Tolstoy – Confession

August 12th, 2017by Randall

I’m reading this book by Tolstoy, Confession. At the age of 50 he decides suicide might be a good idea because he can’t find the meaning of life even though he’s wildly successful with his writings. The whole book is only 93 pages and I found it online. I’d copy the link, but do they allow that on Suicide Project? If you’re interested google Confession – Arvind Gupta and the whole book is in PDF format or I went to the library and got it.

“There is an old Eastern fable about a traveler who was taken by surprise in the steppes by a raging wild beast. Trying to save himself from the beast, the traveler jumps into a dried-up well; but at the bottom of the well he sees a dragon with its jaws open wide, waiting to devour him. The unhappy man does not dare climb out for fear of being killed by the wild beast, and he does not dare to jump to the bottom of the well for fear of being devoured by the dragon. So he grabs hold of a branch of wild bush growing in the crevices of the well and clings to it. His arms grow weak, and he feels that soon he must fall prey to the death that awaits him on either side. Yet, he still holds on, and while he is clinging to the branch he looks up to see two mice, one black and one white, evenly working their way around the branch of the bush he is hanging from, gnawing on it. Soon the bush will give way and break off, and he will fall into the jaws of the dragon. The traveler sees this and knows that he will surely die. But while he is still hanging there he looks around and sees some drops of honey on the leaves of the bush, and he stretches out his tongue and licks them. Thus I cling to the branch of life, knowing that inevitably the dragon of death is waiting, ready to tear me to pieces; and I cannot understand why this torment has befallen me. I try to suck the honey that once consoled me, but the honey is no longer sweet. Day and night the black mouse and the white mouse gnaw at the branch to which I cling. I clearly see the dragon, and the honey has lost all its sweetness. I see only the inescapable dragon and the mice, and I cannot turn my eyes from them. This is no fairy tale, but truth, irrefutable and understood by all.”



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