Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910)
Leo Tolstoy is one of the greatest writers known
Tolstoy believed that a man could find ever-lasting happiness striving for self-perfection following pacifism, loving one's neighbour, and God, rather than looking outward to the Church guidance.
He died only some days after he abandoned his family and wealth and taking the path of a wandering ascetic, at the age of 82.
The culmination of Tolstoy's thoughts on spirituality can be found in
Download free eBook The Awakening, Leo Tolstoy
Confession offers an inspiring example of a man rejecting the lies of orthodoxy. It describes Tolstoy's spiritual and philosophical insights. It is his journey to faith, and strength of life.
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Leo Tolstoy Inspiring Quotes:
Tolstoy about Goodness and Life
- Life is a striving towards good. A striving towards good is life.
Tolstoy about truth and reaching highest potential
- The truth, much slurred in these days, that evil can be avoided and good achieved by personal effort only
- Everything develops, differentiates, moving towards complexity and refinement and there are laws governing this process. You are part of a whole. When you know as much as possible about the whole, and about the laws of its development, you will understand your place in the whole, and your own self.
Tolstoy about Faith
- Whatever answers faith gives, regardless of which faith, or to whom the answers are given, such answers always give an infinite meaning to the finite existence of man; a meaning that is not destroyed by suffering, deprivation or death. This means only in faith can we find the meaning and possibility of life.
Tolstoy about God, Divine in Human, Love
- The principles are very simple, comprehensible and uncomplicated. They are as follows:
- that there is a god who is the origin of everything;
- that there is an element of this divine origin in every person, which he can diminish or increase through his way of living;
- that in order for someone to increase this source he must suppress his passions and increase the love within himself;
- that the practical means of achieving this consist in doing to others as you would wish to do to you.
- In Nekhlyudov, as in every man, there were two beings; one the spiritual, seeking only that kind of happiness for himself which tends towards the happiness of all; the other, the animal man, seeking only his own happiness, and ready to sacrifice to it the happiness of the rest of the world.
Tolstoy about true meaning of Christianity
Tolstoy about Non-violence
- The Christian teaching in its true meaning, acknowledging the SUPREME LAW of human life to be the law of love which in no instance permits violence between men, is so close to the heart of man and gives such undoubted freedom, such independent happiness to both the individual and groups of people, as well as to the whole of humanity, that it would seem this need only be known for all men to accept it as the guiding principle of their behaviour
- Inequality between people, not just between lay and clergy, but between rich and poor, and masters and slaves, was established by the Church Christian religion. . . .The most important thing is that Christianity proclaims the equality of all men, no longer merely as a basic teaching of universal brotherhood, but because all men are recognized as being sons of God.
Tolstoy about the war between human and animals
- Even if we accept the impossible and believe that in a thousand years social progress alone will have united the whole of humanity in one entity which will form a single state, with a single government, even then one must not forget that the struggle between nations and States that will have been abolished will turn into a struggle between the human and the animal kingdom.
- This is dreadful! Not the suffering and death of the animals, but that a man suppresses in himself, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity -- that of sympathy and pity towards living creatures like himself -- and by violating his own feelings becomes cruel. And how deeply seated in the human heart is the injunction not to take life!
why vegetarian quote
- So strong is humanity's aversion to all killing. But by example, by encouraging greediness, by the assertion that God has allowed it, and above all by habit, people entirely lose this natural feeling.
Tolstoy about reincarnation
- Bodily death destroys the body that is limited in space, and the consciousness that is limited in time, but it cannot destroy the special relation of each being to the world, which is the basis of life.
Tolstoy about finding God
- In evil movements one does not feel God, one doubts Him. And salvation is always in one thing alone - and it is sure: cease to think about God, but think of His law only and fulfill it, love all men, and doubts will vanish, and you will find God again.
Tolstoy about Love
- Loving kindness is not just love for some particular person, but the spiritual state of loving everybody.
Tolstoy about Anarchy
- The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without Authority, there could not be worse violence than that of Authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a revolution. But it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require the protection of governmental power ...
Tolstoy about Property
- The earth cannot be anyone’s property; it cannot be bought or sold anymore than water, air, or sunshine. All have an equal right to the advantages it gives to men.
Tolstoy about God
- I believe in one, incomprehensible God, the immortality of the souland eternal retribution for our acts.
- prayers is addressed to the personal God, not because he is personal indeed, I know for certain that he is not personal, because personality is limitation, while God is unlimited.
- I do not want to think that Christ will redeem me, where I ought to redeem myself.
- ... And the cause of everything is that which we call God. To know God and to live is the same thing. God is Life
- .. True religion is that relationship, in accordance with reason and knowledge, which man establishes with the infinite world around him, and which binds his life to that infinity and guides his actions .. and leads to the practical rules of the law: do to others as you would have them do unto you.
- The essence of any religion lies solely in the answer to the question: why do I exist, and what is my relationship to the infinite universe that surrounds me?
Tolstoy about Vegetarianism
- Vegetarian movement should cause special joy those whose life lies in the effort to bring about the kingdom of God on earth... because it is a sign that the aspiration of mankind towards moral perfection is serious and sincere, for it has taken the one unalterable order of succession natural to it, beginning with the first step.