101sharequotes Quotes Topics Famous Occupations Motivation Inspirational Life Love Funny Success Friendship

Leo Tolstoy (Writer)

The vocation of every man and woman is to serve other people.
Leo Tolstoy people
God is that infinite All of which man knows himself to be a finite part. God alone exists truly. Man manifests Him in time, space and matter.
Leo Tolstoy time
The hero of my tale, whom I love with all the power of my soul, whom I have tried to portray in all his beauty, who has been, is, and will be beautiful, is Truth.
Leo Tolstoy love
Error is the force that welds men together; truth is communicated to men only by deeds of truth.
Leo Tolstoy truth
I know that my unity with all people cannot be destroyed by national boundaries and government orders.
Leo Tolstoy people
Martin's soul grew glad. He crossed himself put on his spectacles, and began reading the Gospel just where it had opened; and at the top of the page he read: I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in. And at the bottom of the page he read: Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren even these least, ye did it unto me (Matt. xxv). And Martin understood that his dream had come true; and that the Saviour had really come to him that day, and he had welcomed him.
Leo Tolstoy art
Ivan Ilych's life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.
Leo Tolstoy life
Ivan Ilych saw that he was dying, and he was in continual despair. In the depth of his heart he knew he was dying, but not only was he not accustomed to the thought, he simply did not and could not grasp it. The syllogism he had learnt from Kiesewetter's Logic: "Caius is a man, men are mortal, therefore Caius is mortal," had always seemed to him correct as applied to Caius, but certainly not as applied to himself. That Caius — man in the abstract — was mortal, was perfectly correct, but he was not Caius, not an abstract man, but a creature quite, quite separate from all others.
Leo Tolstoy art
A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.
Leo Tolstoy life
I sit on a man's back, choking him, and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by any means possible, except getting off his back.
Leo Tolstoy self
Six feet of land was all that he needed.
Leo Tolstoy need
The happiness of men consists in life. And life is in labor.
Leo Tolstoy life
If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.
Leo Tolstoy life
The more is given the less the people will work for themselves, and the less they work the more their poverty will increase.
Leo Tolstoy people
Condemn me if you choose — I do that myself, — but condemn me, and not the path which I am following, and which I point out to those who ask me where, in my opinion, the path is.
Leo Tolstoy self
The workmen's revolution, with the terrors of destruction and murder, not only threatens us, but we have already been living upon its verge during the last thirty years, and it is only by various cunning devices that we have been postponing the crisis... The hatred and contempt of the oppressed people are increasing, and the physical and moral strength of the richer classes are decreasing: the deceit which supports all this is wearing out, and the rich classes have nothing wherewith to comfort themselves.
Leo Tolstoy people
Theare 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. "To establish Anarchy." "Anarchy will be instituted." But it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require protection from governmental power, and by there being more and more people who will be ashamed of applying this power.
Leo Tolstoy people
There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man. How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.
Leo Tolstoy humanity
Every one who has a heart and eyes sees that you, working men, are obliged to pass your lives in want and in hard labor, which is useless to you, while other men, who do not work, enjoy the fruits of your labor—that you are the slaves of these men, and that this ought not to exist.
Leo Tolstoy art
Not only does the action of Governments not deter men from crimes; on the contrary, it increases crime by always disturbing and lowering the moral standard of society. Nor can this be otherwise, since always and everywhere a Government, by its very nature, must put in the place of the highest, eternal, religious law (not written in books but in the hearts of men, and binding on every one) its own unjust, man-made laws, the object of which is neither justice nor the common good of all but various considerations of home and foreign expediency.
Leo Tolstoy books
All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.
Leo Tolstoy death
Understand then all of you, especially the young, that to want to impose an imaginary state of government on others by violence is not only a vulgar superstition, but even a criminal work. Understand that this work, far from assuring the well-being of humanity is only a lie, a more or less unconscious hypocrisy, camouflaging the lowest passions we posses.
Leo Tolstoy humanity
God is the infinite ALL. Man is only a finite manifestation of Him. Or better yet:God is that infinite All of which man knows himself to be a finite part. God alone exists truly. Man manifests Him in time, space and matter. The more God's manifestation in man (life) unites with the manifestations (lives) of other beings, the more man exists. This union with the lives of other beings is accomplished through love. God is not love, but the more there is of love, the more man manifests God, and the more he truly exists... We acknowledge God only when we are conscious of His manifestation in us. All conclusions and guidelines based on this consciousness should fully satisfy both our desire to know God as such as well as our desire to live a life based on this recognition.
