Famous Quotes by Leo Tolstoy |Short Quotes by Leo Tolstoy| Famous Peoples English Quotes

  1. I am sure that nothing has such a decisive influence upon a man’s course as his personal appearance, and not so much his appearance as his belief in its attractiveness or unattractiveness.
  2. If there was a reason why he preferred the liberal tendency to the conservative one (also held to by many of his circle), it was not because he found the liberal tendency more sensible, but it more closely suited his manner of life.
  3. If there existed no external means for dimming their consciences, one-half of the men would at once shoot themselves, because to live contrary to one’s reason is a most intolerable state, and all men of our time are in such a state.
  4. What doubt can you have of the Creator when you behold His creation? Who has decked the heavenly firmament with its stars? Who has clothed the earth in its beauty? How could it be without the creator?
  5. The only thing that we know is that we know nothing — and that is the highest flight of human wisdom.
  6. 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.
  7. The idea of beauty is the fundamental idea of everything. In the world, we see only distortions of the fundamental idea, but art, by imagination, may lift itself to the height of this idea. Art is therefore akin to creation.
  8. Wealth is a great sin in the eyes of God. Poverty is a great sin in the eyes of man.
  9. Are we not all flung into the world for no other purpose than to hate each other, and so to torture ourselves and one another?
  10. What an immense mass of evil must result from allowing men to assume the right of anticipating what may happen.
  11. Then he thought of himself as unhappy, but happiness was all in the future; now he felt that the best happiness was already in the past.
  12. 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.
  13. There are no conditions of life to which a man cannot get accustomed, especially if he sees them accepted by everyone around him.
  14. 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.
  15. One can live splendidly in the world if one can work and love, work for that which one loves and love that at which one works.
  16. Only by reducing this element of free will to the infinitesimal, that is, by regarding it as an infinitely small quantity, can we convince ourselves of the absolute inaccessibility of the causes, and then instead of seeking causes, history will take the discovery of laws as its problem.
  17. At that instant, he knew that all his doubts, even the impossibility of believing with his reason, of which he was aware in himself, did not in the least hinder his turning to God. All of that now floated out of his soul like dust. To whom was he to turn if not to Him in whose hands he felt himself, his soul, and his love?
  18. Where there is a man who does not labor because another is compelled to work for him, there slavery is.
  19. A new conception of life cannot be imposed on men; it can only be freely assimilated. And it can only be freely assimilated in two ways: one spiritual and internal, the other experimental and external.
  20. What is the cause of historical events? Power. What is power? Power is the sum total of wills transferred to one person. On what condition are the wills of the masses transferred to one person? On condition that the person expresses the will of the whole people. That is, power is power. That is, power is a word the meaning of which we do not understand.
  21. Further acquaintance with the labors of the Quakers and their works — with Fox, Penn, and especially the work of Dymond (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.
  22. And so he who looks down at his feet will not know the truth, but he who discerns by the sun which way to go.
  23. Stepan Arkadyevitch had not chosen his political opinions or his views; these political opinions and views had come to him of themselves, just as he did not choose the shapes of his hat and coat, but simply took those that were being worn.
  24. One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between Man and Nature shall not be broken.
  25. Death destroys the body, as the scaffolding is destroyed after the building is up and finished. And he whose building is up rejoices at the destruction of the scaffolding and of the body.
  26. The appreciation of the merits of art (of the emotions it conveys) depends upon an understanding of the meaning of life, what is seen as good and evil. Good and evil are defined by religions.
  27. He was right in saying that the only certain happiness in life is to live for others.
  28. Only greatly insolent people establish a religious law that is to be taken for granted by others, which should be accepted by everyone on faith, without any discussion or doubts. Why must people do this?
  29. The higher a man’s conception of God, the better will he know Him. And the better he knows God, the nearer will he draw to Him.
  30. It is possible to live only as long as life intoxicates us; once we are sober we cannot help seeing that it is all a delusion, a stupid delusion.
  31. Though the doctors treated him, let his blood, and gave him medications to drink, he nevertheless recovered.
  32. In order to understand, observe, and deduce, man must first be conscious of himself as alive.
  33. Once we’re thrown off our habitual paths, we think all is lost, but it’s only here that the new and the good begins.
  34. “Mathematics is most important, madam! I don’t want to have you like our silly ladies. Get used to it and you’ll like it,” and he patted her cheek. “It will drive all the nonsense out of your head.”
  35. We have become so accustomed to the religious lie that surrounds us that we do not notice the atrocity, stupidity, and cruelty with which the teaching of the Christian church is permeated.
  36. 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 learned what is not given to him. It is not given to man to know his own needs.
  37. When a person is haughty, he distances himself from other people and thereby deprives himself of one of life’s biggest pleasures—open, joyful communication with everyone.
  38. Many families remain for years in the same place, though both husband and wife are sick of it, simply because there is neither complete division nor agreement between them.
  39. Arriving at infinitesimals, mathematics, the most exact of sciences abandons the process of analysis and enters into the new process of the integration of unknown, infinitely small, quantities.
  40. Man cannot possess anything as long as he fears death. But to him who does not fear it, everything belongs. If there was no suffering, man would not know his limits, would not know himself.

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