TO ASK FORGIVENESS OF THE BIRDS
The Words of Father Zossima

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When Father Zossima was young, his dying brother asked forgiveness of the birds: “Though I can’t explain it to you, I like to humble myself before them, because I don’t know how to love them enough.”

These words became a cornerstone in Zossima’s existential theology, embracing love and absurdity - even love as absurdity.

Speaking with visitors before his own death, Zossima recalls his brother’s words: “My brother asked the birds to forgive him - that sounds senseless, but it is right - for all is like an ocean, all is flowing and blending - a touch in one place sets up movement at the other end of the earth.”

In Father Zossima, Dostoevsky embodies an honest, human response to the question of theodicy, marking a major development in early existentialist thought.

Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky
Translator: Constance Garnett
Editor: Anthony Opal
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-7356630-2-9

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