TPAOL Question #27 ~ Hope

by James Meek

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TPAOL Question #27 ~ Hope

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:30 am

pg 253. Samarin is talking to Anna about the castrates and he tells her, “It shows there’s hope. Hope to think that modern man will make such sacrifices for something they believe in, for more than something they can reach out and touch. That not everything is a transaction.” Is Balashov’s sacrifice an act of hope?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
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Unread postby Charlene » Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:08 am

An act of hope? Maybe in his warped world; but it's an act of stupdity in mine. Along with all those other self inflicted floggings and other odd things people do in the name of religion. Do they really think that God wants them to mutilate a body that he made in his own image? Does he want them in a position that they become "soft" and unable to defend themselves or stand up for what is right. They cannot crawl under a rock and hide like they want...because chances are "life" is going to stroll through that garden and kick the rock over and they will be exposed like writhing worms.

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Unread postby Linda Lee » Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:24 am

“It shows there’s hope. Hope to think that modern man will make such sacrifices for something they believe in, for more than something they can reach out and touch. That not everything is a transaction.” Is Balashov’s sacrifice an act of hope?


Samarin sees this sacrifice as moving toward a goal no matter what the cost and it gives him hope for his own cause. A cause to be achieved at any cost - the end justifies the means - he will go to any extreme to achieve his goal. He sees this sacrifice as "hope" that his acts of terror are justified. It is such an extreme action, the Skoptsy show no hope that God will help them. I would call it an act of despair, that man is incapable of rising above temptation by any other means.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:34 pm

Charlene wrote: An act of hope? Maybe in his warped world;


Charlene, I think that is the key as I see it. Considering the chaos of the times with war, famine and political upheaval the order of the day, maybe he saw anyone that would scarifice for the good of others to be ray of hope. Just as he believed he was doing. (Not that I agree with their ideas of going about it!) EDIT: Linda Lee!, It does appear to be more of an act of despair from our point of view.
Last edited by DeppInTheHeartOfTexas on Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Linda Lee » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:11 pm

maybe he saw anyone that would scarifice for the good of others to be ray of hope


Did you see their "sacrifice" as being for others? I saw it as being for one's self, to become an angel and share in the paradise created here on earth.


Charlene, the picture you paint of them is how I see them also.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:18 pm

Linda Lee (apologies...I called you gemini above :blush: ) I think Samarin and Balashov saw it that way but I didn't. I think Balashov felt he was sharing that sacrifice with others (through castrating them) to show them the way to Heaven, but he definitely beleived he would benefit too.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Liz » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:23 pm

I saw Balashov's way of life as a sacrifice for God, not for his fellow man. But I think Samarin saw his sacrifice as that for mankind. He thought he was doing mankind a favor--making the world a better place.
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Unread postby gemini » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:31 pm

Samarin is talking to Anna about the castrates and he tells her, “It shows there’s hope. Hope to think that modern man will make such sacrifices for something they believe in, for more than something they can reach out and touch. That not everything is a transaction.” Is Balashov’s sacrifice an act of hope?
Yes, Balashov did believe in a higher cause and a better world. His methods of sacrifice seem a bit mislead but even he realizes that in the end.
Samarin is comparing the castrates sacrifice to his own sacrifice of love, family, even his humanity for his cause of a better world.
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Unread postby Linda Lee » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:40 pm

DITHOT, Ok, I can see that, I was thinking only of the individual's castration, not about "helping" others in this way.

Liz, I did think he saw it as a sacrifice for God. Even though, as Charlene said, I will never understand how mutilating that which was made in the image of God would bring them closer to God. I also agree Samarin thought he was making the world a better place.
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Unread postby Endora » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:41 pm

Charlene, well put. They'd put themselves above God, hadn't they. But perhaps that's the key point in extremism of any sort, the hope that you can change something no matter how absurd or unkind the method.
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:00 pm

Balashov’s mutilation was not a traditional belief. But I do believe that he believed (at the time) that it was the way to God. I think he was deceived, and allowed himself to be deceived. But I do believe at the time he thought he was doing the right thing. He saw later that he may have made a miscalculation.
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Unread postby Depputante » Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:02 pm

Liz wrote:Balashov’s mutilation was not a traditional belief. But I do believe that he believed (at the time) that it was the way to God. I think he was deceived, and allowed himself to be deceived. But I do believe at the time he thought he was doing the right thing. He saw later that he may have made a miscalculation.


Are the miscalculations , in physical inches, or in light years, or both? :eyebrow:

One opinion might be that he was right on track, did what he wanted to do, and died a happy man.
“The scariest enemy is from within. Allowing yourself to be limited and conform to what you're expected to conform to.”~JD

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Unread postby Liz » Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:36 pm

Depputante wrote:
Liz wrote:Balashov’s mutilation was not a traditional belief. But I do believe that he believed (at the time) that it was the way to God. I think he was deceived, and allowed himself to be deceived. But I do believe at the time he thought he was doing the right thing. He saw later that he may have made a miscalculation.


Are the miscalculations , in physical inches, or in light years, or both? :eyebrow:

One opinion might be that he was right on track, did what he wanted to do, and died a happy man.


He didn't seem happy, though, with the direction he had gone when he said this: "You know, when you're no longer a man, and no longer an angel, life can be very tiresome." This also does not sound like a man who is totally happy with what he is about to do: "If an angel falls so as to save someone, it must please God, though never so greatly that God can save the angel." I think he was ambivalent about his path.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:57 pm

Or maybe he felt he couldn't escape his destiny?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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