- Biography of P. Ya. Chaadaev
- Content of Chaadaev's letters
- The idea of mastering the mind
The topic of our article will be the life and work of one of the brightest thinkers in Russia. A man who became the ancestor of a kind of revolution in the consciousness of society, in the spiritual quest of the Russian intelligentsia, in understanding what Russia is in the world and what its place is. A person who in due time will find completely unique events. Today we will talk about P. Ya. Chaadaev and his philosophical letters.
The figure of Chaadaev is truly unique. He is the first of the philosophers who seriously thinks about what Russia and national self-consciousness are. Speaking of Chaadaev's philosophical letters, one cannot fail to recall the main facts of his biography.
Biography of P. Ya. Chaadaev
Pyotr Yakovlevich was born into a noble family. He received an excellent education. After graduating from Moscow University, he enters the Semyonovsky Life Guards Regiment. In 1817, Chaadaev - adjutant commanderguard corps. In other words, at the age of 23, incredible opportunities open up before him. An important role in the fate of the future famous philosopher was played by the Decembrist uprising. Exactly 5 years before this event, Chaadaev, being at the peak of his career, unexpectedly resigns for everyone. In 1821 he will join the Decembrists, and after 2 years he will leave Russia.
At the time of the uprising, Chaadaev was not in the country, and later he would express incomprehension about the events that occurred on December 14, 1825. He is sure that the actions of the Decembrists were absolutely not justified. In the end, he will return to Russia and fall under the supervision of the police. Friendship with the Decembrists will not go unnoticed and will force Nicholas I to closely follow the figure of Chaadaev. And then there will be an explosion. In September 1836, the "Philosophical Letter" will be published in the Telescope magazine.
The author will not name himself, but the entire educated public will know that this is the work of Chaadaev, because the philosophical letters that he will write in the period from 29 to 31 will "go from hand to hand" among the remaining Russian intelligentsia. This letter will have the effect of an exploding bomb, because its content was completely unthinkable for Nikolaev Russia. The result of such an act will be that the journal will be immediately closed, and the author of the letter will be declared insane by the highest decree of Nicholas I.
Content of Chaadaev's letters
What was so terrible in the first philosophicalletter? Chaadaev begins his reasoning with a question that he asks himself: "What is the main question of life, what is its meaning and what is its essence?" It is worth noting here that Chaadaev is a true Christian, a deeply religious thinker who believes that outside of God, outside of Christianity, the further development of neither man nor Russia is possible. This idea will run like a red thread through all of Chaadaev's work. In philosophical letters, he, answering his own questions, talks about what the human mind should obey. This, at first glance, paradoxical thought, upon closer examination, seems quite logical and natural.
"The more the mind is able to subjugate itself, the more free it becomes," writes the thinker. It is about the idea of subordination that the philosopher argues. People obey the laws, the higher power. At the same time, Chaadaev by no means denies freedom, but focuses on something else. He says that the sooner we understand and recognize addiction as a condition for further development, the better. The highest step of perfection according to Chaadaev is precisely bringing the subordination of oneself, one's mind to the state of absolute deprivation of oneself of freedom.
The idea of mastering the mind
Chadaev believes that such a situation is expressed in the following: every human action, every deed and thought are dictated or caused by the same principle that carries out the entire world movement. According to the author of philosophical letters, the more a person controls and subjugates himself, the more perfect he is.becomes. It is control brought to its natural state. This is the main idea of the letter writer.
He reinforces it with the following example: if a person ever managed to reach this state of complete subordination of his mind to himself, then people could quite calmly lead the very life that Adam once led. When all the actions of Adam were imbued with a sense of unity of the human spirit and the spirit of God. “Returning to such a life is the highest goal,” Chaadaev believes. This is the essence of Chaadaev's philosophical letters.