In this short novel by PD Ouspensky Ivan Osokin is the lazy indolent student who walks the streets in abject misery. One day he meets a magician who grants him the power to go back in time and rectify his mistakes. But Ivan makes the exact same mistakes the second time over, seeing in perfect clarity the repetition of his slovenly ways. Ivan comes to see the essentially mechanical nature of human existence and realizes that the only way to change is to follow a school of knowledge or religion and develop insight into the ways in which people can step out of conditioned living and emerge into the light of understanding as to the inner workings of creative being. The novel is heavily influenced by Nietzsche's concept of eternal recurrence, which hypothesizes that if we were doomed to repeat our lives over throughout eternity we would radically change our habits and aspirations, in order to escape the drudgery and torment of living useless unexamined lives. Ouspensky's novel is a wake up call, suggesting that each new day is an opportunity and unique chance to live life afresh and make the most of what we have, to redirect the currents of happenstance and capricious nature. In a word; don't be sorry, just don't do it again.