Leo Tolstoy love
How good is it to remember one's insignificance: that of a man among billions of men, of an animal amid billions of animals; and one's abode, the earth, a little grain of sand in comparison with Sirius and others, and one's life span in comparison with billions on billions of ages. There is only one significance, you are a worker. The assignment is inscribed in yourandand expressed clearly and comprehensibly by the best among the beings similar to you. The reward for doing the assignment is immediately within you. But what the significance of the assignment is or of its completion, that you are not given to know, nor do you need to know it. It is good enough as it is. What else could you desire?
Leo Tolstoy life
People usually think that progress consists in the increase of knowledge, in the improvement of life, but that isn't so. Progress consists only in the greater clarification of answers to the basic questions of life. The truth is always accessible to a man. It can't be otherwise, because a man's soul is a divine spark, the truth itself. It's only a matter of removing from this divine spark (the truth) everything that obscures it. Progress consists, not in the increase of truth, but in freeing it from its wrappings. The truth is obtained like gold, not by letting it grow bigger, but by washing off from it everything that isn't gold.
Leo Tolstoy life
The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens ... Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere.
Leo Tolstoy truth
There is only one enduring happiness in life—to live for others.
Leo Tolstoy life
Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.
Leo Tolstoy love
Everything comes in time to him who knows how to wait.
Leo Tolstoy time
The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.
Leo Tolstoy war
The only thing that we know is that we know nothing — and that is the highest flight of human wisdom.
Leo Tolstoy wisdom
"What's this? Am I falling? My legs are giving way under me," he thought, and fell on his back. He opened his eyes, hoping to see how the struggle of the French soldiers with the artilleryman was ending, and eager to know whether the red-haired gunner artilleryman was killed or not, whether the cannons had been taken or saved. But he saw nothing of all that. Above him there was nothing but the sky — the lofty sky, not clear, but still immeasurably lofty, with gray clouds creeping quietly over it.
Leo Tolstoy art
Three days later the little princess was buried, and Prince Andrew went up the steps to where the coffin stood, to give her the farewell kiss. And there in the coffin was the same face, though with closed eyes. "Ah, what have you done to me?" it still seemed to say, and Prince Andrew felt that something gave way in his soul and that he was guilty of a sin he could neither remedy nor forget.
Leo Tolstoy soul
Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.
Leo Tolstoy love
You will die — and it will all be over. You will die and find out everything — or cease asking.
Leo Tolstoy will
A king is history's slave.
Leo Tolstoy history
A Frenchman is self-assured because he regards himself personally, both in mind and body, as irresistibly attractive to men and women. An Englishman is self-assured, as being a citizen of the best-organized state in the world, and therefore as an Englishman always knows what he should do and knows that all he does as an Englishman is undoubtedly correct. An Italian is self-assured because he is excitable and easily forgets himself and other people. A Russian is self-assured just because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe that anything can be known. The German's self-assurance is worst of all, stronger and more repulsive than any other, because he imagines that he knows the truth — science — which he himself has invented but which is for him the absolute truth.
Leo Tolstoy truth
At the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal force in the heart of man: one very reasonably tells the man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of avoiding it; the other even more reasonable says that it is too painful and harassing to think of the danger, since it is not a man's power to provide for everything and escape from the general march of events; and that it is therefore better to turn aside from the painful subject till it has come, and to think of what is pleasant. In solitude a man generally yields to the first voice; in society to the second.
Leo Tolstoy art
War is not a courtesy but the most horrible thing in life; and we ought to understand that, and not play at war. We ought to accept this terrible necessity sternly and seriously. It all lies in that: get rid of falsehood and let war be war and not a game. As it is now, war is the favourite pastime of the idle and frivolous.
Leo Tolstoy life
He did not, and could not, understand the meaning of words apart from their context. Every word and action of his was the manifestation of an activity unknown to him, which was his life.
Leo Tolstoy life
Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.
Leo Tolstoy love
While imprisoned in the shed Pierre had learned not with his intellect but with his whole being, by life itself, that man is created for happiness, that happiness is within him, in the satisfaction of simple human needs, and that all unhappiness arises not from privation but from superfluity. And now during these last three weeks of the march he had learned still another new, consolatory truth- that nothing in this world is terrible. He had learned that as there is no condition in which man can be happy and entirely free, so there is no condition in which he need be unhappy and lack freedom. He learned that suffering and freedom have their limits and that those limits are very near together....
Leo Tolstoy life
To love life is to love God. Harder and more blessed than all else is to love this life in one's sufferings, in undeserved sufferings.
Leo Tolstoy love
For us, with the rule of right and wrong given us by Christ, there is nothing for which we have no standard. And there is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.
