Saunders writes of Tolstoy's "Master and Man" in A Swim in a Pond in the Rain:
"Tolstoy is proposing something radical: moral transformation, when it happens, happens not through the total remaking of the sinner or the replacement of his habitual energy with some pure new energy but by a redirection of his (same old) energy.
"What a relief this model of transformation is. What else do we have but what we are born with and have always, thus far, been served (and imprisoned) by? Say you're a world class worrier. If that worry energy gets directed at extreme personal hygiene, you're 'neurotic.' If it gets directed at climate change, you're an 'intense visionary activist.'
"We don't have to become an entirely new person to do better; our view just has to be readjusted, our natural energy turned in the right direction. We don't have to swear off our powers or repent of who we are or what we like to do or are good at doing. Those are our horses; we just have to hitch them to the right, uh, sled."