Împărăția lui Dumnezeu este cu tine. Lev Tolstoi

Împărăția lui Dumnezeu este cu tine/The Kingdom of God is Within You“, de Lev Tolstoi, a treia parte a trilogiei sale creștin anarhist-pacifiste.

Dacă prima parte, „A confession” (1879), are ca temă căutările spirituale ale lui Tolstoi, iar a doua, „What I believe” (1884), explorează principala învățătură a lui Iisus, non-rezistența prin forță în fața răului, a treia parte, „The Kingdom of God is Within You” (1893), este și cea mai densă, în care, pe lângă atacurile la ipocrizia Bisericii, se manifestă și viziunea anti-stat a scriitorului rus.

Tolstoi a respins Biserica pe motiv că e eretică și că predică împotriva învățăturii lui Iisus. Acesta a extras din Predica de pe Munte cinci porunci pe care Iisus le-a dat omenirii, porunci care anulează decalogul din Vechiul Testament și care aduc un nou fel de a trăi.

Cele cinci porunci sunt: 1) live in peace with all men, 2) be pure, 3) take no oaths, 4) do not resist evil, 5) renounce national distinctions.

Pornind de la aceste cinci reguli de viață date de Iisus, Tolstoi începe și distruge ba Biserica, ba statalitatea, ba jurămintele depuse în slujba statalității, ba naționalismul.

Tolstoi arată că, în Biblie, versetele despre fondarea unei Biserici a lui Iisus sunt extrem de obscure și că acestea nu validează Biserica zilelor noastre. Că chiar și acele versete obscure nu spun cum ar trebui să arate Biserica, nu spun că ar trebui să arate cum arată acum. Mai departe, rusul spune că actuala Biserică nu este clădită pe viziunea lui Iisus, ci pe cea a lui Constatin cel Mare, pe a interpretării textelor sfinte date de clerici și pe infailibilitatea pe care aceștia și-au arogat-o.

„The more widely Christianity was diffused, and the greater the number of people unprepared for it who were brought under its sway, the less it was understood, the more absolutely was its infallibility insisted on, and the less possible it became to understand the true meaning of the doctrine. In the times of Constantine the whole interpretation of the doctrine had been already reduced to a résumé – supported by the temporal authority – of the disputes that had taken place in the Council – to a creed that reckoned off – I believe in so and so, and so and so, and so and so to the end – to one holy, Apostolic Church, which means the infallibility of those persons who call themselves the Church. Consequently, it all amounts to a man no longer believing in God nor Christ, as they are revealed to him, but believing in what the Church orders him to believe in.

But the Church is holy; the Church was founded by Christ. God could not leave men to interpret his teaching at random – therefore he founded the Church. All those statements are so utterly untrue and unfounded that one is ashamed to refute them. Nowhere nor in anything, except in the assertion of the Church, can we find that God or Christ founded anything like what Churchmen understand by the Church. In the Gospels there is a warning against the Church, as it is an external authority, a warning most clear and obvious in the passage where it is said that Christ’s followers should “call no man master.” But nowhere is anything said of the foundation of what Churchmen call the Church.

The word church is used twice in the Gospels – once in the sense of an assembly of men to decide a dispute, the other time in connection with the obscure utterance about a stone – Peter, and the gates of hell. From these two passages in which the word church is used, in the signification merely of an assembly, has been deduced all that we now understand by the Church. But Christ could not have founded the Church, that is, what we now understand by that word. For nothing like the idea of the Church as we know it now, with its sacraments, miracles, and above all its claim to infallibility, is to be found either in Christ’s words or in the ideas of the men of that time. The fact that men called what was formed afterward by the same word as Christ used for something totally different, does not give them the right to assert that Christ founded the one, true Church”.

După ce explică faptul că actuala Biserică nu-și are rădăcinile în Iisus, Tolstoi începe să examineze doctrina acesteia și accentul pe care-l pune pe idolatrizare și pe tot felul de formule supranaturale în care niciun om nu mai crede.

„The churches, with their principles and their practice, are not a thing of the past. The churches are before us today, and we can judge of them to some purpose by their practical activity, their influence on men. What is the practical work of the churches today? What is their influence upon men? What is done by the churches among us, among the Catholics and the Protestants of all denominations – what is their practical work? And what are the results of their practical work? The practice of our Russian so-called Orthodox Church is plain to all. It is an enormous fact that there is no possibility of hiding and about which there can be no disputing. What constitutes the practical work of this Russian Church, this immense, intensely active institution, which consists of a regiment of half a million men and costs the people tens of millions of rubles?

