From The Paris Review:

For fifteen years the writer Varlam Shalamov was imprisoned in the Gulag for participating in “counter-revolutionary Trotskyist activities.” He endured six of those years enslaved in the gold mines of Kolyma, one of the coldest and most hostile places on earth. While he was awaiting sentencing, one of his short stories was published in a journal called Literary Contemporary. He was released in 1951, and from 1954 to 1973 he worked on Kolyma Stories, a masterpiece of Soviet dissident writing that has been newly translated into English and published by New York Review Books Classics this June. Shalamov claimed not to have learned anything in Kolyma, except how to wheel a loaded barrow. But one of his fragmentary writings, dated 1961, tells us more.

Of these 45 notes, no. 7 stood out for me:

"7. I saw that the only group of people able to preserve a minimum of humanity in conditions of starvation and abuse were the religious believers, the sectarians (almost all of them), and most priests."

Views: 50

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of David Brazier at La Ville au Roi (Eleusis) to add comments!

Join David Brazier at La Ville au Roi (Eleusis)

Comment by David Brazier on July 16, 2018 at 10:34

Yes. This has also been found in a number of studies. Religious faith clearly has survival value. This raises  interesting questions for evolutionists - religious faith seems to be favoured by evolution/survival. Some evolutionists think evolution negates faith and some believers think that faith negates evolution - both wrong !

Events

ITZI Conference 2019

Subscribe to ITZI Conference Newsletter

* indicates required

Blog Posts

MY REAL LIFE

Posted by David Brazier on December 8, 2018 at 15:20 3 Comments

I'd like to try to say something about real life, which is the only thing that is really interesting.

I have been a bookworm ever since I learnt to read, which was not until I was seven years old. By that time I had already had important spiritual experiences. I was a rather odd child. Many ideas went through my head that tended to set me apart from other children.

Now,…

Continue

More Will Be Revealed!!

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on November 5, 2018 at 12:46 2 Comments

Adjusting to the extreme contrast between India and England has been a truly enlightening experience for me and I will probably be processing it psychologically for quite a while to come! 

It is impossible not to be affected by the seething mass of raw energy that flows endlessly there, seemingly toward no apparent goal except pure survival. It often seemed like hell…

Continue

MARY MIDGLEY

Posted by David Brazier on October 21, 2018 at 17:25 1 Comment

Born: September 13, 1919, London, United Kingdom

Died: October 10, 2018

Mary was a dear friend and inspiration. I first met her when she came to a meditation class I was leading. Her husband had recently died and she was grieving. She did not need meditation, she just needed to grieve and that be OK, which it definitely was, but she continued to come to meetings and made a…

Continue

Running a Course in Korea and Elsewhere

Posted by David Brazier on August 3, 2018 at 1:40 2 Comments

I am currently leading courses on Buddhist psychology here in Seoul, Korea, but as I am putting the course onto this site as we go along, members of La Ville au Roi (Eleusis) are also responding so it is a bit as though the course is going on in several countries at the same time which is nice.

© 2018   Created by David Brazier.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service