Leo Tolstoy truth
Pure and complete sorrow is as impossible as pure and complete joy.
Leo Tolstoy joy
History is the life of nations and of humanity. To seize and put into words, to describe directly the life of humanity or even of a single nation, appears impossible.
Leo Tolstoy life
The peculiar and amusing nature of those answers stems from the fact that modern history is like a deaf person who is in the habit of answering questions that no one has put to them. If the purpose of history be to give a description of the movement of humanity and of the peoples, the first question — in the absence of a reply to which all the rest will be incomprehensible — is: what is the power that moves peoples? To this, modern history laboriously replies either thatwas a great genius, or thatwas very proud, or that certain writers wrote certain books.All that may be so and mankind is ready to agree with it, but it is not what was asked.
Leo Tolstoy books
All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Leo Tolstoy family
Vengeance is mine; I will repay.
Leo Tolstoy will
There was no answer, except the general answer life gives to all the most complex and insoluble questions. That answer is: one must live for the needs of the day, in other words, become oblivious. To become oblivious in dreams was impossible now, at least till night-time; it was impossible to return to that music sung by carafe-women; and so one had to become oblivious in the dreams of life.
Leo Tolstoy life
He knew she was there by the joy and fear that overwhelmed his heart.
Leo Tolstoy fear
He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.
Leo Tolstoy sun
All his life Alexey Alexandrovitch had lived and worked in official spheres, having to do with the reflection of life. And every time he had stumbled against life itself he had shrunk away from it. Now he experienced a feeling akin to that of a man who, wile calmly crossing a precipice by a bridge, should suddenly discover that the bridge is broken, and that there is a chasm below. That chasm was life itself, the bridge that artificial life in which Alexey Alexandrovitch had lived.
Leo Tolstoy life
Vronsky, meanwhile, in spite of the complete realization of what he had so long desired, was not perfectly happy. He soon felt that the realization of his desires gave him no more than a grain of sand out of the mountain of happiness he had expected. It showed him the mistake men make in picturing to themselves happiness as the realization of their desires. For a time after joining his life to hers, and putting on civilian dress, he had felt all the delight of freedom in general, of which he had known nothing before, and of freedom in his love — and he was content, but not for long. He was soon aware that there was springing up in his heart a desire for desires — longing. Without conscious intention he began to clutch at every passing caprice, taking it for a desire and an object.
Leo Tolstoy love
There was something in her higher than what surrounded her. There was in her the glow of the real diamond among glass imitations. This glow shone out in her exquisite, truly enigmatic eyes. The weary, and at the same time passionate, glance of those eyes, encircled by dark rings, impressed one by its perfect sincerity. Everyone looking into those eyes fancied he knew her wholly, and knowing her, could not but love her.
Leo Tolstoy love
“If you want him defined, here he is: a prime, well-fed beast such as takes medals at the cattle shows, and nothing more,” he said, with a tone of vexation that interested her. “No; how so?” she replied. “He's seen a great deal, anyway; he's cultured?” “It's an utterly different culture—their culture. He's cultivated, one sees, simply to be able to despise culture, as they despise everything but animal pleasures.”
Leo Tolstoy culture
One can insult an honest man or an honest woman, but to tell a thief that he is a thief is merely la constation d'un fait [The establishing of a fact.]
Leo Tolstoy man
"Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be."
Leo Tolstoy love
Reason has discovered the struggle for existence and the law that I must throttle all those who hinder the satisfaction of my desires. That is the deduction reason makes. But the law of loving others could not be discovered by reason, because it is unreasonable.
Leo Tolstoy desire
There is one evident, indubitable manifestation of the Divinity, and that is the laws of right which are made known to the world through Revelation.
Leo Tolstoy world
My reason will still not understand why I pray, but I shall still pray, and my life, my whole life, independently of anything that may happen to me, is every moment of it no longer meaningless as it was before, but has an unquestionable meaning of goodness with which I have the power to invest it.'
Leo Tolstoy life
Go — take the mother's soul, and learn three truths: Learn What dwells in man, What is not given to man, and What men live by. When thou hast learnt these things, thou shalt return to heaven.
Leo Tolstoy truth
I thought: "I am perishing of cold and hunger, and here is a man thinking only of how to clothe himself and his wife, and how to get bread for themselves. He cannot help me. When the man saw me he frowned and became still more terrible, and passed me by on the other side. I despaired, but suddenly I heard him coming back. I looked up, and did not recognize the same man: before, I had seen death in his face; but now he was alive, and I recognized in him the presence of God.