The practical business of the Church consists in instilling by every conceivable means into the mass of one hundred million Russian people those extinct relics of beliefs for which there is nowadays no kind of justification, in which scarcely anyone now believes, and often not even those whose duty it is to diffuse these false beliefs.” To instill into the people the formulas of Byzantine theology, of the Trinity, of the Mother of God, of Sacraments, of Grace, and so on, extinct conceptions, foreign to us, and having no kind of meaning for men of our times, forms only one part of the work of the Russian Church. Another part of its practice consists in the maintenance of idol-worship in the most literal meaning of the word: in the veneration of holy relics, and of icons, the offering of sacrifices to them, and the expectation of their answers to prayer.”

Dar Tolstoi nu se oprește aici, ci insistă să scoată la lumină ridicolul din practicile religiei așa cum este ea predată de Biserică, distrugând concepte precum botezul, rugăciunea, împărtășania, spovedania, idolatria în fața icoanelor și relicvelor de tot felul, sanctificarea căsătoriei, postul și ritualurile înmormântării.

„I will begin from the beginning with the birth of a child. At the birth of a child they teach them that they must recite a prayer over the child and mother to purify them, as though without this prayer the mother of a newborn child were unclean. To do this the priest holds the child in his arms before the images of the saints (called by the people plainly gods) and reads words of exorcising power, and this purifies the mother. Then it is suggested to the parents, and even exacted of them, under fear of punishment for non-fulfillment, that the child must be baptized; that is, be dipped by the priest three times into the water, while certain words, understood by no one, are read aloud, and certain actions, still less understood, are performed; various parts of the body are rubbed with oil, and the hair is cut, while the sponsors blow and spit at an imaginary devil. All this is necessary to purify the child and to make him a Christian. Then it is instilled into the parents that they ought to administer the sacrament to the child, that is, give him, in the guise of bread and wine, a portion of Christ’s body to eat, as a result of which the child receives the grace of God within it, and so on.

Then it is suggested that the child as it grows up must be taught to pray. To pray means to place himself directly before the wooden boards on which are painted the faces of Christ, the Mother of God, and the saints, to bow his head and his whole body, and to touch his forehead, his shoulders and his stomach with his right hand, holding his fingers in a certain position, and to utter some words of Slavonic, the most usual of which as taught to all children are, “Mother of God, virgin, rejoice, etc., etc.” Then it is instilled into the child as it is brought up that at the sight of any church or icon he must repeat the same action – i.e., cross himself. Then it is instilled into him that on holidays (holidays are the days on which Christ was born, though no one knows when that was, on which he was circumcised, on which the Mother of God died, on which the cross was carried in procession, on which icons have been set up, on which a lunatic saw a vision, and so on) – on holidays he must dress himself in his best clothes and go to church, and must buy candles and place them there before the images of the saints.

Then he must give offerings and prayers for the dead, and little loaves to be cut up into three-cornered pieces, and must pray many times for the health and prosperity of the Czar and the bishops, and for himself and his own affairs, and then kiss the cross and the hand of the priest. Besides these observances, it is instilled into him that at least once a year he must confess. To confess means to go to the church and to tell the priest his sins, on the theory that this informing a stranger of his sins completely purifies him from them. And after that he must eat with a little spoon a morsel of bread with wine, which will purify him still more. Next it is instilled into him that if a man and woman want their physical union to be sanctified they must go to church, put on metal crowns, drink certain potions, walk three times round a table to the sound of singing, and that then the physical union of a man and woman becomes sacred and altogether different from all other such unions.

Further it is instilled into him in his life that he must observe the following rules: not to eat butter or milk on certain days, and on certain other days to sing Te Deums and requiems for the dead, on holidays to entertain the priest and give him money, and several times in the year to bring the icons from the church, and to carry them slung on his shoulders through the fields and houses. It is instilled into him that on his death-bed a man must not fail to eat bread and wine with a spoon, and that it will be still better if he has time to be rubbed with sacred oil. This will guarantee his welfare in the future life. After his death it is instilled into his relatives that it is a good thing for the salvation of the dead man to place a printed paper of prayers in his hands; it is a good thing further to read aloud a certain book over the dead body, and to pronounce the dead man’s name in church at a certain time. All this is regarded as faith obligatory on everyone.

