Madame Hohlakov confesses to Zossima that, for her part, she suffers from a lack of faith; she can grasp neither the Christian idea of immortality nor any type of life beyond the grave. She says furthermore that if she does a charitable act, she wants to receive thanks and praise for it. Zossima tells her that if she practices active, honest love, she will grow to understand the reality of God and the immortality of her soul. "Attain to perfect self-forgetfulness in the love of your neighbor," he counsels her, "then you will believe without doubt." Ending the interview, he promises her that he will send Alyosha to visit Lise.Book II is largely devoted to a study of Zossima and his teachings. This saintly ascetic influences all of Alyosha's actions, and to thoroughly understand this youngest member of the Karamazov clan, one must understand the man to whom he zealously attaches himself.
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