one unanimous and harmonious antheap

But Thou mightest have taken even the sword of Caesar.

Why didst Thou reject that last gift?

Hadst Thou accepted that last counsel fo the might spirit, Thou wouldst have accomplished all that man seeks on earth–that is, some one to worship, some one to keep his consience, and some means of uniting all in one unanimous and harmonious antheap, for the craving for universal unity is the third and last anguish of men.

Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor questioning Christ about his failure to follow Satan’s third offer (near the end of the story told by Ivan in The Brothers Karamazov). I taught this work in a high school literature class for the first time six years ago, and it only gets more thought-provoking each time.

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