Dostoevsky on Dark Charisma

The Soul of the East

In his work Dostoevsky and the Metaphysics of Crime, sociologist Dr. Vladislav Arkadyevich Bachinin analyzes the human personality and the dark side of its spiritual potential through the prism of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s work Demons. Translated by Mark Hackard.


The metaphysical “I” is capable of bringing the personality far beyond the limits of those possibilities that the “lower-lying” hypostases of the human ego – vital, social, and spiritual. There exist personalities whose metaphysical “I” possesses strength substantially superior to similar capabilities within the majority of ordinary people. This higher gift, or charisma, by the force of its ambivalence, carries within itself either colossal constructive potential or tremendous destructive energy. In the first case, charisma is manifested as a radiant talent of divine election, as creative genius, and in the second as the dark imprint of an evil genius and a demonic ability to commit unthinkable crimes and destruction.

The theme of twilight…

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1 Comment on Dostoevsky on Dark Charisma

  1. I don’t understand Bachinin’s reference to metaphysics at all. Is he saying that the charismatic personality exists ontologically higher than those around him, or is he using the term metaphysics in some other way?

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