Only Listen With Attention

When you are listening to a friend or reading a book, do not assign great value to individual words or even to phrases. Forget separate thoughts, and give no great consideration even to logically arranged ideas. Remember that though your friend desires it, he cannot express himself save by ready-made forms of speech. Look well to the expression of his face, listen to the intonation of his voice-this will help you to penetrate through his words to his soul. Not only in conversation, but even in a written book, can one over hear the sound, even the timbre of the author’s voice, and notice the finest shades of expression in his eyes and face. Do not fasten upon contradictions, do not dispute, do not demand argument: only listen with attention.

Lev Shestov, Penultimate Words

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Above and Beyond Knowledge

The source of everything “miraculous” is faith, and moreover a faith so bold that it seeks no justification from reason, it seeks no justification from any quarter; a faith that instead summons everything in the world to its own tribunal. Faith is above and beyond knowledge. When Abraham went to the Promised Land, explains the Apostle, he went not knowing himself where he was going. He had no need of knowledge, he lived by what he had been promised; the place where he arrived would be the Promised Land, simply because he had arrived there.

Lev Shestov, Kierkegaard and the Existential Philosophy

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O Death, Where is Thy Sting?

Faith, only the faith that looks to the Creator and that He inspires, radiates from itself the supreme and decisive truths condemning what is and what is not. Reality is transfigured. The heavens glorify the Lord. The prophets and apostles cry in ecstasy, “O death, where is thy sting? Hell, where is thy victory?” And all announce: “Eye hath not seen, non ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”

Lev Shestov

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