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Mr. Ramiro Pellitero Iglesias
01 Jun, 20

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A revealing dream

In his story "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man", Dostoiewsky relates the case of a skeptical and desperate man, to the point that he had decided to commit suicide. One dreary night, as he was walking home, a little girl met him, crying and screaming, asking for help.

Although he despised her, later, at home, he felt remorse:

I could have helped the girl, and why didn't I help her? Well, because of an idea that assailed me: when she was pulling me by the arm and calling me, a question arose that I could not resolve. (...) Why did I suddenly feel that not everything was indifferentand that he felt compassion for that little girl?

He was then clearly presented with "the idea that life and the world now seemed to depend on me.

It was like suddenly feeling a personal responsibility for everything that was going on, perhaps especially for the suffering in the world.

The dream

He fell asleep and dreamed that he was being carried through space to a planet that turned out to be Earth. When he entered it, he wondered if suffering would exist there, because in ours "(...) to truly love is only possible with suffering and through it! We do not know how to love in any other way and we do not know any other kind of love. I need suffering to love.

His dream revealed to him the realization of that necessary link, in our world, between the love and suffering.

A Revealing Dream A Revealing Dream Dostoyevsky

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky was born in Moscow in 1821. He was one of the leading writers of Tsarist Russia, whose literature explores human psychology in the complex political, social and spiritual context of nineteenth-century Russian society.

Earth without pain

When he got there he realized that it was a happy worldwhere no one suffered: nature was in intimate harmony with people and people with each other; they did not desire or long for anything, they had a kind of childlike joy.

It was an Earth that was not sullied by the sin original. Pain had not appeared in it.

The most amazing thing, he pointed out when recalling his dream, is that he himself was perverting them all. Without knowing how or why, "I only know that the cause of the sin was me". It led them to lies, jealousy, violence, lust... And everything went wrong. And then came slavery, slavery, slavery, slavery, slavery, slavery, slavery, slavery, slavery, slavery. war and the great deceptions.

After some time our man realized his responsibility. He wept and suffered for them. He blamed and cursed himself.

"I told them that I, and only I, had done all that, that I had brought them perversion, contagion and lies". Moreover: "I begged them to crucify me, I showed them how to make the cross. I could not and had not the strength to take my own life, but I wished to bear their sorrows, I longed for the sorrows, I longed that on those sorrows the last drop of my blood should be shed."

But they took him for a madman and denied everything that had happened without remembering the world before. To the point that they threatened him, if he did not keep quiet, to put him in a psychiatric institution.

Reality through different eyes

And that moment our man awoke from his sleep.

He no longer wanted to commit suicide. He had seen "the Truth"He loved the world and had decided, even if it took a thousand years, to announce everywhere what he had discovered, even if now, in real life, he was also taken for a madman. He loved the world and had decided, even if it took a thousand years, to announce everywhere what he had discovered, even if now also, in real life, he was taken for a madman.

Even if all that was a dream, even if life itself was nothing more than a dream, it was said, what counts is "...".ama your neighbor as yourself"and nothing more. An ancient truth that has not been part of our lives. And with that, everything else can be rebuilt. He was left with the hope that this could become a reality if everyone wished it. It had all started with the meeting with that little girl, who now wished she could help.

Mr. Ramiro Pellitero Iglesias
Professor of Pastoral Theology
Faculty of Theology
University of Navarra

Published in "Church and new evangelization".

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