He is either a physician, or really a man possessed of exceptional intelligence who can foresee a great deal. (But that he is, when all’s said and done, an idiot, of that there can be no doubt whatever.)
There’s this book called The Idiot by Dostoevsky. It is about Prince Myshkin (with “prince” being a common title for many people in 19th century Russia). Myshkin, or just called “The Prince” suffered from some mental disease which kept him from being normal until about 28. As in, he couldn’t reason quite well before that.
But, at the beginning when we are introduced to him, he is in a very good state of mind. He could read people, understand and analyse situations, and, most importantly he is a “wholly virtuous man”. He’s just a good guy. He never lies, is socially awkward, and tends to do what’s good.
I read this book once before and I’m reading it again at the moment. I know these last 80 pages will be disaster on every turn. No one will be happy at the end.
What bothers me the most about Myshkin is how people would call him an “idiot” while acknowledging his good heart and even his intellect. As I said, initially he was well aware of people’s motives and he could come up with ingenious solutions. What I hate is them calling him an idiot because they think it is stupid to be so utterly good hearted. And the tragic irony is that by the end of the book all that has happened to him made him return to be an actual idiot, devoid of reasoning. That’s tragic indeed.
Now I’m not a “wholly virtuous man”. But I’ve found that people tend to think “Oh, he’s nice, and naive”. They confuse trying to be good with being naive and unaware of the intricacies of life. I’m reminded of Chesterton’s Father Brown which the author made to intentionally reflect on this idea: people think Father Brown is naive on “worldy” matters when at the end of the day he knows MORE about it than others. But to come back to myself – this is my blog and I will talk about myself – I encounter this on every turn with my friends. I really love them and I need them in my life like I need water. They respect me – sometimes – when it comes to religion and being good, but they can’t help but be condescending when it comes to “real” issues like sex and love and dating.
Like right now I’m talking about that girl. And the one thing I’ve realised the last while apart from being patient, is that I should actually do effort for her. And I have. I first began our conversation on Tinder, I’ve been the one to always message her, constantly afraid that I’m irritating her. I’m the one who bought her a book, who first asked whether we could meet, asked again a week later, and when we planned for this weekend, I went and bought a nice packet, a bookmark, gift wrapping and chocolate. I drove in a hell of a distance to sleep over at my friend so I could meet her, and then drive from there another hell of a distance to where we meet, and then double that distance all the way home. I really tried. But my friend, on hearing how my first meeting with her went, told me I shouldn’t be afraid and that I should really try otherwise I will never know. But that’s just damn it! That’s what’s been motivating me! But no, I’m the idiot here.