Look around you at the gifts of God, the clear sky, the pure air, the tender grass, the birds; nature is beautiful and sinless, and we, only we, are godless and foolish, and we don't understand that life is a paradise, for we have only to understand that and it will at once be fulfilled in all its beauty, we shall embrace each other and weep.
I am a sick man...I am a wicked man. An unattractive man. I think my liver hurts. However, i don't know a fig about my sickness, and am not sure what it is that hurts me. I am not being treated and never have been, though I respect medicine. What's more, I am also superstitious in the extreme; well, at least enough to respect medicine.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821 - 1881)
Source: Notes from the Underground (Dover Thrift Editions), Pages: 1
FD suffered epletic "fits" (as they were known then). In 'The Idiot', he writes of his experience in the third person.
"He remembered that he always had one minute just before the epleptic fit when suddenly in the midst of sadness, spiritual darkness and oppression, there seemed at moments a flash of light in his brain, and with extraordinary impetus all his vital forces suddenly began working at their highest tension. The sense of life, the consciousness of self, were multiplied ten times at these moments which passed like a flash of lightning. His mind and heart were flooded with extraordinary light... But these moments, these flashes, were only the prelude of that final second in which the fit began."
FD went on to say that regardless of the "abnormalcy" of his disease that those moments were of "the highest form of existence" and "the acme of harmony and beauty". He concludes with a Rumiesque phrase.
"at the very last conscious moment before the fit began, he had time to say to himself clearly and consciously, "Yes, for this moment one might give one's whole life!"
What tender and devoted mother wouldn't be dismayed and ill with terror at her son's or daughter's stepping even one hair's breath off the beaten track. No, better let him be happy and live in comfort without originality, is what every mother thinks when she rocks the cradle. The only person among us who can fail to reach the general's rank is the original man - in other words, the man who won't be quiet.