Yilmaz Alimoglu — From all the Russian authors that I have read, and I have read a lot because I grew up with them and had easy access to most of their books, F.M. Dostoyevsky is the most precise at reading the human beast from the perspective of faith and no-faith, freedom and slavery, good and evil, truth and falsehood; all these he understood by exploring people who have “weakened” their relationship with God, whose spirits wandered away forever from their spiritual source. Basically, these are people who constantly commit sins. I have also enjoyed reading and exploring the way Dostoyevsky explores human fate, i.e. predestination.
Personal freedom depends entirely on the degree of experience with Love and of being a deeply spiritual person. If people choose to deny God, then humans become slaves of the demons, that is, the egotistical, selfish self. It’s also a strong Christian belief that without God, no human being is capable of defeating the demons inside; this may sound absurd to many of us and also similar to beliefs shared by Christian Scientists and Scientologists, i.e. L. Ron Hubbard. I suppose Dostoyevsky makes use of strong metaphorical language when describing what goes on inside a person when we explore the characters.
The most amazing thing about all his books is the way he views freedom. It is a gift from God and that gift is often lost because people are not humble enough and tend to see themselves as “human-gods”, thus letting their own evil side lead them astray turning freedom into a form of slavery out of ignorance. Sounds Freudian? Let it be so. Dostoyevsky was way ahead of Freud in analyzing the human psyche and Freud must have gleaned into Dostoyevsky’s works and taken valuable lessons from the characters.
His analyses are also in harmony with the first of the ten Commandments: “You shall have no other gods before Me” – which means that any human who develops attachments toward himself – toward self-glorification, toward emotions/feelings, toward material property — is already breaking his divine relationship with God by providing free territory for demons to roam and to eventually possess his soul. The core of his ideas is centered on the process of transforming the self through “divine love to achieve freedom. Or if people engage in lustful love – sinful acts – then they would end up being slaves.
Divine Freedom, according to Dostoyevsky, can be achieved by avoiding sinful acts. True and lasting freedom is only possible by being in sync with Divine principles. A sinful person turns into his own devil. The flames of evil burning inside eventually destroy the sinful person and the people who are in his environment, within his reach. The lack of contact with God is the reason for all destructive forces which turns people into demons.
I adore the intricacies of the characters in both Crime and Punishment, and especially in The Brothers Karamazov. His writings give us the chance to learn and grow. My sincere gratitude goes to Dostoyevsky. My heart joins yours, like rivers join an ocean.
About the Author
Yilmaz Alimoglu is a Canadian author, philosopher, poet, and scientist. Having grown up in Turkey, he spent 15 years working as an electrical engineer, wrote the novel Deserts and Mountains, and currently writes on topics including philosophy and Sufism. Visit his website www.yilmazalimoglu.com.