But if anyone wants to take particular care of his soul, then according to this faith he is instructed that the greatest security of the salvation of the soul in the world is attained by offering money to the churches and monasteries, and engaging the holy men by this means to pray for him. Entering monasteries too, and kissing relics and miraculous icons, are further means of salvation for the soul.

According to this faith icons and relics communicate a special sanctity, power, and grace, and even proximity to these objects, touching them, kissing them, putting candles before them, crawling under them while they are being carried along, are all efficacious for salvation, as well as Te Deums repeated before these holy things.

So this, and nothing else, is the faith called Orthodox, which is the actual faith that, under the guise of Christianity, has been with all the forces of the Church, and is now with especial zeal, instilled into the people. And let no one say that the Orthodox teachers place the essential part of their teaching in something else, and that all these are only ancient forms, which it is not thought necessary to do away with. That is false. This, and nothing but this, is the faith taught through the whole of Russia by the whole of the Russian clergy, and in recent years with especial zeal. There is nothing else taught. Something different may be talked of and written of in the capitals; but among the hundred million people this is what is done, this is what is taught, and nothing more. Churchmen may talk of something else, but this is what they teach by every means in their power. All this, and the worship of relics and of icons, has been introduced into works of theology and into the catechisms. Thus they teach it to the people in theory and in practice, using every resource of authority, solemnity, pomp, and violence to impress them. They compel the people, by overawing them, to believe in this, and jealously guard this faith from any attempt to free the people from these barbarous superstitions”.

Scriitorul rus spune că divinul este o evoluție socială naturală, ceea ce se potrivește și cu Piramida lui Maslow. Chiar dacă nu crezi în divin, atunci când viziunea ta de viață se îndreaptă către lumea largă, când nu e doar despre tine și ai tăi, te afli pe drumul spre el.

„These philosophies of life are three in number, and only three, not because we have arbitrarily brought the various theories of life together under these three heads, but because all men’s actions are always based on one of these three views of life – because we cannot view life otherwise than in these three ways.

These three views of life are as follows: first, embracing the individual, or the animal view of life; second, embracing the society, or the pagan view of life; third, embracing the whole world, or the divine view of life. In the first theory of life a man’s life is limited to his one individuality; the aim of life is the satisfaction of the will of this individuality. In the second theory of life a man’s life is limited not to his own individuality, but to certain societies and classes of individuals: to the tribe, the family, the clan, the nation; the aim of life is limited to the satisfaction of the will of those associations of individuals. In the third theory of life a man’s life is limited not to societies and classes of individuals, but extends to the principle and source of life – to God. (…)

The whole historic existence of mankind is nothing else than the gradual transition from the personal, animal conception of life to the social conception of life, and from the social conception of life to the divine conception of life. The whole history of the ancient peoples, lasting through thousands of years and ending with the history of Rome, is the history of the transition from the animal, personal view of life to the social view of life. The whole of history from the time of the Roman Empire and the appearance of Christianity is the history of the transition, through which we are still passing now, from the social view of life to the divine view of life”.

De la jumătatea cărții încolo, Tolstoi începe să lovească și-n statalitate, și-n opresiunea pe care aceasta o manifestă asupra poporului, și-n militarism.

„If the laborer has no land, if he cannot use the natural right of every man to derive subsistence for himself and his family out of the land, that is not because the people wish it to be so, but because a certain set of men, the landowners, have appropriated the right of giving or refusing admittance to the land to the laborers. And this abnormal order of things is maintained by the army. If the immense wealth produced by the labor of the working classes is not regarded as the property of all, but as the property of a few exceptional persons; if labor is taxed by authority and the taxes spent by a few on what they think fit; if strikes on the part of laborers are repressed, while on the part of capitalists they are encouraged; if certain persons appropriate the right of choosing the form of the education, religious and secular, of children, and certain persons monopolize the right of making the laws all must obey, and so dispose of the lives and properties of other people – all this is not done because the people wish it and because it is what is natural and right, but because the government and ruling classes wish this to be so for their own benefit, and insist on its being so even by physical violence.

The rivalry of the European states in constantly increasing their forces has reduced them to the necessity of having recourse to universal military service, since by that means the greatest possible number of soldiers is obtained at the least possible expense. Germany first hit on this device. And at the very moment one state adopted it the others were obliged to do the same. And by this means all citizens are under arms to support the iniquities practiced upon them; all citizens have become their own oppressors.”

