It occurred to him that what had appeared perfectly impossible before, namely that he had not spent his life as he should have done, might after all be true. It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false. And his professional duties and the whole arrangement of his life and of his family, and all his social and official interests, might all have been false. He tried to defend all those things to himself and suddenly felt the weakness of what he was defending. There was nothing to defend (276).
A recent Tolstoy kick, alongside The Confession. I found myself prompted by bell hook’s conception of education as ministry to explore the meaning of education within the language of faith. I found myself facing Tolstoy’s man facing death.
Tolstoy, Leo. “The Death of Ivan Ilych.” The Raid and Other Stories, translated by Louise Maude and Aylmer Maude, Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 228–78.