Leo Tolstoy death
Then I remembered the first lesson God had set me: "Learn what dwells in man." And I understood that in man dwells Love! I was glad that God had already begun to show me what He had promised, and I smiled for the first time.
Leo Tolstoy time
The man is making preparations for a year, and does not know that he will die before evening. And I remembered God's second saying, "Learn what is not given to man." 'What dwells in man" I already knew. Now I learnt what is not given him. It is not given to man to know his own needs.
Leo Tolstoy man
When the woman showed her love for the children that were not her own, and wept over them, I saw in her the living God, and understood What men live by.
Leo Tolstoy love
I cannot recall those years without horror, loathing, and heart-rending pain.
Leo Tolstoy art
Quite often a man goes on for years imagining that the religious teaching that had been imparted to him since childhood is still intact, while all the time there is not a trace of it left in him.
Leo Tolstoy time
I cannot recall those years without horror, loathing, and heart-rending pain. I killed people in war, challenged men to duels with the purpose of killing them, and lost at cards; I squandered the fruits of the peasants' toil and then had them executed; I was a fornicator and a cheat. Lying, stealing, promiscuity of every kind, drunkenness, violence, murder — there was not a crime I did not commit... Thus I lived for ten years.
Leo Tolstoy war
Several times I asked myself, "Can it be that I have overlooked something, that there is something which I have failed to understand? Is it not possible that this state of despair is common to everyone?" And I searched for an answer to my questions in every area of knowledge acquired by man. For a long time I carried on my painstaking search; I did not search casually, out of mere curiosity, but painfully, persistently, day and night, like a dying man seeking salvation. I found nothing.
Leo Tolstoy knowledge
The only absolute knowledge attainable by man is that life is meaningless.
Leo Tolstoy life
If one has no vanity in this life of ours, there is no sufficient reason for living.
Leo Tolstoy life
The only significance of life consists in helping to establish the ; and this can be done only by means of the acknowledgment and profession of the truth by each one of us.
Leo Tolstoy life
In the year 1884 I wrote a book under the title "What I Believe," in which I did in fact make a sincere statement of my beliefs. In affirming my belief in Christ's teaching, I could not help explaining why I do not believe, and consider as mistaken, the Church's doctrine... Among the many points in which this doctrine falls short of the doctrine of Christ I pointed out as the principal one the absence of any commandment of non-resistance to evil by force. The perversion of Christ's teaching by the teaching of the Church is more clearly apparent in this than in any other point of difference.
Leo Tolstoy belief
The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.
Leo Tolstoy man
The Quakers sent me books, from which I learnt how they had, years ago, established beyond doubt the duty for a Christian of fulfilling the command of non-resistance to evil by force, and had exposed the error of the Church's teaching in allowing war and capital punishment.
Leo Tolstoy books
Further acquaintance with the labors of the Quakers and their works — with , , and especially the work of(published in 1827) — showed me not only that the impossibility of reconciling Christianity with force and war had been recognized long, long ago, but that this irreconcilability had been long ago proved so clearly and so indubitably that one could only wonder how this impossible reconciliation of Christian teaching with the use of force, which has been, and is still, preached in the churches, could have been maintained in spite of it.
Leo Tolstoy war
took part in a discussion on the means of suppressing war in the Society for the Establishment of Peace among Men, which existed in 1838 in America. He came to the conclusion that the establishment of universal peace can only be founded on the open profession of the doctrine of non-resistance to evil by violence (Matt. v. 39), in its full significance, as understood by the Quakers, with whom Garrison happened to be on friendly relations. Having come to this conclusion, Garrison thereupon composed and laid before the society a declaration, which was signed at the time — in 1838 — by many members.
Leo Tolstoy war
The error arises from the learned jurists deceiving themselves and others, by asserting that government is not what it really is, one set of men banded together to oppress another set of men, but, as shown by science, is the representation of the citizens in their collective capacity.
Leo Tolstoy science
Armies are necessary, before all things, for the defense of governments from their own oppressed and enslaved subjects.
Leo Tolstoy men
We cannot pretend that we do not see the armed policeman who marches up and down beneath our window to guarantee our security while we eat our luxurious dinner, or look at the new piece at the theater, or that we are unaware of the existence of the soldiers who will make their appearance with guns and cartridges directly our property is attacked.
