Joseph.’

Here are a few more excerpts from The Brothers Karamazov that prompt the commentary above.

“Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into disrespect towards himself and others. Not respecting anyone, he ceases to love, and having no love, he gives himself up to passions and coarse pleasures in order to occupy and amuse himself, and in his vices reaches complete beastiality, and it all comes form lying continually to others and himself. A man who lies to himself is often the first to take offense. it sometimes feels very good to take offense, doesn’t it? And surely he knows that no one has offended him, and that he himself has invented the offense and told lies just for the beauty of it, that he has exaggerated for the sake of effect, that he has picked up on a word and made a mountain out of a pea–he knows all of that, and still he is the first to take offense, he likes feeling offended, it gives him great pleasure, and thus he reaches the point of real hostility…”

– Fyodor Dostoevsky

The more I love humanity in general the less I love man in particular. In my dreams, I often make plans for the service of humanity, and perhaps I might actually face crucifixion if it were suddenly necessary. Yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone for two days together. I know from experience. As soon as anyone is near me, his personality disturbs me and restricts my freedom. In twenty-four hours I begin to hate the best of men: one because he’s too long over his dinner, another because he has a cold and keeps on blowing his nose. I become hostile to people the moment they come close to me. But it has always happened that the more I hate men individually the more I love humanity.

– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.

– Fyodor Dostoevsky