În ceea ce privește obligațiile pe care statul le impune asupra cetățenilor, Tolstoi spune că toate sunt împotriva creștinismului și că nicio persoană care se consideră creștină nu ar trebui să se lase oprimată de către stat.

Aici intrăm într-o altă arie, care leagă statalitatea cu creștinismul, legătură a cărei ipocrizii l-a stârnit de la bun început pe Tolstoi să sape la rădăcina adevăratului creștinism predat de Iisus.

Tolstoi spune că nu doar a fi parte din armată este anti-creștin, ci și depunerea jurămintelor. A depune un jurământ, fie ca magistrat sau ca soldat sau ca orice altceva, înseamnă să te supui legii oamenilor. Înseamnă să accepți a priori să faci tot ce ți se spune, fără a știi ce ți se va cere să faci. Să juri să te supui legii oamenilor înseamnă să te scoți de sub legea lui Iisus, care a spus că legea Lui este singura lege.

În concluzie, aici este originea anarhismului din filosofia lui Tolstoi. Pentru el, un stat care, printre altele, forțează cetățeanul să meargă în armată și să ucidă, un stat care-și impune propria lege în fața legii lui Iisus, este un stat profund anti-creștin, chiar dacă se asociază cu Biserica. Pentru că, după cum am văzut până acum, Tolstoi consideră (pe bună dreptate) că și Biserica este anti-creștină.

„All state obligations are against the conscience of a Christian – the oath of allegiance, taxes, law proceedings, and military service. And the whole power of the government rests on these very obligations.

Thus they (some christians n.r) refuse the voluntary payment of taxes, because taxes are spent on deeds of violence – on the pay of men of violence – soldiers, on the construction of prisons, fortresses, and cannons. They as Christians regard it as sinful and immoral to have any hand in such deeds.

Those who refuse to take the oath of allegiance refuse because to promise obedience to authorities, that is, to men who are given to deeds of violence, is contrary to the sense of Christ’s teaching. They refuse to take the oath in the law courts, because oaths are directly forbidden by the Gospel. They refuse to perform police duties, because in the performance of these duties they must use force against their brothers and ill-treat them, and a Christian cannot do that. They refuse to take part in trials at law, because they consider every appeal to law is fulfilling the law of vengeance, which is inconsistent with the Christian law of forgiveness and love. They refuse to take any part in military preparations and in the army, because they cannot be executioners, and they are unwilling to prepare themselves to be so.

The motives in all these cases are so excellent that, however despotic governments may be, they could hardly punish them openly. To punish men for refusing to act against their conscience the government must renounce all claim to good sense and benevolence. And they assure people that they only rule in the name of good sense and benevolence. What are governments to do against such people?

Governments can of course flog to death or execute or keep in perpetual imprisonment all enemies who want to overturn them by violence, they can lavish gold on that section of the people who are ready to destroy their enemies. But what can they do against men who, without wishing to overturn or destroy anything, desire simply for their part to do nothing against the law of Christ, and who, therefore, refuse to perform the commonest state requirements, which are, therefore, the most indispensable to the maintenance of the state?”

„Christianity in its true sense puts an end to government. It was understood in this way at its very commencement; it was for that cause that Christ was crucified. It has always been understood in this way by people who were not under the necessity of justifying a Christian government. Only from the time that the heads of government assumed an external and nominal Christianity, men began to invent all the impossible, cunningly devised theories by means of which Christianity can be reconciled with government.

But no honest and serious-minded man of our day can help seeing the incompatibility of true Christianity – the doctrine of meekness, forgiveness of injuries, and love – with government, with its pomp, acts of violence, executions, and wars. The profession of true Christianity not only excludes the possibility of recognizing government, but also even destroys its very foundations”.

Bineînțeles că acum te întrebi cum ar putea umanitatea supraviețui fără statalitate, fără guvernământ, fără naționalism? Ei bine, Tolstoi spune că societatea nu este ținută împreună de anumite percepte impuse cu forța de stat, ci de opinia publică.

Scriitorul rus arată că folosirea forței nu poate niciodată suprima ceva ce opinia publică tolerează/susține și că principala forță care stabilește reguli nu este forța/violența emanată de autoritatea centralizată, ci opinia publică a societății.

Dacă nu avem parte de 100 de crime pe zi, nu este din cauză că statul folosește forța pentru a impune ilegalitatea luării unei vieți, ci pentru că opinia publică este de părere că nu este moral să ucizi. În cel mai bun caz, statul, prin forță, nu face decât să întărească o concepție deja existentă în opinia publică.

