Thursday, January 31, 2013

Brilliant thoughts from the devil



Woland: "But here is a question that is troubling me: if there is no God, then, one may ask, who governs human life and, in general, the whole order of things on earth?
The poet: "Man governs himself"
Woland: "Pardon me, but in order to govern, one needs, after all, to have a precise plan for a certain, at least somewhat decent, length of time. Allow me to ask you, then, how can man govern, if he is not only deprived of the opportunity of making a plan for at least some ridiculously short period- well, say, a thousand years- but cannot even vouch for his own tomorrow?... [Say you get lung cancer] and so your governing is over! You are no longer interested in anyone's fate but your own... And it all ends tragically: a man who still recently thought he was governing something, suddenly winds up lying motionless in a wooden box, and the people around him, seeing that the man lying there is no longer good for anything, burn him in an oven.
And sometimes it's worse still: the man has just decided to go to Kislovodsk... a trifling matter, it seems, but even this he cannot accomplish, because suddenly, no one knows why, he slips and falls under a tram car! Are you going to say it was he who governed himself that way?.... Yes, man is mortal, but that would only be half the trouble. The worst of it is that he's sometimes unexpectedly mortal- there's the trick! And generally he's unable to say what he's going to do this same evening."
-"Master and Margarita", pg 13-15

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