Monday, March 02, 2009

Freedom Begins with Seeing the Evil Within Us All


It was granted me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, the essential experience: how a human being becomes evil and how good. In the intoxication of my youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel. In the surfeit of power I was a murderer, and an oppressor. In my most evil moments, I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments. And it was only when I lay there [in the Gulag Archipelago] on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes, not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts ... And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me: "Bless you, prison!"
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 312-13.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Paul the Apostle, To the Romans, 8:2.