The corners of the (Western) heart

Western people fragment their lives into separate aspirations; and though they then unite them into a coherent plan by means of rationalistic understanding, at each moment of life the individual is like a different person. One corner of the heart shelters the Western person’s religious feeling, which is called upon on occasions of ritual observance; another, quite separate, harbors the faculties of reason and the capacity for worldly activity; a third corner contains the person’s sensual desires; a fourth, a sense of morality and family; a fifth, self-interest; a sixth, the desire for aesthetic pleasure. And each of these separate strivings is subdivided into further aspects, each accompanied by a special state of mind, each manifesting itself separately from the others, all bound together only by an abstract, rationalistic recollection. Westen people can easily pray in the morning with fervent, intense, amazing zeal and then rest from that zeal, forgetting prayer and exercising other faculties in their wok. They then rest from their work, not just physically but morally, forgetting its dull routine in laughter and the sound of drinking songs, They then forget the rest of the day—indeed, their whole life—in dreamy enjoyment of an artificial spectacle. Next day it will be easy for them to begin again turning the wheel of their outwardly correct lives.
Ivan Kireevskii


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