Manifestarea acestui fenomen am putut-o vedea și la recentul referendum pentru familie. Deși statul și Biserica, în marea lor majoritate, au militat, folosindu-și întreaga forță, într-o direcție, opinia publică le-a negat acea direcție.

„Force can never suppress what is sanctioned by public opinion. On the contrary, public opinion need only be in direct opposition to force to neutralize the whole effect of the use of force. It has always been so and always will be in every case of martyrdom. What would happen if force were not used against hostile nations and the criminal elements of society, we do not know. But we do know by prolonged experience that neither enemies nor criminals have been successfully suppressed by force.”

Citind paragraful de mai jos, n-am putut să nu mă gândesc la Becali, dar și la românescul „a furat, dar a și făcut, dom’le”.

„But the sophistry of hypocrisy reasons that the merchant can pass for a virtuous man without giving up his pernicious course of action; a religious man need only have faith and a liberal man need only promote the modification of external conditions – the progress of industry. And so we see the merchant (who often goes further and commits acts of direct dishonesty, selling adulterated goods, using false weights and measures, and trading in products injurious to health, such as alcohol and opium) boldly regarding himself and being regarded by others, so long as he does not directly deceive his colleagues in business, as a pattern of probity and virtue. And if he spends a thousandth part of his stolen wealth on some public institution, a hospital or museum or school, then he is even regarded as the benefactor of the people on the exploitation and corruption of whom his whole prosperity has been founded. If he sacrifices, too, a portion of his ill-gotten gains on a Church and the poor, then he is an exemplary Christian.”

Care-i sensul vieții tale, omule?

„There are two inevitable conditions of life, confronting all of us, which destroy its whole meaning: (1) death, which may at any moment pounce upon each of us; and (2) the transitory nature of all our works, which so soon pass away and leave no trace. Whatever we may do – found companies, build palaces and monuments, or write songs and poems – it is all temporary.

Soon it passes away, leaving no trace. And therefore, however we may conceal it from ourselves, we cannot help seeing that the significance of our life cannot lie in our personal fleshly existence, the prey of incurable suffering and inevitable death, nor in any social institution or organization. Whoever you may be who are reading these lines, think of your position and of your duties – not of your position as landowner, merchant, judge, emperor, president, government minister, priest, or soldier, which has been temporarily allotted you by men, and not of the imaginary duties laid on you by those positions, but of your real position in eternity as a creature who at the will of Someone has been called out of unconsciousness after an eternity of non-existence to which you may return at any moment at His will. Think of your duties – not your supposed duties as a landowner to your estate, as a merchant to your business, as emperor, government minister, or official to the state, but of your real duties – the duties that follow from your real position as a being called into life and endowed with reason and love”.

Tolstoi își încheie cartea parcă combinând existențialismul cu confucianismul. Lasă de înțeles că fiecare dintre noi are puterea de a-și face viața așa cum vrea, dar și că trebuie să îndeplinească o datorie. Datoria de a fi om, care nu se auto-exclude de contextul creștin. Rațiunea, adevărul și dragostea, aceasta este Împărăția lui Dumnezeu aflată în noi.

„No external conditions can guarantee our life, which is attended with inevitable sufferings and infallibly terminated by death, and which consequently can have no
significance except in the constant accomplishment of what is demanded by the Power that has placed us in life with a sole certain guide – the rational conscience. That is why that Power cannot require of us what is irrational and impossible: the organization of our temporary external life, the life of society, or of the state. That Power demands of us only what is reasonable, certain, and possible: to serve the kingdom of God, that is, to contribute to the establishment of the greatest possible union between all living beings – a union possible only in the truth; and to recognize and to profess the revealed truth, which is always in our power.

“But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you.” (Matt. 6:33) The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity by contributing to the establishment of the kingdom of God, which can only be done by the recognition and profession of the truth by every man. “The kingdom of God does not come with outward show; neither shall they say, ‘Look here!’ or, ‘Look there!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)”

De Lev Tolstoi am mai citit „Anna Karenina“, „Fericire de familie“, „Diavolul“, „Moartea lui Ivan Ilici“, „Polikushka“, „Sonata Kreutzer“, „Doi husari“, „The storm“, „O confesiune“, „What I believe“, „Învierea“, „What men live by“, „How much land does a man need?“, „Povestiri din Sevastopol“.

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