Lecture 2, AK - Thursday LECTURE 2 ANNA KARENINA True life is not lived where great changes take place it is lived only where these tiny tiny

Lecture 2, AK - Thursday LECTURE 2 ANNA KARENINA True life...

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Thursday, October 31, 2013 L ECTURE 2: A NNA K ARENINA . True life is not lived where great changes take place; it is lived only where these tiny, tiny, infinitesimally small changes take places. Tolstoy explains this in his article through Dostoyevsky’s novel, Crime and Punishment . In this consciousness, tiny, tiny alternations are taking place. Tiny, tiny alterations, but on them depend many terrible, and drastic consequences. Houses, riches, and people’s bodies may perish, but nothing more important can happen than what is hidden in man’s consciousness. And tiny, tiny changes can happen in your consciousness when you’re not thinking of anything particularly grand, which forms the climate of your mind. It is the small things that matter: Dostoyevsky. Except Tolstoy is making them even smaller. Father Z says, ‘when you meet somebody, pay them a small greeting; when you think of someone, direct your consciousness away from resentment or anger’ – a small act. Direct your thought away from resentment (a small change in your mind). Tolstoy also believed that the most important events – the events that make our life what they are – are not the grand events, but the small, ordinary events. The events that we do not even see just because they are so small. In the distance, only the tree tops are visible – it only looks like a forest, but when you look closely, there are houses. You only see what is noticeable and think that that is all that is important. This is a fallacy of perception . Men think that the only events that were recorded (dramatic, grand ones), that’s all that was happening. Apart from the soldiers, most people were going on and living their life in a daily way – there were many other things happening, they were thinking about what their next rations would be, the good looking woman in the canteen – but these things were not recorded or documented, because you do not record ordinary things. Ordinary things and moments are not recorded or documented. It’s the same in our ordinary life – if you engage in this fallacy of perception, where you only think of what you remember (this is the equivalent of documentation), then you forget to include small, ordinary events. Your real life is the ordinary feeling in the moment; it’s not the things in the foreground, it’s the things in the background that got in by chance, that make life what it is. Your life is not made up by great moments such as your wedding day, your graduation, your great triumph – if you think that, you will not be living your life; life will be a mystery to you if you think that. Your life is not what happens in great moments. o This fallacy of perception / this mistake is made partly because of the way our memory works. We remember the ‘important’, grand things.

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