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Sacrifice. Little way Category: Sacrifice Bulgakov. About Sacrifice

Sacrifice. Death
Memory eternal
In the works of Vladimir Solovyov

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Быт 15, 6. Быт 22, 16.

Rest with the saints

Rest with the saints by comparison with the anxieties of the world, is eternal rest.

Eternal rest is not inactivity. The departed remain active, but the character of the activity is essentially changed. It no longer springs from an anxious striving towards a distant and uncertain end. It proceeds on the basis and in virtue of the already attained and the ever-abiding connection with the absolute good. Therefore in this case activity is compatible with serene and happy rest.

We ask eternal memory of God and not of men, and it means dwelling in the eternal mind of God. “To grant eternal memory” means to make a man conformable to his eternal idea — to God s eternal thought about him, and to raise him to the sphere of the absolute and the changeless. By comparison with the anxieties of the world, it is eternal rest. Death as such is not rest, and the dead among natural humanity may be more appropriately described as restless (the French revenant, the German Poltergeister] than as those at rest. The rest we ask for our departed depends upon God's eternal memory of them. Affirmed in their absolute idea, they find in it a secure and indefeasible token that the perfect good will be finally realised in the world, and therefore they cannot be troubled. The distinction between the present and the future still exists for them, but no element of doubt or anxiety attaches to that future. It is separated from them only by an inevitable delay, and they may already contemplate it sub specie aeternitatis. But for those who die in the natural humanity, the future, though it becomes their main interest, still remains an awe-inspiring riddle and mystery.
            We shall rise from the hills, from the waters, O Thorsten,
            And whisper of the days to be.
Eternal rest is not inactivity. The departed remain active, but the character of the activity is essentially changed. It no longer springs from an anxious striving towards a distant and uncertain end. It proceeds on the basis and in virtue of the already attained and the ever-abiding connection with the absolute good. Therefore in this case activity is compatible with serene and happy rest. And just as the beneficial influence of the departed expresses their moral connection with their neighbours in nature, their living posterity, so in their blessed rest they are inseparable from their neighbours in God and in eternity. It is rest with the saints.

Vladimir Solovyov
The Justification of The Good
XIX. The moral organization of humanity as a whole

Impossibility of death
both for the living and for the dead

The forefathers depends upon the work of their descendants under which the end of the world process may come, and the bodily resurrection of the departed.

It is only in the future that the past will attain the fulness of reality.

The gulf between the visible and the invisible world is bridged and death becomes impossible both for the living and for the dead.

On the other hand, the fulness of life for the forefathers, even when they are eternally remembered by God and are at rest with the saints, depends upon the work of their descendants who bring about the earthly conditions under which the end of the world process may come, and, with it, the bodily resurrection of the departed. Each of the departed is naturally connected with the final humanity of the future through the blood tie of successive generations.[*] By spiritualising his bodily organism and the external material nature, each fulfils his duty in relation to his forefathers, and pays his moral debt to them. Having received from them physical existence and all the legacy of the past ages, the new generation continues further the work which will finally make the fulness of life possible for the departed also. Thus from this new point of view, the natural bond with former generations, or the family religion of the past, acquires an absolute significance and becomes an expression of the perfect good.

It is only when the purpose shall have been reached that man's work of spiritualising his body and the earthly nature in general will be reflected backwards and exercise its beneficial influence upon the past. It is only in the future that the past will attain the fulness of reality. But until this task is accomplished, until the perfection of life is attained in which the spiritual and the corporeal being will entirely interpenetrate one another, until the gulf between the visible and the invisible world is bridged and death becomes impossible both for the living and for the dead — until then the necessary condition of this future perfection and the moral problem of the present state is the struggle of the spirit with the flesh, its strengthening and concentration. The present means of bodily resurrection is the subjugation of the flesh; the necessary condition of the fulness of life is asceticism or the suppression of the unlimited vitality. …


[*] I cannot enlarge upon the details of this connection and upon other cognate questions without passing into the sphere of metaphysics and mystical aesthetics. But the general necessity of resurrection as the fulness of the spiritual and bodily existence is sufficiently clear from the point of view of the absolute moral principle and of the moral order of reality.

Vladimir Solovyov
The Justification of The Good
XIX. The moral organization of humanity as a whole

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