Leo Tolstoy war
As translated in The Novels and Other works of Lyof N. Tolsto
Leo Tolstoy work
No feats of heroism are needed to achieve the greatest and most important changes in the existence of humanity; neither the armament of millions of soldiers, nor the construction of new roads and machines, nor the arrangement of exhibitions, nor the organization of workmen's unions, nor revolutions, nor barricades, nor explosions, nor the perfection of aerial navigation; but a change in public opinion. And to accomplish this change no exertions of the mind are needed, nor the refutation of anything in existence, nor the invention of any extraordinary novelty; it is only needful that we should not succumb to the erroneous, already defunct, public opinion of the past, which governments have induced artificially; it is only needful that each individual should say what he really feels or thinks, or at least that he should not say what he does not think.
Leo Tolstoy art
One is ashamed to say how little is needed for all men to be delivered from those calamities which now oppress them; it is only needful not to lie.
Leo Tolstoy men
Only the truth and its expression can establish that new public opinion which will reform the ancient obsolete and pernicious order of life; and yet we not only do not express the truth we know, but often even distinctly give expression to what we ourselves regard as false.If only free men would not rely on that which has no power, and is always fettered — upon external aids; but would trust in that which is always powerful and free — the truth and its expression!
Leo Tolstoy life
Art is a human activity having for its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen.
Leo Tolstoy purpose
By words one transmits thoughts to another, by means of art, one transmits feelings.
Leo Tolstoy art
The activity of art is... as important as the activity of language itself, and as universal.
Leo Tolstoy art
Humanity unceasingly strives forward from a lower, more partial and obscure understanding of life to one more general and more lucid.
Leo Tolstoy life
The good is the everlasting, the pinnacle of our life. ... life is striving towards the good, toward God. The good is the most basic idea ... an idea not definable by reason ... yet is the postulate from which all else follows.
Leo Tolstoy life
Spiritual beauty or the good, generally not only does not coincide with the typical meaning of beauty, it is its opposite.
Leo Tolstoy beauty
I know that most men — not only those considered clever, but even those who are very clever and capable of understanding most difficult scientific, mathematical, or philosophic, problems — can seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as obliges them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed, perhaps with much difficulty — conclusions of which they are proud, which they have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives.
Leo Tolstoy truth
The assertion that art may be good art and at the same time incomprehensible to a great number of people is extremely unjust, and its consequences are ruinous to art itself...it is the same as saying some kind of food is good but most people can't eat it.
Leo Tolstoy time
People understand the meaning of eating lies in the nourishment of the body only when they cease to consider that the object of that activity is pleasure. ...People understand the meaning of art only when they cease to consider that the aim of that activity is beauty, i.e., pleasure.
Leo Tolstoy art
In spite the mountains of books written about art, no precise definition of art has been constructed. And the reason for this is that the conception of art has been based on the conception of beauty.
Leo Tolstoy books
In order to correctly define art, it is necessary, first of all, to cease to consider it as a means to pleasure and consider it as one of the conditions of human life. ...Reflecting on it in this way, we cannot fail to observe that art is one of the means of affective communication between people.
Leo Tolstoy life
To evoke in oneself a feeling one has once experienced, and having evoked it in oneself, then by means of movements, lines, colors, sounds, or forms expressed through words, so to convey this so that others may experience the same feeling — this is the activity of art.
Leo Tolstoy art
Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one consciously, by means of certain external symbols, conveys to others the feelings one has experienced, whereby people so infected by these feelings, also experience them.
Leo Tolstoy people
Art is not, as the metaphysicians say, the manifestation of some mysterious Idea of beauty or God; it is not, as the aesthetical physiologists say, [play or] a game in which one releases surplus energy, ...not the production of pleasing objects, and is above all, not pleasure itself, but it is the means of union among mankind, joining them in the same feelings, and necessary for the life and progress toward the good of the individual and of humanity.
Leo Tolstoy life
Some teachers of mankind — as ... the first Christians, the orthodox Muslims, and the Buddhists — have gone so far as to repudiate art. ...[They consider it] so highly dangerous in its power to infect people against their wills, that mankind will lose far less by banishing all art than by tolerating each and every art. ...such people were wrong in repudiating all art, for they denied that which cannot be denied — one of the indispensable means of communication, without which mankind could not exist. ...Now there is only fear, lest we should be deprived of any pleasures art can afford, so any type of art is patronized. And I think the last error is much grosser than the first and that its consequences are far more harmful.
Leo Tolstoy fear

Share your thoughts on Leo Tolstoy quotes with the community:

Maybe you are looking for Leo Tolstoy quotes, Leo Tolstoy sayings?

Here are quotes most suitable for various topics. In the web you can find use by keywords: quotes Leo Tolstoy Leo Tolstoy quotes Leo Tolstoy sayings Leo Tolstoy famous quotes Leo Tolstoy best quotes